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Also In Global Health News: Noncommunicable Disease Network; Tropical Disease Treatments; Maternal Health In Peru; South Asia MDG

WHO Launches International Network To Take On Noncommunicable Disease

The WHO on Wednesday launched an international network of leading health organizations and experts from around the world in an effort to “unite” and “scal[e] up world action to combat noncommunicable diseases, which cause some 38 million deaths annually,” Xinhua/People’s Daily Online reports (7/9). “Noncommunicable diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, cancers, diabetes, respiratory diseases and common injuries account for the vast majority of all global deaths, but because they are not yet included as priorities in the global development agenda, donors and international organizations have yet to pledge support to help developing countries address these leading health problems,” according to a WHO release (7/8).

Study Finds More Pharmaceutical Companies Working On Treatments For Tropical Diseases

A recent report by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations shows the pharmaceutical industry’s increased interest in developing treatments for tropical diseases, as reflected in new projects, PharmaTimes reports. The total number of projects focused on the “ten diseases of the developing world prioritised by the United Nations” rose from 67 to 84 this year, according to the report (Grogan, 7/7).

Amnesty International Report Looks At Deaths Of Pregnant Women In Peru

An Amnesty International report, released Thursday, finds that “hundreds of poor, rural and indigenous pregnant women are dying because they are being denied the same health services as other women in the country receive,” inthenews.co.uk reports. The report examines the maternal mortality rate among some Peruvian women and evaluates the government policies that aim to address the problem. “Official figures state 185 in every 100,000 women die in child birth, but the U.N. puts the number higher at 240,” according to inthenews.co.uk (7/9).

Hindu Examines South Asian Results Of U.N. MDG Progress Report

The Hindu examines the South Asian results of the U.N.’s recent annual progress report (pdf) on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “Progress against extreme poverty in South Asia — slower than in most other regions of the world between 1999 and 2005 — is in danger of disappearing altogether under pressure of global economic contraction and lost jobs,” the Hindu writes. “There was also a drop in tuberculosis prevalence from 543 cases per 100,000 people in 1999 to 268 cases in 2007,” according to the newspaper, which adds, “South Asia has achieved its MDG target of cutting to half the proportion of people in 1990 without access to water, but is lagging behind in providing access to safe sanitation” (Dhar, 7/9).