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Global health funding soars, boosted by unprecedented private giving
Date:6/18/2009

ries receive far more than their neighbors for no immediately apparent reason," said Dr. Christopher Murray, professor of global health and director of IHME at the University of Washington, and co-author of the study. "We're hoping that this attempt to count money that has never been counted before in a careful and consistent way will lead to greater transparency and better use of health resources."

Some small island nations with relatively healthy populations like Micronesia and the Solomon Islands receive more health aid per capita than disease-stricken countries like Niger and Burkina Faso. Mali and Colombia have about the same level of sickness, but Colombia receives three times as much health funding. The study also found that two of the world's emerging economic super powers, China and India, receive huge amounts of health aid.

"We don't know exactly why some countries seem to be far outpacing other countries, but historical, economic and political ties appear to be a factor," said Nirmala Ravishankar, an IHME research scientist and the study's lead author. "Some of these small islands are former colonies of the countries now giving them aid, and, in other cases, health aid seems to coincide with defense spending or drug interdiction efforts. This is an area that begs for more research."

Where the money is being targeted within those countries also merits more scrutiny. Based on the research for 2007, HIV/AIDS receives at least 23 cents out of every dollar going into development assistance for health. Tuberculosis and malaria received less than a third of that, even though the combined burden for those diseases is greater than that from HIV/AIDS in developing countries and despite promises by G8 countries that those diseases would receive more funding. At the same time, about a nickel out of every dollar channeled to health assistance goes to system-wide health support like funding for new clinics, doctor training and prevention pr
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Contact: Jill Oviatt
oviattj@u.washington.edu
206-897-2862
University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing
Source:Eurekalert

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