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Melinda Gates, Nicholas Kristof Answer More Questions About Bangladesh, Public Health

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof continue to answer readers’ questions in this second installment on Kristof’s “On the Ground” blog. Gates and Kristof answer questions about corruption and contraception in Bangladesh, where Gates recently visited, and why more efforts are not being concentrated on children in the U.S. (1/11).

Promoting New Investments In Global Health Workforce

In this post in the Public Health Institute’s (PHI) “Dialogue4Health” blog, Jeff Meer, director of PHI’s Washington-based advocacy on global health, reports on the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, launched Wednesday, which is “developing support for new investments in the global health workforce, particularly those working at the community level who are the first and often the only link to health care for millions of people.” He outlines the Coalition’s targets and quotes a number of officials indicating “that the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress are coming to adopt the same view” (1/11).

SciDev.Net Reports On International Forum On Development Aid Models To Take Place In April

SciDev.Net reports on Forum 2012, an international meeting to take place in Cape Town, South Africa, in April, which “aims to shake up donor-recipient relations in a quest for more enduring health gains.” The meeting, themed “Beyond Aid,” “will consider a funding model in which poor countries develop their own contracts and partnerships, and use their own resources, and how donors can support that model rather than just provide development aid,” the news service writes.

HHS To Spend Nearly $1.8M To Review Research Volunteer Rules, Fight STDs In Guatemala; DOJ Asks Related Lawsuit To Be Dismissed

“Responding to U.S. experiments that infected Guatemalans with syphilis and gonorrhea in the 1940s, the Obama administration announced Tuesday that it will spend $1 million to study new rules for protecting medical research volunteers,” and “[a]n additional $775,000 will go to fighting sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala,” the Washington Post reports (Vastag 1,10). “President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius all have apologized for the research, hidden for decades until a Wellesley College medical historian uncovered the records in 2009,” the Associated Press/Boston Globe notes (Pickler, 1/10).

HIV/AIDS Awareness Workshop Held In Pakistan

The International Herald Tribune’s “Express Tribune” reports on a two-day HIV/AIDS awareness workshop held in Pakistan this week. Speaking on Monday at the inaugural session of the event, titled “The State of HIV in Pakistan-2011,” Amir Maqbool, acting program manager of the National AIDS Control Program (NACP), stated that HIV/AIDS could not be controlled in the country without legislation and strong financial funding for prevention and control efforts, according to the newspaper. “In the aftermath of the devolution of the Ministry of Health, there is no mechanism to implement the legislation; something which previously fell under the purview of the Senate Standing Committee on Health,” the newspaper notes. The article highlights findings from multiple studies presented at the workshop (Wasif, 1/10).

Researchers Examine Changes In Global Health Funding Amid Global Financial Crisis

In this article in Health Affairs, Katherine Leach-Kemon, a data development manager at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, Washington, and colleagues examine how funding to developing countries for health improvement has changed in the wake of the global financial crisis. They write, “Development assistance for health…

CBC News Examines Canadian Aid Agencies’, Government’s Roles In Post-Earthquake Haiti

CBC News examines the roles of Canadian humanitarian organizations and the government in helping Haiti rebuild nearly two years after a massive earthquake rocked the country. “Haiti needs long-term solutions, says Nicolas Moyer, a spokesman for the Humanitarian Coalition,” which includes Oxfam Canada, Oxfam Quebec, CARE Canada, Plan Canada and Save the Children, the news service notes.

HHS Secretary Sebelius Discusses Agency’s Global Health Strategy At KFF/HHS Briefing

Speaking at a briefing on Thursday sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to explore the department’s role in global health and its new Global Health Strategy (.pdf), HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discussed the agency’s first global health strategy in a keynote address, CQ HealthBeat reports. “The strategy identifies 10 major objectives but does not include metrics for gauging success,” the news service writes, adding Sebelius “said the plan ‘does not represent a radical new direction but seeks to provide a focus’ to ongoing efforts” (Adams, 1/6). “Though the United States was always involved in international health work, it was ‘seen as fundamentally separate’ from HHS’s core mission, she said,” Politico Pro writes. “Today that world has changed very dramatically. We can no longer separate America’s health from global health,” Sebelius said, the news service reports (Feder, 1/5).

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.”

U.S. Offers Initial $125 Million To UNHCR In 2012

“The United States said Thursday it will contribute an initial $125 million to the [U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR)] 2012 operations, including support for refugees returning to Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Agence France-Presse reports, noting, “The State Department said the funds … will also help care for refugees and internally displaced people in Iraq, Yemen, Nepal, Pakistan, Georgia, South Sudan, Chad and Kenya.” According to AFP, “In 2011, the United States contributed a total of more than $690 million dollars to UNHCR operations, including for emergencies” (12/30).