Addressing Global Health Governance Challenges
A global health policy that would be the product of the various international organizations, governments, and non-governmental organizations working would go a long way in alleviating global well-being and productivity. Currently, several eminent health issues pose a widespread threat without regard to international borders. Examples include diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis among others, which require a joint effort to eradicate.
In the year 2000, the member countries of the United Nations (UN) agreed upon the implementation of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for development and poverty eradication to be accomplished by 2015. Among the major hurdles included were three specific health goals which include reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other diseases. It is important to note that these account for 32% of the annual global mortality mainly in developing nations and are therefore issues requiring urgent attention. These maladies are a major cause of concern because the increased mortality caused by them adversely affects the productivity of nations.
The realization of this noble initiative (MDGs) is facilitated through a widespread network of global health partnerships that work together as part of a collective effort to combat disease. The various organizations collectively undertake activities such as drug research, research on improved diagnostic techniques, and support for improved service access and technical assistance among other tasks. This partnership has brought together several organizations such as the UN, World Health Organization (WHO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Development Bank (IDB), and International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD). There are also multi-lateral agencies such as the African Development Bank (ADB), Bilateral Aid Agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and private philanthropic agencies such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
A large number of participants involved introduces many challenges with each entity having a specific agenda, strategy, and accounting procedures that can at times slow down the pace of overall progress. This point has been suggested in studies that indicate that it is unlikely that the MDGs will be achieved in developing countries by 2015. This stems from the fact that health systems in low-income countries are very fragmented and as such unable to provide the volume and quality of services required. Other major challenges include inadequate numbers in the health workforce, poor information systems, poor donor coordination, and inadequate mobilization of resources. In addition to these, there appears to be an issue of equity in the distribution of the resources that are used to tackle health care issues. It was noted that less than 10% of the resources allocated for health were spent in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region where 90% of preventable mortality was taking place.
Further, there are problems such as a lack of long-term commitment at various levels of governance as well as weak political commitment to the process which all play a role in hampering the speedy progress required to meet the 2015 deadline. However, despite the numerous obstacles, there has been a lot of progress concerning MDG but there is still a lot to be done. Based on these and numerous other problems the international organizations, governments, and NGOs involved in these Global Health Partnerships are unlikely to succeed in developing and implementing a global health policy.