UNICEF’s goal of eliminating mother-to-child HIV transmission by 2015 is “ambitious … but not impossible,” Scientific American reports. The magazine presents a slide show that “explores what is needed to stop mother-to-child HIV transmission by 2015, following Inonge Siamalambo and her baby Elson of Lusaka, Zambia, through their 18-month commitment to a transmission prevention program” (Diep, 7/13).
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“The Food and Drug Administration needs much more power to protect the U.S. supply of drugs as more and more are made in other countries,” according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Health Group, National Journal reports. The FDA estimates about 80 percent of the active ingredients in medications and up to 40 percent of finished pharmaceuticals are manufactured abroad, often in developing countries with little to no regulatory oversight, the news service adds.
“Vaccine program workers, who sometimes struggle to gain public trust and governmental cooperation in the first place, are furious about the deception” of the CIA in establishing a vaccination program in Pakistan in an attempt to gather DNA from Osama bin Laden’s family, ScienceInsider reports. “Aid workers also say that news of the vaccination plot may undermine their ability to work with the public and with developing world governments,” the news service writes (Reardon, 7/13).
Nature News examines the work of a CDC team working in South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda to investigate nodding syndrome, “a poorly understood and seemingly growing problem in eastern Africa.”
The nations in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa “are at risk of ‘massive famine,’ Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), told the Huffington Post Wednesday.” “It’s very severe,” Shah said. “We know from the data that we’ve been collecting that this is the worst drought in 60 years and itâ€™s going to have severe consequences. Eleven and a half million people are at real risk of malnutrition and famine already,” the Huffington Post reports (Hersh, 7/13).
Health experts and writers continue to react to the CIA’s use of a vaccine campaign to hunt Osama bin Laden:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton argued against cutting U.S. foreign aid in a speech on Tuesday at a meeting of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, the Washington Post’s “Checkpoint Washington” blog reports.
Britain’s cutting of foreign assistance “is not â€¦ just a game of percentages; or a simple set of myths that can be countered to decide whether we spend 0.7 or 0.44 or even 0.01 percentÂ of our national income on ‘aid,'” Joe Cerrell, director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s…
A new survey (.pdf) of more than 5,000 men who have sex with men (MSM), conducted by the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF), “has shown that less than half of MSM around the world have easy access to lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment services,” according to an MSMGF…
Foreign Policy examines the HIV epidemic in Swaziland, where nearly one-fifth of residents are infected. Because of the country’s high per capita infection rate, “[o]ne might expect HIV to slap you in the face. But there are no buildings collapsed by an HIV earthquake, no towns flooded by an HIV tsunami. No zombie-sick people dripping HIV from their eyeballs. You don’t see obvious signs of it outside of the clinics and hospitals or the privacy of homesteads,” the article states. While “Swaziland’s HIV orphans present a frightening problem for the country’s future,” the piece describes one program, called Pasture Valley, that is helping a couple dozen orphans gain an education and health care (Raviv, 7/12).