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Also In Global Health News: Ethiopia Food Aid; Sudan Genocide Charges; MDR-TB Drugs

Ethiopia Appeals For More Food Aid

“Ethiopia needs emergency aid to feed 5.2 million people this year, the government said, appealing for 642,983 metric tons of food from foreign donors,” Bloomberg/Businessweek reports, adding that the number of people in need of assistance is higher than last year (McLure, 2/4). The U.N. News Center reports that poor rainfall is to blame for the worsening situation (2/3).

International Criminal Court To Reconsider Genocide Charges Against Sudan’s President

The Wall Street Journal reports that “the International Criminal Court [has] decided to revisit a petition to charge [Sudanese] President Omar al-Bashir with genocide, reversing last year’s decision by a panel of judges that there wasn’t enough evidence to link the Sudanese leader with mass killings of his people” (Childress, 2/4). According to the New York Times, the prosecutor in the case “said that he would provide new evidence to support his genocide charges, and would include the president’s expulsion of international aid agencies last year which provided crucial food, drinking water and medical supplies to war victims and refugees in the Darfur region” (Simons, 2/3). PlusNews examines HIV/AIDS care in Southern Sudan, writing that the area’s “poor infrastructure, largely illiterate population and dearth of health facilities and workers mean that despite five years of peace, HIV programmes are still in their infancy” (2/3).

MDR-TB Drug Partnership

South African-based Aspen Pharmacare - “Africa’s biggest generic drugmaker” - has received $1 million from Eli Lilly as part of the companies’ collaboration to expand access to treatments for multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), Reuters reports. The agreement includes Eli Lilly transferring “technology to Aspen for the production of two drugs that include capreomycin – one of the few key treatment options for patients with” MDR-TB, according to the news service. In a statement, Iain Richardson, Eli Lilly’s senior director of Global Supply Chain and Logistics, described the collaboration as a way to increase access to MDR-TB drugs in the region and throughout the world (2/2).