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U.N.: Half of World's Rural Populations cannot Access Health Care

More than half the population of rural areas worldwide do not have access to basic health care, with four in five rural Africans lacking services, the United Nations said Monday.

In the first report of its kind, the UN's International Labour Organization found that the rural-urban divide was omnipresent from the richest countries down to the poorest.

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SLeone Marks Low-Key Independence Day with Post-Ebola Plan

Sierra Leone marked the 54th anniversary of its independence on Monday by setting out a four-point "post-Ebola plan" to put the devastated country on the road to recovery from the deadly epidemic.

Almost 4,000 deaths have been registered since the epidemic spread from Guinea a year ago, although health authorities admit the real toll could be significantly higher.

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Instant Self-Test HIV Kit on Sale in Britain

Britain's first legally-approved HIV self-testing kit went on sale online on Monday, promising a result in just 15 minutes with a 99.7 percent accuracy rate.

Developers hope the BioSure HIV Self Test will help identify the estimated 26,000 people in Britain who have HIV but do not yet know.

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More Deaths in Nigeria 'Local Gin' Poisoning

A total of 23 people have now died from ethanol poisoning blamed on locally brewed gin in southwest Nigeria, the local health commissioner said on Monday.

"The total number of deaths is 23," Ondo state health commissioner Dayo Adeyanju told Agence France Presse by telephone. Last Monday the death toll stood at 18.

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Europe's Police Crack Massive Horsemeat Tracking Ring

Police from seven European countries detained 26 people and seized hundreds of horse passports in a crackdown against a Europe-wide horsemeat trafficking ring, the EU's judicial agency Eurojust said Saturday.

Eurojust said in a statement that the swoop involving hundreds of police and judicial authorities "succeeded in stopping an organised criminal network involved in trade in illegal horsemeat."

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French Firm Announces Multiple Sclerosis Drug Breakthrough

French  biotechnology company MedDay on Friday announced encouraging results for a multiple sclerosis (MS) drug trial, saying it decreased its progress and in some cases led to a "significant improvement" for sufferers.

“This is the first time that a drug has been able to decrease the rate of disease progression in addition to improving a significant proportion of patients with progressive MS," said MedDay CEO Frederic Sedel in a statement.

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West Africa Battles Mystery of 'Post-Ebola Syndrome'

As the Ebola epidemic retreats across west Africa, international health authorities are turning their attention to the little understood long-term effects of the often-deadly virus on the survivors.

There is little research on patients cured of the tropical fever, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that many are experiencing crippling complications long after walking out of treatment units. 

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Unusual Ice Cream Recalls Raise Questions about Cause

Major recalls from two well-known ice cream companies due to the discovery of listeria bacteria raise questions about how the pathogen could have contaminated multiple ice cream manufacturing plants — and whether the discoveries are related.

Blue Bell Creameries of Texas and Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams of Ohio — extremely popular brands in their home states — took all their products off shelves this week. Blue Bell ice cream is linked to 10 illnesses in four states, including three deaths. There are no known illnesses linked to the Jeni's recall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Tragic Newborn was UK's Youngest Organ Donor

A newborn baby who died after just 100 minutes became Britain's youngest organ donor after his kidneys and heart valves were given to adult patients, the National Health Service (NHS) said Thursday.

Teddy Houlston and twin Noah were born in Cardiff, Wales, on April 22, 2014, but parents Jess Evans and Mike Houlston already knew that Teddy would not survive after being diagnosed with incurable condition anencephaly -- in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull.

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Malaria Vaccine Offers Partial Protection

The world's most advanced malaria candidate vaccine offers young children partial protection that wanes with time, but could shield millions against the deadly parasite, its developers said Friday.

Researchers published the final results of a years-long trial with the drug RTS,S in The Lancet medical journal.

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