Also In Global Health News: PEPFAR-Supported Programs In Uganda; Cholera In Nigeria; $275M For Jordan’s Water Supply; Recovered Global Fund Money In Uganda; Maternal Health In India; Malnutrition In Yemen

PEPFAR Awards $250M To Uganda For HIV/AIDS Treatment, Prevention Programs

The U.S. government, through PEPFAR, has provided “eleven new awards [which] amount to a quarter of a billion dollar investment over five years” to Uganda “in support” of the country’s HIV/AIDS response, a U.S. Mission press release states (10/21). Uganda’s New Vision reports that the funds will be used for antiretroviral treatment, prevention programs and other services across the country. “At least 770,000 people living with HIV/AIDS and those affected will benefit from the donation,” which includes grants to 10 Kampala city clinics, teaching hospitals, the African Medical Research Foundation, the Programme for Accessible Health Communication and Education and the National Transfusion Services, which “screens and ensures safety of donated blood (Mugisa, 10/24).

Cholera Caseload Spikes In Nigeria; Highest In Recent Years

“Nigeria is reporting its highest caseloads of cholera in recent years, 38,173 cases, including 1,555 deaths as of October 20,” said UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado, Agence France-Presse reports. Noting that the country has experienced a “three-year-old surge,” AFP continues, [t]he average death rate in Nigeria i[s] about 4.5 percent, but it rises over 10 percent in at least three states that are affected by flooding and are home to large numbers of displaced people” (10/23). “At least 40,000 people have contracted the disease, three times the number of reported cases in 2009 and seven times the number in 2007, the United Nations Children’s Fund said,” and about 80 percent of people infected are women and children, according to the Red Cross, United Press International writes (10/23). A U.N. press release adds that UNICEF is “supporting efforts to promote hygiene” and providing supplies to flood affected-communities, and the WHO is providing “technical support” to the country’s Ministry of Health (10/22).

U.S. Pledges $275M To Improve Jordan’s Water Supply

The U.S. will commit $275 million, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), to improve Jordan’s water supply, Agence France-Presse reports. “The project will look at the efficiency of water delivery as well as treatment and collection of wastewater,” the news service writes, noting that Jordan is “one of the closest U.S. partners in the Middle East” (10/23). According to a State Department press release, the grant, which is aimed at reducing poverty, will be signed by MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes and Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Najja and witnessed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judah at the State Department on Monday (10/22).

$400,000 Of Misappropriated Global Fund Money Recovered, Uganda Health Ministry Says

Uganda’s health ministry on Wednesday “released a new list of individuals and institutions that have refunded the Global Fund money,” after an investigation in 2005 revealed mismanagement of the funds meant for programs in the country aimed at fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, New Vision/ reports. “According to the list of recoveries submitted to the public accounts committee yesterday by the ministry’s accounting officer, Kyambadde Ssenyongo, sh1b [$400,000] has been recovered of the sh3b [$1,200,000] misappropriated. … Ssenyongo was appearing before the committee to answer questions raised in the auditor general’s report to parliament for the year 2008. The report raised issues of unsupported expenditures, forged accountabilities, unaccounted for funds and questionable payments for travels” (Karugaba/Tumwesigye, 10/21).

India To Pay Pregnant Women, Mothers Who Get Health Checks, Vaccination

A new welfare program in India will pay pregnant and breastfeeding women in India $270 over six months if they undergo regular health checks and make sure vaccines are up to date, BBC reports. Aiming to reduce maternal mortality in the country, more than one million women are eligible for the program, “which will cover most parts of the country and will cost the government nearly $223m,” according to the BBC. The news service notes that India has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world, according to the U.N. – “a woman giving birth is 36 times more likely to die in India than her equivalent in a developed country” (Singh, 10/21).

UNICEF Concerned About Child Malnutrition Rates In Yemeni Province

UNICEF recently highlighted the elevated rates of child malnutrition in the conflict-affected northern Yemeni province of Sa’ada, Saba Net reports (10/20). “A UNICEF-supported survey carried out by the Yemen’s public health and population ministry and released earlier this month showed that almost half of the 26,246 children aged between six and 59 months in five districts in western Sa’ada were suffering from acute malnutrition, the agency said in a press release,” U.N. News Centre writes (10/21). “Overall, 17 percent of the children screened suffer from severe acute malnutrition and 28 percent from moderate acute malnutrition,” the UNICEF press release states. “Malnutrition is the main underlying cause of death for young children in Yemen … As winter approaches, thousands of children are at serious risk if we are not able to act immediately,” said Geert Cappelaere, the agency’s representative in Yemen (10/20).

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