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Two-Thirds Of Child Deaths In 2008 Due To Infectious Diseases, Report Finds

Pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and other infectious diseases account for more than two-thirds of the 8.8 million deaths in 2008 among children under age 5 around the world, according to a Lancet study published on Wednesday, HealthDay News/Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. The highest numbers of childhood deaths were in Africa (4.2 million) and Southeast Asia (2.39 million), according to the news service (5/11).

Also In Global Health News: Aid, Polio In Pakistan; Abortion In Africa; NGO Licenses; India’s Maternal Mortality Rates; HIV/AIDS In Philippines; MDGs

U.S. Aid To Pakistan; Anti-Polio Efforts Politico examines the debate over how the U.S. should spend its aid to Pakistan, which has “new urgency after the Times Square car bomb attempt May 1.” According to Politico, “[m]ajor U.S. investments are now envisioned in energy, agriculture and education. The article looks…

Health Leaders From Sub-Saharan Africa Gather For Three-Day Conference On Family Planning In Kenya

A three-day conference exploring ways to increase access to family planning services in Africa kicked off in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, Capital FM reports. The meeting, which is hosted by USAID, will bring together “USAID’s partners in Sub Saharan Africa who include Angola, Burundi, [Democratic Republic of Congo], Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria, South Sudan and Tanzania,” to work to identify gaps in reproductive and family planning services and address ways to reach out to populations in need, the news service writes (Karong’o, 5/11).

African Countries Meet In Brazil To Discuss Food Security

Representatives from African countries kicked-off a meeting about food security on Monday in Brazil, PANA/Afrique en ligne reports. The meeting is part of a series of Brazilian initiatives, which aim to stregnthen ties between the country and Africa and help the continent expand its agricultural capabilities (5/11).

Also In Global Health News: Laura Bush; Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill; Maternal, Child Health In Senegal; Birth Control; Zimbabwe’s Orphans Of HIV/AIDS

Former First Lady Laura Bush Comments On Global Health During Q&A With Politico Politico features a Q&A with former first lady Laura Bush, in which she reflects on her involvement with PEPFAR and the President’s Malaria Initiative, during her husband’s presidency, and her continued interest in the health issues facing Sub-Saharan Africa.…

New York Times Examines Global Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Several articles in the New York Times examine the global fight against HIV/AIDS. “Uganda is the first country where major clinics routinely turn people away” because of funding, the newspaper writes in an article that reports “money for [HIV/AIDS] treatment has stopped growing.” According to the newspaper, “American officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed the financing freeze” in Uganda. The article explores reasons for the U.S. funding cap there, including corruption.

The New York Times notes that other countries in Africa have reported not being able to enroll new HIV patients into treatment programs. “I’m worried we’ll be in a ‘Kampala situation’ in other countries soon,” the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby said.

Globe And Mail Special Issue Examines Africa, Includes Look Ahead At G20 Meeting, Interview with Pres. Obama

The Globe and Mail examines Ethiopia and Malawi’s role in next month’s G20 talks in Toronto, Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has invited both countries to participate in the meeting, which could significantly affect Africa because it has become the “premier forum for confronting global economic problems and for co-ordinating solutions,” according to the Globe and Mail.

Women’s Empowerment, Regional Integration, Malaria Prevention Discussed At WEF On Africa

On the second day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, Graca Machel, founder and president of the Foundation for Community Development, called on African governments to implement strategies aimed at empowering women in order to accelerate the continent’s social and economic development, Tanzania Daily News/allAfrica.com reports.

FAO Head Calls For More African Agriculture Investment To Boost Food Security

Country and donor under-investment in agriculture has hindered food security across Africa, Jacques Diouf, director-general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said on Thursday at the group’s 26th Regional Conference for Africa in Luanda, Angola, Reuters reports.

ALMA Launches Malaria Drive On Opening Day Of WEF On Africa

The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), comprised of the heads of 26 countries, on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa “launched a fresh drive to eliminate malaria using a combination of bed nets, insecticides and medication,” Reuters reports (Nyambura-Mwaura, 5/5).