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WaterAid Report Urges Integration Of Menstrual Hygiene Issues Into Aid Policies

“Menstrual hygiene issues should be integrated into programs and policies across sectors, including water, sanitation and hygiene, reproductive health, emergency management, and education, notes a new report [.pdf]” by WaterAid, IRIN reports. Taboos and stigma associated with menstruation “leave many girls and women in low- and middle-income countries without access to sanitation facilities and excluded from school and opportunities,” the news service writes. According to IRIN, the report “illustrates good menstrual hygiene-related policies and interventions, and provides modules and toolkits on topics such as sanitary materials; working with communities; providing sanitary facilities in schools and emergency situations; and aiding girls and women in vulnerable, marginalized or special circumstances,” as well as “advocates further research and monitoring on these issues” (12/19).

WASH Improvements Necessary To Fight NTDs, And Vice Versa

“We know that in addition to drugs to treat and control [neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)], improvements to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) can help prevent re-infection and contribute to lasting health, education and economic improvements,” Anupama Tantri, a senior program officer with the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, writes in the group’s “End the Neglect” blog. “The challenge is figuring out how to reach communities and enable these WASH improvements and NTD control activities,” she continues, highlighting efforts “to identify practical, concrete steps to help these sectors work together and ensure that efforts and resources reach these marginalized, neglected communities.” Tantri concludes, “The solutions are out there. We just need work together to end the neglect” (12/18).

Some Diplomats, U.N. Observers Express ‘Concerns’ Over U.N. Appeal For Haitian Cholera Aid, Al Jazeera Reports

Following U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s announcement on Tuesday of a new initiative appealing for $2.2 billion over 10 years to fight cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Al Jazeera reports “there are concerns by some diplomats and U.N. observers that the funds necessary for the program would not be forthcoming from donors.” As part of the larger appeal covering the island of Hispaniola, in Haiti “[t]he new program dedicates $215 million from donors along with $23.5 million from U.N. funds towards programs in public health, capacity building, public education, and clean water systems,” according to the news service. However, “Haiti will need $500 million over the next two years for its own national cholera plan,” Al Jazeera writes, adding, “The funds allocated in the program would therefore cover only one year.”

Global Burden Of Disease Study Finds People Worldwide Living Longer, But With More Illness, Disability

“A sharp decline in deaths from malnutrition and infectious diseases like measles and tuberculosis has caused a shift in global mortality patterns over the past 20 years, according to a [study released] on Thursday, with far more of the world’s population now living into old age and dying from diseases mostly associated with rich countries, like cancer and heart disease,” the New York Times reports (Tavernise, 12/13). The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, “published in the Lancet, has taken more than five years and involves 486 authors in 50 countries,” the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters” blog notes (Mead, 12/13). Researchers worldwide “drew conclusions from nearly 100,000 data sources, including surveys, censuses, hospital records and verbal autopsies,” NPR’s “Shots” blog writes (Doucleff, 12/13). The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2010 consists of “[s]even separate reports conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, the Harvard School of Public Health, and elsewhere [that] gauged people’s health in 187 countries and determined that developing countries are looking more like richer Westernized countries in terms of the health problems that pose the biggest burden: high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease,” according to the Boston Globe (Kotz, 12/13).

Recent Releases In Global Health

‘Complacency Is Dangerous’ In Global HIV/AIDS Fight: A Lancet Editorial is critical of UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe’s statement in the annual UNAIDS report that “We have halted and begun to reverse the epidemic.” The editorial states, “These words, from the head of a U.N. agency, are reckless and premature, and…

Also In Global Health News: Water In The Philippines; Potential HIV Treatment; Kenyan Food Security; TB In Prisons; Ethiopian HIV Plan

Government Agencies In The Philippines Sign Sanitation Agreement To Expand Clean Water Access Filipino Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, and National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary General Jose Eliseo Rocamora signed an agreement to honor the President’s Priority Program on Water (P3W), the Manila Bulletin reports.…

Life Expectancy, Other Health Indicators Improve In Asia-Pacific, OECD Report Says

A report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released on Tuesday, found that “Asia-Pacific countries have seen steady gains in key health indicators since 1970, but developing nations there are still far behind standards in the industrialised world,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. OECD looked at “[h]ealth systems for 27 Asia-Pacific economies,” according to the news service (12/21).

Inadequate Sanitation Costs India Close To $54B, World Bank Report Finds

“Inadequate sanitation cost India about 6.4% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or the equivalent of $53.8 billion (Rs.2.4 trillion today) in 2006, according to a new report (.pdf) from the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), a global partnership administered by the World Bank,” Livemint reports (Ghost, 12/21).

Also In Global Health News: Global Fund Grants In Mali; Uganda’s Progress On MDGs

Global Fund Suspends 2 Malaria Grants, Terminates TB Grant In Mali “The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said Tuesday that $4 million meant to fight disease in Mali has been misappropriated,” leading the organization to temporarily suspend two malaria grants and terminate a TB grant, the Associated Press…

Haitian Health Ministry Says More Than 2,000 Have Died From Cholera; Report Identifies Outbreak’s Source, Some Dispute Findings

More than 2,000 people have died of cholera in Haiti since late October, Haitian officials said on Monday, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (12/6). According to Haitian health ministry figured, a total of “2,013 people have died from the water-borne bacterial infection and 88,789 cases have been recorded,” Agence France-Presse writes (12/6).

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