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NIH To Create New Translational Science Center

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins on Tuesday announced the agency is moving forward on plans to create a new research center focused on translational science, after NIH’s advisory board voted to create the new center, Science’s “Science Insider” reports (Kaiser, 12/7).

India, EU Trade Agreement Will Not Restrict Ability For India Pharmaceutical Firms To Export Generic Drugs, Official Says

“India and the European Union (EU) have agreed that the comprehensive bilateral trade agreement being negotiated by the two will not result in an intellectual property regime that restricts the ability of Indian pharmaceutical firms to export generic or off-patent drugs by being far more stringent than the TRIPS [Trade-Related Aspects of International Property Rights] regime of the World Trade Organization,” LiveMint.com reports in an article that describes recent debates over the agreement. “The two sides agreed to this at a meeting between Indian trade minister Anand Sharma and his counterpart in the European Commission (EC), Karel De Gucht, at Brussels on 29 November, said a senior commerce ministry official on condition of anonymity,” the news service reports.

Media Examines Efforts To Protect Patients In Africa From Counterfeit Medications

HP and the African social enterprise mPedigree on Monday announced a new service that will enable patients in Ghana and Nigeria to verify the authenticity of their medications, Fast Company reports. “Counterfeit drugs are estimated to be a $75-billion-per-year business, [and are] implicated in the deaths of something like 700,000 people around the world annually,” according to the article (Zax, 12/6).

Health Experts, Mobile Service Providers Discuss Potential For Mobile Health In Africa At Summit

“Some 80 health professionals and telecom operators [met last week for the mHealth Africa Summit] in the Ghanaian capital Accra to explore ways to use mobile phones for better healthcare delivery,” IRIN reports in an article that details a variety of successful projects relaying health information through cell phones in Africa. The article describes how mobile phones are being used in Africa to educate populations about HIV/AIDS, TB and improve maternal health, as well as means to track medicines and other health supplies, including mosquito nets.

Campaign To Inoculate Millions Across Africa Against Meningitis Kicks Off In Burkina Faso

On Monday, a campaign started in Burkina Faso to “inoculate tens of millions of West Africans with a new vaccine in what scientists hope will be the beginning of the end of ravaging meningitis epidemics” across the continent, the New York Times reports. Burkina Faso marks the first country in a drive aimed at “bringing the disease under control and saving an estimated 150,000 lives by 2015 in a belt of 25 nations that girds the continent,” according to the newspaper (Dugger, 12/4).

White House Marks World AIDS Day

Commemorating World AIDS Day on Wednesday President Barack Obama called for continuing to fight HIV/AIDS domestically and abroad, Agence France-Presse reports (12/1).

U.N. Says PMTCT Of HIV Is Achievable, Efforts Must Target Millions Currently ‘Falling Through The Cracks’

“A generation of babies could be born free of AIDS if the international community stepped up efforts to provide universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and social protection, the United Nations said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports. The declaration came on the eve of World AIDS Day, as U.N. leaders released a new report (.pdf), which found “millions of women and children, particularly in poor countries, fall through the cracks of HIV services either due to their gender, social or economic status, location or education,” according to the news service (Kelland, 11/30).

Also In Global Health News: New GAVI Alliance Board Chair; HIV/AIDS-Related Updates

Former Norwegian Health Minister To Chair GAVI Alliance Board The GAVI Alliance Board announced on Tuesday that it “has elected former Norwegian Health Minister and current MP Dagfinn Hoybraten as its new chairman, succeeding Mary Robinson,” PANA/Afrique en ligne reports (11/30). Hoybraten “has been a member of the GAVI Board since…

Goosby, Emanuel Address Progress, Potential Roadblocks Ahead For Introduction Of Microbicides In Developing Countries

The growing evidence supporting the promise of new HIV prevention products, like microbicides, requires that groups start planning now for how best to roll-out prevention interventions in the future, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby and Special Advisor on Health Policy to the Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Ezekiel Emanuel said Monday during a USAID Microbicide Stakeholders Meeting in Washington.