Health & Nutrition

Breaking the poverty trap – the power of cash grants

NEW YORK, 10 July 2014 (IRIN Global) - A cash injection of as little as US$12 per month for an impoverished family could determine whether a child eats properly or goes to school or not. With cash transfer programmes around the world now having a profound impact on the lives of poor people, the debate is less about whether to implement them than how to do so. full report

TB drug resistance signifies failure

LONDON, 9 July 2014 (IRIN Africa) - Tuberculosis control programmes are among the oldest public health campaigns (dating back 125 years) but are not nearly as successful as they should be. Despite effective drugs having been available for over 50 years, TB still kills a million people a year, making it the world's single deadliest infectious disease after AIDS. full report

A Sierra Leone hospital battles Ebola

KENEMA, 9 July 2014 (IRIN Africa) - Hasan Kamara patiently labels blood samples at the government hospital in Kenema, eastern Sierra Leone. The country, alongside neighbouring Guinea and Liberia, is currently experiencing the worst outbreak of Ebola on record, with 481 people having died from the incurable disease in the three countries as of 2 July. full report

Flooding threat adds to woes of IDPs in Myanmar's Rakhine State

YANGON, 7 July 2014 (IRIN Asia) - Recent heavy rain, coupled with the after-effects of a recent aid worker pull-out, is prompting health concerns in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State for the more than 140,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) mostly from the persecuted Muslim Rohingya minority. full report

Stark choice for many Afghans: sickness or debt

KABUL, 2 July 2014 (IRIN Asia) - The cost of health care is throwing many poor Afghans into a cycle of debt. While most now have access to basic public health care, the quality is so low that many patients seek out private services at a higher cost than they can afford - driving some of them further into poverty. full report

Text and voice messages help close Bangladesh health gap

DHAKA, 1 July 2014 (IRIN Asia) - Bangladesh is moving to boost maternal health services in poorly-served rural areas by targeting voice and text messages at expectant and pregnant mothers and their families. The aim is to educate and support mothers in places where health services are weak. full report

Increasing drug use strains Yemen’s services

SANA'A, 30 June 2014 (IRIN Middle East) - An influx of cheap counterfeit pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs, coupled with rising unemployment and an increasingly disillusioned society, is driving substance abuse in Yemen, placing a growing strain on already stretched health and policing services. full report

Lingering trauma impact of Timor-Leste’s violent past

DILI, 30 June 2014 (IRIN Asia) - Repeated bouts of violence in Timor Leste’s recent past and a persistent sense of injustice have had a lasting mental health impact, new research shows. Researchers say recovery may require more than therapeutic interventions. full report

Cape Town poor tap into new food markets

CAPE TOWN, 27 June 2014 (IRIN Africa) - It is a Saturday in Cape Town. In many parts of South Africa’s second largest metropolitan area people mill about, inspecting baby cabbages and shitake mushrooms at one of a dozen or so relatively new farmers’ markets trading in organic or “natural” and - perhaps equally important to these consumers - local produce. full report

Violence and displacement stretch Iraq's health services

ERBIL, 27 June 2014 (IRIN Middle East) - Hospitals and clinics in areas of fighting in central Iraq are struggling to operate at full capacity due to crossfire, electricity and fuel shortages, and an exodus of staff. Meanwhile, health services in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region, which is hosting hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the fighting between militants and government forces, are struggling to keep up with the needs of the displaced. full report

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