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U.S. Donates 'Record' $56M To WFP For Nutrition Programs In Ethiopia

The U.S. has pledged a record $56 million donation from PEPFAR to the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) aimed to “dramatically increase resources for programs in Ethiopia providing vital nutrition assistance to people living with HIV (PLHIV),” according to a WFP press release. With the donation, “WFP will work in Ethiopia’s least developed regions … to improve the nutritional status, treatment success and quality of life of PLHIV,” the press release states (10/11).

WHO Reports Several Large Measles Outbreaks In Europe, Africa

The WHO reported on Friday “that several large measles outbreaks have continued to spread in the past six months in Europe and Africa, and to a lesser degree in the Americas,” the U.N. Media Centre reports, adding, “So far, 40 European countries have recorded 26,025 cases between them since the start of the year. France has been the most affected, with 14,025 cases, and the Government has responded by modifying its vaccination schedule as well as offering vaccines in schools free of charge.”

Food Crises Jeopardizing Efforts To Meet MDG Of Halving Global Malnutrition, Report Says

“Food crises are jeopardizing efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015, United Nations (U.N.) food experts warned” on Monday, according to the Guardian. “In an annual report on world hunger, U.N. food agencies said food price volatility is likely to continue and possibly increase, making poor farmers, consumers and countries more vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity,” the news service writes.

WHO Releases Report Highlighting Global Underinvestment In Mental Health Care As World Commemorates Mental Health Day

The WHO “is calling on governments to increase services for people suffering from mental, neurological and substance use disorders,” VOA News reports. The WHO’s “Mental Health Atlas 2011,” “released to coincide with World Mental Health Day, which falls on October 10, finds countries all over the world spend very little on the treatment of mental illness,” according to VOA (Schlein, 10/9). According to the report, “One in four people will require mental health care at some point in their lives but in many countries only two percent of all health sector resources are invested in mental health services,” a WHO press release states (10/7).

Indonesia's Infant Mortality Rate Has Declined, But Health Services Must Be Improved, Official Says

UNICEF representative for Indonesia Angela Kearney said at a workshop on household to hospital continuum care on Thursday that although Indonesia’s infant mortality rate showed a downward trend in the past few years, it is still high, Xinhua reports. “Based on a UNICEF global child mortality report, over the past 10 years infant mortality rate declined significantly to 35 out of every 1,000 births in 2011 from 97 out of every 1,000 births in 1991, she said,” according to the news service.

Foreign Affairs Committee Votes To Prohibit U.S. Funding To U.N. Population Fund

The Republican-led House Committee on Foreign Affairs voted Wednesday to approve a bill that would prohibit the U.S. government from providing funding to the U.N. Population Fund, an organization “that helps women and children in developing countries with reproductive health and family planning,” Agence France-Presse reports (Cassata, 10/5). “House Republicans say they are pushing the legislation because the fund, known as the UNFPA, is complicit in China’s controversial one-child policy, which enforces abortion and sterilization,” the Huffington Post writes (10/5).

Global Efforts Must Be Coordinated Immediately To Prevent, Control NCDs

In this Scientist opinion piece, Edward Partridge, president of the American Cancer Society and director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, president of health care and education at the American Diabetes Association, and Ralph Sacco, immediate past president of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and professor and chairman of neurology at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, write that while last month’s U.N. High-level Meeting to discuss non-communicable diseases (NCDs) helped to raise awareness about the burden of NCDs, several important steps must be taken immediately to prevent and control the diseases.

October Issue Of WHO Bulletin Now Available Online

The October 2011 issue of the WHO Bulletin is now available online and features an editorial about global action on the social determinants of health, a public health roundup, an article examining health in Chile over the past decade, and a research paper on global mesothelioma deaths reported to the WHO between 1994 and…

Roundtable Participants Address Need For Action Against HIV/AIDS

A UNAIDS feature story reports on a roundtable discussion held at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research (CAPRISA) in South Africa last month, which “looked at ways of maximizing the opportunities created by scientific research around HIV prevention in the past year to reach the country’s target of halving…