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GLOBAL: Shortage of midwives “deadly”
5 May 2009 (IRIN ), The number of midwives worldwide would have to more than double to meet Millennium Development Goals of reducing maternal and infant deaths by 2015, according to the International Confederation of Midwives and World Health Organization on International Midwife Day.
WEST AFRICA: Regional bodies, governments gear up H1N1 influenza response
1 May 2009 (IRIN ), The World Health Organization’s Africa regional office has created a crisis management team to monitor the spread of influenza A/H1N1 virus, as WHO in Geneva raised the global influenza pandemic alert level to phase 5 – just short of a full pandemic. In West Africa regional organisations and governments are diffusing flu prevention information and gearing up to cope in case of an outbreak. No case of the influenza A/H1N1 virus has been detected in the region to date.
GLOBAL: New growth measures help fight infant mortality
29 April 2009 (IRIN ), New World Health Organization (WHO) growth standards will help to detect which infants are at risk of malnutrition much more quickly, allowing for faster and less costly intervention, say aid workers.
GLOBAL: “Barcoding” DNA to identify menacing mosquitoes
29 April 2009 (IRIN ), For years scientists have examined DNA fragments of animals and insects for biodiversity preservation, but researchers from the University of Ghana for the first time are using DNA “barcoding” – examining a small fraction of an organism’s DNA sequence – for disease control.
GLOBAL: Economic downturn puts treatment of millions at risk
29 April 2009 (IRIN ), After months of speculation about how the global economic downturn might affect HIV/AIDS programmes, a new World Bank report details the projected aftermath of the crisis and how it could place the treatment of more than 1.7 million at risk by year's end.
GLOBAL: When malaria rapid tests fail
25 April 2009 (IRIN ), World Health Organization (WHO) and the non-profit Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) have released the largest, independent laboratory evaluation of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for World Malaria Day, which shows that while some tests accurately detect even slight traces of malaria in tropical temperatures, others give false results, missing potentially life-saving diagnoses.
WEST AFRICA: Combating world's lowest literacy rates
22 April 2009 (IRIN ), Illiteracy rates in West Africa are the highest in the world, cramping development and weakening citizens’ power to effect socio-economic and political change, say education agencies, who are calling on governments and donors to step up literacy and education efforts.
GLOBAL: Less money for more work – the NGO double whammy
21 April 2009 (IRIN ), Non-profit organisations and NGOs are laying off staff and cutting back aid programmes as the global recession bites, and the prospects for 2010 also look bleak.
AFRICA: Migrants and meningitis – a moving threat
21 April 2009 (IRIN ), Health workers in northern Niger, a popular crossing for sub-Saharan migrants travelling to northern Africa and beyond, have reported an increase in migrants hospitalised for meningitis at the state’s regional hospital.
GLOBAL: Real men don’t cry – or do they?
20 April 2009 (IRIN ), Men don't cry. Men take risks. Men don't ask for help. Men are strong. Men have many sexual partners. These stereotypes of masculinity are contributing to the spread of HIV throughout the world, experts warned at a recent symposium on men and boys.

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