A WHO official on Tuesday backed the Afghan government’s decision to declare H1N1 (swine flu) a health emergency, forcing the closure of all schools in the country for three weeks in an effort to contain the virus, IRIN reports. H1N1 has reportedly infected over 300 people, resulting in two deaths.
Obama Issues Joint Statement With Indian Prime Minister Singh, Includes Health, Agriculture Collaboration
President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “agreed Tuesday to team up and tackle a checklist of economic, nuclear, security and environmental challenges” as well as collaborate on health and agriculture issues, CNN reports. Singh is in Washington, D.C. for a five-day visit (11/25).
Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline announced plans on Tuesday to donate 50 million doses of its H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine to the WHO for use in developing countries within the next few months, Reuters reports.
Also In Global Health: Child Sexual Abuse In Zimbabwe; Dengue Outbreak In Cape Verde; Program Reduces Waste In Kenya Slums
Mail & Guardian Examines Sexual Abuse Of Children In Zimbabwe The Mail & Guardian examines how the “economic collapse” in Zimbabwe has contributed to rising numbers of children falling victims to sexual abuse. “A single clinic in the capital, Harare, says it has treated nearly 30,000 girls and boys who…
South African health minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Tuesday called for a reinvigorated effort in the country’s fight against HIV/AIDS, echoing comments recently made by South African President Jacob Zuma, Agence France-Presse reports.
Also In Global Health News: Home HIV Treatment; Voluntary Testing In Kenya; Women/HIV Scorecard; Global Fund Zimbabwe Grant; Contraceptives In Tanzania
Home Vs. Clinic Treatment of HIV In Uganda The New York Times reports on a Lancet studyÂ that found treating Ugandan HIV patients at home is cheaper and just as effective as treating them in a clinic. “The finding is important because five million more Africans will need AIDS drugs in…
“Bangladesh has shown low HIV prevalence rates so far but may be silently moving towards an epidemic, say experts pointing to underreporting and poor monitoring for the virus in the general population,” Inter Press Service reports. “Professionals and volunteers working in the HIV/AIDS field say there is no room for complacency and that Bangladesh may well be on the brink of an epidemic, going by continuing high levels of STDs alone,” the news service writes.
“Chagas disease, a parasitic infection spread to humans by insects, is not the new HIV/AIDS of the Americas, according to infectious disease experts who called the comparison,” made in an editorial published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases last week, “‘unrealistic’ and ‘unfortunate,'” ABC News’ “Medical Unit” blog reports. “Rick Tarleton, president of the Chagas Disease Foundation, said the diseases have little in common beyond disproportionately affecting poor people,” the blog notes (Moisse, 6/1).
Ghana “will contribute about $1 million towards the prevention and control of endemic neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in order to protect the gains made by the country in Guinea worm eradication and the elimination of trachoma,” the country’s health minister announced on Monday at the opening of a Regional Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting on NTDs, PANA/AfriqueJet reports. Health Minister Albin Bagbin “also called on African countries to support interventions to address NTDs and improve coordination among all stakeholders in implementing NTD programs,” the news agency writes.
AllAfrica.com/Guardian examine efforts to prevent and treat cervical cancer among women in Kenya, where an estimated 3,400 women die of the disease each year and only five percent receive screening. “Kenya’s national reproductive health strategic plan has addressed cervical cancer largely through the roll-out of a low-cost screening tool known as VIA (visual inspection of the cervix using ascetic acid),” but experts agree that more widespread use of cervical cancer vaccines and public education campaigns about the disease would be more effective at preventing and catching cases earlier, the news service reports. “Once the public owns this problem and pushes for it, … then the government would be forced to implement [a vaccine] strategy in full,” Lucy Muchiri, a pathologist specializing in cervical cancer at Kenyatta National Hospital and the University of Nairobi, said, the news service notes (Njoroge, 6/12).