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Bringing Health Solutions To Women, Children

In this Huffington Post “Impact” blog post, Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes that she will be visiting Bangladesh to “lear[n] even more about two of the biggest killers of children — pneumonia and diarrhea,” and says “Bangladesh has made incredible progress in recent years, reducing the number of childhood deaths by 65 percent since 1990.” She writes, “As I reflect back on what I learned this year about the progress and the challenges in women’s and children’s health, I’m struck by the fact that we don’t need to wait for the solutions,” including “[t]hings like life-saving vaccines, contraceptives, healthy practices for mothers and newborns and good nutrition.”

U.S. Addressing Short-, Long-Term Needs In Horn Of Africa

“As the United States entered the traditional season of giving and renewal last month, President Barack Obama announced that the United States was increasing its emergency aid to the [Horn of Africa] region by $113 million,” a VOA editorial states, adding, “The new monies will be used for food, health, shelter, water and other needs.”

Foreign Aid To MICs Needs ‘More Sophisticated Approach’ Instead Of Cuts

“[T]he E.U., the Global Fund [to Fight] AIDS, TB and Malaria, and the World Bank’s International Development Association … want to save money during a fiscal crunch by cutting off aid to middle-income countries (MIC),” Andy Sumner and Amanda Glassman of the Center for Global Development write in the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.” However, doing so “means disconnecting foreign aid from most of the world’s poor and sick,” they write, adding, “At least three factors support the development of a more sophisticated approach.”

Top 10 Global Health Achievements Of 2011

In this Huffington Post “Impact” blog post, Karl Hofmann, president and CEO of PSI, outlines 10 “milestones for the global health community” that occurred in 2011. Among the achievements, Hofmann says governments avoided making major cuts to foreign aid budgets despite a global economic downturn; studies supported “treatment as prevention” as an HIV prevention strategy; the number of malaria cases and deaths worldwide continued to decline; research showed a promising vaccine candidate to prevent malaria among children; and more women gained access to long-acting, reversible contraceptives. Hofmann also lists advances in social franchising; maternal health; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights; pneumonia prevention and treatment; and sanitation, hygiene and access to clean water (12/29).

Promoting Gay Rights Essential For Health Of Africans

Across Africa, “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people suffer brutal attacks, yet cannot report them to the police for fear of additional violence, humiliation, rape or imprisonment at the hands of the authorities. We are expelled from school and denied health care because of our perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” Frank Mugisha, 2011 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award laureate and executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, writes in a New York Times opinion piece. He adds, “When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced this month that the United States would use diplomacy to encourage respect for gay rights around the world, my heart leapt.”

Obama Administration Should Provide Food Aid To N. Korea ‘As Soon As Is Practical’

Recounting the factors that led to and conditions that persisted during the North Korean famine between 1995 and 1998, New Yorker staff writer Steve Coll says in this opinion piece in the magazine, “Better harvests and international food aid ended the worst suffering by 1998. Yet chronic food insecurity and shortages persist to this day.”

‘Dramatic Gains’ In Fight Against Malaria In Jeopardy Due To Global Fund Shortfall

In this post on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, Kent Campbell, director of the Malaria Control Program at PATH, says “dramatic gains” made in the fight against malaria, and the possibility of ending the disease, are in jeopardy because the “Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and…

Religious Leaders Should Come Together To Ensure Access To NTD Medicines For World’s Poorest

Most of the world’s neglected tropical diseases occur among populations that adhere to Islam, Catholicism, or Hinduism, an observation that “affords an opportunity to establish a unique interfaith dialogue among religious leaders” leading to global action, Peter Hotez, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, and Serap Aksoy, a professor at the Yale School of Public Health, write in a PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) editorial. They provide statistics of NTD infections among different populations living in countries dominated by specific religious affiliations and write, “These high prevalence NTDs not only have a devastating health impact on these populations, but … they also represent major reasons why such populations cannot escape poverty.”

HPV Vaccine Support By GAVI Example Of ‘Equity In Health’

Noting that human papillomavirus (HPV) causes 70 percent of cervical cancer cases worldwide, Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former GAVI Alliance Board chair, writes in this BMJ Group Blogs post that the GAVI Alliance’s decision to support the introduction of HPV vaccine among women in developing countries “is an…

Examining The Proposed Federal Global Health Appropriations

In this post on the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Health Policy” blog, Denizhan Duran and Amanda Glassman of CGD review the proposed FY12 federal global health appropriation approved recently by Congress. They state that “this year’s budget is a missed opportunity in a period defined by budget pressures: global…