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Also In Global Health News: Disasters In Indonesia; Maternal Health In Pakistan; Gates Grand Challenges Grants; Development Innovation Ventures; Dengue Fever Treatment

Death Toll Rises From Two Disasters In Indonesia; Minister Says Aid Not Needed Yet The death toll from two recent disasters in Indonesia – a tsunami and volcano eruption – “rose to more than 340 Thursday” and hundreds were reportedly missing, the Associated Press reports. According to an official, “a warning system installed…

Recent Releases In Global Health

Global Fund Will Make ‘Every Possible Effort’ To Raise Additional Resources: Although pledges to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at its recent replenishment meeting did not meet “the lowest estimate of demand,” the Fund “will make every possible effort to raise the additional resources that we…

WHO Says H1N1 Remains Pandemic

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on Thursday announced the WHO still considers H1N1 (swine) flu a pandemic, despite the fact “its most intense activity has passed in many parts of the world,” Reuters reports (Lynn, 6/3).

WHO, CDC Issue H1N1 Updates

Though H1N1 (swine flu) activity worldwide has slowed, the potential of a new wave of infections in the northern hemisphere in late winter or early spring remains viable, Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s top flu expert, said Monday at the start of the WHO’s weeklong Executive Board meeting, Reuters reports. The H1N1 pandemic “initially sparked widespread concern about antiviral and vaccine supplies, especially in developing countries, but many nations have cut back their vaccine orders recently because the pandemic has not turned out as deadly as originally feared,” the news service writes (Nebehay, 1/18).

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…

Opinion: Job Development For Haiti; NTDs In Africa; U.S. Investment In TB

Jobs-Drive Development For Haiti “Even before the earthquake, the Haitian economy was already on shaky ground. There is 70 to 80 percent unemployment in the formal economy. … U.S. policy helped build this disastrous economy,” AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker writes in a Miami Herald opinion piece. Baker says…

Boston Globe Examines How PEPFAR Budget Pressures Are Affecting AIDS Clinics In Africa

“U.S. officials have asked some AIDS clinics overseas to stop enrolling new patients in a U.S.-sponsored program that provides lifesaving antiretroviral drugs, in a bid to stem the rising costs of one of the most ambitious US assistance programs, according to interviews with doctors and official correspondence,” the Boston Globe reports.

Small Ceramic Indoor Cookstoves Do Not Reduce Pneumonia Incidence Among Children, Study Shows

“Small ceramic indoor stoves, such as those sold by women in AIDS self-help groups in Africa, do save fuel and cut down on eye-irritating smoke, a new study has found — but they do not save children from pneumonia,” the New York Times reports. “The study, published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, compared 168 households in rural Kenya that used either ‘upesi jiko’ [ceramic] stoves or traditional three-stone indoor fires,” the newspaper writes, noting, “Biweekly visits by researchers found that children in both the stove and open-fire homes got pneumonia equally often” (McNeil, 12/17). Though the ceramic stoves have some benefits, such as reduced smoke in the home and lower risk of burns, Rob Quick, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a member of the research team, said, “[O]ur group is studying six novel cookstove technologies designed to cleaner burning, and we should have results in the next few months to see if one or more of these cookstove designs offer potential for reducing the risk of pneumonia,” according to VOA News (Lewis, 12/17).

WHO Emergency Committee Concludes ‘Too Premature’ To Declare H1N1 Has Peaked

The WHO’s emergency committee concluded Tuesday that it was too early to declare that H1N1 (swine flu) has peaked in all parts of the world, the Associated Press reports. The announcement came after the committee met to review the most recent statistics H1N1 activity around the world (2/24).