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Mixed Progress On MDGs, Additional Advancement Still Possible, Report Says

Poverty rates in 10 African countries have been halved over the last two decades, while child mortality rates have gone up in six sub-Saharan African countries, according to a report (.pdf) from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the U.N. Millennium Campaign, which emphasized that progess towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is possible, the Associated Press/St. Petersburg Times reports (Straziuso, 6/22).

Opinions: Canada’s Role In Global Health; Drug Licensing Agreements Promote Drug Access; Funding For USAID, State; Haiti

Canada Must Lead To Ensure Robust Efforts In Global Fight Against HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria After outlining the work of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Michel Kazatchkine, the organization’s executive director, highlights the role Canada can play in determining “whether the world can overcome AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria”…

Media Examine GHI, U.S. HIV/AIDS Funding

PBS’ NewsHour’s “The Rundown” blog examines the recent naming of eight countries to receive additional technical and management resources under President Barack Obama’s Global Health Initiative (GHI).

Also In Global Health News: WHO Scraps Drug Development Group; Access To Medication In Philippines; Yellow Fever Vaccine Shortage; HIV-Positive Employee Protection

WHO Scraps Old Drug Development Group, Creates New One Lancet World Report examines how “[d]isappointment over a long-awaited report on improving drug research and development for neglected diseases” led the WHO to form a new Consultative Expert Working Group (CEWG) to strategize around drug research and development. The formation of…

Protesters Ask U.S. To Boost Funding For Global Fund, HIV/AIDS Programs In Africa

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.

UNDP Releases 8-Pronged Strategy To Help Developing Countries Meet MDGs

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).

Obama Administration Names Eight ‘GHI Plus’ Countries

“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.

Recent Releases In Global Health

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 death – hemorrhage, sepsis, hypertension, unsafe abortion, HIV and AIDS – are inextricably linked…

NPR’s Morning Edition Examines Global Health Initiative

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.