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Lancet Series Examines Health Issues Facing Populations In Southeast Asia

“Southeast Asia’s 600 million people are facing a raft of new health challenges as the disaster-prone region undergoes some of the world’s fastest social change,” according to a series of papers and commentary pieces, published Tuesday in the Lancet, Agence France-Presse reports (1/25). “Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were among the countries surveyed by the journal, which called for universal health coverage especially to protect the poor,” Reuters writes (Lyn, 1/25).

Merck, Wellcome Trust Back Project To Develop Improved Rotavirus Vaccine For Developing Countries

“A joint venture between U.S. drugmaker Merck and Britain’s Wellcome Trust charity said on Monday it is working on an oral rotavirus vaccine designed to be cheaper and easier to use than current shots,” Reuters reports. “Hilleman Laboratories, an India-based joint venture set up on a not-for-profit basis in 2009, said the vaccine will aim to protect against diarrhea-causing rotavirus infections and will be based on thin strips or granules that dissolve in the mouth and can be easily transported, stored and administered.”

BMJ News Examines Ongoing Investigation Of WHO’s Handling Of H1N1

BMJ News reports on the ongoing external investigation of the WHO’s handling of the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic, following recent statements to the WHO’s executive board meeting by review committee chairman, Harvey Fineberg. Despite initial expectations that the external review committee would produce a draft of its findings in January, Fineberg “said the panel was planning a meeting on 28-30 March, and it would distribute in advance to all WHO member nations copies of a draft summary of its principal findings, conclusions, and recommendations, for comments and reactions, before it finalises the report.”

Vaccination Campaigns To Stop Yellow Fever Spread Get Underway In E. Africa

Individuals traveling across East Africa on Friday were ordered to begin receiving mandatory yellow fever vaccines in an effort “to contain an outbreak of the disease in Uganda,” which has sickened an estimated 190 people, resulting in 48 deaths as of Dec. 30, 2010, the Citizen reports (Ubwani, 1/22).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Insecticides To Fight Malaria: In a Daily Caller opinion piece, Richard Tren of Africa Fighting Malaria and Donald Roberts of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences write in support of using insecticides, like DDT, to combat malaria: “Unless the donor nations that fund global malaria programs, such as the…

U.S., China Announce Public-Private Health Care Partnership

In conjunction with the state visit to the U.S. by Chinese President Hu Jintao, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and several other federal agencies on Wednesday announced a new public-private health care partnership between the U.S. and China, Modern Healthcare reports (Blesch, 1/19).

Opinions: GAVI; Haitian Women; Clinton’s Foreign Policy

Sufficient Support Of GAVI Would Go Long Way To Preventing Premature Deaths Around The World  “Vaccines are among the greatest scientific contributions to human welfare. They are also some of the largest humanitarian contributions of developed nations to the rest of the world. So it is unfortunate that a decade of…