Also In Global Health News: HIV/AIDS In Uganda; Medical Equipment In Tanzania; Birth Control In Afghanistan; Ethiopia Malaria Fight

Changes Planned For Ugandan HIV/AIDS Campaign

“The Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC) is revamping its national HIV information campaign after HIV prevention messages were less successful than hoped,” PlusNews reports. “Campaigns aimed at ending cross-generational sex will be abandoned in favour of generic warnings about engaging in risky sex because of fears that young people may believe that sex within their own generation is risk-free. Officials have also said factors such as alcohol abuse, which predispose people to risky sexual behaviour, must be tackled alongside HIV prevention” (11/16).

In related news, two African leaders sent a letter to Uganda’s president warning that two proposed laws could hinder the country’s fight against HIV/AIDS, the Citizen reports. The head of an HIV group and a former president of Botswana “wrote that the draft HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Bill 2008 and the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill could have a chilling effect on HIV/AIDS prevention efforts” (Lirri, 11/16).

WHO, European Commission Donates Medical Vehicles, Equipment To Tanzania

Representatives from the WHO and European Commission on Friday announced a donation of over $985,000 to improve health services for the people of Tanzania, the Citizen reports. The donation includes, “14 ambulances, five pick-up trucks, five motorcycles, communication equipment, blood bank and basic delivery equipment,” according to the news service. “The ambulances and equipment received today are of great importance in improving the referral system and ensuring quality emergency obstetric and neonatal care services consequently saving precious lives of thousands of children and women as well as other patients in need,” said David Mwakyusa, Tanzania’s minister for Health and Social Welfare (Lugongo, 11/14).

New York Times Examines Growing Acceptance Of Birth Control In Afghanistan

The New York Times examines the use of birth control in Afghanistan, including a recent seminar on birth control for local mullahs. “The mullahs were reluctant participants. … But surprisingly, they seemed to emerge from the session invigorated,” according to the newspaper. In addition, “Afghan women who work for Marie Stopes, distributing birth control door to door in the country’s capital, have also noticed an interest. An overwhelming majority of people are still skeptical of their motives. … But a growing number are open to the idea.” According to Marie Stopes International, the sale of birth control pills in the country this year, almost doubled to 11,000 in September from 6,000 packages in January (Tavernise, 11/14).

USAID Grants $40 Million for Malaria Efforts In Ethiopia

On Thursday, USAID announced a three-year, $40 million grant for Ethiopia’s fight against malaria, PANA/Afrique en ligne reports. The money, to be channeled through UNICEF, will go to “increase access to effective diagnostic tests and medicines to manage malaria cases and promote household ownership and proper use of insecticide-treated bednets, according to a U.S. Embassy press statement” (11/12). 

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