Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Giving peace a chance? Global donors miss opportunities offered by health initiatives

10.04.2006


With World Health Day being celebrated today (7th April), significant opportunities to help bring lasting peace to countries previously torn by civil war - through re-building and improving their local health systems - are largely being missed by the world’s major aid donors, according to important new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).



Health is increasingly an international matter, with foreign policy and security implications. But issues are too often portrayed only as threats, says Professor Colin McInnes, of the Centre for Health and International Relations, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, who led a joint study with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

He points to continuing concerns in the UK, for instance, about the country’s vulnerability to threats such as ‘Bird flu’, SARS and bio-terrorism. Professor McInnes said: “The HIV/Aids pandemic, famine and the health effects of wars and natural disasters kill millions and are the targets for significant amounts of international aid and charitable giving.


“Our study looked at whether directing attention to health could instead be a source of potential benefit. We examined whether it is possible to focus on health to contribute to security, rather than just responding to threats.”

The project, which included close examination of post-conflict experiences in Sierra Leone, Croatia, Kosovo and South Africa, argues that health initiatives can help create a stable and lasting peace in different ways as the country moves from immediate relief to longer-term development.

Research colleague, Dr Simon Rushton, said: “From our work it is clear that addressing the healthcare infrastructure in societies recovering from conflict is important in two ways – the benefits for health, which are self evident; and the potential to contribute to creating a stable and lasting peace, which is much more challenging.”

The report says there have been some attempts to work along these lines, such as the World Health Organisation’s ‘Health as a Bridge for Peace’ programme. But the study found that this tends to be ad hoc, under funded and patchy.

In the UK, the Government’s Department for International Development does a lot of work on post-conflict reconstruction in the health sector. However, according to the study, generally it does not link this to any systematic attempt at improving the chances of a lasting peace.

The report points out that at national level, providing services – including health – can help governments increase their popularity, reduce alienation from society, and show that they are acting in the interests of all the people.
Professor McInnes said: “Clearly, what happens in the health sector can have a positive impact upon society more widely.”

At a lower level, during reconstruction in war-torn countries, the report says that it is important to work to reduce tensions within the health sector. For example, services being available to some ethnic groups but not others can often cause increased tensions. Similarly, segregation can be an issue - where some facilities, for example hospitals, are used by just one group.

Dr Rushton added: “Chances to have a positive effect on peace and security are being missed. Governments and other international donors need to understand this better, and create programmes to take more advantage of the links between the health sector and peace”.

Alexandra Saxon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>