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Multi-Donor Program Improves Availability Of Essential Medicines In Zimbabwe's Public Health Sector

IRIN reports on “[t]he improved availability of essential medicines in Zimbabwe’s public health sector” as a result of “a multi-donor program started in 2008 through collaboration between the government, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Zimbabwe, the European Union (E.U.), the U.K., Australia, Canada and Ireland.” “According to a survey carried out by the E.U., 80 percent of essential medicines are now available at over 80 percent of health facilities compared to only 28 percent availability of vital drugs at public health institutions in 2008,” IRIN notes. The news service writes, “To date, the Essential Medicines Supply Programme (EMSP) has received $52 million in funding, according to UNICEF,” adding, “The money is used to buy drugs and medical supplies which are distributed to health centers by Natpharm, the supply arm of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare” (9/20).

More Funding For Leishmaniasis Treatment Could Save More Lives In East African Outbreak

“East Africa’s worst outbreak in a decade of visceral leishmaniasis, the deadliest parasitic disease after malaria, could ease if donors paid more attention to the illness,” which infects approximately 500,000 people and kills up to 60,000 annually in 70 countries, the non-profit group “Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform, or LEAP, said in a statement from Nairobi” on Friday, Bloomberg reports.

2M Pakistanis Affected By Diseases Related To Widespread Flooding In Southern Region

Two million Pakistanis have become ill from malaria, diarrhea, skin diseases or snake bites “since monsoon rains left the southern region under several feet of water, the country’s disaster authority said Thursday,” Agence France-Presse reports. “More than 350 people have been killed and over eight million people have been affected this year by floods that officials say are worse in parts of Sindh province than last year,” the news agency reports.

Health Workers Key To 'Effective Health Care Delivery'

In addition to “essential money,” “the right policies, government commitment and citizen accountability” are needed to decrease child mortality and improve other global health indicators, “[b]ut the sine qua non for effective health care delivery is health workers. Whether it’s prevention, treatment or care, it’s all about health workers,” Jonathan Glennie, a research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, writes in a post on the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.”

Study Sheds Light On When To Start Antiretroviral Therapy

Findings from a study published in the current issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, when “taken together with other studies published over the last few years,” show that beginning people living with HIV on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) when their CD4 cell count is between 350 and 500…

Burundi Makes Significant Progress Against NTDs

In this “End the Neglect” blog post, Alan Fenwick, director of the Schistosomaisis Control Initiative and professor of Tropical Parasitology at Imperial College in London, examines Burundi’s progress in combating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). He writes, “Over a period of four years, interventions to protect people against river blindness, and…

Strides Being Made Against Trypanosomiasis

Rachel ter Horst, medical advocacy adviser at Medecins Sans Frontieres, describes findings presented at the recent 31st biennial International Scientific Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control in Bamako, Mali, in this “BMJ Group Blogs” post. Noting that the annual reported incidence of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is decreasing but still…

Dengue Fever Outbreak Overwhelms Northeastern Kenyan Town; WHO Sends Essential Drugs

“An outbreak of dengue fever in Mandera, northeastern Kenya, is spreading fast, with at least 5,000 people infected within weeks, due to limited health facilities, a shortage of medical personnel and poor sanitation, officials told IRIN.” The news service writes, “A statement by the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation on 26 September said four deaths from the disease had been confirmed but, according to Mandera residents, at least 10 people have died since early September when the outbreak started.”

Columbian Scientists Tap Global Computer Network In Search Of Leishmaniasis Drugs

“Colombian scientists are using a global network of personal and institutional computers to search for potential drugs against leishmaniasis, a disease that affects 12 million people worldwide,” SciDev.Net reports. The researchers at the University of Antioquia “will harness the calculation potential of the almost two million computers that make up the World Community Grid, funded by the IBM Corporation,” the news service writes.