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Also In Global Health News: Pakistan’s Farm Land; PMTCT In Kenya; Burkina Faso’s Maternal Health; Health Care Access In Middle East

Pakistan Moves Forward On Plans To Sell Farmland To Foreign Investors

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Tuesday the country plans to sell farmland to foreign investors despite warnings by the U.N. that doing so could compromise farmers’ rights, Reuters reports. Qureshi defended the government’s decision, saying that the land being sold was not in use and agriculture revenues would benefit the population. “[E]very dollar invested in agriculture creates more jobs than any other sector, and I can openly say that agriculture development is the key to alleviating poverty in Pakistan,” he said (Bakr, 1/27).

Kenya Launches Initiative To Reduce Mother-To-Child Transmission Of HIV

Kenya on Tuesday launched its Campaign to End Pediatric HIV/AIDS, a three-year initiative aimed at reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and scaling up treatment for those infected, Capital News reports (Karong’o, 1/26). Kenya is one of five other countries, including Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia and Nigeria, where the campaign will be carried out, Daily Nation/allAfrica.com reports (Mwaniki, 1/26).

Over 2K Pregnant Women Die In Burkina Faso Because Of Barriers To Health Services, Report Finds

More than 2,000 women in Burkina Faso die annually from complications during pregnancy or childbirth because they are unable to access health services, according to a report released Wednesday by Amnesty International, Reuters reports (1/26). “Amnesty International called on the country’s government to expand and improve access to family planning services, remove financial barriers to maternal healthcare services, ensure an equitable distribution of health facilities and trained staff countrywide, and set up a well-publicized, and accessible accountability mechanism to combat corruption and mismanagement,” United Press International writes (1/26).

Human Rights Report Highlights Negligent Health Policies In Middle East

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday “released the chapters of its 2010 World Report that deal with Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen, accusing them of poor treatment of women, minorities and refugees,” the Associated Press/CBSNews.com reports. The report highlights “discriminatory or negligent health policies … such as the human rights violations suffered by women and girls in relation to pregnancy, birth, preventable maternal mortality and disability” (1/26). “The year 2009 was one of the missed opportunities for women and migrants in the region,” Sarah Leah Whitson, the group’s Middle East director, said, Agence France-Presse writes (1/26).