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GlobalPost Reports On Cuba's Medical Outreach To Africa

GlobalPost reports on Cuba’s medical outreach to Africa, writing, “A generation ago, Fidel Castro sent Cuban soldiers to intervene in African civil conflicts and fight the Cold War against U.S. proxies. Now, Cuba’s doctors are fanning out across the continent as the island expands its role in administering medical services to some of the world’s most ailing countries.” The news service continues, “Some 5,500 Cubans are already working in 35 of Africa’s 54 countries, Cuban Foreign Ministry official Marcos Rodriguez told reporters this week at a press conference in Havana,” noting, “Of those, 3,000 are health professionals, and 2,000 are doctors, he said.”

GlobalPost Examines Women's Health In Myanmar Amid Country's Recent Political Reform

“Since Myanmar gained independence from the British in 1948, it has been wracked by armed conflicts and fragile ceasefires with civilians and ethnic rebels,” and “[t]he health of Myanmar’s women has been one of the biggest casualties,” GlobalPost reports. Though recent news coverage has focused on political reform in the nation, “little attention has been paid to a more immediate need: affordable, decent health care,” the news service states. The “military junta that ruled the country for a half century spent very little on health care,” little international aid has come into the country, and “the government restricts where and how aid organizations can operate, blocking the delivery of medical services,” the news service writes, adding, “The result has been a health care system that in conflict areas, does not exist, and in large cities, is too expensive for ordinary people, according to experts inside Myanmar and on the Thai border.”

Al Jazeera Examines Cuba's National Health Care System; IPS Looks At HIV/AIDS In The Country

In a feature story, Al Jazeera examines Cuba’s national health care system, which “works — or is supposed to work — by emphasizing primary and preventative health care.” However, after subsidies from the former Soviet Union “ended and Cuba’s economy went into a tailspin, nothing was the same again,” according to the news agency, which notes the system experiences drug shortages, patients have long wait times, and some hospitals are dirty or malfunctioning. “In all fairness, in the past five years, the government has made great efforts to improve hospitals and health centers, but again, lack of resources is making the process painfully slow,” Al Jazeera writes, adding, “The system is free, but it is neither fast nor efficient for two important reasons. One is obviously the lack of financial resources, and the other — which is related to the first — is the ‘export’ of doctors, nurses and dentists in exchange for hard currency.” The feature concludes, “But for all its shortcomings, Cubans do have better access to health care than the majority of those living in many ‘developing nations,’ where public health is shockingly inadequate” (Newman, 6/18).

South African TB Conference Hears Demands From Advocacy Organizations To Improve, Decentralize Treatment

The 2012 South African TB Conference opened Tuesday night in Durban, with the Treatment Action Campaign, Section27, and Oxfam delivering “a memorandum containing five demands to conference organizers shortly before the opening,” health-e News Service reports. The organizations “called for patients with drug-resistant TB who were failing to respond to treatment to be given ‘access to the best available medicines,'” even if they are not yet approved by the Medicines Control Council; “the diagnosis of all people living with TB”; and “the decentralization of care for people with drug-resistant TB, enabling them to be treated at home instead of hospitalized for long periods,” the news service writes (Cullinan, 6/13).

Global Health Corps Training Global Health Leaders Of The Future

“At the Global Health Corps, we recruit, connect and train … the global health leaders of the future,” Barbara Bush and Dave Ryan, co-founder and founding director of the Global Health Corps, respectively, write in a Devex guest commentary. “The complexity and scope of today’s challenges require people with diverse…

Nine Polio Workers Killed In Northern Nigeria

“Nine female polio vaccinators have been killed in two shootings at health centers in northern Nigeria, police have told the BBC,” the news agency reports. “In the first attack in Kano the polio vaccinators were shot dead by gunmen who drove up on a motor tricycle,” and “[t]hirty minutes later gunmen…

Moving Beyond Condemnation To Actions That Protect Health Workers

“Between December and January, at least 16 polio workers were killed in Pakistan, according to Reuters — and [on Friday], nine female health workers were slain in northern Nigeria, also while working on a polio eradication campaign,” Laura Hoemeke, director of communications and knowledge management at IntraHealth, writes in the organization’s “Global…

U.N. Secretary General Condemns Violence Against Health Workers In Nigeria

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday “strongly condemned the killing in north-eastern Nigeria of three doctors from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, calling the attack and other recent incidents of violence against health workers ‘unacceptable,'” the U.N. News Centre reports (2/11). “Those killings came quickly after gunmen shot dead at least nine female polio vaccinators…

Examining Community Health Workers’ Value In Saving Lives, Improving Health

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog features “a Q&A between Julia Bluestone of Jhpiego and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition and Dr. Henry Perry of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on a recently released report examining community health workers’ effectiveness in saving lives and improving health.”…