This announcement may be of particular interest to those of you interested in reproductive and/or maternal health.
Women Deliver has been running a series of blog posts addressing the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. A number of experts have offered thoughts on a global framework for health after the MDGs. Now is your chance to add to the discussion as Women Deliver is hosting an online discussion starting next week to address reproductive and maternal health:
With the deadlines for the Millennium Development Goals and the International Conference on Population and Development’s Program of Action fast approaching, Women Deliver is calling on the entire reproductive and maternal health community—from policymakers to health workers to advocates—to participate in an online discussion to shape the future of our field. Join this critical global conversation at www.knowledge-gateway.org/womendeliver and weigh in on where we are, where we need to be, and how we need to get there.
This means taking stock of lessons learned, challenges ahead, and tackling the critical question: What will—and what must—happen to the MDGs and ICPD after 2015? Through a series of weekly, e-mail-based discussions, you will have the chance to share your thoughts, experience, and views on specific questions, like the effectiveness of global versus regional MDG targets, the role of civil society in shaping development goals, and the appropriate maternal and reproductive health indicator of tomorrow.
The forum will be open from November 7th to November 23rd, so be sure to make your voice heard!
September 5 was Labor Day.
POLITICS AND POLICY
- The State Department has announced the official US Delegation to the UN High Level Meeting on NCDs, which will take place September 19-20.
- Access to affordable lifesaving medicines will be threatened where they are needed most—in parts of the developing world—if the U.S.insists on implementing restrictive intellectual property policies in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, says Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders).
- Sarah Boseley shares the great news that Kenya has officially made female genital mutilation illegal.
- A federal appeals court in Virginia has dismissed two lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
- United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon singled out sustainable development as the top issue facing the planet with the world’s seven billionth person expected to be born next month. Key to this was climate change, and he said time was running out with the population set to explode this century.
- Thousands of proposed cuts in the US Congress could lead to significant cuts to USAID.
- The Philippines reproductive health bill is still making its way through the senate. Meanwhile, 7 villages in Bataan, the Philippines have banned “artificial contraception” amid national debate over the bill.
- A report co-authored by an Australian academic highlights the need for healthy ecosystems as the basis for sustainable water resources and stable food security for people around the world.
- Sometime this fall, the world’s population will reach 7 billion people. Experts now forecast that by 2050, the population could be 10 billion. Some say those numbers should force policy makers to focus more intently on making family planning much more widely available in the developing world.
- The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has put together a one day conference bringing together innovators and health workers to share ideas about ways to more easily deliver interventions.
- It has been commonly held that insecticide treated bed nets reduce the rate of malaria for people who use them. Now there is hard evidence to back up that assumption.
RESEARCH AND INNOVATIONS
- A new study shows that less than three doses of the vaccine against cervical cancer can effectively protect women in the developing world where 80% of global deaths due to cervical cancer take place.
- Only three African countries are on track to achieve MGD 5, according to an African Institute for Development Policy study.
- Most efforts in the Western world seeking to find solutions for developing world problems tend to think of inventing new technologies or, at least, using the tools we typically use to fix things — modern drugs for diseases, improved seeds for crops, a better mousetrap. Sometimes, all you need is a newly geared donkey.
- Scientists may have developed a new TB vaccine after tests showed the elimination of TB from infected tissue in mice.
- A socially active lifestyle can dramatically speed up weight loss through the burning of fat in mice, a study shows. Researchers at Ohio State University in the US identified a link between the amount of social interaction in a mouse’s environment and its weight.
- An easy-to-use diagnostic chip for HIV could “give results in minutes” and be a game changer in the field of cheap diagnostics for remote regions, claim the researchers who developed it.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- Having to contend with U.S.army drones and the crossfire between the Taliban and the Pakistani army, the residents of Pakistan’s tribal areas find access to treatment for HIV/AIDS harder than in most other parts of the world.
- Three-quarters of a million people are facing death by starvation in Somalia according the United Nations, who declared Monday that famine had spread to a sixth southern region of the beleaguered Horn of Africa state. Meanwhile, an investigation has revealed that masses of food meant for famine victims in Somalia are being stolen. There have also been reports of rioting and killings during food distribution at camps for famine victims.
- A magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck 100km southwest of the city of Medan, Sumatra and 110km beneath the earth’s crust.
- A New York Times editorial castigates the international community’s response to the cholera outbreak in Haiti.
- The CEO of insulin manufacturer Novo Nordisk says the WHO should buy low cost diabetes drugs in bulk for the developing world.
- Messages of good health and positive self-esteem for girls aren’t hard to come by in kid lit, so what’s the deal with all the attention for a not-yet-published rhyming picture book about an obese, unhappy 14-year-old named Maggie?
INFOGRAPHICS AND OTHER MEDIA
The following announcement is from Peter Freeman, chair of the section’s Advocacy and Policy Committee, regarding their first Advocacy Day to take place in conjunction with this year’s Annual Meeting in Washington,DC.
To all International Health Section Members:
The Advocacy/Policy Committee would like to invite you to participate in our first Advocacy Day, led in partnership with the Global Health Council. The day, scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd, 2011, will be an opportunity for us to voice support for a continued focus on international health to our elected officials. With the intense Congressional pressure to cut the budget, our voices can make a real difference. As a participant during this exciting day, you will be provided with training materials on effective advocacy techniques to ensure your message is clearly heard. Even if you do not have advocacy experience, you need not hesitate to sign up because you will be teamed with others. Please consider joining your fellow International Health Section members on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 on Capitol Hill to advocate for a healthy globe.
Interested parties should contact Peter Freeman, Advocacy/Policy Committee Chair, at email@example.com or 773.318.4842 with their name, phone number and e-mail address. A registration link for the Advocacy Day will be sent out to the section by mid-September; please be on the lookout for it.
August 20 was World Mosquito Day.
On August 22, the Gates Foundation celebrated its 12-year anniversary (well, sort of).
POLITICS AND POLICY
- Donor funding for AIDS has decreased by 10 percent during the recent economic recession. The overall decrease in global AIDS funding marks a stark reversal in trends for previous years.
- Proposals for Round 8 of the Grand Challenge Exploration, a $100 million grant initiative to encourage innovation in global health and development research, are now being accepted. Proposals can be submitted until November 17, 2011 at 11:30 am Pacific Daylight Time.
- Researchers from Michigan State Universityare working on bringing a low-cost, hand-held device to nations with limited resources to help physicians detect and diagnose cancer. The Gene-Z device is operated using an iPod Touch or Android-based tablet and performs genetic analysis on microRNAs and other genetic markers.
- The problem of obesity is spreading around the world and poses serious health threats. The finding is part of a new special report on obesity, and how to combat it in the medical journal the Lancet.
- A team of Australian researchers have discovered a breakthrough in the reduction of dengue. By injecting mosquitoes with a bacteria, they were able to block them from transmitting the virus that kills 20,000 people a year.
- Nanotechnology, the science of manipulating tiny particles, has is rapidly finding wide application. Developing countries that embrace nanotechnology should not overlook possible risks and must regulate products that contain nanoparticles.
- A study has found that nasal spray vaccines for influenza delivered to children between the age of six months and three years old are more effective than other vaccines.
- In a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that agricultural giant Monsanto’s GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- The current famine in the Horn of Africa has again brought to our attention the interaction between climate change, food prices and extreme weather conditions on the African continent.
- Most of the world’s population growth today is in urban areas creating what some are dubbing unstable, unsustainable “mega-cities.” A new report by the World Wildlife Fund says that by 2050, about 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas creating “horrendous” problems.
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, a combination of inaccurate testing and patients quick to seek treatment has lead to a worrisome trend: treating patients for malaria when they do not have the disease.
- HIV epidemics are emerging among men who have sex with men in the Middle East and North Africa, researchers say. It’s a region where HIV/AIDS isn’t well understood, or studied. More than 5 percent of men who have sex with men are infected by HIV in countries including Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia, according to a recent study in PLoS Medicine. In one group of men in Pakistan, the rate of infection was about 28 percent.
INFOGRAPHICS AND OTHER INTERESTING VISUALS
Thanks to Tom Murphy and Mark Leon Goldberg, Tom Paulson, and Isobel Hoskins.