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USAID Helps Improve Maternal, Child Health Care At Pakistani Hospital

This post in the State Department’s “DipNote” blog looks at Fatima Jinnah Women’s Hospital, “one of more than 80 Pakistani medical facilities that the United States has helped renovate in recent years in Pakistan” and describes how medical personnel at the facility “demonstrated the benefits that new equipment and training…

FAO Holds Second Emergency Meeting On Famine; WHO Warns Of Cholera Spread; Turkish PM Visits Mogadishu

For the second time in one month, representatives of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held an emergency meeting on Thursday in Rome “to take stock of the humanitarian disaster” in the Horn of Africa, the Guardian reports (Tran, 8/18). The officials “called for a twin-pronged approach to tackle the food crisis, stressing immediate relief and the strengthening of the resilience of affected communities to enable them to cope with future shocks in the drought-prone region,” the U.N. News Centre reports (8/18).

White House Holds Call To Discuss Famine In The Horn Of Africa

A post in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog highlights a White House call “with faith-based organizations Wednesday afternoon to discuss efforts in the Horn of Africa to combat the extensive famine brought on by a severe drought in the region, the worst seen in decades.” The…

Outbreak Of Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease Kills 81 Children In Vietnam

“Vietnam’s prime minister has put the country on alert as an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease continues to surge, killing 81 children and sickening more than 32,000 people nationwide so far this year, officials said Friday,” the Associated Press reports. “It has spread nationwide but is raging hardest in the country’s south, where nearly 80 percent of the cases have been reported. About 65 percent of the deaths have occurred in children younger than three,” AP writes.

Violence And Displacement In Yemen Exacerbate Child Malnutrition

UNICEF has warned that “[c]ontinuing fighting in various parts of Yemen, which has recently displaced thousands of people especially in Abyan Governorate and the Arhab District of Sana’a, could compromise the nutritional status of those affected … potentially increase[ing] morbidity and mortality rates, especially among children under five,” IRIN reports. While “[t]he International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) reported in December 2010 that Yemen had the highest prevalence of child malnutrition among all Middle East and North African countries … the condition of many children had been worsened by displacement,” Geert Cappelaere, a UNICEF representative in Yemen, told the news service.

U.K., Islamic Countries Pledge Additional Funds For Famine Aid In Somalia

During a visit to the Somali capital of Mogadishu, U.K. International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell on Wednesday pledged an additional $41.5 million in aid to Somalia, to be distributed through UNICEF, BBC News reports. The funding will enable UNICEF “to provide supplementary rations for up to 192,000 people … supplies to vaccinate 800,000 children against measles … polio vaccines, vitamin A, and deworming supplies and equipment to help prevent malaria,” the news service writes (8/17). “Meanwhile, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) countries pledged $350 million in aid for Somalia at an emergency summit in Istanbul,” according to the Guardian.

Multi-Country Study Of Severe Pneumonia In Hospitalized Children

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health announced on Tuesday the launch of “a groundbreaking new study called the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) study … a large multi-country case-control study of severe pneumonia in hospitalized children under five years of age … being conducted in Bangladesh,…