Also In Global Health News: Maize Loss In Zimbabwe; Preterm, Stillbirth Research; Public Health Insurance In Kenya

Dry Spell In Zimbabwe Forces Government To Declare 11 Percent Of Maize Crop A ‘Write-Off’

According to a crop assessment report released Wednesday, “Zimbabwe’s government has declared 11 percent of its 2009/10 planted maize crop a write-off after it was badly damaged by a dry spell, and repeated calls for urgent imports,” Reuters reports. To avert food shortages, the report called for the importation of 500,000 tons of maize, “echoing calls by Agriculture Minister Joseph Made earlier this month,” the news service writes (Dzirutwe, 2/24).

News Outlets Report On New Preterm Birth, Stillbirth Research

New outlets continued to cover Tuesday’s research on preterm births and stillbirths.

Inter Press Service reported on the research launch. “Experts emphasise the biggest problem facing policymakers and healthcare professionals who seek to reduce preterm and stillbirths is the difficulty in getting low-cost, proven, healthcare solutions to pregnant women. Dr. Eve Lackritz, chief of the Maternal and Infant Health Branch at the [CDC], defined one of the key questions as, ‘What are the cultural situations which are not allowing women to access healthcare?’ at the report’s release Tuesday” (Clifton, 2/23).

In an effort to address a lack of understanding about why some babies are born dead, IRIN reports that U.S. researchers late last year launched a “tissue-collection … and plan to expand it to India and Africa.” According to the news service, “The goal is to collect samples of maternal blood, urine, vaginal and amniotic fluid, which surrounds the foetus during pregnancy, umbilical cord blood, and placental tissue from 6,000 pregnant women” (2/23).

Daily Nation Examines Plan To Transform Public Health Insurance In Kenya

The Daily Nation examines a proposal underway in Kenya to transform the country’s public health insurance. “Poor Kenyans’ access to health care is to be made easier once a planned universal insurance scheme is launched,” writes the newspaper which adds that the changes could be rolled out within four months (Cheboi, 2/23).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.