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Private Sector Involvement

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Private Sector Companies Should Contribute To GAVI Matching Fund

The GAVI Alliance has “announced a major new initiative aimed at engaging private sector leaders: the GAVI Matching Fund,” through which “the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide a 100 percent match of contributions to GAVI from corporations and foundations as well as their customers, members and employees,” Bill Roedy, former CEO of MTV Networks and a GAVI Alliance envoy, writes in a post on the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. “Together, DFID and the Gates Foundation have pledged $130 million to support this effort, which means there’s the potential to generate $260 million for global childhood immunization efforts,” he notes.

PepsiCo, WFP, USAID Announce Partnership To Increase Chickpea Production, Address Hunger In Ethiopia

PepsiCo on Wednesday announced a public-private partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and USAID to increase chickpea production in Ethiopia in order to secure access to the legume, which “play[s] an increasing role in its food products,” the New York Times reports. If the project is successful in working with small farmers to increase chickpea production, the “increased yield would exceed PepsiCo’s needs,” therefore “some of the additional crops will be used to make a new, ready-to-eat food product that the World Food Programme has used to address famine in Pakistan,” according to the newspaper (Strom, 9/20).

U.S. Entities Announce Global Smoke-Free Workplace Challenge

“The Mayo Clinic, Johnson & Johnson and others are joining forces to try to snuff out smoking in the workplace throughout the world,” the Wall Street Journal’s “Health Blog” writes, adding, “Their global smoke-free worksite challenge, announced today at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, calls on employers to ban smoking at offices and facilities worldwide.” The blog notes, “Smoky offices seem like a thing of the past in much of the U.S. … But globally, only about 11 percent of people are protected by comprehensive national smoke-free laws, the WHO says.”

Commercial Interests Confound Fight Against NCDs, Some Experts Say

The Washington Post examines the influence of commercial interests on the “political declaration” that emerged from this week’s U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in New York. NCDs “are the globe’s biggest health problem, responsible for 63 percent of all deaths each year, with incidence growing steeply in the low-income, rapidly urbanizing nations of the world,” but they “are deeply entangled with important global industries, not only tobacco but also food, pharmaceuticals, advertising, transportation and construction,” the newspaper writes, adding, “The bigger issue in preparing the document, however, was how much to invoke the … World Trade Organization’s agreement on intellectual property, known informally as TRIPS” (Brown, 9/20).

USAID, Aspen Institute, Others Announce Commitment To Address Disabilities In Vietnam

USAID, the Aspen Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, IBM, Hyatt Hotels and many other private sector donors on Thursday announced a commitment of more than $3.5 million “to provide assistance to address the challenges of the disabled in Vietnam, without regard to cause,” according to an Aspen Institute press release. The program,…

GAVI To Purchase $1 Billion In Childhood Vaccines For Distribution In 37 Of The Poorest Nations

The Geneva-based GAVI Alliance, a fund backed by governments, the World Bank, the WHO and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday that it will purchase more than $1 billion in vaccines against rotavirus, pneumococcal and other diseases through deals made with GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. to immunize children in 37 of the poorest nations, Bloomberg reports. “Wealthy nations donated $4.3 billion to purchase the vaccines as part of a plan to immunize 250 million children by 2015,” the news service notes (Bennett, 9/27).

As Interest In Global Health Rises In U.S., San Francisco Stands At Forefront Of Field

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on a growing interest in global health throughout the U.S. and how Jaime Sepulveda, who served as head of epidemiology in Mexico in the early 1980s and who took over the Global Health Sciences division at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) earlier this month, “hopes to make the Bay Area a powerhouse in research and development of global health policies worldwide.” The newspaper writes, “In the past five years, global health has taken off at the Bay Area’s top research institutions,” adding, “Both UCSF and Stanford have opened new global health centers, and Kaiser Permanente — the Bay Area’s largest health care provider — has formalized a program to send its doctors and nurses overseas.”

Recent Releases On Global Health

Lancet Commends U.K. All-Parliamentary Group on AIDS Call For HIV Drug Patent Pool A Lancet editorial examines recent recommendations by the U.K. All-Parliamentary Group on AIDS for pharmaceutical companies to implement an HIV drug patent pool – an appeal, “Drug companies have dismissed” in the past. The authors conclude, “Although…

GSK Partners With NGOs To Support Health Care Workers In LDCs

Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal reports that GlaxoSmithKline announced Tuesday it has partnered with three non-governmental organizations to address the shortage of primary health care providers in least developed countries (LDCs).

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