Recent Releases In Global Health
Lancet Comment: Make Pain Treatment, Palliative Care Available To End ‘Suffering Of Millions’
“The undertreatment of pain caused by cancer and other conditions is a global health tragedy,” write the authors of a Lancet Comment. Noting a resolution adopted by the U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which called on states to “improve the availability” of opioid analgesics, the authors write that “the challenge for the global health community now is to ensure that the resolution is implemented to end the pain and suffering of millions of people around the world.” TheyÂ conclude that HIV/AIDS, cancer, human rights and drug treatment non-governmental organizations “have an important role” in translating the Commission’s resolution “into effective pain relief, palliative care, and drug-treatment programmes” (Liberman et al., 9/11).
Blog: Obama Administration Must Address Development Strategy, Enact Foreign Aid ReformÂ
A post on the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network’s “ModernizeAid” blog points out that in Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s recent speech on foreign policy, Clinton “covered many topics yet was able to devote just 5 minutes to developmentâ€”illustrating how other responsibilities of the State Department often crowd out attention to development.” The post highlights “critical issues” the Obama administration must address with regard to its development strategy. “Failure to address these â€¦ and enact broad [foreign aid] reform now would be a major missed opportunity and would hinder our ability to achieve sustainable results for people suffering from poverty, disease, and lack of opportunity in the developing world,” the writers assert (Beckmann/Ingram, 9/9).
Blog: Millennium Development Goals Are Interconnected
Change.org’s “Human Rights” blog begins a post with the question “Is it better to set achievable goals or ambitious ones?”Â Â The author believes that the upcoming Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) summit “would be wise to consider not only the progress toward achieving these goals, but the interstices between them.Â Would the child health goal be better served by pulling out all the stops against malnutrition? Would our failure on teen pregnancy be best addressed through reinforcing general education? The roadmaps are increasingly complex” (Cohen, 9/9).
Blog Reports On State Department Ambassador For Global Women’s Issues’ MDG Talk
The ONE blog writes about a recent event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies featuring the State Department’s Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer.Â Verveer “promised that investments in women and girls are at the center of the Obama administration’s [MDG] strategy. She noted that MDG 3, which promotes gender equality and women empowerment, is the lynch pin to achieving the other MDGs,” the blog writes, adding that the “administration’s Global Health and Feed the Future initiatives will attempt to integrate essential programs to empower women and more effectively help them succeed worldwide”Â (Pfeifer, 9/8).
Blog: Center For Global Development Report Examines Africa’s Health Workforce
In a Center for Global Development “Global Prosperity Wonkcast” segment, CGD HIV/AIDS Monitor Nandini Oomman discusses her new report, “Zeroing In: AIDS Donors and Africaâ€™s Health Workforce.” The report “looks at how AIDS programs could be better designed to strengthen the capacity of nurses and doctors in developing countries” and donors’ “vertical emergency response” which, Oomman said, causes “all the workers who you would normally use to respond to a broader set of health priorities [to be] focused and incentivized to perform on an AIDS treatment program.” In the interview, Oomman also discusses the U.S. Global Health Initiative’s (GHI’s) new focus on a “broader global health strategy which will now, basically, do away with some of these short term fixes for a long term problem and say that look, the health workforce is a key piece of the health system that has to be fixed'” (MacDonald, 9/8).
Blog: To Improve Maternal Health, Heed Neglected Tropical Diseases
“Often, women and children carry much of the [neglected tropical disease] NTD burden, and NTDs can directly impact maternal mortality rates, such as hookworm’s contribution to anemia in pregnant women,” according to a post on the Global Network for Tropical Diseases’ “End The Neglect” blog. The post discusses the “many common factors connecting maternal mortality and neglected tropical diseases” and the “need for a comprehensive, integrated approach to maternal health.” Investing in maternal health broadly to include neglected tropical diseases, the author writes, “is about avoidable death and disability in preventable circumstances.” The post also examines NTD interventions that are “powerful and technically feasible” and the “final push” to the Millennium Development Goal deadline (Rasmussen, 9/7).
Blog: Women AreÂ Essential To Achieving MDGs
“[I]nvestments in women are the key behind progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They are the bedrock for families, children, local economies, and entire societies,” writes the author of a post on Change.org’s “Human Rights” blog. The post examines a “lack of progress” on MDG 3, which aims to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.Â Two ways to gauge whether “real change” for women and girls hasÂ taken placeÂ will be “a holistic approach,” which integrates women into education and employment issues and “global, institutional leadership” which advocates for “sustained action on behalf of women.” The post also examines global policy efforts including, the Global Health Initiative’s “‘women and girl-centered’ approach to their implementation and strategy” and how “Secretary of State [Hillary Rodham] Clinton has championed this in her public commentary on the initiative”Â (Roy, 9/7).
Nieman Foundation, Pulitzer Center Partner To Sponsor Global Health Reporting
The Nieman Foundation and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, “will support international reporting initiatives with a special focus on global health coverage,” according to a press release. “[W]e are looking forward to working together to help shine a spotlight on topics that are too often neglected by the media today,â€ said Nieman Foundation curator Bob Giles. The initiative will sponsor two Nieman Global Health Fellows each year through 2013, covering reporting costs and helping with story placement.Â The partnership, “underwritten by a grant from the Pulitzer Center,”Â will also provide training and sponsor discussions on “underreported international stories” for Pulitzer Center journalists and Nieman FellowsÂ (9/7).
Blog: Plumpy’Nut Not Global Hunger ‘Miracle Cure’Â
A recent New York Times Magazine article on theÂ peanut-based, “ready-to-use therapeutic food,”Â Plumpy’Nut, “is likely to propagate a very serious misunderstanding about the solutions to global hunger,” according to the authors ofÂ aÂ Huffington PostÂ blog. “Plumpy’Nut is not a miracle cure for global hunger or for global malnutrition. Plumpy’Nut addresses only one kind of hungerÂ â€“ acute episodes of extreme food deprivation or illness, the kind mainly associated with famines and conflicts.” The food is not designed for chronic hunger “due to long-term poor diets,” which is “by far the most prevalent kind of hunger in the world,” the authors write. The article also addresses the patent issues surrounding Plumpy’Nut andÂ asserts that “the public-health community should insist on the right of any producer to bring to the market low-cost, quality-controlled, peanut-based, fortified, ready-to-use foods in response to famines and other food emergencies.”Â The authors also make other recommendations for fighting hunger (Sachs et al., 9/6).
Nature Medicine Interviews Rajiv Shah On MDGs, Food Security, Haiti
Nature Medicine published an interview with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, who spoke about U.S. action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the importance of food security and nutrition, the agency’s new office of science and technology and lessons he learned from Haiti. About the MDGs, Shah said, “This administration has really been aggressive about putting in place major initiatives to achieve the MDGs, especially in those areas where the trend line has not been as effective as we would like overall,” citing the Feed the Future and the Global Health Initiative. He also discussed how USAID was able to “stand up and solve problem after problem” in Haiti, contrary to what he’d been told when he took the administrator’s job that “the agency moves slowly and is not often able to do things outside of the box in a very innovative way” (Dolgin, September 2010).
Strategies To Ensure Emerging Market Biotech Firms Continue To Address Global Health Needs
A Nature Biotechnology Commentary outlines the support mechanisms that would be required to ensure that health entrepreneurs in emerging economies continue to “address the needs of the poor while simultaneously taking advantage of more lucrative markets” as their firms are able to innovate more. “There is not an inevitable trade-off between global health and global wealth,” the authors write. “New entrepreneurial support mechanisms, such as orphan drug-like legislation in emerging economies …Â and new funds, could add the growing capabilities of these firms to the repertoire of assets available for global health. Doing so will enable the global health community to seize this window of opportunity and ensure that innovative capacity is tapped not only in the industrialized countries but also in the emerging economies, so that the health needs of the poor can be more fully addressed” (Rezaie/Singer, September 2010).