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IRIN Examines Impact Of HIV Funding On National Health Care Systems

In an article in its “Building Resilience” series, IRIN examines the impact of HIV funding on health care systems in developing countries, writing, “Some have argued that the AIDS epidemic has helped generate an overall increase in health funding and mobilized an international push for more equitable health care access. But others…

Also in Global Health News: Polio Vaccines in Nigeria; Health Care in Indonesia; Circumcision To Prevent HIV/AIDS in Botswana

Nigeria Releases 57M Polio Vaccines, Aims To Increase Vaccine Coverage The Nigerian government recently released 57 million doses of the trivalent oral polio vaccine for a nationwide campaign that concluded on Sunday, Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper reports. Additional campaigns are scheduled for July, August and October (Muanya, Guardian, 5/28). The Guardian…

Report Examines Zimbabwean Refugees In South Africa

According to a report released Tuesday by Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF), “Zimbabweans continue to cross the border [into South Africa] every day, legally and illegally, in massive numbers as a matter of survival,” AFP/Google.com reports.

Also In Global Health News: Sidib Interview; Drug-Resistant Malaria; U.S. Polio Initiative; Health Spending In Africa; Cholera In Zimbabwe

Miami Herald Interviews UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé The Miami Herald featured excerpts from a recent interview with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. Sidibé’s interview included comments on the increase of access to antiretrovirals in Latin America and the Caribbean; overcoming discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS; and the potential…

Ongoing Refugee Crisis In Pakistan Overwhelms Health System

The AP/Washington Post examines how the millions of Pakistani refugees fleeing from the army’s offensive against the Taliban in the northwest of the country are overwhelming the country’s health care system.

Al Jazeera Examines Cuba's National Health Care System; IPS Looks At HIV/AIDS In The Country

In a feature story, Al Jazeera examines Cuba’s national health care system, which “works — or is supposed to work — by emphasizing primary and preventative health care.” However, after subsidies from the former Soviet Union “ended and Cuba’s economy went into a tailspin, nothing was the same again,” according to the news agency, which notes the system experiences drug shortages, patients have long wait times, and some hospitals are dirty or malfunctioning. “In all fairness, in the past five years, the government has made great efforts to improve hospitals and health centers, but again, lack of resources is making the process painfully slow,” Al Jazeera writes, adding, “The system is free, but it is neither fast nor efficient for two important reasons. One is obviously the lack of financial resources, and the other — which is related to the first — is the ‘export’ of doctors, nurses and dentists in exchange for hard currency.” The feature concludes, “But for all its shortcomings, Cubans do have better access to health care than the majority of those living in many ‘developing nations,’ where public health is shockingly inadequate” (Newman, 6/18).

South African TB Conference Hears Demands From Advocacy Organizations To Improve, Decentralize Treatment

The 2012 South African TB Conference opened Tuesday night in Durban, with the Treatment Action Campaign, Section27, and Oxfam delivering “a memorandum containing five demands to conference organizers shortly before the opening,” health-e News Service reports. The organizations “called for patients with drug-resistant TB who were failing to respond to treatment to be given ‘access to the best available medicines,'” even if they are not yet approved by the Medicines Control Council; “the diagnosis of all people living with TB”; and “the decentralization of care for people with drug-resistant TB, enabling them to be treated at home instead of hospitalized for long periods,” the news service writes (Cullinan, 6/13).

Family Planning Summit Offers Opportunity To Integrate Reproductive Services With HIV, Other Health Initiatives

Noting that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K. government will co-host an international family planning summit in London in July, Gavin Yamey of the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco; Craig Cohen, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive services at the University of California; and Elizabeth Bukusi, chief research officer and deputy director of research and training at the Kenya Medical Research Institute, write in a BMJ commentary, “More than 120 million women worldwide aged 15-49 years have an unmet need for family planning, which is due a renaissance after years of neglect.”