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Efforts To Prevent, Treat Cervical Cancer Increasing In Africa

The Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog” examines efforts to prevent and treat cervical cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, where “cervical cancer kills large numbers of women, many of whom are never diagnosed because local hospitals do not recognize the disease until it is too late.” However, “[a] very simple and cheap form of screening has begun to be introduced — and now there is the possibility of a vaccination program against the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV) that causes most cervical cancers,” the blog writes, noting a recent announcement by the GAVI Alliance that it plans to fund HPV immunization programs in several countries. According to the blog, “15 countries [are] asking to be considered,” and “Uganda and Rwanda have already been approved, although some ‘clarifications’ are required from the governments on how their programs will run.” The blog continues, “No one believes it will be easy to introduce the HPV vaccination in Africa, and there may be problems,” including issues with efficacy and cost (Boseley, 12/14).

Understanding Challenges Children Face In Urban Africa Will Allow For Greater Protection

In the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog, Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children, highlights a report released by the organization last week, titled “Voices from Urban Africa: The Impact of Urban Growth on Children.” The stories of families, government and community leaders “reveal that the ‘urban advantages’ of better health care, education and opportunities to make a good living — often associated with city life — are in reality an urban myth,” she writes, adding, “With greater study and understanding of urban challenges — and ultimately rethinking strategies and increasing investment — the development community, including donors and policymakers, can help Africa respond more effectively to the needs of vulnerable children.” She continues, “Whether addressing children’s protection, health, education or future livelihoods, it is clear that programs must not stand alone” (12/11).

Three-Day African Food Security Forum Opens In Accra

The 26th Annual Meeting of the Food Crisis Prevention Network , “which serves as the platform for deliberation on food production and food security in Africa,” opened on Tuesday in Accra, Ghana, the Ghana News Agency reports. The three-day forum will examine “the agricultural and food situation for the 2010/2011 cropping season and come out with measures on tackling food crises,” according to the news service. Food security officials from the Sahel and West Africa are attending the forum, in addition to representatives from international groups, including the Economic Community Of West African States, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, Oxfam, UNICEF and the World Food Program.

HIV Prevention Programs Worldwide Are Missing MSMs, Survey Finds

An online survey of men who have sex with men (MSM) and their health service providers shows that the majority of respondents said most “gay men worldwide don’t have access to HIV testing, counseling or free condoms and lubricant, a new study finds,” according to the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF), HealthDay/Businessweek reports.

Recent Releases In Global Health

‘Complacency Is Dangerous’ In Global HIV/AIDS Fight: A Lancet Editorial is critical of UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe’s statement in the annual UNAIDS report that “We have halted and begun to reverse the epidemic.” The editorial states, “These words, from the head of a U.N. agency, are reckless and premature, and…

U.N. Says PMTCT Of HIV Is Achievable, Efforts Must Target Millions Currently ‘Falling Through The Cracks’

“A generation of babies could be born free of AIDS if the international community stepped up efforts to provide universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and social protection, the United Nations said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports. The declaration came on the eve of World AIDS Day, as U.N. leaders released a new report (.pdf), which found “millions of women and children, particularly in poor countries, fall through the cracks of HIV services either due to their gender, social or economic status, location or education,” according to the news service (Kelland, 11/30).

World AIDS Day Opinions

Bush To Congress: Continue Fighting AIDS Worldwide In a Washington Post opinion piece, former President George W. Bush reflects on his administration’s commitment to fight HIV/AIDS around the world. “In all of these efforts, my concern was results. I was frankly skeptical of some past foreign assistance programs. In this crisis,…

Report Analyzes Global Health Funding Trends, Predicts Lower Funding Growth

A report from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) finds that the recent global economic downturn “hasn’t quelled generous government and private donors from giving record amounts to improve global health,” but the analysis also revealed “that growth in funding is beginning to taper off, cut by more than half between 2008 and 2010,” the Seattle Times’ “The Business of Giving” blog reports (Heim, 11/30).