A Lancet World Report article examines how many are looking to the new U.N. agency tasked with advancing women’s equality and rights to help improve the health of women in developing countries.
Programs, Funding & Financing
“Pharmaceutical companies, once blasted as uncaring or downright greedy for charging thousands of dollars for a year’s worth of AIDS medicines â€¦ in poor countries, lately have been slashing prices and licensing their drugs for free or nominal cost to nonprofits or local manufacturers in the developing world,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek writes in an analysis piece that examines how this trend, combined with a growing capability among aid agencies to distribute drugs, has the potential to increase access to HIV/AIDS drugs worldwide.
Two studies published online Thursday in the Lancet show that the rotavirus vaccine is safe and effective at preventing much of the gastrointestinal illness in developing countries, where it kills more than 400,000 children annually, Reuters reports. Based on the findings in Africa and Asia, the studies’ authors “urged the governments of developing nations to make the vaccines a priority,” the news service writes.
President Barack Obama has announced his intention to fill two more leadership positions at USAID, Foreign Policy’s “The Cable” blog reports. According to the blog, Donald Steinberg has been tapped as USAID deputy administrator and Nancy Lindborg as assistant administrator for the USAID Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Affairs Bureau.
“Polio has reappeared in a corner of the world that had not seen cases in years â€“ Tajikistan, the former Soviet republic â€“ a chilling setback in the two-decade campaign to purge a dreaded cause of childhood paralysis from the planet,” the Boston Globe reports in a story that examines the reemergence of polio in other areas of the world.
“A simmering dispute with the World Bank and reconstruction leaders is threatening the pace of rebuilding efforts in Haiti,” reports the Miami Herald. The paper reports that nearly seven months after the country’s devastating earthquake, “only 18 percent” of the $5.3 billion pledged by international donors “has been disbursed.”
Last month’s 18th International AIDS Conference-AIDS 2010 in Vienna, Austria will be remembered as the first since the global economic downturn, the growing recognition of treatment as part of prevention and acknowledgement of the importance of human rights in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS experts said Thursday during a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. A webcast of the event is available now online.
After flooding in northwest Pakistan killed more than 1,500 people and displaced an estimated 300,000, leaders of the State Department and USAID are “promising an extended mission to deal with the long-term effects,” Foreign Policy’s “The Cable” blog reports. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah briefed reporters Wednesday about the disaster and their agencies’ efforts in the region (Rogin, 8/4).
Poor Countries Need Assistance Developing Sustainable Agricultural Systems, USDA Undersecretary Says
Governments and aid groups must do more to help the world’s hungry develop sustainable agricultural systems, U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) Undersecretary James Miller said during an address Wednesday on the final day of the International Food Aid and Development Conference, the Associated Press reports (Hollingsworth, 8/4).
“From bust to boom to bust again: artemisinin, the key ingredient of front-line antimalarial drugs, is entering the third chapter of its turbulent history,” Nature News writes in an article that examines the challenges scientists and farmers are facing as they attempt to keep up with the growing demand for the compound just as a “$343-million initiative starts to battle malaria through hugely subsidized medicines.”