Attention IH Section Members: Dr. Kaja Abbas, MPH student at the University of Rochester, is gauging interest in forming a working group focused on using system science to improve global health, similar to the intitiaves being promoted by NIH. Her interests are in conducting system science research on global health policy by modeling population and disease dynamics and economic evaluation of public health interventions and systems, with a focus on HIV and TB. Dr. Malcolm Bryant, our section chair, has encouraged the expansion of our section’s activities in areas of technical expertise, and Dr. Abbas is enthusiastic about a working group within the section that promotes system science methodologies for global health solutions. She welcomes your thoughts and suggestions at kaja [dot] abbas [at] gmail [dot] com.
Global Health Delivery online’s HIV prevention community is hosting a “virtual expert panel” March 7-11 to continue the dialogue around PrEP as a novel approach to prevention. Panelists from Uganda, South Africa and the United States will lead the online discussion, highlighting various barriers and opportunities to implementing PrEP in clinical settings; how to encourage long-term adherence; and what additional research questions need to be answered. Panelists include (1) Douglas Krakower, MD, a fellow in Infectious Diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, (2)Andrew Mujugira, MBChB, MSc, the East Africa regional medical director for the Partners PrEP study, and (3) Vivek Naranbhai, PhD, who was involved in CAPRISA microbicide gel study. All GHDonline members can participate in this online discussion. You can sign up here if you are not currently a member.
- Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people in the Eastern Province of Zambia has urged his subjects to get circumcised in order to reduce the chances of spreading HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases in his land.
- Britain is threatening to pull out of the Food and Agriculture Organization due to “patchy” performance.
- Due to uncertainty in past estimates, the Indian government has formed a 16-member expert group to determine the annual death rate caused by malaria in the country each year.
- The breakdown of the air conditioning in the plenary hall of the Philippines’ House of Representatives stalled the heated debate of a controversial reproductive health bill. The bill is vehemently opposed by the Catholic Church and pro-life groups and has caused a stir in the largely Catholic country.
- A massive demonstration rally was held in New Delhi to protest a free trade agreement between India and Europe, which many fear may threaten the production of low-cost generic drugs, particularly HIV medicines.
- US researchers believe that half of men in the general population may be infected with human papillomavirus or HPV, the human wart virus that causes cervical and other cancers, strengthening the case for vaccinating boys against HPV.
- A recent study published in the WHO bulletin argues for the need to implement gender-specific tobacco control activites to curb the growing tobacco epidemic.
- The World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, announced the launch of the Global Health Data Charter, a project designed to improve global health by leveraging the collection and management of data.
- A new study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that the poorest in Thailand have significantly more difficulty accessing diabetes care than the general population.
- A research trial found that a microbicide gel with the ARV tenofovir, initially designed for vaginal use, may also be effective in stopping HIV transmission during anal sex.
- A report released by UNICEF, “The State of the World’s Children 2011,” highlighted India’s poor child and maternal health conditions.
- Dr. Bruce Aylward, head of the WHO’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative, discusses why it is so difficult to eradicate polio. Meanwhile, former US President Jimmy Carter is leading his own campaign to make guinea worm the second disease (after smallpox) to be eradicated.
- Amanda Glassman writes about Bangladesh’s success story in drastically lowering its maternal mortality rate.
- The International HIV/AIDS Alliance is expanding its project (which is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development) to reduce HIV-related maternal mortality in South Sudan.
- Prompted by Burma’s (Myanmar’s) transition to “civilian rule” after last November’s elections, the Global Fund has returned and is providing grants for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB programs.
- The WHO has declared Nepal polio-free after no infections were reported during a six-month period, while a new outbreak is spiking in the DRC.
- The massive flow of refugees fleeing violence in Libya has created a humanitarian crisis, as organizations struggle to provide for the basic needs of nearly 175,000 people who have crossed the border into Tunisia, Egypt, and Niger.
- After losing 4,500 lives to the cholera epidemic that raged through Haiti after the January 2009 earthquake, doctors in Port-au-Prince say they are bringing the disease under control. Unfortunately, health experts fear that the rainy season will cause a fresh outbreak in Nigeria.