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Also In Global Health News: Smart Global Health Policy Report; Cardiovascular Disease In Developing Countries; Global Health In Washington State; Maternal Mortality In Afghanistan

VOA News Interviews CSIS Global Health Policy Center Director About Smart Global Health Policy Report VOA News features an interview with J. Stephen Morrison, the director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, about the final report by the CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy. According to Morrison, a strategic global…

Former Presidents Bush, Clinton Visit Haiti To Highlight Need For Aid

Former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are visiting Haiti on Monday “to spotlight the dramatic need ahead of a critical March 31 U.N. donors conference in New York, where Haitian officials will ask for $11.5 billion in reconstruction help,” the Associated Press/New York Times reports. “It is the first joint visit to the impoverished Caribbean nation for the two former leaders, who were tasked by President Barack Obama with leading the U.S. fundraising effort” after the January 12 earthquake according to the news service.

Canadian Prime Minister Says He’s Open To Including Contraception In G8 Plan For Improving Maternal, Child Health

“Facing a squall of condemnation from aid groups and opposition politicians,” following statements by Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon that Canada’s G8 maternal and child health initiative would not include family planning, Prime Minister Stephen Harper “disavowed his foreign minister Thursday, promising that the federal government would include contraception programs in its maternal-health foreign-aid initiative,” the Globe and Mail reports.

Report Highlights Gains In Malaria Fight, Documents Need For More Funding

Global funding for efforts to fight malaria, which stood at $2 billion at the end of 2009, have “helped to contain the disease,” but is “far short of the estimated $6 billion required annually to expand” efforts to fight it, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership said on Thursday,” Reuters reports. The statements came as the partnership released a report (.pdf) that examined a decade’s worth of global funding for malaria and its impact on fighting the disease (Hardach, 3/18).

New WHO Report Estimates 440,000 MDR-TB Cases Worldwide In 2008

There were an estimated 440,000 cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) around the world in 2008 – one-third of which were fatal, according to a new WHO report on drug-resistant TB, the Los Angeles Times reports (Maugh, 3/19). The WHO report, based on data from 2008, found that almost half of all drug-resistant TB cases were in China and India, Reuters reports (Fox, 3/18).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Study Finds Level Of HIV Services For IDUs ‘Is Poor In Many Countries’ A Lancet study performed a systematic review of HIV prevention and treatment services targeting injecting drug users (IDUs) globally based on the availability of “core interventions for IDUs: needle and syringe programmes (NSPs), opioid substitution therapy (OST) and other drug…

FDA Drafts New Rules For Testing, Approving Drug Cocktails; Public-Private Partnership For TB Treatment Development Launched

The FDA is drafting new guidelines for testing and approving multidrug cocktails for life-threatening diseases, the Wall Street Journal reports. “Many diseases, such as AIDS, tuberculosis and cancer, require multidrug combinations. Such drug cocktails can prevent the development of drug resistance, because the microbe or cancer cell needs to undergo more mutations to escape several drugs than to escape just one. By attacking the disease in different ways, drug combinations also improve the chances of therapeutic benefit,” the newspaper reports (Schoofs, 3/18).

Media Outlets Interview Shah During Life Sciences Conference In Seattle

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah was in Seattle on Tuesday to speak at the annual Life Science Innovation Northwest conference, the Seattle Times’ blog, “The Business of Giving,” reports. The blog outlines the Obama administration’s global health and development goals, including the six-year $63 billion Global Health Initiative (GHI), as well as some of the challenges facing Shah at USAID.