In this post in LA Progressive, Georgianne Nienaber, an investigative and political writer, examines the potential effects of reduced PEPFAR funding and highlights the non-denominational Christian ACTS clinic operating in South Africa as an example of a U.S. foreign aid success story. She writes, “At ACTS, PEPFAR funding supports a…
Maintaining Commitment Amid Promising Scientific Advances Is Necessary To Make AIDS Vaccine A Reality
In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention, examines the need for continued attention and funding for additional research for an AIDS vaccine, highlighting advancements presented at the AIDS Vaccine 2011 conference in Bangkok, Thailand earlier this month. He writes, “We don’t yet have a blueprint for an effective vaccine to roll-out. But, as presented this week in Bangkok, the complex success of the RV144 analysis, combined with a flurry of advances in understanding the development of broadly-neutralizing antibodies against HIV, show that the science of an AIDS vaccine is vibrant and vital. Now is exactly the time to maintain commitment.”
Based on a report released last week by a high-level independent review panel on fiduciary controls and oversight mechanisms at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, “[t]he changes needed at the Fund are clearly substantial,” according to a Lancet editorial. “However, as the report notes, there is ‘nothing that cannot be fixed by appropriate reform.’ Whether governments in this era of austerity will stick by the Fund as it evolves is now a major concern. But there are good reasons for donors to keep funding the Global Fund,” the editorial states.
China's Family Planning Policy, Lack Of Sex Education To Blame For Rise In Abortions Among Single Women
In this Washington Times opinion piece, Chai Ling, president of the non-profit group All Girls Allowed and author of “A Heart for Freedom,” examines the issue of abortions performed on single women in China in relation to the country’s family planning policy, which in most provinces requires couples to be married to obtain a birth permit, without which they are not permitted to have a child. She writes, “Though the problem of skyrocketing abortion rates among single Chinese women has been highlighted by the media and attributed to a lack of sex education, no one has connected the problem to this tragic equation: no marriage certificate, no birth permit. No birth permit, no baby. Millions of unmarried women in China get pregnant, but none is allowed to give birth to her baby.”
In this Daily Monitor opinion piece, Anthony Masake of the Uganda Law Society stresses the importance of addressing maternal mortality in Uganda and asserts that the country cannot achieve development without increased efforts to meet national maternal health targets. He places emphasis on the need to invest in midwifery and nursing services, among other strategies, writing, “Within the context of inadequate financial resources, mounting health demands, escalating health care costs, rising population, and heightened public expectations, midwifery and nursing services present a platform from which we can scale-up health interventions to assist in meeting national health targets.”
“The focused attention that malaria has received by African governments and international organizations has had a major impact, with the rates of mortality coming down dramatically in the continent,” and the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) has helped lead this campaign, an IPP Media editorial states. However, “[a]s long as malaria continues to be Africa’s leading killer, little progress can be recorded in other endeavors, because of its insidious effect,” the editorial writes, noting that two percent of Africa’s GDP is lost annually because of the disease.
The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) is “spearheading the fight against malaria” in Africa, bringing together 40 heads of state and “offer[ing] a compelling example of what is possible through co-operation, leadership, commitment, and sound management of national and international funds,” Tanzania President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete writes in a post on the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.” With the launch of the “groundbreaking” ALMA scorecard for accountability and action last week, leaders are now able “to measure our own performance against a set of key malaria metrics including national policies, financial controls, delivery of prevention and treatment commodities, and, most importantly, lives saved,” Kikwete writes.
In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, Orin Levine, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University, responds to the GAVI Alliance’s announcement on Tuesday that it will supply more than $1 billion in childhood vaccines to 37 of the world’s poorest countries, writing, “As the Alliance takes perhaps the most significant step ever toward increasing access to lifesaving immunization with this new and exciting round of country approvals, the challenge will be to ensure that every piece of the puzzle is in place to deliver on GAVI’s tremendous promise.”
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, “[a]long with our partners, both donors and implementers, [is] changing the story of scores of nations that were once devastated by three killer diseases — diseases which seemed invincible,” Global Fund Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine writes in a Huffington Post opinion piece, adding “we are now saving more than one million lives every year.”
“The clear pattern of increasing antiretroviral resistance in lower-income settings must be considered in the context of the worldwide HIV-control agenda,” especially because “the increasing rates of antiretroviral resistance in low-income settings represent a potential threat to the emerging treatment-as-prevention strategy,” Evan Wood and Julio Montaner of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS write in a Lancet Infectious Diseases opinion piece, adding, “Urgent action is needed.” They describe steps to help lower the threat of resistance, including deploying proven preventive strategies, “early and sustained” highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to prevent vertical transmission, and programs to provide HAART to 15 million people worldwide by 2015.