No doctor, no medicine at clinic in rural Nigeria
There’s a big push going on right now to expand the scope of the global health agenda, to include many non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (cancer docs) this week called upon President Barack Obama to push the United Nations to add cancer to the list of priority diseases in global health. The UN, which is holding a special high-level meeting on NCDs in September, seems likely to do so. The UN’s World Health Organization already resolved to do this last year.
Preventing cancer should definitely be on the agenda, as much of that is a matter of behavior change. But should cancer treatment be on the agenda? Continue reading
What makes global health smart?
As President Clinton’s former Deputy Secretary of Defense John J. Hamre said Monday at a forum on “smart global health,” some of the most effective tactics the military uses today are vaccines, food, water and shelter in a crisis.
“After Sept. 11, our response was anger … fear,” said Hamre, now president of the D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. While a military response is obviously sometimes the right response, he said “smart power” is often much more effective than brute force at winning overseas in the long run.
After the 2004 massive earthquake that devastated parts of Indonesia, the U.S. military orchestrated a massive relief effort. Prior to this, Hamre noted, the approval rate for Americans in this predominantly Muslim nation was in the low teens. After the relief effort, he said, 70 percent of all Indonesians ranked the U.S. favorably.
And yet, Hamre noted, the federal government is now looking to cut foreign aid. Continue reading