Intended for healthcare professionals


Germany, the G7, and global health

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 05 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1210
  1. Gavin Yamey, lead1,
  2. Sabine Campe, associate director2,
  3. Sara Fewer, policy and programme manager1
  1. 1Evidence to Policy Initiative, Global Health Group, University of California, San Francisco, USA
  2. 2SEEK Development, Berlin, Germany
  1. Correspondence to: G Yamey gavin.yamey{at}

Health systems, new tools, and delivery science should top the agenda

Remember global health? It had a fantastic 10 years from 2002-12—the “golden decade” of rising health aid1—but is now slipping down the international agenda. Some development experts argue that other sectors, such as agriculture, should “take centre stage.”2 This is misguided. Health investment is the largest contributor to sustainable development.3 And a retreat from health would threaten the impressive gains of the past decade in reducing infectious disease, maternal, and child mortality.4

Fortunately, there are some promising signs that Germany, this year’s chair of the G7 group of large advanced economies, may spend some of its political capital on pushing health back up the global agenda. It got off to a strong start, hosting a conference in Berlin in January at which donors pledged $7.5bn (£4.9bn; €6.7bn) to Gavi, the vaccine alliance, an amount that exceeded expectations and that could fund immunisations for an additional 300 million children.5 It has identified three global health priorities for the G7 in 2015: neglected tropical diseases, pandemics, and antimicrobial resistance.6 What should we make of these priorities, and does the G7 really have the clout to effect global change?

There is always plenty of fanfare—and scepticism—surrounding G7 summits, and the same will surely be the …

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