The Washington Post examines access to maternal and child health services in Sierra Leone after the government dropped fees for such services last year, a move that “appears to have sharply cut into mortality rates for pregnant women and deaths from malaria for small children.”
Access to Health Services
The current issue of the Lancet is dedicated to HIV/AIDS, a theme meant to coincide with the 6th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention taking place in Rome, Italy, July 17-20, according to a Lancet article (7/16).
UNICEF’s goal of eliminating mother-to-child HIV transmission by 2015 is “ambitious … but not impossible,” Scientific American reports. The magazine presents a slide show that “explores what is needed to stop mother-to-child HIV transmission by 2015, following Inonge Siamalambo and her baby Elson of Lusaka, Zambia, through their 18-month commitment to a transmission prevention program” (Diep, 7/13).
A new survey (.pdf) of more than 5,000 men who have sex with men (MSM), conducted by the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF), “has shown that less than half of MSM around the world have easy access to lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment services,” according to an MSMGF…
“In the first agreement between a pharmaceutical company and the new international Medicines Patent Pool, Gilead Sciences announced Tuesday that it would license four of its AIDS and hepatitis B drugs to the pool,” the New York Times reports (McNeil, 7/12).
Health ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa in Beijing “on Monday vowed to improve access to low-cost and high-quality medicine â€“ and called on developed nations to shoulder responsibility in helping the poor,” Agence France-Presse reports (7/11).
With the global population expected to reach seven billion by October this year, U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin told Inter Press Service that “seven billion represents a challenge, an opportunity and a call to action.”
“India will not compromise on drug licensing norms and [will] continue to produce generic drugs for free treatment to HIV-positive patients, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said” on Wednesday, the IANS/Times of India reports.
In another installment in NPR’s summer-long series “Beginnings,” NPR’s All Things Considered aired a story on Wednesday examining how the controversial drug misoprostol is being used worldwide to save women’s lives.
“Cash-strapped Swaziland’s state hospitals have only two months’ supplies of AIDS drugs, the country’s health minister has told parliament in an assessment that AIDS patients and activists took as a death sentence,” the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports. More than 60,000 Swazis receive antiretroviral medicine at no cost from state-run hospitals.