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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).

Also In Global Health News: Laura Bush; Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill; Maternal, Child Health In Senegal; Birth Control; Zimbabwe’s Orphans Of HIV/AIDS

Former First Lady Laura Bush Comments On Global Health During Q&A With Politico Politico features a Q&A with former first lady Laura Bush, in which she reflects on her involvement with PEPFAR and the President’s Malaria Initiative, during her husband’s presidency, and her continued interest in the health issues facing Sub-Saharan Africa.…

U.S., Haitian Partners Meet To Discuss Elections As Haitian Parliamentary Terms Expire

In an article examining elections in Haiti and their impact on the country’s recovery from the January 12 earthquake, the Miami Herald writes that Canada, the U.S., the Organization of American States, the U.N. and other partners have “dispatched top lieutenants [to Port-au-Prince] for a Monday meeting” with President Rene Preval to discuss elections.

Globe And Mail Special Issue Examines Africa, Includes Look Ahead At G20 Meeting, Interview with Pres. Obama

The Globe and Mail examines Ethiopia and Malawi’s role in next month’s G20 talks in Toronto, Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has invited both countries to participate in the meeting, which could significantly affect Africa because it has become the “premier forum for confronting global economic problems and for co-ordinating solutions,” according to the Globe and Mail.