USAID Impact Photo Credit: USAID and Partners

Archives for Health

Today is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

Young people are watching a play about adults being encouraged to get tested for HIV as part of participating in a clinical trial for a novel HIV vaccine at YRG Care, a premiere HIV referral center in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Administrator Shah recently said that “humanity demands an AIDS vaccine” when describing USAID’s approach to high impact development.  USAID and its partners continue to support the quest for a safe vaccine that could effectively prevent HIV — a search that is commemorated each year on May 18th, HIV Vaccine Awareness Day.  This work is essential since notable progress in providing life-saving treatment to those who need it cannot keep up with the number of new HIV infections.  For every two people living with HIV who begin taking antiretroviral therapy, five additional people become newly infected.  Each day, there are at least 7,400 new infections.

Our current efforts are outlined in a vaccine brief.

USAID’s Senior Technical Advisor for HIV Vaccines was featured in a recent issue of Frontlines [PDF].

Health and Development in Southern Sudan

This afternoon we visited two sites where USAID, together with community groups, is helping improve health in Juba.

Sudan is a top U.S. government foreign policy priority; we need this country to be on a stable, peaceful path, which in turn is crucial to regional security.  Ultimately this means transitioning from humanitarian assistance to long-term development.

At more than $1 billion per year, USAID’s program in Sudan is our largest in sub-Saharan Africa.  One important project is the Lolongo Clinic in an outlying area of Juba, which helps meet the community’s basic health needs while also educating parents in preventative care.  About 35,000 people in the region rely on the treatment and care that Lolongo offers; that works out to about $6 per person per year.

Non-governmental organizations such as this clinic account for a full 86 percent of all health care services in Sudan.  And it’s by far not enough.  Southern Sudan has the highest maternal mortality ratio in the world, and a girl stands a higher chance of dying in childbirth than completing secondary school.

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A Visit to Otash Camp

An early a.m. flight brought us to Juba in south Sudan. We swapped planes at the airport and headed straight for Nyala, the capital of South Darfur.

USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah at Otash Camp with the WFP.

USAID works in partnership with 11 other organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to the thousands living in the Otash IDP camp at near Nyala in Darfur.

After arriving, we met up with the World Food Programme (WFP) and visited an IDP camp called Otash.

USAID, through the WFP and its NGO partners like World Vision, provides emergency relief supplies to the 71,000 Dafuris living in Otash. The camp was established in 2004 and was originally home to 15,000 IDPs. It grew to its current size after large scale displacements in 2004 following fighting between the Government of Sudan and Darfuri rebels, and more recently, in 2008 after the outbreak of tribal conflict.

Since 2003, USAID has helped to meet the immediate needs of millions of people affected by the conflict in Darfur. Today, in the three states of Darfur there are some two million people living in IDP camps.

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Visit to Mbagathi Hospital

USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah's visit to Mgabathi Hospital Clinic - Kenya - May 2010

I spoke with HIV-positive patients, adults and children, at the Mgabathi Hospital clinic that offers prevention education, counseling, and medical care -- including distributing life-saving HIV-AIDS treatment.

We’re concentrating intensely on health issues in Kenya.

President Obama’s ground-breaking Global Health Initiative (GHI), which is soon to be rolled out in 10 countries, is getting under way here. Yesterday, we met with interagency colleagues and USAID mission staff from across Africa and dug into the details on important implementing issues. It was a great opportunity to build on the collective experience and knowledge across agencies and missions, and to apply lessons learned to GHI.

This morning I visited Mbagathi Hospital, a Kenyan health facility that USAID has supported for the past two years.

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USAID in the News – May 14th, 2010

This week at USAID:

Administrator Rajiv Shah is on his first official trip to Africa since taking the helm of USAID. Shah is visiting Kenya and Sudan and his trip is focusing on the Global Health and Food Security Initiatives.

USAID, Yemeni Government officials met to discuss a new stabilization strategy. The first in a series of quarterly meetings to coordinate shared objectives identified in the assistance agreement signed by USAID and Yemen’s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation.

Leaders in the Caribbean expect to receive a $100 million grant to help fight AIDS over the next five years from the US government’s President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief fund. USAID contributes both funding and staff toward the PEPFAR initiative.

As of June 1, the Louisiana National Guard will be in charge of a 500-person contingent, based in Gonaives, Haiti. USAID and other relief agencies will take on the majority of logistical and aid work performed by the Southern Command’s Operation Unified Response.

USAID Administrator co-chairs discussions with Afghan ministers

USAID Adminstrator co-chairs conference with Afghan Ministers

USAID Administrator co-chairs discussions with Afghan Ministers

This week President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and members of his cabinet are participating in U.S. – Afghanistan Bilateral Discussions in Washington, DC. These discussions are another step in the advancement of a very broad strategic partnership between our two countries. (Our guests have a full agenda this week including a meeting with President Obama, a full day at the State Department and meetings on Capitol Hill, with Think Tanks and the media.)

As part of this effort, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah co-chaired two discussions with Afghan Ministers – the first, on human resource development where the focus was on health and education, and, secondly, a roundtable discussion with

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U.S. Releases Six-Year Strategy to Combat Malaria Globally

In conjunction with World Malaria Day, and in accordance with the requirements of the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 (Lantos-Hyde), the U.S. Government (USG), through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), today released a comprehensive strategy to combat malaria globally.

Press release…

World Malaria Day – 2010

April 25, 2010, marks the third annual World Malaria Day, a day set aside to call attention to malaria and to mobilize action to combat it. The U.S. Government, on behalf of the American people, has taken extraordinary steps to curb the spread of this preventable and curable disease. Since 2006, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has helped 15 high-burden countries in Africa dramatically scale up effective malaria prevention and treatment interventions; during 2009 alone, PMI reached more than 50 million people. Many of the countries where PMI has been working have reported significant reductions in deaths in children under the age of five. There is strong and growing evidence that malaria prevention and control are a major factor in these reductions.

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Afghanistan: Midwives Graduate from Hirat Institute of Health Sciences

U.S. Embassy Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne and Acting Minister of Public Health Dr. Suraya Dalil joined Hirat Governor Yusuf Nuristani and regional Afghan health officials and members of the international donor community at a graduation ceremony for 40 midwives yesterday from the Hirat Institute of Health Sciences.

Afghanistan has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world. About every 30 minutes a mother dies giving birth in Afghanistan, and 77 percent of these deaths are due to factors that could be avoided with proper health care. The neonatal mortality rate is also high in Afghanistan, with 60 newborns out of every 1,000 dying in the first month of life. “The Ministry of Public Health will be working to ensure that public health services are available to all Afghans, and maternal child care is one of our biggest concerns,” said Acting Minister of Public Health (MoPH) Dr. Suraya Dalil.

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