Avoiding the M.D. “brain drain” The Obama administration announced that the U.S. will donate $130 million to 30 African medical schools and teaching hospitals – and a group of American medical schools who have agreed to collaborate with them – over the next five years to improve medical education on the continent.
The shot heard around the world: Anti-vaccination scares in South Africa, generated in part by coverage in the developed world, have led to an unwillingness to receive the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR). With limited medical services, this decision has been disastrous, leading to thousands of new cases of measles and hundreds of deaths.
Highs and lows: The 2010 Global Hunger Index (GHI) found that eight out of the nine countries where hunger is increasing are from Sub-Saharan Africa. The Democratic Republic of Congo had the biggest increase in hunger levels which rose there by 65 percent, while Ethiopia, Ghana and Mozambique have all shown an improvement over the last 10 years.
A word of advice: African governments should avoid rushing into big land lease deals with foreign investors or risk deepening poverty and ramping up social tensions, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Office, echoing claims by rights groups who argue that the ‘land grab’ trend is reducing access to food for some of the world’s poorest people.
Thirst-quenching: Europe announced an $86 million dollar aid package to help Namibia improve schooling and offer drinking water and sanitary facilities for the 86 percent of rural households lack access to proper sanitation facilities.