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Report Recommends New Approaches For Fighting World Hunger

A new report from the Worldwatch Institute, a research organization, recommends focusing on new approaches to address world hunger, Nature’s blog “The Great Beyond” reports. According to the report, “previous approaches to feeding the world’s population have ‘not really worked’ since around 925 million people globally still go hungry everyday,” the blog reports (Gilbert, 1/13). The State of the World 2011 report said, “[a]griculture as we know it today is in trouble,” Agence France-Presse writes, adding that it “said there had to be a revolution in investment in food and water to reverse a ‘frightening’ long-term depletion of stocks.”

WHO Director-General Expresses Concern Over Public Mistrust Of Vaccines

During the WHO’s executive board meeting Monday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan expressed concerns over what she called a “‘worrisome’ public mistrust of vaccines, following signs of a tail-off in flu vaccination,” Agence France-Presse reports (1/18).

Africa’s Economic Expansion Not Strong Enough To Reach Poverty MDG, U.N. Report Says

“Africa’s economy expanded by 4.7 percent in 2010 and is expected to maintain similar growth over the next two years,” according to the U.N.’s World Economic Situation and Prospects 2011 report, which was released Tuesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. But the economic growth and indicators of economic recovery are not strong enough to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG) poverty targets, according to the report (1/18).

Daily Report Global Health Conversations: U.N. Women

After years in the making, U.N. Women, the U.N.’s new agency devoted to gender equality and women’s empowerment officially got to work this month. The Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report’s Jennifer Evans spoke with Letty Chiwara, head of U.N. Women’s Africa Division, to discuss the agency’s launch and the overlap between issues relating to women’s health and their equality and empowerment.

WHO Director-General Opens Executive Board Session With Calls For Reform

Kicking off a nine-day annual WHO executive board meeting Monday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan called for the board to consider areas where the agency can redirect resources in a more targeted manner so as to achieve greater outcomes, Reuters reports. “In a critical assessment of the United Nations body she has headed since 2006, Chan described wasteful overlap with other health financiers and said the WHO needed to concentrate on areas where it can make the most impact,” the news service writes (MacInnis, 1/17).

Vaccination Campaigns To Stop Yellow Fever Spread Get Underway In E. Africa

Individuals traveling across East Africa on Friday were ordered to begin receiving mandatory yellow fever vaccines in an effort “to contain an outbreak of the disease in Uganda,” which has sickened an estimated 190 people, resulting in 48 deaths as of Dec. 30, 2010, the Citizen reports (Ubwani, 1/22).

BMJ News Examines Ongoing Investigation Of WHO’s Handling Of H1N1

BMJ News reports on the ongoing external investigation of the WHO’s handling of the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic, following recent statements to the WHO’s executive board meeting by review committee chairman, Harvey Fineberg. Despite initial expectations that the external review committee would produce a draft of its findings in January, Fineberg “said the panel was planning a meeting on 28-30 March, and it would distribute in advance to all WHO member nations copies of a draft summary of its principal findings, conclusions, and recommendations, for comments and reactions, before it finalises the report.”

British Government Report Calls For Global Food System Overhaul To Prevent Hunger

A British government report, released on Monday, says the current system aimed at ensuring global food security needs to be “radically redesigned,” the BBC reports. “The report is the culmination of a two-year study, involving 400 experts from 35 countries,” the news service writes (Ghosh, 1/24).