In his second annual letter, Bill Gates reflects on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work and the importance innovation will play in overcoming some of the world’s greatest challenges, including in global health and agriculture, the Associated Press/Wall Street Journal reports. “Gates says the foundation currently is backing 30 areas of innovation including online learning, teacher improvement, malaria vaccine development, HIV prevention, and genetically modified seeds,” according to the news service (1/25).
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Twenty Nations Meet In Montreal To Discuss Haiti Recovery; Haitian Officials Increase Port-Au-Prince Death Toll Estimate
Officials from 20 countries are meeting in Montreal, Canada, Monday “to discuss long-term reconstruction and arrangements for a donor conference to be held in March,” the U.N. said, Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports (Gaouette/Craze, 1/25). “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and others will examine eventual debt forgiveness and” a strategy for rebuilding Haiti at the one-day gathering, according to Reuters (Palmer, 1/25).
Also In Global Health News: Counterfeit Condoms; Health Systems In Gaza; Malaria Parasite; SA Male Circumcision Program; MDGs In Botswana
China’s Counterfeit Condoms HaveÂ Health Officials Worried The Los Angeles Times examines how an increase in counterfeit condoms in China has health officials fearing the worst â€“ the products “may in fact spread infectious diseases, tarnishing the axiom that condoms mean safe sex.” The newspaper continues, “Authorities estimate that up to…
“A strong earthquake struck Haiti on Wednesday morning, shaking buildings and sending screaming people running into the streets only eight days after the country’s capital was devastated by a previous quake,” the Canadian Press reports. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the 6.1 magnitude quake was approximately 35 miles northwest of the capital of Port-au-Prince. “It was not immediately possible to ascertain what additional damage the new quake may have caused,” the news service writes (Faul, 1/20).
Rescue efforts continue in Haiti after a major earthquake hit the country last week, CNN reports (1/18). While teams still search for survivors under the rubble, the priority is shifting to relief for those who survived the quake, Nicholas Reader, spokesperson for the U.N.Offices for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, TIME reports (Newton-Small,1/18).
Government Releases Family Planning Survey In Philippines A government survey in the Philippines “found 73 percent of married women would use birth control if it were available, 22 percentage points higher than the 51 percent that did use such methods,” Agence France-Presse reports. The country is facing a rapid population…
The Associated Press examines the decision by two U.S. nonprofit groups seeking to increase production of the ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), Plumpy’nut, to file a lawsuit against the French organizations that hold the product’s U.S. patent.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe on Monday during a five-day trip in Kenya, called for a drastic reduction in mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, Capital News reports. “In our continent we still have 400,000 babies born every year with HIV and we know if we are capable of making sure that testing will become available universally to all our pregnant women, (and) that pregnant women also have access to treatment, we will prevent the transmission,” Sidibe said (Karong’o, 1/11).
A $27 million UNICEF program that aims to decrease disease-related child deaths in West Africa did not meet its goal of reducing death rates by at least 25 percent at the conclusion of 2006, according to a Lancet study published on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. “The U.N. children’s agency pursued strategies like vaccinating children, giving them vitamin A pills and distributing bednets to protect against malaria from 2001 to 2005 in parts of 11 countries,” according to the article.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called 2010 “the year of development” and said “he would make the drive to achieve” the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 “one of his key priorities this year,” Agence France-Presse/My Sinchew reports.