The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has launched a new framework to accelerate action in reaching 15 million people with antiretroviral treatment by 2015––the goal set by United Nations Member States in 2011.
The framework, entitled Treatment 2015, offers countries and partners both practical and innovative ways to increase the number of people accessing antiretroviral medicines. These medicines will not only enable people living with HIV to live longer and healthier lives, they will also help prevent new HIV infections.
Despite decades of investment in HIV prevention, a large and vulnerable population—that of adolescent girls—remains invisible, underserved, and at disproportionate risk of HIV.
2013 Progress report on the Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive
The Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive (Global Plan) was launched in July 2011 at the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS. This report presents the interim progress made by 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and some of the challenges they face in meeting the agreed targets for 2015. Of the 22 Global Plan priority countries, data from India were not available at the time this report was written. Only provisional data were available from Uganda at the time of publication. The preliminary results for Uganda are included in the aggregated values, but no country-specific data are presented here.
Essential Nutrition Actions: improving maternal, newborn, infant and young child health and nutrition
Malnutrition in all its forms is closely linked, either directly or indirectly, to major causes of death and disability worldwide. The causes of malnutrition are directly related to inadequate dietary intake as well as disease, but indirectly to many factors, among others household food security, maternal and child care, health services and the environment. While most nutrition interventions are delivered through the health sector, non-health interventions can also be critical. Actions should target the different causes to reach sustainable change, which requires a multisectoral approach.
Health in All Policies (HiAP) is an approach to policies that systematically takes into account the health and health-system implications of decisions, seeks synergies, and avoids harmful health impacts to improve population health and health equity. It is founded on health-related rights and obligations and has great potential to improve population health and equity.
However, incorporating health into policies across sectors is often challenging and even when decisions are made, implementation may only be partial or unsustainable.
The Discussion Paper Series on Social Determinants of Health provides a forum for sharing knowledge on how to tackle the social determinants of health to improve health equity. Papers explore themes related to questions of strategy, governance, tools, and capacity building. They aim to review country experiences with an eye to understanding practice, innovations, and encouraging frank debate on the connections between health and the broader policy environment. Papers are all peer-reviewed.
UNAIDS’ Update highlights key elements of the AIDS response in a number of African countries. South Africa, for example, is rapidly scaling up access to HIV treatment, with a 20% increase in the number of people receiving therapy from 2011-2012 alone. Sixteen countries—Botswana, Ghana, Gambia, Gabon, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—now ensure that more than three-quarters of pregnant women living with HIV receive antiretroviral medicine to prevent transmission to their child.
Timely linkage to care and treatment by HIV-positive individuals can lead to significant decreases in morbidity and mortality as well as increases in life expectancy and quality of life. Further, there are significant prevention benefits as early initiation on antiretroviral treatment (ART) can significantly reduce HIV transmission to uninfected partners. Modeling exercises also suggest that universal HIV testing coupled with immediate treatment could decrease HIV incidence and virtually eliminate the HIV/AIDS pandemic. To achieve this, the rate of linkage to care must be 100%. This underscores the importance of understanding and addressing barriers to linkage.
Causes of Deaths in Children under-Five Years Old at a Tertiary Hospital in Limpopo Province of South Africa
Accurate and timely information on the causes of child deaths is essential in guiding efforts to improve child survival, by providing data from which health profiles can be constructed and relevant health policies formulated. The purpose of this study was to identify causes of death in children younger than 5 years-old in a tertiary hospital in South Africa.