Global health briefs April 2011

March/ April 2011 | Volume 10, Issue 2

Planning for chronic disease session


Elevating chronic diseases onto the global stage requires planning for September’s U.N. High-Level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases. A new report by the Center for Strategic & International Studies offers four proposals for ensuring success in lifting the world profile of NCDs.

Gap in mental health workers


All low-income countries and 59 percent of middle-income countries surveyed by the World Health Organization were found to have far fewer professionals than they need to deliver core mental health care. The study used data from 58 countries and a hypothetical core service package to estimate how many psychiatrists, nurses and psychosocial care providers are needed.

Saving lives at birth


USAID launched a new partnership to reduce maternal and newborn deaths globally. The coalition, including the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada and the World Bank, plans to invest at least $50 million over five years to find groundbreaking methods of saving the lives of pregnant women and newborn babies around the world.

Investing in young improves health


Investing in young people now can help improve health and alleviate poverty, according to UNICEF’s annual State of the World’s Children report. Financial support for education and to alleviate health risks for the world’s 1.2 billion adolescents - 88 percent of whom live in the developing world - can save lives, reduce poverty and improve physical and mental health outcomes.

Totaling Trachoma’s Tide


An online global atlas is now available showing the distribution and prevalence of trachoma, the world’s leading cause of infectious blindness. The open-access Trachoma Atlas created by several partners and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation shows 49 country maps with population-based data on trachoma.

Mobile finance and health equals better care


A new analysis of the linkage between mobile health and mobile financial services identified ways in which the mobile communications platform could be leveraged to strengthen financial inclusion and improve health outcomes in developing countries. The paper released by the mHealth Alliance and the World Economic Forum asserted that mobile payment options can better facilitate the provision of maternal health care and immunizations, among other services.

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