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Also In Global Health News: Medical Tourism In Southeast Asia; Cholera, Yellow Fever In Ivory Coast; U.S. Aid To Egypt; Universal Coverage In Mexico; Pneumonia’s Evolution

IRIN Examines Medical Tourism’s Affect In Southeast Asia IRIN examines how “rapid growth in medical tourism” in southeast Asian countries is affecting health systems in the region. According to the WHO, “medical tourism is leading to some highly skilled specialists, as well as other trained medical staff, leaving public health…

Recent Releases In Global Health

Innovative Health Financing Can Benefit Global Health, Pharma: “The launch of pneumococcal vaccination in Nicaragua under AMC [advance market commitment] has shown that innovative approaches to health financing can benefit both global health and pharmaceutical companies,” according to a Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial that describes how the roll-out of GAVI initiative…

Mass Cholera Vaccination Early In Outbreak Could Stem Spread Of Disease, Studies Show

“The cholera bacterium has undergone important mutations in recent years, causing longer outbreaks of the disease with increased fatalities, researchers reported on Wednesday,” Reuters reports. “In a package of papers published in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, they said mass vaccinations should be considered as a solution even after outbreaks have begun,” the news service writes (Lyn, 1/26).

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).