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MenAfriVac More Effective, Less Expensive Than Older Meningitis Vaccines, Studies Say

The meningococcal vaccine MenAfriVac, which is made by the Indian generic drug company Serum Institute, is “dramatically better” at producing a protective effect among African children in three countries than “older so-called meningococcal polysaccaride vaccines, including Mencevax from GlaxoSmithKline,” according to a paper describing two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Reuters reports.

Five U.N. Agencies Issue Statement Urging Nations To Address Sex Selection Favoring Boys

“Five U.N. agencies have banded together to call for urgently addressing gender-biased sex selection favouring boys, a common practice in many parts of South, East and Central Asia that they say fuels a culture of discrimination and violence,” Pakistan’s Nation reports (6/15). A joint statement issued on Tuesday by the…

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Respond To GAVI Pledging Conference

Editorials and opinion pieces are responding to the GAVI Alliance pledging conference, which raised $4.3 billion for childhood vaccinations. The following is a summary of some of those pieces: Financial Times: Boosting vaccines: The editorial calls on GAVI to review its governance and do more to help reduce the price…

Meeting Promotes Partnership To End Malnutrition In First 1,000 Days Of Life

Government officials, nutrition and health experts, as well as civil society advocates from around the world, met in Washington, D.C., on Monday to promote the 1,000 Days Partnership, which launched in September 2010, VOA News reports in a piece featuring quotes from U.S. officials about efforts to end child deaths from malnutrition (DeCapua, 6/13).

Large Donations Help GAVI Raise $4.3B, Exceeding Goal

“Large donations from the U.K., Norway and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation helped a global vaccine charity raise $4.3 billion at a summit Monday, exceeding its targets and allowing it to carry out all its immunization plans through 2015,” the Wall Street Journal reports. The U.K. pledged $1.34 billion to the GAVI Alliance, the Gates Foundation promised $1 billion and Norway offered $677 million (Whalen, 6/14).

Local Misconceptions Of Children’s Immune Systems Hindering HIV Treatment In Malawi, Study Says

Some caregivers in rural Malawi have expressed a reluctance to begin antiretroviral therapy for children living with HIV because of a belief that their “bodies were too weak for pills and their blood was ‘still raw,’ but that as it ‘ripened’ with time, HIV-related opportunistic infections would leave them,” according to a study presented this week at the 1st International HIV Social Science and Humanities Conference in Durban, South Africa, PlusNews reports.

Development Through Foreign Aid Requires Global Cooperation

The GAVI Alliance pledging conference is “being seen as a litmus test of how well aid can survive in the age of austerity,” columnist Madeleine Bunting writes in a Guardian commentary, addressing how foreign aid is viewed as “soft power … [to] establish influence and spread values – which is often more useful than diplomacy or defence in a post-cold war world.”

U.K., U.S., Australia, Gates Foundation Promise Funds To GAVI Alliance At Pledging Conference

At a pledging conference for the GAVI Alliance in London on Monday, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft founder, announced his foundation will provide an additional $1 billion in funding for the organization over the next five years, while Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said his country will provide $210 million over the next three years, Reuters reports (Croft/Kelland, 6/13).

The U.S. Commitment To GAVI

In a post on the Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy” blog, Amanda Glassman, CGD’s director of global health policy, discusses the U.S. pledge for the GAVI Alliance and outlines why providing $450 million over three years to GAVI “is both compassionate and cost-effective” (6/9).