UK takes commendable strides in global health

Global health is a keystone in the fight to end extreme poverty. Simply put, better health leads to better economies.  The UK government has done a commendable job allocating its resources towards global health and plays a lead role in the global efforts. The UK now has an opportunity to demonstrate global leadership by encouraging other countries to follow in its global health spending.  

Action for Global Health (AFGH) released a report in June that focused on the trends in Official Development Assistance (ODA). The report stated that in 2012, for the third year in a row, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) spent more than 0.1% of Gross National Income (GNI) on global health, naming them the leading donor. Unlike most other European countries, the UK funded 60% of its resources for health through bilateral aid and only 40% through multilateral organisations. Additionally, in 2012 the UK’s ODA towards health accounted for more than 20% of the total ODA transfer. This was the highest of the countries studied in the AFGH survey.

The UK also demonstrated its commitment to global health in September 2013 when it doubled its monetary support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The pledge reached up to GPB 1 billion over three years. The UK, however, withdrew its bilateral aid to Middle Income Countries (MIC) which is causing major cuts in services for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in MICs.

While the UK’s spending on health is admirable, it is important that the government is mindful of its effects and influences on the rest of the world. The UK’s influence on the board of the Global Fund has swayed the Global Fund to reduce their financing of Middle Income Countries. This left many of those countries with no reassurance that the financing gap would be filled.  The TB European Coalition’s report, ‘After aid: What is next for the Tuberculosis & HIV in Europe?’ examines the effects felt from “donor withdrawals” in Europe. These consequences, it explains, have already been felt in countries like Romania that have seen a rise in HIV and TB rates when aid to the country was cut.

It is clear that the UK has taken strides within its own government to prioritise global health, but it has not done enough to suggest that its global partners do the same. The UK Parliament’s International Development Committee (IDC) encouraged the work that DFID has done in regards to global health, but challenged them to use this to demonstrate global leadership that will influence its international partners to do the same.

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is commended as being one of the best examples of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the world. The government, however, has done not enough to promote its system as an example for solving global health issues. Here is a missed opportunity by the UK government to strengthen its world leadership on health systems.  

Recommendations proposed by Action for Global Health (AFGH) state that it is important that the UK continue its spending of 0.1% of GNI on global health to maintain its position as the leading donor.  Furthermore, in countries where DFID plans to withdraw their aid, they should work with national and international stakeholders to install plans for the transition. Lastly, the UK Government should continue its efforts in global health in hopes of influencing other countries to follow in their lead.

Increasing the UK’s contribution to tackling malnutrition

Review position paper


We are pleased to launch with, Action Against Hunger (ACF) UK and Concern Worldwide, our review and recommendations paper ‘Increasing the UK’s contribution to tackling malnutrition’, to shape the UK government’s priorities on nutrition in the coming five years.

Over the past few years, we have seen a significant increase in prioritisation of nutrition as a development challenge. This has been instrumental in accelerating funding and action on malnutrition, and has led to considerable success. However, this progress is still not enough as 1 in 3 still suffer from one or more forms of malnutrition, and over 200 million children will not reach their true potential due to malnourishment. Tackling malnutrition is critical for individuals, nations, and the world as a whole to progress.

Why have we developed this paper?

  • The UK released its existing position paper on nutrition in 2011 in the form of the ‘Scaling up Nutrition’ paper, which guided its priorities for the period 2011-2015. Largely rooted in tackling undernutrition, DFID’s priorities have traditionally focused on increasing the coverage of evidence based nutrition specific interventions, leveraging improved nutrition outcomes through nutrition sensitive programmes, generating evidence on nutrition through research, and developing partnerships to strengthen the international response to nutrition. As this strategy on nutrition comes to an end this year, this paper aims to inform DFID’s new strategy and priorities from 2016 onwards.
  • Since 2011 there have been significant advances in research and evidence on the multiple and overlapping forms of malnutrition and their adverse impact on health and potential of individuals and nations. We better understand its immediate and underlying causes, the impact and cost-effectiveness of intervention, and also the adverse consequences of inaction!
  • There has been a sustained increase in momentum for tackling malnutrition globally, as is seen from the expansion of the Scaling up Nutrition movement, the adoption of the 2025 World Health Assembly Targets on nutrition, and the 2013 Nutrition for Growth Summit in London. Moreover, the recent adoption of the Global Goals which aim to ‘end all forms of malnutrition, and improve nutrition for women, children, adolescents, and the elderly’ necessitate strengthened action on nutrition.
  • The previous government committed to ‘reach’ 20 million women and children through nutrition interventions. However, in 2015, the new government committed to improve nutrition for 50 million people and not just ‘reach’ them. There have to be clear measures of impact for this improvement to be measured. Moreover, the recent International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015 which commits 0.7% of our GNI to ODA has implications on aid allocation to improve nutrition in countries with a high burden of malnutrition.

Our recommendations

Our research and review of the UK government’s existing priorities on nutrition has led us to develop 20 key recommendations, which can be found within the paper.  These cover the following key priorities:

  • Tackling the multiple and overlapping burden of malnutrition (stunting, wasting, micronutrient deficiencies, and also the growing burden of overweight and obesity);
  • Increasing significantly the outreach of nutrition specific interventions to address the immediate causes of malnutrition;
  • Improving nutrition sensitivity of DFID’s programmes and clear measurement of impact of such interventions on nutrition outcomes;
  • ‘Leaving no one behind’ in its true sense, by improving nutrition for marginalised and vulnerable groups beyond the first 1000 days period, implementing nutrition programmes based on need (including programmes in Middle Income Countries, which bear a significant burden of malnutrition);
  • Continuing to build the evidence base to bridge critical gaps
  • Exhibit stronger leadership at international platforms such as the WHA, G7, and more importantly the N4G summit in Rio, by leading the way for stronger and ambitious commitments for nutrition and measures of accountability for them.
  • Developing new and stronger partnerships with other stakeholders at global and national level for collective action on nutrition

You can access the full paper here:

RESULTS welcomes Catherine Blampied

Hi everyone,

I’m Catherine Blampied and I recently joined RESULTS UK as the new Policy Advocacy Officer working on the exciting issue of climate risk insurance (yes, I promise insurance can be exciting!). I’m a self-confessed policy nerd, and passionate about RESULTS’ mission of ending extreme poverty by 2030.

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Before joining RESULTS, I worked in the policy team at the ONE Campaign, specialising in analysis of development finance and poverty. Previously, I volunteered on global education projects with African Initiatives during my postgrad studies, and I’ve also worked at the social enterprise Leaders Quest, where I supported grassroots programmes that empowered women, slum dwellers and marginalised groups to become community leaders. Before that, I spent six months volunteering with VSO in Syria. I did my MSc’s in International Development and Social Science Research Methods at Bristol, and my BA in History at Oxford.

It’s only my first week but it’s already clear that this is a fantastic organisation working with an amazing bunch of grassroots campaigners, and I’m delighted to be here!

For all things climate risk insurance (+ vegan baking recipes) please get in touch at

Pneumonia: A Preventable Killer

As you read this, look at the time. What were you doing an hour ago? In that time, the world has lost 108 children to pneumonia.

 16% of under-five global deaths are caused by pneumonia. In the post-neonatal period, the period from one month to fifty-nine months, it is the single biggest killer.

However, the statistics can seem impersonal so let’s explore this further. There are 5.9 million children who will die under the age of five this year. 944,000 of them will die from pneumonia. Or, to really break it down, around 108 children per hour. Imagine the suffering this causes to their families and societies, their potential never reached, their lives never fulfilled. This shocking figure is compounded further when we know, as we do, that most of these deaths are preventable.

So what is pneumonia? Commonly caused by a bacterial infection, inflammation in the lungs leads to fever and breathing difficulties. If untreated it can lead to respiratory failure, lung abscesses and blood poisoning. It affects people across the world but particularly those in low income and middle income countrieswhere the highest rates of under-five mortality can be found.As we mark World Pneumonia Day, it is important that we don’t just focus on the negatives. We must also celebrate the progress and success we have seen in the last 15 years in tackling this deadly disease. Between 2000 and 2013 the number of deaths caused by pneumonia in under-fives fell by 44%. Under-five mortality rates globally have declined over the last quarter-century by 53%. Since the world signed up to the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, 48 million children’s lives have been saved. This has come from key interventions that have been researched, implemented, and scaled up and it is down to the tireless work of health workers, development agencies, governments, and the millions of volunteeradvocates around the world who use theirtime to give voice to the voiceless.

Even with this progress, too many children still die from pneumonia every day. We know how to prevent and treat it.

Two pneumonia-related vaccines, Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine (Hib) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) can prevent common pneumonia-causing bacteria. Globally, however, coverage for these two vaccines is too low; with rates of 56% and 31% respectively. The continued rolling out and scaling up of these interventions is crucial in combatting the disease.

Education on the issue is another important factor. This is most applicable in countries with the highest burden such as Pakistan, Ethiopia and Uganda. Families need to be made aware of the danger of pneumonia and, crucially, how to identify it. Only three in five children displaying symptoms of acute respiratory infection get to health providers. Symptoms such as fast breathing, lower chest wall indrawing, or stridor must be recognised as potential pneumonia symptoms.

When they get to health workers they must be seeing people who are effectively trained. Antibiotics can help but it requires education to determine whether the child is suffering from pneumonia. If they are misdiagnosed, antibiotics will be wasted and contribute to antibiotic resistance. This will only serve to increase problems in the future.

As is often the case, it’s those living in the hard to reach areas who suffer the most. The importance of a strong health system with trained health workers who have access to the vaccines and the treatment, alongside good rural infrastructure cannot be overlooked.  Every country in the world has now signed up to the Global Goals and committed to leaving no-one behind. All programmes and interventions going forward must remember this, and tackle some of the structural causes which allow for this disease to flourish.

In wider-terms, children who are adequately nourished, exclusively breastfed and have required levels of micronutrients will develop less infections and be better placed to fight them off. The context of pneumonia within wider child health cannot be overlooked.

The new Global Goals are clear. Goal three commits to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age by 2030. We won’t achieve this if we don’t tackle diseases like pneumonia. Let’s galvanise the successes so far and make sure next year’s World Pneumonia Day will be a cause for celebration. Let’s ensure that the decisions made, and the actions carried out, in the next 12 months prevent children needlessly dying from pneumonia.

If you would like to know more, email Callum on

The Narrative Project webinar recording now available

We are all familiar with the negative stereotypes around overseas aid: that charity should begin at home; that money is wasted or lost through corruption; and that nothing ever appears to get better. And we know that challenging these ideas with facts doesn’t always help, people often select the facts they rely on based on their own beliefs.

Strong public support for international development creates an environment in which organisations like RESULTS can more effectively influence those in power. So can we do anything to help?

On Tuesday 10th November, we were joined by Alice Delemare from Bond who shared a new piece of research called The Narrative Project which:

  • Shows how public support for international development has been changing
  • Examines the different kinds of audience that campaigners can reach
  • Explores their attitudes, beliefs and motivations
  • Sets out the ideas and language that appeals to them most.

To find out more about what she had to say, listen to the recording below:

If you would like more information about The Narrative Project or guidance on how you can make use of the findings in your campaigning, feel free to contact Tom at or call the office on 0207 7933970. 

TB: The World’s Deadliest Infectious Disease at Large in London

Recently the World Health Organisation (WHO) published its annual Global Tuberculosis Report. For the first time ever, the report confirmed TB’s unwanted title of the world’s deadliest infectious disease.  In 2014, TB killed 1.5 million people, surpassing the 1.2 million of HIV/AIDS deaths. The report was a wakeup call to the global health community, a bold statement reaffirming that more needs to be done collectively to eradicate this deadly, ancient disease that adversely affects the poorest people on the planet.

One revelation from the last two weeks that went perhaps less noticed, however, came from a recent London Assembly Health Committee report, Tackling TB in London. The report highlighted how some London boroughs have TB levels as high as 113 per 100,000. Allow me to put that figure into some perspective. A rate of 113 per 100,000 is significantly higher than the national averages in Rwanda, Iraq and Guatemala. These are three countries with respective Human Development Indices (HDI), a commonly used measurement of human development, of 0.506, 0.642 and 0.628. This is a far cry from the UK’s ‘very high human development’ rate of 0.892.

While the UK spends $3,600 dollars a year on the healthcare of each person in its population, Rwanda, Iraq and Guatemala spend $70, $305 and $223 respectively. So how is it that a third of the UK’s capital city remains a ‘high incidence’ area for TB according to the WHO? How is it that, for the last decade, London has assumed the dubious title of ‘TB capital of Western Europe’?

Well, the London Assembly’s report found that less than one in five (18%) Londoners are able to identify symptoms of TB, even when presented with a list. Further, over half of those surveyed for the report held the untrue belief that TB can be transmitted through spitting. Shockingly, almost 20% of respondents thought that TB can be transmitted through unprotected sex, whilst almost half admitted they would be worried if they had to tell their boss they had TB. If there is one thing we learned from the report, it was that more needs to be done to educate the people of London about the causes, symptoms and stigma surrounding TB.

Not surprisingly, the report’s key recommendation is a call on London Mayor, Boris Johnson, to team up with Public Health England and the charity sector to deliver a London-wide programme to educate the public about TB. Additionally, NHS London, according to the report, should set out how it intends to bring about universal vaccine coverage to every borough in the city by 2017. If headway can be made with both of these issues, alongside the host of other recommendations set out in the report, our city will be better equipped to tackle TB.

Here at RESULTS, we believe that TB, now the world’s deadliest infectious disease, has been ignored and side-lined for too long. The findings of the London Health Assembly’s survey suggest that this is even the case here in the world’s capital city. We need to do more to tackle TB, both here in London and worldwide. Watch out for our monthly action call on 1st December to see how you can get involved.

November Conference Call Recording is Now Available!

We are pleased to share the recording of Novembers conference call.

On this month’s call we were joined by Sona Bari, Senior Communications Officer at World Health Organization. Sona spoke about the work of Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the importance of having one last push to eradicate polio from the planet.

To find out what he had to say have a listen to the recording below:

For more information about this months action or the different ways you can get involved, please drop Emily an email at

New Report Launch: What Works for Nutrition? Stories of Success from Vietnam, Uganda, and Kenya

Join RESULTS UK, Concern Worldwide, and the University of Westminster for the launching of their joint report, ‘What works for Nutrition? Stories of Success from Vietnam, Uganda, and Kenya”. The launch will take place tomorrow, 4 November 2015, in Committee Room 11, Houses of Parliament from 14:00 – 15:00.

This report discusses the drivers of progress in tackling multiple forms of malnutrition in these three countries. It also identifies some of the challenges which pose as barriers to sustaining progress. Finally, it makes recommendations for key stakeholders such as governments of high burden countries, donor governments, development partners, and civil society, on their role to promote further success.

The world has made significant progress in reducing the number of hungry people by over 200 million since 1990, and has reduced underweight and stunting in children under the age of five years, by over 40%. However, multiple burdens of malnutrition are still a threat to survival, development and progress of individuals and nations. There are still around 160 million children who are stunted, and 50 million children wasted. Additionally, over 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, and around 2 billion who suffer from overweight and obesity.

To tackle this scourge of malnutrition, the international community at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2012 endorsed six targets for nutrition to be achieved by 2025. You can read more about them here. While global progress on these targets has been slow and uneven, some countries are making impressive progress to address malnutrition. Vietnam, Uganda, and Kenya are among them.

WHA targets Stunting Wasting Anaemia Childhood overweight Exclusive Breastfeeding
Kenya On course On course On course On course On course
Vietnam On course On course On course Off course On course
Uganda Making Progress On course No On course On course

Kenya reduced under-five deaths by over 40% between 1989 and 2014. Stunting and wasting in children under five years of age was reduced by 9% and 3% respectively between 2008 and 2014, whilst exclusive breastfeeding increased by 30%. Anaemia in women was reduced by nearly 50% between 1999 and 2011.

Uganda has achieved the MDG to halve the proportion of population living in extreme poverty, and has transformed the nutrition landscape since the early nineties.  Between 1988 and 2000, the prevalence of stunting in children under the age of five years reduced by only 3%. However, concerted efforts have led to a 11% reduction between 2000 and 2012. Wasting was also reduced by over 3% in five years (2006-2011). It is continuing to strengthen efforts to address malnutrition, and improve child health.

Vietnam has boosted agricultural production by more than 60% since 1990s. Futhermore, targeted programmes on health and nutrition have resulted in stunting in children under five years of age being reduced by nearly 60% between 1985 and 2013. Vietnam has reduced Infant and under-five mortality by around 50% between 1990 and 2013, and maternal mortality by over 60% over this period. It has also recently introduced legislations to promote exclusive breastfeeding, and developed Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) using local ingredients, to tackle Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) or severe wasting in children.

How did these countries achieve such progress in improving nutrition for children and women, and what are the barriers that prevent further progress? This report is based on data collected through interviews and discussion with stakeholders such as government ministries, international and local development partners, and civil society.

Read the report here.

For information on the event, or to RSVP, please contact Callum Northcote on

For more questions on the report, please do not hesitate to get in touch:||

RESULTS Office welcomes Gladys and Esther, nutrition champions from Kenya

Please join us in welcoming two nutrition champions from Kenya, Gladys Mugambi, and Esther Wamai-Kariuki, who will be visiting London this week to raise the profile for nutrition as an important maker and marker of development.

Gladys is the Head of Nutrition and Dietetics at the Ministry of Health, Government of Kenya. She has vast experience in setting up policies and programmes on micronutrient supplementation and fortification. She is also the focal point for the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement in Kenya, helping to mobilise resources for nutrition, strengthen partnerships, and raise accountability for nutrition investments.

Esther is a Senior Programme Officer at the Micronutrient Initiative, Kenya. Her main focus is maternal new-born health and nutrition and she provides technical assistance to the government and other stakeholders on these issues, with a focus on micronutrient interventions.

They bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience to raise awareness of the urgent need to scale up investments for nutrition, particularly micronutrient interventions, to improve the health and development of women and children. They will also be able to discuss Kenya’s success as the only country on-course for five of the six World Health Assembly (WHA) 2025 targets on nutrition. Additionally, they will highlight the progress that still needs to be made, and the support that the global north can provide to help achieve this.

We have a busy week ahead for our advocates. They have meetings with parliamentarians to share their knowledge, passion and experience for nutrition with key decision-makers. They will also be attending a dinner hosted in Parliament with parliamentarians, diplomats, and nutrition experts on 2nd November. Micronutrient Initiative President and CEO Joel Spicer, who delivered this month’s conference call and discussed cost-effective interventions to improve equitable nutrition outcomes, will also be meeting the advocates over the week.

A highlight of the week will undoubtedly be the launch of a report jointly developed by RESULTS, Concern Worldwide, and the University of Westminster, “What works for nutrition? Stories of success from Vietnam, Uganda, and Kenya”, on 4th November in Parliament. This report discusses the key drivers of nutrition progress in these three countries, and makes recommendations to other countries facing high burdens of multiple forms of malnutrition, and to stakeholders on how they should contribute to tackling malnutrition.

Excitingly, Esther and Gladys will be on the monthly conference call on Tuesday and will be able to meet in person members of the London group! They will also be meeting students at the University of Westminster on 6th November to encourage budding public health professionals!

Their visit is timely indeed, ahead of the UK government revising its position paper that will guide its priorities for nutrition over the next five years and in the run up to the second Nutrition for Growth Summit in Rio. Their voices will amplify ours in asking global leaders including the UK government to make Sensitive, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time bound (SMART) new commitments in Rio, thus pushing forward further progress towards the WHA targets to reduce global malnutrition.

If you would like to know more about the importance of nutrition, make sure you listen to our webinar recording on ‘Hidden Hunger’. 

Breaking news – new data shows that TB is now the world’s leading infectious killer

The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Tuberculosis (TB) Programme today (Wednesday 28 October) released its annual Global TB Report detailing the extent of the global TB epidemic.

HIV TB Graphic - Final

The figures revealed that TB has surpassed HIV and is now the leading infectious disease killer claiming more lives than any other infectious disease. The numbers revealed that in 2014, 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis while 1.2 million people lost their lives to HIV.

Not only did the report highlight the gravity of TB infections globally, it also revealed deadly gaps in the care, diagnosis and treatment of people with TB. Two out of every five people with TB are still not receiving the care they need with 3.6 million cases of TB were not reported in 2014. TB is the world’s deadliest drug-resistant infection, with someone with drug-resistant TB having less than a 1 in four chance of being successfully diagnosed and reported, in which the quality of care is simply unknown.

Ambitious investment and high level political commitment is needed to drive the end of TB. HIV infections fell by about 40% from 2000 – 2013. Compare this to slower progress on TB: From 2000-2014, the number of new TB cases fell at an average rate of 1.5% per year. At this rate, it will take us 200 years to eliminate TB. The progress towards the target to end TB by 2030 in the recently agreed Global Goals could be jeopardised.

In total, donor countries commit only $800 million a year to tackling TB, compared to an estimated $2.2 billion for malaria and $8.7 billion for HIV/AIDS.

Co-chairman of the APPG TB, Nick Herbert MP, said  “We urgently need to match the ambition with a properly resourced global programme that prioritises new medicines and a vaccine to accelerate action against TB and reduce the risk of drug resistance.”

New, ambitious plans to achieve the end of TB in our lifetime are ready.  Linked to Global Goals targets, the WHO has laid out an ambitious End TB Strategy aiming to eliminate TB as a global epidemic within 20 years. In the middle of November, the Stop TB Partnership will launch a Global Plan to End TB, providing a costed blueprint for ensuring global TB efforts become significantly more ambitious and effective over the first five years of the End TB Strategy.

Aaron Oxley, Executive Director of RESULTS UK, said: “The WHO declared TB a global health emergency 22 years ago and since then nearly 45 million people have died.  The world is sleep-walking through a crisis and the sheer scale of human misery that these numbers represent should be a wake-up call for us all.”

We are at a tipping point that could see the end TB within our lifetime. The global TB response urgently needs increased political will and investment. We don’t have time to delay.