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Also In Global Health News: U.S. Grant To Uganda; Reproductive Health In Philippines; Counterfeit Drugs

U.S. Grants Uganda $246M In Aid To Improve Agricultural, Health Systems

The U.S. Embassy in Uganda announced a grant of $246 million in new aid for improving the Uganda’s agricultural and health systems, Reuters reports. “More than $170 million will be spent on health and education to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic, fight tuberculosis, eradicate malaria, improve maternal and child health and increase access to family planning and reproductive health services,” the news service writes (Biryabarema, 10/27). Roughly $35 million “will be used to expand economic opportunities for farmers, encourage trade and investment, promote private sector competitiveness, and assist in environment conservation,” New Vision/allAfrica.com reports (Musoke, 10/26).

New York Times Examines Debate Over Reproductive Health Services In Philippines

The New York Times examines an ongoing debate in the Philippines over reproductive services. Currently, abortion is illegal in the country and the majority of the population is too poor to pay for birth control and other related services. Legislation currently before the Philippine Congress “would require governments down to the local level to provide free or low-cost reproductive health services, including condoms, birth control pills, tubal ligations and vasectomies,” and “mandate sex education in all schools, public and private, from fifth grade through high school,” the newspaper writes. The article includes arguments from both sides of the debate to expand reproductive services (Conde, 10/25).

Global Post Examines Counterfeit Drugs In Southeast Asia

“Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are widespread in Southeast Asia, sold for cheap on the street or in rural mom-and-pop markets. Though Viagra is one of the most common knock-offs, it’s much less worrisome than fake meds to fight malaria, tuberculosis and even HIV. They often contain little or no active ingredient. The result: Sickness, fatalities and a host of drug-resistant viruses,” Global Post reports in article examining “pharmo-piracy” in the region. “The scope of counterfeit meds is difficult to gauge. But the World Health Organization has said that, in the worst-affected parts of Southeast Asia, as many as 30 percent of pharmaceuticals are lacking the stated active ingredient” (Winn, 10/23).