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World TB Day Coverage: Lesotho, Armenia, Drug Resistance, HIV Coinfection

“To mark World [Tuberculosis] Day on Wednesday, Medecins Sans Frontieres [MSF] drew attention to Lesotho, which has the world’s third-highest prevalence of HIV … and the fourth-highest prevalence of tuberculosis,” the Associated Press reports. The average life expectancy in the country is just 36 years, according to the AP.

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

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Article Examines Relationship Between Malnutrition, HIV Progression In Sub-Saharan Africa “Sub-Saharan Africa is affected by a disproportionately high prevalence of both HIV infection and food scarcity,” write the authors of an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article on the relationship between malnutrition and the progression of…

UNAIDS Director Cautions Against Funding Cuts To Global Fund

During an appeal to government and private donors to pledge money to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Monday, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe warned of the repercussions tightening budgets could play in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, the Associated Press reports. “An estimated 94 percent of patients on anti-retroviral treatment in Africa count on external donor funds to provide their medications, Sidibe said,’ according to the news service. “If we stop now, if we reduce the financing, the people who are on treatment today … we will transform their hope for universal access into a universal nightmare, because they will start dying,” Sidibe told the AP.

Also In Global Health News: U.S. Ambassador To U.N.; Male Circumcision; River Blindness In Ecuador; Nursing Shortage In Caribbean; Maternal Health In Bolivia; Drug-Resistant TB In North Korea; Cholera Vaccine

U.S. Ambassador To U.N. In Geneva Assumes Position, Ending 13 Month Vacancy Betty King reported to her new position as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. “Washington’s Geneva mission had been without an ambassador since Warren W. Tichenor left his post on Jan.…

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.

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).

HIV, NCDs Impact Achievement Of MDGs, Study Says

Unequal progress in achieving U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for tuberculosis and child mortality in low-income countries is related to the countries’ burdens of HIV and non-communicable diseases (NCD), according to a study published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Medicine, Reuters reports (Kelland, 3/2).

Recent Releases In Global Health

WHO Bulletin Examines Communicable Diseases In Southeast Asia The WHO’s March Bulletin is a special themed issue focusing on communicable diseases in Southeast Asia. The publication addresses tuberculosis, cholera, neglected tropical diseases and family planning in the region (March 2010). Ahead Of International Women’s Day, Lancet Editorial Calls For Increased Investment…