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The Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report summarizes the latest, most relevant information on U.S. global health policy developments and related news from hundreds of sources. RSS feeds are available.

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FAO Holds Second Emergency Meeting On Famine; WHO Warns Of Cholera Spread; Turkish PM Visits Mogadishu

For the second time in one month, representatives of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held an emergency meeting on Thursday in Rome “to take stock of the humanitarian disaster” in the Horn of Africa, the Guardian reports (Tran, 8/18). The officials “called for a twin-pronged approach to tackle the food crisis, stressing immediate relief and the strengthening of the resilience of affected communities to enable them to cope with future shocks in the drought-prone region,” the U.N. News Centre reports (8/18).

World Humanitarian Day Honors Workers' Service

August 19 is recognized worldwide as World Humanitarian Day, when “[w]e honor … those who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and those who continue to bring assistance and relief to millions,” a Manila Bulletin editorial states. “World Humanitarian Day is a collaborative global celebration of humanitarian aid work joining the United Nations and over 500 national and international non-governmental organizations aimed at engaging and inspiring the general public to get involved,” the editorial notes.

White House Holds Call To Discuss Famine In The Horn Of Africa

A post in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog highlights a White House call “with faith-based organizations Wednesday afternoon to discuss efforts in the Horn of Africa to combat the extensive famine brought on by a severe drought in the region, the worst seen in decades.” The…

Guardian Focus Podcast Examines Unfolding Crisis In Somalia

In this month’s Guardian Focus global development podcast, the newspaper “look[s] at the unfolding crisis in the Horn and focus[es] in on Somalia, where conflict and political instability pose steep challenges for short-term relief and long-term development … To discuss these issues, Madeleine Bunting is joined in the studio by…

Outbreak Of Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease Kills 81 Children In Vietnam

“Vietnam’s prime minister has put the country on alert as an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease continues to surge, killing 81 children and sickening more than 32,000 people nationwide so far this year, officials said Friday,” the Associated Press reports. “It has spread nationwide but is raging hardest in the country’s south, where nearly 80 percent of the cases have been reported. About 65 percent of the deaths have occurred in children younger than three,” AP writes.

PBS NewsHour Examines Polio Eradication Efforts In India's Uttar Pradesh And Bihar States

PBS NewsHour reports on polio eradication efforts underway in India’s Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states, which “have been the source of all the polio viruses that have crippled children in India, … one of four countries in the world where polio is still endemic, though it appears it may be on the cusp of finally halting transmission,” according to the news service.

Violence And Displacement In Yemen Exacerbate Child Malnutrition

UNICEF has warned that “[c]ontinuing fighting in various parts of Yemen, which has recently displaced thousands of people especially in Abyan Governorate and the Arhab District of Sana’a, could compromise the nutritional status of those affected … potentially increase[ing] morbidity and mortality rates, especially among children under five,” IRIN reports. While “[t]he International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) reported in December 2010 that Yemen had the highest prevalence of child malnutrition among all Middle East and North African countries … the condition of many children had been worsened by displacement,” Geert Cappelaere, a UNICEF representative in Yemen, told the news service.

Researchers Turn Their Attention To Chagas Disease As Developed Countries See Rise In Infection Rates

Chagas disease, a historically neglected tropical disease that the WHO estimates affects about 10 million people worldwide, is drawing increased attention as infection by the parasite spreads from Latin America to developed countries, such as Spain and the United States, Science reports. “The main reason for this rise isn’t the spread of insects carrying Trypanosoma cruzi but rather emigration from Latin America of large numbers of people who are already infected,” the magazine writes.

VOA News Examines New Drug Compound That Shows Broad-Based Efficacy In Lab Tests

VOA News looks at a new drug compound developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that they say has so far “killed every virus it’s been tested on in the laboratory.” “The drug – known by the acronym DRACO – works by chemically targeting viral-infected cells and prompting them to self-destruct, eliminating the disease in the process,” VOA writes.