Also In Global Health News: Family Planning In Philippines; Drug Pricing In Africa

Government Releases Family Planning Survey In Philippines

A government survey in the Philippines “found 73 percent of married women would use birth control if it were available, 22 percentage points higher than the 51 percent that did use such methods,” Agence France-Presse reports. The country is facing a rapid population growth – “projected to reach 94 million this year, up by more than five million from the 2007 census count” – and the government has been “reluctant to fund family planning schemes” due to resistance from the Roman Catholic Church, according to AFP (1/14). The Manila Standard Today examines the ongoing debate in the Philippines over a reproductive health bill that “seeks to establish a national policy on reproductive health, family planning and population development to curb the population’s 2.36-percent growth rate” (Herrera, 1/13).

Study Reveals Cost of ‘Essential’ Antibiotic In Africa

According to a Health Action International (HAI) survey of 93 countries, the price of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin in Africa is higher than in other regions of the world, Daily Nation/ reports. “Ciprofloxacin, which is classified by the World Health Organisation as an essential medicine, is widely used in treating diarrhoeal diseases, sexually transmitted infections and opportunistic infections in people living with [HIV/AIDS],” the newspaper writes. “HAI urged African governments to examine access to affordable essential medicines and pass policies that ensure patients benefit from lower prices,” according to the newspaper (1/13). Business Daily/ examines several factors contributing to the high price of the antibiotic in Kenya (Mbogo, 1/13).