U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday is expected “to announce a significant expansion of the organization’s ambitious global program to tackle infant and maternal mortality and boost access to reproductive health over coming years,” the Financial Times reports. The announcement “will highlight the doubling of commitments from governments, the private sector and non-profit organizations on funding and policy initiatives for the ‘Every Woman Every Child’ program,” the newspaper writes (Raval et al., 9/19). The announcement comes “[a]s the U.N. General Assembly opens a new session” and is “being called on [by the international community] to provide more family planning services to hundreds of millions of women,” according to VOA News (DeCapua, 9/19).
Programs, Funding & Financing
Foreign Affairs on Tuesday published an analysis examining the history of negotiations behind the political declaration approved on Monday by leaders attending the U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Report Warns Against Shifting Funding, Prevention Efforts Away From Countries Successful In Malaria Fight
A new analysis (.pdf) conducted by the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, the Evidence to Policy Initiative at the University of California-San Francisco, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative “warns that if the countries that have produced impressive reductions in malaria cut or stop control activities, malaria will rapidly resurge and a decade of progress will have been in vain,” BMJ News reports.
The Center for Global Health Policy’s “ScienceSpeaks” blog features an interview with Caroline Ryan, director of technical leadership at the Office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC), where she has worked for seven years. Ryan discusses PEPFAR program implementation, circumcision as an HIV prevention tool and balancing efficiency with the…
Some of the issues to be addressed at the U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) taking place this week in New York “are controversial, including those relating to intellectual property rights for new medicines, diagnostics and medical devices,” James Love, director of Knowledge Ecology International, writes in an Al Jazeera opinion piece. “By continuing to assert that the Doha Declaration is in fact limited in various ways, U.S. and European trade negotiators have tried to discourage the granting of compulsory licenses on patents for high-priced drugs for cancer and other non-communicable diseases,” he continues, before outlining a proposal called the “cancer prize approach” that would de-link drug prices from research and development incentives.
When the results of a large clinical trial testing the effectiveness of the RTS,S malaria vaccine among children in Africa are made available later this year, “it will be time to start discussing what to do with the vaccine,” Orin Levine, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University, writes in a Huffington Post opinion piece. “If the vaccine is safe and effective, one of the most important questions will be how to pay for it … and even though Andrew Witty, the CEO of the vaccine’s manufacturer, GSK, has promised to price the vaccine at a point just above its production cost, this price may still end up being too high for many malaria-affected countries to pay for it,” he writes.
As part of its special report “Healing the World,” GlobalPost examines how the Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) is affecting U.S. health-related work in Kenya.
After a six-month review of the financial systems at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a seven-member independent panel “recommended a substantial overhaul Monday in the grant organization’s practices,” the Wall Street Journal reports. The panel, led by former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt and former Botswana President Festus Mogae, “said in a report the fund must improve risk management, simplify grant application processes, and place greater emphasis on results,” according to the newspaper.
Low-income countries “could introduce measures to prevent and treat millions of cases of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and lung disease for a little as $1.20 per person per year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday” in a report released on the eve of the U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) taking place this week in New York, Reuters reports (Kelland, 9/19).
NCD Draft Declaration Lacks Specific Targets, Calls For Nations To Adopt Recommendations For Reducing Chronic Disease Deaths
“World leaders at a meeting of the United Nations on Monday will agree to a deal to try to curb the spread of preventable ‘lifestyle’ diseases,” including heart disease, cancers and diabetes, also known as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), “amid concern that progress is already being hampered by powerful lobbyists from the food, alcohol and tobacco industries,” the Guardian reports. “The scale and disastrous potential of these diseases has led the U.N. to call only its second high-level summit on a health issue on Monday — the first was over AIDS in 2001. Months of negotiation have led to a draft declaration [.pdf] that will be signed at the summit,” the newspaper writes (Boseley, 9/16).