The strengthening of the global health sector will be critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. This ambitious target is within reach, but the progress of developing countries will be hindered by severe resource constraints and poor governance. Hence, sustained foreign assistance in the field of health from advanced economies will be necessary to accelerate progress toward the MDGs. During the past decade, the U.S. government has made record commitments to the global health agenda. In the period between 2001 and 2008, global health programming through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and State Department has increased by 350 percent. As a result, health has become a significant component of the overall overseas development assistance budget.
The strengthening of the global health sector is essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The community is diverse and vast, and needs effective leadership and coordination to effectively address the global health challenges. The proliferation of new participants brings new resources and innovation, but without effective coordination and oversight, global health activities will remain fragmented and ad hoc. This lack of cooperation and coordination has led to a lack of trust and efficiency.
As part of the MDGs, the G20 Finance Ministers have committed to building global public health security. The goals of the MDGs should be achieved while simultaneously improving the quality of life in poor and developing countries. The MDGs are achievable if health systems are well-funded, well-governed, and have access to essential vaccines, medical products, and highly-trained health workforces. Strategic policy frameworks are required to manage the complexity of global health.
As the community is vast and diverse, the challenges of addressing the global health community must be consolidated and coordinated. The proliferation of new participants brings fresh resources and innovation, but without effective leadership, global health activities will remain highly fragmented and ad hoc. Ultimately, the strengthening of the global health system will enable the creation of a more effective and efficient public health system. This will also help in the prevention of disease outbreaks.
All global health funders should strive to deliver greater proportions of their funding to results-oriented country-led health plans. In addition, they should aim to help recipient countries develop the capacity to regulate and integrate local private sector participants in their national health plans. This is crucial in the strengthening of the global health system. There are many benefits to this strategy. It will increase the effectiveness of the global health assistance. It is a win-win strategy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the global health community to focus on its robustness and capacity to handle the strain. Infected people are facing the threat of HIV/AIDS, and the COVID virus is a common source of the disease. As a result, the entire global health system is prone to corruption. In some countries, the situation is so severe that no country can cope. But a more resilient health system is necessary.
Increasing the amount of funding allocated to the global health system will ensure the effectiveness of its efforts. In addition, advancing the development of primary healthcare systems will benefit the global community. The United States has a long-standing commitment to the world’s people. The country’s contribution to the strengthening of the global health network will be a major boost to the advancement of public health. There are also several challenges facing the global health system. But the United States has committed to support its most promising partners.
The recent financial crisis has revealed the weakening of the global health system. The Global Fund has failed to meet its 15 billion USD replenishment target in 2013 and is unlikely to meet this target in 2015. Inadequate human resources pose a long-term and immediate challenge. Another challenge is the huge external debt of many countries. With this massive debt, the strengthening of the global health system will need to take on a new level of urgency.
The United States’ commitment to strengthening the global health system is modest compared to its commitment to other high-income nations. In fact, it ranks low among high-income countries in terms of net ODA as a percentage of gross national income. Moreover, the U.S. has a low per capita spending commitment to developing countries. The U.S. is not a member of the World Health Organization. However, it has a remit to support its members in the global health system.