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Also In Global Health News: Brazil Air Fee For UNITAID; East Africa Community And Agriculture; WFP Uses Social Media To Raise Funds; Cancer In Latin America, Caribbean; Calls For Transparency, Accountability

Brazil Senate Approves Air Travel Fee To Be Donated To UNITAID

Brazil’s Senate on Tuesday approved a measure to allow the transfer of $1 million a year for 20 years to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), Xinhua/People’s Daily reports. Under the measure, air travelers leaving Brazil will be charged a $2 fee, which will be donated to UNITAID, an international facility established to help provide medications for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis for people in developing countries.  Britain, Chile, France and Norway have also approved air travel taxes to source funding for UNITAID, the news service reports (4/20). The measure must receive presidential approval, according to Brasilia em Tempo Real (4/19).

East African Community Chair Calls For Increased Attention To Agricultural Issues

The East African Community (EAC) needs to enhance the region’s food security by implementing policies to address agricultural challenges, including climate change, Burundian President and EAC Chair Pierre Nkurunziza said on Tuesday at the ninth EAC summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the Citizen reports. “I am sure the EAC will be a strong economic community in Africa if we will manage to carry out all our programmes effectively and by making agricultural production our first priority,” Nkurunziza said. Summit attendees approved the EAC Food Security Action Plan and EAC Climate Change Policy (Mugarula, 4/20).

WFP’s Social Media Platform Has Helped Raise Funds To Feed 100,000 To Date

A social media platform launched earlier this year by the World Food Program to generate funds to help meet the food needs of people throughout the world has “raised enough money to feed more than 100,000 children,” U.N. News Centre reports. “Through online social networks, followers of WeFeedback can track, in real-time, how many children their community is feeding and what popular food items are being donated in different parts of the world, according to a WFP press release,” the news service writes (4/19).

IPS Reports On Cervical Cancer In Latin America, The Caribbean

Inter Press Service reports on the number of cervical cancer cases in Latin America and the Caribbean, where “it is the second-most common type of cancer in women, after breast cancer,” according to data compiled in an online global cancer map. The article describes how limited access to health services, including early detection and prevention options, often keeps patients from knowing about the disease until its later stages and the recent efforts in some countries in the region to educate populations about cancer prevention strategies (Valente, 4/18).

Former Global Fund Head Calls For Greater Transparency, Accountability For Aid Money

During a stop in Riverside, Calif., on Monday, Sir Richard Feachem, former head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria who is now at the University of California, San Francisco, called for greater transparency and accountability in how aid money is spent, the Press-Enterprise reports. Feachem warned that “[d]ecades of lack of oversight, waste and corruption could lead some donors and countries to withdraw aid and jeopardize advancements made in the last decade,” the newspaper writes. “Don’t let us walk backwards,” he said, adding, “Let us focus on where we have momentum” (Hines, 4/18).