“The world has become more vulnerable to outbreaks of disease caused by contaminated food because of growing global trade, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday,” Agence France-Presse reports. WHO officials say that “[i]nvestigating these outbreaks has also become more difficult because food can contain ingredients from around the world and is transported through a complex global supply chain,” according to AFP. Speaking “at a conference in Singapore on improving preparedness against global health threats,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said, “Problems nowadays can arise from any link or kink in a convoluted food chain” and governments worldwide are faced with the challenge of how to “reduce the health and economic consequences of foodborne diseases,” the news service writes (10/13).
“In a report about financing for development delivered [Thursday] at the G20 Summit, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, urged leaders to commit to increasing the pool of resources dedicated to development, or risk causing irreparable damage to the livelihoods of millions of the poorest people,” a Gates Foundation press release states (11/3). “Gates’ report to G20 leaders, whose countries account for 85 percent of the global economy, suggests they can raise over $250 billion (180 billion euros), a modest part of which could accelerate the development of poor countries,” Agence France-Presse reports (11/3).
“Because they strike mostly forgotten people living on less than $2 per day, [neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)] have traditionally been thought of as a problem exclusive to low-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,” Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and president…
In a New England Journal of Medicine review article, Julio Frenk and Suerie Moon of the Harvard School of Public Health write that the world faces “a trio of threats: first, the unfinished agenda of infections, undernutrition, and reproductive health problems; second, the rising global burden of non-communicable diseases and their…
As part of her seven country, 11-day trip to Africa, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday in Nairobi will meet with Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed at the new U.S. embassy in Kenya, according to Associated Press (Lee, 8/6).
Briefly recapping a history of foreign aid policy since 1920, former Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) write in a Politico opinion piece, “Credit for America’s global leadership role belongs to both major political parties and Americans of all stripes” who “have always been guided by the notion that all lives have equal value, regardless of where someone was born.” Because of the current economic recession, “[w]e understand that there might be temptation to cut back on U.S. humanitarian programs and investments abroad,” they write, continuing, “However, the cost of cutting back on such programs is not worth it,” as such cuts would amount to less than one percent of the federal budget, “affect too many peoples’ lives and damage American economic and national security interests at a time our world is more interconnected than ever.”
In this post in the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Health Policy” blog, Amanda Glassman, a senior fellow and director of global health policy at CGD, and Jenny Ottenhoff, a policy outreach associate at the center, discuss the closure of the Global Health Initiative (GHI) office and the creation of the Office of Global Health Diplomacy at the State Department, to be “led by an ambassador responsible for ‘champion[ing] the priorities and policies of the GHI in the diplomatic arena,'” according to the announcement. They list “a few roles a global health ambassador could play that may prove a ‘value add’ to the U.S. global health architecture,” and state, “The new ambassador will be entering the position with the deck stacked again them and will need to address many of the institutional constraints of the late GHI office, namely lack of formal budgetary, policy or legal leverage over the many U.S. agencies working in global health.” Noting a recent brief by the Kaiser Family Foundation says an ambassador for global health diplomacy could raise the profile of and provide new opportunities for addressing global health, the blog authors conclude, “[I]n an ever challenging political and fiscal environment, that may be exactly what U.S. global health programs need” (9/20).
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reflects on changes in U.S. global health diplomacy since taking office in this Global Health and Diplomacy opinion piece. “America had been leading the global health fight for decades,” but “we recognized that to sustain the impact of our work, we needed to change the way we did business,” she writes. “For example, while our agencies were providing tremendous leadership in isolation, they could still do more to collaborate effectively,” she writes, adding, “[W]e weren’t doing enough to coordinate our efforts with other donors or our partner countries,” and “we weren’t building sustainable systems to eventually allow our partner countries to manage more of their own health needs.” She says, “We were unintentionally putting a ceiling on the number of lives we could save.”
The U.S. Army news service reports on a five-day Medical Civil Action Program, or MEDCAP, in Tanzania, during which “Tanzanian medical providers working in partnership with U.S. service members from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa provided medical care to more than 2,100 Tanzanian women and children.” According to the news service, “The program supported the Tanzanian Health Initiative, a program that seeks to provide a comprehensive approach to health for the Tanzanian people and parallels the U.S. government’s Global Health Initiative.”
Science Academies Issue Statements To Inform G8 Leaders On Water, Energy, Resiliency To Natural Disasters
“Scientists from 15 countries are calling for a better political response to the provision of water and energy to meet the challenge of feeding a world of nine billion people within 30 years,” Reuters reports. The leaders of “some of the world’s leading science academies” issued several statements on Thursday “ahead of the G8 summit in the United States” as “part of the annual lobbying effort aimed at focusing the attention of world leaders on issues the scientific community regards as crucial,” the news agency writes (Wickham, 5/11).