Also In Global Health News: Sri Lanka’s IDPs; Zimbabwe Doctor Strike; Nigerian HIV Marriages; Tracking Disease In India

Heavy Rains Worsen Health Conditions For IDPs In Sri Lanka

“Heavy rains exacerbated poor conditions for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) in northern Sri Lanka over the weekend,” IRIN reports. “From an epidemiological point of view, this is a public health disaster waiting to happen,” an international medical officer said, adding that there are concerns about the spread of diarrhea, dysentery and other waterborne diseases (8/17). According to CNN, an internal U.N. memo “painted a dismal picture for the refugees, who have been caught in mud flows and the runoff from flooded latrines.” Human Rights Watch on Tuesday urged Sri Lanka to “release hundreds of thousands of war refugees from camps hit by flooding over the weekend saying their lives were in danger from disease,” the Associated Press reports (8/18).

Zimbabwe Doctor’s Strike Impeding Ability To Deal With Swine Flu, Possible Cholera Outbreak

The doctor’s strike in Zimbabwe is “threatening the country’s ability to deal with” H1N1 and the “possible resurgence of a deadly cholera epidemic,” IRIN reports. At the country’s largest referral facility Parirenyatwa hospital in the capital of Harare, patients are being “turned away” because of staff shortages (8/17).

CNN Examines Program Encouraging Marriage Among HIV-Positive People In Nigeria

CNN examines a program in Nigeria that encourages people who are HIV-positive to marry each other in order to prevent the spread of the virus. The Bauchi State Agency for the Control of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, known as BACATMA, “offers to pay for the dowry, provide counseling and even employment within the agency. BACATMA officials hope that, by keeping HIV-positive couples together, they will keep AIDS from spreading to anyone not infected,” CNN writes, adding that UNAIDS argues that these marriages do not prevent the spread of AIDS (Purefoy, 8/17).

Nature News Examines Efforts Underway To Create CDC-Like Institute In India

Nature News examines the $110 billion effort underway in India to “convert its 100-year-old communicable diseases institute in New Delhi into the Indian equivalent of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia,” as described in an interview with one of the center’s directors, scientist Udaiveer Rana (Jayaraman, 8/17).

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