Nine southern African countries and donors have gathered in Namibia for the second regional leadership in Health Information Systems (HIS) meeting to discuss “how recipient countries should take ownership of these systems,” New Era reports (Sasman, 10/26). Participant countries “will work together to develop country specific strategies to strengthen their national HIS and prepare a country-led action plan,” writes the Southern Times. More than 100 delegates representing Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe are expected to attend from ministries of finance, health, science, information and statistics bureaus (Nashuuta, 10/22).
Access to Health Services
“Officially opening the East, Central and Southern Africa (ECSA) forum on best practices and joint consultative meeting on Monday, [Zimbabwe Minister of Health and Child Welfare Henry] Madzorera said the shortage of health workers and the growing burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases had slowed down progress” toward achieving the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), NewsDay reports.
Also In Global Health News: Synthetic Blood Development; HIV In Mozambique; Health Care Access In India; Health Care Workforce In Low-Income Countries
Los Angeles TimesÂ Examines Challenges, Potential Benefits Of Developing Artificial Blood The Los Angeles Times examines scientists’ efforts to develop synthetic blood substitutes, writing that many attempts have “failed to meet rigid safety standards.” The WHO “estimates that 44% of women who die in childbirth succumb to blood loss” in sub-Saharan…
During a visit with government officials, industry leaders and NGOs in India last week, representatives from Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a U.S. lobbying group that represents the country’s pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology companies, addressed “the Indian government’s proposal to allow local drugmakers to make low-cost version of patented drugs so that they can be made available to patients,” the Economic Times reports. “Issuing compulsory licensing is not a long-term solution and will be counterproductive,” PhRMA Executive VP Christopher Singer said.
Progress, Challenges In Curbing Neglected Tropical Diseases: “The effect of 30 years of neglect for these diseases in research and development of new diagnostics and drugs, and, crucially, in investing in training and education in vector-borne diseases, is evident. Most current drugs for neglected tropical diseases are old, and the…
Global Fund Replenishment: Noting that the recent Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria replenishment meeting fell short of reaching its funding target, a Lancet Editorial states: “The world is backsliding on its commitments, made recently at the Millennium Development Goal Summit in New York, to expand access for…
Also In Global Health News: Haiti Camps, Rebuilding; UNDP Administrator Interview; Zimbabwe’s Health Sector; Documentary Screening On World AIDS Day; Mental Health In Developing Countries
ReportÂ Examines Life In Haiti’s Camps;Â Companies Hire Lobbyists To Petition Congress For Rebuilding Funds A recent Refugees International reportÂ found that more thanÂ “70 percent of camps in Haiti, home to an estimated 1.3 million earthquake victims, lack proper international management nearly nine months after the disaster, leaving them at increased risk of…
A new report published by the Results for Development Institute in the Lancet “has offered governments and donors a glimpse into the future of HIV epidemics â€“ and what it will cost to prevent and treat them. Researchers warn of hard choices ahead and a need for some countries to take more responsibility for their national programmes, IRIN/PlusNews reports. Study authors present their “cheapest” and “ideal” scenarios for HIV funding in the future, according to IRIN/PlusNews.
The global economy has affected HIV/AIDS prevention research, so “scientists and those who fund them are struggling to set priorities among several competing research methods that could slow the spread of the disease, which causes about 2.7 million new infections worldwide a year,” CQ HealthBeat reports. The article looks at the “tension among those searching for effective vaccines and those who are concentrating on other prophylactic methods. With more and more lines of inquiry showing promise, scientists may be victims of their own success.”
Miller-McCune examines the limited access populations living in Africa have to the schistosomiasis drug praziquantel â€“ “the only commercially available treatment for the disease.” Schistosomiasis “kills about 300,000 people and afflicts more than 200 million yearly with chronic and severe anemia, abdominal pain, diarrhea, infertility and bladder cancer,” the magazine writes, adding that the disease is “[e]specially prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, [where] by some estimates, nearly 800 million people are at risk of infection.”