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Also In Global Health News: Bangladesh MDGs Progress; USAID In Indonesia; Disease In Darfur

Report Measures Bangladesh’s MDG Progress

A report by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and UNICEF shows the country “has made a good progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) even though there are big disparities in education, child and maternal health among its 64 districts,” the New Nation reports.  In addition, “[t]here exist wide gaps between the best and the worst performing districts related to education, child death, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation, survey showed,” according to the publication.  UNICEF’s Carel de Rooy said the report would give Bangladesh a baseline measurement for tracking MDGs (1/25).

USAID Program In Indonesia Helps Reduce Water-Borne Illness

USAID’s work with members of the Indonesian government, private sector, NGOs and community groups to educate the people of Indonesia on clean water and sanitation practices has helped to reduce water-borne illness, the Jakarta Post reports. Between February 2007 and June 2009, the number of people suffering from such illnesses droped from 18.3 percent to 7.7 percent in Aceh, Jakarta, Central Java, East Java, West Java, North Sumatra, Papua and Yogyakarta, according to the newspaper (1/22).

Disease Kills More In Darfur Than Violence, Study Finds

A study published Friday in the journal Lancet finds “nearly 80 percent of the 300,000 conflict-related deaths in Darfur were due to diseases like diarrhea, not violence,” Reuters reports. Unsanitary conditions combined with little or no health care infrastructure were to blame for the disease-related deaths, scientists said (Kelland, 1/21). “Adequate humanitarian assistance to prevent and treat these potentially fatal diseases is essential,” the authors wrote in the Lancet study. “The full effect of the expulsion of non-governmental organizations from Darfur is still not known, but the increased mortality rate during a period of reduced humanitarian deployment in 2006-2007 suggests that we should fear the worst” (Degomme/Guha-Sapir, 1/23).