Health and environment ministers from at least 46 African countries concluded the Second Inter-Ministerial Conference on Health and Environment in Africa in Luanda, Angola on Friday, “with the adoption of the ‘Luanda Commitment,’ which lists the continent’s health and environment top priorities in the years ahead,” PANA/Afrique en ligne reports.
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
GAVI Says Pentavalent Vaccine Price To Fall, But $3.7B Still Needed To Vaccinate Children In Developing Countries
The average price of a vaccine that protects children against five diseases is expected to “drop to $2.58 next year compared to the current average price of $2.97,” the GAVI Alliance said Friday, Reuters reports. The group credits the expected price decline, which “represents a decrease of 30 percent over the last seven years,” in part to an “increased demand for the pentavalent, or five-in-one vaccine,” according to the news service (Kelland, 11/26).
UNAIDS Report Finds New HIV Infections Dropped By 20% Over 10 Years, Deaths From AIDS-Related Illness Dropped By 20% Over 5 Years
The number of new HIV infections “has dropped by about one-fifth over the past decade but millions of people are still missing out on major progress in prevention and treatment,” according to the annual UNAIDS report released Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reports. “In 2009, 2.6 million people contracted the HIV virus that causes AIDS, a decline of 19 percent over the 3.1 million recorded in” 1999 the report found, according to the news service (11/23).
Also In Global Health News: Reports Of Misuse Of Global Fund Grants; 2007-2008 Food Crisis; Polio Vaccination Drive In Uganda
Southern Times Examines Reports Of Misuse Of Global Fund Grants In Zambia The Southern Times reports that Zambia has been named one of four African countries identified by the Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector General to have misused a combined amount of $25 million in grants. As was first…
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Friday that former Nigerian Health Minister Babatunde Osotimehin has been appointed to head to head the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), the U.K. Press Association reports. Osotimehin, “a 61-year-old medical doctor and AIDS expert, is the first African to head the agency,” according to the news service (11/20).
UNICEF Report Identifies Factors Helping, Hindering Efforts To Drive Down FGM/C In Five African Countries
A report (.pdf) released on Thursday by UNICEF highlights the recent progress made in reducing the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) despite ongoing social pressures in five African countries, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. (11/18). “Millions of girls worldwide are cut or mutilated each year,” according to a UNICEF press release (.pdf). “The practice, a serious violation of their human rights, can cause severe, lifelong health problems including bleeding, problems urinating, childbirth complications and newborn deaths,” the release adds (11/18).
New This Week In The Kaiser Global Health Policy Tracker: The President’s Malaria Initiative announced a new focus country and USAID released aÂ new fact sheet on the agency’s reform initiative. Kaiser’s Policy Tracker provides a timely single reference point for the latest information on congressional andÂ administrationÂ action on global health. Strengthening…
Education for women is the most important factor for positively influencing the health of women and children, Indian President Pratibha Patil said on Saturday at a meeting in New Delhi of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), IANS/Sify News reports. “Education is a powerful driver of health. The relationship between poverty, lack of education and limited access to health services, is well recognised,” Patil said at the start of the two-day conference (11/13).
The issue of unsafe abortion and its role in women’s health was the focus of a four-day conference this week in Accra, Ghana, involving health experts, policymakers and health workers from across Africa, Ghana News Agency reports. According to the news service, the conference agenda was to include: “a review of regional and national progress in addressing unsafe abortion, lessons from research and experience that could improve safe abortion care, post abortion care and related reproductive health care, such as preventing unwanted pregnancy, discussion of an agenda for action for the African region and ways to improve collaboration among governments, NGOs and other stakeholders” (11/9).
The WHO, UNICEF and Rotary International on Thursday announced they will kick off a “mass polio immunization campaign in three Central African nations” on Friday “in response to a polio outbreak suspected in more than 100 deaths and deemed ‘unusual’ because it targets adults more than children,” that was first confirmed in the Republic of Congo on Nov. 4, the Associated Press reports.