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Obama Administration Names Eight ‘GHI Plus’ Countries

“The Obama administration has selected eight countries to serve as learning labs for a new global health strategy aimed in part at reducing maternal and child deaths and combatting preventable diseases,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The move is among the first steps in the administration’s” roll-out of the Global Health Initiative (GHI) and “comes amid mounting concerns about how much support President Barack Obama will win from Congress for a proposed 9% increase in global health spending for fiscal 2011,” the newspaper reports.

Also In Global Health News: Medical Technology Network In N. Korea; MDR-TB Drug Maker Closes; Global Fund Financing; Zuma’s HIV Test; HIV Vaccine; UNICEF Head’s Term Ends

N. Korea Launches Medical Video Conference Network North Korea on Tuesday formally launched a medical video conference network “aimed at giving smaller, rural hospitals access to specialists in the capital Pyongyang,” the Associated Press reports. “WHO has been providing cameras, computers and other equipment to North Korea to help the reclusive,…

Also In Global Health News: HIV Prevention In Iran; Water Pricing; Malaria Control Challenges; Drought In Niger; MBAs

AP Examines Iran’s Efforts To Curb Spread Of HIV/AIDS Among Drug Users The Associated Press reports that health experts participating at this week’s International Harm Reduction Association conference in Liverpool are looking to Iran’s methadone clinics and needle exchange programs as a possible model for other countries looking to stop HIV/AIDS…

Report: Conditions In Zambian Prisons Fueling Spread Of HIV, TB

“Conditions in Zambia’s prisons are so overcrowded and medical care so inadequate that they are breeding grounds for disease and pose a serious threat to public health, says a new report by Human Rights Watch, produced in association with the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa and the Prisons Care and Counselling Association,” BMJ News reports. “Researchers report that similar conditions prevail in much of Africa, where prisons risk becoming reservoirs of HIV and drug resistant tuberculosis”(Moszynski, 4/27).

UNFPA, Gates Foundation MOU Aimed At Improving Contraceptive Access Through Innovation

“…Innovation is the key to improving access to family planning services and contraceptives. … That’s exactly what the partnership that UNFPA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently signed is all about. … UNFPA and the Gates Foundation will collaborate to develop and identify innovative approaches to allow for…

HIV Drug Treatment In Short Supply In Venezuela

USA Today: Anti-HIV drugs dry up in Venezuela “The wretched condition of Venezuela under its socialist leadership is now worsening the ability of hospitals to treat people, especially patients with HIV. … Nearly 50,000 Venezuelans are taking antiretrovirals … [but t]housands of HIV patients are now without their medicines, non-profit…

New Drugs Approved To Treat TB; Access To Treatment Still Uncertain

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: TB drug approvals, distribution deal inches options forward, but MDR-TB treatment access still uncertain where needed most Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses recent TB drug approvals and potential…

Indonesia To Issue Compulsory Licenses For HIV, Hepatitis B Drugs Still Under Patent

“The Indonesian government hopes to implement one of the largest ever examples of ‘compulsory licensing,’ which will enable the generic manufacture of drugs still under patent,” IRIN reports. “Under the World Trade Organization’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), countries can override patents for public health purposes by…

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