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Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Comment Examines Efforts To Subsidize ACTs

A Lancet comment examines an Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm) program to help countries procure subsidized artemisinin-based combination treatments (ACTs). The authors write though it is worth celebrating the recent advances in malaria prevention, “these successes cannot hide the fact that close to a million people (mostly young children) continue to die every year and more than 250 million individuals are infected annually, of whom only 3% have access to ACTs. We have to find a way to get effective drugs to these vulnerable children whose futures hang in the balance. The AMFm is attempting to find that elusive solution” (Banerji et al., 10/10).

Lancet Infectious Diseases Examines Zimbabwe’s Health System

A Lancet Infectious Diseases Reflection and Reaction piece examines the 2008-09 cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, which struck an estimated 100,000, killing 4,200, through a first-hand account by a health worker. As the author details his struggle to diagnose and save a dying infant, he highlights the diseases that cripple the population and steps the government can take to control them. “Until [the] government … take[s] sincere, open, and informed action … HIV and tuberculosis will continue to gain resistance, the millions of dollars invested in Zimbabwean HIV and tuberculosis prevention will be wasted, and the cadre of infectious ills in Zimbabwe will remain out of control” (Nelson, 10/2009).

Lancet Infectious Diseases Explores ART In Low-, Middle-Income Countries

“As a result of the scale-up of antiretroviral treatment (ART) programmes and substantial financial support worldwide, an increasing number of HIV-infected individuals in low-income and middle-income countries (LIMCs) now have access to ART,” write the authors of a Lancet Infectious Diseases review article that explores the current issues faced by those attempting to manage the epidemic in low- and middle-income countries. The review includes information about when to start treatment as well as first- and second-line regimens (Bartlett/Shao, 10/2009).

House, Senate Approve 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

This week both the House and Senate approved the 2010 agriculture appropriations bill from the House-Senate Conference Committee, which includes $1.69 billion for international food aid through the P.L. 480 Title II Grants Program and an additional $209.5 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. Additionally, the bill provides funds “for research to develop new food aid products to provide higher nutritional content to food aid recipients . . . [and provides guidance] . . . to the Secretary to improve audit systems for maintaining the quality of food aid commodities and to generally improve the efficiencies of administering food aid programs” (Kaiser Policy Tracker, 10/8). More information on recent U.S. global health policy developments is available on Kaiser’s Policy Tracker tool.

Blog: Congressmen Join Malaria Caucus; Senate Working Group For Malaria Briefing; $10.5M For PMI, USAID

Representatives Dan Burton (R-Ind.), Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.) “recently announced that they are joining the Congressional Malaria Caucus,” according to Malaria No More’s Malaria Policy Center blog (Brophy, 10/6). A separate post includes video clips of a Senate Working Group for Malaria staff briefing to “discuss policy, funding and research” (Shrader, 10/6). The blog also highlights the announcement that more than $10.5 million in grants have been awarded to the President’s Malaria Initiative and USAID. “The grants would go to seven organizations working in six separate countries in Africa to extend malaria prevention and control,” according to the blog (Brophy, 10/7).

Blog: HIV Programs Should Be Combined With Funding For ‘Broader Development’ Programs

The CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy’s blog examines the link between education for girls and the prevention of HIV/AIDS. The post profiles a program in Zambia that aims to “address the intersections between HIV/AIDS and education.” According to the post, “Linkages between education for girls and HIV/AIDS form a crucial element of HIV prevention. Encouraging innovative programs that combine HIV funding with broader development objectives will be key for the success of the Obama administration’s policy on HIV/AIDS, and for the lives of millions of girls in Zambia and beyond” (Fleischman, 10/6).

2009 Pacific Health Summit Report

The 2009 Pacific Health Summit Report, released this week, summarizes the conceptual foundation, key findings, and effect of this year’s Summit. 

‘Transformational Change’ Required To Control TB Worldwide, Journal Editorial Says

A Tropical Medicine & International Health editorial examines global tuberculosis control, noting that at the current rate, “the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to reduce by half TB prevalence and death by 2015 (compared to 1990 levels) will be missed by a disappointingly huge margin.” After discussing reasons why current efforts have not been working well, the editorial advocates for a “transformational change” in the TB control program. “The paradigm shift requires two elements: incidence monitoring and multiple interventions,” the authors write. To avoid drug-resistant strains of TB becoming “commonplace,” they say the world must “achieve and sustain TB control” (John/John, 10/5).

Blog: Pneumonia Is ‘Most Solvable Problem In Global Health’

“We need [the first World Pneumonia Day on Nov. 2] because the only thing more appalling about the lack of recognition that pneumonia gets is the fact that it is perhaps the most solvable problem in global health,” Orin Levine, executive director of PneumoADIP at Johns Hopkins University, writes in the Huffington Post. “Life-saving interventions are available to protect children from pneumonia, prevent the infections that cause pneumonia, and treat the infections that do occur,” Levine writes. He discusses planned activities for the upcoming World Pneumonia Day (10/2).

Blog: Senator Durbin Discusses Water For The World Act

The One blog features a video of recent remarks by Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., about the Paul Simon Water for the World Act. During his talk, Durbin discusses why he thinks the legislation is important (Scott, 10/2).

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