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Gates Foundation Praises U.S. Global Health Investments, Calls For 15-Year Goal Of Cutting Child Deaths Worldwide By Nearly Half

As part of a “major push to convince the United States to maintain government spending on worldwide health initiatives, despite the financial crisis and a soaring U.S. budget deficit,” the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is urging U.S. policymakers to commit to cutting “the number of child deaths each year, from 9 million to 5 million” by 2025, CNN reports.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Infectious Diseases Review Examines Progress On Dengue Vaccine “The spread of dengue virus throughout the tropics represents a major, rapidly growing public health problem with an estimated 2.5 billion people at risk of dengue fever and the life-threatening disease, severe dengue,” write the authors of a Lancet Infectious Diseases…

Media Examines U.S., Mexico H1N1 Vaccine Campaigns, Health Effects Of Handwashing In Bolivia

The Washington Post examines H1N1 vaccine supplies across the U.S.: “With only a fraction of the tens of millions of doses of vaccine that authorities predicted would be available arriving in states, cities and towns, public health officials who spent months planning for a massive immunization program are instead scrambling to parcel out their limited supply of nasal sprays and shots,” the newspaper writes.

Campaign To End Pediatric HIV/AIDS Launched In Africa

At the launch of the Campaign to End Pediatric HIV/AIDS (CEPA) on Thursday, advocate Graca Machel urged African leaders to redirect state spending to prevent and treat HIV infections among women and children, Agence France-Presse reports. An estimated “1.8 million of the world’s two million [HIV-positive] children” live in Sub-saharan Africa, where “[m]other-to-child prevention and treatment coverage currently averages 30 to 40 percent against a target of 80 percent,” the news service writes (10/22).

EU Policies Threaten Developing Countries Drug Supplies, Report Says

A report, released Tuesday, from Oxfam International and Health Action International says the EU is putting big drug companies’ interests ahead of “millions of people” in developing countries who do not have access to essential medicines, Agence France-Presse reports (10/20).

Also In Global Health News: Asia-Pacific Reproductive Health; Developing Country Medical Waste Disposal; Draft Bill In Uganda; Diarrhea Deaths In China

China Calls For Asia-Pacific Countries To Focus On Reproductive Health “China has called on Asia-Pacific countries to attach greater importance to population and family planning and put more funds into the reproductive health and family planning programmes,” the Daily Times reports (10/19). Senior Chinese legislator Chen Zhili Sunday at the…

Abortions Worldwide Decline, Unsafe Abortions Kill 70,000 Women Annually, Report Says

Fewer abortions are taking place worldwide because of increased contraceptive use, a study by the Guttmacher Institute has found, Reuters reports. The study also indicates that 20 million “unsafe abortions, mostly in poorer countries and often carried out by the women themselves using inappropriate drugs or herbal potions, or by untrained traditional healers,” still occur each year and kill 70,000 women.

BMJ News Examines Outcomes Of U.N. Human Development Index

BMJ News examines the results of the recent UN Human Development Index, which documents “people’s wellbeing in 182 countries and territories around the world.” The 2009 report reveals the wide disparities between developing and wealthy countries in the investment in health and health outcomes. “For example, a child born in a country that ranks low on the index,” like Niger, “can expect to live just over 50 years—17 years less than in a medium ranked country and 30 years less than in the highest ranked countries,” the journal writes.