AFRICA

Drug-resistant HIV 'on increase' in sub-Saharan Africa

Drug-resistant HIV has been increasing in parts of sub-Saharan Africa over the last decade, according to experts writing in the Lancet.

Studies on 26,000 untreated HIV-positive people in developing countries were reviewed by the team.

They said resistance could build up if people fail to stick to drug regimes, and because monitoring could be poor.

A UK HIV organisation said resistance was a serious problem in Africa where alternative treatments were lacking.

Resistance to AIDS drugs shows in parts of Africa

Resistance to AIDS drugs, a problem that has been widely feared over the last decade, is growing in parts of Africa but should not hamper the life-saving drug rollout, researchers reported on Monday.

Tiny genetic mutations that make HIV immune to key frontline drugs have been increasing in eastern and southern Africa, something that should be a clear warning to health watchdogs, they said.

"Without continued and increased national and international efforts, rising HIV drug resistance could jeopardize a decade-long trend of decreasing HIV/AIDS-related illness and death in low- and middle-income countries," they said.

Roadmap on Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity for AIDS, TB AND Malaria Response in Africa

Published by: 
African Union

This Roadmap presents a set of practical African-sourced solutions for enhancing shared responsibility and global solidarity for AIDS, TB and malaria responses in Africa on a sustainable basis by 2015. The solutions are organized around three strategic pillars: diversified financing; access to medicines; and enhanced health governance.

The Roadmap defines goals, results and roles and responsibilities to hold stakeholders accountable for the realization of these solutions between 2012 and 2015.

South Africa Set for Key Role at Aids 2012

South Africa is sending a strong team, including two of the main speakers, to the 19th International Aids Conference (Aids 2012) starting in Washington, DC on Sunday, confident that it has one of the world's most comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment programmes - and that it is showing significant progress.

The largest and most important global gathering on HIV/Aids, the week-long, biennial International Aids Conference plays a key role in shaping the global response to HIV and in keeping HIV/Aids on the international political agenda.

Aids 2012 is expected to attract some 25000 delegates from around the world, including HIV professionals, activists, global and community leaders and people living with HIV.

Windows of Opportunity Project: Review and Analysis of Maternal and Child Health Development Data for Four Project Districts in South Africa

Published by: 
Health Systems Trust

Up to half a million African babies die on the day they are born, and every year 1.16 million babies die in the first month of life while another one million babies are stillborn. In addition, about 250 000 women die of pregnancy-related causes every year in Africa. The majority of these deaths are preventable. However due to factors such as critical shortage of health professionals and essential materials and infrastructure, ineffective intervention programmes as well as the impact of the HIV and AIDS epidemic, the Africa continent continues to lose millions of babies and mothers every year. Hence, there is a need to strengthen the health systems in many African countries through effective maternal and child health (MCH) intervention programmes.

HIV treatment now reaching more than 6 million people in sub-Saharan Africa

For the second year in a row, an additional 1.1 million people in sub-Saharan Africa received antiretroviral therapy, reaching a total of 6.2 million people across the region in 2011. In less than a decade, access to HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa has increased more than 100-fold.

“I am impressed with the progress that Africa has achieved on AIDS, but much remains to be done,” said Dr Thomas Yayi Boni, Chairperson of African Union and President of Benin. “As chairperson of the African Union, I am working closely with African leaders and partners to deliver more sustainable and African owned responses.”

South Africa’s National Health Insurance Sites Underfunded

Experts say that underfunded pilot universal healthcare sites to be set up by South Africa as part of its proposed national health insurance may be doomed to fail as debate rages about how the move to more equitable healthcare will be funded.

In March, South Africa announced 10 districts across the country that will pilot universal healthcare under its proposed national health insurance (NHI).

Pilot sites have only been allocated an additional R11 million (or 1.3 million dollars) to implement the NHI, according to Di McIntyre, professor at the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at South Africa’s University of Cape Town.

Second-line HIV therapy effective and durable in South Africa, and adherence support could improve rates of viral suppression

Second-line antiretroviral therapy in South Africa achieves durable viral suppression in three-quarters of patients and is associated with an increase in CD4 cell count, investigators report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Therapy was based on a boosted protease inhibitor (lopinavir/ritonavir, Kaletra).

Unsurprisingly, adherence was associated with virological outcomes, with each 10% improvement in the rate of adherence more than doubling the chances of achieving an undetectable viral load.

National health insurance in Asia and Africa

Published by: 
UNICEF

There is widespread consensus that providing universal, sustainable, affordable and quality health services underpins efforts to achieve equitable health outcomes. UNICEF in 2010-2011 conducted a two-phase landscape analysis, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, to investigate how health insurance and other social health protection mechanisms contribute to achieving universal health coverage (UHC). The work built on previous research examining the protection from impoverishment that health insurance provides to vulnerable groups, the potential for increasing and expanding insurance coverage, and the options for and constraints limiting the use of insurance to attain UHC.