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Recent Releases In Global Health

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Article Examines Relationship Between Malnutrition, HIV Progression In Sub-Saharan Africa

“Sub-Saharan Africa is affected by a disproportionately high prevalence of both HIV infection and food scarcity,” write the authors of an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article on the relationship between malnutrition and the progression of HIV/AIDS. “Underweight individuals will continue to represent a significant proportion of patients who present for HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa. Regional food insecurity is likely to persist in the near term, especially with drought conditions that continue in much of southern Africa and a trend of commodity prices that have risen over the past decade,” the study authors write. “To address malnutrition as a component of HIV care will require a sustained shift in policy and funding priorities, but critical data are still needed for successful implementation” (Koethe/Heimburger, April 2010).

Science Editorial Reflects On Food Security Of World’s Hungry

Ahead of the Global Conference on Agricultural Research Development (GCARD 2010) in Montpellier, France, next week, a Science editorial reflects on the “at least 1 billion people living with chronic undernourishment” and the factors contributing to food insecurity in developing countries. “Public investment in agriculture is critical … The 2009 pledge of the G8 countries of $20 billion in new aid to food and agriculture over the next 3 years, with a focus on Asia and Africa, should help, as will an anticipated expansion of South-South partnerships. The goal of the GCARD 2010 meeting is to transform the global architecture of agricultural research over the next several years, as an essential complement to the [Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research] reforms. The stakes are high: Without this change, we may face a billion more hungry on our planet,” the editorial concludes (Lele, 3/26).

Lancet Issue Examines Health Reform In China

This week’s issue of the Lancet focuses on efforts to reform China’s health system and improve outcomes, providing “a snapshot of achievements” made over the past 18 months and “challenges” ahead, as described in a Lancet editorial. “Whether monitoring child survival, environmental health, or health-system strengthening, China’s outcomes will be judged by the quality, comprehensiveness, availability, and transparency of data reported,” the editorial writes. “This in turn will influence the authority with which the country speaks as a G20 leader” (3/27). 

Blog: Increase ‘Efficiency And Effectiveness’ To Expand Global ARV Supply

“Increased funding is necessary to expand access to [HIV] treatment, but it is not the only solution. Access can also be expanded by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the global ARV supply chains, which has many moving parts and many bottlenecks.  Unfortunately, these bottlenecks often persist because influential actors have no incentives to address them,” according to the “Global Health Policy” blog post about a new paper (.pdf) on access to ARVs. “Though the paper does not attempt to solve the dozens of incentive misalignments identified, the authors offer one illustrative solution that they believe would help to realign many of the problematic incentives: an electronic marketplace for ARVs” (Wendt, 3/24).

World TB Day Briefing on Capitol Hill

A Senate briefing on World Tuberculosis Day focused on TB’s “impact on global health and the current state of surveillance, diagnosis and treatment around the world,” according to a press release from the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership. The briefing was “co-hosted by the Global Health Council, American Thoracic Society, Stop TB Partnership and The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership” (3/24).

The “Science Speaks” blog reported on the briefing. It includes details from testimony provided by Celine Gounder, a TB/HIV specialist at Johns Hopkins University; Ernesto Jaramillo, team leader for MDR-TB for the World Health Organization’s Stop TB Department; Rachel Nugent, deputy director for global health at the Center for Global Development; and Jeffrey Sturchio, CEO of the Global Health Council (Shesgreen, 3/24).

USAID Administrator Releases ‘Lantos-Hyde United States Government Tuberculosis Strategy’

In a video message commemorating World TB Day, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah announced the release of the “Lantos-Hyde United States Government Tuberculosis Strategy,” which outlines the goals, targets, and interventions that will guide the USG TB program through 2014. The strategy provides details on the role of USG TB programs in the Global Health Initiative, USG country planning and scale-up of interventions, the coordination and collaboration of USG agencies, and plans to monitor and report on USG efforts. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Global Health Policy Tracker provides a link to the video with accompanying text (3/24).

Blog: Global Fund Donors Must Redouble Efforts

A “Stronger Together” blog post, written by Global Fund Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine, reflects on the first Global Fund Replenishment meeting, which ends Friday. “Simply put, it would be shameful if we did not continue to scale up rapidly and denied access to the other half. And I am committed to working with the IAS and our other friends and allies towards a world that will see the end of the AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics, confident that the knowledge and resources are in our hands” (3/22).

Blog: Rundown Of Smart Global Health Policy Report; Critique Of Maternal Mortality, HIV/AIDS In The Report

The “Science Speaks” blog reports on the recent launch of the CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy’s final report. After a rundown of speakers and their major points, the blog includes quotes from NGO representatives who had a “range of reactions” to the event (Bryden, 3/19).

A related “Science Speaks” blog post about maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS in the report, notes: “Although the report clearly states that maintaining America’s commitment to fighting against HIV/AIDS is one element in a global health strategy, it fails to integrate this commitment within the framework of strengthening maternal and child health.” The blog continues: “Unfortunately, there is no mention in the report of undertaking initiatives to reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among women and ensure access to treatment as a key maternal health strategy, even though it is clear that taking such measures will greatly strengthen families and communities.  Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV is imperative, as well as ensuring access to ongoing treatment for the mother” (Aziz, 3/19).

Blog Series On QDDR: Integrate Gender Roles; Tools For ‘Country Ownership’

The “ModernizeAid” blog has additional posts in its series featuring analysis of the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy & Development Review by development experts. One post advocates “integrating gender across all U.S. foreign assistance” (Sharma/O’Connell, 3/19). Another post lists suggestions aimed at improving “country ownership” (Offenheiser, 3/22).

Blog: Congress Must Act On Global Hunger Legislation

“Congress needs to act on” the Roadmap to End Global Hunger legislation (H.R. 2817), according to a post on “Blogcritics” that outlines the bill’s goals and its movement in Congress. “The Roadmap calls for the creation of a White House office on global hunger to provide more effective coordination of the different U.S. agencies involved in the food crisis. …The Roadmap bill also emphasizes child nutrition programs across the globe,” according to the blog. “We know from our experience after World War II that American foreign policy is at its best when it supports child feeding programs. This was a very important aspect of the Marshall Plan era” (Lambers, 3/19).