December 29, 2007

Double Dose: Top Health Stories, Survey on Global Health Priorities and the Continuation of Putting Politics Before Science

The year that was …

Top Ten: From Women’s eNews — “Significant efforts were made during 2007 to advance women’s rights and to reduce health disparities and violence. Some of those efforts, however, fell far short: the U.S. abortion rights movement suffered a major defeat by the Bush appointees to the Supreme Court.” Here are the top 10 news stories of 2007 as identified by WeN.

Take Five: Society for Women’s Health Research has picked the top five women’s health stories of 2007.

Key Health Disparities Legislation: Kaiser Family Foundation summarizes about a dozen federal legislative initiatives introduced in the 110th Congress to address racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care.

Global Public Health Priorities: According to a new report based on the Kaiser/Pew Global Health Survey, preventing and treating HIV/AIDS is the top-rated health priority in countries surveyed in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia; fighting hunger and malnutrition is the top priority among countries surveyed in Latin America and the Middle East; and access to health care is the top priority in Central/Eastern Europe.

And for the Seventh Year in a Row … Ideology trumped public health in the United States. In a Boston Globe op-ed, Susan Wood, the former assistant commissioner for women’s health at the Food and Drug Administration, sounds off on two of the “more visible defeats that healthcare has suffered during this administration”: The limbo status of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and the skyrocketing cost of birth control on college campuses.

“At a deeper level,” adds Wood, “the low priority healthcare gets from President Bush is reflected in his failure to staff important health-related positions with qualified individuals willing to provide science-based advice.”

Plus: Rebecca Traister covers the year in sex.

Update 12/30: Emily Douglas of RH Reality Check interviews Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Planned Parenthood’s vice president for medical affairs, about PP’s guide to the year in women’s health (if anyone has the link to the guide itself, please leave it in the comments; it doesn’t seem to be on either organization’s website.).


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