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Also In Global Health News: Libya Food Shortage; PMTCT In Swaziland; TB Detection In U.K.; Food Issues In Foreign Policy Magazine

Libya At Risk Of Serious Food Shortage Within Two Months, WFP Says

Libya will run out of food within two months unless efforts are stepped up to get shipments into the war-torn country, the World Food Program (WFP) warned on Thursday, Deustche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. Daly Belgasami, WFP’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, “said a U.N. assessment team found this week that Libyans are at risk of ‘full-blown food security crisis’ within 45-60 days if steps are not taken to immediately increase the flow of commercial goods,” according to the news service (4/28). In a statement earlier this week, WFP warned, “The longer the conflict lasts, the more likely that the number of those in need of food assistance will increase,” the U.N. News Centre reports (4/28).

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, USAID To Support Swaziland PMTCT HIV Program

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, in conjunction with USAID, has announced a collaborative effort to support the Swaziland Ministry of Health’s five-year, $12 million plan to eliminate mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV in the country, the Swazi Observer reports (Masilela, 4/29).  The Eliminating Pediatric AIDS in Swaziland (EPAS) program “will expand the availability of comprehensive services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, reduce missed opportunities for delivery of services, and better address cultural norms that keep some women from obtaining these services,” according to an EGPAF press release.  Swaziland has an estimated adult HIV prevalence of 26 percent, with 42% of pregnant women who receive prenatal care testing HIV-positive, the release states (4/26).

U.K. Could Identify More TB Cases Among Immigrants With Policy Change, Researchers Say

The United Kingdom could identify 92 percent of immigrants with latent tuberculosis if it widened its screening criteria to include “everyone under 35 years immigrating from countries with TB rates of 150 per 100,000 or more,” researchers wrote in a Lancet Infectious Diseases study, GP Online reports (Robinson, 4/28). Looking at screening techniques and results from three clinics in areas with high levels of TB among immigrants, the researchers “suggested that the current rules for TB screening were missing 71 percent of cases of latent TB, which may prove costly to treat if they develop into an active form of the disease,” according to New Scientist. The researchers said a new, expanded policy would cost little to implement and suggested it “would actually save money, because it may cost a lot more to deal with cases of full-blown TB arising from latent infections” and testing everyone those people have been in contact with, the news service writes. “However, the group has not yet carried out a full cost analysis to confirm that extra screening is cheaper in the long run,” New Scientist adds (Hamzelou, 4/27).

Foreign Policy Feature Highlights Key Players In Changing How World Views Food

A Foreign Policy feature story examines “[t]hree ways the way we eat can save the planet” by highlighting three key players in food. Mark Bittman, an author and columnist for the New York Times, advocates eating less meat and laws to regulate the meat industry. Alice Waters, “the doyen of the American sustainable food movement,” talks about her efforts to educate children about farming and cooking. And “the literate philosopher-chef Dan Barber,” who is working with Cornell University researchers “to conduct new trials of yet-unnamed breeds” of vegetables and “seek[ing] to combine ancient techniques and appreciation for land and culture with the possibilities that agricultural engineering provides,” according to Foreign Policy (Pauker, 4/28).

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