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Also In Global Health News: Laura Bush; Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill; Maternal, Child Health In Senegal; Birth Control; Zimbabwe’s Orphans Of HIV/AIDS

Former First Lady Laura Bush Comments On Global Health During Q&A With Politico

Politico features a Q&A with former first lady Laura Bush, in which she reflects on her involvement with PEPFAR and the President’s Malaria Initiative, during her husband’s presidency, and her continued interest in the health issues facing Sub-Saharan Africa. Bush discusses the importance of extending health services to women seeking care during childbirth in developing countries – a topic she said the Bush Institute would address at a forum around the United Nations General Assembly in September. “[F]or many in developing countries, that might be the only time they would seek medical attention,” Bush said. “And so it’d be a good chance to do all sorts of screenings, including HIV screening, but breast cancer screening and the teaching of nutrition and the sanitation, hand washing, other things like that” (Allen, 5/10).

Ugandan Special Committee Recommends Country’s Anti-Gay Bill Be Pulled

“A special committee organized by the president of Uganda has recommended that a harsh antihomosexuality bill that has drawn the ire of Western governments be withdrawn from Parliament, a senior government official said Saturday,” the New York Times reports. Adolf Mwesige, chairman of the special committee, “said that virtually all clauses in the legislation were either unconstitutional or redundant, and that any other clauses should be placed in another bill dealing generally with sexual offenses. … Though the panel’s ruling is not the final word, analysts saw it as a strong sign that the bill would eventually be dropped,” according to the newspaper (Kron, 5/8).

Toronto Star Reports On Clinic Providing Maternal, Child Health Care In Senegal

Amid the “now-politicized debate in Canada over how to best reduce maternal and child mortality in poor countries,” the Toronto Star reports on a clinic in Pikine, Senegal, east of the capital city of Dakar, where women can access contraceptives and prenatal care, deliver babies and acquire follow-up care and vaccinations for their children. The piece reflects on maternal and child mortality rates in Senegal and features comments from health workers on the ground in reaction to the ongoing debate over whether or not to fund abortions as part of the G8 maternal and child health strategy (MacCharles, 5/8).

Deutsche Welle Explores Birth Control Access In Developing Countries

Deutsche Welle looks at the challenges women in developing countries often face in acquiring birth control 50 years after the FDA first approved the use of oral contraceptives in the U.S. The piece examines the social pressure women are under to have children and the limited amount of information about oral contraceptives available to women in some developing countries. “Most family planning advocates say continuing education is crucial – educating women and men about their bodies, reproduction, and the benefits of keeping the size of the family small,” the news service writes (James, 5/7).

Al Jazeera Examines HIV/AIDS Orphans’ Toll On Zimbabwe’s Elderly

Al Jazeera examines the toll “almost 1.2 million children” orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe are having on the country’s elderly population. As the piece describes, parents who have died from HIV/AIDS often leave their children in the care of their mother’s, who have little to support the children. The article describes a program in the country created to help ease the burden on the country’s grandmothers (Khan, 5/7).

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