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).
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.
World Health Assembly Could Pass Resolutions Asking Governments To Improve Water, Sanitation, IPS Reports
Inter Press Service reports on the possibility that the World Health Assembly “could adopt landmark resolutions asking governments to improve water and sanitation to eradicate cholera and guinea worm,” the latter of which exists in only four countries â€“ Ghana, Mali, Ethiopia and Sudan.
India on Wednesday at the conclusion of the second India-Africa summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, pledged $5 billion in aid to Africa to help the continent reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Guardian reports.
Poorer African Countries Spend Greater Proportion Of Their Budgets On Social Programs That Benefit Children, Report Says
“The oil-rich governments of Sudan and Angola are among the worst in Africa for looking after children, while poorer Tanzania, Mozambique and Niger are the best,” according to a report from the African Child Policy Forum that ranked countries based on their health, education and social program budgets, Reuters reports.
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.
“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,…
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…
“[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,…
Developing Countries Stage Protest At U.N. Climate Talks; U.N. Report Shows African Countries Vulnerable
“The United Nations climate talks [in Warsaw] are bogging down over the old divide between rich and poor nations on the question of who should pay when climate-related disaster strikes, with developing nations staging a symbolic walkout early Wednesday in protest at what they consider inadequate financial support from wealthy…