Recent Releases In Global Health

Mass Media Campaigns’ Effect On Health Behaviors: A Lancet Review examines how campaigns have affected various behaviors, including tobacco use, sexual activity, child survival and others. “Mass media campaigns can directly and indirectly produce positive changes or prevent negative changes in health-related behaviours across large populations,” according to the researchers. “The likelihood of success is substantially increased by the application of multiple interventions and when the target behaviour is one-off or episodic (e.g., screening, vaccination, children’s aspirin use) rather than habitual or ongoing (e.g., food choices, sun exposure, physical activity).” The review also includes policy recommendations for governments, practitioners and professional groups (Wakefield et al., 10/7).

A Look At U.S. ‘Smart Power’: A Heritage Foundation WebMemo by Senior Fellow Helle Dale looks at foreign aid reform efforts and the Obama administration’s “conviction that diplomacy, defense, and development are meant to reinforce and complement each other.” She looks at development initiatives, including the GHI and Feed the Future, and argues for “assistance programs based on performance and good governance. … Accountability measures should be built into every program” (10/7).    

Reactions To Global Fund Meeting: The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog presents a roundup of reactions to this week’s Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria replenishment meeting, compiled by the center’s David Bryden. The post includes comments from Global Fund board member Joanne Carter, Shiba Phurailatpam of the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV, Nkhensani Mavasa, Community Health Advocacy Coordinator from South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign, and Javier Hourcade Bellocq of the Friends of the Fund Latin America and Caribbean and Communities Delegation (10/6).

Guatemala Apologies Only A ‘First Step’: Peter Hotez, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, writes on the Huffington Post of last week’s U.S. apology for a public health trial in Guatemala that injected participants with Syphilis in the 1940s: “It is all too easy to dismiss such heinous acts as crimes committed in the distant past, having little relevance to U.S.-Latin American relations today. However, last week’s revelations about the unethical experiments conducted in Guatemala City’s Central afford an opportunity to highlight some of this hemisphere’s greatest health disparities and how we can wipe them out through low-cost solutions,” Hotez writes (10/6).

In Support Of U.S. Legislation That Imposes Currency Transaction Tax: “A pressing question amongst global health advocates is how to finance global health in the midst of this global economic recession,” writes Anand Reddi of the University of Colorado, School of Medicine in a Huffington Post blog post. Reddi argues in support of Rep. Pete Stark’s (D-Calif.) Investing in Our Future Act which would tax currency transactions at 0.005% and “raise [at least] $28 billion a year” (10/6).

Coordination Of U.S. Aid: A “whole-of-government” approach to U.S. development aid is “fundamentally impractical,” but interagency cooperation is still possible with “clear lines of authority and [if] someone influential is empowered to break deadlocks when necessary,” Todd Moss of the Center for Global Development writes on the Huffington Post. Moss also discusses USAID’s role within the government and states that the Obama Administration is “not living up to its rhetoric of elevating development to equal status with diplomacy and defense” (10/5).

FDA Grants $2.9M For TB Research: According to an FDA press release, the agency has awarded “$2.9 million to support six research projects that will help with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of tuberculosis (TB).” The grants are part of the FDA’s Critical Path Initiative which seeks to spur “innovation in the way medical products are developed, evaluated, and manufactured.” The press release lists the grantees (10/4).

Global Fund Support: “A Global Fund that is not fully funded will have a tremendously negative impact on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria programs throughout the world,” including maternal and child health programs in Malawi, where Medecins Sans Frontieres medical coordinator Ann Akesson serves, she writes on PLoS Medicine’s “Speaking of Medicine” blog. Akesson’s “concern” is progress made on maternal and child health “will not continue in the rest of Malawi or other developing countries without a commitment to long-term funding” (10/4).

Media Coverage Of HIV Vaccine Conference: KPLU’s Tom Paulson writes on the “Humanosphere” blog of the “enthusiasm and excitement” at last week’s AIDS Vaccine 2010 conference in Atlanta. “But, really, who cares?,” Paulson asks. “The folks at this meeting clearly cared, but if media coverage is any indication not many others do. … Even the local newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, didn’t show up to cover this meeting in their backyard,” and “not a peep on CNN” even though the event was held in their building, Paulson notes (10/1).

HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Gives WHO Three Sets Of Grants Worth $10.4M: The grants are to help the WHO promote flu vaccine production in developing countries, according to an HHS press release. Countries will be helped with “pandemic influenza vaccine manufacturing infrastructure, training on influenza vaccine manufacturing, and development and distribution of certain technologies for pandemic influenza vaccines” (9/30).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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