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Bill Gates Calls For Greater Immunization Efforts In World Health Assembly Address

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, on Tuesday called for a “Decade of Vaccines” in a keynote address at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, saying strengthening immunization programs against infectious diseases worldwide could save 10 million lives by 2020, Reuters reports. He said countries should aim for 90 percent immunization coverage against diseases such as polio, meningitis and pneumonia and said pharmaceutical companies should work to make existing and new vaccines affordable to developing countries, according to the news agency (Nebehay, 5/17).

African LGBT Advocates Warn Against Cutting Multilateral Aid To Uganda

At a World Bank panel discussion in Washington, D.C., on homophobia in developing countries, LGBT advocates from Africa expressed concern that if multilateral development organizations cut aid to Uganda in protest of attempts to make homosexual acts crimes punishable by death, the human rights situation for them could worsen, the Washington Blade reports.

Advocates Express Aid Concerns After G8 Summit Ends

After the conclusion of the G8 summit in Deauville, France, last week, development experts expressed concern that the G8’s aid package, aimed at encouraging democracy mostly in North Africa, would result in less aid for the rest of the continent, Inter Press Service reports.

Zimbabwe Responds To Watchdog’s Warning Of Potential Cholera Outbreak

“Zimbabwean authorities on Wednesday accused an international group of overstating the risks of a cholera outbreak in the sprawling capital city of Harare, ensuring the public that the cholera epidemic that killed 4,000 people in 2008 won’t repeat again,” Xinhua/Global Times reports. Responding “to a 160-page Human Rights Watch report,…

NEJM Article Details Rwanda’s Human Resources For Health Program

A Special Report in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine details Rwanda’s Human Resources for Health Program, “the largest-scale global health partnership ever initiated between American universities and a low-income country,” according to a press release from the program. “Announced by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and…

As Long As Polio Exists Anywhere, World Is At Risk

“[A]s long as polioviruses circulate anywhere in the world, they can be exported to countries that are now poliomyelitis-free and can cause serious outbreaks,” Trevor Mundel, president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program, and Walter Orenstein, a professor and associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center,…