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Women Struggling To Find Truly Free Health Care In Sierra Leone's System, Amnesty International Report Says

“Sierra Leone’s free health care plan for pregnant women and young children is dysfunctional and hobbled by corruption and a lack of accountability,” according to a report (.pdf) released Tuesday by Amnesty International, Agence France-Presse reports. The nation’s free health care program for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under five years old was launched in April 2010 with support from UNICEF, the World Bank, the WHO and the U.K. Department for International Development, AFP notes (9/6).

Washington Post Examines Conditions Within Mogadishu Hospital

The Washington Post looks at the conditions within Banadir Hospital in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. “The scenes … reflect the immense challenge facing this Horn of Africa nation, already besieged by multiple woes, from civil war to radical Islamist militants to a weak transitional government incapable of governing effectively, despite massive support from the United States and its allies,” the newspaper writes (Raghavan, 9/7).

African Countries See Slow Progress In Reducing Maternal Mortality To Achieve MDG 5

Inter Press Service examines what some experts are calling a lack of commitment from health care workers, which they say is “among the reasons why Africa may not succeed in achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 on improving maternal health by 2015 by reducing maternal mortality by three quarters.” According to IPS, “Studies conducted by the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) in East, West and Southern Africa found that most countries are struggling to provide universal access to reproductive health.”

Access To Lifesaving Generic Medicines Threatened By U.S. Trade Pact

“Access to affordable lifesaving medicines will be threatened where they are needed most — in parts of the developing world — if the U.S. insists on implementing restrictive intellectual property policies in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement,” states a press release from Doctors Without Borders. According to the release, “a leaked draft of the U.S. position indicates that the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is demanding aggressive intellectual property provisions that go beyond what international trade law requires” and that these measures would “delay the introduction of more affordable generic drugs” (9/8).

Residents Of Pakistan's Tribal Areas Face Dangerous Obstacles To Access HIV/AIDS Treatment

“Having to contend with U.S. army drones and the crossfire between the Taliban and the Pakistani army, the residents of Pakistan’s tribal areas find access to treatment for HIV/AIDS harder than in most other parts of the world,” Inter Press Service reports. People with HIV/AIDS living “in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) must cross the porous border into Afghanistan and take a circuitous route to Peshawar, capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, to get timely anti-retroviral treatment (ART),” at a family care center established by the Pakistan government and the WHO, the news service writes.

Human Rights Watch Report Says Foreign Aid Indirectly Supporting Forced Labor In Vietnam's Drug Rehabilitation Centers

In a report released Wednesday, New York-based Human Rights Watch “accused the United States government, the World Bank and other international donors of indirectly funding forced labor in Vietnam’s drug rehabilitation centers,” Inter Press Service reports. The report “said that Vietnam’s system of forced labor centers for people who use drugs has expanded over the last decade” and they “have been sustained by a variety of international donors, none of which has made objections,” the news service writes.

Famine In Somalia Testing Advancements In Coordination Of Care, Food Aid

The Washington Post examines how high rates of malnutrition among Somali children — approximately 36 percent under age five are malnourished and almost 16 percent are severely malnourished, according to Somalia’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit — are “the biggest test yet of recent improvements in assessing and treating malnutrition, changes that range from the coordination of care to the ingredients of food aid.”

Indian State Of Jammu And Kashmir Avoids Grim AIDS Predictions

When the only community health care center providing medical and psychosocial care for people living with HIV/AIDS in India’s northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir “closed down [six months ago] for lack of patients, it was a sure sign that the north Indian state had beaten back dire forecasts,” Inter Press Service reports.

Eli Lilly Announces $30M, Five-Year Commitment To Fight NCDs In Developing Countries

U.S.-based pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company on Tuesday announced it will spend $30 million over five years to fight the rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in developing nations, the Indianapolis Star reports (Swiatek, 9/13). According to a Lilly press release, the company is launching the Lilly NCD Partnership “to identify new models of patient care that increase treatment access and improve outcomes for underserved people” (9/13).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.