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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.

Also In Global Health News: Infectious Disease; Aid Money Needed For Afghanistan, Haiti; Increasing Rice Production; Family Planning In Rwanda

Species Extinction Could Lead Humans To Become More Vulnerable To Infectious Diseases “[T]he loss of biodiversity may make humans more vulnerable to infectious diseases,” according to a review article published Thursday in the journal Nature, VOA News reports (DeCapua, 12/6). “The review analyses studies of 12 diseases, including West Nile…

HIV Prevention Programs Worldwide Are Missing MSMs, Survey Finds

An online survey of men who have sex with men (MSM) and their health service providers shows that the majority of respondents said most “gay men worldwide don’t have access to HIV testing, counseling or free condoms and lubricant, a new study finds,” according to the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF), HealthDay/Businessweek reports.