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Global Maternal Deaths Decreased By More Than 35% Between 1980 And 2008, Study Finds

The number of maternal deaths around the world has decreased from more than 500,000 in 1980 to an estimated 342,900 in 2008, according to a Lancet study published online on Monday, the BBC reports. For the study, “a team led by the University of Washington in Seattle, looked at data from thousands of observations of maternal deaths for 181 countries between 1980 and 2008. … More than half of all maternal deaths were in only six countries in 2008 – India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” writes the BBC (Briggs, 4/12).

News Outlets Report On Food Crisis In Sahel Region of Africa

A food crisis is developing across the Sahel region – from Mauritania and Guinea to Nigeria and Sudan – where “[m]illions” of people are facing hunger and malnutrition, aid groups say, afrol News reports.

While Global Adult Mortality Rates Drop, Gaps Between Countries Grow, Lancet Study Finds

“The global mortality rate for adults [ages 15-59] has fallen by about 1 percent a year for the past 40 years, with women making greater gains than men and huge differences opening up between countries and regions over that period, according to a new study” published online Friday in the journal Lancet, the Washington Post reports, noting the study offers “the most detailed nation-by-nation trends in adult mortality” to date.

More Focus On Reaching MDGs Needed, Development Officials Say

During a conference in London Thursday, development officials urged world leaders to “accelerate efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and [said] rich countries must make good on promises to boost aid to poorer nations,” Reuters AlertNet reports.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Comment Asks: What’s Next For Global Fund? Reflecting on the recent annual report by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a Lancet comment writes, “Two big challenges remain [for the Global Fund]: first, to show, reliably and independently, that the Fund’s investments have delivered the benefits that it…

Canadian Prime Minister Says He’s Open To Including Contraception In G8 Plan For Improving Maternal, Child Health

“Facing a squall of condemnation from aid groups and opposition politicians,” following statements by Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon that Canada’s G8 maternal and child health initiative would not include family planning, Prime Minister Stephen Harper “disavowed his foreign minister Thursday, promising that the federal government would include contraception programs in its maternal-health foreign-aid initiative,” the Globe and Mail reports.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Study Finds Level Of HIV Services For IDUs ‘Is Poor In Many Countries’ A Lancet study performed a systematic review of HIV prevention and treatment services targeting injecting drug users (IDUs) globally based on the availability of “core interventions for IDUs: needle and syringe programmes (NSPs), opioid substitution therapy (OST) and other drug…