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AFRICA: Improve coordination, funding for disaster risk reduction, governments urged
12 May 2009 (IRIN ), Better coordination between countries and aid agencies is necessary to improve preparedness and response to local and trans-boundary disasters, delegates at the second Africa meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction, held in Nairobi, said.
AFRICA: Tsetse fly costs agriculture billions every year
12 May 2009 (IRIN ), Each year in Africa the tsetse fly causes more than US$4 billion in agriculture income losses, kills three million livestock and infects up to 75,000 people with trypanosomiasis, according to the UN. Though sterilising the flies may help wipe out the offending parasite, it is a long, expensive process that is losing experts to other more well-funded health research, according to scientists.
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.
GLOBAL: Obama expands health agenda, but not funding
8 May 2009 (IRIN ), At a time when many Americans are preoccupied with the economic crisis on their doorsteps, President Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve US$63 billion for global health over the next six years.
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.
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.
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.
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: “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: 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.

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