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Recent Releases In Global Health

Will Health Ministers Come Up With A Solution For Smallpox Virus?: When health ministers gather for the World Health Assembly in May they will try to come up with a solution to “a dilemma that has dogged decision-makers for decades – whether and when to destroy the last remaining stocks of…

Virus-Sharing Draft Agreement Very Close; U.S. Yet To Formally Approve, Reuters Reports

A draft agreement that would ensure countries would share virus samples in exchange for access to affordable vaccines derived from such samples in the event of a pandemic is nearly complete, senior diplomats told Reuters on Thursday. “Consensus has been reached across all regions, including Indonesia which three years ago stopped sharing influenza samples with the World Health Organization (WHO), but the United States has yet to give formal approval, they said,” according to the news service.

Japanese Officials Raise Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Alert, Expand Evacuation Zone Around Plant

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on Tuesday “raised the level of severity at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from 5 to 7 – the highest level on the international scale and equal to the Chernobyl accident,” ABC News reports. The decision by the agency came after an assessment revealed “the damaged reactors have been releasing large amounts of radioactive substances that pose a threat to humans and the environment in a much wider area” than initially suspected, according to the news service (Tangalo, 4/12).

Also In Global Health News: HIV/AIDS In Indonesia; Mobile Phone Application For Malaria; Film Festival; Results-Based Financing; Role Of Civil Society, Private Sector In Fighting HIV/AIDS

Reuters Examines Growing HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Indonesia Reuters examines the growing number of HIV/AIDS cases in Indonesia, where “widespread ignorance” about the disease and a government afraid of campaigning “effectively against it for fear of being accused by conservatives of promoting promiscuity” have helped fuel the epidemic. Currently, 300,000 Indonesians…

Also In Global Health News: India To Examine NDM-1 Study; Aid For Libya; Food Shortages In North Korea; Global Virus Network

Indian Government Forms Committee To Explore NDM-1 Study Findings The Indian government “has formed a scientific committee” to examine the findings of a recent Lancet Infectious Diseases study, which found bacteria containing the NDM-1 gene were found in water supplies in New Dehli, CNN/IBN-Live reports. “The Health Ministry isn’t pleased…

Marking World Health Day, WHO Warns Misuse Of Antibiotics Undermining Global Fight Against Infectious Diseases

U.N. officials on Thursday marked World Health Day with a warning that “the misuse and irrational use of antibiotics has undermined the global fight against tuberculosis and malaria, warning of a possible return to the days before the drugs were developed,” and called for urgent action to control the spread of drug resistance, Reuters reports. In addition to growing resistance to TB and malaria treatments, “treatment for gonorrhea was threatened by growing resistance to the last-line treatment, and the WHO said hospital-acquired superbugs, resistant to major antibiotics, were becoming increasing frequent,” the news service writes (Mogato, 4/7).