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Secretary of HHS Sebelius addresses World Health Assembly

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, addressed the Plenary Session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. In her comments, Secretary Sebelius dicussed the international response to the recent outbreak of the H1N1 virus. Secretary Sebelius also discussed President Obama’s new Global Health Initiative stating that “our world demands a new, integrated approach to public health – one that seeks to understand and target the many factors that that can threaten the lives and livelihoods of all our citizens.”

H.R. 2639 – Global Poverty Act of 2009

The proposed bill directs the President to develop and implement a strategy to reduce global poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Among other things, the bill requires that the strategy include measurable goals, benchmarks, and timelines, and that it build upon, leverage, and better coordinate existing efforts to address issues relevant to global poverty such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, water, and hunger. Finally, the bill requires the President to report back to Congress regularly on the progress of the strategy.

PEPFAR Launches Five-Year Strategy

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) launched a five-year strategy outlining “the high-level direction of the program for its next phase.”

The strategy states that “PEPFAR will:

· Transition from an emergency response to promotion of sustainable country programs;

· Strengthen partner government capacity to lead the response to this epidemic and other health demands;

· Expand prevention, care, and treatment in both concentrated and generalized epidemics;

· Integrate and coordinate HIV/AIDS programs with broader global health and development programs to maximize impact on health systems; and

· Invest in innovation and operations research to evaluate impact, improve service delivery and maximize outcomes.”

State Department releases fact sheet titled “America’s Commitment to the Fight Against Global AIDS”

The fact sheet summarizes U.S. efforts to address HIV/AIDS including the latest results from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Additionally, the fact sheet states that “the U.S. is placing a renewed emphasis on supporting partner country ownership of AIDS programs” and that “the Global Health Initiative will continue America’s commitment to priorities like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and will integrate current programs with those that address maternal and child health, family planning and neglected tropical diseases.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement on World Tuberculosis Day

In a statement on World Tuberculosis Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listed the ways the U.S. is involved in addressing TB while also stating “there is still much more to be done” and “the State Department should continue and expand its commitment to reducing the global burden of TB.”

Statement by U.S. Representative at Annual United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Population Fund Joint Executive Board Meeting

In a statement at the annual joint Executive Board meeting of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), Rosemary A. DiCarlo, U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs stated that “the United States looks to UNFPA as a key partner in our efforts to increase worldwide access to reproductive health and family planning” and that the U.S. “will work to integrate women-focused interventions among our health programs and link maternal health, voluntary family planning, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and other health services.”

Resolution supporting World Tuberculosis Day introduced in Senate

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced a resolution (S.Res. 393) “supporting the goals of World Tuberculosis Day to raise awareness about tuberculosis.” Among other things, the resolution states that the U.S. Senate “reaffirms the commitment to global tuberculosis control set forth in the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria…