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UNITAID Concerned About Infant HIV Medication Shortage, Drug Company Says Supply Is Sufficient

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s plans this month to close its plant in Meymac, France, that manufactures “the last therapeutic option” for HIV-positive babies has drawn criticism from UNITAID, Reuters reports. In an open letter published in the Lancet (.pdf), UNITAID writes that “[c]losing this factory means that 4,000 to 7,000 babies currently enrolled in treatment plans in developing countries through UNITAID could be left without the medicines they need.”

Gates Foundation Announces 5-Year, $1.5 Billion Commitment For Maternal, Child Health

During the Women Deliver conference on Monday Melinda Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “will spend $1.5 billion over the next five years on maternal and child health, family planning and nutrition in developing countries, a pledge that signals a new focus for the foundation known for concentrating on vaccines and AIDS,” the Wall Street Journal reports (Jordan, 6/7).

G8 Final Communique Draft Shows Agreement On Maternal, Child Health Initiative, Funding Amounts Not Yet Set

A final communique draft completed last month for the upcoming G8 summit states that leaders will agree on a maternal health initiative that focuses on improving access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, in the developing world, the Globe and Mail reports. The draft leaves “G8 countries free to decide whether their programs on reproductive health will fund abortions” (Clark, 6/4).

U.N. Secretary-General, Sec. Of State Clinton Address Women Deliver Conference

Governments worldwide should work with the U.N. on a joint action plan to significantly improve the health of women and children around the world by 2015, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a speech at the opening of the Women Deliver conference on Monday in Washington, DC, Agence France-Presse reports.

Also In Global Health News: HIV-Positive Children In Uganda; Vietnam Launches PMTCT Campaign; Sierra Leone Health System Strained; Gates Foundation’s Work; Compound Blocks Malaria Parasite

Draft Policy In Uganda Recommends HIV-Positive Children Know Their Status As Early As Age 10 “A Ugandan draft policy recommending that HIV-positive children be informed of their status by the age of 10 has drawn mixed reactions from health workers,” IRIN PlusNews reports. The goal of the policy is to “improve…

Also In Global Health News: Tropical Storm Damage In Central America; Global Health Corps; Hunger In S. Sudan; Tobacco Use In China; Improving Water Conditions In Asia

Tropical Storm Agatha Hits Central America Tropical storm Agatha pounded Central America over the weekend, bringing heavy rain that killed at least 179 people, mostly in Guatemala, the New York Times reports. The search for survivors continues as rescue workers dig through the thousands of homes and buildings that collapsed.…

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Infectious Diseases Calls For Sustained Effort To Eradicate Polio A Lancet Infectious Diseases Leading Edge article examines the history of the global efforts to control polio and the challenges associated with targets to globally eradicate the disease. “The eradication of polio seems imminent, but with so few cases, there…