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WHA Endorses Interim Targets To Eradicate Measles As WHO Warns Disease On The Rise

“Measles is making a rapid comeback in African, Asian and even some European countries despite being easily avoided through vaccination, the World Health Organization said Friday as countries pledged to sharply cut infections and deaths worldwide by 2015,” the Associated Press reports (Jordans, 5/22). On the final day of the 63rd Annual World Health Assembly, the assembly endorsed a series of interim targets towards the global eradication of measles, VOA News reports.

Opinions: Family Planning; U.S. Food Aid

Comprehensive Family Planning Approach Needed, Not Just ‘Contraceptive Dispensary’ In his latest New York Times column, Nicholas Kristof writes about the “unavailability of birth control in many poor countries,” noting some experiences from a recent trip to Africa. “So the pill, 50 years old this month in the United States,…

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Examines WHO’s Policy Reversal On Drug Used To Prevent Post-Partum Hemorrhage A Lancet Comment reflects on a debate over the community-based use of the drug misoprostol in resource poor settings to help reduce post-partum hemorrhage, which according to the comment is the most common cause of maternal deaths. Despite evidence…

Health Leaders Discuss Polio, Alcohol, Childhood Obesity At WHA

From the 63rd World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, the Associated Press reports on what some “describe as a new strategy to get rid of” polio that focuses on developing solutions to “problems in each country, provides more WHO monitoring, like more teleconferences, and holds governments more accountable.” The plans also provide “[n]ew [polio] outbreak response plans,” according to the AP.

Also In Global Health News: Gates MoC In India; U.N. Aid Appeal For Mongolia; HIV Vaccine; U.N. Developing Database For Somalia; Kenya’s HIV/AIDS Indicator Survey

Gates Foundation Signs Cooperative Agreement To Improve Health Care In Indian State The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday signed a cooperative agreement with the Indian state of Bihar that “aims to improve and increase the availability, quality and utilisation of health care facilities and services,” the ANI/Economic Times…

Report Examines Vaccine Costs, Access In Low-Income Countries

A recent report (.pdf) by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and Oxfam International warns “that the global campaign to vaccinate children in poor countries is being hampered by high prices and is facing an acute funding crisis,” BMJ News reports.

U.N. Secretary-General Discusses G8, G20 Commitments During Ottawa Visit

On Wednesday, ahead of a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed several topics in a “speech warning that leaders of the G8 and G20 countries should not use global economic and financial difficulties as ‘an excuse’ to neglect previous pledges of billions of dollars for the world’s poor – for doubling aid to Africa, food security, malaria and AIDS programs and maternal and child health care,” Canwest News Service/Calgary Herald writes (O’Neill, 5/12).