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Also In Global Health News: Food Aid To Kyrgyzstan; Low-Cost Drug Stems Bleeding; Gaza’s Health System; TB Facility In Nigeria; World Cup

Food Aid Arrives Kyrgyzstan; 80,000 Flee Clashes

The New York Times reports that food aid arrived in Kyrgyzstan as four days of ethic rioting started to abate. “At the border, where thousands of refugees have been stranded without clean water or medical care, medical supplies, aid blankets and tarpaulins were due to be delivered by the International Committee for the Red Cross,” the newspaper writes (Levy/Schwirtz, 6/15). “An estimated 80,000 ethnic Uzbeks have fled the ongoing clashes against ethnic Kyrgyz, causing one aid official to describe the situation as a ‘humanitarian catastrophe,'” CNN reports (6/15).

Drug Shown To Slow Severe Bleeding

The Lancet on Tuesday published a study showing that “a cheap and easily administered medicine which helps to stem excessive bleeding could save the lives of many thousands of accident victims across the world,” Reuters reports (Kelland, 6/14). The drug, tranexamic acid (TXA), was administered to 10,000 patients in 40 countries. “Doctors found that patients who got TXA had a 15 percent lower chance of dying from a hemorrhage than those who didn’t get it,” according to the Associated Press. Etienne Krug, director of violence and injury prevention and disability at the WHO told AP that “the drug would likely have the biggest impact in developing countries such as China and India, where 90 percent of injury-related deaths occur” (Cheng, 6/14).

Gaza’s Health Care System At An ‘All-Time Low,’ ICRC Says

“The quality of Gaza’s health care system has reached an all-time low,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Monday, Agence France-Presse reports. The article describes seven-hour power cuts that disrupt surgery, dialysis and artificial respirators. The system also lacks essential medicines, disposable items and laundry services, according to AFP. “The only way to cope is to re-use such items as ventilator tubes or colostomy bags, even though doing so can lead to infections that endanger patients’ lives,” ICRC said (6/14).

U.S. Opens Multi-Million Dollar TB Facility in Nigeria

The U.S. donated a four-block “multi-million dollar facility for the detection and treatment of tuberculosis to Nigeria,” Agence France-Presse reports. Around 400,000 Nigerians people suffer from TB. In addition to diagnosing and treating TB, the facility will “also improve the quality of the testing done for people with HIV around the country,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden told AFP (6/14).

World Cup Has Helped Highlight Public Health Issues In South Africa, Reduce Stigma, Health Minister Says

South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi recently highlighted how the soccer World Cup has helped to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in South Africa and called for continued use of sports to highlight social and health issues after the tournament, the Associated Press reports. According to the news service, “[m]obile AIDS- and HIV-testing stations have been situated at matches in the buildup to the month long tournament, and soccer balls bearing tips on how to recognize and prevent TB have been distributed to thousands of children.” Motsoaledi noted that soccer has been especially useful in connecting with usually difficult to reach populations. “It’s up to us in South Africa. This momentum must not be lost,” he said. “People want the issue of testing and knowing about your health to be something that must happen in everyday life and this has helped us to remove the stigma” (Condie, 6/12).

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