Posts Tagged 'obama'

Recommendations for the New Administration

Six of the leading organizations in the fight for global health equity have come together to publish a white paper proposing a set of global health recommendations for the Obama Administration.  The paper focuses on how meeting the MDGs (which Obama has pledged to support) can help advance equity in global health:

The MDGs are well suited to serve as benchmarks of success or failure in achieving universal health equity. The inter-related dynamic of health and poverty underlines why any serious effort to eliminate poverty must place a strong focus on health, and why a focus on health best highlights the connections between the MDGs.

The paper highlights a number of key areas which the administration should drive forward improvements including:

  • Commit to a comprehensive approach to health
  • Address inefficiency in aid
  • Build local & national capacities of countries
  • Redefine foreign aid policy and goals (including the role of the U.S. Department of Treasury and IMF policies)
  • Recognize the full scope of human rights by ratifying a number of currently signed treaties  such as:  The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women,  The International Criminal Court, and The Kyoto Protocol

There is a long-overdue need for the U.S. to provide at least it’s committed share of 0.7% of its GDP to countries that actually need it. But, while achieving the MDGs are a good first step, what is ultimately needed is the type of foreign aid that reflects justice after years of structural violence and oppression of the world’s poorest by countries like our own.

(The six organizations who prepared the recommendations  are: Partners In Health; Harvard’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights; Physicians for Human Rights; Health Alliance International; RESULTS; and ActionAid International.)

Ch-ch-changes

Received this email from a friend yesterday about Mark Dybul, the US Global AIDS Coordinator, and the head honcho behind PEPFAR:

…we have received confirmation that Ambassador Mark Dybul has been asked to resign, effective immediately. We understand that the office will be run by career staff until a new Coordinator is named.

Rumors are swirling about who will be named by the Obama Administration.  Names that keep coming up seem to be Nils Daulaire, former CEO of the Global Health Council, and Jim Yong Kim, Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, co-founder of Partners In Health, and other fancy titles.

Of the two (and virtually any other candidate as well), my vote is for Jim Kim.  He brings a pragmatic and passionate understanding of current on the ground realities from his time with PIH.  His grasp of global health policy (especially around HIV and TB) is hard to rival.  And, above all, he is strongly rooted in ideas of equity, human rights, and a preferential option for the poor.

While Daulaire has been a strong advocate for global health in DC, he has deep ties with big pharma and has been largely quiet in condemning the profit-driven industry.

Anxious to see where this goes.  As we have seen, the position has a serious amount of clout to influence global HIV/AIDS treatment throughout the world.

Change has come

Kenyans who gathered at the grounds of the University of Nairobi to watch in giant screens the inauguration ceremony where Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America celebrate the ocassion on January 20, 2008. Barrack Obamas father was born in Kenya. (via Boston Globe)

Kenyans who gathered at the grounds of the University of Nairobi to watch in giant screens the inauguration ceremony where Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America celebrate the ocassion on January 20, 2008. Barrack Obama's father was born in Kenya. (via Boston Globe)

From Obama’s inauguration speech:

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.

And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

Now it is our responsibility to hold him to these words.

Photo of the Day

On the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration as US president, a villager celebrates in Kogelo, Kenya, where Mr Obama’s father was born. via the BBC

On the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration as US president, a villager celebrates in Kogelo, Kenya, where Mr Obama’s father was born. via the BBC

Honesty is the best policy

A refreshingly upfront and honest approach to the health care system in the United States:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Reminded of a bit of a different tune being preached in a GOP debate early last year (skip to 5:57):

Also, here’s a great Lancet commentary on the subject for those of you who have access. Money quote:

The fact is that the US population does not have anywhere near the best health in the world. Of 13 countries in a recent comparison, the United States ranks an average of 12th (second from bottom) for 16 available health indicators.  Countries in order of their average ranking on the health indicators (with the first being the best) are Japan, Sweden, Canada, France, Australia, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, the United States, and Germany.


Welcome!

Welcome to the Students for Global Health Equity (SGHE) blog. Published by university students, the SGHE blog seeks to explore news and issues related to global health.

Follow us on twitter:

@jonshaffer @peterluckow