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Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

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Banning Thimerosal From Vaccines Could Hinder Achievements In Global Childhood Immunization

“Thanks to a herculean effort by health advocates, 78 percent of children in low-income countries receive the basic set of childhood vaccines, covering diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenza,” a Bloomberg View editorial states. However, “[t]his campaign will be disrupted, and lives lost, if immunization critics win their latest battle for an international ban on a vaccine component” — thimerosal, a mercury-containing organic compound — “that has proved to be safe time and time again,” the editorial writes, noting, “Groups such as the Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs and the Coalition for SafeMinds are pressing their case before the United Nations Environmental Program [UNEP] meets on Jan. 13 to prepare a global treaty reducing mercury use.”

New Issue Of Global Health Governance Available Online

A new issue of Global Health Governance is available online and features articles focused on human security and health. The issue includes articles on nodding syndrome in Northern Uganda and child nutrition in developing countries from a human security perspective, as well as commentaries on a new agenda for global human security and health and human security in the Americas, among other pieces (12/31).

Pakistan Records 306 Measles Deaths In 2012, Compared With 64 In 2011, WHO Reports

“Measles cases surged in Pakistan in 2012, and hundreds of children died from the disease, an international health body said Tuesday,” the Associated Press/CBS News reports. “A spokeswoman for the World Health Organization, Maryam Yunus, said that 306 children died in Pakistan of measles in 2012, compared to 64 the year before,” the news agency writes (1/2). “She added that most of the children who died were from districts affected by floods for the past three years, and that malnourishment was a major reason for the high rate of measles deaths in Sindh,” GlobalPost writes (Langlois, 1/1).

Also In Global Health News: Food Shortages In Zimbabwe; Illicit Drug Control, MDGs; Global Quinoa Demands Affect Bolivian Farmers; ARV Disruptions In Cote d’Ivoire

Zimbabwe Government Tries To Address Severe Food Shortages In Some Provinces “Six of Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces face severe food shortages, and the government has ordered the country’s grain marketing board (GMB) to send grain to the affected areas, a state daily [the Herald] said Monday,” Agence France-Presse reports. “A government…

Aid Delivery Trickles In One Week After Japanese Quake, Tsunami

“Across large parts of Japan stricken a week ago by a quake and tsunami, aid isn’t getting through. Blizzards, impassible roads, worries over radiation exposure, fuel shortages and other logistical problems have stalled aid from getting to those who need it, even as officials have boosted the amount of food and other goods available to some easier-to-reach communities,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Also In Global Health News: Semi-Synthetic Artemisinin Development; Libyan Humanitarian Situation; Netherlands Possibly Scaling Back Recipients Of Development Aid; African Lab Society Launched; Maternal Mortality In Bangladesh

Scientists Refine Efforts To Develop Semi-Synthetic Artemisinin PostMedia News/Vancouver Sun reports on recent advances by researchers to speed the development of semi-synthetic artemisinin to treat people with malaria. Though artemisinin is currently derived “from the sweet wormwood plant found in parts of Asia and Africa … cultivating and harvesting the…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.