Growth in maternal and child health funding outpaces spending on HIV, TB, and malaria

April 14, 2016

Funding earmarked for improving maternal and child health in low- and middle-income countries has grown faster since 2010 than funding for HIV, TB, and malaria.

These trends mark a reversal of funding patterns seen during the 2000 to 2010 period, when donors' investments in HIV, TB, and grew at more than double the pace of spending on maternal and . However, funding for these areas is growing much more slowly than in the past, according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. The article, "Development assistance for health: past trends, relationships, and the future of international financial flows for health," was published online April 13, 2016 in The Lancet.

Despite faster growth rates in funding for maternal and child health, HIV funding still makes up the majority share of global (30% for HIV/AIDS in 2015 compared to 18% and 10% for child and maternal health, respectively).

Overall, the researchers found that total development assistance for health (DAH) continues to suffer from sluggish growth. After tripling between 2000 and 2010, total DAH increased slightly between 2010 and 2015, totaling $36.4 billion in 2015. Over two-thirds of global health funding in 2015 was provided by the governments of just 10 high-income countries.

In addition, IHME researchers have included new projections for total development assistance through the year 2040. Using past trends and relationships to estimate future spending, these new estimates suggest that DAH will remain relatively stable, growing to $64.1 billion in 2040. The projections have large uncertainty intervals that underscore the tremendous opportunities for donors to invest in health in low- and middle-income countries.

Also for the first time IHME tracked funding for different types of HIV programs, such as treatment, prevention, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and health system strengthening. These findings were published in the article "Tracking development assistance for HIV/AIDS: the international response to a global epidemic" in the journal AIDS on April 13. Treatment, prevention, and health system strengthening have made up the majority of development assistance for HIV since 1990.

In many low-income countries hit hard by the HIV crisis, donor funding tends to make up a large portion of domestic health spending. In the average low-income country, 52 cents of every dollar of government spending in low-income countries comes from donors.

"The stagnation in funding for HIV can have major implications for the estimated 20 million people in low-income countries who are living with HIV," said Joseph Dieleman, Assistant Professor at IHME and a lead author on the studies. "To expand access to treatment, it will be vital to scale up for HIV in low- and middle-income countries, improve efficiency, and better target marginalized populations."

Explore further: Global studies reveal health financing crisis facing developing countries

More information: Joseph L Dieleman et al. Development assistance for health: past trends, associations, and the future of international financial flows for health, The Lancet (2016). DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30168-4

Matthew T. Schneider et al. Tracking development assistance for HIV/AIDS, AIDS (2016). DOI: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000001081

Related Stories

Global studies reveal health financing crisis facing developing countries

April 13, 2016
Two major studies published in The Lancet reveal the health financing crisis facing developing countries as a result of low domestic investment and stagnating international aid, which could leave millions of people without ...

Global spending on health is expected to increase to $18.28 trillion worldwide by 2040

April 14, 2016
Global inequities in health spending are expected to persist and intensify over the next 25 years, according to a new study that estimates total health financing in countries around the world.

World spends more than $200 billion to make countries healthier

June 16, 2015
The world invested more than $200 billion to improve health in lower-income countries over the past 15 years.

Global health funding reaches new high as funding priorities shift

April 8, 2014
Global health funding hit an all-time high of $31.3 billion in 2013, five times greater than in 1990. Yet with 3.9% growth from 2012 to 2013, the year-over-year increase falls short of the rapid rates seen over the previous ...

HIV/AIDS long-term costs high—and unaffordable to most-affected countries

March 7, 2016
There will be a significant shortfall in the funding needed for HIV control in sub-Saharan Africa in the coming years and those countries with the highest HIV burden will be unable to meet their obligations on their own to ...

Has the 'Golden Age' of global health funding come to an end?

February 6, 2013
Despite dire predictions in the wake of the economic crisis, donations to health projects in developing countries appear to be holding steady, according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation ...

Recommended for you

Breathing dirty air may harm kidneys, study finds

September 21, 2017
Outdoor air pollution has long been linked to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A new study now adds kidney disease to the list, according to ...

Excess dietary manganese promotes staph heart infection

September 21, 2017
Too much dietary manganese—an essential trace mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts—promotes infection of the heart by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus ("staph").

Being active saves lives whether a gym workout, walking to work or washing the floor

September 21, 2017
Physical activity of any kind can prevent heart disease and death, says a large international study involving more than 130,000 people from 17 countries published this week in The Lancet.

Frequent blood donations safe for some, but not all

September 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—Some people may safely donate blood as often as every eight weeks—but that may not be a healthy choice for all, a new study suggests.

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, study finds

September 21, 2017
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears ...

Higher levels of fluoride in pregnant woman linked to lower intelligence in their children

September 20, 2017
Fluoride in the urine of pregnant women shows a correlation with lower measures of intelligence in their children, according to University of Toronto researchers who conducted the first study of its kind and size to examine ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.