Also In Global Health News: Iraq’s Health System; HIV Travel Restrictions; India Cholera Vaccine; HIV/AIDS Prevention In Indonesia; U.S. Federal Quarantine Regulations

IRIN Examines ‘Long And Complicated’ Process To Developing Iraq’s Health System

IRIN examines how decades of conflict in Iraq have stymied development of the country’s health system. The piece includes comments by Iraqi Health Minister Salih al-Hasnawi, who describes the process of “developing [the country’s health facilities] to reach international standards” as “long and complicated.” The article highlights several steps Al-Hasnawi said the government is taking to improve the country’s health systems, including efforts to “modernize the country’s health facilities, draw up a list of medicines to be made available countrywide and facilitate health workers’ access to training courses abroad,” according to the news service (4/4).

UNAIDS Calls For Countries To End Travel Restrictions On HIV-Positive People

UNAIDS recently “called for the 52 countries that still impose entry restrictions on HIV-infected people to repeal those controls,” Al Jazeera reports. “Twenty-three countries have a policy of compulsory deportation for anybody discovered to be HIV positive, while five countries deny HIV-infected people visas even for short stays.” Michael Sidibe, the executive director of UNAIDS, said public health concerns do not justify travel restrictions and go against principles of human rights. An accompanying video looks at the effect of HIV-related travel restrictions in Singapore (4/4).

India To License First Indigenously Developed Cholera Vaccine

India’s department of biotechnology is accepting applications from drug companies that want to license “India’s first indigenously developed cholera vaccine,” Live Mint reports. “Though a key large-scale trial is set to begin later this year, the government’s effort reflects its confidence in the efficacy [of] orally administered drugs. The vaccine is the result of a combined effort by several publicly funded labs,” the publication notes (Koshy, 4/2).

USAID Launches Five Year HIV/AIDS Prevention Program In Indonesia

USAID recently launched a five year HIV/AIDS prevention program in Indonesia, the Xinhua reports (4/3). The program is part of a $35 million effort supported by the U.S. and will target the regions of “West Java, Central Java, East Java, Riau, North Sumatra, Papua and West Papua, and DKI Jakarta,” according to a Embassy press release (4/1).

Obama Administration Will Not Implement 2005 Federal Quarantine Regulations

The Obama administration will not implement federal quarantine regulations that were proposed “amid fears of avian flu” in 2005, USA Today reports. The regulations “would have expanded requirements for airlines to report ill passengers to the CDC and mandated that airlines collect and maintain contact information for fliers in case they later needed to be traced as part of an investigation into an outbreak.” In a statement, CDC spokesperson Christine Pearson, said HHS and the CDC are creating new regulations that will include additional lessons based on public health experiences since 2005 (Young, 4/1).

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