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Blog Examines New Data On Global Burden Of Disease

“The Seattle-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) recently published the most recent global estimates of disease burden that update the leading causes of death and disability across the world,” Todd Summers, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Global Health Policy Center, writes in the center’s “Smart Global Health” blog. “While a number of smart people have raised concerns about the reliability of the underlying data, the study report tells a powerful, compelling story about trends in mortality and disability,” he states. He discusses “high-level” findings from the report, particularly data related to the causes of death among children and the burden of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in Africa, as well as implications for donor funding. “Clearly, major shifts are underway across the globe that should inform how the U.S. and other major donors allocate their funding. Jennifer Kates from the Kaiser Family Foundation … noted that funding levels for health from the U.S. and other major donors have flattened, so ‘any discussions about future policy decisions or directions are really about trade-offs and prioritizing,'” according to the blog. He concludes, “Hopefully, donors will also support efforts in poorer countries to improve the quality of data they gather and to use them to guide their own health strategies” (3/15).