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Also In Global Health News: Smart Global Health Policy Report; Cardiovascular Disease In Developing Countries; Global Health In Washington State; Maternal Mortality In Afghanistan

VOA News Interviews CSIS Global Health Policy Center Director About Smart Global Health Policy Report

VOA News features an interview with J. Stephen Morrison, the director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, about the final report by the CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy. According to Morrison, a strategic global health policy is “very much an instrument of foreign policy and it should be seen as such. It’s not purely a humanitarian endeavor. But clearly, the objective of saving lives and enhancing lives is the lead and core element, but it’s not the only element.” He continued, “You could make that argument in the sense that it is an instrument on the softer side of our toolbox that is very, very effective, exceptionally effective.” Morrison also outlines the report’s recommendations for U.S. global health policy and shares his thoughts on U.S. funding for global health (DeCapua, 3/22).

Cardiovascular Disease In Developing Countries Could Threaten Development, Report Says 

“Rising cardiovascular disease rates in developing nations could threaten economic development and a concerted effort by governments, business and aid groups is needed to address the problem, the National Academies Institute of Medicine [IOM] said in a report on Monday,” Reuters reports. According to the report, more than 80 percent of the global deaths related to heart and circulatory disease are occurring in developing countries. The Center for Global Development’s Rachel Nugent, who worked on the report, said, “There’s a staggering lack of funding for cardiovascular disease relative to its impact on illness and death in poor countries … Only 3.2 percent of the $22 billion a year in donor assistance for health is devoted to cardiovascular disease and related chronic diseases” (Allen, 3/22).

Seattle Times Examines Washington State’s Global Health, Life Sciences Industries

“Washington [state] has almost 200 global health-related organizations and more than 120 biomedical-device companies. … From new vaccines for neglected diseases to small diagnostic ‘lab on a chip’ technologies, a wide array of products are being invented in the region that have applications in health care, agriculture and biofuels,” the Seattle Times reports. The article explores how “different fields are converging – biotechnology, medicine, engineering, computing and telecommunications – to produce interesting hybrids.” The newspaper also reports on USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah’s visit to Seattle last week: “Shah said the government is looking for partnerships with the private sector on developing vaccines for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria; simple diagnostic tools; communications to transfer health data remotely; and technologies to eliminate the need to refrigerate vaccines” (Heim, 3/21).

MSNBC Examines Effort To Combat Maternal Mortality In Afghanistan

MSNBC’s “World Blog” examines maternal mortality in Afghanistan, which has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world after Sierra Leone. The article looks at some of the factors that contribute to the large number of deaths, including poverty, access to health facilities and child marriages. The article also reports on World Vision’s Midwifery Education Program, which trains Afghans to become midwives (Mong, 3/20).

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