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Also in Global Health News: Central America Malaria, Dengue Project; Bush Receives Recognition for PEPFAR; Nepal Neonatal Deaths; Malaria in Mumbai

Spain
, Gates Foundation Exploring Project To Fight Dengue, Malaria in Central America

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Bill Gates agreed on Tuesday to explore the possibility of a Central American malaria and dengue fever elimination effort, which would be coordinated by Mexico and Spain, the Latin American Herald Tribune reports. The new initiative would be informed by a similar project that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is already conducting with Spain at a health research center in Mozambique (Latin American Herald Tribune, 5/27).

Bushes Receive Leadership Award for AIDS Efforts

Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush recently received the 2009 Leadership Award from the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI), the Houston Chronicle reports. BIPAI president Mark Kline presented President Bush with the award for creating PEPFAR — which he credited for saving more than 1.1 million lives and reducing AIDS-related deaths by more than 10% in sub-Saharan Africa — and “lauded Laura Bush for her role as an advocate for mothers and children with HIV/AIDS and for her five trips to Africa” (Hodge, Houston Chronicle, 5/26).

Nepal To Launch Pilot Program To Curb Neonatal Mortality

Nepal’s Ministry of Health plans to launch a 70 million rupee – about $912,000 – pilot program in eight districts aimed at reducing the country’s neonatal mortality rate from 33 per 1,000 live births to 17 per 1,000 live births by 2015, eKantipur.com reports. The program will expand to 67 districts, and the health ministry is working with Plan Nepal, Save the Children and UNICEF. “In the last 10 years, we have launched a number of child health programmes and child mortality rate [in children younger than age five] has gone down significantly because of this move. But we have been unable to reduce neonatal mortality rate significantly,” Bhim Acharya, the Department of Health’s head of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness, said (Sunuwar, eKantipur.com, 5/26).

Mumbai Malaria Cases on the Rise, Official Says

The number or malaria cases in Mumbai has increased by as much as 47% in 2009 in large part because of an increase in construction projects and high humidity levels, K.M. Hargoli, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation heath officer said on Tuesday, PTI/Times of India reports. According to Hargoli, since January, 6,300 malaria cases have been reported, up from 2,300 cases over the same period last year. Hargoli added that the increase occurred despite recent efforts to curb the disease, including an anti-malaria drive, fogging and other preventive measures (PTI/Times of India, 5/26).