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U.S. and Russia sign Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Public Health and Medical Sciences

The memorandum, signed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development, includes the involvement of the “U.S. Agency for International Development, scientific research institutions, including those of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, and other organizations of the two countries,” and focuses on the following areas: infectious diseases, chronic and non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health protection, and improving global health.

S. 1591 – 21st Century Global Health Technology Act

The proposed bill would establish the “Health Technology Program” within USAID to “develop, advance, and introduce affordable, available, and appropriate technologies specifically designed: a) to improve the health and nutrition of developing country populations; b) to reduce maternal and child mortality; and c) to improve the diagnosis, prevention and reduction of disease, especially HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other major diseases.” The bill requires that program funding be provided by USAID on a competitive basis and that the USAID Administrator provide an annual report to Congress on the progress and outlook of the program. Finally, the bill authorizes the appropriation of $5 million for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.

CRS Report – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global Health Programs: FY2001-FY2010

From the report summary: “This report explains the role CDC plays in U.S. global health assistance, highlights how much the agency has spent on global health efforts from FY2001 to FY2010, and discusses how funding to each of its programs has changed during this period.”

USAID announces new program to address substandard and counterfeit medicines in developing countries

USAID announced the Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) Program, a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) that “will serve as a primary mechanism to help assure the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines that are essential to USAID’s priority health programs.”

Senator Sherrod Brown urges President Obama to include TB as a “prominent” part of the Global Health Initiative

Senator Brown wrote a letter to President Obama urging him “to make global tuberculosis (TB) control a prominent component of the Global Health Initiative (GHI).” In his letter, Senator Brown stated that “a request of $650 million for bilateral TB programs in fiscal year 2011 would represent a significant step in the right direction.”

“U.S.-China Joint Statement” includes commitments on global health issues

The White House released a joint statement between the U.S. and China in which the two countries “agreed to collaborate further in joint research in the health sector including on stem cells. They will deepen cooperation on global public health issues, including Influenza A (H1N1) prevention, surveillance, reporting and control, and on avian influenza, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. They will also enhance cooperation on food and product safety and quality.”

President Obama announces new $63 billion Global Health Initiative

President Obama announced a new Global Health Initiative and his request of Congress to approve $8.6 billion in FY 2010 and $63 billion over six years to support this effort. The President stated that the initiative will continue to support and build upon efforts to address AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis initiated by the previous administration, but it will also “do more to improve health systems around the world, focus our efforts on child and maternal health, and ensure that best practices drive the funding for these programs.”

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.”