The following announcement, from Eric Williams, calls for any IH section members interested in assisting efforts to address federal global health and HIV/AIDS funding. Please see the text of the announcement below. Eric can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m writing to request assistance in a “grasstops” effort to address federal global health and HIV/AIDS funding. As you are likely well aware, there have been serious threats and concerns regarding global health funding over the last several years. There is a real need to mobilize influential members of our community in an effort to ensure that Congress does not backtrack on our global health commitments.
I am doing some consulting work with amfar and they want to identify experts, donors, high-profile individuals and/or organizations in select states who can reach out to key Senate leadership. We need these individuals/organizations to show and voice their support for continued and sustained commitments for global health.
States of focus include Nevada (Sen. Harry Reid), Iowa (Sen. Tom Harkin), and Washington (Sen. Patty Murray). We believe these senators are in key positions to influence appropriations decisions and sure up support for global health.
The aim of this effort is to:
- identify grasstop individuals/organizations and
- plan, coordinate, and carry out outreach efforts to Senate leadership in a variety of ways, including state-level meetings, Hill visits, op-eds, sign-on letters, and so forth.
If you are interested or able to provide assistance in helping to identify and/or reach out to the above stakeholders, I would be very interested in speaking. If there is strong support for this I would be happy to facilitate a conference call to discuss in full.
August 19 was World Humanitarian Day.
POLITICS AND POLICY
- The CDC has made updates to its flu vaccination recommendations aimed at children and people with egg allergies.
- The United Nations has released a list of 248 organizations from 48 nations that are accredited to attend the UN High Level Meeting (HLM) on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) during September 19-20, 2011. Meanwhile, as has been widely reported (including here and here), negotiations have stalled over an “outcomes document” that is to be approved at the meeting.
- The World Health Organization is calling for a ban on a common blood test for TB, saying the test is unreliable.
- Twenty-two children in Kancheepuram, Indiawho were not allowed to go to school because they are HIV positive have been ordered to return to school after a court ruled in favor of the students.
- International funding for HIV fell by 10 percent in 2010 from the previous year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS; activists worry that a continued reduction will undermine progress in global HIV prevention and treatment efforts.
- A study from Senegal published in the Lancet at the beginning of this month raises doubts over Gates’ plant to beat malaria, blaming mosquitoes’ growing resistance to insecticide and decreased immunity to malaria among the local population.
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Japan International Cooperation Agency have announced a strategic partnership to ensure continued progress in the fight against polio, including an innovative financing agreement to support polio-eradication efforts in Pakistan.
- USAID announced the expansion of its Indoor Residual Spraying program. The $189 million, there-year contract awarded by USAID to Abt. Associates will cover the implementation of IRS activities in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
- WHO has released Psychological First Aid: Guide for Fieldworkers, a guide intended to provide field workers the tools to provide psycho-social support to themselves and those affected by a disaster or humanitarian crisis.
- The first comprehensive etiology study of childhood pneumonia in 3 decades has been launched. Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) will be a collaboration between sites in Africa, Asia and the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- The WHO Says Libya is facing a medical supply crisis.
- The United Nations food agency called on Thursday for long-term aid for farmers in the Horn of Africa, saying constant crises in the region should shame the world.
- A report by the National Institute of Malaria research in Delhi has found that climate change will enable malaria to move to new areas.
- New research finds that radiation from the nuclear plant accident in Japanin March reached Californiawithin days, showing how quickly air pollution can travel, but scientists say the radiation will not hurt people.
- According to an article published in Science, 19 August, cases of Chagas disease are rising outside Latin America, because large numbers of people who are already infected are migrating fromLatin America.
- Len Rubenstein comments on the attacks on healthcare personnel inBahrain and the recent progress made to protect healthcare workers in conflict zones.
INFOGRAPHICS AND OTHER INTERESTING VISUALS
Thanks to Tom Murphy and Mark Leon Goldberg, Larry Johnson (filling in for Tom Paulson), Isobel Hoskins, and Jeff Meer.
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.