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Also In Global Health News: Ban Addresses Women’s Health; Afghanistan’s Health Services; PMI Africa Grants; Q&As

U.N. Secretary General Calls For Renewed Commitment To Women Worldwide

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Monday called for countries around the world to “renew their commitment to educate girls, end sexual violence, and provide access to modern birth control,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. Though Ban acknowledged some gains made since the 1994 U.N. population conference – such as an increase in the numbers of couples using contraception and a decrease in the numbers of children dying before their first birthday – he also noted the signs that women worldwide continue to suffer. “Since the Cairo conference, Ban lamented, the number of deaths in childbirth – more than 500,000 women annually – has not changed,” the news service writes (Lederer, 10/12).

IRIN Examines Outsourcing Health Services To NGOs In Afghanistan

IRIN explores the effect of the Afghan health ministry’s outsourcing of basic health services to NGOs. Some experts say the policy is not sustainable. “Despite evident progress, Afghanistan’s health indicators are still ranked among the worst in the world, according to aid agencies – and the health system is heavily dependent on foreign aid,” IRIN writes. Peter Graaff, the WHO representative in the country, said, “Afghanistan has made impressive progress in the health sector over the past seven years.” However, he notes, “It is a donor-dependent public health system.” The article examines how the situation arose and discusses the performance of NGOs (10/12). 

PMI Awards $3M To Fight Malaria In Kenya, Part Of $10.5M 6-Country Grant

The U.S. government announced that it will donate $3 million to fight malaria in Kenya, the Daily Nation reports. The grants, provided by the President’s Malaria Initiative, will be “channeled through HealthRight International (HRI) and Merlin – two organisations dealing with the malaria war in the country” (10/11). According to a USAID press release, the money is part of “$10.5 million in grants,” which have been given “to seven organizations working in six countries in Africa to extend malaria prevention and control activities in communities most affected by the disease, particularly children under age 5 and pregnant women.” Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia also received grants (10/6).

Q&As Address HIV/AIDS Efforts In India, Women’s Health

The Economic Times features an interview with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sibide, where he highlights India’s efforts to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and the country’s “emerging as a leader in universal accessibility of AIDS treatment.” During the interview, Sibide also discussed the role he sees pharmaceutical companies playing in the global fight against HIV/AIDS (Duttagupta, 10/11).

The Seattle Times’ blog “Business of Giving” features an interview with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who recently co-wrote a book examining gender equity issues worldwide. The interview includes the author’s thoughts on investing in women’s health in developing countries (Heim, 10/9).

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