A cholera outbreak in the Dominican Republic appears to be spreading and health officials are reporting hundreds of new cases, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports.
Water and Sanitation
Where Is Global Health On The G8 Agenda?: As the G8 summit began in Deauville, France, on Thursday, David Olson, the council’s director of policy communications,Â wrote on the Global Health Council’s “Blog 4 Global Health” that “global health is nowhere visible on the agenda,” which “is in striking contrast to…
The WHO on Thursday said “that an unusually lethal strain of E. coli, which has infected more than 1,500 people in Germany, mystified public health officials and threatened to touch off panic in Europe, was a previously unknown variant of the bacteria, raising new concerns about the extent and severity of the contagion,” the New York Times reports.
UNICEF on Wednesday said it needs $6 million to continue treating water in Zimbabwe, which does not have the funds to do it on its own, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports.
Significant progress is being made toward reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline, but the poorest countries are not progressing as quickly and more must be done to improve health and development outcomes in those nations, according to this year’s MDG report (.pdf), VOA News reports. “Despite the global economic downturn and the food and energy crises, we are on track to meet the MDG targets for poverty-reduction,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at the launch of the report on Thursday in Geneva (Schlein, 7/7).
USAID and the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Thursday launched the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) initiative to “provide grants to developing world partners of NSF U.S. grantees,” with the goal of supporting “applied research â€“ science in support of development â€“ in areas of global concern such as climate change, biodiversity, water issues, agriculture, seismic hazards and deforestation,” SciDev.Net reports (Tatalovic, 7/8).
Researchers at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, this week described a device that collects water quality data to “chec[k] supplies in real-time, alerting users to possible infections,” and “upload[s] the data, allowing scientists to monitor the location and movement of outbreaks,” BBC News reports. The researchers said the device, called the Water Canary, “could prove invaluable for governments around the world keen to contain disease and environmental disasters,” according to the news service (Wakefield, 7/13).
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced on Tuesday that it plans to invest millions of dollars in projects aimed at improving sanitation in the developing world, the Guardian reports (Ford, 7/19).
Rwanda “is one of only four countries in Africa which look set to achieve Millennium Development Goal 7 to ensure environmental sustainability, which includes halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation,” Inter Press Service reports in an article examining hygiene and sanitation in the country. The other three countries are Mozambique, Ghana and Sierra Leone, the news service notes.
According to the Haitian government, more than 5,800 people have died of cholera since the epidemic began in October, and health care workers have seen an increase in cases “[w]ith the rainy season now in progress,” the Los Angeles Times reports (Gaestel, 7/24).