Also In Global Health News: Developing Country Agriculture; MDR-TB In Pakistan, HIV/AIDS Funding In Ghana; Rwandan Religious Groups Fighting Disease; Trafficked Nigerian Girls Found

Oxfam Calls On G8 Leaders To Increase Agriculture Investment In Developing Countries

The development group Oxfam is calling on G8 leaders, ahead of their meeting in Italy, to increase investment in agriculture in developing countries, Reuters reports. The group recently released a report, which shows that agricultural assistance by G8 donor countries has fallen from $20 billion per year in the 1980s to about $5 billion in 2007. Oxfam said that last year’s crisis in food prices – which led to increased hunger, malnutrition and the risk of social unrest in many poor countries – illustrates why investment in agriculture is necessary to boost global food supplies (Wroughton, 6/30).

Partnership In Pakistan To Improve Services For MDR-TB Patients

Pakistan’s National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP) and the Karachi-based Ojha Institute of Chest Diseases signed an official agreement Saturday aiming to improve the services to treat patients with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), IRIN reports. Through the agreement, the NTP would cover “the diagnosis of MDR-TB and medicines while Ojha Institute would be responsible for providing medical expertise, nursing care and other logistics issues,” IRIN writes. “According to WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Control Report 2009, 3.2 percent (about 9,500 patients) of all new cases of TB in Pakistan were [MDR-TB], while the rate of MDR-TB among previously treated TB cases was 35 percent” (6/30).

HIV/AIDS Prevention Funds Fall In Ghana

“Funding for HIV and AIDS prevention intervention [in Ghana] has dwindled by 69 percent from 2005 to 2007, sending a negative signal of behavioural change and the aversion of new infections,” according to a recent health survey, Public Agenda/ reports. The article examines the findings of the preliminary 2008 Demographic Health Survey Report Ghana, HIV Component – a study supported by the World Bank and UNAIDS (6/29).

Rwandan Religious Groups Call For More Funding To Combat HIV, TB, Malaria

Religious groups that work to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Rwanda have called on the government and donors to give them more funding for their efforts to fight these diseases, the New Times/ reports. “Faith based organization[s] have a very significant role in fighting any pandemic, when malaria comes, it does not choose any specific denomination, it can kill each one of us,” Emmanuel Kolini, head of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, said recently at a one-day conference, called, “Counting out Malaria in Rwanda; the role of faith based organisations” (Mutara, 6/26).

10,000 Nigerian Teenage Girls Held As ‘Sex Slaves’ In Morocco, Tunisia

The group Christ Without Borders recently said that 10,000 Nigerian teenage girls – most of whom have HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases – are being held as sex slaves in Morocco and Tunisia, the Nigerian Tribune reports. Nigeria’s House Committee on Diaspora leader Abike Dabiri- Erewa said the House would take up the matter immediately (6/26).