Blog: H1N1 Vaccine Donation "Hopefully" a First Step to Improving Health Systems in Developing Countries
October 2, 2009
The Obama administration's recent decision to "take a global leadership position in sharing a significant proportion of the U.S. H1N1 (swine) influenza vaccine supply with the people of developing countries ... seems to signal a new level of trust in both multilateral approaches to global health and in the institution of WHO, at least for this particular crisis," according to the CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy's blog.
But the donation of these vaccines, "while ground-breaking and important for saving lives, does not go very far toward addressing the long term need to improve health systems in developing countries," according to the blog, which identifies "better preparedness for pandemics and other health crises" as "especially critical" because of a "general consensus ... that faster identification in developing countries of new disease outbreaks could benefit the entire global community." The blog concludes, "This H1N1 vaccine donation by the United States and other countries hopefully represents only an initial step of a new commitment, a first step on a long road toward improving overall health systems in developing countries, and thereby improving global health equity" (Nieburg, 9/25).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.