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Child mortality worldwide is down, but it’s not always clear why

Somali mother cradles her malnourished, ill child UN Child mortality is widely recognized as an indicator of a community’s overall health, with reductions in child deaths often cited as evidence of the impact of a particular intervention. Two high-profile events in Washington, DC, and Johannesburg, South Africa recently celebrated the progress made worldwide in reducing maternal … Continue reading →

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Interactive Map: Africa’s mixed progress on water and sanitation access

If all goes according to plan, every person in the world will have access to clean water and sanitation by 2030. Only 30% of people living in sub-Saharan Africa have access to sanitation. Water is doing slightly better with 66% access in the region. They both have the fact that they are off track for … Continue reading →

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The World Health Assembly

Dear Colleagues, This week Remco van de Pas flew back and forth between the Netherlands (European elections), Antwerp (ITM) and Geneva (World Health Assembly), and he mailed me it’s been a gruelling week. Read below some of his first comments on the WHA, or ‘The World Health Theatre’, as he calls it.  More might follow early next week. … And finally it has arrived, The World Health Assembly in Geneva! This is something of an annual ritual for me.

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Congress Considering Measures To Help Electrify Africa

Inter Press Service: U.S. Debating “Historic” Support for Off-Grid Electricity in Africa “Pressure is building [in Washington, D.C.,] for lawmakers to pass a bill that would funnel billions of dollars of U.S. investment into strengthening Africa’s electricity production and distribution capabilities, and could offer broad new support for off-grid opportunities…” (Biron, 7/21).


Report Shows No Reduction In Foreign Aid Programs’ Waste, Duplication

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Waste, overlap, and inefficiency still plague foreign aid programs — report “…Despite this drive for results, a new report by top Washington think tanks finds no measurable advance in reducing waste and duplication in foreign aid programs, nor any improvement in how aid was distributed in the years from 2008 through 2012,…More


What’s Hot at This Year’s International AIDS Conference? Our Bet’s on PrEP

There’s no doubt that Treatment as Prevention (TasP) will receive continued emphasis at this year’s International Aids Conference (IAC), as advocates argue for aggressively expanding treatment from the 9 million worldwide currently on antiretrovirals (ARVs) to the 35 million people who are HIV infected.  But at the TasP workshop in Vancouver last month the more challenging and novel topic was pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.  A whole array of sessions on PrEP is already on the agenda for next week’s conference in Melbourne, and our bet is that PrEP will generate a lot of buzz – an approach with intriguing potential, but edgy downside possibilities. What is PrEP


What to Expect at This Year’s International AIDS Conference

Our Condolences to All Affected by Flight MH117 There’s no doubt that Treatment as Prevention (TasP) will receive continued emphasis at this year’s International Aids Conference (IAC), as advocates argue for aggressively expanding treatment from the 9 million worldwide currently on antiretrovirals (ARVs) to the 35 million people who are HIV infected.  But at the TasP workshop in Vancouver last month the more challenging and novel topic was pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.  A whole array of sessions on PrEP is already on the agenda for next week’s conference in Melbourne, and our bet is that PrEP will generate a lot of buzz – an approach with intriguing potential, but edgy downside possibilities. What is PrEP?


Evaluation Helps Understand Factors Influencing Child, Maternal Mortality

Humanosphere: Child mortality worldwide is down, but it’s not always clear why Katie Leach-Kemon, a Humanosphere contributor and policy translation specialist at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, discusses the importance of evaluation to help understand the factors contributing to reductions in child and maternal mortality (7/10).


Child mortality worldwide is down, but it’s not always clear why

World map

Somali mother cradles her malnourished, ill child UN Child mortality is widely recognized as an indicator of a community’s overall health, with reductions in child deaths often cited as evidence of the impact of a particular intervention. Two high-profile events in Washington, DC, and Johannesburg, South Africa recently celebrated the progress made worldwide in reducing maternal … Continue reading →


Article: Can Aid Donors Help Support LGBT Rights in Developing Countries?

Rachel Hammonds reflects on Monday’s half-day event at ODI exploring whether international aid can play a role in defending lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in developing countries. The 7 July Overseas Development Institute (ODI) conference addressing this issue was a lively, thought provoking event. The excellent chairing by the witty Simon Fanshawe (Kaleidoscope Trust) ensured that the packed panels (7 minutes per speaker!) progressed more smoothly than my fraught Channel crossing Eurostar ordeal involving over eight hours of delays. LGBT Discrimination – a Trojan Horse? Jessica Horn (African based women’s rights consultant) argued persuasively that the choice to discriminate is a political one and that LGBT-phobia is a Trojan Horse through which African leaders can distract voters and restrict debate on other power related issues.  Several panellists suggested that Western grandstanding helps further polarize the issue and is counterproductive.  There was much agreement that it is time for Westerners to get off the moral high horse and quietly fund the priorities of grass roots activists and engage with global and regional mechanisms like the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.


Public-Private Partnerships Can Further Global Health Efforts, Says Shah

GlobalPost: Public-private partnerships: A ‘win-win’ for global health? “When USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah announced more than $600 million in new partnerships with private organizations last month, including giant multinationals Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson, the news was heralded in Washington as another stride in the agency’s path to ending preventable child and maternal mortality. Shah’s…More


Ebola Outbreak Presents Numerous Challenges In West Africa

Washington Post: West Africa faces challenges to contain the Ebola outbreak Meredith Dyson, health program manager with Catholic Relief Services in Sierra Leone “The June 30 [Washington Post] editorial ‘Ebola, unchecked’ highlighted the severity of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa but inadequately portrayed the challenges faced by the governments of the affected countries. ……More


Panel Of Experts Discusses Improving Prenatal Care In Developing Nations

Medill News Service/United Press International: Poor prenatal care driving change in developing nations “Contraception, health care coverage, abortion-rights debates — the dominating issues in the women’s health debate in the United States also resonate internationally, especially in developing countries and areas with low resources. … [A] panel Tuesday at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington…More


Nigeria Should Confront TB, With U.S. Assistance

Washington Post: Nigeria needs to confront another scourge: Tuberculosis David Bryden, TB advocacy officer for Results “…Nigeria’s frustratingly slow response to the Boko Haram abductions of more than 200 schoolgirls is mirrored by its apparent lack of attention to another crisis with deadly implications. Last year, a national survey showed that there are nearly five…More


Blog Post Examines PEPFAR’s History, Successes

ONE: Looking back on a decade of PEPFAR ONE Fellow Michael Gerson, also a Washington Post columnist, discusses the history and successes of PEPFAR, writing, “PEPFAR existed because of a willing leader, a creative policy team, a vast need — and because of activists who both raised the profile of the AIDS issue and pushed…More


West Africa Needs Better Response To Control Ebola Outbreak

Washington Post: West Africa can’t manage the Ebola outbreak “…West Africa had not seen a major Ebola outbreak and was unprepared. Its public health infrastructure is weak. There was no quick incident response system with a command-and-control structure, and no comprehensive public health plan for a mobile population. … Other West African countries must heed…More


Iran’s Parliament Moves To Criminalize Permanent Contraception In Effort To Boost Population

Washington Post: Iran’s baby shortage leads to a plan to ban permanent contraception “Iran’s parliament on Tuesday took a step closer to criminalizing permanent forms of contraception, in a move intended to turn around a decreasing population rate…” (Rezaian, 6/25).


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