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Also In Global Health News: Global Alcohol-Related Deaths; Pentavalent Vaccine Plant To Resume Operations; Harm-Reduction In Russia; IDUs In Tanzania; MDG Tracking Program In Kenya

Alcohol Kills 2.5M Annually, WHO Report Says “Alcohol abuse is killing 2.5 million people each year,” according to a report from the WHO, which said that about “4 percent of all deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “The main causes of alcohol-related deaths are injuries incurred…

African First Ladies Gather To Discuss HIV/AIDS

On the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday, the General Assembly of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) gathered to discuss the continent’s progress against HIV/AIDS, Walta Info reports.

Global Poverty Summit Addresses MDGs, Global Trade Policy

At the Global Poverty Summit January 16-19 in Johannesburg, South Africa, “academics, policy-makers, civil society activists and development workers … agreed that the [U.N. Millennium Development Goals] MDGs have made a difference, but have fallen far short of the ambitious targets on poverty, education, health, gender equality and global partnership that 189 countries committed to achieving by 2015,” IRIN reports.

IMF Aid Substituting, Not Supplementing Existing Health Spending, Study Finds

International Monetary Fund (IMF) “aid to some of the poorest countries [is] not being used to supplement existing spending on public health projects, but instead it often substitutes state spending,” according to a study published in the International Journal of Health Services, Press Trust India/MSN reports. “The study comes at a time when there is serious concern about whether developing countries will meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on global health by 2015,” the news service writes (Sonwalker, 1/19).

Africa’s Economic Expansion Not Strong Enough To Reach Poverty MDG, U.N. Report Says

“Africa’s economy expanded by 4.7 percent in 2010 and is expected to maintain similar growth over the next two years,” according to the U.N.’s World Economic Situation and Prospects 2011 report, which was released Tuesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. But the economic growth and indicators of economic recovery are not strong enough to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG) poverty targets, according to the report (1/18).

Guardian Online Series Explores Global Health Worker Issues

The Guardian reports, as part of an online feature about health care workforces worldwide done in association with the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA), that “Africa is desperately short of doctors and nurses. So is much of Asia. In 57 countries, the situation is deemed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be at crisis point … But in contrast to some other developing world problems, this is an issue that really does affect all of us. The world needs an estimated 4.2 million more health workers.”

Recent Releases In Global Health

Newborn Resuscitation Innovation Breeds Additional Innnovation: In a USAID “Impact” blog post, Lily Kak, USAID senior maternal and newborn health advisor, writes about the the Global Development Alliance, which represents a “new way of doing business in the field of newborn health and has now become a key USAID strategy…

New York Times Reports On Rise, Fall Of Microloans In Developing Countries

The New York Times reports on how microlending has “prompted political hostility in Bangladesh, India, Nicaragua and other developing countries.” Such negativity “toward microfinance is a sharp reversal from the praise and good will that politicians, social workers and bankers showered on the sector in the last decade.” The article notes “[p]hilanthropists and investors poured billions of dollars into nonprofit and profit-making microlenders, who were considered vital players” in helping to achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including the MDG target to halve extreme poverty by 2015. Such attention “helped the sector reach more than 91 million customers, most of them women, with loans totaling more than $70 billion by the end of 2009,” with half of all borrowers from India and Bangladesh.