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Also In Global Health News: Drought In Middle East; HIV/AIDS, TB In Indonesia; MSF Warnings Over Needs Of HIV/AIDS Patients; Non-Profit At Work In Uganda

IPS Examines Impact Of Drought On Farmers In Middle East

Inter Press Service examines the effects a “devastating drought this fall” has had on farmers in the Middle East, particularly those living in Syria. Once “[a] large wheat exporter, the drought’s impact has now forced the agriculturally self-reliant Syrian government to import the staple to meet local consumption,” the news service writes. “After an assessment visit to Syria last September, Olivier De Schutter, the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food, estimated 1.3 million people are directly impacted by the serial drought – 95 percent of them in the northeast – with 800,000 suffering severely. ‘Most affected are small-scale farmers … and small-scale herders, who often lost 80-85 percent of their livestock since 2005,'” according to De Schutter’s initial report. The article examines several efforts underway to mitigate the effects of the drought (Murray, 12/14).

Health Experts Express Concerns Over HIV/AIDS, TB In Indonesia

Drug resistance and an increase in the number of HIV/AIDS cases have “led to the re-emergence of tuberculosis as a major health threat in Indonesia, according to health experts,” the Jakarta Post reports. “According to the Health Ministry, there were more than 520,000 cases of tuberculosis a year in Indonesia, resulting in more than 90,000 deaths. … According to the national prevalence survey for 2006-2008, from 2 percent to 15 percent of all Indonesian tuberculosis patients also had HIV,” the newspaper writes. The article includes quotes by several microbiologists and the Health Ministry’s national TB program director (12/14).

MSF Warns Of Consequences Patients Living With HIV/AIDS Will Face Without Maintained Global Fund Support

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) recently warned of the “dire consequences” patients living with HIV/AIDS could face after the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria after several applications for new funds by several countries were rejected, NewsDay reports (Mafirakurewa, 12/13). “The Global Fund Board will convene on December 13 to make its decision on whether or not to fund each proposal, and to decide on the timing of the next funding round,” according to an MSF press release, “With early signs in the press that some proposals will most likely be rejected, MSF is seriously concerned that several low-income countries with high HIV-prevalence, such as Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho, risk being denied funding for HIV and TB in this round” (12/8).

How Avon’s Business Model Informed Non-Profit Bringing Health Care Services To Uganda

Fast Company examines how the creator of Living Goods, “San Francisco-based non-profit that’s bringing health care door to door to 30 communities in Uganda” used cosmetic company Avon’s business model to inform his strategy for meeting the health needs of the people of Uganda. “The agents – called community health supporters – buy into Living Goods with two forms of capital loans: a fixed capital no-cost-loan for borrowing tools like a uniform, a storage chest, and a thermometer, and a low-interest loan of about $75 a year for purchasing inventory. If the women under-perform or break rules, their tools are repossessed. … To date, Living Goods has trained over 600 women out of 30 branches in Uganda, some of whom are making more than $100 a week.” The article also lists several future challenges the company may face (Katayama, 12/10).

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