The GOP’s door of no return: Washington Post columnist, Michael Gerson, highlights Senegal’s successful fight against malaria, maintaining that while “it is a sophisticated, successful national effort,” it would not be possible “without the help of the United States, provided through the Peace Corps, the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.” Gerson argues that aiding the developing world not only saves lives, but also “expands a certain type of global influence – winning friends, and perhaps opening markets, in unexpected places,” which is one reason the Chinese government has stepped up development and aid in Senegal. Be sure to check out his post from Senegal on the ONE Blog, too.
Highlights from Obama’s 2012 budget request: On Monday, the White House announced plans to increase global health and food aid and continue “significant levels of funding” for development assistance to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the coming year. The administration’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal will likely face significant opposition in Congress as budget-conscious lawmakers push for across-the-board spending cuts. President Obama is requesting $47 billion for the State Department and USAID – “a 1 percent increase from 2010, and a smaller annual increase than in past years.”
HIV infections drop in Zimbabwe! Defying expectations in a region devastated by AIDS, rates of HIV infection in Zimbabwe have fallen more than ten percent in the last decade. According to a new study published by PLoS Medicine, the basic explanation is that “Zimbabweans had less extramarital sex.” The two primary reasons for this drop include “seeing other people die” and the loss of purchasing power because of the collapse of the economy, according to the study, which was based on large demographic surveys and interviews with more than 200 Zimbabweans. Be sure to check our blog post about it, too.
One person’s trash could save another’s life: ABC spotlights Josh Nesbit, a Stanford University student, who had the idea to use high-tech open source software on a laptop, along with some solar power and give away old cell phones so that local health workers can work on the frontlines of global health. Nesbit launched the venture at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Malawi, where he volunteered during the summer. The new technology allowed workers to respond to emergencies, diagnose patients, and keep track of their medical records, all via texts – saving time, resources, and lives.
Villages without doctors: New York Times contributor, Tina Rosenberg, proposes an idea that she believes will make people healthier, while quelling health care costs, both in the US and in the developing world. The strategy “is to move beyond doctors — to take the work of health care and shift down from doctors and nurses to lay people, peers and family.” In poor countries, people with no or little formal medical training are successfully substituting for doctors and nurses, according to Rosenberg, who highlights two successful programs in India, which, by recruiting ordinary women, have had a huge impact on the health and prosperity of these villages.