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Lancet Series Examines Health Issues Facing Populations In Southeast Asia

“Southeast Asia’s 600 million people are facing a raft of new health challenges as the disaster-prone region undergoes some of the world’s fastest social change,” according to a series of papers and commentary pieces, published Tuesday in the Lancet, Agence France-Presse reports (1/25). “Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were among the countries surveyed by the journal, which called for universal health coverage especially to protect the poor,” Reuters writes (Lyn, 1/25).

Canadian PM, Tanzanian President Open Meeting To Develop Framework For $40B Maternal And Child Health Initiative

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete were in Geneva on Wednesday to open a meeting aimed at “developing a framework” to monitor the implementation of a $40 billion U.N. maternal and child health initiative, according to CBC News. Harper and Kikwete are co-chairs of a commission that is charged with ensuring accountability for the pledges.

Merck, Wellcome Trust Back Project To Develop Improved Rotavirus Vaccine For Developing Countries

“A joint venture between U.S. drugmaker Merck and Britain’s Wellcome Trust charity said on Monday it is working on an oral rotavirus vaccine designed to be cheaper and easier to use than current shots,” Reuters reports. “Hilleman Laboratories, an India-based joint venture set up on a not-for-profit basis in 2009, said the vaccine will aim to protect against diarrhea-causing rotavirus infections and will be based on thin strips or granules that dissolve in the mouth and can be easily transported, stored and administered.”

Vaccination Campaigns To Stop Yellow Fever Spread Get Underway In E. Africa

Individuals traveling across East Africa on Friday were ordered to begin receiving mandatory yellow fever vaccines in an effort “to contain an outbreak of the disease in Uganda,” which has sickened an estimated 190 people, resulting in 48 deaths as of Dec. 30, 2010, the Citizen reports (Ubwani, 1/22).

Opinions: GAVI; Haitian Women; Clinton’s Foreign Policy

Sufficient Support Of GAVI Would Go Long Way To Preventing Premature Deaths Around The World  “Vaccines are among the greatest scientific contributions to human welfare. They are also some of the largest humanitarian contributions of developed nations to the rest of the world. So it is unfortunate that a decade of…