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Also In Global Health News: Discrimination Of HIV/AIDS Patients In China; International Charity; Violence In Afghanistan; Children’s Health In S. Sudan; Health Care Rationing

China’s Ministry Of Health To Introduce Policies, Measures To Decrease Discrimination Against Patients Living With HIV/AIDS At Hospitals

Hao Yang, China’s deputy director of the disease prevention and control bureau under the Ministry of Health, during a forum on Wednesday, “vowed … to introduce policies and measures to curb discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS at medical institutions to safeguard patients’ right to treatment,” China Daily/Asia News Network/AsiaOne reports. According to the news service, a “2009 survey conducted by several major institutions, including the Ministry of Health and UNAIDS, found more than 12 percent of 2,096 respondents had been denied treatment because they had HIV/AIDS.” Hao said the “Ministry of Health is working on concrete countermeasures and policies” to decrease such discrimination against patients living with HIV/AIDS (Juan/Yao, 12/16).

Study Finds International Giving By U.S. Foundations Falls By Less Than Overall Giving

“American charitable foundations gave about $6.7 billion last year for international purposes, down 4 percent” compared to the 8.4 percent decline in overall giving that took place last year, according to a report (.pdf) by the Foundation Center, the Seattle Times’ “The Business of Giving” blog reports (Heim, 12/15). “To determine trends in giving, the Foundation Center examined a sampling of 2008 grants and found that health-related programs captured the largest share of international support in 2008, garnering 39 percent of all dollars. International development efforts received 21 percent of dollars,” the Chronicle of Philanthropy adds (Frazier, 12/15). Additionally, the report “found that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation accounted for more than two out of five international dollars in the 2008 grants sample, or more than $2.7 billion; that international giving by other foundations in the sample grew faster than giving by Gates (62 percent versus 39 percent) … and that U.S.-based international programs received approximately two-thirds of the grant dollars awarded by the sampled foundations, while overseas recipients received roughly a third of the remaining dollars,” according to a Foundation Center press release (12/15).

Violence In Afghanistan Is Making It Increasingly Difficult For Aid Workers, ICRC Says

“Worsening violence across Afghanistan is making it harder than at any time in three decades for aid groups to reach people in need, the Red Cross said on Wednesday, a day before Washington reveals a major strategy review,” Reuters reports (Burch, 12/15). “More than half the country, including some of the worst conflict-affected areas, is inaccessible to U.N. agencies and other international aid organizations,” IRIN reports (12/15). “By every measure that the Red Cross tracks, the situation has worsened throughout the country for civilian casualties, internal displacement and health care access,” the New York Times writes (Rubin, 12/15).

UNICEF Speaks Out About The Needs Of Children Living In S. Sudan

“Thousands of children in south Sudan are living in ‘desperate’ conditions due to serious malnutrition, as well as a lack of access to medical care and education, the U.N. children’s agency said Wednesday,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Around 1.2 million people were dependent on food aid in 2009, the U.N. agency said, noting that more than 40,000 children in the region are treated every year for malnutrition,” and “one in every seven children ‘don’t live until their fifth birthday,’ [Yasmin Ali] Haque [who heads UNICEF’s bureau in the region] said.” The article also notes the high rates of child and maternal mortality, “with more than 2,000 women dying in every 100,000 births (12/15). VOA News reports on how UNICEF “is preparing for a worst-case [scenario] should conflict break out after next month’s referendum on independence for Southern Sudan” (Schlein, 12/15). 

PRI’s The World Examines Health Care Rationing In Four Countries

PRI’s The World features a four-part series examining the controversial issue of “rationing” care in order to reduce health spending. As The World notes, “Even the term ‘rationing’ is subject to dispute.” The series explores the subject in India, South Africa, the U.K. and Zambia (12/14).

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