Why we needed an initiative
The poor in developing countries are disproportionately affected by global diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and pneumonia, as well as tropical diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness or river blindness. Around 80% of the poor/rich health disparity – measured in avoidable health or disability adjusted life years (DALYs) – probably still arises from infectious diseases, as it did in 1990.
If interventions exist to prevent or treat some of these diseases which account for the rich-poor differences in health status, these products are not reaching those who need them. While neither the public nor the private sector alone can eliminate health inequities, focused partnerships involving both sectors have the potential to contribute to their reduction.
Creation of the Initiative, and cessation of operations
The Initiative on Public-Private Partnerships for Health (IPPPH) grew out of early Global Forum for Health Research efforts to support and foster individual responses to the 10/90 gap – such as Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) – and recognition of the need for a more systematic response to catalyzing effective public-private collaboration. It was launched in 2000 under the legal auspices of the Global Forum.
IPPPH ceased operations on 31 December 2004. The Global Forum is building upon the learning developed by IPPPH and refocusing a research agenda on priority topics.
Objectives and focus
IPPPH aimed at increasing the effectiveness of public-private collaboration, particularly by helping those seeking to develop health products, or to improve access to such products needed to fight neglected diseases and other health problems in developing countries.
The activities of IPPPH covered four areas:
- Information services: made available the relevant and up-to-date information on individual partnerships and their operational experiences to date.
- Advisory services: provided expertise and guidance on the formation of new public-private partnerships or improving the effectiveness of existing partnerships.
- Communication and networking: organized the exchange of acquired knowledge among partnerships and their supporters, and promoted understanding between the public, private-for-profit and private non-for-profit sectors.
- Research and analysis: provided health alliances with pragmatic answers to specific challenges they faced, to identify practices which maximize health returns on funds invested, and to minimize the potential risks associated with such alliances.