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Also In Global Health News: Reducing Violence Against Women; Bartering For Medical Care In Zimbabwe; Guinea Worm Eradication; Childhood Vaccination Successes, Challenges « » The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Also In Global Health News: Reducing Violence Against Women; Bartering For Medical Care In Zimbabwe; Guinea Worm Eradication; Childhood Vaccination Successes, Challenges

AOL News Examines Fight Against Domestic Violence, Private Sector Role

AOL News examines how the U.N. is working to include corporations in the effort to reduce domestic violence against women, which “includes beatings, rape, human trafficking and female genital mutilation.” According to the article, “more than 100 countries still don’t have laws against domestic violence, and in others implementation is a challenge.” The companies that have shown interested in the initiative “are run by women or cater to female interests such as cosmetics and fashion. Experts caution against this division, especially since combating women’s violence is no longer viewed as solely a women’s battle.” According to APCO Worldwide President & CEO Margery Kraus, “[I]f we don’t include the men, there is no solution” (Sharma, 12/19).

Bartering For Health Care In Zimbabwe Is Common, New York Times Reports

The New York Times examines the prevalence of bartering for health care in Zimbabwe. Chidamoyo Christian Hospital, “along with countless Zimbabweans, turned to barter in earnest in 2008 when inflation peaked at what the International Monetary Fund estimates was an astonishing 500 billion percent, wiping out life savings, making even trillion-dollar notes worthless and propelling the health and education systems into a vertiginous collapse,” according to the New York Times. “Studies have found that fees are a major barrier to medical care in rural areas, where most Zimbabweans live,” the newspaper writes, adding that bartering can “plug some of the holes.” The article highlights the items offered in exchange for medical care. “Patients provide the crops they grow and the animals they raise – food that feeds the thousands of patients who use the hospital – and the hospital tends to their wounds, treats their illnesses and delivers their babies” (Dugger, 12/18).

Speigel Online Examines Guinea Worm Eradication Efforts

Spiegel Online reports on the Carter Center’s efforts to eradicate the Guinea worm, which “lives inside the human body, crawling around between muscles and bones. Eventually it tries to get out.” When Pres. Jimmy Carter left the White House in 1981, Guinea worm infected 3.5 million people in Africa and Asia annually. “This year, the Guinea worm has afflicted only about 1,700 people worldwide, and it is believed that only 75 of them live outside Southern Sudan,” where the Carter Center now concentrates its efforts, Spiegel Online reports. With a plan that includes the distribution of plastic drinking straws that filter out the worm’s larvae, “Carter has helped eradicate the worm in 16 countries. His experts believe that Ghana will be clean by next year, and Mali and Ethiopia in two years. In Southern Sudan, health authorities counted only half as many people afflicted with the Guinea worm as last year” (Meyer, 12/17).

Progress, Challenges With Ensuring More Children Around World Have Access To Vaccines

The Seattle Times’ “Business of Giving” blog highlights several recent advances in efforts to get vaccines to children around the world, including: the introduction of a meningitis vaccine in Burkina Faso; the launch of a pneumonia vaccine project in Nicaragua; and the announcement of a new partnership between Merck, NYU and PATH to develop a malaria vaccine that prevents the malaria parasite from entering the liver. Despite such progress and the potential for more through public-private partnerships, like the Merck-NYU-PATH collaboration, experts remain concerned – “newer vaccines cost more, and GAVI, the global health partnership that leads funding for most vaccines to developing countries, is currently facing a $4 billion funding shortfall,” according to the blog. The post examines several ways to drive down vaccine costs (Heim, 12/16).