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Clinton Rebuffs Criticism Of U.S. Aid To Haiti, Pledges Redoubling Of Efforts To Help Quake Survivors

“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she resents criticism of the U.S. effort to help stricken Haiti and pledged to redouble efforts to help survivors of the Jan. 12 earthquake,” the Associated Press/CBSNews.com reports. “I deeply resent those who attack our country, the generosity of our people and the leadership of our president in trying to respond to historically disastrous conditions after the earthquake,” she said.

WHO Addresses Handling Of H1N1 At Council Of Europe Meeting

During a Council of Europe meeting on Tuesday to address the WHO’s handling of the H1N1 virus, the WHO said it had not “fallen under the sway of drugs firms and exaggerated the dangers of the H1N1 flu virus, but said it might have handled the crisis better,” Reuters reports. “Critics say the WHO relied too much on advice from advisers in the pay of the pharmaceutical industry, triggering an internal review by the WHO and an inquiry by the Council of Europe, a pan European human rights watchdog,” writes the news service (Reilhac, 1/26).

WHO Director-General Highlights Global Health Gains, Challenges At Executive Board Meeting

During the WHO’s recent executive board meeting, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan reflected on public health gains over the past decade and the challenges that lie ahead, Nigeria’s Guardian reports. Chan commended the international community’s response to H1N1 and global efforts to reduce child mortality, fight malaria and tuberculosis.

WHO Rejects Accusations It Mishandled H1N1, Updates Worldwide Stats

WHO spokesperson Gregory Hartl on Monday rejected accusations that the organization miscategorized H1N1 (swine flu) as a pandemic, calling such accusations “irresponsible,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “WHO also dismissed claims it colluded with drug companies to bring economic benefit to the industry by playing up the danger of the new H1N1 [swine flu] influenza strain,” the news service writes.

Twenty Nations Meet In Montreal To Discuss Haiti Recovery; Haitian Officials Increase Port-Au-Prince Death Toll Estimate

Officials from 20 countries are meeting in Montreal, Canada, Monday “to discuss long-term reconstruction and arrangements for a donor conference to be held in March,” the U.N. said, Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports (Gaouette/Craze, 1/25). “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and others will examine eventual debt forgiveness and” a strategy for rebuilding Haiti at the one-day gathering, according to Reuters (Palmer, 1/25).

Recent Releases In Global Health

‘Accelerated Progress’ Required To Meet Child Mortality MDG By 2015 A Lancet Comment examines the “grossly insufficient” progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing under-5 child mortality. “Accelerated progress can be achieved, even in the poorest environments, through: integrated, evidence-driven, and community-based programmes that focus on addressing…

Economist Examines Innovative Mechanisms For Funding Global Health Programs

The Economist examines the “dramatic” change in funding for projects aimed at fighting diseases in the developing world. “In 1990 more than two-thirds of the $5.6 billion spent on global health assistance came from governments. … By 2007, when total funding for health reached nearly $22 billion, government spending still made up the lion’s share,” the magazine writes. “Look closer, though, and it emerges that the yeast which leavened this bread was ‘non-traditional’ financing. In 2007 private money from firms and charities like the Gates Foundation eclipsed the total from all sources spent in 1990.”

State Radio In China To Launch HIV/AIDS Educational Program

China National Radio (CNR) on Jan. 16 is set to air a weekly one-hour program aimed at increasing HIV/AIDS awareness, Xinhua reports. People living with HIV will help co-host the program – “Positive Talks” – which will feature communication between hosts and the audience as well as experts on HIV/AIDS prevention and more, Yang Wenyan, deputy editor-in-chief of CNR, said Saturday.

Official H1N1-Related Death Count Approaches 13,000 Worldwide, WHO Says

H1N1 (swine flu) has killed 12,799 people worldwide since the virus first emerged, the WHO said on Friday, United Press International reports (1/8). According to the WHO, more than half of the H1N1-related deaths worldwide occurred in the Americas, China Daily reports (1/9).