The 2011 IH Section award winners have been announced!
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Henry Mosley
- Mid-Career Award: Neil Arya
- Service to Section Award: Donna Barry
- Gordon Wyon Award: John Bryant
Congratulations to this year’s awardees! They will be honored at the section social on Monday night of this year’s Annual Meeting, so don’t miss it!
July 11 was World Population Day. In honor of WPD this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a greater focus on providing improved health to mothers and children.
POLITICS AND POLICY
- Last week, a United States federal appeals court overturned a George W. Bush-era “anti-prostitution pledge” that required all organizations that receive US funds to fight HIV and AIDS to adopt a formal position condemning prostitution and trafficking.
- Uganda’s legislative body has passed a bill that will criminalize the intentional spread of HIV/AIDS.
- An in-depth report by Gregg Carlstrom for Al Jazeera examines the state of the new Republic of South Sudan’s health systems. Future plans appear to be in the right direction, but the present health situation is dire for the newly established
- U.S. officials are defending the CIA’s use of a vaccination program in the hunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden amid concerns from international aid groups that the operation could compromise future public health efforts in Pakistan. The CIA orchestrated a hepatitis vaccination program in the city of Abbottabad in a bid to collect DNA evidence to help identify the location of bin Laden family members.
- A growing reluctance from donor countries to provide funds to help ever-wealthier China battle HIV/AIDS will adversely affect efforts against the disease’s spread, says Michel Sidibe, head of UNAIDS.
- The Medicines Patent Pool, established by UNITAID to share drug patents, has just received its first contribution from Gilead Sciences. This will allow Indian generics companies to make cheap copies of some of the best HIV/AIDS drugs.
- A new study has shown that ARVs taken by women with HIV/AIDS may have an effect on fertility.
- The United Nations praised a study showing that the use of ARVs by people with HIV can reduce chance of infection between partners by 73%.
- Mosquitoes are growing increasingly resistant to pyrethroids, the only insecticides approved by the WHO for use on bednets.
- HIV/AIDS drugs can be used to provide additional protection against infection as well as for treatment of those already affect by the disease, according to results of two studies conducted in Africa.
- Researchers in Tanzania are developing a device that uses the scent of malodorous human socks to attract mosquitoes in the wild, then poisons them. Donations of $775,000 announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada are intended to reduce the global infection rate of malaria by producing an affordable outdoor trap ranging in cost from between $4 and $27.
- A new study says that an inexpensive de-worming pill can help people become deadly to malaria-carrying mosquitoes, but for the pill to work, nearly everyone in a community would have to take the pill at the same time — and repeat monthly. The drug reduces insect lifespan, helping against malaria because only the older mosquitoes can transmit it.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- The World Health Organization says the world is better prepared for the next influenza pandemic. The centerpiece of the plan is to strengthen the capacity of manufacturers to provide enough vaccines to immunize the world’s population against influenza.
- The WHO has certified that Uganda has successfully eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus.
- According to a report published in March 2011 by the United Nations Environment Programme, only two in every five people in the Southern Africa have access to safe water for drinking and household use. Three quarters of those lacking access, live in rural areas and the majority of these are women and children.
- The CDC has expressed concern over the recently discovered strain of gonorrhea in Japan that is resistant to all present antibiotic treatments.
- Drug manufacturers, government representatives and pharmacists from six countries in East Africa have estimated that as much as 30 percent of all drugs on the market are either of very poor quality or counterfeit medicines.
- A lack of financial support and political will are contributing to the upsurge of measles in 33 countries. In an video interview, Andrea Gay at Measles Initiative, explains the different reasons for measles outbreaks in the developing and developed countries.
- The number of children facing death by starvation in Somalia has almost doubled since March and the country’s child malnutrition rate is now the highest in the world, the International Committee of the Red Cross warns. Aid agencies have struggled to reach Somalis affected by drought due to security concerns across the conflict-ravaged country.
Note: I apologize for the hiatus in the news round-up; I went to a major conference for work in April and was very busy with preparations and then wrap-up afterwards.
April 25 was World Malaria Day. According to the WHO, world malaria deaths have fallen 20% from 2000 to 2009.
The Global Health Hub has developed a really nifty global health timeline. It is interactive and open – meaning it can be edited by anyone.
- Scientists have isolated the tuberculosis enzyme that destroys lung tissue, MMP-1. The discovery could speed up the search for treatments, as current regimens do not prevent the lung damage caused by TB infection.
- Results from a recent study indicate that advances in antiretroviral therapy over the last 15 years have considerably improved outcomes for children with HIV who are entering adolescence and young adulthood.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- Aging populations on Japan’s northeast coast are struggling to recover from last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, and health officials are concerned about increased incidence of pneumonia, influenza, respiratory illenss, and blood clots in the legs of older individuals.
- The first WHO Global Status Report on Non-communicable Diseases found that these diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide.
by Ibrahim Kargbo E-mail LinkedIn Twitter
On a recent trip to Haiti to conduct program monitoring and evaluation, I was taken aback by the statement of a woman who was forced to relocate due to the 2010 earthquake. When asked why she continues to attend HIV/AIDS education programs, her response was “…because I was promised a house and money”. Upon further interaction with the woman, I learned that she was told by a responding aid organization that she would be given a house and money to help her recover. Hearing her comment, I was left to question whether or not the responsibility of post-disaster recovery is made clear and rightly shared.
I very much support the massive global response to environmental disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and the recent 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami. As a global community, we share the tremendous responsibility of assisting each other with disaster recovery efforts. Regardless of the disaster, we donate money, time, technical assistance, and other resources to countries in need, either because we are expected to do so or because we are emotionally impelled to assist; whichever is the case, we manage to step up to the plate to provide recovery assistance.
But at what point should disaster recovery become more of the effected country’s responsibility than that of assisting countries? As we overwhelmingly respond to disasters, we forget to remind countries that emergency assistance they receive is only temporary and as citizens, it is they and their governments who are ultimately responsible for recovery efforts and long-term reconstruction. Donors and disaster response agencies should refrain from promising and or providing long-term resources for disaster recovery, doing so may potentially create an environment which citizens and country governments do not take initiative and responsibility for long-term recovery efforts, further handicapping the people’s ability to recover from future disasters.
In a perfect world, country citizens and their governments do not wait for handouts from donors and other countries, but instead, respond to disasters with pride for their country and support of one another. We all should work towards a perfect world.
Ibrahim Kargbo is a Master of Public Health student at George Mason University.
From March 28 to April 1, panelists working in Canada, Uganda, the United States, and Zambia will lead a discussion in GHDonline.org on ways to build sustainable partnerships to strengthen surgical and anesthesia capacity in resource-poor settings. More information can be found here.
March 22 was World Water Day. Blogger Tom Murphy has collected some interesting videos on PSI’s blog here.
Elizabeth Taylor, Hollywood icon and longtime advocate for the fight against HIV/AIDS, passed away on March 23 at age 78.
March 24 was World TB Day.
- China, the world’s largest tobacco producer and home to a third of all smokers, has issued a national ban on smoking in hotels, restaurants and other indoor public spaces.
- Fears are growing among HIV/AIDS sufferers in the Ukraine amid claims from some patients that they have been denied life-saving medicines by authorities during a crackdown on drug substitution therapy.
- The WHO has announced a list of 30 essential medicines for treating common diseases of mothers and children that can be used as the basis for procurement and supply of medicines and guide local medicine production.
- Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Dublin City University and Universidad de Valparaiso (Chile) have developed a self-powered, low-cost chip that can test blood samples and diagnose diseases like tuberculosis and HIV within minutes.
- Researchers have discovered that capsaicin, the compound that makes jalapeños, red chilies, and the famous habanero pepper spicy, inhibit the production of cholera toxins.
- Results from a recent study show that people with HIV who change antiretroviral treatment regimens due to side effects are at higher risk for developing drug resistance.
- The Pakistan Medical Association’s 2011 annual report found that 400,000 infants die in the first year of their life each year and 1 out of 10 children die by the age of five.
- A study by researchers from Johns Hopkins University found that child diarrhea deaths could be almost halved if currently available interventions such as breastfeeding, hand washing with soap, and improved household water treatment were widely implemented.
- Global health and development blogger Amanda Makulec shares seven key ideas that she took home from the Global Health Metrics and Evaluation Conference in Seattle.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- Despite setbacks, work continues at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, in addition to radiation-contaminated vegetables, officials are now warning families to not give Tokyo tap water to infants due to elevated levels of radiation found in the water supply. The World Bank estimates that the earthquake and tsunami have caused as much as $235 billion in damage to Japan and that it will take five years for the nation to recover.
- The crisis in Côte d’Ivoire continues as well, as the country’s healthcare system is strained by the violence.
- Leprosy, which has been officially “eliminated” in India, still affects hundreds of thousands of people who are shunned by society. There are 130,000 new cases diagnosed in the country each year.
- Leaders at the 26th Annual Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International challenged the World Health Organization and countries around the world to take action on the dramatic surge in the global incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.