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Opinions: ARV Access; Global Health Promotion; Climate Change; Under-Nutrition; Ethiopia

Column Examines How Trade Rules, Policy Directions May Improve Access To ARVs

In an Intellectual Property Watch column, Daniele Dionisio, of the Italian Network for International Fight against AIDS, examines how trade rules and policy directions by governments and institutions may help to improve countries’ access to antiretrovirals. Dionisio outlines areas of opportunity, including “the unprecendented openings to Indian generics” by PEPFAR; the UNITAID and WHO “campaign towards the adoption of patent pool strategies for second and third line newer ARV [antiretroviral] fixed-dose combinations and formulations for adults and children[; and] the fast-growing ARVs bulk purchasing activities with the generic producers led by the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Clinton Foundation-UNITAID coalition” (12/8).

Address Global Health Needs Will Promote Good Health In U.S.

“As the H1N1 influenza pandemic has reminded us, disease knows no boundaries. Tackling health issues globally is critical to maintaining good health locally,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden writes in a Financial Times opinion piece. He addresses the CDC’s intention to work with “international health agencies and national governments in an effort to address global health threats” and also says the CDC will begin to focus more on non-communicable diseases. Frieden writes that “traditional areas of public health,” including access to clean water, “must not be ignored.”

“Effective public health interventions can save hundreds of millions of lives in developing countries and create broad social and economic benefits. … Health is under appreciated as a development strategy, but it has incredible potential to improve the quality of life for billions worldwide,” Frieden concludes (12/7).

Is Climate Change Africa’s ‘Most Pressing Priority’?

In light of the climate change talks this week in Copenhagen, Denmark, Radio Netherlands Worldwide’s Bram Posthumus explores the question: Is climate change “Africa’s most pressing priority”? Posthumus outlines the problems associated with the notion that “[m]an-made global warming has managed to become the dark force driving all of Africa’s problems.” He quotes a recent article about climate change by Fiona Kobusingye-Boynes, a Ugandan woman whose son died of malaria: “We need to focus on our own needs, resources and opportunities… We don’t need rich countries promising climate change assistance… if we promise not to develop…We need trade, manufacturing, electricity and transportation fuels to power modern industrial economies” (12/7).

VOA News Editorial Examines Long-Term Effects Of Under-Nutrition

“The long-term effects of under-nutrition are devastating not just to individuals, but also to developing economies. Poor health and impaired mental and physical development associated with under-nutrition reduce people’s ability to learn and work,” writes a VOA News editorial that highlights the need for global investments in nutrition. The editorial also notes the plan by President Barack Obama plan to “double funds earmarked for agricultural development assistance in 2010, and will also provide at least 3.5 billion dollars over the next 3 years,” and how USAID contributes to improving food security abroad (12/7).

Globe And Mail Opinion Examines Recent Progress In Ethiopia

Bob Geldof – of the group Band-Aid, and co-founder of the Africa campaign group ONE – reflects on the progress Ethiopia has made in the 25 years since his group worked to help the people of the country during a famine in a Globe and Mail opinion piece. “On the positive front, economic growth has boomed… Education enrolment has been doubled, malaria death rates halved and HIV-AIDS is on the decline. …[R]ural roads are linking remote communities to markets and health and education services.” He continues, “Twenty-five years ago, the story was one of Africa starving. Now, despite ongoing food shortages in some regions, there’s a new story, one backed by hard statistics, of an Africa rising. … We must partner as we have promised with these people, for the sake of our global economy as well as our global environment, because, in another 25 years, we may need them more than they need us” (12/7).