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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Ghana's First Lady Launches International Campaign Against Maternal Mortality In Eastern Region

Ghana’s First Lady Ernestina Naadu Mills on Thursday launched the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality (CARMMA), an international campaign aimed at fighting maternal mortality, in Koforidua in the Eastern Region of the country, the Ghana News Agency reports. “She said all stakeholders have a role to play to ensure that expectant mothers get to health facilities early enough to have a skilled delivery,” efforts that would help the nation meet the millennium development goals (MDGs) for maternal and child mortality, the news agency writes (9/30). According to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Mills said the nation’s maternal mortality rate is 451 per 100,000 (9/29).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Dengue Fever Outbreak Overwhelms Northeastern Kenyan Town; WHO Sends Essential Drugs

“An outbreak of dengue fever in Mandera, northeastern Kenya, is spreading fast, with at least 5,000 people infected within weeks, due to limited health facilities, a shortage of medical personnel and poor sanitation, officials told IRIN.” The news service writes, “A statement by the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation on 26 September said four deaths from the disease had been confirmed but, according to Mandera residents, at least 10 people have died since early September when the outbreak started.”

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Food Aid Reaches Almost Half Of Somalis In Need But Threat Of Disease Looms, U.N. Agency Says

“The U.N. on Wednesday said food assistance has reached nearly half the Somalis in need, [and] it warned cases of diarrhea and cholera could spike with the seasonal rains expected in October,” the Associated Press reports (9/28). “However, the report released Tuesday by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that four million Somalis remain in crisis nationwide, and that 750,000 people risk death in the Horn of Africa nation within the next four months,” according to VOA News.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

South Sudan Facing Chronic Food Shortages, U.N. Agencies Say

U.N. agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), are warning that South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, “will face chronic food shortages next year due to internal and border insecurity, erratic rains and a huge influx of returnees from the North,” IRIN reports. “U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande said more than three million people (36 percent of the population) in South Sudan were classed as moderately or severely food insecure in 2011, and the burden was increasing,” IRIN writes (9/27).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Transparent Reporting Tool Needed To Monitor Progress In Maternal, Child Health

In this post in the Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy” blog, Nandini Oomman, director of the HIV/AIDS Monitor at the center, and Rachel Silverman, a research assistant at the center, respond to a one-year assessment of progress released by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) on…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

WHO Releases Global Survey Of Worst, Best Cities For Air Pollution

“Cities in Iran, India, Pakistan and the capital of Mongolia rank among the worst on the planet for air pollution, while those in the United States and Canada are among the best, according to the first global survey released Monday by the World Health Organization,” the Associated Press/San Francisco Chronicle reports. “The list, which relies on country-reported data over the past several years, measures the levels of airborne particles smaller than 10 micrometers — so-called PM10s — for almost 1,100 cities,” the news service writes (9/27).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

World Bank Pledges $1.88B To Address Drought In Horn Of Africa; Additional Funding Announced At U.N. Meeting, By U.S.

“The World Bank said on Saturday it was more than tripling funding to $1.88 billion for a worsening drought in Horn of Africa countries affecting more than 13 million people,” Reuters reports. “World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the financing would help fill a $1 billion funding gap needed to tackle drought and a food crisis engulfing parts of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Uganda,” the news agency writes, noting the bank initially had pledged $500 million in July. Zoellick said the majority of the funding was to go toward long-term solutions to drought relief, with $288 million reserved for humanitarian aid through June 2012, according to Reuters (9/25).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pakistan Officials Ask For International Assistance As Dengue Fever Outbreak Overwhelms Local Resources

BBC News reports on a continuing outbreak of dengue fever in Pakistan’s Punjab province, where “more than 8,000 cases of dengue fever have been reported … so far — 7,000 in Lahore alone — and the count continues to rise,” according to the Punjab health department. According to the news service, “Doctors say more than 30 people have died of the fever so far” in the province, and “[h]ealth officials estimate that more than 7,000 people are being tested daily for the virus — 300 to 400 test positive each day” (Haq, 9/23).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

PepsiCo, WFP, USAID Announce Partnership To Increase Chickpea Production, Address Hunger In Ethiopia

PepsiCo on Wednesday announced a public-private partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and USAID to increase chickpea production in Ethiopia in order to secure access to the legume, which “play[s] an increasing role in its food products,” the New York Times reports. If the project is successful in working with small farmers to increase chickpea production, the “increased yield would exceed PepsiCo’s needs,” therefore “some of the additional crops will be used to make a new, ready-to-eat food product that the World Food Programme has used to address famine in Pakistan,” according to the newspaper (Strom, 9/20).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Multi-Donor Program Improves Availability Of Essential Medicines In Zimbabwe's Public Health Sector

IRIN reports on “[t]he improved availability of essential medicines in Zimbabwe’s public health sector” as a result of “a multi-donor program started in 2008 through collaboration between the government, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Zimbabwe, the European Union (E.U.), the U.K., Australia, Canada and Ireland.” “According to a survey carried out by the E.U., 80 percent of essential medicines are now available at over 80 percent of health facilities compared to only 28 percent availability of vital drugs at public health institutions in 2008,” IRIN notes. The news service writes, “To date, the Essential Medicines Supply Programme (EMSP) has received $52 million in funding, according to UNICEF,” adding, “The money is used to buy drugs and medical supplies which are distributed to health centers by Natpharm, the supply arm of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare” (9/20).

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