(Kyoko Uchida manages PubHub, the Foundation Center’s online catalog of foundation-sponsored publications. In her last post, she wrote about climate change mitigation and adaptation.)
As mentioned in my last post, the Foundation Center is providing grants data, research, and relevant news items for four plenary sessions ("Providing Food Security," "Advancing Global Health," "Improving Access to Water," "Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation") at the upcoming ninth annual Global Philanthropy Forum conference, April 18-21, in Redwood City, California. In the weeks leading up to the conference, PubHub is featuring reports on each of these issue areas. This week's focus is on "Advancing Global Health."
Global health challenges, caused or exacerbated by climate change, growing pressure on freshwater supplies, and/or food insecurity, are predicted to consume an ever-larger share of global GDP. So what is being done to address these closely linked issues?
The U.S. Global Health Initiative: Overview & Budget Analysis (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation) examines the Obama administration’s six-year, $63 billion global health initiative, which advocates a shift in U.S. policy from a vertical, disease-specific approach to global health problems to a more horizontal, integrated approach that addresses multiple health issues in the same populations while strengthening underlying health systems. The initiative also includes continued commitments to the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis and a broader focus on maternal and child health, family planning, and neglected tropical diseases. The report points out the need to consider implications of ongoing reviews of U.S. diplomacy and development policy, reforms of foreign aid structure, and the U.S. Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative.
Building Healthcare Leadership in Africa: A Call to Action (Accordia Global Health Foundation) highlights the need to bolster public health systems in Africa — not only by hiring more workers, improving infrastructure, and introducing new technologies, but also through building leadership capacity. Based on discussions from an April 2009 conference, the report lays out a framework for building capacity and sustainability through leadership development at the individual, institutional, and network levels.
Proven HIV Prevention Strategies (Global HIV Prevention Working Group) describes effective strategies for preventing sexual, blood-borne, and mother-to-child transmission of HIV such as antiretroviral drugs, breast-feeding alternatives, and caesarean delivery. The issue brief emphasizes the need to complement prevention technologies with structural interventions that reduce the vulnerability of those at risk, including legal and policy reforms that empower women.
Empowering women is what Investing in Women for a Better World (BSR) is all about. The report offers case studies of HERproject, a six-country initiative that aims to improve women factory workers' health awareness, leadership skills, and employer relations though peer education and intervention networks. Given that women are more likely to invest their income in the education, nutrition, and health of their children, the authors argue that workplace health programs further empower them to break the cycle of poverty.
Clearly, the global health challenges of the twenty-first century cannot be tackled in isolation, and the above reports only begin to touch on the cross-cutting strategies that will be needed to bring about lasting change. What other strategies are being tried and/or are working? Use the comments section to share your thoughts. And be sure to check out some of the 1,400 other health-related reports in PubHub.
-- Kyoko Uchida