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Partnerships, Additional Funding Allow For Expansion Of PEPFAR To Combat Cervical Cancer

In this post in the Public Health Institute’s “Dialogue4Health” blog, Jeffrey Meer, director of PHI’s Washington-based advocacy on global health, writes that “a significant expansion of [PEPFAR’s] existing work to combat cervical cancer” through a partnership with the George W. Bush Institute known as Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR); a…

IPS Examines HIV In The Caribbean, Highlights Challenges In Addressing At-Risk Populations

Inter Press Service examines HIV in the Caribbean, where “the HIV burden varies considerably among and within countries” in the region. “‘I think the prevention programs in many countries are not reaching the right people,’ Michel de Groulards, regional program adviser of the UNAIDS Caribbean Regional Support Team, told IPS,” the news service writes, adding, “One factor, de Groulards believed, may be that after 25 years of providing treatment, some countries have reached a plateau. In other cases, people considered at risk, including [men who have sex with men], are not targeted.” IPS writes that “even as Caribbean politicians, scientists, researchers, academics and other stakeholders continue to examine ways of dealing with the virus, 30 years after the first case was recorded in the region, there is growing recognition that cuts in overseas funding could seriously hamper future success” (Richards, 11/21).

Significant Drops Seen In AIDS-Related Deaths, New HIV Infections, UNAIDS Report Shows

UNAIDS on Monday released its World AIDS Day Report 2011 (.pdf), “which shows more people than ever living with HIV, but deaths and new infections steadily dropping,” the Guardian reports (Boseley, 11/21). The number of AIDS-related deaths in 2010 was 21 percent lower than its peak in 2005, and the number of new HIV infections in 2010 also was down 21 percent from its peak in 1997, according to the report, BBC News notes (11/21). The report credits more widespread treatment, behavior change and male circumcision for significant drops in the number of new cases, according to the Guardian (11/21). “Of the 14.2 million people eligible for treatment in low- and middle-income countries, around 6.6 million, or 47 percent, are now receiving it, UNAIDS said, and 11 poor- and mid-income countries now have universal access to HIV treatment, with coverage of 80 percent or more,” Reuters notes, adding, “This compares with 36 percent of the 15 million people needing treatment in 2009 who got AIDS drugs” (Kelland, 11/21).

U.N. Appeals For $5.5M To Fight Cholera In DRC

The U.N. and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to fight an outbreak of cholera that has infected more than 17,000 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) need an additional $5.5 million to help their efforts, Elisabeth Byrs, a spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said on Friday, the U.N. News Centre reports (11/18). “The U.N. says donations received will go toward improving water and sanitation and providing medical assistance for victims,” the VOA “Breaking News” blog writes (11/19). “This $5.5 million is really urgently needed because the rainy season is set to begin,” Byrs said, Agence France-Presse notes (11/19).

Potential Cuts To Global Health Spending Threaten Vision Of ‘AIDS-Free Generation’

The vision of an “AIDS-free generation” presented in a speech earlier this month by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “is under threat in Congress,” as “[t]he House and the Senate are discussing significant cuts to the 2012 Obama administration request for global health funding,” Jeanie Yoon, a physician with Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), writes in a Baltimore Sun opinion piece. Yoon describes an MSF program in Zambia working to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT), saying such programs “provide an opportunity for mothers be tested for HIV (as well as other dangerous conditions for pregnant women) and to take the steps needed for them and their babies to live healthy lives; as well as for communities to gain productive members instead of incurring yet more losses.”

PEPFAR Announces Nursing Education Partnership Initiative For Health In Africa

The U.S. government on Thursday “formally announced the Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI) in Lilongwe, Malawi,” according to a State Department press release. The PEPFAR initiative aims to “strengthen the quality and capacity of nursing and midwifery education institutions, increase the number of highly skilled nurses and midwives, and support innovative…

Cuts To U.S. Global Health Spending Would Mean ‘Stark Future’ For Millions

Disregarding advances “that have the potential to significantly reduce the death toll from HIV/AIDS, malaria, malnutrition, and other insidious killers, … both the House and the Senate are pushing significant cuts to the 2012 Obama request for global health funding,” Matthew Spitzer, president of the U.S. section of Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres, writes in an opinion piece on the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. “This debate is about much more than economy; it is about the vulnerable, about people sick, even dying, right now in the poorest corners of the earth,” and if proposed cuts to global health spending are enacted, “millions of patients and families who rely on U.S.-funded health programs [will] face a stark future,” he writes.

GAVI Alliance To Fund Roll-Out Of Vaccines Against Cervical Cancer, Rubella in Developing Countries

The GAVI Alliance “has agreed to fund the roll-out of vaccines against cervical cancer in developing countries, offering protection against a disease that kills one woman every two minutes,” Reuters reports (Hirschler, 11/17). The group is continuing negotiations with pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of the vaccine, NPR’s health blog “Shots” notes. “By 2015, GAVI expects that two million girls in nine countries will have received the HPV vaccine,” but the shot will not be given to boys unless the WHO recommends they also receive the immunization, according to the blog (Husted, 11/17).

Recent Scientific Progress In Developing New HIV/AIDS Interventions

Kaitlin Christenson, coalition director for the Global Health Technologies Coalition, “reflects on recent progress made by the scientific community in developing new interventions to combat HIV/AIDS as a result of leadership from the U.S. government” in this ONE blog post. She highlights promising research currently underway in the areas of…

Examining Funding In Light Of New Evidence On HIV Prevention, Treatment Strategies

In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Nancy Birdsall, president of the Center for Global Development, reports on a World Bank- and USAID-sponsored debate she moderated last week as part of a series on HIV/AIDS issues, the topic of which was “Countries should spend a majority of what is likely to be a flat or even declining HIV prevention budget on ‘treatment as prevention.'” She notes several of her reactions to the debate and asks with regard to global health spending, “What about the pie? Even if it grows, there will be tradeoffs.”