Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Highlights from Global Health Council Meeting

With this post, I'll have an even dozen from last week's annual meeting of the Global Health Coalition.

I was impressed by the commitment and passion of the attendees, as well as the attempts to get some discussions going across silos. And yet, and yet, I saw once again how fragmented so many efforts seem to be.

For example, Friday morning's discussion on child survival managed to include mothers and women's rights (that doesn't always happen) but left out malaria--one of the biggest killers of children.

Some of my favorite moments:

Hearing Dr. Gebre of Ethiopia, who honored and remembered her sisters--now since deceased--for making it possible for her to go to school and to survive. Click on the following link to read the full text of Dr. Grebe's speech.

The dumbstruck look Lucy Chesire gave me when I asked whether the TB community really needed activists like the AIDS activists of old? I imagined her wondering, "Who is this clueless American reporter who asks such obvious questions? Can't she see how urgent the need is?"

The funny disconnect between Wednesday morning's panel, which cautioned against paying health-care workers more money, with another panel, that afternoon, that promoted the use of financial incentives--for health staffers as well as patients--to reach public health targets.

And of course, she said modestly, my own talk on global health news coverage.

Blog entries of note from other attendees:

Using Mobile Devices to Aid Global Health
" . . . a rather innovative way to use technology to serve more patients with fewer staff." (Forum One's Andrew Cohen on Influence)

Social Marketing at the GHC conference
"The first thing to know about the GHC meeting: it is the gathering for the international health 'industry' " (PSI's Craig Lefebrve on Social Marketing)

Safe Motherhood After 20 Years
" "Why rights?" some have asked. "Why not just stick to health?" It's quite simple: If something is not a right, then it's simply a commodity, and entirely acceptable for some to get it—usually the rich and well-connected—and others not." (GHC's own Nils Daulaire on RH Reality Check)

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