The Guardian examines the future of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as it enters its second decade, writing, “Despite its staggering successes — including helping put 3.3 million people on AIDS treatment, 8.6 million on anti-tuberculosis treatment and providing 230 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria — the fund’s recent troubles had threatened to overshadow its accomplishments as it prepared to mark a decade as the world’s main financier of programs to fight these three global epidemics.” The news service highlights a $750 million pledge to the Fund by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses recent managerial changes within the Fund, and quotes a number of experts about future challenges (Kelly, 2/2).
Access to Health Services
In this Global Health and Diplomacy opinion piece, Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete examines efforts to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets on maternal and child mortality in Africa, noting, “Although Africa has just 12 percent of the global population, it accounts for half of all maternal deaths and half the deaths of children under five.” He writes, “Though global maternal deaths are in decline and women’s health has at last become a global priority, our goal of reducing maternal mortality by 75 percent in 2015 is still a long way off. … It is unacceptable to allow mothers and children to die when we have the knowledge and resources to save them.”
Approximately 85,000 HIV-positive people in Burma, also known as Myanmar, are in need of antiretroviral treatment (ART) and cannot access it “due to a lack of funding, despite renewed international engagement with the government amid a wave of political reform, according to a report released Wednesday” by the medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the Associated Press/CBS News reports (2/22). “At the launch of a new report called ‘Lives in the Balance,’ MSF said that only a quarter of the estimated 120,000 people living with HIV and AIDS were receiving treatment, and that it was turning people away from its clinics,” BBC News writes. While plans were made last year among MSF and its partners to scale up treatment for HIV and tuberculosis (TB), “those proposals were shelved after the Global Fund” to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria cancelled its Round 11 grants, according to the news agency. “The money was expected to provide HIV drugs for 46,500 people in Myanmar, along with treatment for another 10,000 people sicken[ed] by drug-resistant tuberculosis in the country, [the report] said,” BBC writes (Fisher, 2/22).
Bill Gates Describes How 'Catalytic Philanthropy' Can Help Bring Vaccines, Medicines To Untouched Markets
In an essay adapted for Forbes magazine from a speech given at the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy in June, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses how “[i]nnovations for the poor suffer from … market limitations” and his idea of “catalytic philanthropy.” Gates writes, “The market is not going to place huge bets on research when there are no buyers for a breakthrough. This explains why we have no vaccine for malaria today, even though a million people die from it every year.” Therefore, “when you come to the end of the innovations that business and government are willing to invest in, you still find a vast, unexplored space of innovation where the returns can be fantastic,” he continues.
Blog: Chan, Shah Stress Importance Of Country Ownership Ministerial Leadership Initiative’s “Leading Global Health” blog has an ongoing series: “In the Driver’s Seat: A Series on Country Ownership of Health Programs.” The first post in the series is an interview with WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, who said “If countries don’t…
Global Fund Head Repeats Appeal For Emerging Countries To Invest More In Fight Against AIDS, TB, Malaria
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Director Michel Kazatchkine on Thursday repeated his appeal for emerging countries to scale up their contributions to fight the three major diseases, Agence France-Presse reports.
Opinions: MDG Progress; Drug Patents; Aid For Scientific Research; Avoiding Food Crises; Hunger In India; U.S. Commitments To PEPFAR, Global Fund
MDGs Are Less About Timeline, More About Identifiable Progress “Between the catastrophes of the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan floods, there was actually some good news this spring on the global health front, which offers hope that the United Nations’ ambitious Millennium Development Goals might not be at a standstill.…
Ties Between Global Health, National Security, Jobs Emphasized At Recent Meeting In Washington State
The message that U.S. investments in global health “helps advance longer term security and development goals” while also supporting a “small but growing industry with good paying jobs and world class research” was the focus of a recent meeting between officials from Washington, D.C. and Washington State, the Seattle Times’ “Business of Giving” blog writes.
Also In Global Health News: HIV In Cities; NIH Director’s Role In Global Health; Access To Healthcare in Kenya; Food Aid In Ethiopia; Low-Cost Microscope
UNAIDS Calls On Cities To Enhance Response To HIV; China Vows To Step Up Prevention UNAIDS has “issued a call for cities to ‘take the lead in making HIV history’ by enhancing their response to the epidemic,” UN News Centre reports. The article notes that in the next four decades,…
A new study shows “that surgery can be safely performed in areas with minimal resources and little or no sophisticated technology,” the Los Angeles Times’ “Booster Shots” blog reports. The study, published in the Archives of Surgery, examines “almost 20,000 surgical procedures completed in resource-limited areas from 2001 to 2008” by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Roan, 8/16).