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WHO Report Calls For Countries To Improve Access To Health Services

“Tens of millions of people are pushed into poverty each year as a result of rising costs for health care, the World Health Organization said Monday” as the agency released a report on financing health systems and universal coverage, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. It also highlights the vulnerability of populations without access to health care services and outlines the steps countries can take to move toward universal health care, according to the article (11/22).

Health Groups Urge Restrictions On Tobacco Additives

Following five days of deliberations aimed at “fleshing-out the so-called Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC),” delegates on Saturday “approved a proposal to limit the use of tobacco additives, which critics say improve the flavor of cigarettes, encouraging consumers to smoke more,” Reuters reports (Fleitas, 11/20).

World Bank Report Examines Member Banks’ Response To Global Economic Downturn, Highlights Effect On Global Poverty

By the end of this year, an additional 64 million people will fall into extreme poverty as a result of the global economic downturn that started in 2008, the World Bank said in a study on “member banks’ response” to the situation, Reuters reports. The bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than $1.25 per day. The report is based on the findings of a group, created “to appraise the effectiveness of its response to the global downturn,” the news service writes.

Also In Global Health News: Nigerian Drug Institute Funding; Food Security, Climate Change; Heat-Stable, Nasal Vaccine Works In Mice; Task-Shifting In Swaziland; Bird Flu In Hong Kong

Nigerian Drug Research Institute Halts Research Because Of Funding Shortfall Nigeria’s National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), which focuses on developing traditional herbal remedies into drug candidates, has had to discontinue research after the Nigerian health ministry did not provide the full amount of expected funding and a “key grant…

IPS Explores What Efforts To Reduce U.S. Federal Deficit Could Mean For Global Health Funding

Inter Press Service explores some advocates’ concerns over how the “new emphasis in Washington on reducing government spending” could affect U.S. funding for global health programs, including HIV/AIDS. Come January, “Republicans will take control of the U.S. House of Representatives and have made it clear that reducing government spending in order to close the government’s budget deficit will be a top priority,” the news service writes.

Recent Releases In Global Health

New This Week In The Kaiser Global Health Policy Tracker: The President’s Malaria Initiative announced a new focus country and USAID released a new fact sheet on the agency’s reform initiative. Kaiser’s Policy Tracker provides a timely single reference point for the latest information on congressional and administration action on global health. Strengthening…

First Global Symposium On Health Systems Research Kicks Off In Switzerland

The First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research bringing together researchers, policymakers and donors kicked off in Montreux, Switzerland, on Tuesday, with conference attendees calling for African leaders to do more to promote health progress in their countries, PANA/Afrique en ligne reports.