Also In Global Health News: Sanitation In Burkina Faso; Faith-Based Organizations And HIV/AIDS; Conditional Cash Transfer Programs

Burkina Faso Boosts Sanitation Investment To Meet MDG

Burkina Faso will build 55,000 latrines each year to “improve access to proper sanitation for the population from the present 10 percent to 54 percent by 2015,” Inter Press Service reports. The health ministry highlighted that lack of access to toilets “leads to illness, notably diarrohea, which is responsible for 58 percent of child deaths in Burkina.” Through the new commitment, “Burkina Faso will invest 24 million dollars in each of the next five years. The government, which now spends $8 million a year thanks to support from donors, plans to double, even triple its own annual contribution of around $2 million from the national budget. The move comes after “finding that the pace of progress is insufficient” to attain the Millennium Development Goal on sanitation (Ouedraogo, 7/31).

IRIN/PlusNews Examines Role Faith-Based Organizations Play In Delivering Health Care In Africa

IRIN/PlusNews examines the role faith-based organizations (FBOs) play in delivering healthcare to populations in Africa, with a focus on HIV/AIDS treatment. FBOs “provide an estimated 30-70 percent of healthcare in Africa, says the health NGO, The Capacity Project,” making them key in the fight to control the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout communities, the news service writes. The article also looks at how “ideological beliefs can interfere with HIV response,” and polarize groups at high-risk for HIV/AIDS, and notes efforts to educate leaders of FBOs (7/30).

Economist Reports On How Conditional Cash Transfer Programs Can Alleviate Poverty

The Economist reports on the success conditional cash transfer programs (CCT) have had in driving down poverty in low- and middle-income countries. “These schemes give stipends and food to the poorest if they meet certain conditions, such as that their children attend school, or their babies are vaccinated. Ten years ago there were a handful of such programmes and most were small. Now they are on every continent … and they benefit millions,” the magazine writes. “CCTs also help the next generation. By requiring children to have lessons and health checks, the programmes should make children better educated and healthier than their parents.” Despite the success of CCTs, the article notes that the programs tend to have better outcomes in rural areas compared to urban ones, due to the fact “the problems of poverty are compounded by violence, drugs, family breakdown and child labour. These require different interventions: in law and order, in programmes to stop domestic abuse, and so on” (7/29).

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