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Recent Releases: USAID Leader; CSIS Commission; Senate Malaria Working Group; Combating HIV Stigma

Obama Must ‘Urgently’ Appoint ‘Strong’ USAID Leader

According to a Lancet editorial examining USAID, though there is “deep involvement” from the State Department, “without a strong leader” at USAID, there is “justifiable fear” that programs could be “directed to achieve short-term political gain.” The Lancet writes, “[a]ll the building blocks are in place” with President Obama’s expanded global health initiative and a recent proposal to overhaul U.S. foreign aid. However, “Obama’s preoccupation with U.S. health-care reform must not distract him from urgently and speedily finding and appointing a strong candidate to competently lead USAID,” the journal concludes (8/15). 

Blog: CSIS Commission Lessons From Kenya

In a SmartGlobalHealth.org blog post reflecting on a recent CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy trip to Kenya, Admiral Bill Fallon makes three observations about his time in the country. “First, security for the individual is an essential prerequisite” for effective health interventions; second, “governance and host government policies are profoundly influential in shaping health outcomes;” and third, the “[a]vailability of essential services and commodities at affordable cost appears to be a key driver of outcomes,” Fallon writes (8/13).

Senators Launch Bi-Partisan Senate Working Group on Malaria

Senators Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) last Thursday launched the Senate Working Group on Malaria, which aims to increase awareness and support to fight the disease worldwide (Policy Tracker, 8/6).  More information on recent U.S. global health policy developments is available on Kaiser’s Policy Tracker tool.

Journal of the International AIDS Society Examines HIV-Related Stigma In Health Care Facilities

A Journal of the International AIDS Society review paper highlights the importance of fighting HIV-related stigma in health care facilities. “Studies from different parts of the world reveal that there are three main immediately actionable causes of HIV-related stigma in health facilities: lack of awareness among health workers of what stigma looks like and why it is damaging; fear of casual contact stemming from incomplete knowledge about HIV transmission; and the association of HIV with improper or immoral behaviour.” The authors call for an investment in stigma-reduction strategies throughout health care settings worldwide (8/6).