Global health funding stalled in recent years: Study

New York, June 17 (IANS) After growing rapidly from 2000 to 2010, global health funding remained stagnant between 2010 and 2014, amounting to $35.9 billion in 2014, says a study.

Funding decreased by 1.6 percent between 2013 and 2014, the researchers found.

Global health financing increased significantly after 2000, when the United Nations established the Millennium Development Goals, which included a strong focus on health.

This trend in funding has only recently started to change, according to new research by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

“Even though funding growth has stalled in recent years, it is clear that funding in support of specific Millennium Development Goals grew at an exceptional rate,” said the study’s lead author Joseph Dieleman, assistant professor at IHME.

The article was published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were launched in 2000, donors have invested $227.9 billion to help achieve the health-related MDGs, which target maternal and child health, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

Yet funding for many of these areas decreased between 2013 and 2014. Development assistance for tuberculosis, maternal and child health and HIV/AIDS fell by 9.2 percent, 2.2 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

Development assistance for malaria increased by 0.4 percent during this period.

The silver lining in the study is that health spending by the governments of low and middle-income countries reached an all-time high of $711.1 billion in 2012, growing 9.7 percent between 2011 and 2012.

“While a great deal of attention is focused on donors’ efforts to improve health in developing countries, the countries themselves invest much more money.”

“For every $1 donors spend in global health, developing countries spend nearly $20,” Dieleman concluded.

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