This morning we are hearing from the US Global AIDs coordinator, the CDC, the smart global health initiative, and some university leaders.  The Obama Global Health initiative is promising– building on success but expanding beyond HIV, TB and malaria to include additional health topics, maternal and child health and with a system strengthening focus.  It makes no mention of mental health or chronic disease, and presents as a health systems approach, rather than a multi-sectoral approach to health care that acknowledges root causes of suffering like poverty , unhealthy environments, distortion in land use and food systems, and other sources of inequity that lead to poor health.  It also stops short of asking the hard questions about how we in the high-income countries might need to change our lifestyles to support global health for all.  Still it is a good agenda, one that I support and would be proud to collaborate on.  

 Despite the consensus about the agenda, the environment will be challenging.  It is uncertain what funding will be allocated.  Are we are at a plateau point or will there will be continued growth?  Kevin de Cock of CDC was especially good, conveying a clear sense of the unique role of CDC, identifying winnable battles (polio,prevention of maternal to child transmission of HIV and STDs, elephantitis,  tobacco control, prevention of injuries) and speaking about the importance of young people in the future of global health, and the social and environmental justice aspects of identifying and responding to these conditions.  In addition  to the priorities in the GHI, he says, in the future there will  be opportunities to collaborate globally in areas related to non-communicable diseases and in addressing the root causes of these conditions in human health and nutrition and the environment.

This entry was first posted on September 21, 2010 at 11:20 am.