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Recent Releases In Global Health

Lessons Learned About Global Health From 30 Years Of HIV/AIDS: In the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases (.pdf) journal, Kevin De Cock of the CDC, Harold Jaffe of Emory University and James Curran of the Emory Center for AIDS Research reflect on the emergence of HIV/AIDS 30 years ago this June; the subsequent development of prevention and treatment knowledge; and how the epidemic has affected other areas of global health. “Although the end of the epidemic is not yet in sight and many challenges remain, the response has been remarkable and global health has changed for the better,” they write (June 2011).

WHO, Pharma’s Role In Fighting Counterfeit Drugs: A Lancet editorial calls for the World Health Assembly to pursue “with vigour” a treaty to “make counterfeit medicines illegal,” and states that it should follow “the model of another successful WHO treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.” While the drug industry has said it would support such an agreement, the Lancet says it can do more. “The case for open data sharing in science is made in a Comment” in the Lancet, the editorial notes (5/14). 

Global Polio Transmission Update: A total of 1,291 polio cases were reported globally in 2010, which is a 19 percent decrease from 2009, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “All new outbreaks in 11 polio-free countries in 2010 were stopped or were on track to being stopped within 6 months of outbreak confirmation. During January-March 2011, substantially more [wild poliovirus] cases occurred in Chad, DRC, and Pakistan than during the same period of 2010” (5/13).

Results-Based Aid Is Not A Magic Bullet: “Accountability between government and citizens can only evolve when the government’s resources come from the people, not from external financiers or windfall natural resource revenues. Although welcome, [results-based aid] will not revolutionise development finance. But recognition that we are entering an era in which aid must gradually decline relative to GDP, and be replaced by domestic resources, probably would,” Jonathan Glennie, a research fellow at the Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure, writes in a Guardian “Poverty Matters” blog post (5/13).  

Aid Allocations In FY11 Budget: According to a post on the Center for Global Development’s “Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog,” U.S. spending on foreign assistance “fell but not as much as feared between the FY2011 request of the administration and the final budget deal. The proportions of aid allocated for development, security or humanitarian functions stayed roughly the same, with development getting a small decrease” (Perakis/Birdsall, 5/12).

UCSF Announces Global Health Program Head: The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) announced that Jaime Sepulveda will become executive director of UCSF Global Health Sciences on September 1. Sepulveda “is currently director of special initiatives and a senior fellow for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” (5/12).

GAVI Alliance Commits $100M To Fight Meningitis A In African Nations: The GAVI Alliance on Wednesday announced in a press release that it has committed $100 million to help fight meningitis A in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria as part of a strategy to administer the vaccine to tens of thousands of people in Africa’s meningitis belt. Group A meningococcal meningitis is responsible for more than 85 percent of reported meningococcal meningitis cases in Africa, according to the release (5/11).

International Affairs Budget ‘Critical’ To Economic, National Security: “America must be competitive in the global economy and the tools in the International Affairs Budget help strengthen and open new markets for American goods and services,” Liz Shrayer, executive director of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, writes on the Stimson Center’s blog “The Will and the Wallet.” Shrayer concludes: “Clearly we must address the deficit, and we welcome the debate in Washington. But it is critical that this 1% of our budget, programs that are vital to our national and economic security, do not absorb disproportionate and deep cuts along the way to solving a much larger fiscal problem” (5/11).