Inter Press Service examines HIV in the Caribbean, where “the HIV burden varies considerably among and within countries” in the region. “‘I think the prevention programs in many countries are not reaching the right people,’ Michel de Groulards, regional program adviser of the UNAIDS Caribbean Regional Support Team, told IPS,” the news service writes, adding, “One factor, de Groulards believed, may be that after 25 years of providing treatment, some countries have reached a plateau. In other cases, people considered at risk, including [men who have sex with men], are not targeted.” IPS writes that “even as Caribbean politicians, scientists, researchers, academics and other stakeholders continue to examine ways of dealing with the virus, 30 years after the first case was recorded in the region, there is growing recognition that cuts in overseas funding could seriously hamper future success” (Richards, 11/21).
Latin America and Caribbean
Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Bragg on Tuesday “urged donors to give generously to assist Nicaragua and El Salvador cope with the aftermath of the recent floods, saying that the scale of the disaster is beyond what the small Central American nations can handle on their own,” the U.N. News Centre reports. According to the news service, approximately 1.2 million people in the region are affected by flooding, “[t]housands of homes have been damaged and hundreds of schools, roads and health facilities are closed,” and [w]ater-borne diseases are spreading …, she added.” Bragg also said food security was a concern, as thousands of acres of crops were destroyed, “‘making it increasingly difficult for people to get enough food for the next six months,’ she stated,” the news service notes (11/8).
“‘First world’ health problems such as obesity and heart disease may be gaining ground in developing nations, but they are mostly afflicting the rich and middle class while poor people remain undernourished and underweight,” according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Reuters reports. “Researchers who looked at more than 500,000 women from 37 mid- and low-income nations in Asia, Africa and South America found that there was a clear divide between the better-off and the poor,” Reuters states, adding, “Across countries, the wealthier the women were, the higher their average [body mass index (BMI)], a pattern that held steady over time.” The news service notes, “The pattern is different from that seen in wealthy nations, such as the United States, where lower incomes and less education often correlate with higher weight” (Norton, 11/3).
Bloomberg News Examines How Latin American Countries’ Abortion Policies May Hold Lessons For Republican Presidential Candidates Supporting Abortion Bans In U.S.
Bloomberg News examines abortion laws in Latin America and writes that the region, “home to the world’s strictest abortion laws, may hold lessons for U.S. Republican presidential hopefuls who advocate a ban on the practice” in the U.S. According to Bloomberg, “A consequence of the laws, whatever the moral arguments, is that Latin American women have more ‘unsafe’ abortions per capita than women in any other region, according to the World Health Organization.” The article reports that the U.N. Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on Health Anand Grover recently stated that “[s]trict abortion laws ‘consistently generate poor physical health outcomes, resulting in deaths.'”
USAID and Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a manufacturer of health and hygiene products, on Tuesday announced “they will work together to improve maternal and child health in the Andean region, starting in Colombia and Ecuador,” according to a USAID press release. Combining the U.S. government’s Global Health and Feed the Future initiatives…
As the world’s population approaches seven billion, “experts say most of Africa — and other high-growth developing nations such as Afghanistan and Pakistan — will be hard-pressed to furnish enough food, water and jobs for their people, especially without major new family-planning initiatives,” the Associated Press/San Jose Mercury News reports. In the article, “Associated Press reporters on four continents examin[e] some of most distinctive examples” of how “population challenges vary dramatically around the world” (Crary et al., 10/15).
VOA News Examines How A Public-Private Partnership Will Combat Cancer Among Women In The Developing World
This VOA News editorial examines how a public-private partnership between PEPFAR, the George W. Bush Institute, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, as well as private sector partners will launch a program called Pink Ribbon, Red Ribbon to “combat cervical and breast cancer for women in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.” “In the developing world, women’s cancers are often neglected and associated with stigma that discourages women from seeing a doctor,” VOA writes. The editorial quotes Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who said, “If we want to make progress on some of the toughest challenges we face in global health — fighting HIV, preventing childhood deaths, improving nutrition, stopping malaria, and more — then investing in women must be at the top of the agenda” (10/11).
The Nation examines how a surge in the outsourcing of clinical trials to contract research organizations (CROs) and a resulting increase in the number of trials being conducted in the developing world, where “regulations aren’t as onerous, patient recruitment is easier and informed consent is less clearly defined,” has led to a rise in unregulated drug trials in South America, noting that, according to a 2010 report by the inspector general of the HHS, “40 to 65 percent of clinical trials on FDA-regulated products in 2008 took place overseas. Of nearly 6,500 foreign trial sites that year, the FDA inspected only forty-five — less than one percent.”
Inter Press Service examines regulations related to human medical research, writing that “experiments carried out by U.S. doctors in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948 using 1,300 human subjects who were infected with sexually transmitted diseases highlighted the inadequacy of controls and safeguards in clinical testing in this Central American country — still a major problem today, according to experts.”
Family Planning, Contraceptives A National Priority For Saving Women's Lives, U.N. Meeting Participants Say
First ladies, health and finance ministers, and parliamentarians from 12 developing countries participating in the U.N. Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Global Programme to Enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security, which was launched in 2007, declared at a U.N. meeting held on Wednesday that “voluntary family planning, secured by a steady supply of contraceptives, is a national priority for saving women’s lives,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “More than 215 million women in developing countries want to avoid or space pregnancies but are not using modern methods of contraception, according to the UNFPA,” the news service writes.