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News Outlets Examine Reaction To WHO Plan To Contain Drug-Resistant Malaria

In follow-up coverage of the WHO’s announcement Wednesday of a plan to contain the spread of artemisinin-resistant malaria, news outlets examined the scope of the problem, reactions to the plan and speculations by some of how the anticipated $175 million annual cost would be funded.

Also In Global Health News: U.S. Aid In Afghanistan; USAID Program To Improve Kenya’s Health Services; Diabetes In Middle East, North Africa; Regrets Over ‘New Delhi’ Superbug; Cholera In PNG

McClatchy Examines Ineffected U.S. Aid In Afghanistan McClatchy news service reports that “[i]n the rush to rebuild Afghanistan, the U.S. government has charged ahead with ever-expanding development programs despite questions about their impact, cost and value to America’s multi-billion-dollar campaign to shore up the pro-Western Afghan president and prevent Taliban insurgents…

WHO, Roll Back Malaria Partnership Launch Initiative To Contain Artemisinin-Resistant Malaria

The WHO and Roll Back Malaria partnership (RBM) on Wednesday launched an initiative to “stop a form of drug-resistant malaria from spreading from Southeast Asia to Africa, where millions of lives could be at risk,” Reuters reports. “It would cost about $175 million a year to contain and prevent the global spread of the artemisinin-resistant parasite which first emerged along the Thai-Cambodian border in 2007, the United Nations agency said,” according to the news agency (Nebehay, 1/12).

ABC News Global Health Series Launches Friday

In a New York Daily News article, ABC News medical correspondent Richard Besser discussed the network’s new “Be the Change: Save a Life” series ahead of its Friday launch, which will be the “first installment in a multimillion-dollar partnership between ABC News and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to cover global health issues.”

To Reduce Spread Of HIV/AIDS, IFRC Calls For More Focus On IDU Programs

Ahead of World AIDS Day, the International Federation of the Red Cross on Friday released a report (.pdf) calling for governments around the world to do more to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS among populations of injecting drug users (IDUs), the Associated Press reports (Heilprin, 11/25).

Daily Oral Antiretroviral Reduces HIV Infection Risk In MSM By 44%, Study Finds

A study that included nearly 2,500 HIV-negative men and transgender women who have sex with men has shown that a daily dose of Truvada, a pill containing the AIDS drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir, “can reduce risk of contracting [HIV] by an average of 44% – and by more than 70% if the subjects” follow the regimen closely, Los Angeles Times reports (Maugh, 11/23).

One-Third Of Malaria-Endemic Countries Are Complying With WHO Malaria Drug Efficacy Monitoring Standards, Report Says

Thirty-four percent of malaria-endemic countries are complying with WHO guidelines to monitor artemisinin resistance within their borders, the agency said in a report on Thursday, CBS News reports (11/18). Reuters reports that artemisinin “is the best drug available against malaria, especially when used in artemisinin combination therapy (ACT), which combines it with other drugs that finish off the [malaria] parasite” (Nebehay, 11/18).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Developing World Access To Medication: “Access to life-saving, essential medicines must be improved,” Josh Ruxin, founder and director of the Access Project and director of Rwanda Works, writes in a Forbes’ “Science Business” blog. After looking at the debate over whether the free market can help improve access and examining programs,…

New York Times Examines HIV Prevention Products Undergoing Clinical Trials

The New York Times examines several products being studied in clinical trials that researchers hope will one day prevent sexual transmission of HIV. The newspaper describes the ongoing trials of a vaginal microbicide gel containing the antiretroviral tenofovir which was found to reduce the risk of HIV infection in women by 39 percent, writing, “[o]ther clinical trials will report their results in 2011 and 2012 and, if all goes well, researchers hope to have a product or two ready to enter the market by 2013.”

Inter Press Service Reports On Counterfeit Medicine Challenges In Central, Eastern Europe

“Central and Eastern Europe is facing ‘significant challenges’ in combating a multi-billion euro, and often lethal, trade in fake medicines, security and pharmaceutical groups have warned,” Inter Press Service reports in an article that examines the scope of the problem in a region now “identified as a key smuggling route in an illicit trade which is growing every year.”