Also In Global Health News: Sleeping Sickness; Aid For Philippines; U.S., China In Africa; Polio Eradication In Afghanistan; Ethiopia Famine

Lancet Infectious Diseases Examines Hold-Ups In Implementation Of Sleeping Sickness Therapy

Lancet Infectious Diseases Newsdesk examines how despite evidence that a new therapy to treat sleeping sickness, called nifurtimox—eflornithine (NECT) is a step forward in treating the disease, it has yet to be implemented by countries “13 months after data from a successful trial was presented.” The main issue at hand – “nifurtimox is not registered for use in sleeping sickness,” the journal writes. The article also examines other factors complicating the implementation of the therapy (Morris, 12/09).

U.N. Doubles Appeal For Aid For Philippines

“The United Nations on Wednesday nearly doubled its appeal for funds to help the Philippines cope with the effects of back-to-back storms that left over 1,100 people dead and 1.7 million homeless,” Agence France-Presse reports (11/17). “Donors have only handed over $26 million in funding to date – about 36 percent of the original $74 million requested, or 18.6 percent of the revised $143.7 million, according to the U.N.,”IRIN reports. The article examines how the storms have compromised health, food and shelter in the region (11/18).

CNN Examines U.S., China Influence In Africa

In light of President Barack Obama’s recent meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, CNN looks at the two countries’ policies and activities in Africa. According to CNN, “Some analysts say Africa gives the U.S. and China a chance not necessarily to compete but to cooperate and to make vital changes on a developing continent. Zha Daojiong, Professor of International Relations at Peking University, says the U.S. and China should consider working together on humanitarian issues, including health care and food security” (Chang, 11/17).

Afghanistan Could Eradicate Polio With 2 Years, WHO Official Says

The WHO is working towards eradicating polio in Afghanistan within two years, Peter Graaf, head of the WHO’s polio mission, said on Tuesday, Reuters reports. “The way we’re going about it now, I would say if we manage to continue with the current overall trend, then we should be able to make Afghanistan polio-free within two years,” Graaff said, adding that polio could be eliminated from the country in six months if vaccination teams didn’t have any restrictions. According to the news service, “it could still take up to three years before [Afghanistan] is formally declared polio-free because cases could still be imported from neighbouring Pakistan, where it remains widespread” (Bayoumy, 11/17).

Times Examines Disputed Ethiopian Famine

The Times of London looks at the disputed scale of the hunger situation in Ethiopia. “In Addis Ababa, Ethiopian and Western officials voice disapproval of doom-laden reports that fail to acknowledge the progress being made, or the differences in scale between the famine of 1984, which killed a million people, and the situation today. In private they acknowledge that [Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi] and his Government are deliberately frustrating and delaying official assessments of the scale of the country’s humanitarian needs and blocking access to some areas where the situation is worst,” the newspaper writes (Elliott, 11/18).

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