Today was a big day for news out of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The initiative, which has clearly helped turn back the spread of AIDS and these other killer diseases in poor countries, announced it has selected a new leader, Mark Dybul, decided to either kill off or modify a controversial malaria program and also fired its inspector general.
Oh, and it also announced it will give grants to countries that can show the quickest results.
Many, if not most, of these changes can be traced back to 2011 allegations of fraud and mismanagement at the Global Fund made by its inspector general, John Parsons, that were, arguably, highly exaggerated by the Associated Press and other media, and reported as if it was their own investigative reporting expose. Continue reading
Despite the global economic downturn, funding for projects aimed at fighting the diseases of poverty around the world continued to increase — but at a slower pace — throughout 2011, according to a report from Seattle researchers.
“Even though we continue to see growth in global health funding through 2011, it is troubling to see so many funders pulling back,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and one of the report’s authors. “We are just now beginning to see the impact from the extraordinary growth in global health funding over the past decade. If we give up now, we may lose that momentum.”
The massive increase in global health spending over the past decade has produced significant improvements in maternal and child mortality, reductions in malaria incidence as well as preventing and treating HIV infections worldwide, Murray noted. The IHME report is published online in Health Affairs.
But now, say the Seattle number crunchers, major international health initiatives like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria are seeing donations decline (to the Global Fund, a 16 percent decline last year).
On the upside, given everything else going on, it is good news that global health funding has continued to increase overall. On the downside, the increase in 2011 was about 4 percent — the slowest rate of growth for this sector over the past decade. Continue reading