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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Rising Number Of Livestock Diseases Threatens Public Health, Food Security In Developing Countries, Report Says

“A growing number of livestock, such as cows and pigs, are fuelling new animal epidemics worldwide and posing more severe problems in developing countries as it threatens their food security, according to a report [.pdf] released on Friday” during an international conference in New Delhi, India, on Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition & Health, Reuters reports (Lyn, 2/11).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Also In Global Health News: Faster Technology For Creating Flu Vaccines; Ukraine’s ARV Shortages; Testing University Students For HIV In SA; Polio Eradication; Haiti Housing Plan; Women’s Shelters In Afghanistan

Researchers Find Flu Vaccine Created Using Faster Technique As Effective As Traditional Vaccine A seasonal flu vaccine “made using quicker cell-based manufacturing methods was at least as effective at preventing flu as conventional vaccines grown in chicken eggs,” researchers reported Tuesday in the journal Lancet, Reuters reports. The clinical trial, conducted…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Pneumococcal Vaccine Officially Rolled Out In Kenya

“Kenya on Monday became the first African country to introduce a routine vaccine against pneumococcal disease, which claims the lives of more than half a million children under five each year,” Deutsche Presse Agentur/The Hindu reports. The GAVI Alliance, which is supporting the vaccine’s roll out, “is aiming to introduce the vaccine to 19 developing countries – including Nicaragua, Guyana, Yemen and Sierra Leone – within a year and hopes to reach more than 40 nations by 2015, depending on funding.”

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Also In Global Health News: Global Alcohol-Related Deaths; Pentavalent Vaccine Plant To Resume Operations; Harm-Reduction In Russia; IDUs In Tanzania; MDG Tracking Program In Kenya

Alcohol Kills 2.5M Annually, WHO Report Says “Alcohol abuse is killing 2.5 million people each year,” according to a report from the WHO, which said that about “4 percent of all deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “The main causes of alcohol-related deaths are injuries incurred…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

GAVI Chair Calls For Greater Reductions In Vaccine Prices For Developing Countries

On Monday, the same day the GAVI Alliance helped oversee the roll out of a routine pneumococcal vaccine in Kenya, GAVI chairman Dagfinn Hoybraten highlighted the need for greater reductions in vaccine prices in developing countries during an interview with Reuters, the news service reports. The piece examines the funding mechanism in place to finance the pneumococcal vaccines, known as Advance Market Commitment (AMC), as well as the budget shortfall facing the group (Kelland, 2/14).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Lancet Infectious Diseases Examines How Resource Gaps Are Creating Barriers To Reduce Child Mortality

The Lancet Infectious Diseases’ Newsdesk examines how resource gaps in immunizations, health workers and financing are creating barriers to efforts to achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015, as highlighted in a recent Save the Children report. The article describes the role GAVI Alliance has played in increasing the number of children receiving vaccines worldwide and notes the $3.7 billion gap the group hopes to fill to expand its immunization campaign over the next four years.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

un agReports Of H7N9 Cases, Deaths Continue From Across China

“Two more people have died in China from a new strain of bird flu, raising the death toll from the virus to 13, state media reported Sunday,” the Associated Press reports. “A total of 11 new cases were reported Sunday — including two in a central province that previously had…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Yearlong Moratorium On H5N1 Research Soon Lifted, New Rules Implemented, Science Reports

“U.S. government officials say they expect to put the finishing touches this month on new rules designed to help funding agencies identify and regulate especially problematic H5N1 studies before they begin,” which would allow influenza researchers “to lift a year-old, self-imposed moratorium on certain kinds of potentially dangerous experiments,” Science reports. “The two developments would essentially end a long and bruising controversy over the risks and benefits of H5N1 research,” the magazine notes, adding the debate was initiated by two research teams that lab-engineered H5N1 strains to be transmissible among mammals. “The issue has been especially sensitive for the U.S. government, because its National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded the two studies and is one of the world’s biggest funders of H5N1 research,” Science writes. The magazine discusses the moratorium’s impact on research worldwide and summarizes differing views about its effects (Malakoff, 1/4).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

U.S. Science Advisory Board Asks Science, Nature To Omit Data From Bird Flu Studies Amid Security Concerns

The U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity on “Tuesday asked two scientific journals to leave out data from research studies on a lab-made version of bird flu that could spread more easily to humans, fearing it could be used as a potential weapon,” Reuters reports (Steenhuysen, 12/20). The board “recommended that the journals Science and Nature publish only the general discoveries, not the full blueprint for these man-made strains,” the Associated Press notes (Neergaard, 12/20). “Editors at the journals … say they will not agree to the redactions until they are assured the data will be accessible to researchers” according to BBC News (12/20).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

H7N9 Virus Continues To Spread; International Research Team Traveling To China To Assist

“Two more people in China have died from a new strain of avian influenza, bringing to 16 the number of deaths from the H7N9 virus, and the government has warned that the number of infections could rise,” Reuters reports. “The latest victims were from the commercial capital of Shanghai, where the majority…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.