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Disconnecting Global AIDS From Reproductive Health Stalled Efforts to Expand Family Planning Services, UNFPA Head Says

Babatunde Osotimehin, the executive director of the U.N. Population Fund (UNPFA), said in an interview with the Guardian that “efforts to expand family planning services in the developing world stalled for a decade while global health organizations turned their energies to fighting HIV/AIDS. ‘We made a mistake. We disconnected HIV from reproductive health. We should never have done that because it is part and parcel,’ he said.” The newspaper adds, “Osotimehin said the international community was regaining momentum in its efforts to make family planning services available to women in all countries” and “argued it was crucial for developing countries to devote a larger share of their own resources to family planning and health.”

Addressing Barriers To Successful Immunization Programs Important While Vaccine Development Progresses

Immunizations can be a cost-effective means of disease prevention, but “[t]o reach the fully realized stage of cost-effectiveness, … it is vital to acknowledge — and more importantly, address — the barriers that often prevent them from either being as cheap or as widely used as needed,” Forbes contributor Sarika Bansal writes in a Forbes opinion piece. She cites costs associated with vaccines, such as shipping and refrigeration; time and monetary commitments from potential vaccine recipients; a lack of medical professionals in rural areas; and the implementation of public awareness campaigns as barriers to successful immunization campaigns.

Study Examines Global Fund's Resource Allocation Decisions For HIV Programs

A study published Wednesday in the Journal of the International AIDS Society assessed how the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s “investments in HIV programs were targeted to key populations in relation to disease burden and national income,” concluding, “There has been a sustained scale up of the Global…

Positive Outlook, Support For Change In Polio Programs Important For Eradication Efforts

A new report from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) “has concluded that the major obstacle to eradication is not political or scientific or monetary, but something seemingly mundane — bad management,” health reporter Andre Picard writes in his Globe and Mail column, adding that “the panel offers concrete proposals for what needs to be done to close the deal.” He continues, “The fundamental problem though, according to the expert panel, is that the global eradication effort is overeager to celebrate the successes (like India) and ignore the failures (like Pakistan).”

Clinton Announces Increase In U.S. Aid To Horn Of Africa By $100M

Speaking at a World Food Programme (WFP) awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. “is increasing food aid to drought-hit and strife-torn Horn of Africa nations where millions of people are at risk of starvation and malnutrition,” Reuters reports (Allen, 10/24).

Eli Lilly To Pledge $30M To MDR-TB Partnership

Pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Co. is expected to announce on Tuesday it “is pledging $30 million to help fight multidrug-resistant tuberculosis [MDR-TB] in developing countries, a disease that kills more than 150,000 people a year,” according to the Indianapolis Star. The funds, part of the company’s eight-year-old, $165 million Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, will help to “provide training for nurses, doctors and community volunteers; conduct studies on how to combat the disease; and provide access to medicines,” the newspaper notes. The campaign will focus on China, India, Russia and South Africa, “the four countries with the highest burden of MDR-TB, Lilly said,” the Indianapolis Star writes (10/25).

Sustained 'Vigilance And Money' Necessary To Fight Malaria

With the RTS,S malaria vaccine trial results showing “moderate” success, helping to reignite “optimism about eradicating malaria entirely,” “there are other big hurdles still to surmount,” a New York Times editorial states. “There are hints that the protection may wane over time and results from administering a booster shot won’t be known until 2014,” and side effects could be a concern, the editorial writes.

Opinion Pieces Address World Polio Day

Though the number of new polio cases has dropped by 99 percent over the past 20 years, World Polio Day is recognized “because we haven’t done enough yet,” Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in his blog, “The Gates Notes.” He continues, “The last one percent is the hardest percent, and we have to do even more than we’ve already done if we hope to finish the job on polio. The day the world is declared polio free is the day we can really begin celebrating” (10/21).

JAMA Examines KFF/UNAIDS Analysis On Global HIV/AIDS Funding

A news and perspectives piece in the current issue of JAMA examines a recent funding analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS showing that “[g]overnments that support treatment and services for people with HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries cut their annual contributions in 2010 by 10 percent,” spending $6.9 billion last year compared with $7.6 billion in 2009. The article quotes Bernhard Schwartlander, the UNAIDS director for evidence, strategy, and results; Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation; and Sharonann Lynch, HIV/AIDS policy adviser with the Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines of Medecins Sans Frontieres (Voelker, 10/19).

Ambitious Vision, Lasting Investment In Science Can Save Countless Lives

In this post in the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s “ASTMH Blog,” Rick Steketee, science director of PATH’s Malaria Control Program and ASTMH council member, responds to the results of the RTS,S malaria vaccine trial, writing, “It’s milestones like this week’s findings that remind us all that ambitious…