Tuberculosis deserves an effort as “substantial” as the one mounted against swine flu “to develop a new vaccine,” David McMurray, a TB expert at Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, writes in a Houston Chronicle opinion piece. “Since April, … nearly one million men, women and children have died from TB, compared to 4,200 who have died from H1N1 flu globally. Why didn’t you see any headlines? Because 98 percent of the nearly two million people who die each year from TB live in the developing world, in places like Kenya … Yet TB continues to be a problem in [the U.S.] as well because in an age of globalization, germs cross borders without a passport,” McMurray writes.
Pneumonia & Flu
New studies suggest that “[d]eveloping countries with limited access to advanced health-care facilities may be in for a rough ride with swine [H1N1] flu and even countries with high-tech ICUs may find themselves pushed to the limit as their hospitals struggle to save gravely ill H1N1 patients,” the Canadian Press reports. The studies, which compare outcomes among H1N1 patients admitted to intensive care units in Canada and Mexico,” show “the death rate in the latter was more than double that seen among Canadian patients. Just over 40 percent of critically ill Mexican patients succumbed to their illness by day 60, compared to 17.3 percent of Canadian patients by day 90.” The findings were reported online in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on Monday.
WHO leaders and international health ministers met Thursday for a two-day meeting in Cancun, Mexico, to share the lessons learned from the spread of H1N1 (swine flu) (Xinhua, 7/3) and strategies for “battling the pandemic,” the AP/Washington Post reports.
Within the next few days, the WHO “will recommend that countries stop trying to test all suspected cases of swine flu, said Keiji Fukuda, the agencyâ€™s assistant director-general of health security and environment,” Tuesday during a conference call with reporters, Bloomberg reports.
Also In Global Health News: Kenya Donor Fund Management; Malaria In Afghanistan; Pneumococcal Vaccine In Rwanda; Female Condom
Kenya Seeking Agents To Manage Health Donor Funds Kenya’s health ministry is looking to appoint agents to manage funds from the CDC â€“ “a key donor to the health sector” â€“ and other donors, Business Daily/allAfrica.com reports. The move by the government comes after “revelations that some key health institutions”…
Developing countries will need an estimated $1 billion by year’s end to ensure their access to antivirals and vaccines to protect against the H1N1 (swine flu) virus, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday, AFP/Google.com reports.
“The White House, months before flu season, will roll out the big guns Thursday for a swine flu preparedness summit, underscoring the importance the Obama administration is placing on the pandemic,” CNN reports.
The Obama administration on Thursday said a nationwide vaccination program could begin as early as mid-October to protect Americans from the H1N1 (swine flu) virus and pledged $350 million to help prepare communities across the country for this effort, the Washington Times reports.
“Saying the new H1N1 [swine flu] virus is ‘unstoppable’, the WHO gave drug makers a full go-ahead to manufacture vaccines against the pandemic influenza strain on Monday and said healthcare workers should be the first to get one,” Reuters reports (Fox, 7/14). This, as “Britain, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, the Philippines…
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday the U.S. has agreed to put an addition $1 billion towards ingredients for the production of a vaccine that offers protection against the H1N1 (swine flu) virus, Reuters reports.