Also In Global Health News: Mosquito Net Campaign In Sierra Leone; Disaster Prevention Spending In Asia; Health Worker HIV, TB Guidelines

$20M Mosquito Net Distribution Campaign Kicks Off In Sierra Leone

“Sierra Leone health workers Friday began a massive campaign to distribute three million mosquito nets in an effort to cut malaria by up to 40 percent in the country of six million people,” Agence France-Presse reports. The World Bank, the British Department for International Development, the Federation of the International Red Cross, the United Methodist Church and other partners are funding the $20 million campaign. A single net costs about $6 and last for up to five years, the news service writes. “UNICEF Immunization Specialist Nuhu Maksha explained that ‘every household in the country will receive one to three long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN) depending on the size of the family'” (11/27).

Asian Governments Must Increase Spending On Disaster Risk Reduction, U.N. Official Says

Asian governments need to allocate at least 1 percent of their budgets to disaster risk reduction measures, Margareta Wahlstrom, U.N. special representative on disaster risk reduction, said recently at a meeting of Asian parliamentarians in Manila, Philippines, Reuters reports. “Disaster risk reduction will contribute to reducing poverty through ensuring that people’s assets are not destroyed during disasters, particularly in countries were there is very low insurance coverage,” Wahlstrom said. “If we are going to achieve [Millennium Development Goal] targets for which governments have allocated some budget, perhaps we could consider increasing disaster risk reduction funds; otherwise you can’t achieve these goals,” she said (Mogato, 11/25).

WHO, International Labor Organization, UNAIDS Release Guidelines To Prevent Transmission Of HIV, TB To Health Workers

A new set of guidelines developed by the International Labor Organization, the WHO and UNAIDS “aim to protect health workers” from contracting HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, VOA News reports (Schlein, 11/25). “The 14 action points provided in the guidelines are based on respect for workers’ rights as well as practical workplace health and safety programmes to ensure a safer work environment, active participation of health workers as well as public and private health services employers. The guidelines also address challenges such as the high level of stigma and discrimination associated with both diseases,” according to a WHO press release. The organizations used “systematic literature reviews, international consultations and an assessment of current practices in 21 country-based studies” to create the guidelines, which also consolidate existing recommendations (11/19).

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