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WHO Director-General Turns Attention To Conditions In Slums To Mark World Health Day

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said addressing living conditions in the world’s slums is important to improving urban health – the focus of World Health Day on Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reports. “By 2030, six out of 10 people will be city dwellers, rising to seven out of 10 people by 2050, with explosive growth in Asia and Africa, according to Chan,” the news service writes (4/7).

World Bank Commitments During Economic Crisis Reach All-Time High

The World Bank on Wednesday announced it “has committed a record $100 billion in financial support over the past 18 months to help developing countries recover from the global economic crisis,” Reuters reports.

“The bulk of the lending since the onset of the crisis in 2008, about $60.3 billion, was to middle-income countries, which struggled to borrow on global financial markets. Typical lending for these countries had averaged about $15 billion a year before the crisis,” the news service writes. “Meanwhile, loans and grants through the Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries reached $21.2 billion during the crisis … compared to about $12 billion a year prior to the crisis” (Wroughton, 4/8).

Also In Global Health News: Iraq’s Health System; HIV Travel Restrictions; India Cholera Vaccine; HIV/AIDS Prevention In Indonesia; U.S. Federal Quarantine Regulations

IRIN Examines ‘Long And Complicated’ Process To Developing Iraq’s Health System IRIN examines how decades of conflict in Iraq have stymied development of the country’s health system. The piece includes comments by Iraqi Health Minister Salih al-Hasnawi, who describes the process of “developing [the country's health facilities] to reach international…

Recent Releases In Global Health

Community Groups Offer Cost-Effective Mechanism For Reducing Maternal Mortality “Achieving the [Millennium Development Goal] MDG 4 target of reducing newborn and child mortality will require concerted efforts to scale up evidence-based interventions, especially community-based preventive and therapeutic strategies in primary care,” according to a Lancet comment that reflects on the challenges associated…

Wall Street Journal Examines Railway Hospital In India

The Wall Street Journal examines Lifeline Express, “the world’s first hospital on rails,” which is run by Impact India, a group that “initially focused on immunization and prevention of diseases such as polio and malaria.” Its success has spread to China and Zimbabwe, where three Lifeline Express trains are operated, and to “hospital river boats based on the India model have been set up to tend to patients in Bangladesh and Cambodia.” It has also been used as a model for other health projects in India, according to the newspaper.

Opinion: Job Development For Haiti; NTDs In Africa; U.S. Investment In TB

Jobs-Drive Development For Haiti “Even before the earthquake, the Haitian economy was already on shaky ground. There is 70 to 80 percent unemployment in the formal economy. … U.S. policy helped build this disastrous economy,” AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker writes in a Miami Herald opinion piece. Baker says…

Also In Global Health News: Asia’s ‘Double Burden'; Guinea Worm Eradication; ARV, Antibiotic Treatment; Sierra Leone’s Medical Workers; Melinda Gates In India

Asians Facing ‘Double Burden’ Of Disease, Health Experts Warn During a two-day healthcare conference in Asia, health experts on Monday encouraged the governments of Asian countries to draft plans to tackle the long-term costs associated with chronic illnesses, Reuters reports. “Asia is facing a double burden,” of disease, said Bruce…

Obama Requests $2.8B In Emergency Funds For Haiti

President Barack Obama sent a letter (.pdf) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Wednesday asking the Congress “for $2.8 billion in emergency funds to provide for costs associated with relief and reconstruction for Haiti, after its devastating earthquake on January 12,” Reuters reports.