Also In Global Health News: PNG, Nepal Outbreaks; Taliban OKs Polio Vaccination; Technology Helps In Developing Countries; Satellite Images For Malaria Control

Outbreaks Strain Papua New Guinea’s Health System

VOA News examines the ongoing struggle for Papua New Guinea’s health system to treat thousands of people infected by the “simultaneous outbreaks of influenza, dysentery and cholera that have killed about 120 people.” The article includes information about the difficulties heath officials are having in assessing the various outbreaks and concerns of medical workers that conditions may soon worsen (Mercer, 9/14).

Financial Times Examines Factors Contributing To Nepal’s Cholera, Diarrhea Epidemic

The Financial Times reports on the contributing factors to Nepal’s cholera and diarrhea epidemic. The article includes information on the difficulty health workers face when trying to get treatment to patients in remote villages in the county and accusations that the government has mismanaged the supply and distribution of medicines and failed to educate the public on ways to protect themselves from the disease (Pradhan, 9/14).

Taliban Endorses 3-Day Polio Drive In Afghanistan

IRIN examines the Taliban’s recent endorsement of a three-day polio drive in “areas under their influence” in Afghanistan. According to the news service, “The insurgents issued a ‘letter of support’ through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) before the immunization campaign started on 13 September, an official working for an international aid agency [said].” The immunization campaign hopes to reach over one million children under age five in southern, southeastern, western and eastern parts of the country, IRIN reports (9/14).

Software Utilized In Developing Countries Wins Wall Street Journal 2009 Technology Innovation Award

The Wall Street Journal reports on the winners of the newspaper’s 2009 Technology Innovation Awards, including a product known as EpiSurveyor, “free software for mobile devices designed to help health officials in developing countries collect health information.” The software, created “with support from the United Nations Foundation and the Vodafone Foundation,” allows health workers to quickly “collect information—about immunization rates, vaccine supplies or possible disease outbreaks” to track the spread of a disease and assess the need for new medicines or medical supplies. The software has been introduced in more than 20 African countries, according to the newspaper (Totty, 9/14).

The Toronto Star Examines Use Of Satellite Images For Malaria Control 

The Toronto Star examines how two researchers are using satellite images, captured at 700 kilometers above the Earth, to determine the presence of malaria in certain areas as a means of allocating resources. “Insecticide-treated nets are the main weapons against malaria,” but “the biggest challenge is knowing where to hand out the nets,” which is where the satellite images coming, the newspaper writes (Hart, 9/13).

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