During the WHO’s recent executive board meeting, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan reflected on public health gains over the past decade and the challenges that lie ahead, Nigeria’s Guardian reports. Chan commended the international community’s response to H1N1 and global efforts to reduce child mortality, fight malaria and tuberculosis.
Programs, Funding & Financing
A new report highlights challenges facing the Obama administration in Africa, including HIV/AIDS, poverty and climate change, VOA News reports. The report, published jointly by Africa Action and Foreign Policy in Focus, notes despite the recent success of programs such as PEPFAR, funding for the program has not increased at levels seen in previous years, the news service writes.
Twenty Nations Meet In Montreal To Discuss Haiti Recovery; Haitian Officials Increase Port-Au-Prince Death Toll Estimate
Officials from 20 countries are meeting in Montreal, Canada, Monday “to discuss long-term reconstruction and arrangements for a donor conference to be held in March,” the U.N. said, Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports (Gaouette/Craze, 1/25). “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and others will examine eventual debt forgiveness and” a strategy for rebuilding Haiti at the one-day gathering, according to Reuters (Palmer, 1/25).
The Economist examines the “dramatic” change in funding for projects aimed at fighting diseases in the developing world. “In 1990 more than two-thirds of the $5.6 billion spent on global health assistance came from governments. â€¦ By 2007, when total funding for health reached nearly $22 billion, government spending still made up the lionâ€™s share,” the magazine writes. “Look closer, though, and it emerges that the yeast which leavened this bread was ‘non-traditional’ financing. In 2007 private money from firms and charities like the Gates Foundation eclipsed the total from all sources spent in 1990.”
On Thursday, Rajiv Shah was sworn in as USAID administrator at an official ceremony in Washington, D.C., Foreign Policy’s blog, “The Cable,” reports. “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed overwhelming praise and relief before swearing in Shah,” according to the blog, which noted that Clinton’s remarks provided some “insider details” about Shah.
“As the United States prepares to drastically increase civilian aid in Pakistan, [USAID,] the agency in charge has asked for help training the local organizations that will spend that aid money, saying those organizations ‘do not meet the minimum standards for managing’ U.S. government funds,” ProPublica reports in a story that examines the challenges associated with channeling aid money for Pakistan away from American contractors and NGOs to Pakistani organizations.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday “reiterated the Obama administration’s support” for universal access to family planning and maternal health care, All Headline News reports. Clinton spoke at an event marking the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development Action Plan held in Cairo, Egypt.
Opinions: U.S. Medical Emergency Response; Micronutrients; Rotavirus Vaccine; Antibiotic Development
U.S. H1N1 Response Highlights Need For Improvements “[D]espite the tireless efforts of public health and health-care workers, America’s experience with H1N1 shows that the nation is not prepared to deal with a flu pandemic,” former Democratic Senator Bob Graham and former Republican Senator Jim Talent write in Washington Post opinion…
Also In Global Health News: Aid In S. Somalia; Virus-Resistant Mosquitoes; Composting Toilets In Haiti; U.S. Congressional Group Visits India
WFP Halts Aid Distribution In Southern Somalia The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) announced Tuesday that it has been forced to halt “aid distribution to about 1 million people in southern Somalia because of attacks against staff and demands by armed groups that aid groups remove women from their teams,”…
Public health experts and researchers from around the world gathered on Monday for a five-day conference at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in Al Ain, UAE, to discuss the role of the Middle East in tackling global health issues, AMEinfo.com reports.