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News Outlets Report On Polio Outbreaks In Central, East Africa

“Bad immunisation strategy has been blamed for an outbreak of polio, which has killed nearly 200 and is believed to have caused paralysis in more than 2,000 others across Angola, Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),” the Mail & Guardian writes in a story examining the emergence of the disease in the three countries and efforts to control it.

Also In Global Health News: Cholera In Haiti; Food In Ghana; Health Care Access In Afghanistan; Violence Against Women In Somalia; Male Circumcision Study

CDC Report Documents Cholera’s Spread In Haiti Haiti’s cholera outbreak has spread across the country and infected more than 91,000 people, while more than 2,000 people have died as a result, the CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which was published on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times…

NIH To Create New Translational Science Center

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins on Tuesday announced the agency is moving forward on plans to create a new research center focused on translational science, after NIH’s advisory board voted to create the new center, Science’s “Science Insider” reports (Kaiser, 12/7).

Media Examines Efforts To Protect Patients In Africa From Counterfeit Medications

HP and the African social enterprise mPedigree on Monday announced a new service that will enable patients in Ghana and Nigeria to verify the authenticity of their medications, Fast Company reports. “Counterfeit drugs are estimated to be a $75-billion-per-year business, [and are] implicated in the deaths of something like 700,000 people around the world annually,” according to the article (Zax, 12/6).

Stars And Stripes Looks At Barriers To Scaling Up Foreign Aid

Stars and Stripes examines the challenges facing the Obama administration’s push for boosting non-military foreign aid: “When President Barack Obama’s national security team began campaigning this fall to expand U.S. development and diplomacy, they described a desperate need to help American troops charged with winning wars, hearts and minds in Afghanistan, Iraq and worldwide. But in Washington, foreign policy observers say the civilian cavalry won’t be arriving any time soon. Despite the White House pitch, foreign aid historically has few champions in Congress, where staffers closing the year in a contentious lame-duck session say there is little public desire to spend more abroad – and little cash to follow through” (Baron, 12/6).

WHO Group To Define Standards For Traditional Medicine

The WHO on Tuesday will begin an International Classification of Traditional Medicine (ICTM) project in an effort to offer “a unified, global set of statistical standards across diverse traditional approaches to health care,” Science’s “ScienceInsider” blog reports (Normile, 12/6). “We recognize that the use of traditional medicine is widespread. For…

Respondents Overestimate Amount U.S. Government Spends On Foreign Aid, Poll Finds

A recent poll found that respondents “vastly overestimate[d]” the amount the U.S. government spends on foreign aid, PBS NewsHour reports. “The median answer was roughly 25 percent, according to the poll of 848 Americans. In reality, about 1 percent of the budget is allotted to foreign aid,” the news service writes (Sullivan, 12/6).

Health Experts, Mobile Service Providers Discuss Potential For Mobile Health In Africa At Summit

“Some 80 health professionals and telecom operators [met last week for the mHealth Africa Summit] in the Ghanaian capital Accra to explore ways to use mobile phones for better healthcare delivery,” IRIN reports in an article that details a variety of successful projects relaying health information through cell phones in Africa. The article describes how mobile phones are being used in Africa to educate populations about HIV/AIDS, TB and improve maternal health, as well as means to track medicines and other health supplies, including mosquito nets.