Global Public Health Crisis and WHO

ARTICLE SPURS CONTROVERSIAL DEBATE ABOUT CRISIS OF GLOBAL HEALTH, FAILURE OF WHO  Special interests and powerful NGOs are said to be causing a decline in global public health. A recently published article in the prestigious foreign policy journal Foreign Affairs has touched off a heated debate about the way special interests and powerful NGOs are causing a decline in global public health. The article also brings to light the silence of women’s rights groups on the issue of basic maternal and child health care. In her article, “The Challenge of Global Health,” Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Senior Fellow for Global Health, Laurie Garrett charges big donors like Bill Gates and the Clinton Foundation with flooding developing countries with funding for HIV/AIDS projects that divert attention from basic health problems that face the poor, undermine national public health systems, contribute to a brain drain of qualified health care workers, and fail to achieve results. She also blames lack of oversight and corruption, saying that in some places “an amazing 80 percent of donor funds get diverted from their intended purposes.” Garrett says that the surge in spending on such programs as The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria benefits from high visibility advocacy and means that “the whims of foundations” drive global health. She says that the funding boom has created more than 60,000 AIDS-related NGOs in the rush for dollars, but that the top three killers in developing countries stem from lack of basic health care at childbirth and for pediatric respiratory and intestinal infections. In contrast to the aggressive work of AIDS NGOs, she says,...