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Also In Global Health News: Bush Visits Haiti; World Bank On Food Crisis; Leishmaniasis In Sudan; Reconstructive Surgery After FGM

Former President Bush To Visit Haiti, Encourage American Aid

Former President George W. Bush will visit Haiti Tuesday to “‘view progress made on the rebuilding after the January earthquake, hear from Haitian citizens regarding the current conditions in their country, and visit with organizations that are assisting in the rebuilding effort,’ said a statement from Bush’s office,” USA Today reports (Jackson, 8/9). Agence France-Presse writes that on the trip, Bush will “encourage Americans to continue to give what they can to help their neighbors in need,” according to the statement (8/9).

World Bank Urges Countries Against Policies That Could Worsen Food Crisis

The World Bank “urged countries to refrain from imposing policies that could trigger a new global food price crisis as drought-hit Russia said it could extend a grain export ban into next year,” Reuters reports. The article includes comments from World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who said that Russia’s food shortage on its own would not cause a crisis because it could be made up for by production in other countries. She also “said the World Bank would request its board in early September to activate a global food fund … in case developing countries need assistance with shortages,” and noted that floods in India, Pakistan and China have added to concern about food supply, according to the news service (Wroughton, 8/9).

South Sudanese Unable To Access Treatment Amid Leishmaniasis Outbreak

An outbreak of leishmaniasis in south Sudan “has killed 31 people since June and infected 118 others … with tribal clashes and heavy rains hindering treatment, a government health official said Monday,” Reuters reports. A director at the health ministry, Mounir Lugga, said some patients “have to walk between eight and ten hours for treatment,” while others are too afraid to travel amid the clashes. “We have the drugs they need, the only problem is access,” he said (8/9). Lugga also warned that the death toll from the disease, which is transmitted through a fly bite, is “only the number of registered deaths,” and said, “[i]t is likely that there are more deaths out in the communities,” according to AFP (Martell, 8/9).

Colorado Practice Performs Reconstructive Surgeries After FGM

The Associated Press/Washington Post reports on Trinidad, Colo., a town that is “becoming a beacon for victims of female genital mutilation [FGM]. … The World Health Organization estimates 100 million to 140 million girls and women worldwide have been circumcised.” The article profiles Marci Bowers, who has performed “about two dozen reconstructive surgeries on mostly African born women victimized as children by the culturally driven practice of female circumcision,” and who is “believed to be one of the few U.S. doctors performing the operation.” The article also tells the stories of women who underwent FGM and traveled to the Colo. practice for surgery (Tsai, 8/10).