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Recent Releases In Global Health

WHO Bulletin Examines Communicable Diseases In Southeast Asia

The WHO’s March Bulletin is a special themed issue focusing on communicable diseases in Southeast Asia. The publication addresses tuberculosis, cholera, neglected tropical diseases and family planning in the region (March 2010).

Ahead Of International Women’s Day, Lancet Editorial Calls For Increased Investment In Maternal Health

A Lancet editorial reflects on the recent gains in women’s rights and future challenges ahead of the centennial anniversary of International Women’s Day. “[A] critical look at the achievements of the past century is needed to build on what has worked and to correct what has failed,” the journal writes. The editorial notes that donor commitments have not reflected the “tremendous increase in rhetoric about [Millennium Development Goal] 5 and the health of women in recent years.” The editorial concludes, “Although funding for maternal health is increasing gradually, a doubling of donor aid for maternal health is needed, as well as for reproductive health, especially family planning. For a future of equal rights, equal opportunities, and progress for all women, there remains much to do” (3/6).

USAID Administrator Testifies At Two Congressional Hearings

This week, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah testified before two House committees on the USAID FY 2011 budget request and addressed the Global Health Initiative. Other related topics discussed by Shah included the status of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review and the Presidential Study Directive, increasing capacity at USAID, food security, and ongoing efforts in Haiti. The Kaiser Policy Tracker includes links to Shah’s testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on Appropriations – Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, as well as a webcast of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing and lawmaker remarks (3/4).  

Blog: Haiti Could Be A Model For ‘Targeted Aid’ From U.S.

“Now that the cameras are off,” a U.S. Global Leadership coalition blog post cautions against forgetting the recovery efforts in Haiti. “As the Administration and Congress are both looking at ways to create a better strategy on global development, Haiti could be at the heart of the debate. Support is always there for immediate response to natural disasters and emergencies, but will it be there in the long term?” The blog continues: “Haiti could become an example of the difference targeted aid can make. As Americans are familiar with the tragedy, demonstrating measured results in Haiti will go a long way to showing just why the International Affairs Budget is such a necessary part of our nation’s spending” (Parker, 3/3).

Blog Examines Connection Between U.S. Business, Foreign Aid

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition blog examines the findings of a recent Initiative for Global Development report (.pdf) that looks at the connection between U.S. businesses and foreign aid. The blog also highlights recommendations from the report on how to improve foreign aid so that it is more effective and efficient (3/2).

Blogs: Military’s Role In Development

The Center for Global Development’s “Views from the Center” blog explores the “Pentagon’s ever-expanding role in the development space.” Exploring the pros and cons to this trend, the blog poses the following questions: “Where does personal security end and human security begin? In other words, how and when should outside actors in conflict and post-conflict situations transition from providing mere physical protection to focusing on the longer-term human development needs?” (Ramachandran, 3/3).

During a meeting in February, Head of U.S. Central Command General David Petraeus addressed the role of development and diplomacy in U.S. national security, according to a U.S. Global Leadership Coalition blog post. The blog features video clips of the comments Petraeus made during the meeting (Amsler, 2/26).

CGD Fellow To Leadership Role At USAID

“Ruth Levine, a [Center for Global Development] senior fellow and vice president for programs and operations, has been named to a leadership position at USAID,” according to an article on the Center’s Web site (3/1). In the “Views from the Center” blog, Levine wrote that she will be the new “Director of Evaluation, Policy Analysis & Learning.” She continued: “In this position, I’ll be supporting initiatives that are already underway to apply the best available evidence to decisions at many levels, and to generate new knowledge as an integral part of the agency’s work. This reflects a major priority throughout the administration, and particularly for USAID Administrator Raj Shah” (2/26).

Blog: African Countries Must Collaborate To Expand Agriculture Development

To end hunger through agriculture development, “the Obama administration, which is leading the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative,” must take a “‘whole of government’ approach, bringing the focus and resources of many agencies to the same task. For Africa, it means looking beyond national borders and thinking regionally,” according to the Global Agricultural Development Initiative’s “Global Food For Thought” blog. “Success crosses borders, and failure does too. In the fight against hunger through agriculture development, African countries need to go together, or they won’t go very far at all” (Thurow, 2/26).

Blog Features Interview With USAID Official Just Back From Haiti

The CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy’s blog features an audio interview with Ronald Waldman, a senior international health advisor at USAID. The interview focuses on Waldman’s recent trip to Haiti where he served as coordinator of the United States Medical and Emergency Response team (Bliss, 2/26).

Blog: Challenges Associated With Reducing Maternal Mortality

While acknowledging the challenges associated with reducing maternal mortality, the Guardian’s global health blog makes an argument for what the author calls the “quick wins.” Such steps to reducing maternal mortality include increased investments in family planning and “more basic interventions,” like arming traditional birth attendants with cell phones to call for assistance during emergencies or community health workers with drugs “which can stop two of the main killers, sepsis and haemorrhage” (Boseley, 2/26).

KFF Fact Sheet Examines Health In Haiti, U.S. Government Involvement

A Kaiser Family Foundation fact sheet profiles the health status of Haiti prior to the Jan. 12 earthquake. It reviews the major U.S. government global health and development programs operating in Haiti and examines the U.S. response to the quake and the future health challenges as the nation rebuilds (2/26).