Recent news from WHO
- Professor Michel Kazatchkine, France’s Ambassador for HIV/AIDS and Communicable Diseases, has been appointed the next Executive Director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Kazatchkine will replace Sir Richard Feachem, the founding Executive Director, who steps down at the end of his five-year term on 31 March. Kazatchkine is a physician who has treated people with AIDS for more than 20 years and led the world’s second-largest AIDS research agency, France’s Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le SIDA. In five years, the Global Fund has become one of the largest international funders of tuberculosis and malaria programmes, and one of the three largest funders of HIV/AIDS programmes in the world, with 450 programmes in 136 countries. Professor Michel Kazatchkine The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
- More collaboration is needed between public health agencies and faith-based organizations to make more progress towards the 2010 goal of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care, according to a WHO study released on 8 February. Please find the study at: http://www.arhap.uct.ac.za/research_who.php
- WHO announced on 31 January that a Phase III study of the candidate microbicide cellulose sulfate had been stopped prematurely because of a higher number of HIV infections in the active compared with the placebo group. The termination of the trial is a major setback in the search for a safe and effective microbicide that women can use to protect themselves against HIV infection.
- A neglected disease with a nearly forgotten name is making a comeback 40 years after a global control programme almost eradicated it. Yaws, a disease that eats away at the skin, cartilage and bones of its victims who are mostly children, is re-emerging in poor, rural and marginalized populations of Africa, Asia and South America. WHO said on 25 January that more than 500 000 people are afflicted by yaws worldwide.
- WHO’s Executive Board re-appointed Dr Hussein A Gezairy as Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) on 23 January. Gezairy is WHO’s longest-serving elected leader, having been in office since 1982.
- WHO announced on 19 January a partnership with the World Food Programme’s logistics hubs to expedite the delivery of medical supplies in emergencies.
For more about these and other WHO news items, please see: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2007/en/index.html