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

High-fat diet in pregnancy can cause mental health problems in offspring

July 21, 2017
A high-fat diet not only creates health problems for expectant mothers, but new research in an animal model suggests it alters the development of the brain and endocrine system of their offspring and has a long-term impact ...

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

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.