News Brief: Recent Events in Global Health Law

More than 40 young children have been infected with HIV at a hospital in Uzbekistan.  According to the United Nations, Central Asia has one of the world’s fastest-growing HIV infection rates due, in part, to unsafe blood supplies and contaminated equipment.  BBC

A study published by the Harvard School of Public Health on October 20, 2008, blamed South Africa’s former President Mbeki for the loss of lives from AIDS.  The study found that Mbeki’s decision in 1999 to declare available drugs toxic and dangerous caused almost 330,000 deaths and resulted in nearly 35,000 babies being born HIV+.  Activists are calling for former President Mbeki to be summoned to a judicial inquiry or the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  BBC

Lancet authors Robert Beaglehole DSc and Prof Ruth Bonita PhD propose a global health scorecard as a means of indentifying progress that has been made and areas in which progress is still needed.  The Lancet (full article available with subscription)

Minority children waiting for a heart transplant have a higher death rate than white youngsters, even accounting for socioeconomic and insurance factors.  The risk of death remained higher for all non-whites — 40 percent higher for blacks and Hispanics and more than 100 percent higher for Asians and others.  Washington Post


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