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Recent Releases In Global Health

Russian AIDS Project: A UNAIDS article reports on the AIDS Competence project in Russia, which aims “to mobilize local responses to AIDS by promoting awareness within communities of their own strengths and capacities and facilitating the exchange of experiences within the communities” (5/10).

Global Health Framework Agreement Needed: A PLoS Medicine article says that “a global health agreement –such as a Framework Convention on Global Health – is needed and would inform post-Millennium Development Goal (MDG) global health commitments,” according to a press release. “The authors discuss their work on the Joint Action and Learning Initiative on National and Global Responsibilities for Health (JALI), a coalition of civil society organizations and academics that seeks to clarify the health services to which everyone is entitled under the human right to health, the national and global responsibilities for securing this right, and global governance structures that can realize these responsibilities and close major health inequities,” according to the release (5/10).

Magazine Examines Some Of Obama’s Global Health Policies:
Conscience magazine looks at abortion and reproductive health policies under President Barack Obama, featuring a series of articles from multiple authors, who examine issues from USAID to global HIV/AIDS policy. According to a Catholics for Choice press release, “[m]any in the progressive reproductive rights and women’s rights field have whispered it, some have murmured it, but Conscience has finally broken the silence about the administration’s abysmal failure to take action on choice issues” (5/9).

U.S. Aid To Pakistan: Wren Elhai, of Center for Global Development, discusses the difficulty of figuring out how much the U.S. spends in Pakistan in a post on the center’s “Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog.” According to Elhai, “We’re talking to USAID about getting disaggregated data. But perhaps the most worrisome thing I learned from two months of trying to get an answer to the disbursement question is this: the biggest reason USAID doesn’t share better information on their spending in Pakistan is because they simply don’t know” (5/6). CGD also has a podcast with its president, Nancy Birdsall, examining the question of why the U.S. should continue to give aid to Pakistan (5/9).

Interview With WHO’s Margaret Chan: USAID’s Frontlines April/May issue recently posted an interview with Chan. She discusses, among other issues, how WHO and USAID collaborate on improving global health; boosting access to care; and the importance of integrating single-disease initiatives with health system strengthening. The issue features multiple other articles on USAID’s health activities (5/9). 

Q&A With Kenyan Physician Researcher: The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog has a series of video interviews with Elizabeth Anne Bukusi, chief research officer and deputy director of research and training at the Kenya Medical Research Institute. She discusses using microbicides to prevent HIV, integration of HIV and TB programs in Kenya, drug stock outs and other topics (Mazzotta, 5/9).

Fighting Malaria With Microfinance?: In this post on the World Bank’s “Development Impact” blog, David McKenzie, of the bank’s Finance and Private Sector Development Unit, examines a recent research project looking at whether microfinance would help encourage villagers in India to purchase bednets to prevent malaria. He concludes that “it seems microfinance alone is unlikely to be enough for diseases in which collective action to break externalities matters. I would be interested to know whether micro-loans have more potential for health technologies which work well even if you are the only one in the village using them?” (5/9).

GHI Second Anniversary: In a Center for Global Development “Global Health Policy” blog post, Nandini Oomman “did a quick look back at our key GHI blogs posts and comments from our many smart readers.” The blog features “a selection of key operational issues that came up over the last two years and a quick and dirty assessment of their current status” (5/6).

GHI Executive Director Quam Reflects On Trip To Senegal: Quam writes on the USAID “Impact blog” about her recent visit to the village of Nianing, where she spoke with a variety of community members about their work to improve health care access. “As they opened their records for me, I could see their pride in the statistics they shared, which testified to the fact that practically everyone is engaged in the good health of the community. It moved me to see the way village leaders and extended families work together on a daily basis to develop and operate the health care services that they really need,” she writes (5/6).

Criminalizing HIV: A Change.org blog post by Elizabeth Lombino asserts that “HIV criminalization is rampant and supported by many country officials” in Africa, and that the situation has been worsened by the USAID-funded Action for West Africa Region HIV-AIDS program (AWARE). Lombino refers to a blog post by Robert Clay, the director of USAID’s Office of HIV/AIDS, that she says “does not directly address HIV-Criminalization at any point in the piece” (5/6).