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Also In Global Health News: Kenya HIV/AIDS; Uganda Bill; Water Project In Philippines; U.N. Appeal For Yemen

U.S. Pledges $26.5M Over 4 Years To Fight HIV/AIDS In Kenya

U.S. Ambassador Michael Ranneberger on Wednesday announced the U.S. would provide $26.5 million (2.7 billion Kenyan shillings) between 2009 and 2013 to fight HIV/AIDS in Kenya, the Daily Nation reports (Sinundu, 12/16). In related news, the Standard reports the Kenyan government will be begin the gradual phase out of the antiretroviral drug, Stavudine, which is known to cause adverse side effects (Mwai, 12/15). The drug “will be replaced with two other drugs, AZT and TDF, which are known to be more effective and less toxic,” Daily Nation/allAfrica.com reports. Stavudine “currently costs Sh7,000 [U.S.$93] per patient annually compared to [Zidovudine] AZT and [Tenofovir] TDF, which cost Sh11,000 [U.S. $146] and Sh17,000 [U.S. $225] respectively,” according to the news service (Wanja, 12/15).

Clinton Addresses Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

“Secretary of State Clinton on Monday called gay rights the ‘new frontier’ in the U.S. push for worldwide democracy and human rights,” the New York Daily News reports (Sisk, 12/15). “We must be pragmatic and agile in pursuit of our human rights agenda, not compromising on our principles, but doing what is most likely to make them real,” Clinton said in a “wide-ranging address at Georgetown University,” according to the New York Times (Landler, 12/14). In the speech, Clinton said the U.S. government has “expressed our concerns directly, indirectly, and we will continue to do so” over an anti-gay bill being considered in Uganda (12/15). 

USAID, Rotary Launch Clean Water Project In Philippines

USAID and Rotary International on Tuesday launched the “Water Alliance, a joint initiative to provide Filipinos with access to clean water and sanitation services,” the Philippine Star reports. At the launch, Leslie Bassett, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy, said, “Increased access to clean water protects health, promotes security, and sustains economic prosperity. The USAID-Rotary International Water Alliance supports the Philippines’ Millennium Development Goal of cutting by half the population without access to clean water and sanitation services by 2015” (Lee-Brago, 12/15).

U.N. Launched $177M Appeal To Meet Needs Of Over 1M People In Yemen

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) “called for a ‘humanitarian truce’ in Yemen on Tuesday and appealed for 177 million dollars in aid to help vulnerable people in the troubled Middle Eastern state,” Agence France-Presse/France24 reports. OCHA said conflict in the region has affected more than 1.6 million people (12/15). “This humanitarian response plan will enable some 1.3 million food-insecure people … to meet their critical needs,” U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Pratibha Mehta said, the U.N. News Centre writes (12/14).