I’ve become a big fan of reading the NYTimes on my fancy-schmancy new Kindle (which also become obsolete this week after they announced the Kindle DX out this summer). The op-ed section of Sunday’s NYTimes was basically a whole section on global health.
Nick Kristof’s piece was on pneumonia, which is the largest killer of children but also a disease area that is largely neglected.
Amy Grossman had a piece on how the use of misoprostol, a generic ulcer medication, could cheaply and effectively address hemorrhage, the major contributor to maternal mortality, in low income settings.
Esther Duflo was next with an letter arguing that providing more education to girls would be the most effective strategy to reduce maternal mortality.
Lewis Wall followed immediately with a letter suggesting that there needs to be more extensive use of partoraph, another low tech tool, that has been shown to be effective at reducing maternal morbidity and mortality by being able to better inform who needs more specialized care and who does not.
Then there was a story on the need to include maternal counseling into into nutrition programs. And then there were a few other articles related to Swine Flu, which I won’t even get into….and all of this before I was finished my cup of coffee on Sunday morning.
Then I received an email this morning about a new report out this morning called “Fatal Neglect” how health systems are failing to address diarrhoea, the second biggest killer of children. The report is by WaterAid and it looks great and I plan to read it as soon as my dissertation has been safely deposited into the Harvard Depository later this week.
I have to admit, the number of advocacy pieces all claiming to represent the disease area that is the most neglected made me really wonder about our current system of addressing global health issues. It is easier to raise money for disease specific causes but will this strategy ever allow us to strengthen health systems? I am not so sure, and even wrote about this recently in a new Canadian public policy forum. There must be a better way.Share on Facebook