Also In Global Health News: Home HIV Treatment; Voluntary Testing In Kenya; Women/HIV Scorecard; Global Fund Zimbabwe Grant; Contraceptives In Tanzania
Home Vs. Clinic Treatment of HIV In Uganda
The New York Times reports on a Lancet study that found treating Ugandan HIV patients at home is cheaper and just as effective as treating them in a clinic. "The finding is important because five million more Africans will need AIDS drugs in the next few years, and most live in rural or exurban areas where clinics are far away and doctors and nurses are scarce. In an accompanying editorial, two authors from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria praised the study, saying evaluations of cost-effectiveness were 'more important than ever' since the need for AIDS treatment far outstrips the money to pay for it. The only caveat they raised was that having AIDS carried less stigma in Uganda than it did elsewhere and that the home visits by AIDS workers might not be accepted across Africa," the New York Times writes (McNeil, 11/23).
Kenya Voluntary HIV Testing Campaign Launched
A voluntary HIV testing campaign launched in Kenya "has already met public resistance," according to the BBC. The campaign involves health workers "knock[ing] on as many doors as they can over the next three weeks, hoping to reach one million people." The BBC reports that HIV-positive Kenyans "carry a heavy social burden and even taking a test is seen as a sign of sexual promiscuity. But Minister of Public Health Beth Mugo says too many Kenyans are dying not because they have AIDS but because they simply do not know they are HIV-positive and therefore are not getting treatment" (Greste, 11/ 23).
Scorecard On Country Response To Women And HIV Released
VOA News examines the Scorecard on Women 2009 released by AIDS Accountability International (AAI), which looks at how countries have responded to the needs of women regarding the [HIV/AIDS] pandemic by using a scorecard for each nation." According to AAI's Executive Director Rodrigo Garay, "There is widespread lack of accountability and transparency in national AIDS responses, meaning we do not have the information that we should about human and financial resources are being utilized and how well countries are meeting their agreed targets for the well-being of women and girls." Garay called for improved monitoring and evaluation of whether funding is being well spent (DeCapua, 11/23).
Global Fund Round Five Grant To Zimbabwe Extended
The Standard/allAfrica.com reports that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has extended Zimbabwe's "Round 5 grant with additional funding of about US$37.9 million after the country failed to meet its targets." According to the Standard/allAfrica.com, the "gesture was in response to an application by the National Aids Council (NAC) earlier this year for Zimbabwe to be given another chance to meet the targets" and means that programs "meant to end in July will now be concluded in January" (Shoko, 11/23).
Guardian Examines Factors Standing Between Tanzanian Women, Contraceptives
The Guardian examines the challenges Tanzanian women face in trying to access family planning services services the newspaper writes are "crucial in Tanzania, where the maternal mortality rate stands at 950 per 100,000 live births, higher than the average of 900 deaths per 100,000 births in sub-Saharan Africa." The article examines how stigma, religious views and a lack of available long-term contraceptives complicate a women's ability to access contraceptives, and recent efforts by the Tanzanian government to increase the number of women on contraceptives to 60 percent by 2015 (Early, 11/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.