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Also In Global Health News: Reports Of Misuse Of Global Fund Grants; 2007-2008 Food Crisis; Polio Vaccination Drive In Uganda

Southern Times Examines Reports Of Misuse Of Global Fund Grants In Zambia

The Southern Times reports that Zambia has been named one of four African countries identified by the Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector General to have misused a combined amount of $25 million in grants. As was first reported by Lancet World Report, the newspaper writes, “Zambia had the highest amount with almost $12 million in ineligible expenditures identified and $1 million in non-delivered goods. In Cameroun about $3 million was reported to have been abused, $4 million in Mali while an amount of $6.7 million was identified in Mauritania as unaccounted for” (11/22). Lancet World Report examines how concerns over how the Global Fund was responding to such reports of fraud were behind Sweden’s decision to withhold its Global Fund pledge last month (Usher, 11/13).

Study Hints At Key Factors That Caused 2007-2008 Food Crisis

Researchers hope that a new International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) study that examines the factors that contributed to the 2007-2008 food crisis will help better prepare against such outcomes in the future, Inter Press Service reports. “The IFPRI study cites a ‘perfect storm’ of factors [contributing to the crisis]: rising energy prices, demand for biofuels, depreciation of the U.S. dollar, and a variety of trade shocks such as panic purchases, export restrictions and unfavorable weather,” the news service writes. The article compares current trends in rising food costs to circumstances in 2007-2008 and describes the report authors’ recommendations for how to protect against food crises in the future (Berger, 11/19).

WHO, UNICEF, Ugandan Government Launch Polio Vaccination Drive Targeting 2M Children

The Ugandan Ministry of Health, together with the WHO and UNICEF on Friday launched the first-round of a three-round polio immunization campaign targeting two million children ages five and under, New Vision reports. The exercise “will cover 48 districts in the east, northeast and northern Uganda, which are said to be at high risk of polio,” according to the newspaper (11/19). “Two more polio immunization rounds will take place in Uganda from 11 to 13 December and from 15 to 17 January 2011,” U.N. News Centre writes. “Health workers are also being mobilized in the target districts to educate mothers and community members about the safety and life saving effects of the polio vaccine,” the news service writes (11/19).

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