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Also In Global Health News: HIV/AIDS Visa Laws; Pakistan Polio Campaign; Cigarette Taxes In China; Clean Water In Uganda

New York Times Examines Visa Laws Effects On People Living With HIV/AIDS

The New York Times examines a recent report by the advocacy group Human Rights Watch that says visa restrictions for people living with HIV/AIDS have been shown to jeopardize their health. “About a third of the world’s countries limit the right of people with H.I.V. to enter or stay, even if their disease is under control with drugs. Some restrict their access to health care,” the New York Times writes. The report details cases where patients stopped taking medications, out of fear they would be deported or jailed as well as other effects of the laws (McNeil, New York Times, 6/23).

Three-Day Polio Vaccine Campaign Targets 21M Children, 64 Pakistan Districts

A three-day polio vaccine drive began on Monday in Pakistan, Dawn.com reports.  More than 21 million children living in 64 districts that have been deemed “high-risk for the polio virus infection,” will be given an extra dose of the vaccine.  According to Dawn.com, “[e]laborate arrangements are in place in the campaign districts with a total of 52,050 vaccination teams, 9,388 area supervisors and 1,363 zonal supervisors geared up to participate in the campaign” (Dawn.com, 6/22).

Chinese Government Raises Cigarette Tax

The Chinese government publicized over the weekend that it has raised the levies on cigarettes in an effort to curb smoking, China Daily reports (Xu/Yingzi/Zhuoqiong, China Daily, 6/22). The tax increase varies according to the price of cigarettes. “A tax of 5 percent, which is assessed on the price of the cigarettes as they are sold by wholesalers to retailers, is also being imposed, Xinhua [news agency] said,” the Wall Street Journal reports. The article continues, “It is unclear how much the added levies will affect the price smokers must pay” or “…how much of an impact the tax increases will have … in a country with more smokers – roughly 350 million – than the U.S. has citizens,” the Wall Street Journal writes (Fairclough, Wall Street Journal, 6/23).

Uganda ‘s Pay-As-You-Drink Public Water Project

VOA News examines Uganda’s “pay-as-you-drink” public water project, which is part of a plan to get 100 percent of its urban citizens access to safe water. Uganda’s National Water and Sewerage Corporation installed 400 pre-paid water meters over the last year in sections of the capital of Kampala. “The water points serve around 130,000 residents, a number that is expected to quadruple within the next year in Kampala with the launch of a World Bank funded extension of the project,” writes VOA News. However some organizations say that a pre-paid system can be abused and can limit full access to water (Blake, VOA News, 6/21).