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Also In Global Health News: Cell Phones Reduce Maternal Mortality; Kenya Cholera Outbreak; Drug-Resistant Salmonella

Cell Phone Program Reduces Maternal Mortality In Ghana

IRIN looks at local programs in Ghana that “have cut dramatically the number of women dying during childbirth” by facilitating medical care through cell phone use. The publication writes that three years ago as part of the Millennium Villages project, “mobile handset producer Ericsson teamed with mobile telecommunications firm Zain to install internet access and mobile phone coverage in the villages in 2006. They distributed free handsets to health workers and sold handsets to villagers for US$10 each.” The article also addresses the programs’ sustainability and other efforts to fight poverty with technology (12/1).

Kenya Facing Worst Cholera Outbreak In A Decade

Kenya faces its worst cholera outbreak in 10 years with nearly half of the 230 deaths reported in the last year happening in November, according to the Daily Nation. The newspaper writes, “Slums in Nairobi and semi-arid areas have been the hardest hit in the current epidemic which has been attributed to the consumption of street food, poor toilet coverage, unsafe drinking water and poor hygiene.” The article examines how water shortages in some parts of the country are contributing to the problem.  It also addresses efforts to stop cholera’s spread in Kenya (Gathura, 11/30).

Drug-Resistant Salmonella Strain ‘Causing Unusual Numbers Of Deaths’ In Africa

A new drug-resistant strain of Salmonella in Africa “is causing unusual numbers of deaths there” report researchers in Kenya and Malawi and from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, according to the New York Times. The newspaper writes, “While most salmonella bacteria cause diarrhea and are rarely fatal, this one causes death in one of four cases among children and vulnerable adults in some African regions, the researchers said. Many of its victims have been weakened by the AIDS virus, anemia, malaria or malnutrition” (11/30).

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