Thousands of protesters in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday “demand[ed] the U.S. increase its AIDS funding for Africa,” the Associated Press reports (Naki, 6/17). The protesters delivered a letter to the consulate saying the U.S. is “cutting funding to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,” which health advocates believe could lead “other countries to follow suit and reduce funding for the fight against HIV,” Agence France-Presse writes (6/17). The protests were organized by the Treatment Action Campaign and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) together with a range of civil society organizations, Mail & Guardian reports.
The U.N. Development Program (UNDP) on Thursday released a report (.pdf) outlining “an eight-pronged strategy it hopes can help poor nations advance sustainable development, considerably reduce poverty and essentially drive the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the next five years,” BusinessDay reports (Nwachukwu, 6/18).
“The Obama administration has selected eight countries to serve as learning labs for a new global health strategy aimed in part at reducing maternal and child deaths and combatting preventable diseases,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The move is among the first steps in the administration’s” roll-out of the Global Health Initiative (GHI) and “comes amid mounting concerns about how much support President Barack Obama will win from Congress for a proposed 9% increase in global health spending for fiscal 2011,” the newspaper reports.
Women’s Rights Essential To Improving Maternal Mortality The U.N.’s plan to improve maternal health is lacking “the one element that will make it work. Human rights,” according to blog post on Huffington Post. “Medical causes of maternal deathÂ â€“ hemorrhage, sepsis, hypertension, unsafe abortion, HIV and AIDS â€“ are inextricably linked…
NPR’s Morning Edition examines the Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) and efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. The $63 billion dollar “initiative preserves the Bush AIDS relief plan,” known as PEPFAR, and aims “to allow patients to get care at one location rather than having to seek care at different places. For example, family planning at one facility and HIV care at another,” NPR notes.
Maternal, Infant ART Drives Down Mother-To-Child HIV Transmission Through Breast-Feeding, Studies Show
According to two new studies, “giving pregnant and nursing women triple antiretroviral drug therapy, or treating breast-fed infants with an antiretroviral medication, can dramatically cut transmission rates, enabling moms to both breast-feed and to protect nearly all children from infection,” HealthDay News/Bloomberg Businessweek reports (Goodwin, 6/16).
Also In Global Health News: Kyrgyzstan Aid; Malaria Progress In Angola; Zambia Downplays Freeze; Bolivia Objects To USAID; Testing HIV Earlier
U.S. Commits $6.5 Million To Kyrgyzstan The U.S. has pledged $6.5 million in humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan, Agence France-PresseÂ reports. “[W]e continue to monitor both Kyrgyzstan’s aid requirements, the status of its refugees, and will provide additional assistance as necessary,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said (6/16). VOA News reports that…
Nurse-Monitored ART Found To Be As Safe, Effective As Therapy Monitored By Doctors In South African Trial
“HIV drugs can be administered as effectively by nurses as by doctors, a finding that could yield major benefits in the fight against AIDS in Africa,” according to a study published online Wednesday in the Lancet, Agence France-Presse reports.
Also In Global Health News: Clinton To Haiti; Global Fund Suspends Zambian Aid; Ugandan Health Workers; MDG Summit; Rwandan Health Insurance; HIV Drugs In Kenya
Former President Clinton To Return To Haiti Reuters reports that former President Bill Clinton will return to Haiti to “jump-start” the country’s post-earthquake reconstruction. Clinton will head the first meeting of Haiti’s reconstruction commission, “part of a sorely needed effort to better coordinate international aid efforts, [Prime Minister Jean-Max] Bellerive…
Opinions: Maintain Fight Against HIV/AIDS; Ending MTCT of HIV; Impact Of U.S. Health Reform On Foreign-Trained Physicians
U.N. Secretary-General Calls For International Community To ‘Rally Around’ Next Generation Of HIV Treatment, Increase SupportÂ For Countries In Need Following a recent trip to the largest HIV/AIDS clinic in Uganda, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon reflects on the recent progress made in the fight against the disease in a McClatchy opinion…