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Pakistan, Afghanistan Form Joint Action Plan Against Polio

Pakistan and Afghanistan, “the world’s two worst polio-affected countries,” have “decided to form a joint block under the World Health Organization to eradicate the infectious disease — which causes motor paralysis and the atrophy of skeletal muscles, often resulting in permanent physical disability or deformity — by December 2012,” Inter Press Service reports. “The decision was made last year by the Technical Advisory Board (TAG), which is responsible for developing new strategies to wipe out the disease globally,” the news service notes.

CSIS Report Examines Polio Eradication Efforts In Nigeria

This report — titled “The Race to Eradication,” published on Friday by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), and written by Jennifer Cooke, director of the CSIS Africa Program, and Farha Tahir, a program coordinator and research associate in the program — examines efforts to eradicate polio in Nigeria, a country that “remains one of the most entrenched reservoirs of poliovirus in the world,” according to the report summary. CSIS writes on its website, “The Nigerian experience has underscored the complexity of the eradication endeavor and vividly demonstrates the fragility and reversibility of gains made to date” (2/10).

Opinions: U.S. Foreign Aid; Polio Eradication

Foreign Aid, Antipoverty Advocates, Others Must Back Deficit Commission Report Efforts To Restore Budget Choices “Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a chance to interview some amazing people,” ranging from Bill Gates to scientists and teachers, who are all concerned about impending budget cuts, the New York Times’ David Brooks…

Recent Releases In Global Health

Factors Contributing to Health Of Women Worldwide: The Kaiser Family Foundation features a narrated slide tutorial by epidemiologist Laurel Spielberg on the health issues facing women around the world. The tutorial touches on issues such as economic status and biological, social, and cultural factors that affect women’s health, as well as…

Polio: Myanmar Plans Vaccination Campaign After Confirming First New Case In Three Years; India Fights Disease In Rural Areas

UNICEF said that Myanmar is planning a mass polio vaccination campaign of children under age five after the country confirmed its first case of the disease in three years, Agence France-Presse reports (2/21). “A seven-month-old infant was infected with vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) in December,” according to UNICEF’s office in the country, IRIN writes (2/17).

Also In Global Health News: Global Fund Grants In Myanmar; Polio Eradication; GM Fungus Attacks Malaria In Mosquitoes; Afghanistan Demands NGOs Pay Taxes

 Global Fund To Resume Grants In Myanmar The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is resuming the distribution of grants to Myanmar, after suspending the country’s grants in August 2005 because the fund suspected “political interference in its programmes,” Inter Press Service reports. According to the news service, Myanmar, which…

Also In Global Health News: EU-India Talks; China’s Health System Funding; Water In Ethiopia; Nonprofit Offering Health Services Abroad To Sell Off Assets; Polio In India

BMJ News Examines Ongoing EU-India Trade Talks’ Impact On Access To Affordable Medicines In a piece examining health advocates’ ongoing concerns over how free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between the EU and India could impact access to affordable generic medicines, BMJ News writes, “Patients’ representatives and health aid workers who…

Also In Global Health News: Afghanistan’s Foreign Aid Tax; Polio In Pakistan; Rape In Conflicts; ARV Combination During Breastfeeding; Ecuador’s Health System; GlobalPost Looks At State Of Mandela’s Home Village

Afghan Government Begins Taxing U.S. Contractors The Washington Post reports on Afghanistan’s efforts “to tax U.S. contractors operating there.” Though it “could raise millions for the cash-strapped government,” U.S. and Afghan officials say the tax “could also provoke fresh confrontation with the United States,” the newspaper writes. “Taxation of U.S. government assistance is barred…

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