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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 at how potential changes at USAID and other factors are affecting the discussion about how American dollars should be spent in Pakistan (Rogers, 5/11). In related news, the Associated Press of Pakistan reports that an international team has started a “review of status of polio eradication” in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The article reports on the expert team’s recent presentation in Pakistan (5/11).

Globe And Mail Examines Abortion In Africa

The Globe and Mail examines the status of abortion in Africa and its effect on maternal health. “Unsafe abortions, especially those done covertly or illegally, are one of the leading causes of maternal deaths in Africa, killing at least 25,000 women annually and injuring a staggering 1.7 million every year,” the newspaper writes, adding that more than 90 percent of Africans live in countries that have legal limits on abortion. The article also looks at the effects of legalizing abortions (York, 5/11).

Afghanistan Cancels NGO Licenses

Afghanistan’s economy ministry said Tuesday it has invalidated licenses for 152 local and 20 international aid groups for several reasons, including requests by groups for cancellation, insecure funding and “misconduct,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Aid groups play a significant role in delivery of key and vital services both on humanitarian grounds, and strengthening the leadership and legitimacy of the government,” the news service reports, noting that “1,224 domestic and 301 foreign NGOs are still registered with the ministry” (Massoud, 5/11).

Christian Science Monitor Examines Reports On Maternal Mortality In India

The Christian Science Monitor reports on the findings of two studies on maternal death rates in India, a country where “social inequalities are growing and a skeletal health-care system remains woefully inadequate for the needs of a billion-plus, still largely rural, population.” The article details government efforts to drive down maternal mortality by encouraging women to give birth in clinics and hospitals and the challenges the country faces in improving maternal and child health (Ridge, 5/11).

Researchers Warn Of Increased Number Of HIV Cases In Philippines

“Low condom use, needle sharing and a rise in casual sex and prostitution may unleash an HIV epidemic in the Philippines,” a country where rates have remained low, according to a study published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society, Reuters reports. In the analysis, researchers named “young adults, gay and bisexual men, prostitutes, injecting drug users, overseas Filipino workers and sex partners of all these groups were vulnerable to contracting the virus,” according to the news service (Lyn, 5/11).

BBC Reports On Bangladesh’s Efforts To Reach Child, Women MDG Targets

A series of BBC articles looks at Bangladesh’s progress towards reaching the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets, especially those related to children and women. One article examines maternal health in the country. “The country is more or less on track to meet the MDG target of 143 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015,” according to the BBC. Although the “vast majority of babies are still born at home. … The remaining 88.2% were attended by relatives or other people, of whom only 11.9% were trained by traditional birth attendants” (Lawson, 5/10).  

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