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Also In Global Health News: Bolivia Maternal, Child Health; TB In India; ARVs In Uganda; Kenya Polio Campaign

Bolivia To Give Health Vouchers To Combat Maternal, Infant Mortality Rates

The Bolivian Government is giving out “special health vouchers,” worth almost $250, to pregnant women and mothers of children younger than 2 with no access to health-care coverage or other social security benefits “in a bid to reduce high maternal and infant mortality rates in South America’s poorest nation,” according to a Lancet World Report. Each day, about three women die in Bolivia from complications during pregnancy or birth, and according to the Bolivian health ministry, 53 children die per 1,000 livebirths and 234 women per 10,000 livebirths (Moloney, 8/8).

Health Official Outlines Major Issues Facing Indian TB Program

The growing incidence of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, improved coordination between the national TB and HIV/AIDS programs and increasing awareness of TB are among some of the most important issues facing the government’s TB program, Director of Health Services Aniruddha Kar said at a regional meeting for partners of the Partnership for Tuberculosis Care and Control in India, the Hindu reports. Sanjay Kapoor of USAID said, “Since TB is the leading cause of death among HIV infected people, there is need to coordinate the two programmes” (Dutta, 8/7).

Uganda Running Out Of Antiretroviral Drugs, Officials Say

“Ugandan government ministers have warned that the country is running out of AIDS drugs, blaming the global financial crisis and a successful testing policy,” BMJ reports. According to the health ministry, although 357,000 patients qualify for antiretroviral drugs, only 190,000 patients receive them. “The government is also investigating reports that 17 patients with AIDS have died in the north since the end of May because they could not get the drugs,” writes BMJ (Wasswa, 8/7).

Kenya Launched Two-Round Polio Vaccination Campaign

The government of Kenya recently launched two rounds of polio vaccination campaigns in the country, the Daily Nation reports (Cheboi, 8/6). Beth Mugo, the health minister, said the approximately $540,000 vaccination campaign will target about 344,661 children younger than age five in 12 districts at high risk of polio outbreaks, according to the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. WHO said that 17 cases of polio have been reported in Kenya’s Turkana districts since the beginning of the year (Kamau, 8/6).

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