HIV treatment in Malawi, TB drugs for children, antimicrobial accountability and more . . . we’re reading about success through collective and focused responses

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NewWWRScaling up antiretroviral therapy in Malawi – In 2004, just 3,000 of nearly a million people living with HIV in Malawi had access to antiretroviral treatment at nine hospitals nationwide. A dozen years later, while Malawi still has one of the poorest economies in the world, it is home to a national treatment program that has provided antiretroviral treatment access to nearly 900,000 people at more than 716 clinics. This article in the World Health Organziation’s latest bulletin examines how a systematic approach, based on a commitment to equity, training and local services, with support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, enabled the country to put evidence-based guidelines into policy and practice.

Launching renewed determination to end the major infectious disease killers – With pledges from nine African countries and larger than ever pledges from some high-income countries, the conference launching the fifth replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria met its immediate goal and offered hope that commitment to global health is gathering strength once again, Friends of the Global Fight President Chris Collins writes. But while needs still outnumber dollars committed to making health services equally available to all, donors and policy makers need to keep their eyes on outcomes, he writes.

Child TB deaths set to fall as Kenya launches new drugs – This month anti-tuberculosis treatments in fruit-flavored dissolvable pediatric doses will offer an alternative for the first time to cut-down or crushed, bitter-tasting, adult dosages of medicine for some of the 7,000 children sick with tuberculosis in Kenya, this Reuters story says. It will be the start of a rollout that is expected to lower rates of both death and drug-resistant illness for more than 150,000 children in 18 countries, the authors say.

No turning back – Sex-worker-led programs in six countries tackled the human rights and economic obstacles standing between health services and people who earn income through sex work. Their effectiveness, this compilation supported by Open Society Foundations says, depended on the knowledge of the challenges and strengths program organizers and participants brought to their endeavors.

The conscience of antimicrobial resistance accountability – Last month’s high-level meeting at the United Nations raised the profile of global antimicrobial resistance, but action will require awareness and cooperation on the part of millions of individuals as well as governments, health systems and health providers worldwide. This post on the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy blog, describes the role a multidisciplinary alliance of groups called CARA — Conscience of Antimicrobial Accountability — will play in turning awareness into action.

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