Dear Colleagues,

It will soon (on 5 June) be the birthday of HIV and AIDS. It is now 30 years since they arrived on the health horizon to change our world forever. The birthday will be celebrated on 8 June at a High Level Meeting of the United Nations’ General Assembly, (40 heads of state and government will attend), to discuss progress in fighting the pandemic and wrestle with the question of what to do next.

Read the rest of this editorial

Enjoy your reading.

David Hercot, Kristof Decoster, Josefien Van Olmen, Basile Keugong & Wim Van Damme


Global Health

CGD just released a Working Paper by Ursula Casabonne and Charles Kenny which assesses the reasons of improving health conditions over the last century: “The Best Things in Life are (Nearly) Free: Technology, Knowledge and Global Health”. It seems to bring arguments for sustained investment in global health aid efforts. (One click PDF download 659 Kb)

Horton in his weekly offline comment shares some of the pressure he gets to take abortion out of the picture. For poor women, it’s a matter of survival he writes. Keep up Richard!

1.      Global Fund Observer – Disbursements for China Grants Temporarily Suspended

AIDSPAN – http://www.aidspan.org/index.php?issue=148&article=1

The latest issue of the Global Fund Observer (published almost weekly lately) discusses the new developments in the China – GF relations. The issue also shares some replies to the article we featured last week entitled “Auditing the Auditor”. (One click PDF download 180 Kb)

For those of you interested in Russia’s position in Global Health, you should read this Smart Global Health blog post. They notably talk of a role Russia could take on Non Communicable Diseases following the Moscow summit on the topic.

2.      Lancet – Ethiopia gears up for more major health reforms

John Donnelly; http://www.lancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(11)60795-2/fulltext

Talking about leadership and governance, Ethiopia’s minister of health doesn’t need any lessons. His bold moves to improve health in his country are an inspiration for us.

Health financing

3.      African Child forum – African Report on Child wellbeing

http://bit.ly/jzVxxK

On May 25, the African report on Child wellbeing has been released in Dakar. It provides a score card on the commitment of African Governments to their children. BMJ reports that most African governments spend only one third of their health commitments for Children. (One click download of scorecard.png 415 Kb)

4.      IPS – KENYA: Marginal Profits Hamper Malaria Drug Subsidy

Isaiah Esipisu; http://www.ips.org/africa/2011/05/kenya-small-profit-margin-hinders-access-to-subsidised-anti-malarial-drugs/

This report from Kenya on the AMFm shows some of the challenges on the ground to implement the project that aims at providing ACTs to patients at a subsidised price through public and private facilities. We talked about this initiative earlier here and there.

GAVI & Vaccines

5.      KFF – UNICEF Publishes Vaccine Costs In Effort To Promote Price Competition

http://globalhealth.kff.org/Daily-Reports/2011/May/31/Gh-053111-UNICEF-Vaccine-Prices.aspx;

The publication by UNICEF of the prices it pays pharmaceutical companies for vaccines is a welcome move in increasing transparency and pushing prices of vaccines downward. See also this NYT article.

At a time where GAVI is looking for replenishment, it’s good to see efforts to increase the health we get for the money we will have. Germany already pledged to increase its contribution.

6.      Financial Times – Conflict of interest fears over vaccine group

Andrew Jack ; http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/484e8ada-87c2-11e0-a6de-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1NY9s5HiJ

CSO contest the nomination of Crucell as the second representative of pharmaceutical companies at the GAVI board. The Financial Times reports on the conflict of interest of all people sitting there and concludes that if you don’t have a conflict of interest, you should probably not be sitting there. Straight forward isn’t it.

G8 and Global Health

7.      IRIN Examines How Some Aid Data Artificially Inflates Contributions

http://www.irinnews.org/PrintReport.aspx?ReportID=92853

As the G8 closes its doors, the IRIN reports on an Aidwatch report which assessed how much aid figures presented by EU countries are inflated by including for example costs for taking care of refugees. (One click download Aidwatch full report 1,96 MB)

8.      Blog4Global Health – Farewell to Deauville: How did global health fare?

http://blog4globalhealth.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/farewell-to-deauville-how-did-global-health-fare/#more-2508

This is an interesting summary of the outcomes of the G8 from the Global Health Civil Society perspective: “We didn’t expect much and we almost got more.”

AFGH published on its blog the extract from G8 declaration relating to development. Surprisingly no comment there though. You can also read the full declaration here.

AIDS

9.      Lancet (online) – Towards an improved investment approach for an effective response to HIV/AIDS

Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, John Stover, Timothy Hallett et al.

http://www.lancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(11)60702-2/abstract

The Investment Framework Study Group from UNAIDS publishes what can be seen as its report in The Lancet online today. It tried to establish a framework to improve the strategic investment in AIDS response from national and international actors. Our colleague Marie Laga is one of the (numerous) authors.

In the fight against AIDS also, 7 multilateral agencies (UN and World Bank) just released a report on “Preventing HIV from early adolescence to early adulthood

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