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Hudson Institute Releases Global Health Initiatives Report

Hudson Institute

Study examines impact of major global health institutions in curtailing Ebola, HIV/AIDS and other pandemics

WASHINGTON— Hudson Institute’s Center for Science in Public Policy (CSPP) has just released Global Health Initiatives: Pre-and Post-2015, an in-depth analysis of successes and failures of global health initiatives over the last 35 years. With the UN Millennium Development Goals coming to a close in 2015, and new Sustainable Development Goals about to take their place, CSPP looked at how the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and other public-private global health partnerships compared in attacking the major pandemics of the era.

“Every decision made by these organizations can save or condemn lives,” said Mr. Jeremiah Norris, director of CSPP. “Our report examines whether the major global health institutions are embracing the new players in global health and incorporating the growth of civil society. The study provides a roadmap for how global health organizations, such as the WHO and the World Bank, can do a better job meeting the new goals over the next 20 years.”

The study reveals internal evaluations by the WHO and World Bank showing many health targets that were not met and projects not rigorously evaluated. Despite billions of dollars invested by these institutions in the health infrastructures of African countries over the last 25 years, they are still poorly equipped to handle pandemics and basic healthcare needs. When the WHO tried to assume an operational role in its HIV/AIDS program, 36 of its pre-qualified antiretroviral AIDS drugs had to be taken off the market due to lack of proof of bio-equivalency.

Global Health Initiatives includes findings on the Ebola epidemic and the slow and uncoordinated response of the WHO that has reignited the discussions on reforming global health institutions. The study reinforces the concerns of German Chancellor Angela Merkel prior to the opening of the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly in Geneva. Chancellor Merkel is recommending that the WHO no longer handle global pandemics, but that a semi-autonomous body be established to respond to these crises. She will address this issue at the Assembly on Tuesday, May 19 and at the G7 summit hosted by Germany in June.

The study details effective public-private partnerships, which include the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, the joint UN-Industry Accelerated Access Initiative, and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). These initiatives combined the specialized knowledge of local health care providers, the pharmaceutical industry, foundations, NGOs, faith-based organizations, academia, and volunteers to manage successful programs.

Mr. Norris is available for interviews. To arrange an interview, please contact Carolyn Stewart at [email protected] The full study, Global Health Initiatives: Pre-and Post-2015, can be accessed here. A summary of the report can be found on the Center for Science in Public Policy blog.

Hudson Institute is an independent research organization promoting new ideas for the advancement of global security, prosperity and freedom.