10/18/18 EVENT: Stories from Africa Seminar Series

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Stories from Africa Seminar Series Our center received a grant from the Duke Africa Initiative to establish a cross-cutting seminar series jointly organized by four centers at Duke University: The Center for Policy Impact in Global Health (CPIGH), Duke Center for International Development (DCID), Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, and the Duke Global Health Innovations Center (GHIC). These seminars will focus on health and economic development issues in Africa. 2nd event: Financing Health in Sub-Saharan Africa What are the key challenges for financing health in Sub-Saharan Africa? Who are the major global health actors and how will donor resources be best used as African countries begin to finance more of their own health needs with domestic resources? How does China’s Belt and Road Initiative fit into the global health landscape in Africa? Gain key insights at the discussion…
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We need breakthrough technologies to reach the Sustainable Development Goal targets for health

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This blog was originally published as part of the Future Development blog series of the Brookings Institution on October 5, 2018. The original version can be found here. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3—ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all—is accompanied by a very ambitious set of targets. These include ending avertable child deaths and ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and neglected tropical diseases by 2030. Are these achievable or can they be dismissed as just a “fairytale”? ARE THE TARGETS ACHIEVABLE? Researchers have tried to answer this question using two complementary approaches. The first is to look at recent trends in death rates and then extrapolate these trends forward to 2030. The second is to model what would happen if today’s health interventions—such as medicines, vaccines, insecticidal…
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The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit: What is it and why does it matter to global health?

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FOCAC: What is it? The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (中非合作论坛 or FOCAC) is an official forum between China and Africa, with the highest level of engagement taking the form of a summit held every three years. The third FOCAC summit was held in Beijing on September 3-4, 2018 and was attended by heads of government or other top officials from every African country except for eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland), which retains diplomatic ties with Taiwan. The theme of the 2018 summit was “China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation.” FOCAC Summit 2018: What were the key takeaways? At this year’s forum, President Xi announced that China will provide $60 billion to African countries over the next three years and write off…
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Penny-wise, pandemic-foolish

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This blog was originally published as an editorial in various newspapers including the Times Union on February 8, 2018 and the original version can be found here. A few days ago, I joined several thousand global health practitioners, researchers, activists and policymakers at a conference in Bangkok titled "Making the World Safe from the Threats of Emerging Infectious Diseases."  The audience was abuzz about a new study by a team of economists — including former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers — that shows the staggering economic costs of a future pandemic. They estimate the annual losses from a moderate to severe pandemic would be about $500 billion, or 0.6 percent of global income. That's similar to the annual costs of global warming, double the cost of natural disasters and five…
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Pandemics and the poor

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This blog was originally published as part of the Future Development blog series of the Brookings Institution on June 19, 2017 and the original version can be found here. When epidemics or pandemics hit, they usually hit the poor first and worst. We have known this for a while. The German pathologist Rudolf Virchow described this link between poverty and vulnerability to outbreaks in his 1848 study of a typhus epidemic in Upper Silesia: For there can now no longer be any doubt that such an epidemic dissemination of typhus had only been possible under the wretched conditions of life that poverty and lack of culture had created in Upper Silesia. What we have not known, until recently, is how best to help the poor protect themselves from pandemics. To…
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New Research and Policy Center to Address Future of Financing Global Health

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DURHAM, N.C. -- A new policy lab opening today at the Duke Global Health Institute will address financing solutions aimed at improving the health of the world’s poor. Specifically, the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health will focus on three significant gaps in global health financing: A gap in donor financing for research and development for poverty-related and neglected diseases, and for other “global functions” of health aid, such as pandemic preparedness. Global functions of aid are those that tackle issues that transcend national borders. Donor financing for health has flat-lined in recent years and too little of it has been directed at these global functions. A “middle-income gap,” which arises when countries cross an income threshold and no longer qualify for health aid. Most of the world’s poor…
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Investing in health: what is the economic case?

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The last few decades have seen an extraordinary transformation in global health outcomes. Nearly 7 million fewer children die each year today than in 1990.  Global average life expectancy has risen by six years over the same time period. Given this health progress, which was largely due to scaled up domestic and international health investments, should policymakers conclude that the time is now right to shift their investments away from health toward other sectors, such as climate or agriculture? That’s certainly an argument that some development experts have made.  But a new report that I co-authored with two of the Center’s collaborators, Dean Jamison and Naomi Beyeler at the University of California, San Francisco, with our colleague Hester Wadge at Imperial College London, argues that such a shift would be…
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