On Friday, the Office of the U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti said that 63.6 percent of the aid international donors “pledged to Haiti in 2010 after a devastating earthquake nearly one year ago” has been disbursed, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports (1/7).
Lancet World Report Examines Health Risks Associated With Inaccurate TB Tests, WHO’s Upcoming Recommendations
With “scores of commercial serology tests for tuberculosis … being sold in high-burden countries,” the “WHO is due to release a negative policy recommendation â€“ the first of its kind for the organisation” â€“ after several reviews have “indicated poor performance of these tests,” Lancet World Report writes in a piece that documents the health risks associated with a growing number of inaccurate TB tests. However, “[m]anufacturers continue to claim that their tests are effective and fill a diagnostic niche, especially in sputum smear-negative patient groups,” the journal notes.
Abdolreza Abbassian, an economist with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), on Friday “warned of a ‘worrying rise’ in food prices which will affect millions of people following unexpected shortfalls in major cereals owing to bad weather in 2010,” Agence France-Presse reports.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the names of four experts to be part of an independent panel that will “investigate the source of Haiti’s cholera epidemic, which some Haitians blame on U.N. peacekeepers,” Reuters reports (Worsnip, 1/6).
Newborn Resuscitation Innovation Breeds Additional Innnovation: In a USAID “Impact” blog post, Lily Kak, USAID senior maternal and newborn health advisor, writes about the the Global Development Alliance, which represents a “new way of doing business in the field of newborn health and has now become a key USAID strategy…
The New York Times reports on how microlending has “prompted political hostility in Bangladesh, India, Nicaragua and other developing countries.” Such negativity “toward microfinance is a sharp reversal from the praise and good will that politicians, social workers and bankers showered on the sector in the last decade.” The article notes “[p]hilanthropists and investors poured billions of dollars into nonprofit and profit-making microlenders, who were considered vital players” in helping to achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including the MDG target to halve extreme poverty by 2015. Such attention “helped the sector reach more than 91 million customers, most of them women, with loans totaling more than $70 billion by the end of 2009,” with half of all borrowers from India and Bangladesh.
Though world food prices “jumped to a record high” in the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) latest index, the agency “is drawing comfort from the absence of widespread riots, usually the defining element of a food crisis,” the Financial Times reports looking at the factors that have led some food prices to rise significantly without sparking international panic. “To an outsider, the relative calm, compared with riots in more than 30 countries three years ago, is striking. But a closer look reveals big differences to the situation then, differences that make clear why the world is not facing a crisis. At least not yet,” the newspaper writes.
“The United Nations is widely known for functions like peacekeeping, health programs, refugee support and the International Court of Justice. But those are just a part of its bureaucracy, whose size and structure still bewilder many of its own employees,” the New York Times writes in an article that examines how the current economic situation could impact the role of the U.N. in the future.
Also In Global Health News: Vaccination Hampered In Cote d’Ivoire; TB And Lung Cancer; HIV Testing, Counseling In Zambia; Reducing Child, Maternal Mortality In Ghana; Male Circumcision Campaign In Kenya
Political Unrest Hampering Cote d’Ivoire’s Yellow Fever Vaccine Campaign “Unrest following Cote d’Ivoire’s presidential election is blocking a nationwide vaccination drive against yellow fever, a fatal mosquito-borne disease that is affecting people throughout the country,” IRIN reports. The immunization campaignÂ â€“ part of a global effort by WHO and UNICEF â€“…
“Food prices hit a record high” in December, exceeding 2007-2008 levels when price spikes resulted in riots around the world, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Wednesday in its monthly Food Price Index, the Financial Times reports (Blas, 1/5).