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Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Examines WHO’s Policy Reversal On Drug Used To Prevent Post-Partum Hemorrhage

A Lancet Comment reflects on a debate over the community-based use of the drug misoprostol in resource poor settings to help reduce post-partum hemorrhage, which according to the comment is the most common cause of maternal deaths. Despite evidence that pregnant women delivering at home without a skilled birth attendant can successfully self-administer the drug, the comment notes that WHO in 2009 issued a statement recommending against the distribution of the drug to community level health workers or pregnant women and their families. “WHO’s policy reversal is causing confusion and the need for consensus is urgent,” the authors write. “Without widespread community use of misoprostol, it is unlikely that Millennium Development Goal 5 will be achieved in sub-Saharan Africa,” the authors write (Potts/Prata/Sahin-Hodoglugil, 5/22).

Lancet Examines Ways To Strengthen Human Rights, Health Work

“Despite important gains, there remains a substantial gap between the ideals aspired to by human rights advocates and realities on the ground that characterise health systems today,” according to a Lancet Comment reflection on ways to bridge such gaps. “[F]or health systems to be informed by and affirming of human rights, they must support better analysis of the root causes of poor maternal and child survival, particularly their equity dimensions, and build the capacity of health professionals to embrace human rights principles into their day-to-day working realities” (George et al., 5/22)

CSIS Global Health Policy Center Report Addresses Global Health And Conflict

A new CSIS Global Health Policy Center report makes “recommendations for how the Obama administration can better use its military health programs to overcome knowledge gaps between the often segregated global health and national security objectives and improve interagency and civil-military communication.” The report looks at the U.S. Department of Defense’s role in preparing for global pandemics, military-to-military cooperation on global health and efforts to maintain civilian health in conflict areas (5/20).

Studies, Briefing Highlight Scientific Progress Toward Curbing HIV, TB

A recent briefing to launch a special issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases focused on scientific progress in efforts aimed at curbing the spread of HIV and tuberculosis and called for policy incentives to spur further innovation, according to a Center for Global Health Policy press release.  Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other U.S. physician-scientists spoke at the briefing (5/20). Speaker presentations, the webcast and additional information are available here. 

Blog: G8 Should Provide Progress On Food Security Initiative For Independent Examination

A “Global Food for Thought” blog post calls for G8 governments to give “independent researchers … access to timely and detailed information” about their progress on the $22 billion food security initiative. “When engaging in the complex, interdisciplinary world of agricultural development, we need a better detailed understanding of what works. By investing time and money in better aid data now, governments will be able to work with their advisers, researchers and recipient country partners, to understand how their new investments correlate with progress on the ground. This will enable increasingly effective and coherent partnerships in the future,” according to the writers (Conway/Kelly, 5/20).

Health Affairs Blog: Short-, Long-Term Challenges To Global HIV/AIDS Fight

Reflecting on the New York Times’ articles about HIV/AIDS worldwide, the Health Affairs blog writes of the short- and long-term financial challenges: “[O]ver the past six years the world has pumped nearly $52 billion into fighting the pandemic, making it possible for more than 4 million infected people to receive treatment … But even this rapid growth in treatment has not kept pace with the rate of new infections: an estimated 11 million people should be receiving treatment but aren’t, and more than 2 million people become newly infected each year,” the blog writes, citing the journal’s coverage of the topic in the November/December 2009 issue (Fleming, 5/19).

Blog Examines Obama Administration’s Commitment To Global Health Technology R&D

“As the Administration’s global health strategy continues to take shape, we hope that a strong commitment to researching and developing new global health technologies, such as an AIDS vaccine, will be front and center and clearly articulated in its Global Health Initiative,” authors of a Huffington Post blog write to mark World AIDS Vaccine Day. The post references the Global Health Expansion, Access to Labor, Transparency and Harmonization Act, introduced by blog co-author Rep. Barbara Lee, (D-Calif.), which calls for the U.S. to develop “specific plans to improve research collaboration with countries receiving health-related United States foreign assistance.” The bill also “stipulates that the U.S. provide ‘support for developing indigenous research capacity’ that will ultimately enable recipient countries ‘to pursue their own research agenda,'” the blog notes (Berkley/Lee, 5/18).

Experts Offer Approaches To Tackle NTDs In PLoS Medicine Debate

A PLoS Medicine Debate features several perspectives on the best approaches to tackling neglected tropical diseases, including an increased investment in addressing the social determinants of the disease, increased emphasis on primary care and mass drug administration for NTDs (Speigel et al., 5/18).

Brookings Institution Reflects On Uneven Progress On MDGs

A Brookings Institution article looks at where countries stand in efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “On average, the world has made progress in meeting targets but such progress has been very uneven,” the site notes. “The evidence suggests that the uneven progress in MDGs is related to major differences in the quality of governance across nations. … By paying greater attention to governance, to improved aid selectivity and allocation, and targeting underemphasized sectors and promoting the role of the private sector, many of the MDGs may still be within reach,” according to the article (Kaufmann, 5/18).

Blog Reports On Capitol Hill Briefing About HIV, TB, Malaria Vaccine Progress

Science Speaks” reports on a recent Capitol Hill briefing about researchers’ quest to create effective vaccines for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Remarks from the speakers, which included the director of the U.S. Military Malaria Vaccine Program and the executive chair of the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, are summarized (Lubinski, 5/18).

Blog: Experts Discuss Performance-Based Funding For AIDS

Global Health Policy” includes summaries and video clips from a recent event about how “AIDS donors could improve the use of data about performance in their funding decisions.” Officials from the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Bank and a performance-based funding expert spoke at the event (Wendt, 5/13).

Blog: What Aid Recipient Countries Should Demonstrate To G8 Donors

In reaction to the New York Times’ series of articles about HIV/AIDS, IAS President Elect Elly Katabira on the organization’s “Stronger Together” blog calls on “the G8 nations – and the G20 too – to honour their pledges and move beyond their current commitments” for global health funding. In addition, she writes that aid recipient countries “need to convince the G8 nations and other donors that we are committed to caring for our patients by being transparent in the way we handle donor funds. In addition, we need to demonstrate clearly that we are investing more in the care of our people by devising and implementing strategies to sustain HIV care in our countries for many years to come” (5/12).

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