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U.S., Western Governments Can Help Prevent 'Mass Starvation' In Somalia

With the State Department’s reassurance to aid groups on Tuesday that they “will not face prosecution if they are forced to pay bribes to al-Shabab or if militants divert some food supplies,” organizations still have “the problem of gaining access to famine victims and ensuring the safety of their personnel, a number of whom have been murdered by the militants,” a Washington Post editorial says. “But the crisis may be causing al-Shabab’s cohesion to break down; some commanders have been cutting deals with aid organizations to receive food supplies,” the editorial states.

Global Fund Donations Needed To Support Scaling Up AIDS Treatment

With the new knowledge that providing antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to people living with HIV “contribut[es] to a sharp slowdown in the spread of the virus,” “scaling up treatment now may prove to be the least expensive option if we want to bring this deadly pandemic, which still infects 1.8 million people every year, under control,” Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria writes in the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.”

U.S. Should Demand Human Rights-Based Approach To HIV Prevention Programs In Uganda

“Uganda has sometimes been considered a success story in fighting HIV and has been a darling of international donors,” including the U.S., which “has poured over $1 billion into the country for AIDS programs. But throughout Uganda there are people … who are passed over, denied treatment, or simply invisible to the country’s HIV prevention and treatment programs. Groups such as gay men, migrants, drug users, sex workers, and people with disabilities, as well as prisoners, are commonly left out,” Kathryn Todrys, a researcher with Human Rights Watch writes in GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog.

Sending Surplus Medical Supplies To Developing Country Hospitals 'Not The Antidote' To Poor Conditions

“Every year, hospitals in America throw away thousands of tons of usable medical supplies and equipment – by some measures 7,000 tons a year, a value of $20 billion. … Yet every year, hospitals in developing countries around the world turn away patients or provide substandard care because they lack even the most basic medical equipment,” journalist and author Tina Rosenberg writes in the New York Times’ “Opinionator” blog. She describes the work of several organizations that collect excess or unwanted medical supplies and redistribute them to hospitals in need in developing countries.

Foreign Aid Being 'Held Up' By Congress

In a Foreign Policy opinion piece, FP staff writer Josh Rogin lists foreign aid as one of “the top eight foreign-policy items currently held up by the do-nothing 112th Congress.” According to Rogin, “Everyone agrees that the foreign aid system is broken. Over-outsourcing, poor monitoring, and a lack of cohesion and accountability have plagued the U.S. aid system for decades. However, nobody in Congress agrees on exactly how to fix it. … The result is a nasty stalemate – a familiar feature in Congress as the country heads into the 2012 presidential season” (8/4).

Feed The Future Working To Improve Drought Resiliency

Food insecurity in the Horn of Africa “is driven by cyclical drought, poor land management practices, limited availability of animal health services, food inflation, conflict over land and water, poor hygiene practices, and lack of dietary diversity,” Paul Weisenfeld, assistant to the administrator, Bureau of Food Security at USAID, writes…

Low Fertility Causes 'Very Real Problems' For Developed Nations' Economies

“In recent years, nearly every demographic study has painted a dire picture of the world’s changing demographics. Yet when the U.N. issued its latest report this past May, it seemed almost sunny,” Jonathan Last, senior writer at the Weekly Standard, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece. He says that “[t]he catch is that it may not be true” because “the U.N. has had to make one very big assumption: Starting tomorrow, every country in the world with fertility below the replacement rate of 2.10 will increase its fertility. And this rise will continue unabated, year after year, until every First World country has a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) near replacement.”

Foreign Aid Should Enhance, Not Replace, Domestic Health Spending In Developing Countries

A case in Uganda of a woman bleeding to death while giving birth “underscores an unintended consequence of global health aid,” a Globe and Mail editorial writes, adding that “in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa, a reverse trend is under way; for every $1 of development assistance for health, governments have reduced their spending,” according to a study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

U.S. Can Do More To Reverse Famine In Horn Of Africa

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), who is traveling in East Africa with a U.S. delegation “to study the famine affecting the lives of over 12 million people, many of them children,” writes in the Huffington Post’s blog, “Huffpost Impact,” that the group will assess “what more we as a nation can do.”