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Opinion Pieces Address World Polio Day

Though the number of new polio cases has dropped by 99 percent over the past 20 years, World Polio Day is recognized “because we haven’t done enough yet,” Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in his blog, “The Gates Notes.” He continues, “The last one percent is the hardest percent, and we have to do even more than we’ve already done if we hope to finish the job on polio. The day the world is declared polio free is the day we can really begin celebrating” (10/21).

Together For Girls Partnership Works To End Sexual Violence

In this post on the State Department’s “DipNote” blog, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby writes about the Together for Girls Partnership, an initiative that “generates a powerful advocacy platform to stop sexual violence by supporting countries’ efforts to fully understand and cope with the scope of the epidemic.”…

UNICEF Calls For Additional Resources To Fight Hunger, Famine In Somalia

Though the humanitarian response to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa has lessened the suffering of thousands of people in the region, “more resources are needed to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in famine-hit areas of Somalia, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said” in a progress report released Thursday, the U.N. News Centre reports. Releasing the report, Elhadj As Sy, UNICEF regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa, “called for the scaling up of integrated interventions in health, nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, education and child protection,” according to the news service (10/20).

U.N. Calls On International Community To Provide Food Aid To North Korea

“Wealthier countries need to put aside politics to help millions of North Koreans going hungry from food shortages, the U.N.’s top relief official said Friday, renewing an appeal for assistance that has largely gone unmet,” the Associated Press/CBS News reports. Following a five-day visit to North Korea, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos “said millions of North Koreans, particularly children, mothers and pregnant women, need help,” as they do not have access to protein- and nutrient-rich foods, according to the AP.

USAID Recognizes Public-Private Partnership Week

USAID on Thursday made several announcements as part of its Public-Private Partnership Week: The agency and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) “announced that they will work together to strengthen social, economic and environmental development in coffee growing communities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean,” according to a press release (10/20). …

University Kicks Off Campaign To Collect Mobile Phones To Help Fund Maternal Health Programs In Congo, Nepal

On Tuesday at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Chelsea Clinton, board member of the William J. Clinton Foundation, and Christy Turlington Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts, helped launch the GW + Phones = Hope campaign, which is “working with the national nonprofit Hope Phones to collect phones to benefit maternal health programs in Democratic Republic of Congo and Nepal,” the “GW Hatchet” blog reports (Ferris, 10/18).

USAID Funding PATH Projects To Improve Health In Resource-Poor Settings

USAID this week announced investments in two new projects to be led by the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), according to a USAID press release. One project is aimed at reducing the cost and increasing the availability of tools known to prevent post-partum bleeding, the leading cause of…

USAID, Kimberly-Clark Announce Partnership To Improve Maternal, Child Health In Andean Region

USAID and Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a manufacturer of health and hygiene products, on Tuesday announced “they will work together to improve maternal and child health in the Andean region, starting in Colombia and Ecuador,” according to a USAID press release. Combining the U.S. government’s Global Health and Feed the Future initiatives…

Kenya Aims To Reduce Preventable Deaths By 50% By December 2012

GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog examines how Kenya is working to decrease the number of preventable deaths under a “recently launched … campaign called ‘Let’s Live,’ which sets a target of reducing preventable deaths in Kenya by 50 percent by December 2012.” Achieving that goal “would be an historic feat. But the country could seriously decrease numbers of preventable deaths if it used currently available health tools, such as the rotavirus vaccine,” the blog writes (Donnelly, 10/18).

IRIN Examines Improvements In Maternal, Infant Mortality Indicators In Myanmar

IRIN examines maternal and child health in “conflict-afflicted eastern Myanmar, [where] until recently obstetric care was often crude, unsterile and dangerous for both mother and child, health experts say.” To address high rates of maternal and infant mortality in the region, “in 2005 several CBOs, the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at Johns Hopkins University, and the Global Health Access Program launched the Mobile Obstetric Medics (MOM) project — dramatically boosting access to care,” IRIN writes.