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Opinions: Reforms At USAID; Focus on Disease Prevention, Not Earthquake-Related Death Prevention; Fight NCDs In Developing Countries; Cash On Delivery; Destroy Smallpox Stocks; Global Health Funding Cuts’ Affect On Women; Budget Cuts Will Erode Family Planning Programs

USAID Needs Time, Resources To Succeed During these tight fiscal times, “we need to modernize our International Affairs programs with a greater emphasis on transparency, accountability and effectiveness” in order to “be fiscally responsible and still make the critical investments we need in our International Affairs Budget,” former Rep. Mark…

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…

World Bank Report Documents Rise Of Noncommunicable Diseases In S. Asia

“South Asia is facing a health crisis, with rising rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity, and patients facing impoverishment as they pay for treatment out of their own pockets,” according to a report released Wednesday by the World Bank, Reuters reports (Lyn, 2/9).

Studies Show Growing Problems Of Non-Communicable Diseases In Low-, Middle-Income Countries

“Obesity rates have doubled worldwide since 1980,” according to a study published Friday as part of a series in the Lancet that also looked at global blood pressure and cholesterol trends, ABC News reports (Carolo, 2/4). “The data show that in 2008 one in three adults in the world was overweight (BMI ≥25 kg/m2) and one in nine adults was obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m2). Since 1980 the average body mass index (BMI) has increased in all regions, but now middle income countries have caught up with high income countries,” BMJ News writes.

Lancet Series Examines Health Issues Facing Populations In Southeast Asia

“Southeast Asia’s 600 million people are facing a raft of new health challenges as the disaster-prone region undergoes some of the world’s fastest social change,” according to a series of papers and commentary pieces, published Tuesday in the Lancet, Agence France-Presse reports (1/25). “Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were among the countries surveyed by the journal, which called for universal health coverage especially to protect the poor,” Reuters writes (Lyn, 1/25).

Also In Global Health News: U.S. Aid In Afghanistan; USAID Program To Improve Kenya’s Health Services; Diabetes In Middle East, North Africa; Regrets Over ‘New Delhi’ Superbug; Cholera In PNG

McClatchy Examines Ineffected U.S. Aid In Afghanistan McClatchy news service reports that “[i]n the rush to rebuild Afghanistan, the U.S. government has charged ahead with ever-expanding development programs despite questions about their impact, cost and value to America’s multi-billion-dollar campaign to shore up the pro-Western Afghan president and prevent Taliban insurgents…

Life Expectancy, Other Health Indicators Improve In Asia-Pacific, OECD Report Says

A report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released on Tuesday, found that “Asia-Pacific countries have seen steady gains in key health indicators since 1970, but developing nations there are still far behind standards in the industrialised world,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. OECD looked at “[h]ealth systems for 27 Asia-Pacific economies,” according to the news service (12/21).