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  • Author: Albert Trithart
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Following decades of war, economic decline, and underinvestment, Sudan’s healthcare system entered a new phase of crisis in 2019 as peaceful protests led to the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir. Among those leading these protests were doctors and other medical personnel fed up with poor working conditions and medicine shortages. This speaks to the degraded state of healthcare in the country, particularly in the conflict-affected regions of Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. This paper looks at the humanitarian response to health-related needs in these conflict-affected parts of Sudan. After providing an overview of the state of Sudan’s healthcare system, it explores the main trends and challenges in the humanitarian health response, including the difficult partnerships between international and Sudanese health actors, restricted humanitarian access, and the effort to shift toward more sustainable approaches. It concludes that the humanitarian health response in Sudan is stuck: most agree on the need to move beyond short-term approaches, but the national capacity and development funding needed to make this transition are missing. At the same time, with newly accessible areas exposing unmet needs and conflict and displacement ongoing, a robust humanitarian response is still desperately needed. This situation calls for the UN, donors, and health NGOs to continue their efforts to respond to needs while strengthening the healthcare system, to coordinate humanitarian and development funding, and to advocate for maintaining and extending humanitarian access.
  • Topic: Health, Crisis Management, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Alice Debarre
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Due to ongoing conflict and insecurity in northern Mali, 1.8 million people require humanitarian health assistance, and 2.5 million are considered food insecure. Given the level of need, Mali’s healthcare system is ill-equipped to respond, and humanitarian health actors play an important role filling the gaps. This issue brief maps the challenges these health actors face and assesses their response. It accompanies a policy paper published in 2018 entitled “Hard to Reach: Providing Healthcare in Armed Conflict,” as well as another case study on provision of healthcare in Nigeria. These papers aim to assist UN agencies, NGOs, member states, and donor agencies in providing and supporting the provision of adequate health services to conflict-affected populations. This issue brief concludes with recommendations for how health actors can improve delivery of health services in Mali: UN agencies, international NGOs, and donors should continue to focus on strengthening and supporting Mali’s community healthcare structures. Military, political, and humanitarian actors need to preserve the humanitarian space in Mali. Relevant UN agencies, local and international health NGOs, donors, and the Ministry of Health should place greater emphasis on noncommunicable diseases, particularly mental health. Humanitarian health actors and donors, as well as development actors and global health actors, should improve coordination with each other on the health response. Humanitarian health actors should better ensure that they are accountable for the health services they provide, in particular to affected populations.
  • Topic: Health, United Nations, Peace, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali
  • Author: Alice Debarre
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The humanitarian situation in Nigeria’s northeast is deteriorating, with more than 5 million people in need of healthcare and over 800,000 out of the reach of humanitarian actors. Given this level of need and the poor state of the healthcare system in northeastern Nigeria, humanitarian and other nongovernmental health actors play an important role. This issue brief maps the challenges these health actors face and assesses their response. It accompanies a policy paper published in 2018 entitled “Hard to Reach: Providing Healthcare in Armed Conflict,” as well as another case study on provision of healthcare in Mali. These papers aim to assist UN agencies, NGOs, member states, and donor agencies in providing and supporting the provision of adequate health services to conflict-affected populations. This issue brief concludes with recommendations for how health actors can improve delivery of health services in northeastern Nigeria: Humanitarian health actors should improve coordination both with each other and with global health actors working in northeastern Nigeria. Relevant UN agencies, local and international health NGOs, donors, and the Ministry of Health should scale up the response to under-prioritized health services. Humanitarian and development NGOs, donors, and the Ministry of Health should focus efforts to implement the humanitarian-development nexus for health services on areas where it is relevant and feasible. Humanitarian health actors should improve their accountability for the health services they provide. Humanitarian donors need to ensure that counterterrorism clauses in their funding contracts are not overbroad and do not impede neutral, independent, and impartial aid.
  • Topic: Health, Humanitarian Aid, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Janvier Mwisha-Kasiwa
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Health is both a direct component of human well-being and a form of human capital that increases an individual’s capabilities and opportunities to generate income and reduces vulnerability. It is argued that these two views are complementary, and both can be used to justify increased investment in health in developing countries. Therefore, investment in child health constitutes a potential mechanism to end the intergenerational transmission of poverty. This paper examines the empirical impact of household economic well-being on child health, and the gender differences in effects using the Demographic and Health Survey conducted in 2014. A series of econometric tools are used; the control function approach appears to be the most appropriate strategy as it simultaneously removes structural parameters from endogeneity, the sample selection and heterogeneity of the unobservable variables. Results suggest a significant positive effect of household economic well-being on child health. However, the magnitude of the effect varies by gender of household head; children from households headed by males appear healthier compared to those from female-headed households. In the context of DR Congo, female-headed households often have a single parent, therefore, the economic well-being effect on child health in the male sub-sample can be considered to include the unobserved contribution of women. These results have implications for public interventions that enable women to participate in paid labour market activities as a means of improving household economic well-being, which in turn could improve child health.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, Health, Health Care Policy, Children
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: On the 11th and 12th of February 2018, the “2nd Turkey–Africa Ministerial Review Conference” transpired in Istanbul. The Conference was held under the tutelage of the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. In participation was the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, H. E. Thomas Qwesi Quartey together with several foreign affairs ministers of African countries as well as AU representatives. Considering that a Turkey–Africa Summit is scheduled to be held in 2019 in Turkey, this TurkeyAfrica Ministerial Review Conference was held to evaluate the progress of Turkey’s Africa partnership so far in conjunction with steps that could be taken to even solidify this special relationship.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Education, Health, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations, Conference
  • Political Geography: Africa, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Anna Marriott, Jessica Hamer
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has publicly stated that achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and equity in health are central to reaching the two new overarching World Bank Group goals to end extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity. Jim Kim has also rightly emphasized the need to close the gap in access to quality health services for the poorest 40 percent of the population and to eliminate point-of-service payments that impoverish people in every country.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Foreign Direct Investment, World Bank, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Debbie Hillier
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is totally unprecedented. The accelerating number of cases, the poor health infrastructure in affected countries, the short supply of skills, knowledge and personnel, and the fear surrounding this disease are providing a huge challenge to affected governments and the international community as they battle to bring the epidemic under control.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Health, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid, Health Care Policy, Ebola
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Samantha Bradshaw, Alan Whiteside
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, tremendous progress has been made in the prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria globally. The international community has played a key role in this progress and remains committed to the fight, but as implementing countries' economies grow, they are progressively graduating from international support. This could leave national governments, especially health ministers, uncertain about the future of financing available for their national health programs. Without sufficient resources from both domestic and international resources, there is a risk of resurgence of these diseases. If these trends continue, there may not be a "grand convergence" in health by 2035, resulting in enormous economic and social costs.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Kei Otsuki, Weena Gera, David Mungai
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the 2000s, African cities have witnessed a series of interventions to improve water and sanitation. This policy brief outlines key lessons learned from the intervention experience, drawing on the UNU research project Multi-level Urban Governance for Total Sanitation (2011-2013) under the Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) Project. It highlights the importance of multi-actor approaches for promoting: (1) an institutional framework to coordinate civil society organizations, community-based organizations, and the state agencies across levels; (2) policy recognition of water and sanitation as socially embedded infrastructure with gendered dimensions; and (3) the relevance of scientific research and university education to ongoing policy interventions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Health, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Shelley Clark
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University
  • Abstract: The premise of this policy brief is simple: The most effective way to dramatically reduce maternal and child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa over the next decade is to invest in adolescent girls’ educational and economic opportunities today. The goals set forth by MDG 4 (decrease child mortality by two thirds) and MDG 5 (reduce maternal mortality ratio by 75%) are already unlikely to be reached by 2015. What is more, we will continue to fall short of these objectives over the next ten years if the developmental needs of adolescent girls continue to be neglected. Continued investment of resources to improve access to high quality health services, medical treatments, and technology development are necessary and important to reach these goals. But they are not sufficient as long as the root causes of poor maternal and child health outcomes remain unaddressed. Devoting resources to improving the social and economic opportunities of adolescent girls offers a proactive approach with multiple long-lasting effects on not only these girls directly, but also on their future families and communities. The profound effect of women’s education on child survival is well-established. Improvements in women’s education account for half of the decline in child mortality since 1970. Other equally impressive effects are less well-known. Girls who attend secondary school, for example, delay sexual debut, pregnancy, and marriage by several years, resulting in lower rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV, teen pregnancy, unsafe abortions, and single adolescent motherhood. Consequently, increasing girls’ schooling will make their pregnancy and motherhood experiences safer and reduce maternal mortality. Alleviating adolescents’ poverty and developing their income-generating skills will also offer girls alternatives to early motherhood and marriage and provide them and their families with the economic resources to improve their nutrition, sanitation, and utilization of health services.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Children, Women, Youth, Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Roger Middleton
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2011 the world waited for the UN to declare famine before providing assistance on the level needed to save lives in Somalia – this delayed response wasted lives and money. We are now seeing warnings of Somalia slipping back into crisis and cannot afford to make the same mistake again – we should respond now, and in force, in ways that make people better able to withstand the next disaster to strike.
  • Topic: Security, Health, Islam, United Nations, Food, Famine
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Mohga M Kamal-Yanni
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Recent progress in controlling malaria is a major development success. Thanks to external aid and domestic financing the proportion of children in sub - Saharan Africa sleeping under a bed net has increased from 2 per cent to 39 per cent in the last 10 years. This has brought down the number of malaria deaths dramatically in many countries, such as Namibia, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Senegal and Zambia, where deaths have been cut by between 25 and 50 per cent.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Infectious Diseases
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Senegal, Zambia, Swaziland, Namibia
  • Author: Mohamed Jalloh, Santigie Mohamed Kargbo
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: In most developing countries, maternal and child health issues have received considerable attention in public health policies and pose formidable challenges. Several studies provide evidence of a strong relationship between socioeconomic factors such as economic growth, poverty, water and sanitation, education and gender and health outcomes. A good number of researchers have shown that a mother’s use of child health care is influenced by the risk of child mortality. It is thus been emphasized in the literature that the decision to obtain health inputs is confronted with the potential issue of self-selection and hence endogeneity.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Health Care Policy, Children, Child Poverty, Domestic politics, Mortality
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Ghana is committed to achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4 and 5, which aim to reduce child and maternal deaths by 2015. This commitment is manifested in the way prenatal and postnatal health care services are being made accessible to women of reproductive age. Prenatal care refers to the medical and nursing care recommended for women before and during pregnancy. Postnatal care is an essential part of safe motherhood. The access to and use of prenatal and postnatal health care services are crucial for improved maternal-child survival. Ill health of women and children can arise due to the under utilization of prenatal and postnatal health care services.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Poverty, Health Care Policy, Children, Millennium Development Goals, Infants
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Since 1996, conflict in the DRC has claimed, according to the International Rescue Committee, over five million lives, either as a direct result of hostilities or because of disease and malnutrition associated with the fighting. Considered the deadliest conflict since World War II, the targeting of civilians has been a hallmark of the violence. Millions have been killed and forcibly displaced. Women, men and children have been brutally raped, children have been abducted and forcibly conscripted, and towns have been pillaged. Committed with impunity and perpetrated by foreign and domestic armed groups, and by state and non - state actors including the armed forces of the DRC (FARDC), these crimes pose an ongoing threat to populations in the DRC, with those in the east facing the greatest threat.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Genocide, Health, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Nandini Oomman, Christina Droggitis
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: For the past decade, global AIDS donors—including the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEFPAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund), and the World Bank's Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program for Africa (the MAP)—have responded to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa as an emergency. Financial and programmatic efforts have been quick, vertical, and HIV-specific. To achieve ambitious HIV/AIDS targets, AIDS donors mobilized health workers from weak and understaffed national health workforces. The shortages were the result of weak data for effective planning, inadequate capacity to train and pay health workers, and fragmentation and poor coordination across the health workforce life-cycle. Ten years and billions of dollars later, the problem still persists. The time has passed for short-term fixes to health workforce shortages. As the largest source of global health resources, AIDS donors must begin to address the long-term problems underlying the shortages and the effects of their efforts on the health workforce more broadly.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Health, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Miriam Temin
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Improving adolescent girls' health and wellbeing is critical to achieving virtually all international development goals, from reducing infant and child deaths to stimulating economic growth and encouraging environmental sustainability. Governments and donors seem to recognize this, but they have yet to take the specific actions needed to genuinely invest in adolescent girls' health and, thereby, the health and wellbeing of generations to come.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Health, Human Rights, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Last November, The Carter Center was one of the sponsors of a major health initiative in Ethiopia, in which some 5 million people were treated for trachoma and tested (and treated, when needed) for malaria in a one-week campaign. You might wonder how many staff members The Carter Center sent from Atlanta headquarters to Ethiopia to handle this unprecedented, labor-intensive effort, called Maltra week. We sent one person.
  • Topic: Health, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Ethiopia
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Oxfam GB Southern Africa commissioned a power analysis to identify key actors necessary to support efforts aimed at the ratification, domestication, and implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Africa Women's Protocol) and the Abuja Declaration on Health (including HIV and AIDS). The power analysis contains a strategic analysis of key targets in the African Union and other inter-governmental organisations.
  • Topic: Health, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Helle Munk Ravnborg, Claus Aagaard
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Many countries are currently in a process of water reform, often motivated by increasing and a changing composition – and strength – of demands for fresh water. In many countries this reform process has been met with opposition from all political corners, including traditional water users such as large scale farmers and civil society organizations such as indigenous movements and environmental groups.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa