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Also In Global Health News: Sidib Interview; Drug-Resistant Malaria; U.S. Polio Initiative; Health Spending In Africa; Cholera In Zimbabwe

Miami Herald Interviews UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé

The Miami Herald featured excerpts from a recent interview with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. Sidibé’s interview included comments on the increase of access to antiretrovirals in Latin America and the Caribbean; overcoming discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS; and the potential for less HIV/AIDS funding.  Sidibé also said, “For me, success means that three things are happening. First, we stop transmission from mother to child because that is the beginning of the end. Two, we’re stopping people living with HIV dying of tuberculosis. Three, really making a major effort globally to remove all the punitive laws, policies and practices which are affecting the vulnerable groups who don’t have a voice” (Miami Herald, 6/7).

Nigerian Officials Warns About Drug-Resistant Malaria Threat

Paul Orhi, director general of Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, warned that there is mounting evidence that a strain of drug-resistant malaria has emerged, mainly because people do not take the correct malaria treatment, Africa Science News Service reports. He said it is necessary to monitor the situation, which threatens the efficacy of artemisinin. Global scientists are trying to contain a drug-resistant strain in western Cambodia (Africa Science News Service, 6/7).

Obama Says U.S. Will Partner With Organization Of The Islamic Conference To Eradicate Polio

President Obama on Thursday in Cairo, Egypt, said the U.S. will partner with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio, VOA News reports (VOA News, 6/4). Obama’s full speech is available here.

Two African Countries Have Reached Target Of Spending 15% Of Budget On Health

Gambia and Botswana have come through with their 2001 Abuja Declaration promises to allocate 15 percent of their national budgets to the health sector in an effort to curb HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa, Wasai Jacob Nanjakululum head of Oxfam’s global AIDS program, said recently, Daily Observer/allAfrica.com reports. This commitment was also designed to help with the necessary infrastructure required for projects funded by international donors, Nanjakululum said. Nanjakululum said that “drugs are expiring and remaining in medical stores because the infrastructure that is supposed to be used to move these drugs around the country is not there” (Mansary, Daily Observer/allAfrica.com, 6/4).

Impending Rainy Season May Worsen Zimbabwe’s Cholera Outbreak

A cholera outbreak that has claimed the lives of an estimated 4,000 Zimbabweans and sickened tens of thousands more over the past 10 months, is likely worsen as the region enters its rainy season, UNICEF said last week, CNN reports. “We might have another spike in the number of cases once we have our first rain, because cholera is waterborne and the contaminated water will be flowing towards open sources and people will be drinking from unprotected wells,” Tsitsi Singizi, a spokeswoman for the UNICEF said (CNN, 6/4).