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Global Health Analysis

Decent Essays
Locating invisible lines of corruption within global health assistance

Have you ever traversed hat seemingly weird contradiction where you both want to donate to aid organisations, yet at the same time, are sceptical of the act itself? Fear not, for you are certainly not the only one. And neither is your intuition wrong. If anything, with the current state of the global health system, there leaves room for regular donors to be disheartened, and current sceptics to be somewhat boastful.

The past decade is likely to be hailed as a period of unprecedented activism for global health in international affairs. This particular brand of activism is characterised by unparalleled amounts of monetary aid, last totalling a sum of US$31.3 billion in
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The significance of this development lies in the fact that the complete eradication of just one disease from a country has the capacity to produce markedly positive differences in its overall landscape, particularly in alleviating pressures across areas such as poverty and social inequality.

On the flip side, this public fixation has led to a situation whereby AIDS and TB monopolise the funding pool at the expense of addressing other health areas. A look into the distribution of aid allocation within Botswana proves the case in point. In 2010, Botswana received more than 5 times the total amount of funding required for HIV/AIDS prevention. Its other health focus areas, by comparison, received little funding despite issues such as chronic and mental illnesses, as well as maternal healthcare, being the larger contributors to the overall disease burden within the
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Which, in simpler terms, is a matter of inequitable access to health services. This suggests the need to focus health equity development programmes on improving fairness in the allocation of health care resources.

Involvement with organisations that are ideologically underpinned by capitalism, such as that of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), should be approached by the global south with caution. As Tido von Schoen Angerer, Executive Director of the Access Campaign at Médecins Sans Frontières, explains, “[These organisations] wants the private sector to do more on global health… As these institutions are clearly also trying to influence policymaking, there are huge conflicts of interests”.

What the director alludes to is that the outcomes of health commercialisation run counter to the current trend where there is not only increasing recognition of the underlying determinants of health but also its enshrinement within government policies.

Before we close, let’s get one thing straight: Albeit its inefficiencies, the current system does not make injections of money redundant. Development assistance is indeed an important stream of resources that can be employed more efficiently to prevent and treat
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