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Recent Releases In Global Health

PEPFAR Annual Meeting: The meeting, taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, this week, “provides a unique opportunity for us to reflect upon our achievements, work on solutions to solve the latest challenges, and identify the next steps to carry this momentum forward,” and “serves as a testament to the remarkable contributions of PEPFAR to America’s foreign policy objectives,” U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby writes in a post on State’s “DipNote” blog, where he will post updates on the meeting (5/3). Video remarks on the meeting from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are available on State’s website (5/3).

Deadline Extended For Saving Lives At Birth Grants: USAID, the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, and The World Bank have extended to May 6 the deadline for a new grants-based program, Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development, which seeks to improve maternal and newborn health in the developing world, according to a press release. For more information on the application process, visit savinglivesatbirth.net (5/3).

Mobile Technology And Development:  “As mobile phone ownership continues to grow, so will the opportunities that mobile technology provides for development,” Isobel Coleman, senior fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes in a CFR blog post, in which she describes several programs using “m-health (mobile-based health solutions)” to improve health and development in developing countries (5/3).

Geospatial Information Systems And Disease Tracking: The fourth episode of Penn State Public Broadcasting’s Geospatial Revolution Project “explores how geospatial technology helps track the spread of disease,” Penn State Live reports. The 17-minute episode also examines digital mapping and climate change and how researchers are using geospatial technology to predict food shortages (5/3).

Global Health Coalition Makes Policy Recommendations: The Global Health Technologies Coalition, comprising 30 leading global health organizations that work on vaccines, drugs, and other tools and technologies, has “released a list of recommendations for U.S. policymakers and regulators, calling for acceleration of scientific innovations and streamlining the approval of safe and affordable inventions in order to save more lives around the world,” according to a GHTC press release. The report “issues three sets of recommendations on funding policy, strengthening the Food and Drug Administration’s role in global health, and innovative financing,” the release states (5/3).

Beating NCDs Will Be Difficult: Summarizing last week’s Moscow ministerial meeting on non-communicable diseases, Liz Borkowski, a research associate at the George Washington University School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, writes on ScienceBlogs’ “The Pump Handle,” “Although the WHO stresses that low-cost solutions to the NCD epidemic exist, it’s hard not feel daunted by the scale of the challenge.” She expresses her concern that many companies “benefit from the unhealthy lifestyles that increase the risk of NCDs” and concludes, “it’s going to take a lot of work to reduce the global risk” (5/2).

Questions About Health In Post-Conflict Health Situations: “Donor commitments to post-conflict health systems have been mostly driven by pre-existing political commitments rather than strictly health-related considerations. And while the results of these efforts are decidedly mixed, they have nevertheless yielded experience and growing consensus about methods for developing systems of care in these challenging environments – with an emphasis on increasing capacities of Ministries of Health to plan, organize, and manage primary care services, and meet immediate health needs while developing a system,” Leonard Rubenstein of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the U.S. Institute of Peace writes on the CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy blog. “WHO and other U.N. agencies should create mechanisms for prevention, reporting and accountability regarding assaults that can profoundly affect the well-being of populations and the health system,” he concludes (5/2).

Analyzing The WHO’s Main Strengths: “On the question of whether WHO has value to U.S. global health policy and U.S. national interests, the answer, in the opinion of the authors of this paper, is decidedly yes – provided that WHO narrows its focus strategically to those activities for which it is best suited and for which it has the greatest prospects of delivering substantial value,” according to a summary of this CSIS Global Health Policy Center paper (Reeves/Brundage, 5/2).

High-Level Panel Examines Role Of Social Media, Mobile Tech In Preventing HIV Infections:
UNAIDS reports on the recent panel. “The internet and social media are widely used by young people everywhere – including low-income countries. These tools have the potential to deliver HIV prevention programmes in a cost-effective way to young people through a media that they are already using,” according to the piece (5/2).

HealthWorksCollective Launch: The new online community examines “how to deliver quality health care to as many people on the planet as possible,” according to a post on the “Sustainable Business Forum” (Carey, 5/2).

InterAction NGO Aid Map: The NGO Aid Map “is focused on collecting project-level information on NGOs’ work and making it accessible to donors, NGOs, businesses, governments and the public through an online, interactive mapping tool” with the aim of increasing transparency, facilitating partnerships, improving coordination and helping inform decisions about where aid is necessary, Devex reports. The interactive site includes maps, data and multimedia features (Ramachandran, 5/2).

HIV And Gender-Based Violence Prevention In Democratic Republic Of Congo: Two posts on State’s “DipNote” blog discuss U.S. government efforts in the DRC. U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby examines HIV prevention and PEPFAR activities in the DRC (4/29). Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues, addresses efforts to stop sexual and gender-based violence in the nation (4/30).

Economist Film Project: PBS’ NewsHour and the Economist “have chosen examples of interesting, independently-produced documentaries from around the world” and provide an excerpt of one of the films, “Edge of Joy,” which “takes us inside a busy maternity ward in Nigeria, a country where maternal deaths are among the highest in the world,” according to the NewsHour’s “The Rundown” blog. Additional film excerpts, interviews with directors, and other resources are available on  the blog and the Economist’s website (4/28).

Global Health & Development Timeline: The Global Health Hub has created a timeline of major global health and development events using the Dipity application (Lipnick, 4/26).