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WHO Director-General Opens Executive Board Session With Calls For Reform

Kicking off a nine-day annual WHO executive board meeting Monday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan called for the board to consider areas where the agency can redirect resources in a more targeted manner so as to achieve greater outcomes, Reuters reports. “In a critical assessment of the United Nations body she has headed since 2006, Chan described wasteful overlap with other health financiers and said the WHO needed to concentrate on areas where it can make the most impact,” the news service writes (MacInnis, 1/17).

Guardian Online Series Explores Global Health Worker Issues

The Guardian reports, as part of an online feature about health care workforces worldwide done in association with the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA), that “Africa is desperately short of doctors and nurses. So is much of Asia. In 57 countries, the situation is deemed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be at crisis point … But in contrast to some other developing world problems, this is an issue that really does affect all of us. The world needs an estimated 4.2 million more health workers.”

Also In Global Health News: Afghanistan’s Foreign Aid Tax; Polio In Pakistan; Rape In Conflicts; ARV Combination During Breastfeeding; Ecuador’s Health System; GlobalPost Looks At State Of Mandela’s Home Village

Afghan Government Begins Taxing U.S. Contractors The Washington Post reports on Afghanistan’s efforts “to tax U.S. contractors operating there.” Though it “could raise millions for the cash-strapped government,” U.S. and Afghan officials say the tax “could also provoke fresh confrontation with the United States,” the newspaper writes. “Taxation of U.S. government assistance is barred…

Media Look At What’s Ahead For South Sudan

“This week’s independence referendum in southern Sudan marks an apparent victory for U.S. foreign policy in east Africa – one that has secured for Washington a deeper advisory role in what is expected to be the birth of a new, impoverished nation,” according to a Wall Street Journal article looking at the issues facing the U.S. in south Sudan after voting concludes.

Report Recommends New Approaches For Fighting World Hunger

A new report from the Worldwatch Institute, a research organization, recommends focusing on new approaches to address world hunger, Nature’s blog “The Great Beyond” reports. According to the report, “previous approaches to feeding the world’s population have ‘not really worked’ since around 925 million people globally still go hungry everyday,” the blog reports (Gilbert, 1/13). The State of the World 2011 report said, “[a]griculture as we know it today is in trouble,” Agence France-Presse writes, adding that it “said there had to be a revolution in investment in food and water to reverse a ‘frightening’ long-term depletion of stocks.”

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‘Ethical Issues Raised By PrEP Are Difficult, But Not Insurmountable': “The AIDS movement is at a pivotal point in history, where it will face scrutiny not only to demonstrate that interventions are cost-effective and equitably distributed, but also to balance resource demands with other global health imperatives, such as maternal/child…

Women’s eNews Examines Launch Of U.N. Women

Women’s eNews examines U.N.’s new agency U.N. Women, which officially got off the ground on Jan. 3. According to the news service, U.N. Women’s “Manhattan headquarters remain unoccupied, said U.N. Women spokesperson Gretchen Luchsinger”; employees from the previous U.N. entities that focused on women’s issues remain in “scattered offices around the U.N. Secretariat building”; and “[s]even high-level staff positions” remain unfilled.

News Outlets Examine Reaction To WHO Plan To Contain Drug-Resistant Malaria

In follow-up coverage of the WHO’s announcement Wednesday of a plan to contain the spread of artemisinin-resistant malaria, news outlets examined the scope of the problem, reactions to the plan and speculations by some of how the anticipated $175 million annual cost would be funded.

World Marks Haiti Earthquake Anniversary

Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary since a massive earthquake struck Haiti, the Miami Herald reports. “At 4:53 p.m., Haiti fell silent. It was a rare quiet time – 35 seconds – for this boisterous city normally filled with the sounds of the almost one million people who live on the street,” the newspaper writes. “From New York, Washington and Miami to Port-au-Prince, Haitians set Jan. 12 aside to grieve, to pray and celebrate life. But among the prayer vigils, memorials and beating of drums, Haitians also looked ahead, envisioning a future that includes more hospitals and schools, clean water and homes. Many mourners questioned why it was taking so long for Haiti to rise up from its ashes,” according to the Miami Herald.

Also In Global Health News: U.S. Aid In Afghanistan; USAID Program To Improve Kenya’s Health Services; Diabetes In Middle East, North Africa; Regrets Over ‘New Delhi’ Superbug; Cholera In PNG

McClatchy Examines Ineffected U.S. Aid In Afghanistan McClatchy news service reports that “[i]n the rush to rebuild Afghanistan, the U.S. government has charged ahead with ever-expanding development programs despite questions about their impact, cost and value to America’s multi-billion-dollar campaign to shore up the pro-Western Afghan president and prevent Taliban insurgents…