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Recent Releases In Global Health

Clinical Infectious Diseases Examines Malaria Treatment

An editorial commentary appearing in Clinical Infectious Diseases examines the insight gained in how best to control malaria, based on recent studies of artemisinin combination therapy (ACTs). “As we move toward the elimination of malaria, it is crucial that policymakers and research groups endorse treatment regimens with high efficacy but do not ignore the additional implications of posttreatment prophylaxis,” the authors conclude (Price/Douglas, 12/09).

Lancet Examines Role Of Public, Private Sectors For Delivery Of Health Services For Developing Countries

A Lancet comment examines the debate over the role of the public and private sectors in financing and delivering health services in developing countries. “No one set of policy choices will be appropriate in every country,” the authors write. “Above all, donors and national governments should focus on practical ways to address the realities of health markets, recognising the importance of public stewardship of mixed health systems as key to health and financial protection goals. To do this, they will need to engage in systematic collection of information, expansion of institutional capacity, and development of long-term policy roadmaps facilitated by national processes for policy dialogue that engage public and private actors” (Lagomarsino, 11/7).

Blogs Cover MIM Malaria Conference

Several blogs wrote about the 5th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Pan-African Malaria Conference, which concludes Friday in Nairobi, Kenya. Highlights appear below:

  • Johns Hopkins University’s Bill Brieger wrote about some of the conference activity on “Malaria Matters.” In one post, Brieger describes a symposium at the conference that highlighted the ACT Consortium, which “is in the process of addressing four key issues in ACT delivery through research projects in 9 countries” (11/6).
  • The Global Health Council’s “Blog 4 Global Health” addresses malaria’s impact on six of the Millennium Development Goals. According to the blog, “one of the take home messages here at the MIM conference has been the benefit of malaria control on childhood survival, MDG 4” (Benjamin, 11/4).
  • Malaria No More’s “Buzzwords” blog features a series of posts covering the conference. One of the posts describes a visit to Mwea Mission Hospital. “A large problem in applying our existing tools for fighting malaria is patient compliance” (Uno, 11/5).
  • The conference has its own blog that includes video interviews with a number of malaria experts who attended the conference. Robert Newman, director of the WHO’s malaria program, and Rose Leke, of the University of Yaounde, are among those included.

Tropical Medicine & International Health Examines Threat Of ‘Global Financial Crisis’ To TB

“The global financial crisis poses a threat to global health, and may exacerbate diseases of poverty, e.g. HIV, malaria and tuberculosis,” writes the author of a Tropical Medicine & International Health commentary. “Securing health gains in global tuberculosis control depends on protecting expenditure by governments of countries badly affected by tuberculosis and by donors, taking measures to increase efficiencies, prioritizing health expenditures and strengthening government regulation. Lessons learned will be valuable for stakeholders involved in the health sector response to tuberculosis and other diseases of poverty,” the author writes (Maher, 11/3).

Blog: U.S. Policy Makers Should Look At Europe’s Global Health Strategy

“While it can be difficult sometimes to see beyond ‘the beltway,’ perhaps the U.S. efforts at a ‘global’ strategy should take into consideration similar efforts from around the globe,” according to the Center for Global Development’s David Wendt on the “Global Health Policy” blog. Wendt notes current efforts by the EU to help determine their global health policy.

“In the U.S., international development programs are diffused across a number of agencies and there is no overarching strategy. When policy coherence happens across agencies, it is usually only around a single vertical program such as PEPFAR. … I’d encourage U.S. policymakers working on the Global Health Initiative and stakeholders in developing countries to take a look at the [European Commission] issue paper on their role in global health …” (11/2).

Blog: Plan Could Expand Access To Children In Need

Developing countries “have limited ability to pay” for vaccines to protect their children, which provides “little incentive” for vaccine “to make the enormous investments required to develop and manufacture new vaccines for the developing world,” Joe Cerrell, director of Global Health Policy and Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes on Reuters’ blog, “The Great Debate.”

“As we continue expanding access to basic vaccines that have existed for decades, we also need to ensure that new vaccines quickly reach children in need,” he writes before outlining plans for the Advance Market Commitment (AMC), “a groundbreaking partnership,” which promises to pay vaccine makers if they “produce affordable pneumococcal vaccines designed specifically for poor countries … Thanks to donor funding and the manufacturers’ pricing commitments, developing countries will be able to purchase the vaccines at guaranteed prices of no more than $3.50 per dose. The first of the new vaccines could become available as soon as 2010,” he writes (10/31).