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WHO Director-General Pushes For Sustained Commitment To MDGs At World Health Assembly

During her opening address to the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan called for increased global efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Pana/Afrique en ligne reports. Chan also set-up several global health challenges to be addressed during the five-day meeting, according to the news service.

Opinions: Abortion In Canada’s G8 Initiative; Security Of Afghan Women; U.S. Global Development Strategy; Mother’s Day; U.S. Food Security Initiative; Polio Eradication

Abortions Are ‘One Small Chunk Of Bigger Puzzle’ For Improving Maternal, Child Health National Post columnist Jonathan Kay examines the ongoing debate over whether Canada’s G8 child and maternal health initiative should include abortions, which according to a 2006 Oxford University Press-World Bank report, are “one small chunk of a…

U.S., Haitian Partners Meet To Discuss Elections As Haitian Parliamentary Terms Expire

In an article examining elections in Haiti and their impact on the country’s recovery from the January 12 earthquake, the Miami Herald writes that Canada, the U.S., the Organization of American States, the U.N. and other partners have “dispatched top lieutenants [to Port-au-Prince] for a Monday meeting” with President Rene Preval to discuss elections.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Editorial Argues Global Health Community ‘Too Complacent’ On Development Of An Effective, Affordable Malaria Vaccine   “What is still needed [to fight malaria] is the only tool that has ever truly conquered any infectious disease: an effective and affordable vaccine. And here, the global malaria community has been too complacent,” a…

Guardian Examines Africa’s Health Worker Shortage

The Guardian’s “Katine Chronicles” blog examines the global shortage of health workers. According to the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DfID), more than 50 countries have a “critical shortage” of health workers and Africa needs an additional 800,000 health workers by 2015. “Of the 34 countries furthest behind in their quest to meet the [Millennium Development Goals], 22 are classed as ‘fragile states,’ countries in which the government is unable or unwilling to deliver basic functions to the majority of its people. Health worker shortages are particularly acute in these countries,” the blog writes. The world has a shortage of 350,000 midwives, according to Frances Day-Stirk of the Royal College of Midwives.

Study Finds Overall Increase In Developing Country Domestic Health Spending, Some Countries Have Reduced Health Budgets As Donor Funding Increases

Researchers on Friday released a study in the Lancet that found while “[m]ost countries in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East doubled their health budgets,” countries in sub-Saharan Africa appear to have trimmed their health spending as donors have boosted their health aid, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports.