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Also In Global Health News: Sanitation In Asia; Cholera In Cameroon; Drought In Ethiopia; Namibia, Angola Malaria MoU; Typhoid Treatment

Lack Of Access To Sanitation In Asia Causing Preventable Diseases

Though Asia’s economies have quickly rebounded from the 2008-2009 global recession, “dismal sanitation facilities are causing preventable diseases in poor communities where people would readily spend money on a mobile phone – but not on a latrine,” according to social activists, Agence France-Presse reports.  Babar Kibir, director of Bangladesh-based BRAC’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme, or WASH, said people exposed to poor sanitary conditions are more vulnerable to illnesses – including diarrhea, malnutrition, dysentery, typhoid, and hepatitis – which can prevent them from finding regular employment and cause them to spend a large proportion of their small incomes on health care, the news service writes. Jack Sim, a Singaporean businessman who founded the World Toilet Organization, said solving the problem will take a concerted effort from charity groups, governments, businesses, banks, and non-governmental organizations (Abbugao, 5/2).

Cholera Outbreak In Cameroon Has Killed 135 People This Year

An outbreak of cholera in Cameroon has killed 135 people so far this year, with most of the 4,122 cases being reported close to the capital of Yaounde and the major port town of Douala, secretary of state for public health, Alim Hayatou, said in a statement on Monday, Bloomberg reports. The government has created cholera control centers in those areas with the help of Medecins Sans Frontieres (Lukong, 5/2). The charity Plan International on Sunday warned that the waterborne illness could infect up to 10,000 people nationwide, according AlertNet (5/1).

U.N. Agency Calls For Increased Assistance For Drought-Affected Ethiopia

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Friday in a news update called for increased assistance for approximately two million people affected by drought in Ethiopia, PANA/Afrique en ligne reports. U.N. agencies, in conjunction with national authorities and non-governmental organizations, are providing water, food, health care, veterinary services and livestock feed to households in need, according to the news agency (4/30). An OCHA-Ethiopia statement said a multi-agency national needs assessment would begin this month, one month prior to its scheduled start (4/25).

Namibia, Angola Sign Agreement To Collaborate In Malaria Fight

Namibia and Angola recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at strengthening cross-border initiatives to combat malaria, New Era reports. Richard Kamwi, Namibia’s minister of health and social services, and Jose Vandumen, Angola’s health minister, signed the MoU at a ceremony in Namacunde, Angola. “The aim of this initiative is to bring Namibia closer to elimination and give Angola the support to push its malaria control to the North until they reach elimination phase,” Kamwi said (4/27).

Study Finds New Drug Effective For Typhoid Treatment

“A large trial comparing treatments for typhoid has backed the use of gatifloxacin, an antibiotic launched by Bristol Myers Squibb in the United States but withdrawn amid worries about side effects,” Reuters reports. “We’re trying to gather evidence in favor of this drug for certain clear-cut indications in the developing world,” said study author Buddha Basnyat of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit and Patan Academy of Health Sciences. The study was published online in Lancet Infectious Diseases on Friday (Kelland, 4/28).

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