Global Health News Last Week

The IH Newsletter is up! The Winter 2011 edition features several articles written by section members on various topics, a social media corner, fellowships and internships, and member publications. Check it out, and please consider contributing to the Spring edition!

On Tuesday, USAID administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah gave the 2011 David E. Barmes Global Health Lecture at NIH. His speech, titled “Addressing Grand Challenges:The Role of Science in Global Health Development,” can be viewed here. The transcript can also be downloaded, or you can read it on USAID’s website here. Also, you can check out commentary by Amanda Glassman, Sarah Arnquist, and K4Health.

Cholera, as usual, remains in the news: experts say the outbreak in Haiti has plateaued, while the one in Papua New Guinea rages on, and it is just getting started in Ghana. Meanwhile, health officials in Bangladesh prepare to launch the world’s largest cholera vaccine trial near Dhaka, the capital.

Scientists from Edinburgh University claim that the malarial parasite is particularly deadly because it competes with other strains of the infection by focusing on producing quickly-replicating cells, thus “duking it out” in the bloodstream. On a more positive note, Kenyan scientists believe that a spider that is attracted to the smell of human sweat may aid in the fight against the disease.

UN experts maintain that the laws in many Asian countries obstruct access to HIV/AIDS care and services. Nineteen countries in the region outlaw same-sex relations, and 29 criminalize prostitution. The remarks were made just before the Global Commission of HIV and the Law took place in Bangkok, where experts from around the world gathered to discuss HIV-related legal and human rights issues. Also, China has declared its intention to bring the spread of AIDS under control by 2020.

According to the WHO, Moldova has emerged as the world leader in per-capita alcohol consumption.

Experts have been sounding the alarm about rising food prices, and many analysts have linked the crisis to the recent riots in north Africa and the Middle East.

Obama and the Republicans continue to battle over the budget, as the president requests a modest increase in global health funds while Congressional Republicans try to slash spending.

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