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The Ebola fog is lifting…

The Ebola fog is lifting – next global epidemic to eradicate: Bad Global Management

We produce and consume disasters whether we intend to or not. But it’s generally not the same groups of people that causing disasters and those sacrificing. Disasters, in all their grief, have a capacity to reveal inequalities and injustices of the world (e.g. Katrina did in the US and the earthquake in Haiti). While we wait for the little Ebola virus to give in under the pressure from the international community let us see if this disaster has unearthed hidden disparities in health, ugly faces of the international community or new lessons for global health that we need to address.

In her speech at the 136th executive board meeting of the WHO in 2015, Director-General Margaret Chan said: “Well-functioning health systems holds together the community and protects against crises“, and noted that universal and equal access to health care reduce the effect of social determinants on health.

The current Ebola epidemic has given its own view on why we should invest in health.

Picture: Ebola Graveyard in Gulu, Uganda established after the Ebola epidemic in 2000.

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GHM Emerging Issue Brief: Menstrual hygiene

Until recently, menstrual hygiene has been a forgotten global health challenge even though there is evidence of serious negative impacts of poor menstrual hygiene on girls’ and women’s health, social lives and education. Supplying girls and women with proper methods and knowledge to manage their menstruations should be a major global health concern, underline authors Thilde Rheinländer and Mary Wachira in the Global Health Minders Emerging Issue Brief: Menstrual Hygiene: An ancient – but ignored Global Health problem of all women.

Photo credit: Erich Ogoso/IRIN

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Interview with Ugandan nurse: ‘Six times I fought a war against Ebola – and beat it’

I had a chance to interview one of the most experienced Ebola nurses in Africa, who had just returned from Liberia. He tells his unique story about the numerous outbreaks he helped to stop and shares his powerful but simple suggestions about global and local preparedness – from a rare practical and comparative perspective. Among his recommendations are: Better selection of health workers, practical training, better management, sharing of experience and closer government attention to social practices and gatherings are essentials…..and prepare for the unexpected, this thing can happen anywhere.

Text by Morten Sodemann

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GHM Controversial Issue Brief: Paris and Beyond

Progress towards the application of the internationally agreed development principles (Rome 2003; Paris 2005; Accra 2008, and Busan 2011) continues to be unsatisfactory. After a decade it is time to reflect on how partner development assistance structures could be improved to achieve better development impact, write Diederike Geelhoed and Kirsten Havemann in a GHM Controversial Issue Brief titled, Paris and Beyond, A Critical Look at Development Support to the 
 Health Sector in Mozambique.

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Link: Lessons for Global Health from Chatham House

Interesting research paper from Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, which is an independent policy institute based in London: ‘Lessons for Global Health from Global Environmental Governance‘. The paper responds to question How should global health’s institutional architecture be matched with its governance needs? by drawing lessons from the field of global environmental governance and highlights three lessons:

  1. Coordination among the institutions of a complex and crowded governance system does not depend on grand overarching structures. Coordination can also be achieved through decentralized management and through decisions made within each institution or by institutional stakeholders. Synergy, however, can come at the cost of subordinating a given objective to stronger political or normative forces.
  2. Scientific knowledge is not only a precondition for action but actually coevolves with it, necessitating institutional structures that protect its independence from politics, while simultaneously facilitating a productive interaction.
  3. The effectiveness of global governance depends on states having both sufficient governmental capacity and the political will to forge national policy coherence in support of implementation.

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GHM Controversial Issue Brief: New potential for fighting inequality

In a GHM Controversial Issue Brief, Knud Vilby argues, that there is a new potential for fighting inequality in global health research and health assistance, because poor countries are financing a bigger share of their domestic health costs than before and health assistance from international institutional donors has grown considerably. The new situation should give the official assistance a chance to focus on reducing inequality and reaching the most vulnerable, including focusing on better utilisation of already existing research results and neglected problems. There is a momentum for rethinking official aid, if there is a will to do so.

Read the Controversial Issue Brief A new potential for fighting inequality in global health research and health assistance.

Photo credit: Eva-Lotta Jansson/IRIN

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GHM Emerging Issue Brief: Human Trafficking

Dinesh Neupane and Per Kallestrup are authors of the Global Health Minders Emerging Issue Brief: Human Trafficking: An emerging global health problem.

They point out that 2.4 million people across the globe are victims of human trafficking at any one time.

Though some efforts are carried out on sex trafficking, little is explored about the health consequences of trafficked men, women and children for exploitation in agriculture, construction, contract cleaning and domestic services.

Download the brief here.

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