12 | Accountability and Advocacy in Global Health Financing | Leena Yumeen and Maria Pennella


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Today we hear from Leena Yumeen and Maria Pennella, and discuss the importance of accountability in global health funding. They explain the importance of advocacy in influencing these systems and, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of not backsliding on the fight against global killers like tuberculosis.

Leena Yumeen is an Advocacy Fellow with the Fund for Global Health, an organization focused on increasing the effectiveness of global health programs and international health aid through research and lobbying. She is pursuing a Bachelors in Political Science at Columbia University, and has also worked with Partners in Health on congressional lobbying and citizen outreach.

Maria Pennella received her bachelors in health sciences from the University of Central Florida. Since graduating in 2018, she has worked for a cultural exchange program in Tanzania and become involved as an Advocacy Fellow with the Fund for Global Health. “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally”, is her guiding quote that pushed her to get involved in lobbying for equitable global health funding and policies within US Congress.

Their recommended resources:

  • Farrer L, Marinetti C, Cavaco YK, Costongs C. Advocacy for health equity: a synthesis review. Milbank Q. 2015;93(2):392-437. Full Text.

  • Mandavilli, A. (2020) '‘The Biggest Monster’ Is Spreading. And It’s Not the Coronavirus.’, The New York Times, 3 August. Article.

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