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Also In Global Health News: Tentative ARV Approval Under PEPFAR; 50 Years Of Peace Corps; Clean Water In Zimbabwe; Development In Southern Sudan

Matrix Laboratories Recieves Tentative FDA Approval To Provide Generic ARV Under PEPFAR

Pharmaceutical company Mylan announced on Tuesday that its “subsidiary Matrix Laboratories Ltd. has received tentative government approval for atazanavir sulfate capsules, an AIDS treatment that will be available in some developing countries,” Pittsburgh Business Times reports. “Atazanavir sulfate capsules are the generic version of Bristol Myers Squibb’s Reyataz capsules, which are used in combination with other medications to control HIV infection. … The Food and Drug Administration approved Matrix’s application for the product under” PEPFAR, the article continues (10/5). In a press release, Mylan President Heather Bresch said, “This approval is yet another step in improving access to quality, affordable treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries. Atazanavir has a distinct resistance profile compared with other protease inhibitors and is an important addition to the product portfolio being made available to patients in developing countries” (10/5).

Detroit Free Press Looks At Peace Corps’ Veterans Experiences

“This month, programs across the nation celebrate 50 years of international service through the Peace Corps. … Volunteers work to improve conditions in three primary areas: education, poverty and health,” the Detroit Free Press reports in a piece examining the experiences of people who have served in the Peace Corps over the years. One of the women profiled decided to become a nurse and work in public health after she lived next to a nurse midwife during her Peace Corps service in Malawi (Spratling, 10/5).

Zimbabwe Launches Inter-Ministerial Committee To Improve Hygiene, Sanitation

In Zimbabwe, “[m]ore than 60 percent of hand pumps in rural areas require repairs and more than 50 percent of rural population practises open defecation as their only form of sanitation,” Peter Salama, UNICEF’s representative in the country, said at the launch of the National Action Committee (NAC) on Water, an effort aimed at expanding water, sanitation and hygiene in the country, Radio VOP reports. Salama also “acknowledged the progress that had been made … 73 percent of Zimbabweans now had access to improved water while 60 percent could now access improved sanitary facilities” (10/4). Also at the launch, Water Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo said, “We need U.S. $434 million to rectify the infrastructure for water and sanitation,” ZimOnline reports. He called on the private sector to help the government provide clean water and sanitation (Nyamhangambiri, 10/5). “NAC has been mandated by cabinet as the co-ordinating body and official governance structure in water and sanitation. It is made up of nine ministries and led by Ministry of Water Resources and Development, with support from the international donor community, UNICEF and the World Bank,” according to a UNICEF press release (10/4).

AP Examines How Development Projects Prevented Widespread Hunger, Reduced Violence In Southern Sudan Town

Over the last six months, U.S.-funded construction projects have helped prevent a “brewing famine” in the town of Akobo in Southern Sudan, the Associated Press reports. “U.N. and U.S. officials championed the approach to resolving local conflict and building peace in this historically tense, heavily armed outpost during a weekend visit. … The Akobo projects present just a small sliver of good news in a region beset by poverty. More than 4 million people in Southern Sudan need food aid, and the U.N. estimates that more than 90 percent of the region’s 8 million to 13 million people live on less than a $1 day.” U.N. and U.S. officials say the approach could be used to prevent violence and promote development in other parts of Southern Sudan (Fick, 10/4).

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