If Health Continues To Wane On G8 Agenda, A Serious Void Will Be Left

In this post in the Global Health Governance blog, Jenilee Guebert, director of research for the global health diplomacy program and G8 research group at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, writes that, “for the second year in a row, the amount of attention devoted to global health” at the annual G8 summit, which took place at Camp David in Maryland in May, has declined. “Global health was not completely absent from the summit,” she continues, highlighting several health initiatives discussed at the meeting, including the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, launched “to accelerate the flow of private capital to African agriculture” with an aim of “lift[ing] 50 million people out of poverty over the next decade.”

“However, at this year’s summit, most of the familiar and important global health dialogue that has developed and evolved at past summits was noticeably absent,” she writes, adding, “There was no mention of HIV/AIDS, polio, malaria, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, health workers, health systems, the Global Fund, or the GAVI Alliance.” She continues, “The lack of attention given to these issues … is cause for concern because many of the G8’s past commitments in these areas have yet to be fulfilled; and many additional challenges still remain.” She concludes, “It may be too soon to tell whether the recent lack of attention devoted to health at the G8 is an anomaly, or if it signals a shift or a steady decline. However, one thing is clear — if health continues to wane on the G8’s agenda, a serious void will be left” (6/11).