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African Lawmakers Appeal For U.N. Resolution Banning Female Genital Mutilation

The two-day Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) ended Tuesday in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, with participants, including lawmakers from 27 African countries, appealing to the U.N. to adopt a resolution that bans FGM on the basis it is “contrary to human rights,” RFI reports (Bojang, 5/4).

Five-Day World Health Assembly Meeting Kicks Off In Geneva

The annual meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA) convened on Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/Monsters and Critics.com reports. According to the news service, influenza vaccines, the fight against tuberculosis, intellectual property and reducing counterfeit drugs will be discussed (4/17).

Report Examines Access To HIV Prevention, Care For MSM In Asia Pacific

As “HIV prevalence among gay and bisexual men has hit alarming levels in Asia,” an estimated 90 percent of men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Asia Pacific region lack access to HIV prevention and care, according to a report released Monday by the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCPM) and the University of Hong Kong’s Center for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL), Reuters reports.

To Achieve MDGs, Economic Policies Must Help Poor, UNDP Head Says

Economic policies that help the poor will bring the world closer to meeting the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] – “[g]lobal targets to halve poverty and improve basic health by 2015,” Helen Clark, the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) administrator, said Friday at the end of a four-nation tour of Africa, Agence France-Presse reports.

U.N. Development Program Head Begins Four-Country Tour Of Africa To Promote MDGs

Over the weekend, U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark began a four-country tour of Africa “to highlight progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the run up to a Summit in September,” Tanzania Daily News/allAfrica.com reports. Clark will make stops in Tanzania, Mali, Burkina Faso and South Africa, where she will “meet with Heads of State and Ministers, as well as touch base with women leaders and members of civil society, and visit development projects,” the news service writes.

Lake Sworn In As UNICEF Executive Director

Anthony Lake, who “has been a foreign policy advisor to several Democratic U.S. presidents and presidential candidates,” has officially become the executive director of UNICEF, Agence France-Presse reports (5/2). Lake was sworn into office Monday by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the U.N. headquarters in New York, according to a UNICEF article (5/3).

ALMA Launches Malaria Drive On Opening Day Of WEF On Africa

The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), comprised of the heads of 26 countries, on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa “launched a fresh drive to eliminate malaria using a combination of bed nets, insecticides and medication,” Reuters reports (Nyambura-Mwaura, 5/5).

WHO Publishes Comprehensive Report On H1N1

“A year after the H1N1 [swine] flu first appeared, the World Health Organization has issued perhaps the most comprehensive report on the pandemic’s activity to date,” HealthDay News/Bloomberg Business Week reports (Gardner, 5/5).

Also In Global Health News: Syphilis In China; HIV Vaccine Development; Tracking Malaria Outbreaks; Ecuador’s Maternity Law

Journal Perspective Piece Discusses Rising Number Of Syphilis Cases In China In 2008, almost 9,500 babies were born with syphilis in China, “a 12-fold increase over a five year period,” according to a New England Journal of Medicine perspective piece, the “China Real Time Report” blog reports, adding that the resurgence of the disease is…