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Private Sector Involvement

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Ten Million Face Hunger In Central Africa; Niger Flooding Exacerbates Food Shortage, Leaves 200,000 Homeless

Flash floods have “worsened an already chronic humanitarian crisis caused by drought” in central Africa where aid agencies have warned that “10 million people are already facing severe food shortages, particularly in the landlocked countries of Chad and Niger, after a drought led to the failure of last year’s crops,” the Independent reports. “Now unusually heavy rains [in Niger] have washed away this year’s crops and killed cattle in a region dependent on subsistence agriculture,” and where only 40 percent of people affected by the food shortages are receiving aid, according to the agencies, including Oxfam and Save the Children.

HHS Unveils $1.9B Strategy To Better Prepare For Biological Threats

“Acknowledging that the development of medical countermeasures against bioterrorism threats and pandemic flu is lagging, [U.S.] federal authorities Thursday announced a $1.9 billion makeover of the system for identifying and manufacturing drugs and vaccines for public-health emergencies,” Tribune Company/Seattle Times reports. “The overhaul includes manufacturing refinements aimed at shaving weeks off the time it takes to produce pandemic flu vaccine and a series of steps aimed at more quickly detecting promising scientific discoveries and getting them to market,” the news service writes (Zajac, 8/19).

Bloomberg BusinessWeek Explores Growing Trend In Pharma To License, Donate HIV Drugs

“Pharmaceutical companies, once blasted as uncaring or downright greedy for charging thousands of dollars for a year’s worth of AIDS medicines … in poor countries, lately have been slashing prices and licensing their drugs for free or nominal cost to nonprofits or local manufacturers in the developing world,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek writes in an analysis piece that examines how this trend, combined with a growing capability among aid agencies to distribute drugs, has the potential to increase access to HIV/AIDS drugs worldwide.

WHO Publishes Comprehensive Report On H1N1

“A year after the H1N1 [swine] flu first appeared, the World Health Organization has issued perhaps the most comprehensive report on the pandemic’s activity to date,” HealthDay News/Bloomberg Business Week reports (Gardner, 5/5).

Financial Times Opinions On World TB Day

Private Sector Should Play A Role In TB Control “Governments and their international partners must recognise that health is an investment. The only successful exit strategy in the struggle against the TB, HIV and TB/HIV pandemics is to include them as part of broader development and poverty reduction strategies, and…

To Reduce Spread Of HIV/AIDS, IFRC Calls For More Focus On IDU Programs

Ahead of World AIDS Day, the International Federation of the Red Cross on Friday released a report (.pdf) calling for governments around the world to do more to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS among populations of injecting drug users (IDUs), the Associated Press reports (Heilprin, 11/25).

G20 Summit Opens In Seoul; Development Plan Announcement Expected

“The world’s biggest rich and emerging powers escalated a war of words over trade and currencies Thursday, as leaders opened a G20 summit [in Seoul, South Korea] struggling to iron out distortions that threaten global growth,” Agence France-Presse reports in an article examining some of the major disputes (Chan-Kyong, 11/11).

Opinions: PEPFAR; Private-Civil Society Partnerships In Africa; Global Maternal Mortality; SA HIV Testing Campaign

Maintain Funding Commitments To PEPFAR “The Obama administration’s new Global Health Initiative, designed to broaden and better integrate health programming overseas, deserves wide support. But stalling on global AIDS threatens to undermine the worthy goals of the initiative,” Chris Collins, vice president and director of public polity for the Foundation…