Way back in the day, I used to run a blog called globalhealthpolicy.net. In a fit of depression, I ditched the blog and all its content. Thanks to Wayback Machine, I’ve managed to track down some of my old posts. Not all the links work but it’s nostalgic to read the posts, and interesting to see how my writing style has developed over the years (I seem as angry then as I am today, but also more hopeful). So, in chronological order, get your chops round these.
Eleven years ago, a year before the birth of my eldest son, I decided to have a go at the carbon foot print of global health. Privately, I was informed in no uncertain terms that the idea of conducting international health meetings online was ridiculous. That criticism aged well.
October seems to have been a productive month for me – I must have been on a post doc or something (I was, at LSHTM – an institution now finally bending to the embarrassment of its ‘tropical medicine – colonial’ nomenclature). This one is about an accounting scandal at the Global Fund.
In retrospect, this was one of those moments when I realised that the international community didn’t prioritise health as much as it should. It failed to fund a partnership adequately and, instead, opted for less than the least best option. In my post, I lay out the options. My kicker was pretty good, if I say so myself: ” if you’re an unborn child hoping to enter this world HIV-free, the odds against you have just started to stack up”
In this early post, I was inspired by an article in Globalization and Health that proposed a global social health protection fund. While I applauded the vision, I seemed to be less certain on the feasibility of such a fund.
October 2010 was a month where I seemed to be preoccupied with the MDGs. It was their 10 year anniversary after all. Once pals (a kind of Yoda/Skywalker relationship) Jeff Sachs and Amir Attaran fell out over some trifling matter (measuring the MDGs) in 2005. In this post, I review the debate on measuring the goals that their scrap generated.
The post was inspired by the incredible exclusive in the Guardian by Felicity Lawrence. Fat head Andrew Lansley’s five ‘responsibility deals’ with Big Food and Drink seemed so wrong to me that, well, read the post.
Once upon a time, I used to be interested in global health partnerships. Much less so these days. Around this time, I was involved in an evaluation of the IHP+ led by the staggeringly incompetent, comically self-confident, and small (but fun) Saun Conway. This post was one of a few I wrote on the IHP when I still had the will to write about such things.
Here’s another one on the IHP+
There’s nothing like an acronym to make me see blood, and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is definitely one of those. CSR is about as total as total bullshit gets. In this post, I write about the EU-India FTA and the (then) ongoing Novartis WTO generics court case.
Responding to an Editorial in the BMJ from 2011, I argue in this post that: a) climate change threatens human survival, not just our health; and b) that threat is not limited to humans but extends to all life on our planet. Nine years on and my view on this hasn’t changed one iota.
Looking back on all my posts over the years, this is one of my favourites. The post was a reply of sorts to an article published by global health ‘legends’ Mark Dybul, Peter Piot and Julio Frenk. I didn’t like it. The post attracted quite a bit of comment, particularly from Gorik Ooms who was working at LSHTM at the time. He described us as Statler and Waldorf from the Muppet Show, which was amusing (I had him down as The Swedish Chef).
One of my most visited posts, probably because the title mirrors a succinct google search phrase, I write about ACs and VCs, Gates funding and a Robin Hood tax for global health.
Inspired by a t-shirt I once owned but which caused more trouble than it was worth (people didn’t get the joke and just assumed I was a god-botherer – ironically), I wrote this post to pop the cork of what I consider to be a flatulent bunch of self-important wind bags.
Of all the posts I’m glad to have survived my purge, this one is the one I would drag from a burning building. Mainly because I loved writing it, but also because of the tragic-comic bad timing of events surrounding Oscar Pistorius (boy did I misjudge that character!)
My friend and mentor, Kent Buse, wrote this great article with his partner Sarah Hawkes – both gender experts, amongst many other things. I like this post not least for the line: “So, which global health institutions are gender-savvy, and which ones couldn’t tell a ladyboy from a ladybird?”
At Edinburgh University, I’d just had published a review of global health education. One of the points that we touched on in the paper but not made much of was the scandalous amount of money universities charge students to take a PT, online degree. Hence the post.