Editor’s note: this post was modified on August 29, 2012.
Here’s our survey of the week’s global health and development news:
UN calls for drought policies emphasizing more conservation, less consumption
The Washington Post, August 21, 2012
The world urgently needs to adopt drought-management policies as farmers from Africa to India struggle with lack of rainfall and the United States endures the worst drought it has experienced in decades, top officials with the UN weather agency said. The World Meteorological Organization says the US drought and its ripple effects on global food markets show the need for policies with more water conservation and less consumption. Read the article.
Cholera envelops coastal slums in west Africa
The New York Times, August 22, 2012
A fierce cholera epidemic is spreading through the coastal slums of West Africa, killing hundreds and sickening many more in one of the worst regional outbreaks in years, health experts said. Cholera, transmitted through contact with contaminated feces, was made worse this year by an exceptionally heavy rainy season that flooded the sprawling shantytowns in Freetown and Conakry, the capitals of Sierra Leone and neighboring Guinea. In both countries, about two-thirds of the population lack toilets, a potentially lethal threat in the rainy season because of the contamination of the water supply. Read the article.
New tests rapidly identify counterfeit medications
Voice of America, August 21, 2012
Counterfeit medications are a serious and sometimes deadly problem in developing countries. But two teams of US-based scientists have developed quick tests that can identify counterfeit drugs before they can cause harm. The World Health Organization estimates that 10 to 30 percent of drugs sold in developing countries are fake. Read the article.