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Militants Ban Polio Vaccination In Northwest Pakistan In Response To U.S. Drone Strikes In Region

“A Pakistani militant group threatened action on Saturday against anyone conducting polio vaccinations in the region where it is based, saying the health care drive was a cover for U.S. spies,” Reuters reports, adding, “The group, based in North Waziristan and led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, said it had banned vaccinations for as long as U.S. drone aircraft continued to make missile strikes in Pakistan” (Mujtaba, 6/16). “The statement by Hafiz Gul Bahadur is an obstacle to efforts to beat polio in Pakistan, one of only three nations where the virus is endemic,” the Associated Press writes (6/17).

India Emerging As Model For Improvement In Developing Countries

In this NDTV opinion piece, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reflects on his recent trip to India, writing, “During my recent visit, I had a chance to see the latest progress on things that matter a lot to us: on eradicating polio and curtailing the spread of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, for example.” He continues, “And I saw how India is emerging as a model and increasingly a catalyst for improvement in other developing countries,” adding, “The current situation in India is quite hopeful.”

Gates Foundation 2009 Annual Report Released

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday released its 2009 annual report (.pdf) highlighting some of the foundation’s work over the last year, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports (Holtzman, 9/7).

Also In Global Health News: Revaccinating HIV-Positive Children; Embezzled Aid In Mali; HIV In India; Mobile Phone Aid; Polio In Central Africa; Pneumococcal Vaccines

HIV-Positive Children On HAART May Need Revaccination HIV-positive children on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) “may need to be revaccinated to maintain their immunity against preventable childhood diseases,” according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, HealthDay/BusinessWeek reports. After reviewing 38 studies, researchers found that children…

East Africa Declared Polio-Free Again After Outbreak

“Eastern Africa is free of polio again, with four countries – Ethiopia , Kenya, Sudan and Uganda – having reported no cases of the crippling disease for more than a year, U.N. and other aid agencies said on Friday,” Reuters reports (7/30). The WHO “said the region had responded fast to the outbreak,” according to the Daily Monitor. The article reports that the four countries now “join neighbouring Somalia which has been polio free for the last three years” (Lirri, 8/2).

Also In Global Health News: Active TB Genetic Marker Found; African Bishops Fight HIV; Polio Eradication; PEPFAR In Dominican Republic

Active TB “Genetic Signature” Found Researchers have identified a “genetic signature” in the blood of active tuberculosis patients in the U.K. and South Africa that could one day lead to a test to predict who among latent carriers might develop the disease, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, Reuters reports…

Also In Global Health News: Kenya Approves Constitution; Angola Vaccinates Against Polio; Misoprostol In Kenya; Preventing HIV In IDUs

Kenya Approves Constitution In Peaceful Election “Kenyans voted in favour of a new constitution in a peaceful referendum that could reshape the political landscape of east Africa’s largest economy, partial results showed on Thursday,” Reuters writes. The new constitution “addresses the corruption, political patronage, land-grabbing and tribalism which have plagued…

Boston Globe Examines Rise Of Polio In Tajikistan, Other Pockets Of World

“Polio has reappeared in a corner of the world that had not seen cases in years – Tajikistan, the former Soviet republic – a chilling setback in the two-decade campaign to purge a dreaded cause of childhood paralysis from the planet,” the Boston Globe reports in a story that examines the reemergence of polio in other areas of the world.

Also In Global Health News: China Smoking Ban; Gates Foundation Grants; Global Consumer Taxes; Polio Vaccination In Uzbekistan; Maternal Mortality In Uganda

China Vows To Ban Smoking From Public Places By 2011 “China, the world’s biggest consumer of tobacco, has insisted it will honour a pledge to ban smoking in public places by 2011 in accordance with an international treaty, state media said Tuesday,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Senior ministry official Yang Qing…