by A. Cardon, Sean Duncan, Ilse DeOca, Katherine Mckeon
When it comes to health, China, Brazil, and India are often considered places needing aid, but they may become sources of health aid themselves. This is the subject of one of the breakout sessions at a health conference at the University of Washington, April 27 – 29.
Dr. Stephen Gloyd will be a panelist at a session titled “Organization & Funding: Emerging Superpowers in Global Health.”
“The main focus of this panel [11 a.m., Saturday] will be addressing and critiquing the new roles of the emerging super powers of Brazil, China, and India in global health,” according to the event website. “These nations have until recently been the targets of aid, yet due to changes in the world economy and of domestic conditions, are becoming more active as aid givers themselves.”
Gloyd is Associate Chair of UW’s Global Health department, and he currently teaches on a variety of subjects, including introduction to and political context of global health, organizational leadership and management, and research methods in low income settings.
Gloyd is familiar with aid as he founded a UW-affiliated NGO called the Health Alliance International (HAI) in the 80s to support Mozambique’s government health services during apartheid in Southern Africa . HAI’s mission has expanded its focus from bringing health to those in Mozambique to “supporting governments in strengthening health systems and providing health care for all,” Gloyd said.
Like other panelists, Gloyd plans to speak about current events and relate them to what’s next for health care. For example, Gloyd is concerned about privatization and austerity policies that favor large corporations, but he’s optimistic about the future.
“Things are looking up as can be seen in current events like Jim Kim being nominated by Obama – and now elected as president of the World Bank,” Gloyd said. “We had some pretty low years in 80s and 90s where people thought that whatever was good for corporations and economic growth was good for the people. People are waking up to the fact that these old ideas for ‘solutions’ aren’t solutions.”
He brought up Brazil as an example in which a more-controlled market and increased government moderation have led to better population health.
Dr. Jim Kim represents a change because he has said that free markets, left to their own devices, can’t always be trusted to have a good outcome on health.
The World Bank is a non-governmental international financial powerhouse that aims to reduce povery in low to middle-income countries.
“Although Jim Kim’s nomination in encouraging, there is a limit to his power as president of the World Bank,” Gloyd said. “Oftentimes people have the intentions to change things for the better, then once inside the organization, they face unforeseen intense pressures from that organization.”
The panel is one of several programs in the conference that will address opportunities and challenges for those working in global health fields.