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Lancet Examines WHO Euro Health 2020 Initiative

The Lancet examines Health 2020, “a ‘process of consultation’ between WHO Euro and its 53 diverse member states” that “will build partnerships to tackle the complex determinants and drivers of health and health equity.” The Lancet writes, “With the region’s aging populations, increasing rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and spiraling treatment costs, the whole government must be brought in, alongside ministries of health and health systems, in a new ‘movement for public health, believes” WHO Regional Director for Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab. WHO Euro will hold a high-level meeting on Health 2020 on November 27 in Jerusalem, the Lancet notes, adding that “[t]he results of this meeting are expected to feed into WHO’s Executive Board meeting in January 2012” (Walgate, 11/19).

Aid Targeting High Mortality Diseases ‘Lays The Groundwork’ For Improving Primary Health Care Services

“In recent years, initiatives such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria have helped rein in some of the biggest scourges,” Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. “Scaling up PEPFAR, alongside other health initiatives, would bring a high return,” because “as we deepen the response to specific diseases such as AIDS or TB, we can broaden access to primary health services,” which “lays the groundwork for addressing health problems of all kinds,” he continues.

MSF Addresses Cameroon Cholera Epidemic

This post on Medecins Sans Frontiere’s (MSF) website describes the humanitarian organization’s activities in Cameroon to address a 14-month-long cholera epidemic. MSF has provided oral rehydration solution, water purifying capabilities, and medical aid and assistance in Cameroon, and the organization is “preparing the end of its emergency response, in collaboration with…

Strengthening Family Planning Services Through Investment, Integration

In this post on Management Sciences for Health’s (MSH) “Global Health Impact” blog, MSH President and CEO Jonathan Quick discusses how investing in family planning services and integrating those services into other health care initiatives can save money over the long term and strengthen health systems. “Indeed, strengthening health systems is…

Vietnam Should Shut Compulsory Rehab Centers For Drug Users, Sex Workers, U.N. Expert Says

A U.N. expert on Monday “urged Vietnam … to close down its compulsory rehabilitation centers for sex workers and drug users, stressing that detention and forced treatment violate their right to health and perpetuate stigmatization and discrimination of those groups in the society,” the U.N. News Centre reports (12/5). “‘It’s essential to ensure that the considerable resources now invested in these centers are used instead to expand alternative treatments for injecting drug users,’ said” U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health Anand Grover, the Associated Press/Washington Post writes (12/5).

MCC Invests $122M In Lesotho Health System To Address Key Challenges, Including HIV, TB

“The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), through its partnership with the Millennium Challenge Account-Lesotho, is helping Lesotho address key challenges in its health sector through a $122 million investment in health infrastructure and health systems,” IIP Digital reports. “More than 720,000 Basotho are expected to benefit from the MCC health project over the next 20 years,” the news service writes.

Central African Republic In State Of ‘Chronic Medical Emergency,’ MSF Report Says

“The Central African Republic (CAR) is in the grips of a chronic medical emergency, according to a report released today by the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF),” an MSF press release states. “Four mortality studies carried out by MSF over the past 18 months reveal crude mortality rates in some regions of CAR at three times the emergency threshold of one death per 10,000 people per day, which, according to the World Health Organization, is considered a humanitarian crisis,” the press release adds (12/13).

U.N. Seeks Aid Money For Zimbabwe, Half For Food; WHO Says Country Must Spend More On Health

“The United Nations said on Friday it was seeking $268 million for aid efforts in Zimbabwe next year, with half the money to be used to buy food for more than 1.4 million people facing shortages” in 2012, Reuters reports. “The humanitarian situation in the country has continued to improve over the past couple of years. However, challenges still exist such as food insecurity” and lack of access to safe water, which has led to cholera and typhoid outbreaks, Alain Noudehou, country head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said, the news service notes (12/9).

Role Of Local Advocates, NGOs Important In Malawi’s Health System

In this post in the Health Affairs blog, Martha Kwataine, executive director for the Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) and head of the Access to Medicines Campaign in Malawi, examines the role of local advocates and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the country’s health system. She writes, “Amidst [Malawi's health] challenges, the role of civil society, especially advocates, cannot be overemphasized. Civil society organizations are the ‘watchdogs’ of government. Historically, they have played a critical role, not just by influencing policy formulation, but also by providing checks and balances to government power.”

Raising Salaries Helped Retain Health Workers In Malawi

Mary O’Neil, a principal program associate at Management Sciences for Health (MSH), examines how Malawi has reduced health care worker migration through a program to raise salaries, “with support from the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID) and other development partners,” in this post in the Global Health Council’s Global…