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AfricaFocus Bulletins with Material on Health - 2009-2010

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Feb 25, 2009  USA/Africa: Global Health Policy
    "We believe that U.S. health and development assistance should address both the root causes of ill health - poverty and inequality - and be directed toward building public sector institutions to help governments respond to the needs of their people. Aid should be transparent on both donor and recipient sides and accountable to the target population - the poor who need services most." - Global Health Recommendations for a New Administration and Congress

Feb 25, 2009  Africa: Public Health Care Must Lead
    "A growing number of international donors are promoting an expansion of private-sector health-care delivery to fulfil this goal [of universal health care]. The private sector can play a role in health care. But ... the evidence shows that prioritising this approach is extremely unlikely to deliver health for poor people." - Oxfam International

Mar 1, 2009  USA/Africa: Waiting for Change
    "While low visibility for Africa policy may not be entirely unexpected, considering the multiple crises the President faced entering office, it has disappointed many who had hoped the administration might quickly mobilize the high level attention that is needed to spur action on vital issues." - Reed Kramer,

Apr 27, 2009  Africa: Progress on Malaria
    "A new phase in the fight against malaria has begun. Data presented here show that the malaria community has accelerated efforts to deliver critical interventions, while also reducing bottlenecks in their production, procurement and distribution. Countries have been quicker to adopt more effective strategies that would have been out of reach with less funding available ... [there are] substantial increases in coverage of insecticide-treated nets, with 19 of 22 sub-Saharan African countries with trend data showing at least a threefold increase in insecticide-treated net use among children since around 2000." - UNICEF

May 10, 2009  USA/Africa: Underfunding Global Health
    President Obama's global health budget plan, pegged at $63 billion over six years and announced on May 5, one day in advance of the full budget statement, met with predictably mixed responses. The administration spin was that it was a major new commitment to a comprehensive approach; health activist groups charged that it actually marked a cut from prior commitments made in campaign promises and by Congressional pledges.

Jun 8, 2009  Africa: Innovative Global Financing
    "Innovative financing ... is no longer in the experimental stage. It has already produced over $2 billion dollars in three years. But there is still an enormous need for financing: to ensure primary education for all, improve maternal health, combat hunger and the great pandemics, guarantee environmentally-friendly development, etc. We know that $175 billion is needed every year at the global level to finance climate mitigation policy. We all know that $35 billion is needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in the health sector alone." - Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, France

Jul 28, 2009  Africa: Backsliding on AIDS Funding
    "Why is it not possible to allocate sufficient money for every aspect of global health, of which AIDS is but a part, and in so doing, meet the Millennium Development Goals - money which is but a fraction, a miniscule fraction of all the public dollars that have found their way, in one short year, into the bottomless pits of greed and avarice?" - Stephen Lewis, speaking at the opening of the International AIDS Society conference in Cape Town

Sep 28, 2009  Africa: Financing Global Health
    The G20 Summit meeting in Pittsburgh last week marked a significant expansion of international fora on global problems, with the official announcement that it was replacing the more restricted G8 as the primary venue for coordination of the world's major economic powers. The Summit's conclusions, focused on macroeconomic and financial issues, offered little for Africa, apart from generic expressions of support for development and protecting the most vulnerable. But the changing policy climate was also reflected in the parallel release of incremental proposals for new financing mechanisms for global needs that would be more consistent than promises of "aid" from rich countries.

Nov 6, 2009  USA/Africa: Supporting Global Health
    "Overall, we call for a doubling of U.S. aid to global health from nearly $8 billion a year to $16 billion by 2011. A six-year scale up of a sufficiently resourced initiative would total $95 billion. While this reflects higher levels than the President's original announcement, 40% of this increase is for the total of $14 billion that must be invested in health workforce - which we believe could make or break the effort." -

Nov 6, 2009  Africa: Donors Retreating on AIDS
    "After almost a decade of progress in rolling out AIDS treatment we have seen substantial improvements, both for patients and public health. But recent funding cuts mean doctors and nurses are being forced to turn HIV patients away from clinics as if we were back in the 1990s before treatment was available" - Dr Tido von Schoen-Angerer, Director of MSF's Access to Essential Medicines Campaign.

Nov 27, 2009  Africa: Ending Malaria in Sight?
    On the Comoran island of Moheli, with a population of 36,000, malaria has been eliminated with the aid of a comprehensive Chinese-assisted treatment campaign. And at the 5th Pan-African malaria conference, held in Nairobi in early November, Kenya's minister of public health, Beth Mugo, announced that her country had set the goal of eliminating the disease by 2017.

Dec 6, 2009  Africa: HIV/AIDS 2009 Update
    "Through its partnerships with more than 30 countries through September 2009, PEPFAR has provided direct support for life-saving antiretroviral treatment for over 2.4 million men, women and children. The Global Fund has supported treatment for 2.5 million people worldwide. Approximately 1.3 million people receive treatment supported by both PEPFAR bilateral programs and the Global Fund, and thus are counted in the totals for each organization. These numbers reflect the strong country-level partnership between PEPFAR and the Global Fund." - Joint press release by the Global Fund and PEPFAR, December 1, 2009

Dec 6, 2009  USA/Africa: AIDS - No We Can't?
    "It was ordinary people, people living with AIDS and those who loved them, who spoke up, demanded action. Activists in Brazil, Thailand, South Africa, Uganda and elsewhere shamed their countries, the world into action. [international AIDS programs ... were swept into place by the force of the voices crying out for justice only a few years ago. It is almost 10 years later and we're in danger of losing everything we've achieved on AIDS this decade." - Greg Gonsalves

Dec 6, 2009  USA/Africa: AIDS - Yes, We Can?
    "If we are to sustain the gains we've had and have made against this epidemic, PEPFAR must work in closer collaboration with country governments to support and mount a truly global response to the shared global burden of disease. ... But unmet needs are still the dominant feature of this program. ... we're going to begin transitioning from an emergency response to a sustainable one through greater engagement with and capacity building of governments." - Dr. Eric Goosby, Ambassador, Global AIDS Coordinator for U.S. government

Dec 15, 2009  South Africa: 30+ New Books
    The most popular of these new books from and about South Africa is undoubtedly that by John Carlin on Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation, now available in two editions as well as in the newly released Clint Eastwood movie. But probably the one most in need of greater international attention is the one edited by Tawana Kupe and colleagues - Go Home or Die Here: Violence, Xenophobia and the Reinvention of Difference in South Africa. This photographic and analytic portrayal of the xenophobic violence of 2008 poses fundamental questions about the shape of today's South Africa.

Dec 18, 2009  Africa: New Books from AfricaFocus Subscribers
    This AfricaFocus Bulletin has recent books (2008 and 2009) from AfricaFocus subscribers, including authors, editors, contributors, and publishers. It's a very substantial list, but I'm sure some have escaped my notice. If you are an AfricaFocus subscriber, check this out for your own books and those by the your fellow subscribers. If you are an author or editor and don't find your recently published book here, do let me know (at, and I'll add it below.

Feb 2, 2010  Africa: Solidarity with Haiti
    "Despite $402 million pledged to support the Haitian government's Economic Recovery Program [in April 2009] ... as of yesterday we estimate that 85% of the pledges made last year remain undisbursed. ... [we don't need more pledges] We need a reconstruction fund that is large, managed transparently, creates jobs for Haitians, and grows the Haitian economy. We need a reconstruction plan that uses a pro-poor, rights-based approach far different from the charity and failed development approaches that have marred interactions between Haiti and much of the rest of the world for the better part of two centuries." - Dr. Paul Farmer, U.N. Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti January 27, 2010

Mar 15, 2010  Africa: Staying the Course on AIDS?
    We must end the false dichotomy between prevention and treatment. If we choose one over the other we will fail. We know from our experiences in the 1990s, that if treatment isnt there, people will not come to the health centers and doctors and nurses will not stay. We know from our long experience that it is virtually impossible to have successful public sector health and AIDS treatment programs where some people get therapy and others in dire need dont. - Dr. Peter Mugyenyi, Joint Clinical Research Centre, Kampala

May 21, 2010  Africa: AIDS Activists Speak Out
    "In 2001 in Abuja, African heads of state promised us 15% of budget spending on health - where is this money? ... Only two countries in the continent have met the Abuja target, which African finance ministers recently dismissed as a colossal mistake. the true colossal mistakes are the wasteful spending habits of many governments who prioritise wars, luxury for politicians and sports over social spending, which cost thousands of lives every day".- James Kamau, Kenyan Treatment Access Movement

May 21, 2010  Africa: World Backtracks on HIV Treatment
    "Around the world thousands of doctors, nurses, legislators, and activists helped make treatment scale-up possible. Now a few power brokers and politicians who claim AIDS receives too much money seem intent on bringing to an end this remarkable effort, in effect saying to millions of people: drop dead. Without treatment, this is certainly their fate." - Gregg Gonsalves, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition

Jul 15, 2010  Africa: AIDS Treatment 2.0
    As donor commitment to the fight against AIDS threatens to falter, UNAIDS, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, has issued a new report with ambitious proposals and an upbeat perspective on the prospects for advances in both treatment and prevention. Proposing simplified treatment practices under the rubric "Treatment 2.0," the report also cites significant advances in prevention, particularly among African youth, and widespread global awareness of the importance of the pandemic among issues requiring high priority.

Jul 15, 2010  Africa: Global Fund Results
    According to a new report from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, the Fund's efforts have contributed to saving an estimated 4.9 million lives by December 2009. The coming years will see even more results, as half of the total disbursements by the Global Fund were delivered in 2008 and 2009. Much of the US$ 5.4 billion of financing approved in Rounds 8 and 9 will reach countries in 2010 and 2011, and will continue to significantly boost health outcomes.

Sep 6, 2010  Africa: Global Solidarity Levy
    The turnover in foreign exchange markets has reached four trillion dollars a day, more than the total output of the U.S. economy in three months and more than a threefold increase from 2001. More than 80% of these transactions are speculative, as financial institutions trade currencies to profit from changes in rates. Yet, unlike almost all retail transactions, currency transactions deliver no revenues to public coffers. Now a group of 60 countries is proposing a new fee on currency transactions, which they call a "Global Solidarity Levy." At the proposed rate of only 5/1000 of one percent, such a "currency transaction levy" could bring in more than $30 billion a year, and perhaps much more.