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Also In Global Health News: Global Fund; MDGs, Women; Polio Eradication

Radio Australia Interviews Global Fund Executive Director

Radio Australia examines the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s push for more funding from Australia and China. Global Fund Executive Director “Michel Kazatchkine is currently touring the world’s capitals seeking renewed government pledges to build on an already impressive record and as well as looking to Australia to do more, he’s hoping soon to get China to become not just recipient, but donor.” The show features an interview with Kazatchkine (Mottram, 2/23).

U.N. Event Focuses On Women’s Rights, MDG Target

At an event Monday to mark International Corporate Philanthropy Day, the U.N. Economic and Social Council “focus[ed] on women’s rights” in an effort to “generate support for one of the U.N.’s Millennium Development goals – promoting equality between women and men,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “told several hundred [event] participants that ‘full empowerment requires more progress in two key areas: expanding economic opportunity and ending violence against women'” (2/22).

Lancet Infectious Diseases Examines Polio Eradication Worldwide

The Lancet Infectious Diseases examines the prospects for global polio eradication. According to the journal, 2009 was a “significant” year “for polio eradication. Real progress was made simultaneously in northern Nigeria, on the Afghanistan–Pakistan border, and in the remaining pockets in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India, cutting the number of cases worldwide to 1,597… The new bivalent oral polio … was licensed in late 2009 and has been in use since December. Starting in February, March, and April, 2010, multiple mass immunisations are planned in all four remaining countries where polio is endemic, at the start of a 3-year intensive effort to finally halt polio transmission worldwide.” The article looks at endemic countries’ upcoming plans and possible challenges (Senior, March 2010).

In related news, Sudan on Monday launched a polio vaccination campaign targeting six million children “after the disease reappeared in the African country in 2008,” VOA News reports. The three-day campaign, which is supported by UNICEF and the WHO, will be conducted by 40,000 volunteers in the northern part of the country (Mazen, 2/22).