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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

WHO Addresses Handling Of H1N1 At Council Of Europe Meeting

During a Council of Europe meeting on Tuesday to address the WHO’s handling of the H1N1 virus, the WHO said it had not “fallen under the sway of drugs firms and exaggerated the dangers of the H1N1 flu virus, but said it might have handled the crisis better,” Reuters reports. “Critics say the WHO relied too much on advice from advisers in the pay of the pharmaceutical industry, triggering an internal review by the WHO and an inquiry by the Council of Europe, a pan European human rights watchdog,” writes the news service (Reilhac, 1/26).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

African Vaccine Maker Plans To Increase Production Capacity Sevenfold By 2013

Biovac Institute, a South African vaccine maker, said Monday that it is working with other major pharmaceutical firms to increase its annual capacity sevenfold to 35 million doses by 2013, Reuters reports. Morena Makhoana, the company’s deputy chief executive, said that 25 million of those doses will remain in Africa.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

WHO Director-General Highlights Global Health Gains, Challenges At Executive Board Meeting

During the WHO’s recent executive board meeting, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan reflected on public health gains over the past decade and the challenges that lie ahead, Nigeria’s Guardian reports. Chan commended the international community’s response to H1N1 and global efforts to reduce child mortality, fight malaria and tuberculosis.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

WHO Rejects Accusations It Mishandled H1N1, Updates Worldwide Stats

WHO spokesperson Gregory Hartl on Monday rejected accusations that the organization miscategorized H1N1 (swine flu) as a pandemic, calling such accusations “irresponsible,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “WHO also dismissed claims it colluded with drug companies to bring economic benefit to the industry by playing up the danger of the new H1N1 [swine flu] influenza strain,” the news service writes.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

CDC Encourages Public To Receive H1N1 Vaccine; PBS Examines Arrival Of Vaccine In Developing Countries

During a media briefing Thursday, Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, warned against complacency over the H1N1 (swine flu), and encouraged Americans who had not yet received the H1N1 vaccine to do so, CNN reports.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Official H1N1-Related Death Count Approaches 13,000 Worldwide, WHO Says

H1N1 (swine flu) has killed 12,799 people worldwide since the virus first emerged, the WHO said on Friday, United Press International reports (1/8). According to the WHO, more than half of the H1N1-related deaths worldwide occurred in the Americas, China Daily reports (1/9).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Opinions: U.S. Medical Emergency Response; Micronutrients; Rotavirus Vaccine; Antibiotic Development

U.S. H1N1 Response Highlights Need For Improvements “[D]espite the tireless efforts of public health and health-care workers, America’s experience with H1N1 shows that the nation is not prepared to deal with a flu pandemic,” former Democratic Senator Bob Graham and former Republican Senator Jim Talent write in Washington Post opinion…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Developing Countries Reassess Need For Donated H1N1 Vaccine

As the number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases in some regions of the world continues to fall, developing countries scheduled to receive donated H1N1 (swine flu) vaccines from the WHO are reassessing just how much vaccines their countries need, the Canadian Press reports. “The WHO had hoped to provide vaccine for up to 10 per cent of the populations of developing countries that wanted donated vaccine,” the newspaper writes.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Also In Global Health News: ART Access In Zimbabwe; Indonesia Bird Flu Deaths; Kenya Floods; Solomon Island Tsunami

Zimbabwe Wants To Boost Access To ART By End Of 2010, Health Minister Says Zimbabwe’s government plans work with international organizations to increase the number of people receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to 300,000 by the end of the year, up from the 180,000 who currently get the drugs, Henry Madzorera, the country’s health…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Canada Loans 5M Doses Of H1N1 Vaccine To Mexico

Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq on Wednesday announced plans for the country to loan Mexico five million doses of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, Agence France-Presse reports. The loan will help Mexico meet its innoculation demand, while the country waits for H1N1 vaccine orders to be fulfilled by several manufacturers.

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