Rockefeller Foundation pledges $100m to aid healthcare delivery abroad
The Rockefeller Foundation has pledged $100m (£61m) over five years to help developing nations build better healthcare systems as part of its ‘smart globalisation’ approach to funding.
The pledge is a response to the lack of efficient and affordable health programmes in impoverished nations, despite a quadrupling in giving for overseas health efforts from foundations, federal agencies, and corporations to about $22 billion (£122m) over the last 20 years, according to a recent study by the University of Washington and Harvard University.
The Transforming Health Systems programme also aims to unstop the ‘bottlenecks’ that prevent people accessing healthcare.
The project will pay for international advocacy and research and will primarily assist three countries: Ghana, Rwanda, and Vietnam. Depending on the success in those nations, it will be expanded to other regions of Africa and Asia.
“This new initiative will tear down barriers preventing millions of people from accessing affordable, high-quality health services,” Judith Rodin, Rockefeller’s president, said in a speech on Wednesday 1st July in Nairobi. “And it will help ensure that advances in life-saving treatment can improve the lives of more people, in more places, more fully and fairly.”
Rodin said the project will adopt three approaches:
- Equipping governments with the technology, talent, tools and training to become better health systems’ stewards – to improve health planning, financing, and delivery.
- Engaging the private sector in the search for innovations to provide and finance health services for the poor, which will include testing approaches to integrate public and non-public resources in order to provide quality services with lower out-of-pocket costs.
- Expanding the use of interoperable information technology, or eHealth, to leverage integrated information systems toward saving lives. Rodin gave the example of a mobile phone as a ‘portal to health care’, which is already happening.
She added: “While vertical interventions –- including revolutionary new drugs and treatments –- remain crucially important, we must also ensure that they get to the people who most need them. We must break the bottlenecks that restrict access to quality services because no matter how powerful the drug, it won’t do any good if consumers can’t reach the doctor that prescribes it, the clinic that provides it, or pay the bill if they receive it.”
Rockefeller’s commitment to ‘smart globalisation’ means it supports efforts, around the world, which ensure that globalization’s benefits are more widely shared and its burdens more robustly, resiliently weathered.