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Also In Global Health News: Cambodia’s Maternal Mortality; Drugs In Uganda; Cholera Risk In Zimbabwe; HIV Laws In Niger

Government Officials Plan To Address Maternal Mortality In Cambodia

A lack of outreach by public health officials and rural villagers’ preference for traditional midwives have hindered efforts to reduce maternal morality in Cambodia, government officials said recently at regional conference, the Phnom Penh Post reports. Three local members of parliament have put together a new national plan to combat maternal mortality and will meet with representatives from the U.N. Population Fund on Friday to discuss it. “The 2005 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey (CDHS), the source of the most recent reliable maternal health data, reported a nationwide rate of 472 deaths per 100,000 live births – the third-highest rate in the region behind Laos and East Timor,” the newspaper writes (Kunthear, 8/20).

Guardian Examines Drugs Access In Uganda

The Guardian examines the public’s access to drugs in Uganda. It profiles the situation in the town of Katine, where “Coke is everywhere,” but “[e]ssential medicines, many of them paid for by governments … are not.” The article includes details about the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s temporary suspension of funds and other conditions that have contributed to the shortage of drugs in the country (Boseley, 8/20).

U.N., MSF Warns Of Potential Cholera Outbreak In Zimbabwe

The U.N. and Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on Wednesday warned that the failure of Zimbabwe to improve its infrastructure will likely expose the public to another cholera outbreak, after more than 100,000 people were infected last year, resulting in 4,200 deaths, Agence France-Presse reports (Marawanyika, 8/19). CNN adds: “Zimbabwe’s humanitarian situation was worsened by its economic collapse last year … A U.N. appeal launched earlier this year has so far raised only 44 percent of its goal of $718 million for humanitarian assistance” (8/19).

IRIN Examines Niger’s Anti-Discrimination Law Against People Living With HIV

IRIN examines Niger’s anti-discrimination law, which “guarantees HIV-positive individuals the right to health care, employment, social security, education, health insurance and freedom of movement.” Though the law was enacted in 2007, it remains largely unenforced, according to the news service. However, efforts are currently underway to ensure the law becomes more widely adopted (8/19).