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AP, IRIN Examine Lawsuit Challenging Plumpy’nut Patent

The Associated Press examines the decision by two U.S. nonprofit groups seeking to increase production of the ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), Plumpy’nut, to file a lawsuit against the French organizations that hold the product’s U.S. patent.

Gates Annual Letter Addresses Importance Of Innovation For Global Health, Agriculture

In his second annual letter, Bill Gates reflects on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work and the importance innovation will play in overcoming some of the world’s greatest challenges, including in global health and agriculture, the Associated Press/Wall Street Journal reports. “Gates says the foundation currently is backing 30 areas of innovation including online learning, teacher improvement, malaria vaccine development, HIV prevention, and genetically modified seeds,” according to the news service (1/25).

Over 125M Pregnant Women Worldwide Exposed To Malaria Annually, Study Finds

Over 125 million pregnant women worldwide are exposed to malaria each year, according to a study published Tuesday in PLoS Medicine, ANI/oneindia reports. Previously, such estimates were limited to malaria risk in Africa. “Most malarial deaths are among young children in sub-Saharan Africa but pregnant women and their unborn babies are at high risk,” the news service writes adding that “[n]early 10,000 women and 200,000 babies die every year because of malaria in pregnancy, which often leads to miscarriages, pre-term births, and low-birth-weight births” (1/26).

Los Angeles Times Examines How Miss. Delta Region Hopes To Learn From Iran’s Rural Health Care

The Los Angeles Times reports on how health workers in the Mississippi Delta region of the U.S. are hoping to mimic Iran’s success in reducing infant mortality by recreating the country’s low-cost rural healthcare delivery system in their own backyard. “Mississippi ranks at or near the bottom of most healthcare indexes. … The state suffers the nation’s worst infant mortality rate – about 50% higher than the national average – and the lowest life expectancy,” the newspaper writes.

Also In Global Health News: Tajikistan Earthquake; WHO Head Marks 2009 Milestones; Mexico Health Program; Dry Toilets; Kenya HIV Testing

About 20,000 People Homeless After Tajikistan Earthquake, Officials Say “Tajikistan officials say about 20,000 people have been left homeless after an earthquake rocked the impoverished central Asian nation” on Saturday, VOA News reports. The quake severed electrical supplies and communications in affected areas, officials said (1/3). A regional spokesperson for…

Study Links Maternal Height To Children’s Health Outcomes

Malnutrition suffered during a woman’s childhood “can adversely affect the health of her children, Harvard researchers said Tuesday,” following the release of their study in developing countries, which “found that the shortest women were substantially more likely to have children who died at an early age, who were underweight or who failed to thrive, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical [Association]” (JAMA), the Los Angeles Times’ blog “Shots” reports.

Also In Global Health News: China’s HIV Travel Ban; EU Aid; Water, Sanitation In Cambodia; Aid Transport; Maternal Mortality

China Could Soon Lift HIV Travel Ban, State Media Reports “China could lift a longstanding ban on HIV-positive foreigners entering the country as early as this month, state media reported Wednesday,” Agence France-Presse reports. The country first introduced the ban in late the 1980s, the news service notes (4/20). “Insiders said…

Also In Global Health News: Developing Countries’ Drug Demand; GHI Event; Kenya’s HIV/AIDS Treatment; Zimbabwe’s 30 Years Of Independence; TB Project

Demand For Drugs In Developing Countries Will Continue to Grow, Report Finds “Drug sales may grow at least 5 percent worldwide in each year through 2014 as increasing demand in developing countries offsets price drops tied to generic competition, according to [the research company] IMS Health Inc.,” Bloomberg/Business Week reports.…

Reuters Examines Uneven Economic Growth, Welfare Programs In India

Reuters reports on the recent efforts by India’s government to expand welfare programs throughout the country: “Since helping the Congress party win re-election last year, welfare has fast become the government’s knee-jerk answer to policy dilemmas as it tries to ease food inflation, help growth trickle down to the poor, and win hearts and minds in” the country, the news service writes.