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Also In Global Health News: Vaccination Hampered In Cote d’Ivoire; TB And Lung Cancer; HIV Testing, Counseling In Zambia; Reducing Child, Maternal Mortality In Ghana; Male Circumcision Campaign In Kenya

Political Unrest Hampering Cote d’Ivoire’s Yellow Fever Vaccine Campaign

“Unrest following Cote d’Ivoire’s presidential election is blocking a nationwide vaccination drive against yellow fever, a fatal mosquito-borne disease that is affecting people throughout the country,” IRIN reports. The immunization campaign – part of a global effort by WHO and UNICEF – has already been rescheduled twice because of violence. “[The vaccination drive] was set again for 10-15 January but now again it looks like that won’t be possible due to the insecurity,” John Mulangu, WHO-Africa advisor, told IRIN. Yellow fever vaccines are still being administered on a small scale to populations in Cote d’Ivoire, but WHO and local officials “said it was critical to cover the entire country” (1/5).

TB Patients 11 Times More Likely To Develop Lung Cancer, Study Says

“Tuberculosis patients are 11 times more likely than the average to develop lung cancer, according to a new study published by a group of Taiwanese scientists,” Agence France-Presse reports (1/5). Researchers tracked 716,872 adults for the study, including 4,480 people who had TB and 712,392 people who did not have the disease, ANI/Sify News reports. “Both groups were followed from 2001 through 2007. Results showed that patients with tuberculosis were 10.9 times more likely than non-tuberculosis patients to develop lung cancer,” according to the news service (1/3). “The findings, published in the January issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, support the notion of a link between tuberculosis and lung cancer, which has so far been suspected but not definitively proved,” AFP writes (1/5).

Survey Finds 24% Of Zambians Accessing HIV/AIDS Voluntary Counseling, Testing

A recent survey conducted in Zambia found that “only 24 percent of people are accessing Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT),” while 99 percent of teenagers and adults surveyed said they have received information on HIV/AIDS, Lusaka Times reports. The survey, which was conducted by “Corridors of Hope … an institution that provides VCT services and currently operat[es] in 10 districts around the country,” revealed that the “majority of people among the 24 percent who have had accessed voluntary HIV test, received the test and received the results are in the ages between 15 and 49,” Lusaka Times writes (1/5).

In Push To Meet MDGs, Ghana To Focus On Maternal, Child Mortality, Family Planning In 2011

Ghana’s ability to reduce child and maternal mortality “will be the only solution for the achievement of all the [U.N. Millennium Development Goals] MDGs by 2015,” Elias Sory, director-general of Ghana Health Service said Tuesday in an interview on the priority areas for the health sector in 2011, PEACE FM Online reports. “He explained that the maternal mortality rate in Ghana was currently 380 deaths per 100,000 live births and needed to ensure that it was reduced to 185 deaths per 100,000 live births whilst that of children reduced drastically. … The current child mortality rate is 68.5 deaths per 1,000 live births,” the news service writes. Sory also noted the role of family planning in efforts to achieve the MDGs (1/4).

40K Males In Kenya Circumcised During Recent HIV Prevention Initiative

More than 40,000 males were circumcised in Kenya during a recent government-sponsored initiative to help prevent HIV/AIDS, the Daily Nation reports. In total, “[m]ore than 250,000 males have been circumcised … giving Kenya the highest number of young men circumcised under the HIV prevention programme in the world,” according to the news service that adds the “programme hopes to reach 1.1 million males and prevent an estimated 900,000 new HIV infections for over 20 years” (1/3).

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