Also In Global Health News: Child, Maternal Mortality; AIDS 2010; Food Aid To N. Korea; Millennium Challenge Corporation; Family Planning Conference; Parasitic Disease Test
AU Summit To Examine Progress Toward Child, Maternal Mortality MDGs
When leaders of African states gather for the African Union summit in Kampala, Uganda, in July, they will assess the continent’s progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals relating to child and maternal mortality, Isaac Musumba, Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs said Monday, the New Vision reports (3/23). According to theÂ Uganda Media Centre, the theme for the summit is “Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa” (Anite, 3/24).
VOA News Examines Plans For AIDS 2010
VOA News explores the issue of human rights as it relates to fighting HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia â€“ a topic that will be the focus of AIDS 2010, the International AIDS Conference to be held July 18-23 in Vienna, Austria.Â “We believe one of the most important barriers to scaling up AIDS services, in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in particular, is the lack of respect for human rights,” said Robin Gorna, executive director of the International AIDS Society. “If we don’t get a handle on the human rights issues we won’t be able to turn the epidemic around.” The articleÂ details how the conference will examine the unique challenges intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men (MSM), and women face in protecting themselves against HIV/AIDS (DeCapua, 3/23).
State Department Says U.S. Would Consider Resuming Food Aid To N. Korea
“The United States would consider resuming food aid to North Korea if Pyongyang moves to lift a year-old refusal of humanitarian assistance, the State Department said Tuesday,” Agence France-Presse reports in a piece that examines the worsening food situationÂ there (3/23). “If we (provide humanitarian assistance) in the future, just as we’ve done that in the past, our efforts will be to make sure that the aid actually goes to the North Korean people who need it most and is not diverted to other groups such as the military,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said during a press briefing. Yonhap News Agency reports, “Crowley was responding to a demand by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter made in Seoul earlier in the day that Washington have unconditional direct talks with North Korea and provide humanitarian aid to help denuclearize the North” (Doo-hyong, 3/23).
VOA News Examines MCC Under President Obama
VOA News examines the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) â€“ a program “developed under former President George W. Bush to give U.S. aid to the world’s poorest countries on the basis of good governance and growing freedoms. Under President Barack Obama the program has continued, but has been slowed due to budget constraints, a drawn-out transition process and concerns over which countries are getting U.S. money.” The news service notes that on “Thursday, MCC Chief Yohannes will lead a public meeting in Washington about Corporation activities, as well as introduce new senior management members” (Colombant, 3/23).
Approaches To Family Planning Highlighted At Conference In Rwanda
Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda “have shown significant efforts to ensure thatÂ [family planning]Â services reach citizens and this is … due to high political commitment,” Mary Skarie, the director of HIV/AIDS and regional health for USAID’s East African office, said at the opening of a family planning conference on Monday in Kigali, Rwanda, the New Times/allAfrica.com reports.Â Twelve African countries are participating in theÂ meeting, which aimsÂ to speed up theÂ implementation of family planning programs to achieve the Millennium Development Goal targets by 2015 (Nambi, 3/23).Â
Scientists Developing ‘Dipstick’ Test To Diagnose 3 Parasitic Diseases
Scientists have started developingÂ “a 3-in-1 ‘dipstick’ test” that would make early diagnoses ofÂ parasitic diseases, such as Chagas’ disease, leishmaniasis and African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, ANI/Oneindia reports. “The new test exploits the common heritage of the parasites that” cause the diseases, according to the news service.Â Researchers in the Biosciences Division of SRI International, who are in the initial stages of testing,Â have “developed special dyes that allow detection of an early disease stage. Moreover, the test does not require the use of sophisticated lab equipment, and can produce results in as little as one hour” (3/22). According to United Press International,Â “[t]he research was presentedÂ this week in San Francisco during a meeting of the American Chemical Society (3/23).