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New U.N. Commission Will Track Donors’ Pledges On Maternal, Child Health

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete will co-chair a new “U.N. commission tasked with tracking whether $40 billion in pledges from countries and aid groups are really flowing to efforts to improve the health of mothers and young children in poor countries, and what impact the programs have,” the Globe and Mail reports (Clark, 12/16).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Here is a sampling of blog posts analyzing the  Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) after it was released on Wednesday: Council on Foreign Relations: Weighing an Ambitious QDDR (Garrett et al., 12/16); CGD’s “Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog”: The QDDR: Whew, It’s Done (Or Is It?) (Veillette, 12/16); State Department’s…

U.N. Says It Will Investigate Source Of Haitian Cholera Epidemic As Death Toll Rises

The U.N. is looking into establishing an independent commission to identify the source of Haiti’s cholera epidemic, Alain Le Roy, the U.N. under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, said on Wednesday, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “We are urging and we are calling for what we could call an international panel,” Le Roy said at a news conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York. “We are in discussions with (the U.N. World Health Organization) to find the best experts to be in a panel to be completely independent,” he added.

Clinton Outlines QDDR Recommendations At Launch Event

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton released the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) on Wednesday at the State Department, “pledging to focus more on conflict prevention and elevate the roles of U.S. ambassadors in coordinating the work of all U.S. agencies working abroad,” the Washington Post reports (Sheridan, 12/16).

Also In Global Health News: Discrimination Of HIV/AIDS Patients In China; International Charity; Violence In Afghanistan; Children’s Health In S. Sudan; Health Care Rationing

China’s Ministry Of Health To Introduce Policies, Measures To Decrease Discrimination Against Patients Living With HIV/AIDS At Hospitals Hao Yang, China’s deputy director of the disease prevention and control bureau under the Ministry of Health, during a forum on Wednesday, “vowed … to introduce policies and measures to curb discrimination…

IPS Examines NGOs’ Call To Reform World Bank’s Funding For Poorest Countries

“With the World Bank expected to announce a new funding package for the world’s poorest countries Wednesday, NGOs are making a last-minute appeal to donor countries to use their leverage to compel reforms at the institution,” Inter Press Service reports in an article examining the changes being requested and considered.

Opinions: Kangaroo Care; NTDs, Women’s Health

Kangaroo Care Could Help Mothers In Poor Settings To Save Their Babies New York Times contributing writer Tina Rosen, on the newspaper’s “Opinionator” blog, examines the success of a system known as kangaroo care, which has helped to improve the survival rates of premature infants by using skin-to-skin contact with…

Also In Global Health News: Drought In Middle East; HIV/AIDS, TB In Indonesia; MSF Warnings Over Needs Of HIV/AIDS Patients; Non-Profit At Work In Uganda

IPS Examines Impact Of Drought On Farmers In Middle East Inter Press Service examines the effects a “devastating drought this fall” has had on farmers in the Middle East, particularly those living in Syria. Once “[a] large wheat exporter, the drought’s impact has now forced the agriculturally self-reliant Syrian government…