Posts tagged ‘health diplomacy’
Here’s a brand-new article on maternal health in Afghanistan from Gayle Lemmon and Isobel Coleman in Bloomberg Business Week. Gayle says, “Turns out that maternal health is one of the best investments the US has made in the country.”
Afghan Women Stand to Lose in U.S. Drawdown
By Isobel Coleman and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) — As the U.S. begins withdrawing from Afghanistan, Afghans are wondering whether this is the beginning of the end of serious American engagement.
After spending almost $1 trillion and suffering close to 4,000 American deaths, will Washington cut and run? Or will it seek a “responsible end” to the war, as President Barack Obama has claimed?
The answer will depend in large part on how the U.S. continues to support the Afghan government and people. Americans are understandably tired of financing big, expensive initiatives that are riddled with corruption and can’t be maintained by Afghans themselves. As incoming Ambassador Ryan Crocker said, the objective must be to invest in projects that meet the goal of “sustainable stability.”
In a worrying sign, Washington is on the verge of eviscerating one of its most successful and cost-effective programs: improving maternal health.
“21 words. Just 21 unfortunate words are in a new bill that has been introduced in Congress that would end funding for UN programs that promote the health of women and children in 150 countries around the world.
“The legislation, HR 2059, is just 21 words long:
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of State may not make a contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)”
For more info on UNFPA: http://www.unfpa.org/public/
Breaking News: Secretary Clinton & MAC AIDS Fund Partner to Fight Rape and Sexual Assault in South Africa
On Thursday, June 2 at approximately 3:30 p.m. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will announce a public-private partnership with the M•A•C AIDS Fund to expand critical medical and emergency support services for survivors of rape and sexual assault in South Africa.
The announcement will be open to credentialed members of the media in the Treaty Room at the Department of State and streamed live on www.state.gov.
“The 2011 Mother’s Index from Save the Children ranks the United States thirty-first among 164 countries in the well-being of mothers and children, as measured by health, education, and economic status. According to State of the World’s Mothers 2011 (42 pages, PDF), Norway, Australia, and Iceland are the three “best places to be a mother,” while eight of the ten “worst” countries to be a mother are in sub-Saharan Africa. Ranked at the very bottom is Afghanistan, where a woman typically has fewer than five years of education and the mortality rate for children under the age of five is 20 percent. The report features essays from former business and military leaders, politicians, academics, and religious leaders, including members of Save the Children’s board, that highlight the effectiveness of low-cost, low-tech strategies designed to improve access to basic health care and which suggest that women’s empowerment is not only a moral imperative, but in the economic, environmental, and national security interest of the United States. “
Next Tuesday and Wednesday, the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, and the USAID Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector project (SHOPS) are hosting an online conference on “the use of financial services to strengthen the global health care supply chain”.
SHOPS is a five-year cooperative agreement focusing on “increasing availability, improving quality, and expanding coverage of essential health products and services in family planning and reproductive health, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, and other health areas through the private sector.”
Join participants from Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, the UK, the US, and Zambia (and that’s just who’s signed up so far) in learning about finance in healthcare!
To register for the online conference or learn more: http://www.shopsproject.org/about/announcements/expanding-access-finance-health-e-conference-0?tr=y&auid=8016972
“On September 22, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nicholas Clegg, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will announce a five-year public-private global alliance to contribute to the goal of reducing the unmet need for family planning by 100 million women, expand skilled birth attendance and facility-based deliveries, and increase the number of women and newborns receiving quality post-natal care by 2015.”
Secretary Clinton says: “We also know enough about the science of nutrition to know these interventions have the biggest impact when they occur during the first 1,000 days of a child’s existence. That begins with pregnancy and continues through a child’s second birthday. Interventions after that second birthday make a difference, but often cannot undo the damage that was done because of the undernutrition during the first 1,000 days. So we can be very targeted with our investments to save and improve the greatest number of lives.”
Secretary Clinton’s speech: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/09/147512.htm
1,000 Days: Change a Life, Change the Future website: http://www.thousanddays.org/
Half a million women (and 800,000 children) die each year from exposure to smoke from primitive cooking fuels (according to the WHO’s Fuel For Life report). Could these lives be saved – not to mention countless others – by a cheap, clean-energy-powered house?
Vijay Govindarajan of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth wants to find out. Govindarajan has issued a challenge to the business community, governments, NGOs, and foundations to develop a “a mass-produced, standard, affordable, and sustainable solution” – a livable house for the poor that costs just $300.
A well-designed $300 house would be a huge breakthrough for the world’s poor – the majority of whom are women. Here’s hoping the world’s innovators and entrepreneurs embrace the challenge!
Read more about the $300 house: http://blogs.hbr.org/govindarajan/2010/08/the-300-house-a-hands-on-lab-f.html?cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-weekly_hotlist-_-hotlist083010&referral=00202&utm_source=newsletter_weekly_hotlist&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=hotlist083010
This morning, Secretary of State Clinton announced a new Global Health Initiative to an audience at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) – and I was there! According to Secretary Clinton, major priorities for the GHI will be:
- A person-centric, rather than disease-centric, approach
- Focus on measurement, accountability, and results
- Building capacity in recipient countries, rather than fostering dependence
- Encouraging innovation and data-sharing
- Removing health-related obstacles to becoming a productive citizen
Secretary Clinton stated unequivocally that attention to the needs of women and girls will be central to the GHI’s approach. I had the opportunity to ask her what metrics will be used to measure the success of the GHI with regard to women’s health, and was pleased to hear that, in addition to standard metrics like maternal mortality rates, the program will also examine statistics such as marriage age, access to care, and family planning trends. (For her full answer to my question, go to 1:08:20 of the video: http://www.sais-jhu.edu/pressroom/press-releases/MA2010/clinton-live.htm)
Finally, Secretary Clinton emphasized the importance of health care diplomacy. She said that in many cases, the health care services people in developing countries receive are the only contact they have with the American government or people. Not only does health assistance help ensure a safer, more secure world, she noted, but global health care assistance is “a clear and direct expression of our compassion”.
To see the full speech: http://www.sais-jhu.edu/pressroom/press-releases/MA2010/clinton-live.htm