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Over $6B Pledged As CGI Annual Meeting Wraps Up

Donors made 291 commitments worth more than $6 billion at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting, which wrapped up on Thursday, Reuters reports. “The value of [CGI] pledges for economic empowerment, education, environment, energy and health was $3 billion less than 2009, but the organization said that in previous years one or two big commitments represented a disproportionate share of the whole,” the news service writes. “Since 2005, nearly 2,000 commitments have been made valued at $63 billion” (Nichols, 9/23).

Also In Global Health News: GM Mosquitoes; Iodine Deficiency In Nepal; South African Health Workers Strike; Novartis To Build Vaccine Plant In Brazil; Population Control In Niger

Malaysia Considers GM Mosquito Release To Control Dengue Fever Malaysia is still “considering releasing” up to 3,000 mosquitoes that are genetically modified to “combat dengue fever, in a landmark field trial that has come in for criticism from environmentalists,” Agence France-Presse reports. The insects are modified “so that their offspring quickly die,” which…

Ten Million Face Hunger In Central Africa; Niger Flooding Exacerbates Food Shortage, Leaves 200,000 Homeless

Flash floods have “worsened an already chronic humanitarian crisis caused by drought” in central Africa where aid agencies have warned that “10 million people are already facing severe food shortages, particularly in the landlocked countries of Chad and Niger, after a drought led to the failure of last year’s crops,” the Independent reports. “Now unusually heavy rains [in Niger] have washed away this year’s crops and killed cattle in a region dependent on subsistence agriculture,” and where only 40 percent of people affected by the food shortages are receiving aid, according to the agencies, including Oxfam and Save the Children.

HHS Unveils $1.9B Strategy To Better Prepare For Biological Threats

“Acknowledging that the development of medical countermeasures against bioterrorism threats and pandemic flu is lagging, [U.S.] federal authorities Thursday announced a $1.9 billion makeover of the system for identifying and manufacturing drugs and vaccines for public-health emergencies,” Tribune Company/Seattle Times reports. “The overhaul includes manufacturing refinements aimed at shaving weeks off the time it takes to produce pandemic flu vaccine and a series of steps aimed at more quickly detecting promising scientific discoveries and getting them to market,” the news service writes (Zajac, 8/19).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Blog: U.S. Humanitarian Assistance Remains A ‘Sound Investment’ In view of World Humanitarian Day, a Huffington Post blog discusses the “lessons” of disaster response and the global “proliferation of humanitarian crises.” First, the authors write that “the number of people affected by disasters is on the rise,” mostly due to conflict and…

Study Examines Movement Of Pediatric Drug Testing Outside The U.S.

“A law intended to speed up development of new drugs for U.S. kids has ended up financing clinical trials in poor countries, where the medicines might never become available,” suggest the authors of a study published online Monday in the journal Pedatrics, Reuters reports (Joelving, 8/23).

Also In Global Health News: IDUs In Kenya; Haiti Recovery; Pandemic Preparedness; Somalia Hunger; HIV In Mozambique; Strengthening Immune System Against HIV

Kenya Drafts Policy To Address HIV In IDUs In Kenya, “[i]ntravenous drug users (IDUs) have been largely ignored by the government’s HIV programmes on the basis that drug-taking is illegal, but a new policy is being drafted with the aim of reducing HIV transmission among this high-risk group,” IRIN/PlusNews reports.…

Wall Street Journal Reports On Pharma’s Growing Interest In Emerging Markets

“Abbott Laboratories will soon acquire the biggest share of India’s pharmaceuticals market, about 7%, when the company closes as early as next month on a $3.7 billion takeover of the drugs business of Piramal Healthcare Ltd.,” the Wall Street Journal reports in an article that examines how pharmaceutical companies are tapping into emerging markets as a way to bolster sales.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Examines Health Workers Lost To International Organizations A Lancet Comment discusses how developing country doctors and nurses who are recruited by in-country international organizations, research institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can “prevent government-trained doctors and nurses from contributing to their [national health service] NHS.” The authors write that some of…