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UNAIDS Chief Calls For Reducing MTCT Of HIV In Africa

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe on Monday during a five-day trip in Kenya, called for a drastic reduction in mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, Capital News reports. “In our continent we still have 400,000 babies born every year with HIV and we know if we are capable of making sure that testing will become available universally to all our pregnant women, (and) that pregnant women also have access to treatment, we will prevent the transmission,” Sidibe said (Karong’o, 1/11).

Rotavirus Vaccine Could Save Millions Of Children In Developing Countries, Studies Find

Over the next decade, efforts to vaccinate “infants against rotavirus could save the lives of millions of children in developing nations who would otherwise die from the diarrhea-causing disease, two new studies show,” HealthDay/BusinsessWeek reports. The studies track diarrhea deaths among children vaccinated against rotavirus in Africa and Mexico and appear in the Jan. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (Thomas, 1/27).

Also In Global Health News: Pakistan Agriculture; U.K.’s Food Security Efforts; Clinton Addresses Yemen; Hunger In Niger; WB Head In Africa

U.S. To Support Agricultural Technology Projects In Pakistan Bryan Hunt, the U.S. consulate general in Lahore, Pakistan, said Wednesday that the U.S. would help Pakistan with the development of agriculture technology aimed at boosting farmers’ productivity, the Nation reports. Hunt said agriculture technology is vital for increasing food security. “He…

African Vaccine Maker Plans To Increase Production Capacity Sevenfold By 2013

Biovac Institute, a South African vaccine maker, said Monday that it is working with other major pharmaceutical firms to increase its annual capacity sevenfold to 35 million doses by 2013, Reuters reports. Morena Makhoana, the company’s deputy chief executive, said that 25 million of those doses will remain in Africa.

WHO Director-General Highlights Global Health Gains, Challenges At Executive Board Meeting

During the WHO’s recent executive board meeting, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan reflected on public health gains over the past decade and the challenges that lie ahead, Nigeria’s Guardian reports. Chan commended the international community’s response to H1N1 and global efforts to reduce child mortality, fight malaria and tuberculosis.

Report Highlights Challenges Facing Obama In Africa

A new report highlights challenges facing the Obama administration in Africa, including HIV/AIDS, poverty and climate change, VOA News reports. The report, published jointly by Africa Action and Foreign Policy in Focus, notes despite the recent success of programs such as PEPFAR, funding for the program has not increased at levels seen in previous years, the news service writes.

Recent Releases In Global Health

‘Accelerated Progress’ Required To Meet Child Mortality MDG By 2015 A Lancet Comment examines the “grossly insufficient” progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing under-5 child mortality. “Accelerated progress can be achieved, even in the poorest environments, through: integrated, evidence-driven, and community-based programmes that focus on addressing…

Most Of World’s 13M Preterm Births Occur In Africa, Asia

The “vast majority” of the world’s 13 million preterm births each year occur in developing countries where the babies’ “chances of survivals are low,” according to an article published Monday in the January issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Reuters/ABCNews reports. The findings are based on research conducted between the mid-1990s and 2007.

Circumcising Newborn Males Cost Effective Strategy For HIV Prevention, Rwandan Study Finds

Performing circumcisions on newborn boys to lower their risk for HIV infection later in life is more cost-effective than adolescent or adult circumcision, according to researchers at Rwanda’s health ministry, Reuters reports. The findings, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, suggest that “the operation, which has been shown to cut dramatically the virus’ transmission from women to men, is quicker, simpler and more cost-effective in newborns,” the news service writes.