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AFRICA: Domestic investment in HIV up but uneven
19 July 2012 (IRIN ), Many sub-Saharan African nations - traditionally the beneficiaries of international HIV funding - are gradually increasing their financial contributions to the fight against the virus, boosting the number of people on treatment to record highs according to a new UNAIDS report, Together We Will End AIDS, released on 18 July.
LESOTHO: Illegal migrant miners risk lives for riches
16 July 2012 (IRIN ), Mohau Raphoka left his village, about 50km outside Lesotho’s capital, Maseru, with high hopes of striking it rich in South Africa. “I was so unlucky; I should be driving a flashy car by now,” he told IRIN, shortly after being deported from Welkom, a mining town in South Africa’s Free State Province.
SOUTH AFRICA: Activists protest as Novartis ruling approaches
12 July 2012 (IRIN ), At least a hundred protesters arrived at South Africa's parliament on 11 July to demonstrate their disapproval of the ongoing court case by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis against the Indian government over its patent laws. As the case draws to a close, health organizations say a win for the pharmaceutical company will be a loss to the developing world, which sources the bulk of its generic medicines from India.
SOUTH AFRICA: National Health Insurance falls short on health workers
11 July 2012 (IRIN ), As South Africa moves towards universal healthcare, health policy experts warn that the country has grossly underestimated the number of health workers it will need to ensure access to health services for everyone.
MIGRATION: Human smugglers profit as tragedies multiply
11 July 2012 (IRIN ), When Abdo Giro*, a 55-year-old evangelist minister and political dissident from southern Ethiopia, paid smugglers 55,000 birr (US$3,095) to take him from the Kenyan border town of Moyale to Johannesburg in South Africa, he was completely unprepared for the ordeal that lay ahead.
AFRICA: “Sexual refugees” struggle to access asylum
9 July 2012 (IRIN ), As a gay man living in Tanzania, Cassim Mustapha could have faced imprisonment, but prosecutions under the country's Sexual Offences Act are rare, and the bigger threat came from his own community. After one of his neighbours attacked him with an axe leaving a deep wound in his head, Mustapha fled and applied for asylum in Malawi, the first country he reached.
SOUTH AFRICA: First nurses trained to initiate MDR-TB treatment
19 June 2012 (IRIN ), South Africa will increasingly move towards nurse-initiated treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the next five years, and a programme in KwaZulu-Natal Province, which has a high HIV/TB burden, is already training nurses to manage MDR-TB patients.
SOUTH AFRICA: Overcrowding fuels TB in prisons
19 June 2012 (IRIN ), Tuberculosis (TB) rates in South Africa's prisons could be cut by up to 94 percent if the country reduced overcrowded conditions in cells and implemented active TB case finding, according to research presented at the recent South African TB Conference.
AFRICA: Donor fatigue forces WFP to cut refugee rations
19 June 2012 (IRIN ), The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has halved food rations to refugees living in camps in at least four African countries citing a funding shortfall.
RIO+20: The "landscape approach"
18 June 2012 (IRIN ), A new and awkward term is doing the rounds at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is "landscape science/ agriculture/ approach", which now embraces "eco-agriculture", "forest landscape restoration", "territorial development", "model forests", "foodsheds", "participatory watershed management", "community-based natural resource management", "biological corridors", and many other connected concepts.

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