POLITICS AND POLICY
- Attacks on aid workers are on the increase and one writer believes this largely due to the current “integrated mission” focus of the UN and other donors.
- If the Global Fund is to avoid further adverse media coverage and further consequent donor nervousness, it must urgently implement a more effective and fine-tuned approach to the issues of corruption and transparency.
- The families of two women who died in childbirth are starting a legal action against the government of Uganda, alleging that the inadequate care and facilities provided for pregnant women caused the deaths and violates their country’s constitution and women’s rights to life and health.
- The results of a recent bombshell study revealing the impact of taking ARVs and the spread of HIV has the Obama administration doing some serious pondering over the impact of a policy change.
- The elimination of mother-to-child transmission has become the focus of Rwanda’s ministry of health for reducing the rate of HIV.
- The states in India have been directed by the central government to provide free healthcare to pregnant women and sick neonatal children effective June 1.
- The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has frozen payments on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of disease-fighting grants to China, one of the charity’s biggest recipients, in a dispute over China’s management of the grants and its hostility toward involving grass-roots organizations in public health issues.
- Government think-tanks in China and India have recommended a jointly funded initiative to strengthen traditional medicine innovations in both countries.
- In Ghana, the Oxytocin Initiative Project has begun testing whether community health workers can safely and effectively prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
- ‘Tupange’ is the name of a new outreach program in Kenya that hopes to increase and sustain contraceptive use among urban women.
- Researchers discuss the new developments in vaccines for HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB in the scientific journal Nature.
- Vuvuzelas – the horns used by football fans celebrating last year’s World Cup – not only cause noise pollution but may also spread diseases, say experts. In crowded venues one person blowing a vuvuzela could infect many others with airborne illness like the flu or TB. Mercifully, organisers are considering whether to ban them at the 2012 London Olympics.
- Published by the Institute for Economics & Peace, the Global Peace Index tries to measure peace. This year has seen the world become less peaceful for the third year in a row – and highlights what it says is a continuing threat of terrorism.
- It may be against the law, but wealthier, better-educated families in India are choosing more and more often to abort pregnancies if the child is female, researchers in Canada and India report in the Lancet.
- Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston find that diabetics have a higher risk of contracting TB.
- Lancet once called it “potentially the most important medical advance of the 20th century.” But today, oral rehydration therapy (ORT) — a simple treatment often consisting of a home solution of sugar, salt and water — is under-used, causing untold deaths of children.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
TOTALLY UNRELATED TO ANYTHING ELSE: Apparently, to Nigerians, Bill and Melinda Gates do not look like rich people.
May 12 was International Nurses Day.
USAID’s Frontlines magazine is running an exclusive interview with Dr.
Margaret Chan, the WHO Director-General, in which she discusses current global health priorities and systems strengthening.
Peoples-uni, an open-access education initiative, offers open-access resource and online learning materials for capacity-building in low- and middle-income countries.
- Excessive bleeding following childbirth is the leading cause of maternal deaths in the developing world, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has now approved the use of misoprostol, a drug that considerably reduces this risk.
- Shanghai’s health authority and local hospitals are seeking to reduce the rate of births by cesarean section this year after a recent report showed that far more Shanghai women are undergoing the procedure than is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- For the fifth time, at next week’s WHO General Assembly, countries will debate whether or not to destroy the last two known stockpiles of smallpox.
- The Director General of Nigeria’s drug and food regulator, Dr. Paul Orhii, was in London last week where he lodged a strong case before members states of the World Health Assembly to institute a legal platform to combat the spread of counterfeit drugs.
- Humanosphere’s Tom Paulson writes that funding for childhood vaccinations is not keeping up with the need and is struggling to compete with more high-profile priorities.
- The phenomenon of “poverty tourism” – in which charities and aid organizations take donors on trips to “experience poverty” and meet their beneficiary – is coming under increased scrutiny and generating controversy.
- John Donnelly, writing in GlobalPost, characterizes the Obama Administration’s Global Health Initiative as off to “a slow, stumbling start” in a short series called “Healing the World.”
- Last Wednesday, the WHO launched a campaign to reduce the huge but largely unrecognized burden of traffic deaths and injuries over the next decade.
- An HIV-positive person who takes anti-retroviral drugs after diagnosis, rather than when their health declines, can cut the risk of spreading the virus to uninfected partners by 96%, according to a study.
- New research has revealed that a bacteria present in the gut of mosquitos may be another tool to fight the spread of malaria.
- An experimental drug helped monkeys with a form of the Aids virus control the infection for more than a year, suggesting it may lead to a vaccine for people, or even a cure.
- A study by US scientists, published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that 400,000 females aged 15-49 were raped over a 12-month period in the DRC 2006 and 2007. That comes out to an average of 48 women and girls being raped every hour.
- A new report by MSF argues that switching from using quinine to artesunate to treat malaria could save up to 200,000 lives a year.
- A US study has suggested that homosexual men are more likely to have had cancer than heterosexual men.
- According to the findings of the last Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, getting pregnant soon after childbearing, miscarriage or abortion places mothers and newborns at a higher risk of health complications or even death.
- Results announced today by the United States National Institutes of Health show that if an HIV-positive person adheres to an effective antiretroviral therapy regimen, the risk of transmitting the virus to their uninfected sexual partner can be reduced by 96%.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- According to statistics released by the National Coordinator of the Nigeria’s National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), Dr. Babajide Coker, Nigeria contributes a quarter of the malaria burden in Africa, and a staggering 90 per cent of its citizens are at risk for contracting the disease.
- Johnson & Johnson’s recalled at least 11,700 bottles of HIV/AIDS drug Prezista in several countries, after discovering trace amounts of a chemical emitting offensive odors in five batches of products sold in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria and Canada.
- In China, around 1.5 million people require organ transplants, but just 10,000 receive them each year, as few Chinese agree to donate their organs upon death. Illegal organ traffickers have stepped in to fill that gap.
TOTALLY UNRELATED TO ANYTHING ELSE: Princess Beatrice’s atrocious weird attention-grabbing hat, worn to the royal wedding, is now being auctioned on eBay for UNICEF and Children in Crisis. Um, yay?