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Recent Releases In Global Health

Global Fund Will Make ‘Every Possible Effort’ To Raise Additional Resources: Although pledges to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at its recent replenishment meeting did not meet “the lowest estimate of demand,” the Fund “will make every possible effort to raise the additional resources that we expect countries to request in the years ahead” through new donor recruitment and “innovative financing approaches,” writes Executive Director Michael Kazatchkine in a Lancet comment that also discusses the expanded efforts able to be made by programs already approved by the Global Fund because of the replenishment (10/30).

Lancet Editorial Examines GAVI Alliance: The GAVI Alliance has “provided access to immunisation for more than 250 million children worldwide” since its creation in 2000 and its five year goal to expand its vaccine programs needs $7 billion in funding of which “only $2.7 billion has been secured,” states a Lancet editorial. “The Alliance’s future will depend on its soon to be appointed new leader, who must be an excellent fundraiser” as well as “a strong global advocate to endorse vaccination as one of the most cost-effective health and developmental interventions, and one that is crucial for achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” the editorial asserts (10/30).

Between 2000-2009, Global Routine Vaccine Coverage In WHO States Increased: “Estimated global [diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis] DTP3 coverage in the 193 WHO member states increased from 74% in 2000 to 82% in 2009, reflecting the vaccination of 107.1 million infants with 3 doses of DTP vaccine in 2009 (14.6 million more than in 2000)” and changes in coverage varied by geographical region, with the most improvement in vaccination coverage in African, Eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific regions, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report explains that coverage is “usually assessed based on the percentage of children who received a specified number of doses of a recommended vaccine during the first year of life” and also looks at progress toward achieving WHO and UNICEF’s Global Immunization Vision and Strategy goals (10/29).

UNAIDS Explores Relationship Between Conflict and HIV: The UNAIDS Forced Migration Review explores the “interconnections between conflict and HIV” through case studies from the AIDS, Security and Conflict Initiative (ASCI) and selected articles on the subject, in a special supplement entitled “HIV/AIDS, security and conflict: making the connections” (10/27).

QDDR May Bring ‘Tectonic Shift’ In Foreign Policy: The upcoming release of the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), a “strategic reassessment of the U.S. foreign affairs establishment – may well yield a tectonic shift in how American foreign policy is carried out” by “confronting today’s conflicts in a more integrated and holistic way,” in part by increasing cooperation between USAID, the State Department and various other government agencies, Tara Sonenshine, executive vice president of the U.S. Institute of Peace and Beth Cole, director of intergovernmental affairs at the Institute write in a Huffington Post blog post (10/27).

Halting Mosquito Surveillance Could Increase Costs: A study published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases “shows that halting mosquito surveillance can increase the management costs of epidemics by up to an order of magnitude in comparison to a strategy with sustained surveillance and early case detection.” Using a mathematical model to create hypothetical scenarios “of delayed response to a dengue introduction (a consequence of halted mosquito surveillance) in the City of Cairns, Queensland, Australia” and “then coupl[ing] the results of such a model with mosquito surveillance and case management costs to estimate the cumulative costs of each response scenario,” led researchers to conclude, “the total costs of preparedness through surveillance are far lower than the ones needed to respond to the introduction of vector-borne pathogens, even without consideration of the cost in human lives and well-being” (Vazquez-Prokopec et al., 10/26).

Will The New Congress Cut Or Reform Foreign Aid?: “Regardless of who wins [mid-term elections], the international affairs … budget will be under enormous pressure,” Connie Veillette, director of the Center for Global Development’s rethinking U.S. foreign assistance initiative, writes on its blog. “Call me the optimist, but the 112th Congress, with its anticipated focus on fiscal restraint, could be the catalyst that achieves meaningful aid reform,” she writes. The post includes suggestions for changes (10/26).

The G20’s Reluctant Relationship With Aid: “For those focused on global poverty, the most important issue being discussed at the G20 is the idea of an FTT, a financial transaction tax to help raise the money needed to fight poverty … An FTT won’t be agreed this month or next month, but if we can keep it on the agenda … we can help to ensure that it does happen,” Ben Phillips, Save The Children’s Asia strategy director, writes on the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.” The post looks at other aspects of the G20 meeting in South Korea (10/25).

U.S. Development Strategy In Pakistan: Molly Kinder, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Global Development discusses how U.S. aid to Pakistan after the floods fits into the larger picture of policy reform, health system strengthening and development in the country, in an interview with Lawrence MacDonald on the Center’s “Global Prosperity Wonkcast” (10/25).

Improving Nutrition For Maternal And Child Health: Aaron Emmel, government affairs officer at PATH, recaps on the Global Health Council (GHC) “Blog 4 Global Health“ a GHC briefing on World Food Day. It addressed “new initiatives to strengthen maternal, newborn, and child health by improving nutrition,” and featured Cindy Huang, senior advisor of Feed the Future, Bruce Cogill, nutrition division chief at USAID, Ciro Franco of Management Sciences for Health (MSH), and Thomas Schaetzel, technical director of USAID’s Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) Project (10/25).  

USAID Administrator Describes Branding U.S. Aid: USAID brands emergency aid with the phrase “from the American people” and the agency’s handshake logo “as a sign of partnership and promise” and to increase transparency because “[w]e believe that people in Haiti, Pakistan and elsewhere have a right to know where their assistance is coming from. And American taxpayers have a right to know where their dollars are going,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah writes in a post on the Huffington Post blog that also discusses exemptions to branding requirements when aid workers’ security is at risk (10/22).

Mobile Technology Monitors Water Quality: Water for People has released FLOW, “an Android mobile phone app that captures data on water points and sanitation projects in 11 different countries. The data is automatically uploaded to Google Earth so it is free and available for anyone to see and use,” Reuters’ “PopTech” blog writes (Herrup, 10/21).

Global Public Health Conference Webcasts: Webcasts and podcasts from a three-day conference, “The Changing Landscape of Global Public Health,” at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health are available on the website of the Kaiser Family Foundation (October 2010).

IAS Report Notes Recent Gains, Future Challenges of Universal Access To HIV Care: A report (.pdf) from the International AIDS Society, titled “Universal Access: Right Here, Right Now,” complies “some of the principal coverage of universal access at the XVIII International AIDS Conference, including the data, publications and presentations which served to underscore where the international community now stands in reaching the vital commitment made in 2006,” according to the report. An IAS press release adds, the report “confirms that the HIV response has rapidly scaled up in recent years as a result not only of increased bilateral and multilateral funding, but also due to the reduction in the cost of treatment and the application of innovative methods of prevention,” and “reveals the scale of the future challenge for HIV treatment and prevention” (October 2010).