President-elect Barack Obama can build on historic initiatives championed by his predecessor in global AIDS and malaria. These should serve as the platform for a more comprehensive and evidence-based set of activities aimed at addressing the major causes of ill health and instability in low-income countries. Obama should launch a new Global Family Health Action Plan aimed at saving the lives of six million children and women annually in impoverished nations. Existing policies driven by U.S. domestic ideological battles, particularly those relating to sexual and reproductive health, should be revised and brought into line with solid science and evidence from the field.
This report calls attention to the fact that women in the world’s least developed countries are 300 times more likely to die in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications than women in developed countries.
The health of these mothers is inextricably linked to the health of their babies, the new report points out. A child born in a developing country is almost 14 times more likely to die during the first month of life than a child born in a developed one.
Impact of the global financial and economic crisis on health.
Statement by WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan "We face a severe financial crisis of unprecedented dimensions in a world that has never before been so closely connected and interdependent. The consequences are global. The situation is volatile. The current financial crisis is rapidly becoming an economic crisis and threatens to become a social crisis in many countries. The crisis comes at a time when commitment to global health has never been higher. It comes in the midst of the most ambitious drive in history to reduce poverty and distribute the benefits of our modern society, including those related to health, more evenly and fairly in this world - the Millennium Development Goals.
The Belgian All Party Parliamentary Group on the MDGs in collaboration with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF) organised an International High Level Conference on: “The Future of Parliamentary Involvement in Global Health and Development”.
As a key outcome of the Conference, Parliamentarians adopted a Declaration reaffirming that as the world’s largest donor, it is Europe’s responsibility to honor its commitments and highlighting the need for a continued, predictable and sustainable support for Global Health and Development.
Simply installing toilets where needed throughout the world and ensuring safe water supplies would do more to end crippling poverty and improve world health than any other possible measure, according to an analysis released today by the United Nations University.
Diseases due to poor water, sanitation and hygiene account for an estimated 10% of the total global burden of illness.
Most Asia-Pacific nations are making progress on avian flu control, but are lagging in plans to tackle the social and economic fallout of a human flu pandemic, a senior UN influenza specialist, David Nabarr, has warned. He said: "I'm impressed with progress, but I am saying a lot more needs to be done, particularly on multi-sectoral pandemic preparedness."
A meeting of experts convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Madrid agreed to a research agenda to develop an evidence-based framework for action on the human health implications of climate change.
More than half a million women still die each year in pregnancy and childbirth, often bleeding to death because no emergency obstetrical care is available, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said.
Despite modest progress, particularly in Asia, the global maternal mortality toll remains stubbornly stable due to a lack of financial resources and political will, it said. More than 99 percent of the estimated 536,000 maternal deaths worldwide in 2005 occurred in developing countries, half of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
UNICEF released new figures that show the rate of deaths of children under five continued to decline in 2007.
The new estimates show a 27 per cent decline in the under-five mortality rate, from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990, to 68 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2007. In industrialized countries there are, on average, just six deaths for every 1,000 live births. According to this data, 12.7 million children under five died around the world in 1990, and in 2007 child deaths declined to about 9.2 million.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found a new virus that infects the world’s most dangerous mosquito. In theory, this means it can be modified to kill the mosquito or prevent it from transmitting malaria . However, the authors cautioned, that could take 5 to 15 years of work.
Michele Barry, MD and James M. Hughes, MD underlined in a recent article that " Global health issue have captured the attention of gouvernements, global funds, and foundations ...on diseases such as malaria, TB, and AIDS which kill a fraction of the number of people who die from water-related diseases." .
These two authors called for an urgent focus on dirty water and sanitation in a world where 1,1 billion people still lack access to clean water and 2,6 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation.
Steadily increasing prices could lead to a lack of affordable and nourishing food, endangering the lives of people living with HIV in the developing world.
"As prices continue to rise, people will start to buy cheaper, less nutritious food and may begin to skip meals – in Lesotho we are already seeing people skipping meals because they can't afford food," said Alan Whiteside, an economist with South Africa's University of KwaZulu-Natal.