Inter Press Service profiles a program launched by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) to develop antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) specifically designed for children living with HIV/AIDS. “The program will focus exclusively on developing child-adapted formulations for children under three, the most neglected segment in terms of availability of ARVs. The DNDi hopes to have new pediatric-specific medicines available between 2014 and 2016,” IPS writes. The article examines pediatric HIV treatment issues in India, Kenya and Brazil (Frayssinet et al., 8/29).
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
“Giving vitamin A supplements to children under the age of five in developing countries could save 600,000 lives a year, researchers claim” in a paper published Thursday in the British Medical Journal, BBC News reports. “UK and Pakistani experts assessed 43 studies involving 200,000 children, and found deaths were cut by 24 percent if children were given the vitamin … And they say taking it would also cut rates of measles and diarrhea,” the news agency writes.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday spoke about the role universities can play in empowering women worldwide during an address to students and academic leaders gathered in Philadelphia for the fifth Global Colloquium of University Presidents, the Associated Press reports (Matheson, 4/4).
Panel Examines Global TB Fight: The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports on the recent briefing, “Accelerating Progress to Combat TB: Innovation and Partnership,” which featured TB experts and African health ministers discussing the global fight against TB. Kenneth Castro, director of TB elimination at theÂ CDC; Rachel…
The German government on Wednesday said it would provide an extra 14 million euros or about $19.9 million “for child immunization in the developing world as part of an agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” the Associated Press reports (4/6).
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 â€“ 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).
Nearly All 2.6 Million Stillbirths Worldwide Occur In Low-, Middle-Income Countries, Lancet Series Says
Approximately 2.6 million pregnancies worldwide end in stillbirth â€“ most commonly defined as death in the final trimester â€“ each year, “with the poorest nations worst affected,” according to a series of articles published Thursday in the Lancet, BBC reports (4/14).
Financial support for population-related activities worldwide has not significantly increased since 2008, according to a report (.pdf) from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the U.N. Commission on Population and Development (CPD), Inter Press Service reports. The CPD is meeting this week.
Two-thirds of developing countries are on track or close to reaching the U.N. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets to reduce extreme poverty and hunger, according to a World Bank-IMF report released Friday to coincide with a meeting of the groups in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, Agence France-Presse/Edmonton Journal reports (4/16).
Former UNICEF Head Accepts Nestle Board Position, Says She Will Examine Compliance With WHO Breast Milk Code
Ann Veneman, the former executive director of UNICEF, “took a seat on the board of Swiss food and drinks company Nestle SA on Thursday” and said she plans to look into whether the company has adopted a WHO code on breast milk, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports.