Jun 10, 2011

Going Horizontal – Shifts in Funding of Global Health Intervention

AUTHOR:Till Barnighausen, M.D., Sc.D., David E. Bloom, Ph.D., and Salal Humair, Ph.D.SOURCE:The New England Journal of Medicine

The current issue of The New England Journal of Medicine (June 9, 2011) highlights a key component of Life for Mothers’ (lfM) mission and specifically its current project in Uganda – the integration of maternal/reproductive health with HIV services. Despite the fact that global health programs have been vertically directed (disease-specific, leading to a great reduction in under 5 child deaths, from 12 million to 8 million deaths over a period of 20 years, health systems have not been strengthened. For example, the PEPFAR and the Global Fund initiatives have made great strides in reducing deaths from such diseases  as HIV, TB, malaria, etc, but at a great cost to many developing countries’ health care delivery capabilities. Their programs have led to a critical reduction of the primary healthcare workforce because of the higher salaries they provide compared to the government. The long-needed global shift in funding to horizontal programs has been delayed for too long. The fact that The New England Journal of Medicine has recognized the need for this paradigm shift to truly take place in the developing world, and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, is very significant. Life for Mothers’ mission since its inception has always focused its direction on the integration of health services, specifically those for HIV and maternal/reproductive health, as well as integrating child survival and family planning services. We are currently implementing such a strategy in Uganda. To read the article, click here.

Did you know?

Children who have lost their mothers are up to 10 times more likely to die prematurely than those who have not.

Source:United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 2010

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