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Also In Global Health News: Gates MoC In India; U.N. Aid Appeal For Mongolia; HIV Vaccine; U.N. Developing Database For Somalia; Kenya’s HIV/AIDS Indicator Survey

Gates Foundation Signs Cooperative Agreement To Improve Health Care In Indian State The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday signed a cooperative agreement with the Indian state of Bihar that “aims to improve and increase the availability, quality and utilisation of health care facilities and services,” the ANI/Economic Times…

U.N. Secretary-General Discusses G8, G20 Commitments During Ottawa Visit

On Wednesday, ahead of a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed several topics in a “speech warning that leaders of the G8 and G20 countries should not use global economic and financial difficulties as ‘an excuse’ to neglect previous pledges of billions of dollars for the world’s poor – for doubling aid to Africa, food security, malaria and AIDS programs and maternal and child health care,” Canwest News Service/Calgary Herald writes (O’Neill, 5/12).

U.S. Expands HIV/AIDS Programs In Caribbean

Representatives from the U.S. and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Tuesday signed an agreement to expand PEPFAR programs to 12 other Caribbean nations during a gathering in Georgetown, Guyana, Agence France-Presse reports (5/11).

Two-Thirds Of Child Deaths In 2008 Due To Infectious Diseases, Report Finds

Pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and other infectious diseases account for more than two-thirds of the 8.8 million deaths in 2008 among children under age 5 around the world, according to a Lancet study published on Wednesday, HealthDay News/Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. The highest numbers of childhood deaths were in Africa (4.2 million) and Southeast Asia (2.39 million), according to the news service (5/11).

Also In Global Health News: Aid, Polio In Pakistan; Abortion In Africa; NGO Licenses; India’s Maternal Mortality Rates; HIV/AIDS In Philippines; MDGs

U.S. Aid To Pakistan; Anti-Polio Efforts Politico examines the debate over how the U.S. should spend its aid to Pakistan, which has “new urgency after the Times Square car bomb attempt May 1.” According to Politico, “[m]ajor U.S. investments are now envisioned in energy, agriculture and education. The article looks…

Health Leaders From Sub-Saharan Africa Gather For Three-Day Conference On Family Planning In Kenya

A three-day conference exploring ways to increase access to family planning services in Africa kicked off in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, Capital FM reports. The meeting, which is hosted by USAID, will bring together “USAID’s partners in Sub Saharan Africa who include Angola, Burundi, [Democratic Republic of Congo], Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria, South Sudan and Tanzania,” to work to identify gaps in reproductive and family planning services and address ways to reach out to populations in need, the news service writes (Karong’o, 5/11).

Opinions: Abortion In Canada’s G8 Initiative; Security Of Afghan Women; U.S. Global Development Strategy; Mother’s Day; U.S. Food Security Initiative; Polio Eradication

Abortions Are ‘One Small Chunk Of Bigger Puzzle’ For Improving Maternal, Child Health National Post columnist Jonathan Kay examines the ongoing debate over whether Canada’s G8 child and maternal health initiative should include abortions, which according to a 2006 Oxford University Press-World Bank report, are “one small chunk of a…

Also In Global Health News: China Smoking Ban; Gates Foundation Grants; Global Consumer Taxes; Polio Vaccination In Uzbekistan; Maternal Mortality In Uganda

China Vows To Ban Smoking From Public Places By 2011 “China, the world’s biggest consumer of tobacco, has insisted it will honour a pledge to ban smoking in public places by 2011 in accordance with an international treaty, state media said Tuesday,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Senior ministry official Yang Qing…

‘Striking Improvements’ Toward MDG Targets, Progress Is Unequal, WHO Report Says

The WHO’s annual health statistics report, released Monday, found that global efforts aimed at achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets have led to “striking improvements” among goals related to child health, maternal mortality, malaria and HIV/AIDS, Reuters reports. But the “results mask inequalities between countries, and some nations’ progress had been slowed by conflict, poor governance or humanitarian and economic crises,” the news service writes (Kelland, 5/10).