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Also In Global Health News: Clean Water In India; Cholera In Kenya; Zuma, Gates Discuss HIV/AIDS; MDR-TB In Marshall Islands; Sanitation In Jakarta

News Outlets Examine Water Purifier Launched In India

India’s Tata Group on Monday “unveiled a new low-cost water purifier, which it hopes will provide safe drinking water for millions and cut the toll of deadly diseases,” Agence France-Presse/mysinchew.com reports. The purifier, named the Tata Swach, was designed to run in households without electricity and costs about $22, according to the news service (12/7). According to the Associated Press, “[s]ome 894 million people don’t have sufficient access to clean water, and 2.2 million in developing countries, most children, die every year from diseases associated with unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation, according to the World Health Organization and the United Nations. In India alone, 380,000 children die each year from diarrhea, according to UNICEF” (Kinetz, 12/7).

New York Times Examines Cholera Outbreak In Kenya

The New York Times reports on growing concerns over a cholera outbreak in Kenya that has infected some 4,700 in the past month, killing 119 “in what Kenyan officials are calling ‘one of the worst outbreaks in a decade.’” The newspaper examines how a drought earlier this year in northern Kenya is contributing to the spread of the disease and the government’s response to the outbreak (Gettleman, 12/4). Capital News reports that 11 districts in Kenya have reported cases of cholera in one week (Karong’o, 12/4).  

Zuma, Gates Meet To Discuss HIV/AIDS

South African President Jacob Zuma and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, met last week in South Africa to discuss efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, SAPA/News24.com reports. The two talked about “the need to scale up the prevention of HIV/AIDS, the importance of the prevention of mother to child transmission of the virus as well as the need to look at male circumcision as a means of prevention, said [government] spokesman Vincent Magwenya,” writes SAPA/News 24.com (12/2). Zuma and Gates “also discussed strengthening the management of HIV programmes, especially the use of global funds and introducing management/business approaches to HIV prevention programmes like the Gates Foundation run programmes in India,” BuaNews reports (12/3).

News Outlets Examine How Government Responds To MDR-TB Outbreak In Marshall Islands

AFP examines the recent efforts to contain an outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis by the government of the Marshall Islands, after six cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) were confirmed. According to the news service, the cabinet authorized $1.9 million in emergency funding on Wednesday and is working to screen people who came into contact with the infected individuals as well as patients presenting at treatment centers (12/3). The cabinet also approved travel bans for patients with TB from traveling outside of the Marshall Islands without permission from the Director of Public Health, Radio New Zealand International reports. The MDR-TB outbreak “presents the Marshalls with more than domestic health implications, since islanders enjoy visa-free travel to the United States,” the news service notes (12/3).

Jakarta Globe Examines Health Costs Associated With Poor Sanitation

The Jakarta Globe examines how poor sanitation in Indonesia has led to the contamination of the country’s water supplies and the financial costs of health problems because of the problem. The article includes information about efforts underway to improve the conditions and notes, “Jakarta will host a three-day national conference on sanitation beginning on Tuesday aimed at accelerating sanitation development to fulfill basic services for all the nation’s citizens” (Osman, 12/3).