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Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Editorial Makes Recommendations For Health-System Strengthening “There is strong consensus in the global health community, among donors, recipient countries, and policy makers, about the need for health system strengthening in low-income and middle-income countries,” write the authors of a Lancet Comment. The article recommends areas in health-system strengthening that…

Pakistan Floods Prompt Food Shortages, Devastate Farmland

Pakistanis in the northwest part of the country face “life-threatening shortages” of food after flooding has killed 1,400 and “devastated the lives of more than three million people,” Reuters reports. World Food Programme spokesman Amjad Jamal said, “People have lost their food stocks. The markets are not up and running. Shops have collapsed. People are definitely in the greatest need of food” (Ali, 8/4).

Also In Global Health News: U.N. Investigates DRC Rape Allegations; HIV Aid To Botswana; HIV Discrimination In Nigeria; Circumcision In Kenya; Testing Cancer Drugs For HIV

U.N. Sends Top Aides To Investigate Alleged Mass Rapes In DRC “The United Nations is investigating claims that rebel fighters raped more than 150 women and baby boys in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” the BBC reports. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is “sending two top aides” to the country and “also urged…

Pakistani Officials Fear Cholera Outbreak After Massive Flooding

After floods in northwest Pakistan have “already killed up to 1,200 people” and forced 2 million from their homes, authorities are now concerned about disease spread, the Associated Press reports. “To avert the looming threat of spread of waterborne diseases, especially cholera, we have dispatched dozens of mobile medical teams in the affected districts,” said medical official Sohail Altaf. Altaf said no concrete cases of cholera have been reported in the country but “fear of an outbreak is high,” and patients with “stomach problems from dirty water” are being seen in medical camps (Brummitt, 8/2).

U.S. Boosts Aid Relief To Pakistani Flood Victims; U.N. Donors Meet About Funding

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) visited Pakistan on Thursday “to assess the damage and relief efforts” as flooding continues and millions remain in need of humanitarian aid, the New York Times reports. According to the newspaper Kerry “said the United States would increase its flood aid to $150 million” (Masood/Gall, 8/19).

Death Toll Expected To Rise As Flooding Subsides In Some Parts Of Pakistan

Pakistani government officials say the death toll from the country’s flooding stands at more than 1,600 and it could rise significantly as flood waters recede and more bodies are identified, CNN reports (8/28). “There is no official estimate of the number of missing because mass displacements have made accounting for them almost impossible,” according to Reuters (Haider, 8/29).

Ten Million Face Hunger In Central Africa; Niger Flooding Exacerbates Food Shortage, Leaves 200,000 Homeless

Flash floods have “worsened an already chronic humanitarian crisis caused by drought” in central Africa where aid agencies have warned that “10 million people are already facing severe food shortages, particularly in the landlocked countries of Chad and Niger, after a drought led to the failure of last year’s crops,” the Independent reports. “Now unusually heavy rains [in Niger] have washed away this year’s crops and killed cattle in a region dependent on subsistence agriculture,” and where only 40 percent of people affected by the food shortages are receiving aid, according to the agencies, including Oxfam and Save the Children.