John Githongo, an advocate for transparency and good governance, is well-known for his work as the anti-corruption czar in Kenya, where in 2003 he uncovered a $1 billion scheme involving some of the country’s top ministers. His probing incited a backlash that forced him to flee the country for fear of his life, taking up a fellowship at Oxford where he released a report documenting government graft. Since then, Githongo has devoted his efforts to eliminating corruption and injustice in Kenya and across Africa. His lecture will focus on what outsiders—the high-income countries and emerging powers—can do to help foster democracy and poverty reduction in the developing world.
Anti-corruption pioneer Githongo is featured speaker of CGD’s seventh annual Richard H. Sabot Lecture honoring the life and work of Richard “Dick” Sabot, a friend, co-author, and founding member of CGD’s board of directors. CGD president Nancy Birdsall hosts as moderator for a discussion after the lecture.
World AIDS Day was observed on December 1st by the CDC and its partners from around the globe. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/worldaidsday/?s_cid=fb1285) According to the report by the World Health Organization (WHO) there has been 15% reduction of new infections and a 22% decline in death due to this deadly virus. (Source: http://www.who.int/en/)
The Guardian has put out a global map showing the level of corruption country-by-country based on data from Transparency International. (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/dec/01/world-corruption-index-transparency-international-map)
Politics and Policies:
Diseases and Disasters:
These headlines were compiled by Vani Nanda, MPH Candidate at West Chester University PA.
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.