Author Archives: CSIS Commission

Fulfilling DREAMS in South Africa

Pilot projects are getting under way to lessen the impact of HIV among young women and adolescent girls by helping them become Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe under what’s being called the DREAMS initiative. The female 15-24 age group is particularly vulnerable to HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for more than seven out of ten new infections.

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Zika Virus: A Report from CSIS

On February 1, Margaret Chan, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), acting on the recommendations of 18 infectious disease experts, stated: “I am now declaring that the recent cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders reported in Brazil, following a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014, constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”

Posted in Aid & Development, Family planning, Infant & Child Health, Infectious Disease, Maternal & Reproductive Health, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Policy & Systems, Women & Children | Tagged | Comments closed

Delivering Health Services to Ethiopia’s Borderlands

Delivering basic health services to border populations is a challenge confronted by developing nations around the world, and Ethiopia is no exception. At the farthest reaches of its territorial boundaries, Ethiopia faces the daunting task of providing health care to culturally diverse populations that are geographically isolated, highly mobile, and often lacking access to even the most basic health infrastructure.

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Unsettled World Creates New Challenges for Polio Eradication—IMB

Stopping all polio transmission by the end of 2016 will require enhanced security for immunization campaigns and devising ways to vaccinate children in increasingly complicated settings, the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio Eradication initiative argues in its October report. Fluctuating security situations along with growing displaced populations create a heightened risk of outbreaks, not just in the Middle East, but in parts of Europe as well since refugees sometimes skirt designated camps and avoid registration in attempts to resettle.

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Rights On the Alameda

Last month I was in Mexico City to attend the first Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference, which ran from October 18 to 21. The theme of the meeting, hosted by Mexico’s Secretaría de Salud, and co-organized by the Maternal Health Task Force, Save the Children, and USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), was “reaching every mother and newborn with quality care.”

Posted in Aid & Development, Conferences, Infant & Child Health, Maternal & Reproductive Health, Policy & Systems, Women & Children | Comments closed

Drought in Ethiopia: Can a humanitarian disaster be avoided this time?

Across swathes of eastern Ethiopia, there’s no water to be found. Overall, an estimated 15 million people are likely to need emergency food aid.

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Meeting the Challenges of Global Polio Eradication


On September 28, 2015, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center hosted a major international conference on global polio eradication, bringing together top experts from around the world to discuss key remaining challenges to eradicating the paralytic disease.

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WHO’s SAGE Gives Final Nod to April Polio Vaccine Switch

The vaccine switch calls on all national immunization programs to move from a trivalent OPV that provides immunity for all three types of wild, or naturally occurring, poliovirus to a bivalent version that addresses only types 1 and 3. The shift will greatly reduce the incidence of both circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses and vaccine-associated paralytic polio since the type 2 vaccine virus is responsible for 90% and 40% of such cases, respectively. The Global Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis determined earlier this year that type 2 wild poliovirus has been eradicated, paving the way for the type 2 vaccine to be eliminated.

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A Real Test for the GFF: Improving Maternal and Child Health in Conflict Settings

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A highlight of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held last week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was the launch of a new Global Financing Facility (GFF) to end preventable maternal and child deaths by 2030. This partnership will bring together countries, UN agencies, multilateral groups, private sector investors, and civil society organizations in order to close the $33 billion annual funding gap for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH).

Posted in Aid & Development, Featured Content, General Global Health, Infant & Child Health, Maternal & Reproductive Health, Policy & Systems, Women & Children | Comments closed

An Opportune Time to Strengthen Health Information Systems

Ensuring health information systems are standardized and well-coordinated is essential to improving health outcomes across a range of countries and realizing many of the health goals laid out by the international community. Indeed, timely and accurate data is required to build political will for domestic investments into health systems; make evidence-based decisions to respond to inequities in health; measure progress in achieving national and subnational goals; identify and prepare for potential health threats; and progressively realize universal health coverage and global health security.

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Successes in HIV Overshadow Failures in TB

The world is celebrating a giant milestone in the fight against HIV: 15 million people are now on lifesaving treatment using highly effective antiretroviral drugs! It’s a huge win for global health, and of course for the millions whose lives have been saved.

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Leaving No Man Behind: Improving HIV Services for Men

Over the past decade, the South African government has made progress in tackling HIV, and now provides over three million patients with access to life-saving antiretroviral therapies (ARTs).

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South Africa’s Health Challenges: An Elephant in the Room


The United States and South Africa have a longstanding relationship around health. As one of the countries most deeply impacted by the AIDS epidemic, South Africa has been a major recipient of U.S. financial and technical assistance through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. HIV/AIDS remains a significant burden to the country, requiring ongoing attention and resources from the national government and its international partners.

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Thomas Frieden And The U.S. Ebola Response


Most remarkable, within a month the controversy surrounding the threat of Ebola to Americans had mushroomed into a political emergency for the Obama presidency itself, only a few tense weeks before the November 4 elections. Calls escalated for the appointment of an Ebola czar and a travel ban on persons originating in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the root sources of the Ebola emergency. A special measure of criticism was reserved for the Obama administration’s lead face in the U.S. response, Dr.

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