PBS’ NewsHour special correspondent Saima Mohsin on Monday reported from Pakistan on “an innovative health insurance plan for the urban poor.” In Pakistan, 99 percent of the country’s low-income population does not have health insurance, and this plan, called Naya Jeevan, “hopes to change that. … The equivalent of just $2.50 a month provides access to private health care and, crucially, regular health checks for contagious or infectious diseases as a preventive measure for a country that is still battling polio, malaria and hepatitis.”
Access to Health Services
A recent study showing a “near-perfect way to halt sexual transmission of the AIDS virus has the potential to change the way international agencies and nations cope with the epidemic. But that can only happen if troubling issues of cost and practicality can be surmounted,” a New York Times editorial says.
A U.N. Conference on Trade and Development report issued last week suggested “[l]ocal production of pharmaceuticals in some poor African and Asian countries, such as Ethiopia, Uganda, and Bangladesh, has the potential to improve access to essential drugs for many of the one billion people who live in the world’s least developed countries,” BMJ News writes.
IRIN/PlusNews reports that hundreds of Kenyan HIV/AIDS advocates took to the streets of Nairobi on Wednesday “to demand that the government meet its commitment to increase annual health and HIV funding.”
AIDS Mortality In China Drops By Nearly Two Thirds Since 2002 When Country Began Free Treatment Program
China’s HIV/AIDS-related mortality has dropped from 39.3 per 100 person-years in 2002 to 14.2 in 2009, or 64 percent, since the nation began providing free antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2002, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and published online Wednesday in Lancet Infectious Diseases, the New York Times reports (McNeil, 5/18).
Global Health Partnership Announces First-, Second-Line AIDS Drugs Price Reductions In Developing World
The Clinton Health Access Initiative, UNITAID, and the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID) “said on Tuesday [they] had secured price reductions on key AIDS drugs for HIV-positive patients in poorer countries,” Reuters reports.
France’s Sanofi-Pasteur, the world’s largest vaccine maker, said Friday it hopes to introduce a dengue vaccine in 2014 to some high-risk nations, AlertNet reports.
The Clinton Health Access Initiative, founded by former President Bill Clinton, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K. government, has hired former pharmaceutical company scientists “to tinker with the chemistry used to synthesize a key [HIV] drug, tenofovir, reducing the cost of manufacturing,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Counterfeit medications are posing an increasing threat to patients’ health worldwide, because they offer high returns and low risks for criminal organizations, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a statement on Friday, Agence France-Presse reports.
Results from a multicountry clinical trial, sponsored by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), show that HIV-positive people who take combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to their HIV-negative partners by 96 percent, U.S. researchers announced on Thursday “[i]n what is being hailed as a breakthrough in HIV prevention,” the Los Angeles Times reports (Maugh, 5/13).