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BBC Reports On Efforts To Broaden Access To Childhood Vaccines

The BBC reports on discussions about childhood immunization at the International Pediatric Association (IPA) meeting last week in Johannesburg, South Africa. “Vaccines are a key plank in meeting Millennium Development Goal 4 – to reduce child mortality by two thirds by 2015 – and many sessions at the congress were devoted to them,” the news service writes.

Health Leaders From Sub-Saharan Africa Gather For Three-Day Conference On Family Planning In Kenya

A three-day conference exploring ways to increase access to family planning services in Africa kicked off in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, Capital FM reports. The meeting, which is hosted by USAID, will bring together “USAID’s partners in Sub Saharan Africa who include Angola, Burundi, [Democratic Republic of Congo], Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria, South Sudan and Tanzania,” to work to identify gaps in reproductive and family planning services and address ways to reach out to populations in need, the news service writes (Karong’o, 5/11).

Five-Day World Health Assembly Meeting Kicks Off In Geneva

The annual meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA) convened on Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/Monsters and Critics.com reports. According to the news service, influenza vaccines, the fight against tuberculosis, intellectual property and reducing counterfeit drugs will be discussed (4/17).

SciDev.Net Reports On Developing Country Health Care Providers, Scientists Access To Research

SciDev.Net reports on two recent studies published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal which look at how frequently health care providers and researchers in developing countries access research-based evidence. The studies “[t]he researchers, who examined research and practice in four areas at the heart of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals [MDGs], surveyed 1,500 healthcare providers and just over 300 researchers in 10 [low- and middle-income countries] – China, Ghana, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mexico, Pakistan, Senegal and Tanzania,” the news service writes.

To Achieve MDGs, Economic Policies Must Help Poor, UNDP Head Says

Economic policies that help the poor will bring the world closer to meeting the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] – “[g]lobal targets to halve poverty and improve basic health by 2015,” Helen Clark, the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) administrator, said Friday at the end of a four-nation tour of Africa, Agence France-Presse reports.

Also In Global Health News: Aid, Polio In Pakistan; Abortion In Africa; NGO Licenses; India’s Maternal Mortality Rates; HIV/AIDS In Philippines; MDGs

U.S. Aid To Pakistan; Anti-Polio Efforts Politico examines the debate over how the U.S. should spend its aid to Pakistan, which has “new urgency after the Times Square car bomb attempt May 1.” According to Politico, “[m]ajor U.S. investments are now envisioned in energy, agriculture and education. The article looks…

Two-Thirds Of Child Deaths In 2008 Due To Infectious Diseases, Report Finds

Pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and other infectious diseases account for more than two-thirds of the 8.8 million deaths in 2008 among children under age 5 around the world, according to a Lancet study published on Wednesday, HealthDay News/Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. The highest numbers of childhood deaths were in Africa (4.2 million) and Southeast Asia (2.39 million), according to the news service (5/11).

U.N. Development Program Head Begins Four-Country Tour Of Africa To Promote MDGs

Over the weekend, U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark began a four-country tour of Africa “to highlight progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the run up to a Summit in September,” Tanzania Daily News/allAfrica.com reports. Clark will make stops in Tanzania, Mali, Burkina Faso and South Africa, where she will “meet with Heads of State and Ministers, as well as touch base with women leaders and members of civil society, and visit development projects,” the news service writes.