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Also In Global Health News: Haiti Trade Deal; Grandmothers’ Summit On HIV/AIDS; Fighting Diarrhea; Public Health Messages Via Soap Operas; Child Health In Afghanistan

CQ Reports On Trade Deal To Support Haiti

Congressional Quarterly reports of a “deal on legislation designed to boost the textile and apparel industries in earthquake-ravaged Haiti” that “is set to move quickly through both chambers.” According to the news service, the quake damaged “apparel factories and ports, both of which are vital to the impoverished country’s economy. Since then, retailers, religious groups and trade analysts have promoted an expansion of trade preferences for Haitian imports as a way of boosting the economy” (Schatz, 5/3).

More Than 450 Grandmothers From 12 African Countries To Meet To Discuss HIV/AIDS

The Guardian explores the plan for the “inaugural African Grandmother’s Gathering” on HIV/AIDS, scheduled to kick-off Thursday in Swaziland. There, “[m]ore than 450 grandmothers from 12 African countries will meet to discuss the impact of losing adult children to AIDS, becoming the head of a household and raising grief-stricken grandchildren as their own,” the newspaper writes. “The grandmothers are likely to seek international support for grief counselling, access to healthcare for themselves and children in their care, safe and adequate housing, economic security, safety from gender-based violence, raising community awareness and breaking stigma, support in raising grief-stricken grandchildren and access to education for children,” according to the Guardian (Smith, 5/3).

AP Examines Ways Bangladesh Is Leading Fight Against Diarrhea

The Associated Press examines how efforts in Bangladesh to use a oral rehydration salt-sugar solution (ORS), or “poor man’s Gatorade” have helped to curb the debilitating effects of diarrhea on the country’s children. “Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest countries, is a leader in the fight against diarrhea, which is the number two killer of children under age 5 worldwide after pneumonia. Diarrhea claims 1.5 million kids annually – more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined — and the United Nations has projected the number of deaths will rise by 10 percent each year over the next decade,” the news service writes. The article details Bangladesh’s high levels of ORS packet usage and efforts to educate mothers in regions of Africa about the benefits of ORS (Mason, 5/2).

Soap Operas Delivering Public Health Messages

The Boston Globe examines the ways soap operas “are shaping behavior in ways that are subtle, profound and, from the standpoint of global development experts, positive.” As such, the newspaper writes, “[R]esearchers and public health and international aid organizations are looking at how to design soaps that might more effectively spread information and change attitudes about everything from tribal tensions to HIV to petty corruption.” The article cites several examples of how soap operas appear to have shaped behavioral changes among women, spanning from Brazil to parts of rural India, where they were correlated with a dip in fertility rates. The piece also notes the recent efforts by the CDC to embed a story line about HIV into a American soap opera, with the hope of reaching “minority women, who make up a disproportionately large segment of both soap opera viewers and new HIV infections” (Bennett, 5/2).

Foreign Policy Examines Child Health In Afghanistan

Foreign Policy magazine examines child health in Afghanistan. “In a country where less than a third of adults can read and policemen adorn their stations with ram’s horns to block jinxes, taking a sick child to the hospital is usually the last resort. Government hospitals and clinics are free, but travel is too expensive, or too distant. Few parents recognize the symptoms of disease.” The article features quotes from a local pediatrician and reports on one mother’s effort to treat her sick infant (Badkhen, 4/30).

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