Policy and Advocacy Horizon for 2014

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Our winter running of the course, Social and Behavioral Foundations of Primary Health Care, provides another opportunity for course participants to share their interests and concerns about the need for new health policies and the challenges in implementing existing policies.  There are many issues from which they can chose.

gfatm resultsOn the domestic front it was announced that obesity rates for children in the USA have dropped.  One can explore how policy contributed to this – whether better school lunches or exercise or parental involvement.  Many have pointed out that US agriculture policy often promotes and/or supports the very foods that contribute to obesity.

Internationally one sees with the upcoming World Malaria Day (April 25) that the Global Fund is taking a new approach by reviewing and basing funding on national malaria strategic plans in endemic countries. The policy processes involved in developing these national strategies are a fertile ground for policy exploration.

Polio has resurfaced in a number of locations and still persists in other hard to reach areas.  Polio workers have literally com under fire when trying to perform their duties. Not only does health policy need to address elimination of this disease, but security policies are also implicated.

Coursera JHUNew legislation is threatening health and sexual rights in both industrialized and developing economies.  When local advocacy becomes dangerous, what should policy makers and civil society at the global level do in response?

Health workers need continuing education, and new learning opportunities are opening with expansion of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).  Policy issues in terms of recognition and certification need to be addressed as well as those related to access to the internet for health workers.

We look forward to learning from class participants about current health policy issues around the world and to additional comments and suggestions from our readers.

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