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Also In Global Health News: Bahamas HIV Money; Zambian Health Ministry Corruption; U.N. Women’s Body; U.S. Flu Emergency Declaration Expires

Bahamas To Receive $2M Over 3 Years For HIV Programs

The Bahamas will receive more than $2 million over three years from PEPFAR for HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, strategic information and counseling, the Nassau Guardian reports (Bonimy, 6/27). Health officials signed the agreement Thursday. As part of the agreement, the Bahamas will also plan “strategic health information strengthening, laboratory strengthening, human capacity strengthening and sustainability of the program through the strengthening of the Office of the Chief Medical Office and the planning unit,” according to the country’s health minister, a Ministry of Health press release notes (undated).

Zambia Addresses Corruption In Health Ministry, President Addresses Global Fund Freeze

Zambian Minister of Health Kapembwa Simbao said his government has addressed internal corruption and “had identified and was now prosecuting the alleged perpetrators of fraud at the ministry,” after the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria deemed the ministry unfit to distribute the aid, Times of Zambia/allAfrica.com reports. The aid money is being managed by the U.N. Development Program while the ministry is “being restructured,” the publication writes (6/24). Also, on Saturday Zambian President Rupiah Banda “accused donors of blackmail,” in part, because of the Global Fund freeze, Reuters reports. “We must not allow donors to feel they can interfere in the internal affairs of this country because it is a sovereign and independent state,” he said (6/26).

IPS Examines Delays In Creation Of U.N. Women’s Entity

Advocates are pushing for progress on “a pledge made last September by the world body to create a new, better-funded U.N. agency for women, Inter Press Service reports. Ali Abdussalam Treki, president of the U.N. General Assembly, said he hoped the body would be established by the end of July 2010. IPS reports, “negotiations had stalled over staffing issues review of countries’ domestic gender policies, among other things. … It’s implementation has been bogged down by political wrangling on issues such as geographical representation on the board” (Paez, 6/27).  

HHS Allows H1N1 Emergency Declaration To Expire

The U.S. H1N1 (swine flu) emergency declaration expired on June 23, and HHS did not renew it citing recent low flu activity, CQ HealthBeat reports. The declaration had allowed the government to “activate protections used in disasters and pandemics, including stockpiles of antiviral drugs and medical devices such as respirators.” HHS officials stated that it’s “likely other countries soon will be ending their health emergency declarations in connection with H1N1” (Norman, 6/25). The WHO recently decided to maintain its full level 6 pandemic alert for H1N1 (Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, 6/3). 

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