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Recent Releases In Global Health

Under Shah’s Leadership, USAID Poised ‘To Regain Its Prominence’ In Global Nutrition, Lancet Opinion Says  Rajiv Shah’s appointment as USAID administrator “comes at a crucial time of challenge and opportunity for the Agency to improve the nutritional well-being of impoverished societies,” write the authors of a Lancet Comment that examines…

WHO, CDC Issue H1N1 Updates

Though H1N1 (swine flu) activity worldwide has slowed, the potential of a new wave of infections in the northern hemisphere in late winter or early spring remains viable, Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s top flu expert, said Monday at the start of the WHO’s weeklong Executive Board meeting, Reuters reports. The H1N1 pandemic “initially sparked widespread concern about antiviral and vaccine supplies, especially in developing countries, but many nations have cut back their vaccine orders recently because the pandemic has not turned out as deadly as originally feared,” the news service writes (Nebehay, 1/18).

Rescue, Relief Efforts Continue In Haiti, 200,000 People Estimated To Have Perished In Quake

Rescue efforts continue in Haiti after a major earthquake hit the country last week, CNN reports (1/18). While teams still search for survivors under the rubble, the priority is shifting to relief for those who survived the quake, Nicholas Reader, spokesperson for the U.N.Offices for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, TIME reports (Newton-Small,1/18).

UNICEF Program Aimed At Curbing Deaths In West Africa Falls Short Of Goals, Study Finds

A $27 million UNICEF program that aims to decrease disease-related child deaths in West Africa did not meet its goal of reducing death rates by at least 25 percent at the conclusion of 2006, according to a Lancet study published on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. “The U.N. children’s agency pursued strategies like vaccinating children, giving them vitamin A pills and distributing bednets to protect against malaria from 2001 to 2005 in parts of 11 countries,” according to the article.

UNAIDS Chief Calls For Reducing MTCT Of HIV In Africa

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe on Monday during a five-day trip in Kenya, called for a drastic reduction in mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, Capital News reports. “In our continent we still have 400,000 babies born every year with HIV and we know if we are capable of making sure that testing will become available universally to all our pregnant women, (and) that pregnant women also have access to treatment, we will prevent the transmission,” Sidibe said (Karong’o, 1/11).

Atlantic Examines Drug-Resistant TB Control Worldwide

The Atlantic examines the emergence of drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis around the world, with a look at the situation in South Africa. “[T]he resurgence of tuberculosis is not limited to South Africa. India and China have the largest numbers of tuberculosis cases, and multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has been found in nearly every country, with XDR [extensively drug resistant]-TB in at least 57 countries,” according to the article.

Also In Global Health News: Family Planning In Philippines; Drug Pricing In Africa

Government Releases Family Planning Survey In Philippines A government survey in the Philippines “found 73 percent of married women would use birth control if it were available, 22 percentage points higher than the 51 percent that did use such methods,” Agence France-Presse reports. The country is facing a rapid population…

Opinions: Haiti Aid Efforts

Former Pres. Clinton: ‘We Will Create Better Tomorrows By Building Haiti Back Better’ Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, U.N. special envoy for Haiti, writes in a Washington Post opinion piece that “early estimates indicate that nearly 3 million people – almost a third of Haiti’s population – may need aid, making this one…