WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on Monday laid out her vision for reforming the international health agency in the opening address of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, saying she sees “a WHO that gives a bigger voice to the many partners working on health, but encourages them to speak with a coherent voice that responds, first and foremost, to the needs and priorities as defined by recipient countries,” Intellectual Property Watch reports.
Programs, Funding & Financing
In light of study findings released last week showing the risk of HIV transmission can be reduced by 96 percent if HIV-positive patients begin combination antiretroviral therapy as soon as possible, a San Francisco Chronicle editorial asks, “The evidence is clearly starting to show that it’s much better to treat patients earlier, but from where will the money come?”
After an Associated Press story on Friday reported that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria “will make public more detailed information about money it has lost to corruption and mismanagement, but won’t release other information critics have sought … that might have made it possible to calculate how much of the money investigated is lost to corruption, or what percentage of the fund’s overall disbursements are misspent” (Heilprin, 5/13), the Global Fund released a statement saying it “remain[s] fully committed to accountability for the intentions, process, funding and results of our projects.”
The G8 nations have “delivered only 61 percent of the increased aid they promised to sub-Saharan Africa by 2010 in their 2005 summit” in Gleneagles, Scotland, an annual report by ONE shows, Reuters reports (5/16). “At the Gleneagles summit, rich nations said that by 2010 they would increase development assistance by $50bn, with an extra $25bn going to sub-Saharan Africa,” the Guardian reports (Elliot, 5/16).
The Fourth U.N. Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) closed in Istanbul on Friday “with a number of recommendations seeking to halve, from 48 to 24, the number of LDCs during the next 10 years,” the Guardian’s “Global Development” blog reports (Tran, 5/13).
As the 64th World Health Assembly gets underway in Geneva, the body will consider “an array of subjects pertaining to reforms of the organisation and its financing, vaccines, fake medicines, and influenza pandemic preparedness, as well as communicable and non-communicable diseases,” Intellectual Property Watch reports (Saez, 5/13).
Results from a multicountry clinical trial, sponsored by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), show that HIV-positive people who take combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to their HIV-negative partners by 96 percent, U.S. researchers announced on Thursday “[i]n what is being hailed as a breakthrough in HIV prevention,” the Los Angeles Times reports (Maugh, 5/13).
Lessons Learned About Global Health From 30 Years Of HIV/AIDS: In the CDC’s Emerging Infectious DiseasesÂ (.pdf) journal, Kevin De Cock of the CDC, Harold Jaffe of Emory University and James Curran of the Emory Center for AIDS Research reflect on the emergence of HIV/AIDS 30 years ago this June; the…
“Until a few months ago Japan was the world’s fifth biggest aid donor, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), lending or giving away $9.5bn a year,” the Guardian reports. But the recent earthquake and tsunami have transformed the country “into a leading destination for international charity. In two months it has received what the Democratic Republic of the Congo is given in a year,” according to the article.
The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday began hearing the Canadian government’s case against Insite, a Vancouver-based legal injection site where people who use injecting drugs can obtain clean needles and syringes and inject their own drugs under a nurse’s supervision, the Canadian Press reports (5/12).