I have just come across on the Reuters AlertNet of a blog titled : What’s the best way to improve developing world health?
The writer Peter Apps mentions several ideas that are constantly being debated upon; in the end he quotes the Liberian health minister Walter Gwenigale who said that he knows what would make a real difference in his country — and it is the one thing Western donors will not fund. He told Reuters that what he really wanted was outside funding so he could pay doctors enough not to quit and go overseas — and hopefully to tempt back medical staff who fled during the war and are now earning better money in other countries.
It is a problem that some experts and aid groups feel will get worse if the European Union introduces its “blue card” scheme to encourage skilled migration, which could also drain trained medical staff and nurses from poor countries.
In a way, I was mislead by the title of the article as my hopes were high to read a miraculous recipe, some innovative idea. Nothing yet. It prompted me to the following reflection:
Perhaps the problem has to be stated differently: health can not be isolated from education, housing, food security, employment, micro-finance, literacy… Poverty has to be tackled as a whole- with its many components – and governments of poor countries have to be the main protagonists of their own development. They have to be the core signatories of their own Millennium Development Goals. Goals that are realistic and that they assume full ownership, responsibility and accountability for. With the strong support, participation and even monitoring by the rest of the world – the rich countries and international organizations -within the frame of a world alliance.