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Also In Global Health News: Sec. Clinton In Yemen; China’s Ability To Track Outbreaks; Global Health Interests Among Medical Residents; Children Of Sex Workers

During Surprise Stop In Yemen, Sec. Clinton To Highlight U.S. Commitment To Country’s Development

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Yemen Tuesday “on a diplomatically sensitive mission to broaden America’s relationship with this impoverished Arab country, a haven for Al Qaeda that has nurtured several recent terror plots against the United States,” the New York Times reports (Landler, 1/11). “In the first trip by a U.S. secretary of state to Yemen in 20 years, Clinton plans to expand her agency’s role in the country and urge its leader, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, to tackle long-term challenges, such as dwindling water and oil supplies, and allow greater political freedom,” Bloomberg reports (Gaouette/Salama, 1/11). Additionally, “Clinton … planned to speak to an audience of students and legislators that she hoped would send a message of American solidarity with Yemen on economic aid and counterterrorism, while also challenging the government to do more to protect the rights of girls and women,” according to the New York Times (1/11). “‘It’s not enough to have military-to-military relations,’ [Clinton] said earlier on a five-day tour of the Gulf Arab region,” Agence France-Presse reports. “We need to try to broaden the dialogue,” she said. “Washington says it is running programmes aimed at increasing jobs, helping farmers, building schools and improving health care for Yemenis who lack adequate services in remote regions,” according to the news service (Carmichael, 1/11).

Despite Advances, China’s Ability To Detect New Outbreaks Remains ‘Underdeveloped,’ Health Officials Report

“Despite advances made since the emergence of SARS and avian flu, China’s ability to detect new outbreaks remains ‘underdeveloped,'” Zijian Feng, director of emergency response at China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. health officials wrote in an article published in the journal Health Affairs last week, the New York Times reports. The article notes that though “billions have been spent” on improving laboratories in the country since 2003, many of the country’s 20,000 hospitals are lacking when it comes to their ability to collect and forward specimens for further analysis of disease. “The system has some ability to track cholera and flu, but it is particularly weak at ‘fingerprinting’ antibiotic-resistant bacteria and linking hospital data,” the newspaper writes (McNeil, 1/10).

Boston Globe Examines Medical Residents’ Increased Interest In Global Health

The Boston Globe reports on the trend among medical students to engage in global health: “According to a March 2010 article in the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, the percentage of graduating medical students participating in global health electives has risen from 6 to 30 percent in the past 25 years. The American Academy of Family Physicians lists almost 80 international programs for residents, some with rotations in several countries.” The article describes the experience of a medical resident at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) working in India, as part of a “partnership between and Mission of Mercy Hospital & Research Centre in Kolkata.” According to the newspaper, “As part of the assessment project, medical residents talk with patients and doctors at 14 Mercy clinics about the challenges they face and how care could be improved” (Ungar/Dhar, 1/10).

IRIN Reports On Challenges Children Of Sex Workers Face

Although “sex workers have been a major focus in HIV prevention and treatment … their children have been largely ignored,” IRIN/PlusNews writes in an article examining some of the challenges such children face, including “HIV risks including early sexual debut, low school enrolment, parental abandonment and psychological issues, including social marginalization, related to their mothers’ work.” The article describes a program in Zambia, called the Tasintha Programme, that reaches out to sex workers as well as their children, offering HIV testing, treatment and support (1/10).

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