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Also In Global Health News: Flooding In India; Dengue Deaths In Malaysia; Haiti Food Production Down

At Least 2M People Homeless, Agriculture Affected By Flooding In Northern India

“At least two million people in northern India have been left homeless as the Ganges and other rivers, swollen by heavy monsoon rains, broke embankments and submerged villages, fields and religious sites,” Reuters reports. The flood has affected 500,000 hectares of agriculture land in Uttar Pradesh, a top sugarcane growing state, according to state officials. The flooding could also limit the cotton output from Punjab and Haryana states. “Agriculture fields and many roads are still water-logged … the real estimation would be possible when the water recedes,” said K.K. Sinha, a senior Uttar Pradesh government official (Pande, 9/21).

Dengue Fever Deaths In Malaysia Increase By 53% This Year, Government Official Says

A Malaysian government official on Monday said the country had experienced a 53 percent increase in the number of deaths from dengue fever this year, Agence France-Presse reports. “There was a major rise in deaths due to dengue fever, with 107 deaths so far this year compared to 70 deaths for the same period last year,” said Muhyiddin Yassin, the deputy premier. According to the news service, “Muhyiddin was cool on a plan to release genetically modified mosquitoes designed to combat dengue fever, in a proposed landmark field trial that has come in for criticism from environmentalists.” He said that approach would not be used “at the moment” (9/20).

Haiti’s Harvest Down, But ‘Could Have Been Much Worse,’ According to FAO

“Food production in Haiti is still significantly below levels that existed prior to the January 2010 earthquake, but is slowly recovering, according to a report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),” International Business Times reports. According to the report, in 2010, production of beans will be down 20 percent, plantain production will fall 14 percent and cereals production will be down 9 percent compared to last year. “Levels of food production could have been much worse,” Mario Zappacosta, an economist with FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture said in a statement. “Timely provision of food assistance and agricultural inputs coupled with decent weather, have enabled farmers who were affected to start getting back on their feet” (9/22).