James Militzer

Bi-Weekly Checkup – 3/1/13: What you may have missed and what we’re working on at NB Health Care

We’re launching a new regular feature at NextBillion Health Care – the Bi-Weekly Checkup. (Sorry for the obligatory medical pun – hey, it’s a health care blog…)

The Checkup has three main functions:

  • To highlight recent posts and news items that you might have missed
  • To explore new ideas, organizations and trends in global health and health-related social enterprise
  • To let you know about upcoming content on NBHC

But there’s also a fourth function – one that’s particularly important. Along with checking up on content, we’d like to take this regular opportunity to check in with you, our readers.

If there are any topics you’d like us to cover – from organizations or companies doing interesting work, to emerging trends or topics that deserve more discussion – please let me know. You can contact me in the comments to these posts, or by email (jamesmil@umich.edu).

So without further ado, let’s jump in:

A Global Health Game Changer?

As Dr. Evil discovered, one million dollars isn’t as impressive as it once was. But one million community health workers? That’s another story. The One Million Community Health Workers campaign plans to train, equip and deploy one million health care workers in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2015, reaching millions of underserved people. I spoke with Dr. Prabhjot Singh, Co-Chair of the campaign, about the considerable potential (and risks) of a campaign of this magnitude: check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our interview.

The Other NCDs

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become health care buzzwords of late, with most of the attention going to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But mental, neurological and substance-abuse disorders already make up a larger share of the global disease burden than both cancer and heart disease. And major depressive disorders alone will be the No. 1 cause of disability globally by 2030. So why aren’t mental health issues on the global agenda – and what is the social sector doing to address them?

Big Demand = Big Opportunities in Indian Health Care

As India’s population has grown, health care has become one of the country’s largest sectors. Estimates project that the current U.S. $40 billion Indian health care industry will grow to US $280 billion by 2020. Yet this growth may be outpaced by growing demand: to reach the WHO’s standard, India would need to add 6 million beds by 2028. Click here to see how some innovative businesses models are addressing these needs, and reaching those underserved patients in the process.

Envisioning a New Food System

A good diet is fundamental to good health, but even a “healthy” diet isn’t as healthy as it used to be. In an alarming worldwide trend, our foods are losing nutrients at each stage of our environmental and food systems. So the fruits and vegetables you’re eating today probably have far fewer vitamins and minerals than those grown 50 years ago. How can we ensure that vital nutrients are generated, preserved, and conveyed from soil to food, and from food markets to people? That’s what Ashoka’s Nutrients for All campaign is exploring. Read more about the campaign here.

Stories from Field: Health Care in Nigeria and Kenya

Late last year, Gates Foundation CEO Jeff Raikes traveled to Nigeria and Kenya with his wife and a team of colleagues. In this post, Raikes discusses his experiences in the field, reporting on progress in the fight to end polio and increase access to family planning, challenges in the cold storage of vaccines, and perspectives from residents.

In the News

The Global Burden Disease Study is the most comprehensive and ambitious effort to date to quantify the world’s health status. What impact will it have on donors and policy makers?

PEPFAR celebrates its tenth anniversary. What’s next for the leading global AIDS program?

Coming Soon on NextBillion Health Care…

An interview with UNITAID Chair and pioneer of the innovative financing movement, Philippe Douste-Blazy.

More in our continuing coverage of the growing acceptance of informal health care providers.

Agriculture, Health Care, Social Enterprise
public health