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Also In Global Health News: Child, Maternal Mortality; AIDS 2010; Food Aid To N. Korea; Millennium Challenge Corporation; Family Planning Conference; Parasitic Disease Test

AU Summit To Examine Progress Toward Child, Maternal Mortality MDGs When leaders of African states gather for the African Union summit in Kampala, Uganda, in July, they will assess the continent’s progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals relating to child and maternal mortality, Isaac Musumba, Uganda’s state minister for…

WHO Advises Continued Use Of GSK’s Rotavirus Vaccine In Developing Countries

The WHO on Monday advised developing countries to continue administering GlaxoSmithKline’s Rotarix vaccine – which offers protection to children against the diarrhea-causing rotavirus – after the FDA advised doctors in the U.S. to temporarily stop using the vaccine following the discovery it was “contaminated with an apparently harmless pig virus,” Reuters reports. “Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe childhood diarrhea and causes more than 500,000 deaths from dehydration among young children worldwide, mostly in countries where vaccination isn’t common,” the Wall Street Journal writes (Corbett Dooren/Favole, 3/23).

Opinion: Expanding Global Fund; Repurposing Wastewater; Financing Global Health Needs

Opinion Piece Outlines Challanges Facing Global Fund In an Economic Times opinion piece, Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute at Columbia University outlines what he sees as “two huge challenges facing” the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: “The first is lack of financing. … The second challenge is to…

Also In Global Health News: Smart Global Health Policy Report; Cardiovascular Disease In Developing Countries; Global Health In Washington State; Maternal Mortality In Afghanistan

VOA News Interviews CSIS Global Health Policy Center Director About Smart Global Health Policy Report VOA News features an interview with J. Stephen Morrison, the director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, about the final report by the CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy. According to Morrison, a strategic global…

Canadian Prime Minister Says He’s Open To Including Contraception In G8 Plan For Improving Maternal, Child Health

“Facing a squall of condemnation from aid groups and opposition politicians,” following statements by Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon that Canada’s G8 maternal and child health initiative would not include family planning, Prime Minister Stephen Harper “disavowed his foreign minister Thursday, promising that the federal government would include contraception programs in its maternal-health foreign-aid initiative,” the Globe and Mail reports.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Study Finds Level Of HIV Services For IDUs ‘Is Poor In Many Countries’ A Lancet study performed a systematic review of HIV prevention and treatment services targeting injecting drug users (IDUs) globally based on the availability of “core interventions for IDUs: needle and syringe programmes (NSPs), opioid substitution therapy (OST) and other drug…

Family Planning Will Not Be Included In Canada’s G8 Maternal Health Initiative, Foreign Minister Says

“Canada’s ‘signature’ initiative at June’s G8 summit – a strategy to improve the health of mothers and young children in poor countries” will not include family planning programs, Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said on Tuesday, the Globe and Mail reports. Cannon said the initiative “does not deal in any way, shape or form with family planning. Indeed, the purpose of this is to be able to save lives.”

‘Quiet Corruption’ Impedes African Development, World Bank Report Says

What the World Bank has dubbed “quiet corruption” in it’s Africa Development Indicators 2010 report (.pdf) could be as significant a threat to the continent’s development “as the graft scandals that frequently dominate newspaper headlines,” Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports (McGregor/Seria, 3/15).

GAVI Calls Meeting With Existing, Potential Donors

The GAVI Alliance has “asked existing and potential donors to a meeting in The Hague on March 25 and 26 to challenge them to ‘make a strong impact’ on childhood death rates,” Reuters reports. “GAVI, which is supported by the World Health Organization, the World Bank, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and vaccine makers, says it has 40 percent of the $7 billion it needs between now and 2015 to help” immunize of millions of children in developing countries by 2015, according to the news service.

With full funding GAVI “will be able to fully roll out pentavalent vaccine” – which protects against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and Hib – “and introduce new vaccines against pneumococcal disease and rotavirus diarrhea in over 40 countries,’ [GAVI] said in a statement. ‘These last two vaccines alone can save one million children by 2015,’” reports Reuters.

“Britain last week pledged 150 million pounds over the next 10 years for GAVI’s core funding, a move the group’s deputy chief executive Helen Evans said she hoped others would follow,” Reuters writes. “This is the first sovereign donor to have made a 10-year commitment to GAVI, and that really helps because it builds predictability into funding … and actually helps to shape the market for vaccines,” Evans said (Kelland, 3/15).