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Recent Releases In Global Health

Global Fund Replenishment: Noting that the recent Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria replenishment meeting fell short of reaching its funding target, a Lancet Editorial states: “The world is backsliding on its commitments, made recently at the Millennium Development Goal Summit in New York, to expand access for millions of people to life-saving interventions.” The global recession impacted funding, “but more than that it represents a collective failure of international cooperation at a time when the world needs global solidarity,” the editorial states, before questioning why the WHO “played little part in galvanising donor commitments” (10/16).  

Stop TB Partnership Needs ‘More Ambitious’ Goals: Despite important successes, the Stop TB Partnership “has not adequately addressed scale-up of treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis or for tuberculosis-HIV co-infection” and, moving forward, should work with organizations that alleviate poverty, integrate treatment with comorbidities, and “state more ambitious goals for the tuberculosis community,” according to a Lancet Comment (Keshavjee et al., 10/16).

NEJM PMTCT Studies: Two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine “equip us with strategies to deal with the current imperfections in our scale-up efforts” to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, write Marc Lallemant and Gonzague Jourdain of the Harvard School of Public Health in a New England Journal of Medicine editorial. The editorial compares the findings with updated WHO guidelines on PMTCT. The editorial also looks at questions that arise given the findings including: the difference in long-term response to the two drugs, strategies for preserving or “recycling” nevirapine therapy and the higher cost of ritonavir-boosted lopinavir compared with nevirapine (10/14).  

Obama’s Commitment To MDGs, GHI Signals Support For Vaccine Delivery: Examining support for “cost effective, preventive interventions like vaccination, including the rotavirus vaccine,” Alex Palacios of the GAVI Alliance writes that the Obama administration’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals and “leadership through the Global Health Initiative to improve the health of people in poor countries, and strong signs of support from the Congress, provides promise that the needed support will be forthcoming,” on Global Health Magazine’s blog (10/13).

‘Positive Changes’ At USAID: Connie Veillette of the Center for Global Development examines “positive changes” at USAID including: procurement, the re-creation of a policy and planning department, a food security bureau, a spirit of innovation, increased transparency and continued staffing of senior posts at the agencies on the Center’s “Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog” (10/13).

Panel Discusses Food Assistance, Childhood Malnutrition: An audio file of a Brookings Institution and Medecins Sans Frontieres discussion called, “Global Food Assistance and the Fight Against Childhood Malnutrition” is now available. Panelists included Bruce Cogill, chief of nutrition at USAID; Meera Shekar, lead health and nutrition specialist at the World Bank; Susan Shepherd, head of nutrition programs, MSF; and Victoria Quinn, senior vice president for programs, Helen Keller International (10/13).

Global Fund Unlikely To Grow: “The new stark reality … is that in this next three-year phase, an era of austerity, angst and uncertainty, robust growth by the Fund will not likely happen” because of the global economic recession, the diminishing perceived threat of AIDS and the lack of a “ready substitute” for traditional donors who cannot afford to increase their pledges, J. Stephen Morrison, director of the Global Health Policy Center, explains on the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ “Smart Global Health” blog (10/12).

Researchers Discover Step In How Dengue Virus Infects A Cell: NIH researchers have discovered “a key step in how the dengue virus infects a cell. … how the dengue virus releases itself from the protective membrane that shields it as it penetrates deep inside the cell. The discovery allows researchers to study the invasion process in the laboratory and provides a means to test potential treatments for the virus,” according to a press release (10/12).

‘Rigorous Evaluation’ Needed For Millennium Village Project: Using the Millennium Village Project as an example, Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development discusses “how easy it can be to get the wrong idea about the project’s impacts when careful, scientific impact evaluation methods are not used,” and he details “how the impact evaluation could be done better, at low cost” in a post on the “Views from the Center” blog. The author discusses the importance of measuring impact relative to other villages, and ways to perform a “rigorous evaluation” of the project, detailed in a new research paper (10/11).

Lancet Examines Malaria Drug-Financing Mechanism: “The Affordable Medicines Facility – malaria (AMFm) is an innovative financing mechanism to expand access to affordable ACTs through the public and private sectors and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and, crucially, to displace oral artemisinin monotherapies from the market” and “has the potential to transform the way universal access to new malaria drugs and similar technologies is financed,” write Olusoji Adeyi and Rifat Atun in a Lancet Viewpoint that examines barriers to accessing malaria treatment and future challenges of implementing AMFm (10/11).

Malaria Journal Examines AMFm’s Role In Achieving Universal Access: A Malaria Journal Commentary written by Lloyd Matowe and Olusoji Adeyi of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria examines how Affordable Medicines Facility – malaria (AMFm) can help achieve universal access of malaria medications by supporting programs that “address socio-economic barriers, strengthen regulatory systems, improve supply chains and improve quality of services as a means to improve access to life-saving ACT” (10/8).

Trends in U.S. Spending for Global HIV/AIDS and Other Health Assistance in Fiscal Years 2001-2008: The Kaiser Global Health Policy Tracker highlights the GAO report analyzing U.S. bilateral funding (in the form of disbursements) for global HIV/AIDS and other health-related programs. Additionally, the report provides information on the models used by the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, USAID and UNAIDS to estimate HIV treatment costs (10/8).