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Health

New Congress Likely to Favor Trade Pacts, Dismiss Proposed Treaties, say Analysts

When the 111th Congress ends within the next few weeks, many international initiatives will be left behind. Among them are several UN conventions thought to have the support of the administration, including the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Rights of the Child, and the Law of the Sea. Analyst Brett Schaefer of...

Mobile Health Technology Can Reach the Remotest Corners

A mobile phone with applications to detect cancer and tuberculosis, control sugar levels for diabetics and monitor vital signs. The champions of mobile health or "mhealth" technology are promising healthcare delivered through digital devices. The technology is already being used - in different degress - in many countrties. It's poised to improve...

Protecting Millions of Children from Killer Diseases

A new plan’s been announced to immunize 240-million additional children in developing countries over the next five years.  However, the project depends on raising billions of dollars in funding. The GAVI Alliance, a Geneva-based public private partnership, says millions of lives could be saved.  The project was announced in the Rwandan capital,...

More Affluent South Africans ‘Forced’ to Test for HIV at Public Clinics

People stare at the young woman as she enters the government clinic in a Johannesburg suburb. Some of them shuffle uncomfortably. She’s not like them. They seem disturbed by her presence. She’s dressed in fine clothes. Her face is made up. She doesn’t speak their language. Yet here she is, taking her seat among them on a hard plastic chair...

U.S. and South Africa to Host 2011 Microbicide Conference

The United States and South Africa have agreed to co-host a summit on microbicides next year.  The meeting follows this year’s successful trial of CAPRISA 004, a gel containing the antiretroviral Tenofovir, which was shown to protect women against HIV infection.  The research on CAPRISA 004 was conducted in South Africa. A successful microbicide...

Medical Aid Group says AIDS Progress Dealt Double Blow

The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says there are new obstacles to buying affordable AIDS drugs.  It says unless these problems can be overcome, “treatment recommendations cannot be implemented and new scientific research will remain unfulfilled.” Dr. Nathan Ford, medical coordinator for the group’s access to medicines campaign, says...

World AIDS Day: Saving Mothers, Saving Babies

The recent UNAIDS global report cited significant progress in preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.  It says there have been fewer infections and fewer deaths among women and their newborns.  One organization has played a major role in that success. The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation currently operates 5,000 sites in...

Discrimination and Stigmatization Hinders Access to AIDS Treatment

A new study by the United Nations Children's Fund says discrimination and stigmatization limit women and children getting access to HIV prevention, treatment and social protection. UNICEF is calling on the international community to step up efforts to provide universal access to lifesaving programs. The report says substantial progress is being...

Odinga Remarks Spark Persecution Fears for Kenya's Gay Community

Kenya's gay and lesbian communities say they are confused and worried after the country's prime minister called for the arrest of homosexuals.Recent statements made by Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga have many gay and lesbian activists concerned that the country's gains in civil rights could be erased. Speaking Sunday at a rally in Kenya's...

Kenya’s Government Launches Anti-Graft Investigation

The director of Kenya’s Anti-Corruption Authority told VOA his organization has begun investigating several high ranking officials, including cabinet ministers in the current administration, who have been accused of committing graft. PLO Lumumba, a constitutional law expert, also called upon Kenyans to get involved in the graft fight to weed out...

South Africa Assesses Progress in Fight Against AIDS

International AIDS Day provides an opportunity to examine the efforts to combat the deadly virus that attacks the human immune system. In South Africa, whose 5.7 million HIV victims make it the most affected country in the world, officials and activists are assessing an ambitious campaign launched by the government on AIDS Day (Dec 1st) last year...

Healthy Crop's Image Problem Gets a Makeover

It's delicious. It's nutritious. But in sub-Saharan Africa, the orange-fleshed sweet potato has an image problem. Unlike white- and yellow-fleshed varieties commonly found in Africa, orange sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A. These vitamin-packed root vegetables could help fight vitamin A deficiency in the developing world. According to the...

First National Muslim Award Conferred Friday in Ghana

The chief executive officer of Premium Debit Consult, a Ghana-based pro-Islamic organization, told VOA the first national Muslim awards scheduled for Friday aims to change negative perceptions of practicing Muslims in that country. Laurat Pessah said there is a need to promote, in her words, a high level of positive self-spirit and confidence in...

New HIV, TB Guidelines Designed to Protect Health Workers

United Nations agencies say millions of health workers around the world are at risk of becoming infected with HIV and tuberculosis while treating the sick. New guidelines developed by the International Labor Organization, World Health Organization and UNAIDS aim to protect health workers from these occupational hazards. There are more than 60...

AIDS: Delaying Treatment has Health and Financial Costs

A new study says delaying treatment for people infected with HIV can have long-term health and financial consequences.  The findings add to the debate over when anti-retroviral treatment should begin. A growing body of research says starting HIV-infected people on drug treatment sooner is better for the patient.  Initially, the drugs were given...