Better healthcare will require more collaboration

The GAVI Alliance for vaccinations and the International Business Leaders Forum held a one-day conference in London this week that symbolised the shadow the financial crisis has cast over global health – and offered a glimmer of optimism.”About health – let’s show we mean business” highlighted the pressures of the downturn, which will almost certainly result in slowed progress in tackling illness and death in the developing world after several years of considerable gains.

But the meeting focused on solutions, including the need for growing use of “hybrid” models that bring together the public, private and non-profit sectors to tackle issues as diverse as drug development and supply chain logistics. It requires sharing of information, the need for incentives, accountability and management.

In a spirit of collaboration that will surely be essential over the coming years, GAVI shared the stage with other non-governmental organisations, such as the Medicines for Malaria Venture, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, the International Partnership for Microbicides, the International Aids Vaccine Initiative and PATH, which helps bring innovations to the poor.

A good deal more such joint working will be required in future, putting aside the individual and often conflicting agendas of donors and implementing agencies, in the cause of common objectives to improve health outcomes.

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