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Indonesia Plans To Include HIV Treatment In Universal Health Care Coverage

During a meeting with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe on Tuesday, Indonesia Minister of Health Nafsiah Mboi “pledged to scale up HIV testing and treatment programs” with a “focus on 141 districts where key affected populations are the highest,” a UNAIDS feature story reports. “Indonesia also plans to become one of several countries in the region to offer universal health care by 2014,” with HIV treatment to be covered, according to the health ministry, UNAIDS notes. Sidibe said, “Indonesia is a key partner in the drive to end the AIDS epidemic. … Universal health coverage is a game changer for Indonesia. I am delighted to know that HIV treatment will be included in this national program. This sets the stage for sustainable funding of HIV programs,” the article states. “The Ministry of Health estimates that more than 600,000 people are living with HIV and that there are more than 76,000 new HIV infections each year,” according to UNAIDS, which adds, “Currently HIV treatment coverage is at less than 20 percent” (10/23).

Also In Global Health News: Disaster Preparedness In Asian Health Sector; PEPFAR In Uganda; Malnutrition In Chad

IRIN Examines Disaster Preparedness In Asian Health Sectors IRIN reports on disaster preparedness in Asian health sectors. According to the news service, nine countries working with Bangkok-based Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) “have emergency preparedness plans in place for their health sectors.” The article includes comments by Frederick John Abo…

Wall Street Journal Reports On Pharma’s Growing Interest In Emerging Markets

“Abbott Laboratories will soon acquire the biggest share of India’s pharmaceuticals market, about 7%, when the company closes as early as next month on a $3.7 billion takeover of the drugs business of Piramal Healthcare Ltd.,” the Wall Street Journal reports in an article that examines how pharmaceutical companies are tapping into emerging markets as a way to bolster sales.

Temperature Increases Could Slow Rice Production, Study Says

A study published online Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that anticipated temperature increases “could slow the growth of rice production unless farmers adapt by changing management practices and switch to more heat-tolerant varieties,” Reuters reports (Fogarty, 8/10).

Report Examines Access To HIV Prevention, Care For MSM In Asia Pacific

As “HIV prevalence among gay and bisexual men has hit alarming levels in Asia,” an estimated 90 percent of men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Asia Pacific region lack access to HIV prevention and care, according to a report released Monday by the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCPM) and the University of Hong Kong’s Center for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL), Reuters reports.

Two-Thirds Of Child Deaths In 2008 Due To Infectious Diseases, Report Finds

Pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and other infectious diseases account for more than two-thirds of the 8.8 million deaths in 2008 among children under age 5 around the world, according to a Lancet study published on Wednesday, HealthDay News/Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. The highest numbers of childhood deaths were in Africa (4.2 million) and Southeast Asia (2.39 million), according to the news service (5/11).

Recent Releases In Global Health

WHO Bulletin Editorial Reflects On Health-Related MDGs Progress, Challenges After highlighting successes and failures of efforts to reach the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), an editorial appearing in the WHO Bulletin reflects, “[t]he variable progress achieved begs the question of the feasibility of the MDG goals and targets. … The MDGs…