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World Lung Foundation Report Highlights Prevalence Of Acute Respiratory Infections Worldwide

Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) – such as influenza, pneumonia and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – cause 4.25 million deaths each year often among young children in developing countries, according to the Acute Respiratory Infections Atlas, which was released on Tuesday by the World Lung Foundation, Reuters reports (11/9).

mHealth Alliance Annual Summit Kicks Off With $1M HP Donation, Discussion Of Improving Maternal, Child Health

The mHealth Alliance on Monday at its summit in Washington, D.C. “announced a two-year $1 million aggregate donation from HP” aimed at furthering the alliance’s goal of delivering quality health care “at the furthest reaches of wireless networks and mobile devices,” mobihealthnews reports. HP now joins the U.N. Foundation, the Vodafone Foundation, PEPFAR and the GSM Association as a founding partner of the alliance (Dolan, 11/8). mHealth Alliance Executive Director David Aylward said of the donation in a press release: “HP’s financial, technical and project support to mHealth Alliance initiatives significantly expands our ability to catalyze the partnerships, solutions, and sustainable deployments of mobile technology that can enable healthier lives for all, especially in the developing world” (11/8).

African Ministerial Conference Concludes With Health Priority Commitment

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.

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).

Mobile Health Summit Ends

The three-day mHealth Alliance summit wrapped up “on Wednesday after discussions and seminars that aimed to advance the discussion around ways mobile technology can increase the access, efficiency and effectiveness of health systems,” reports (11/11).

Leaders Speak At Partnership for Maternal, Newborn And Child Health Conference

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).

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).

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).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Infectious Diseases Examines Funding In Relation To Disease Burden: In response to two recent papers on neglected tropical diseases, Nicola Dmitri of the University of Siena in a Lancet Infectious Diseases Reflection addresses “how research funds could be guided by [the global burden of disease] GBD.” The results show, for example,…