Also In Global Health News: Tanzania Drug Audit; WFP Might Suspend Flights; Acute HIV; HIV/AIDS in China

Global Fund Audit Reveals Expired, Missing Drugs In Tanzania

“Millions of dollars worth of life-saving drugs destined for Tanzanians living with AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria are missing or have expired, an internal Global Fund [to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis] audit has discovered,” the Observer/Guardian reports. The audit revealed that in addition to “large amounts of drugs sitting in warehouses past their sell-by date,” $819,000 worth of drugs were missing, according to the newspaper. A spokesman for the Global Fund said, “The report raises significant issues over stock controls, internal systems and information systems but there’s no mention of corruption. There’s a long list of action points and we have had a constructive response from the Tanzanian government” (Mathiason, 8/2).

Funding Shortfall May Ground Some WFP Flights Transporting Aid Workers

“The World Food Programme (WFP) may have to ground flights carrying aid workers to some of Africa’s poorest countries within weeks unless it receives fresh donations, the United Nations relief agency said on Friday,” Reuters/Washington Post reports (Flynn, 7/31). According to Xinhua/People’s Daily Online, the U.N. Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), operated by the WFP, will run out of funds in August for flights to Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (7/31). Of the UNHAS’ 2009 budget – set at $160 million – “[l]ess than $40-million have been raised from donors so far, and another $50-million is expected to come in from aid organisations that pay to take the flights,” SAPA/Mail & Guardian reports, adding that this is the second time this year the program has been forced to scale back do to funding shortages (7/31).

UNAIDS China Coordinator Reflects On HIV/AIDS in China Present, Future

China Daily/Xinhua interviews UNAIDS China Coordinator Bernhard Schwartlander about the status of HIV/AIDS in the country. Schwartlander highlights the challenges facing China in the future as it attempts to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country (7/31).

UNC Researchers Awarded $3.5M Federal Grant To Study Acute HIV In Africa

Researchers at the University of North Carolina recently received a $3.5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study patients in sub-Saharan Africa with acute HIV infection – a period immediately following infection through 12 weeks, “when the virus replicates rapidly and the probability for transmission is high,” the Triangle Business Journal reports (7/30). interviewed Audrey Pettifor, one of the study leaders, who outlined the goals of the study, which will be conducted over four years at a research and training facility in Malawi (7/30).