Also In Global Health News: China’s Health Care System; Breastfeeding Practices In Pakistan; HIV Transmission In MSM; Abu Dhabi Joins Malaria Fight

Los Angeles Times Examines China’s Health Care Overhaul

The Los Angeles Times examines China’s transition to “Western-style privatized medicine” through the government’s “$124-billion overhaul, chiefly to improve service in rural areas.” The article details the efforts of a woman from Inner Mongolia to get care in Beijing for her ailing father and looks at climbing health care costs and the growing “black market for medical care” (Pierson, 2/11).

Breastfeeding Practices Promoted In Pakistan To Promote Maternal, Child Health

The Pakistan Times reports on new efforts underway in the country to improve maternal and child health by promoting breastfeeding and child nutrition. The program’s launch marked “a reaffirmation by the government for making breastfeeding a norm, to secure the life of the newborns and infants of the country, [Minister for Health Makhdoom Shahab-u-din] said,” the news service reports. Health officials hope the promotion of breastfeeding will help the country make progress towards the Millennium Development Goal to slash Pakistan’s rates of child mortality by two-thirds by 2015 (2/11).

Scientists Trace Transmission Of HIV Between MSM

Nature News reports a study has found that “HIV could be transmitted between men in the form of free-floating virus particles found in seminal fluid, rather than through HIV-infected cells found in semen.” According to Nature News, “it has been difficult to study whether the virus’s genetic material is transmitted in the form of infectious RNA virus particles or as DNA locked within infected cells in semen. The answer could determine which strategies are most useful for blocking transmission of the virus from one partner to another” (Check Hayden, 2/10). “By knowing the origin of the transmitted virus, scientists may be able to develop new vaccines, vaginal microbicides and drugs to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted HIV,” lead author Davey Smith, of the University of California at San Diego, said, BERMANA reports (2/11). In a UC San Diego Medical Center press release, “Smith notes that because the study involved pairs of men who have sex with men, the findings do not comment directly on HIV transmission to women” (2/10).

Abu Dhabi Donates $25M Over 5 Years To Combat Malaria  

Abu Dhabi on Wednesday announced it will donate $25 million over the next five years to the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership, “providing ‘a major boost’ to the global campaign,” Agence France-Presse reports. “This funding will have a direct impact upon the capacity of the partnership to accelerate current advances and ensure that countries move closer to the RBM universal coverage targets and the malaria-related United Nations Millennium Development Goals,” RBM Executive Director Awa Marie Coll-Seck said, following the commitment by Abu Dhabi (2/10).

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