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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…

Pakistan Facing Dengue Outbreak, Humanitarian Aid Shortages For Flood Victims

“More than 12,000 have been infected and 125 people have died over the past two months in Pakistan after coming down with dengue fever, a health department spokesman said Friday,” CNN reports (Habib, 10/1). Citing the same numbers, WHO spokesperson Tarek Jasarevic said the agency is providing support for “case management, community mobilization, vector control and public awareness campaigns,” according to the U.N. News Centre. “Last year, 11,024 confirmed cases of dengue fever and 40 deaths were reported in Pakistan, but this year the number of cases has climbed to 12,466,” the news service writes (9/30).

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).

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.”

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.

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).

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…

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).

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).