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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

External Panel Issues Draft Report Saying WHO Response To H1N1 Lacked Cohesion, Clarity

An independent panel of experts commissioned by the WHO to probe its response to the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic on Thursday released a draft report (.pdf) stating that while the organization performed well in many ways, it made “crucial mistakes” and “warned tens of millions could die if there is a severe flu outbreak in the future,” the Associated Press reports (3/10).

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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

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

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

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

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

HIV-Negative Babies Born To HIV-Positive Mothers Have Lower Antibody Levels For Some Infections, Study Finds

“Babies who are exposed to HIV at birth but don’t become infected with the virus have lower levels of antibodies to diseases such as whooping cough, tetanus and pneumococcus,” according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), HealthDay News/U.S. News & World Report (2/8). The findings “might explain in part why uninfected babies born to women with HIV have a higher risk of illness and death early in life,” according to a press release by the Imperial College of London, whose researchers helped lead the study.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Also In Global Health News: Zimbabwe’s HIV Prevalence Declines; Sri Lanka Flooding; Online Tool To Track Outbreaks; U.S. Recognition Of S. Sudan; TB In Swaziland

Study Examines Reasons For Zimbabwe’s HIV Prevalence Decline Reuters reports that an article published in PLoS Medicine “said Zimbabwe’s [HIV] epidemic was one of the biggest in the world until the [prevalence of people] infected with HIV almost halved, from 29 percent of the population in 1997 to 16 percent in 2007.”…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Stockpiling Flu Drugs, Vaccines Reduces Impact Of Pandemic, But Option Out Of Reach For Most Countries, Study Finds

“Stockpiling antiviral flu drugs and vaccines saves lives and reduces disease in a flu pandemic,” but the cost to maintain such a stockpile and deploy interventions in the event of an outbreak “is too expensive for around two thirds of the world’s population, scientists said on Wednesday,” Reuters reports.

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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.