Macroeconomics and Health (CMH)

MacroHealth Newsletter

No. 2 January 2003


Welcome to the second issue of the MacroHealth electronic newsletter from the World Health Organization. This newsletter provides an update on MacroHealth work carried out by WHO and by CMH partners supporting the CMH agenda. Just to recap briefly from our first newsletter, the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health was a time-limited body whose mandate expired with the publication of its report in December 2001. Since then the term MacroHealth has been employed to denote follow-up activities carried out at the country level within the framework of the report's recommendations.

Following the first issue of the MacroHealth Newsletter in December 2002, we have been overwhelmed by requests - mainly from agencies and academic or research bodies- to subscribe to our electronic network. Your feedback and suggestions on the content of the Newsletter will ultimately shape its worth as a useful tool and point of reference for future MacroHealth work.

Sergio Spinaci
Executive Secretary, CMH



The symposium hosted by the Royal Tropical Institute Amsterdam and the Dutch Government was held on 26 November 2002 to discuss MacroHealth. In the opening session, Rob Visser, Deputy Director of Social and Institutional Development at the Netherlands Ministry for Development Cooperation highlighted the importance of CMH arguments when placed in the broader context of sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals, and encouraged more debate on the options for improvements in health within countries.


Global Forum 6 met from 12 to 15 November 2002 in Arusha, Tanzania with the National Institute for Medical Research as host partner. The meeting brought together hundreds of participants that debated the deficit in health research and health research capacity. Currently the majority of research funds are directed at the health priorities of the wealthy minority, the 10/90 gap. At a session featuring the World Bank, the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health and the Fogarty International Centre at the US National Institutes of Health, World Bank Acting Director, Robert Hecht, noted that the Bank's support to global health research had been in the region of US$ 250 million in the last decade, focusing on human reproduction, tropical diseases, AIDS vaccine and other vaccines, child health and health systems. Sergio Spinaci, Executive Secretary, CMH in his address to the meeting referred to the evidence presented by the CMH report 'of high significance, showing that investment in health can provide high social returns'.