Also In Global Health News: Texting4Health; Uganda HIV/AIDS; Brain Drain And Needle Safety In Africa

Daily Monitor Reports On Success, Expansion Of Pilot Study Using Health Text Messages 

The Daily Monitor reviews the success of the recent 10-day “Texting4Health” pilot study in Uganda that used cell phones to “gauge the basic health knowledge” of subscribers to the MTN network. According to the newspaper, the study, which was funded by the U.N. and the Ministry of Health, plans to expand into additional networks after presenting data from the pilot study at an upcoming meeting in Geneva (Richards, 7/16).

Over 91,000 Newly Identified Cases Of HIV In Uganda Last Year

New Vision examines a Ugandan report released Thursday which says there were 91,546 newly identified cases of HIV among adults in 2008. Speaking in Kampala, during the release of the report, presidency minister Beatrice Wabudeya “advocated for increasing the level of HIV/AIDS knowledge in the communities” (Bugembe, 7/15).

West Africa
Concerned About Brain Drain, Disease, Poverty

The Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) recently “expressed concern” about growing rates of brain drain, disease and poverty in African countries, and urged leaders to intervene, Vanguard/ reports. Yahaya Sandari, ECOWAS’ Committee on Health and Social Services chairman, said increasing cases of AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and polio are significantly impacting the economic growth of member countries and “that Africa bears 24 percent of [the global] health burden and the same Africa only has 3 percent of medical staff on its territory” (Edike, 7/15).

Needle Misuse Common In Africa, Millions At Risk, Health Experts Say

Millions of people are at risk of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C because of improper needle use in African health facilities, said health experts at the Africa Health Conference in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, IRIN reports. According to UNICEF, 50 percent of the 16 billion injections administered annually in developing countries are unsafe. According to IRIN, about half the syringes used in Africa are reused. The WHO estimates that about 5 percent of new HIV cases could be due to syringe re-use (7/14).

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