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Also In Global Health News: Uganda Anti-Gay Bill; Zimbabwe Aid; Male Circumcision; Rural Health In India; HIV/AIDS Health Insurance

Bloomberg Reports Uganda To Drop Death Penalty, Life Sentence From Anti-Gay Bill

“Uganda will drop the death penalty and life imprisonment for gays in a refined version of an anti-gay bill expected to be ready for presentation to Parliament in two weeks, James Nsaba Buturo, the minister of ethics and integrity, said” Thursday, Bloomberg reports. “The draft bill, which is under consideration by a parliamentary committee, will drop the two punishments to attract the support of religious leaders who are opposed to these penalties, Buturo said today in a phone interview from the capital, Kampala,” the news service writes (Ojambo, 12/9).

U.N. Official Urges Donors To Support Zimbabwe’s Recovery, Red Cross Appeals For $32M In Food Aid

Catherine Bragg, U.N. assistant secretary general for humanitarian affairs, on Wednesday “praised ‘great progress’ in easing Zimbabwe’s humanitarian crisis, but urged donors to continue supporting the country’s recovery from a decade of economic freefall,” Agence France-Presse reports (12/9). Bragg’s statements come two days after she joined a group of aid agencies in launching a request for $378 million in aid for Zimbabwe for 2010, ZimOnline reports (12/10). In related news, the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is seeking $32 million “to feed 220,000 Zimbabweans who cannot access hard currency in the collapsed economy,” the Associated Press reports (12/9). 

PlusNews Examines Program In Kenya That Blends Traditional, Medical Practices To Ensure Hygienic Male Circumcision

PlusNews examines the recent efforts in Kenya to blend medical practices with traditional practices to help ensure hygienic male circumcisions and reduce patients’ HIV risks. “Kenya has officially adopted medical male circumcision as part of its national HIV prevention strategy, but among Nyambene’s ethnic Meru community, a traditional circumciser, or mutani, is still the preferred choice,” according to the news service. By educating traditional and medical circumcisers in safe practices, health officials hope to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to both circumcisers and patients. The article includes comments about the program by a mutani and health workers on the ground (12/9).

GE Healthcare Promotes Public-Private Partnerships In India


IANS/Thaindian News
reports on GE Healthcare’s efforts to promote public-private partnerships (PPP) with the goal of expanding rural health care in India. According to V. Raja, president and CEO of GE Healthcare South Asia, “Under the three way PPP model, state governments provide space, GE donates equipment and a third private partner runs the health centres,” the news service writes. So far, five diagnostic imaging center have been created at hospitals in the state of Gujarat (Kumar, 12/9). In related news, Forbes reports on GE’s MAC 400 ECG machine, which was developed and priced for India (Mahajan-Bansal/Goyal, 12/9).

International Insurance Company Offers Immediate Coverage For HIV/AIDS

InterGlobal, an international medical insurer based in the U.K., “is moving into uncharted territory by offering HIV/AIDS” coverage immediately for individual policyholders, the Telegraph reports. The policy is aimed at consumers in Africa. “More recently, cover[age for HIV/AIDS] has been offered but usually takes effect only after four or five years. A few insurers may have included the benefit immediately in large group schemes, where risk is balanced out” (Pallot, 12/9).