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AFRICA: Tractored out by “land grabs”?
11 May 2009 (IRIN ), Rich countries and firms are leasing or buying massive tracts of land in developing nations for the production of food or biofuel.
AFRICA: No A (H1N1) cases - reality or poor lab facilities?
8 May 2009 (IRIN ), No Influenza A (H1N1)cases have yet been confirmed in Africa, causing medical experts to question whether this is due to good luck or the continent’s lack of fully-equipped influenza testing facilities.
GAMBIA: Luring fishermen back to the sea
7 May 2009 (IRIN ), Dwindling stocks and profits are driving thousands of young Gambian fishermen out of the industry but the government hopes to lure them back through tighter regulation and greater investment.
AFRICA: Disaster preparedness “woefully inadequate”
6 May 2009 (IRIN ), Ineffective disaster management systems, poor funding and lack of relevant data for planning risk-reduction activities have taken their toll on sub-Saharan African countries, specialists said.
WEST AFRICA: “Pleasure hospital” under construction for FGM/C victims
6 May 2009 (IRIN ), Construction has begun of West Africa’s first clinic for reconstructing clitorises for victims of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Amid high demand, the US non-profit Clitoraid is funding the clinic, dubbed “Pleasure Hospital”, in Bobo-Dioulasso, western Burkina Faso.
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.

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