Global Health Briefs October 2008

September - October, 2008  |  Volume 7, Issue 5

Paul G. Rogers, 2005
Photo: Hogan & Hattson

Fogarty backer Paul Rogers dies

Former Rep. Paul G. Rogers of Florida, a long-time champion of the NIH and of the Fogarty International Center, died Oct. 13 at the age of 87.

Rogers, who served in the House of Representatives with Center namesake Rep. John E. Fogarty of Rhode Island for 12 years, was chair of the House Subcommittee on Health and the Environment from 1971 until his retirement in 1979, when he joined the Hogan & Hartson law firm.

"Paul was a friend of Fogarty," said Center Director Dr. Roger I. Glass. "I was able to call him at anytime for advice."

The plaza in front of Building 1 was designated by Congress as the Paul G. Rogers Plaza in 2000.

New NIH application rules

As of Jan. 25, 2009, grant seekers to NIH will be allowed to resubmit an application only one time instead of two.

This new policy is intended to ensure earlier funding of high-quality applications and improve efficiencies in the peer review system.

"Over the past several years, the number of applications submitted each year to NIH has doubled and the number of investigators applying for grants has increased by over 75 percent, increasing stress on the system, especially when confronted with stagnating budgets, says NIH Director Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni.

He said it has led to scientists spending more time rewriting applications and delays in funding.

We found after careful analysis that eliminating the second amended application is the best way to help ensure that we fund the best science earlier," he said.

Original renewal applications that were submitted prior to Jan. 25 will be permitted two resubmissions. Access the NIH Notice regarding the New NIH Policy on Resubmission (Amended) Applications (NOT-OD-09-003).

Senator Bill Frist, World Bank's Debrework Zewdie and Robert Matlett of Pfizer sit with the CSIS banner in the background

From left, CSIS advisers former Sen. Bill Frist, the
World Bank's Debrework Zewdie and Robert Matlett,
president of the Pfizer Foundation.

New global health policy center

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based foreign policy think tank, recently launched a Global Health Policy Center with support of the Gates Foundation.

Fogarty Director Dr. Roger I. Glass attended the opening forum, a discussion among advisers to the new policy center, whose director, J. Stephen Morrison, outlined the initiative's goals as generating a strategic vision for global health and enlarging the pool of advocates from the ranks of foreign policy, international security, media and business.

Fogarty cosponsors forum

As part of Fogarty's 40th anniversary commemoration, a symposium will be held Nov. 12 at the Georgetown University Law Center on "The Role of Science in Advancing Global Health Diplomacy." The event, sponsored by Fogarty, Georgetown and the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Law Center's Hart Auditorium, 600 New Jersey Ave., N.W. The Institute advances scholarship to encourage decision-makers in the public, private and civil society sectors to employ the law as a positive tool for enabling more people to lead healthier lives in the United States and throughout the world.

WHO decries health inequities

WHO’s World Health Report 2008 finds “striking inequities in health outcomes, in access to care, and in what people have to pay for care.” The report says the difference in life expectancy between the world’s richest and poorest countries is more than 40 years.

In a previous report, Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health, a WHO commission concluded “social injustice is killing people on a grand scale.”

World malaria report cites progress

The advent of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and artemisinin-based combination therapy, plus a revival of support for indoor residual spraying of insecticide, presents a new opportunity for large-scale malaria control, the World Health Organization reported recently. Still, half the world’s population remains at risk and an estimated 881,000 people died from malaria in 2006.

Circumcision effects unclear

An evidence review of 15 studies on circumcision shows that while it works to reduce the spread of HIV between men and women, there is no evidence it works between men and men. Studies in Africa, where the virus is spread mostly by heterosexual engagement, show that circumcision may reduce the risk by more than half.

In the current review on men having sex with men, there was a 15 percent reduction in HIV risk, but it was deemed statistically insignificant.

Access the full October 8, 2008 article Circumcision Status and Risk of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Men Who Have Sex With Men from JAMA.

Author argues for multilingual reviews

Systematic reviews of evidence in public health and epidemiology should be published in the world’s major languages, argues Dr. Isaac C-H Fung of London’s Imperial College in an essay in Emerging Themes in Epidemiology.

HIV risk for Asian migrant women

The U.N. Development Program has issued a report calling for immediate attention to the HIV risks of Asian migrant women in Arab countries. The women generate economic benefits to both their countries of origin and to their host countries but are vulnerable to HIV because of unsafe conditions under which they migrate and live, the report said.

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