Recent Releases In Global Health
Lancet Infectious Diseases Calls For Sustained Effort To Eradicate Polio
A Lancet Infectious Diseases Leading Edge article examines the history of the global efforts to control polio and the challenges associated with targets to globally eradicate the disease. “The eradication of polio seems imminent, but with so few cases, there is a temptation to think an acceptable level of infection has been achieved. Not so. To stop short of eradication would not only be a snub to the hundreds of thousands of health workers and community members involved in the effort so far, but also would risk resurgence of a disease that for many is now a distant memory” (June 2010).
Lancet Series Article Calls For Changes To Approach To Fighting HIV-Associated TB
“The advent of ART [antiretroviral therapy] has been the most important event in tuberculosis control since the epidemic of HIV-associated tuberculosis began. However, the full potential of ART, in combination with HIV testing, tuberculosis screening, infection control, and isoniazid and co-trimoxazole preventive therapy, has yet to be realized,” write the authors of a Lancet Series article that focuses on the situation in sub-Saharan Africa, “the epicenter of the HIV-associated tuberculosis epidemic.” The piece features a “review of the interim international policy guidelines for collaborative tuberculosis and HIV activities,” and an analysis of the logistics of delivery of HIV/AIDS treatment and TB prevention, among other things. The authors also make recommendations for the scaling up of HIV-TB prevention, testing and treatment (Harries et al., 5/29).
BMJ Editorial Examines WHO’s 2010 Malaria Treatment Guidelines
“The publication of a second edition of the World Health Organization’s guidelines for the treatment of malaria in March 2010 just four years after the first is testament to how quickly malaria control has developed in the past few years,”Â according toÂ a BMJ editorial that details how the new guidelines build off of previous control efforts. “Targeting antimalarial treatment on those who actually have malaria is an important objective, and the 2010 WHO guideline sets a challenging task to provide accurate parasitological tests for malaria at all levels of the health system. …Â Strong leadership is needed from WHO, international funders, and ministries of health if it is to succeed,” theÂ editorial concludesÂ (Reyburn, 5/28).
Blog: USAID’s Work In Africa’s Great Lakes Region
The “Obama’s Foreign Aid Reform” blog reports on a recent Congressional testimony by USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa Franklin Moore, who discussed the agency’s work in Africa’s Great Lakes region. “Moore said … that USAID is shaping its work in the region to better and more directly support the harmonization of aid strategies and to promote mutual accountability between donors and recipients. The agency is also supporting results-based programs, he added. ‘Our work in the Great Lakes is coordinated with both host-country action plans on a sectoral basis, and with broad-reaching poverty reduction strategic plans,’ Moore explained” (Mungcal, 5/26).
Blog: ‘Restrictive U.S. Abortion Policies’ Increase Health Risks To Women In Developing World
“The group of women who suffer most from the lack of HIV/AIDS services is the same group that suffers most from the lack of abortion and reproductive health services: women in Sub-Saharan Africa. … The failure of policymakers to integrate [abortion] services into global health initiatives may result in crises much more grave than the current epidemic,” “Science Speaks” writes in a blog post about a recent Capitol Hill congressional briefing on global reproductive health policy. After reviewing U.S. policy on abortion, the blog writes: “These restrictive U.S. policies have resulted in increased risk to the health and lives of women in the developing world, and consequently have hampered women’s development and have harmed communities” (Aziz, 5/26).
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases Editorial Calls For Urgent, Renewed Effort To Fight NTDs
“Despite the devastating effect of [Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)] on health and development, with evidence that their global burden is as great as that of any other serious disease, financial support for control and elimination efforts, as well as research and development (R&D), have been inadequate,” a PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases editorial writes. The piece offers an eight-point “manifesto” of reasons why the global community shouldÂ fund NTD control and elimination and invest in NTD R&D (Hotez/Pecoul, 5/25).
CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy Report On U.S. Diplomatic Capacity For Global HealthÂ
The CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy report “seeks to demonstrate that U.S. global health policy has global political ramifications that cannot be ignored and that demand permanent capabilities within the U.S. government. It describes the need for improved U.S. diplomatic capacity on global health, outlines the currently fractured architecture of the U.S. government on this issue, and issues recommendations for building diplomatic capacity for global health” (5/25).
Blog: New Initiatives Should Be Part Of ‘Cohesive’ U.S. Global Development Strategy
A recently announced State Department-sponsored public-private partnership that will focus on providing grants to NGOs that work on women’s issues “looks a lot like yet another new administration initiative to add to our fragmented aid system,” according to a post on the “Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog,” which examines theÂ newÂ initiative and its role in broader U.S. development policy. “We agree â€“ ‘investing in women is not just the right thing to do â€“ it is also the smart thing to do.’ So let’s also be smart with our investments: let’s ensure that they are part of (rather than instead of!) a cohesive U.S. global development strategy designed and implemented to maximize impact for girls and women, AND that the impact will be measured so that we can learn more about what works for women and girls,”Â according to the blogÂ (Ooman/Temin, 5/25).Â
Kaiser Family Foundation Issues Report, Factsheets On U.S. Role In Global Maternal, Child Health, International Family Planning, Reproductive HealthÂ
AÂ Kaiser Family Foundation report examines the U.S. roleÂ in addressing global maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH). “Along with growing international momentum on these issues, the Obama Administration’s newly launched Global Health Initiative (GHI) includes a strong focus on MNCH as part of a broader women- and girls-centered approach to global health and development,” the report notes (5/24).Â A Kaiser Family Foundation factsheet summarizes the U.S. support for maternal and child health programs globally (5/21). A related Kaiser Family Foundation factsheet that examines the role of the U.S. in international family planning and reproductive health, including current programs and fundingÂ (5/24).
Blog Calls For Greater Focus On HIV Fund Efficiency
According to the New York Times’ “On the Ground” blog “although much more funding is required for expansion of HIV efforts,” a greater emphasis should be placed on looking closely “at how efficiently current funds are deployed.” The blog writes, “For years the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has been discussed in the same breath as the U.S. financing mechanism â€“PEPFAR â€¦ That conflation should end. The Global Fund puts countries themselves in the driver’s seat. PEPFAR chooses its players â€“ mainly D.C.-based contractors â€“ and its rate of government collaboration varies dramatically. U.S. dollars should build capacity in other nations to take over these programs, not cultivate a legacy of dependency.” Additionally, “The Global Fund and PEPFAR should be looking to strengthen the entire health system in poor countries, not merely those pieces that directly address HIV/AIDS,”Â according to the blogÂ (Ruxin, 5/24).
Blog Examines Feed The Future
A Huffington Post blog post examines the Feed the Future initiative and how it came about. “The buzz around Washington, D.C. these days among the hunger fighting crowd is that this time maybe it’s time. The endemic issue of hunger finally may be granted a seat at the adult’s table,” according to the blog (Silverstein, 5/24).Â