In this post in the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Health Policy” blog, Victoria Fan, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD), and Felix Lam, a malaria research analyst, examine the discrepancies between the WHO’s estimated number of malaria deaths worldwide and the data recently released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). They ask, “Given the 1.2 billion dollars by donors to malaria in 2010, is it unreasonable to demand to know with more certainty, how many people are dying from malaria?” and go on to describe how each group analyzed data to get to their conclusions (2/9).
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“Amidst pro-democracy protests, the Russian authorities have taken what is an ongoing assault on HIV prevention to the next level by moving to silence public health advocates whose only infraction has been to spread lifesaving information online and to criticize the government for its own failures,” Eka Iakobishvili, a human rights analyst at Harm Reduction International, and Claudia Stoicescu, an analyst on Harm Reduction International’s public health research team, write in this Huffington Post opinion piece. “While Prime Minister Putin spoke glowingly of digital democracy” in a recent column praising the potential for “internet-based democracy,” “his anti-drugs agency is censoring websites for writing about WHO essential medicine,” the authors note.
Proposed Intellectual Property Agreement Between E.U., India Could Affect Generic Drug Exports, Advocacy Groups Say
The Independent examines how “[t]he cheap supply of antiretroviral drugs to people with AIDS across the world could be choked by an ‘intellectual property’ deal … being negotiated [on Friday] at the 12th E.U.-India summit in New Delhi between the President of the European Commission, JosÃ© Manuel Barroso, and the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.”
Donor Fatigue, Funding Cutbacks Could Mean Another 50 Years Of AIDS Epidemic, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Says
“With enough money spent in the right way, the world could soon reduce new HIV infections to zero, but global apathy and the financial crisis mean it might take another 50 years to stop the AIDS epidemic, a U.N. expert has said,” AlertNet reports. “At a time when HIV/AIDS efforts face an unprecedented decline in funding, Paul De Lay, deputy executive director of UNAIDS …, called on developing states to take more responsibility for tackling HIV in their own countries rather than relying on international assistance,” the news service notes.
“Grand Challenges Canada [on Thursday] announced 15 grants valued in total at more than $1.5 million awarded to some of Canada’s most creative innovators from across the country in support of their work to improve global health conditions,” according to a press release from the Sandra Rotman Centre for Global Health, which hosts Grand Challenges (2/9). “The grants are meant to fund ideas such as a simply designed, inexpensive prosthetic leg and a test for pneumonia that can be done on a cellphone in poor countries with few resources,” CBC News notes (Dakin, 2/9). The press release lists the grantees, briefly describes their innovations and provides a link to access two-minute videos created by each grantee to explain his or her proposal (2/9).
In this post on the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Health Policy” blog, Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and a research fellow at CGD, and Denizhan Duran, a research assistant in global health policy at CGD, describe a paper they wrote in which they try to determine “[w]hich donor provides the ‘best’ health aid, and why [this is] a relevant question.” They write, “To be honest, one working paper later, we still do not have a definite answer to either question,” but “we do know … that health aid is relevant: effective health aid has saved lives, and technologies like oral rehydration salts and vaccination are among the most efficient development interventions money can buy.” The authors say they “rank donors across four dimensions of aid effectiveness: maximizing efficiency, fostering institutions, reducing burden and transparency and learning,” and invite readers to explore their data.
In this study published in Health Affairs this month, researchers investigated the concept known as “additionality,” where donor nations and philanthropic organizations “require that funds provided for a specific health priority such as HIV should supplement domestic spending on that priority.” Using data from Honduras, Rwanda, and Thailand, the authors found that “the three countries increased funding for HIV in response to increased donor funding” and “suggest that it would be preferable for donors and countries to agree on how best to use available domestic and external funds to improve population health, and to develop better means of tracking outcomes, than to try to develop more sophisticated methods to track additionality” (February 2012).
Experts Discuss Benefits Of Combining Deworming, School Feeding Programs At Meeting With U.K. Parliament
This post in the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End the Neglect” blog reports on an event held on Wednesday in London during which John Kufuor, former president of Ghana and winner of the 2011 World Food Prize, addressed the U.K. Parliament “about how school feeding programs can help millions of people currently living in poverty.” According to the blog, “In coordination with [the Partnership for Child Development (PCD)] and Deworm the World, the Global Network shared information at the event about combining deworming efforts with school feeding programs in order to strengthen agriculture, health and education programs,” noting, “Parasitic worm infections often undermine existing school feeding programs by causing malnutrition and anemia even in children who are well-fed” (2/9).
Applauding the signing of the so-called “London Declaration on NTDs” by a consortium of public and private partners last week, Ned Breslin, CEO of Water For People, writes in this Huffington Post “Impact” opinion piece, “I am saddened by the emphasis on vaccines and medicines as the seemingly only vehicles to eradicate NTDs by London Declaration signatories. And I wonder where water, sanitation and hygiene are in this mix, as by all accounts it is not anywhere to be seen in the NTD eradication initiative.”
Inter Press Service reports on a cholera outbreak in Malawi’s Nsanje and Chikhwawa districts, located on the southern border with Mozambique, noting that government officials have attributed the outbreak to declining sanitation conditions as a result of flooding in late January. According to IPS, “up to 550 pit latrines were washed away in Nsanje alone, a district hardest hit by the floods,” and “[s]ewage from the latrines has contaminated water sources in the district, including boreholes and dug-out wells, thereby escalating the cholera incidents, according to the assistant Disaster Management Officer for Nsanje, Humphrey Magalasi.”