Also In Global Health News: Africa Measles Eradication; Water, Food Security In South Asia; MDR-TB In Mumbai; SADC Summit; U.S. Cuba Embargo

WHO Regional Director Says Africa Could Eradicate Measles By 2020

WHO Regional Director for Africa Luis Gomes Sambo said Tuesday during the 59th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, that measles could be eradicated from the continent by 2020, citing an 89 percent reduction in the number of deaths caused by measles between 2000 and 2007, Angencia AngolaPress reports. Sambo attributed the successful decline in measles to “the engagement of the member states in the implementation of strategies, including improved routine and Supplementary Vaccination Operations” and emphasized “the importance of reinforcing the quality of surveillance, routine vaccination monitoring data, engagement of the national leaderships and marshalling of resources” in the future (9/2).

Climate Change Poses ‘Direct Threat’ To Asian Water, Food Security, Study Says

“Melting Himalayan glaciers and other climate change impacts pose a direct threat to the water and food security of more than 1.6 billion people in South Asia, according to initial findings of an Asian Development Bank study,” Reuters reports (9/2). “Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal are ‘particularly vulnerable to falling crop yields caused by glacier retreat, floods, droughts, erratic rainfall and other climate change impacts,’ the bank said in a statement,” Agence France-Presse writes (9/2). The full report, produced by the International Food Policy Research Institute, will be released later this month in Bangkok, Thailand, according to the Associated Press (Gurubacharya, 9/2).

Worldfocus Video Examines Drug-Resistant TB In Mumbai

A Worldfocus video examines drug-resistant tuberculosis in Mumbai, “India’s largest city,” which is “confronting an epidemic of drug-resistant TB and has few ways to fight it.” The video includes interviews with patients, doctors and local health officials (Rudser, 9/2).

SADC To Discuss HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Other Diseases At Summit

The South African Development Community is meeting at a summit in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, from Sept. 2-9 where SADC leaders “will exchange views on issues of finances, investments, the problems associated with the infrastructure and the regional strategies to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and other endemic diseases,” Xinhua/People’s Daily Online reports (9/2). The 29th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government will be held from Sept. 7 to 8, Mmegi Online writes (Piet, 9/1). 

Trade Embargo On Cuba Endangers Health Of ‘Millions,’ Report Says

Human rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday said the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba is endangering the millions of people’s health by limiting Cubans’ access to drugs and medical technology, CNN reports. “Cuba’s inability to import nutritional products from the U.S. has led to an increase in the number of cases of iron deficiency anaemia, according” to an Amnesty report, which used data from the U.N., the BBC reports. About 37.5 percent of Cuban children younger than age three “have been affected by the ban on nutritional products, the report suggests,” the news service writes (9/2). According to Reuters, “provisions of the Trading with the Enemy Act, among a raft of U.S. sanctions against Communist-run Cuba, expire on Sept. 14 and the president has the power extend them for another year or stop them” (Williams, 9/1).

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