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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).

Also In Global Health News: Canada To Support Health Programs In Africa; Chan on N. Korea; Improving Living Conditions In DRC; Nepalese Sex Trafficking Victims

Canada To Give Africa $178M Over 5 Years, Minister Says  Canada will give $178 million over five years to support maternal, child health and educational projects in nine African countries, Bev Oda, Canada’s international cooperation minister, said on Thursday, a day after the conclusion of a meeting of G8 development…

WHO, UNICEF Issue Guide, Call For More Research Into Medicines For Children

Along with the release of a WHO-UNICEF guide on medicines for children, the U.N. agencies on Friday said the guide “exposed dangerous shortfalls” in medicines designed for children and called for more research into treating children, Reuters reports. “While effective medicines exist to fight disease and treat life-threatening conditions like malnutrition, formulations suitable for children are often difficult to source,” Francisco Blanco, UNICEF’s chief of medicines and nutrition, said, according to the news service.

Report Highlights Lack Of Humanitarian Access To Cyclone Nargis Survivors In Myanmar

“Almost two years after Cyclone Nargis killed nearly 140,000 people in Myanmar, the repression of rights in areas hit by the cyclone continues and the humanitarian space in the country is shrinking instead of growing as originally hoped, a [Human Rights Watch] report released on Thursday said,” Reuters AlertNet reports.

Tobacco Companies Increase Marketing To Women In Developing Countries

Agence France-Presse examines a trend among tobacco firms targeting ads toward women in developing countries: “Advertisements telling smokers they are smarter, more energetic and better lovers than their non-smoking counterparts are a familiar sight across Bangladesh – something unimaginable in most other countries,” the news service writes. Health experts worry that such advertisements may be behind a rise in the numbers of Bangladeshi women using tobacco.

NPR Examines U.N.’s Effort To Stop Sexual Violence In War

“Hundreds of thousands of women in conflict zones around the world have been or are now becoming victims of rape and sexual torture,” reflects Michel Martin, host of NPR’s “Tell Me More,” as she interviewed Margot Wallstrom, U.N. special representative on sexual violence in conflict, in a show examining the U.N.’s “ramped up” campaign to end systemic sexual violence in war.

China Lifts Decades-Old HIV/AIDS Travel Ban

Late Tuesday, China’s State Council lifted a decades-old restriction that banned foreigners with HIV/AIDS from entering the country, Reuters reports. The amended rules, which appear on the government website, also lift a travel ban on foreigners with other sexually transmitted diseases and leprosy.

Also In Global Health News: Medical Technology Network In N. Korea; MDR-TB Drug Maker Closes; Global Fund Financing; Zuma’s HIV Test; HIV Vaccine; UNICEF Head’s Term Ends

N. Korea Launches Medical Video Conference Network North Korea on Tuesday formally launched a medical video conference network “aimed at giving smaller, rural hospitals access to specialists in the capital Pyongyang,” the Associated Press reports. “WHO has been providing cameras, computers and other equipment to North Korea to help the reclusive,…