The September/October issue of USAID’s Frontlines focuses on the agency’s efforts in Sudan and the new nation of South Sudan, as well as USAID’s Education Strategy. In his “Insights” column, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah writes, “There is no more powerful tool for creating healthy, prosperous, stable societies than education” (September/October 2011).
US Global Health Policy
Presidential Commission Report Calls 1940s STD Experiments In Guatemala 'Gross Violations Of Ethics'
“Sexually transmitted disease experiments conducted by federal researchers from 1946 to 1948 in Guatemala involved ‘gross violations of ethics,'” according to a report published Tuesday by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, USA Today’s “ScienceFair” blog reports (Vergano, 9/13).
“The United States and British governments have launched a four-year, Shs213.5 billion [US$75 million] project to increase the use of contraceptive services among Ugandans,” Uganda’s Daily Monitor reports. “Through the project, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) will provide family planning services in all parts of Uganda,” with Britain contributing 35 million Pound Sterling (US$55 million) and the U.S. contributing US$20 million, the newspaper reports.
A VOA News editorial says U.S. support to Haiti since the early days of an outbreak of cholera, which has affected more than 439,600 people since it was first detected almost a year ago, “remains unfailing.” The editorial continues, “To date, the U.S. government has spent more than $75 million on improved water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, … has established and operated treatment centers and trained Haitian health care workers in preventing, diagnosing and treating cholera,” among other treatment, prevention and monitoring initiatives. “While some humanitarian groups are gradually reducing their operations in Haiti, the U.S. remains focused on giving the Haitian government the aid and tools needed to prevent and treat this potentially deadly disease,” the editorial says, adding, “The medical and public health response has been effective in limiting deaths associated with the disease” (9/12).
U.S. Trade Representative Issues White Paper Regarding Trans-Pacific Partnership And Access To Medicines
This post in USAID’s “IMPACTblog” reports on a white paper issued by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on Monday “outlining a new strategic initiative entitled ‘Trade Enhancing Access to Medicines (TEAM)'” that “describes how, under the TEAM approach, the United States proposes to work with partners Australia, Brunei…
Inter Press Service examines regulations related to human medical research, writing that “experiments carried out by U.S. doctors in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948 using 1,300 human subjects who were infected with sexually transmitted diseases highlighted the inadequacy of controls and safeguards in clinical testing in this Central American country — still a major problem today, according to experts.”
At an event on Thursday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, co-hosted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Brookings Institute, House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) unveiled a discussion draft of the Global Partnerships Act of 2011, aimed at “reshap[ing] foreign assistance, making it more relevant ‘by incorporating the best practices and lessons learned over the last half century,'” he said, the Malaria Policy Center’s “Malaria Watch” blog reports (Todd, 9/9). Released as a draft instead of a numbered bill in order to spur discussion, the document covers “the full spectrum of foreign aid — development, democracy promotion, arms transfers and nuclear nonproliferation — but doesnâ€™t include spending levels,” according to AEI’s “The Enterprise Blog” (Johnson, 9/8).
House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) unveiled a bill called the “Global Partnership Act” on Thursday “aimed at reforming the way the United States conducts and oversees foreign assistance around the world,” Foreign Policy’s blog “The Cable” reports. “His bill … would be the first wholesale reform of the foreign assistance program since the last foreign assistance act was passed in 1961,” according to the blog.
Former President Of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, On The Importance Of Family Planning As Global Population Approaches 7 Billion
The GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog reports on an event held on Wednesday at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., entitled “7 Billion: Conversations that Matter,” at which Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile and now the under secretary-general and executive director of UN Women, spoke about the importance of family planning as the global population approaches the seven billion mark.
Though President Barack Obama signed an executive order on his third day in office to “lif[t] the odious ‘global gag rule’ that denied federal money for family planning work abroad to any group that performed abortions or counseled about the procedure, even with its own money,” he left standing a policy that is “an overly restrictive interpretation of the  Helms amendment.” The policy “imposes similar speech restrictions and bans using foreign aid money for abortions — even to save a woman’s life or in cases of rape in war zones like Congo, Sudan and Burma,” a New York Times editorial states.