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In The News

U.N., World Bank Leaders Urge World To Invest In MCH At Summit

News outlets report on the final day of the Saving Every Mother Every Child summit, held last week in Canada.

Canadian Press/Huffington Post Canada: Maternal Health Summit: Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary General, Urges Canada To Boost Foreign Aid
“The secretary general of the United Nations is calling on Canada to boost its overall foreign aid budget to meet an ambitious international target. Ban Ki-moon urged Canada and all G7 countries to commit 0.7 percent of GDP on overseas development, significantly more than the 0.3 percent Canada currently spends…” (Blanchfield, 5/30).

CBC News: Ending maternal, child deaths requires innovation, accountability: experts
“Innovation and strong business impulses will be driving factors in reducing maternal and child mortality in the post-2015 development agenda, experts said during the final day of Canada’s maternal, newborn and child health summit in Toronto…” (Do, 5/30).

U.N. News Centre: In Toronto, Ban says ensuring health of women, children ‘best investment we can make’
“Despite major global progress in improving the health of children and their mothers, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged participants at a summit in Toronto to show the leadership, build the key partnerships, generate the financing and devise the creative solutions needed to deliver a world of health, safety and possibility for every woman and every child…” (5/30).

World Bank: Speech by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim at Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Summit
“…I urge every development partner and donor in this room to join with us and follow Canada’s lead to help scale up investments in maternal and child health…” (5/30).

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U.S. Foreign Assistance Reforms Must Be Written Into Law, Former Congressman Says

Devex: U.S. aid reforms lack staying power, says former congressman
“U.S. foreign assistance has seen some notable successes — and a few failures — during the last six years, but for progress to be sustained it needs to be written into law, Jim Kolbe, honorary co-chair of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, told aid supporters Thursday…” (Igoe, 5/30).

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U.N. Calls For Higher Taxes On Tobacco

U.N. News Centre: U.N. agency advocates for higher tobacco taxes to save millions of lives
“Ahead of World No Tobacco Day, the United Nations health agency is calling on countries to raise taxes on tobacco to encourage users to stop and prevent other people from becoming addicted to tobacco…” (5/30).

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IMF, African Governments Agree Economic Growth Should Spur 'Structural Transformation'

Agence France-Presse: African nations agree need for economic ‘transformation’
“African governments and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday agreed on the urgent need to harness the continent’s rapid economic growth, as unrest and a plethora of challenges temper exuberance about the continent’s rise. At a major meeting in Maputo, the IMF, finance ministers, and central bank governors said a deeper ‘structural transformation’ was needed so that ordinary citizens can benefit from the boom…” (5/30).

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U.N. Releases $1.8M In Humanitarian Aid To Solomon Islands

Solomon Star: U.N. releases $13.1m for flood relief work
“The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has released US$1.8 million (SBD 13.1 million) to provide critical humanitarian support to flood-affected people in the Solomon Islands. The U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) will use the funds to deliver life-saving activities, including health, nutrition, immunization, reproductive health, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs…” (5/31).

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Sierra Leone Reports 2 Ebola Deaths, Rising Number Of Cases

News outlets report on the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone, where two deaths and a dozen other cases have been reported.

Agence France-Presse: Sierra Leone confirms seven Ebola cases
“Sierra Leone on Friday said that it had confirmed seven cases of Ebola and suspects dozens more amid fears the deadly epidemic gripping West Africa is spreading…” (5/30).

Associated Press: Sierra Leone reports 2 Ebola deaths, 12 cases
“Health officials in Sierra Leone say there have been two deaths from Ebola and a dozen other cases of the deadly disease. The deaths have now been confirmed by the country’s health minister…” (5/30).

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MERS Spreads To Algeria; Jordan Reports New Death

Agence France-Presse reports on new cases of and deaths caused by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.

Agence France-Presse: First MERS infections detected in Algeria
“Algeria reported its first two cases of the deadly MERS virus on Saturday, both among pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia, where most cases and deaths from the disease have been reported…” (5/31).

Agence France-Presse: New MERS death reported in Jordan
“A 69-year-old man has died in Jordan after being infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, a health ministry official said on Sunday…” (6/1).

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Development Worker Living With HIV Says Long Way To Go To End AIDS, Devex Reports

Devex: The long road to the end of AIDS
“…Over the years, there have been many breakthroughs in the science and treatment of HIV and AIDS. With greater awareness has come more funding and reforms meant to reduce stigma. Yet those living with the virus — including HIV-positive development professionals [such as Winnie Sseruma] — continue to face daunting obstacles…” (Ravelo, 5/30).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Must Continue To Support Health, Development Gains In Afghanistan After Troop Withdrawal

Washington Post: How to keep Afghanistan on the right track
Rajiv Shah, USAID administrator

“…Working together, Afghans and Americans have built a foundation that will enable Afghanistan to seize a brighter future and work to fight the forces of terror and extremism. … Today, child mortality has been cut by more than half; maternal mortality has declined by 80 percent; and access to health services has been expanded by nearly 60 percent. … Our goal should be to keep our partnership with Afghanistan on track, help to ensure a credible political transition, dampen the economic shock of the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces, and promote stability. This is a common-sense strategy, and one that’s in the best interest of America’s security” (5/30).

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Editorial, Opinion Piece Address MCH Issues Raised By Recent Summit

The following editorial and opinion piece address issues raised by the recent Saving Every Mother Every Child summit.

Globe and Mail: Don’t try to separate abortion from maternal health
“Prime Minister Stephen Harper has positioned Canada as a world leader in improving the health of mothers and children in developing countries. … But there is one component of maternal health that Mr. Harper does not want to discuss at all: abortion. … Any meaningful definition of family planning includes access to safe and legal abortion. Ottawa’s commitment to child and maternal health should do so as well” (6/1).

Hill Times: Why Canada’s summit on maternal, child health’s a booster shot to a healthy future for children
Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance

“…Vaccines are a proven, sustainable approach to development, including maternal, newborn and child health. Just like children need boosters to ensure lasting immunity, Canada’s leadership emerging from the Summit on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health is our booster shot to ensure that all children have a fair start at a healthy life and contribute to their countries’ healthy future” (6/2).

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China Can Be Model For 'Implementing Sustainable, Effective Tobacco Control Policies'

Huffington Post: World No Tobacco Day: Tobacco Control Offers Proven Public Health Benefits — Will China Seize the Opportunity?
Jeffrey Sturchio, senior partner at RabinMartin, and Ambassador Sally Cowal, senior vice president of global health at the American Cancer Society

“…China alone has an estimated 300 million smokers — nearly as many people as the entire population of the United States. Despite the fact that smoking is a major risk factor for disease, tobacco is also a significant contributor to China’s economy, which begs the question, is China doing as much as it can to reduce the prevalence of smoking? … China can be a model for other countries trying to navigate the very troubling relationship between the economic gains and detrimental effects of smoking. It’s time for China to put the health of its people first and lead the way in implementing sustainable, effective tobacco control policies” (5/30).

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Pakistan Should Implement Strong Laws Preventing Child Marriage

The Guardian: Pakistan’s slow but steady progress on ending child marriage
Mohammad Zia-ur-Rahman, founder and chief executive of the Awaz Foundation Pakistan

“The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), one of Pakistan’s most influential religious and constitutional bodies, has announced that girls are ready for marriage the moment they reach puberty. … But the CII’s controversial statements should not detract from the progress made on addressing child marriage in Pakistan. In fact, a new law that prevents under-18s, irrespective of gender, from getting married was passed unanimously by the provincial assembly in Sindh … The future for girls in Pakistan can be bright if the government backs up its recent outspokenness on ending child marriage with action. We need strong laws that make marriage before 18 illegal and a comprehensive plan to make this a reality. Anything short of this will simply be lip service” (6/2).

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Recent Releases

Blog Post Reflects On World No Tobacco Day 2014

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: World No Tobacco Day 2014
Cynthia Lewis, deputy director for the tobacco initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reflects on the policy priorities of World No Tobacco Day, which takes place each year on May 31 (5/30).

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Integrating Care For HIV, NCDs Has Benefits, Symposium Participants Say

BMJ Group Blogs: NCDs and HIV — where’s the intersection?
Florence Smith, a research assistant at C3 Collaborating for Health, discusses a recent symposium organized by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and FHI360 that looked at the benefits of integrated care for HIV and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) (5/30).

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Newspaper, Blog Remember Epidemiologist Ciro De Quadros

A newspaper and blog reflect on the life of global health epidemiologist Ciro de Quadros.

Washington Post: Ciro de Quadros, pioneering epidemiologist, dies at 74
“Ciro de Quadros, a Brazilian-born doctor and epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox in the 1970s and later led efforts that eliminated polio and measles in the Western Hemisphere, saving or improving the lives of millions, died May 28 at his home in Washington…” (Schudel, 5/30).

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Remembering Ciro de Quadros, Global Health Hero
Orin Levine, director of vaccine delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reflects on the life of Ciro de Quadros, a pioneer in the global health field (5/30).

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