Opinion: 5 reasons deficit hawks should lay off global health initiatives – As President Obama and Mitt Romney have both prioritized deficit reduction, “many surveys put global health at the top of the list of things to slash,” but Bill Frist argues that that is a mistake, as “not all cuts are created equal.” Global health initiatives like PEPFAR promote national security and save lives abroad . . . [and] saving “lives and societies leads to better and stronger relationships for trade, enterprise, and foreign investments” as well as enabling “economic growth, democracy, accountability, and transparency in these countries.” (The Week, Bill Frist) Read our comments on this piece here.
High food prices halt progress for many of the world’s poor – According to the World Bank’s most recent Global Monitoring Report, “higher and more volatile food prices are undermining overall progress and trapping millions of families in relentless poverty.” The immediate consequences of this include the erosion of consumer purchasing power and reduced nutritional intake, which can have serious health consequences – especially for young children. The report notes that “even temporarily high food prices can affect children’s long-term development.” (Vancouver Sun, Don Cayo)
On World Malaria Day 2012: How to Protect Progress, Save Lives – Aid groups have stressed that “increased investments and smarter interventions are needed to protect recent gains in the fight against malaria,” particularly in the face of increasing drug resistance. The World Health Organization reported that they “now have the challenge of having to raise around $3.2 billion to get us to the point of having a chance to be at near-zero deaths by 2015.” The additional funding will be used to purchase bed nets and to improve access to medicines and rapid diagnosis. (Devex, Ivy Mungcal)
Measles Deaths Said to Drop – According to a new study by the World Health Organization, “the number of measles deaths worldwide has apparently dropped by about three-quarters over a decade.” Health officials estimate that approximately 9.6 million children were saved from dying of measles between 2000 and 2010 following the roll out of vaccination campaigns. The global vaccination coverage rate against measles of 85 percent is the highest ever recorded. (AP)