Also In Global Health News: Discussions On U.S. Food Aid To N. Korea; Malaria Prevention For Pregnant Women; Animated Health Education Videos

U.S. Considers Resuming Food Aid To N. Korea

“The U.S. is considering resumption of food aid to North Korea amid fears people there could starve after a harsh winter, top officials said Tuesday” during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, the Associated Press reports (3/1). “It was in the wake of expulsion of American aid monitors tasked with ensuring food supplies to children, pregnant mothers and elderly people that Washington suspended food aid to Pyongyang” in 2009, RTT News reports (3/1). Reuters details comments made during the hearing by Stephen Bosworth, the State Department’s special envoy for North Korea, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) on the topic of resuming and overseeing humanitarian aid to the region (Eckert, 3/1).

Efforts To Improve Malaria Prevention Targeting Pregnant Women In Africa

Lancet Infectious Diseases’ Newsdesk examines the disparities in malaria prevention for pregnant women that “exist across Africa, despite recommendations to deliver case management, insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs), and intermittent presumptive therapy (IPTp).” According to the publication, “[p]olicies are mostly in place, but for 10 years global targets for coverage of these interventions have come and gone unattained.” The article describes the reasons for the disparities and notes an effort recently announced by the U.K. Department for International Development “to prioritise malaria and maternal health in two Frameworks for Results” (Morris, March 2011).

Project Delivers Development Information Through Animated Videos On Cell Phones

A new initiative, called Scientific Animations Without Borders, uses animated teaching videos to deliver lessons about “farming, protection against disease, and sustainable individual economic pursuits” through cell phones to people in the developing world, UPI reports (2/28). “Animation reduces the costs associated with making a video on a particular topic … The videos are narrated, and the narration can be recorded in any language with any dialect or accent,” according to a University of Illinois press release. “The first animated videos developed by the Illinois team (with funding from the Dry Grain Pulses CRSP – U.S. Agency for International Development and created in collaboration with aid workers and farmers in West Africa) demonstrate safe insect-control methods that are already in use in some regions,” the release notes. The team, comprised of educators and faculty from the University of Illinois, plans to create future videos dealing with other agricultural and health issues, such as malaria. Viewers in both the developing and developed world will be targeted (2/28).

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