UW MPH student Ibrahim Ali does HIV pre-test counseling in Ghana
UW MPH student Ibrahim Ali does HIV pre-test counseling in Ghana
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By Scott Barnhart and Joanna Diallo

Washington state’s global health community is a recognized leader in the fight against many diseases of poverty including HIV/AIDS. No question about that. The question is whether our region’s leadership, the way we choose to fight the pandemic, is actually doing more for us than the people we claim to be helping.

In this op-ed, University of Washington faculty and staff consider the long road of global health development, and how research and donor organizations should be held accountable to spending the majority of their funding in the countries and communities they seek to serve. 

Weak civil society and weak ministries of health represent job security for the expatriate global health community. We must not be complacent in our own self-interest by allowing these institutions to remain weak, countries to stay poor and HIV funding to be insufficient to serve both masters. Washington state should take the lead to truly shift development to be an economic engine and driver for better health in low income countries.


Scott Barnhart, MD, MPH is a Professor of Global Health and General Internal Medicine at the University of Washington, Joanna Diallo is a Senior Program Manager at the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) in the University of Washington Department of Global Health. 

Read the full Op-ed here.