Some of the world’s leading global health number-crunchers, at the Seattle-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, wanted to know if a perceived slowdown in what had been a rapidly increasing war chest for fighting diseases of poverty represented The End of the Global Age for global health.
Funding has flattened out, the study reports, but on a plateau that reveals one category of huge neglect – non-communicable diseases.
“From the late 1990s to 2010, we saw a period of rapidly increasing funding for global health,” said Michael Hanlon, one of the lead authors of the report released today entitled Financing Global Health 2012: The End of the Golden Age? The IHME report follows up several earlier, similar reports which revealed a plateau, and even a decline between 2010 and 2011, in new funding for global health activities.
“I think the good news here is that we’re not seeing a decline yet and are maintaining a high level of funding,” Hanlon said. “That could change, of course, but I think it’s fair to say we’ve ended the phase of rapid increases in funding and entered a new phase, a maintenance phase.”
Here’s an illustration from the IHME report showing, over the past 10 years or so, the overall increase in development assistance for health (DAH).
Whether this is good enough (relative to what we spend on dog food, cosmetics and bottled water – not to mention military adventures or bailing out struggling bankers) is another question, of course. And whether the money is going where it’s most needed is another question raised by this report. Following are some highlights: Continue reading