Global Health Briefs August 2008

July - August, 2008  |  Volume 7, Issue 4

PEPFAR funding extended, expanded

President Bush recently signed legislation that would dramatically expand U.S. aid to $48 billion over the next five years to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria around the world. The program hopes to provide treatment for at least 3 million people, prevent 12 million new infections and care for 12 million people. The extension of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) also would support the training of at least 140,000 new health care workers. http://tinyurl.com/5ahtq3

G-8 declaration on Africa

Leaders of the major industrialized countries pledged to continue efforts to fight infectious diseases in Africa and work toward universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care by 2010. They also promised support to ensuring that all African children have access to basic health care by 2015. http://tinyurl.com/6ow78t

Former HHS Secretary Tommy ThompsonThompson joins NTD battle

Former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson has become an "ambassador" with the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases under the auspices of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, headed by Fogarty board member Dr. Peter Hotez.

"It is a tragedy that the world's poorest citizens are suffering from diseases that have been neglected for too long, particularly when we can treat many of them for less than 50 cents a year," Thompson said, adding, "When we help others, we also help ourselves."

Billionaires take aim at tobacco

The foundations run by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have pledged $500 million to get people--mostly in low- and middle-income countries--to stop smoking.

The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco will kill 1 billion people in this century if there are no massive interventions.

The money will coordinate efforts by a coalition consisting of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, the WHO, the World Lung Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the foundation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. http://tinyurl.com/6r6v4w

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