Monthly Archives: October 2010

WHO official on MDR-TB: ‘We can fight it effectively’

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Mario Raviglione, MD, is the World Health Organization’s Director of the Stop TB Department. He is a world leader in devising strategies to fight multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). In an interview with John Donnelly on Friday, he responded to comments made by Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel, MD, PhD, Special Advisor for Health Policy at the Office of Management and Budget, in a blog post filed Thursday on Science Speaks. Here are excerpts from Raviglione’s interview.

Emanuel examines new HIV prevention program

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Dr. Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel, MD Ph.D, Special Advisor for Health Policy at the Office of Management and Budget, is currently on a two-week trip to Africa to look at various health programs. Earlier this week, he and other US officials visited an HIV prevention program in Mojo, Ethiopia, called the TransACTION project, a five-year, $40 million USAID-funded initiative that started last year. Led by Save the Children, with technical assistance by AED and PSI, the project will eventually bring an assortment of HIV prevention tactics into 110 urban and roadside communities in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya. This is the second of a two-part interview with John Donnelly. In this post, Emanuel talks about the importance of matching prevention tools with the specific dynamic of HIV transmission in a community.

Emanuel on TB: `The challenge is enormous’

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Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel, MD, PhD, Special Advisor for Health Policy at the Office of Management and Budget, is currently on a two-week trip in Africa looking at various health programs. On Thursday, he visited St. Peter’s Specialized TB Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and afterward talked with John Donnelly about his impressions of the hospital, which treats 145 patients with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), and how the trip influenced his thinking about future strategies in fighting TB.

This is the first of two parts of the interview with Emanuel. On Friday, Science Speaks will run Emanuel’s impressions of an HIV prevention program along heavily traveled road corridor that pass along Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya.

What We’re Reading

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A new report from the Center for Reproductive Rights, “Dignity Denied: Violations of the Rights of HIV-Positive Women in Chilean Health Facilities,” tells the stories of 27 women who have suffered from cruel treatment in Chilean health facilities. Among other things, the report looks at forced sterilization and denial of care.

The New York Times profiled USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah last Saturday. The piece looks at his experience, his achievements thus far in the position, and the challenges that lie ahead.

The Daily Nation published an op-ed from Jorge Bermudez and Philipe Douste-Blazy of UNITAID, and Anthony Lake of UNICEF this week. They argue that focusing on the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV will lead to an “AIDS-Free Generation.”

Zimbabwe is in the midst of a critical shortage of laboratory technicians, according to The Zimbabwean.

HIV and Drug-Resistant TB in South Africa: A Perfect Storm

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“These are not accidents or random events, but predictable consequences of complex interactions,” said Gerald Freidland, MD, as he painted a frightening picture of the emergence of extensively drug resistant (XDR) tuberculosis in Tugela Ferry, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. He spoke to a packed audience at the 48th annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society […]

Goosby gives PEPFAR update to ID docs in Vancouver

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Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby, MD, gave a plenary talk to a packed audience at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America entitled HIV/AIDS- Response to an Epidemic, Implications for Global Health.  There was little news in his address as he spelled out the accomplishments to date of the U.S. President’s Emergency […]

The Power of PEPFAR

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AIDS mortality in South Africa has seen an observed decrease at the population level from 2006-09 — the first time since the epidemic began, according to Jeffrey Klausner, MD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Pretoria. He presented on the impact of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) […]

What We’re Reading

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Dr. Sten H. Vermund – a member of the Center’s Scientific Advisory Board – released a new report in Current HIV/AIDS Reports this week on the significance, challenges and opportunities in combination HIV prevention strategies. He suggests that these “prevention packages” be scaled up and their effectiveness evaluated.

A Lancet article this week examines the Stop TB Partnership. The piece outlines challenges to tuberculosis control and proposes solutions.  It argues that treatment should be integrated into efforts to reduce poverty and treatment of other diseases that often co-exist with tuberculosis, and specific goals should be set to “inspire new partners to push for tuberculosis elimination.”

This week, the World Health Organization released its first report on neglected tropical diseases.  Erin Hohlfelder at the ONE blog has a good post on the significance of this publication, saying it is the end of “report neglect” on NTDs.

Applications Now Accepted for Award to Distinguished African Physician

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The Accordia Global Health Foundation is currently accepting applications for the second annual Merle A. Sande Health Leadership Award.  The award will be given to an emerging African leader who has contributed to the field of infectious diseases in Africa with the same passion, intellectual drive, and spirit of the founder of the Accordia Foundation […]

What We’re Reading

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On Wednesday, health officials in South Africa announced a new recommendation: all HIV patients should be screened for tuberculosis, and vice versa. Officials hope this pairing of HIV and TB testing will become normal procedure within five years. As cited in the Associated Press article, South Africa has one of the highest rates of TB in the world due, in large part, to its AIDS epidemic.

In Mozambique, HIV patients have formed teams to make refilling prescriptions and managing treatment easier. IRIN PlusNews reports that these community-based, self-formed groups of ARV patients share the responsibility for collecting medication and monitoring other members’ general health, taking some of the burden off…