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Also In Global Health News: Child, Maternal Mortality; AIDS 2010; Food Aid To N. Korea; Millennium Challenge Corporation; Family Planning Conference; Parasitic Disease Test

AU Summit To Examine Progress Toward Child, Maternal Mortality MDGs When leaders of African states gather for the African Union summit in Kampala, Uganda, in July, they will assess the continent’s progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals relating to child and maternal mortality, Isaac Musumba, Uganda’s state minister for…

GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Will Supply 600M Doses Of Reduced-Price Pneumococcal Vaccines To Developing Countries Over 10 Years, GAVI Says

The GAVI Alliance on Tuesday formally announced that drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer had signed off on a “10-year deal … to supply 60 million doses a year of cut-price pneumococcal vaccines to developing nations,” Reuters reports. The agreement is under what’s “called an Advance Market Commitment (AMC) which guarantees a market for vaccines supplied to poor nations but sets a maximum price drugmakers can expect to receive,” the news service writes (Kelland, 3/23).

Religious Leaders Vow To Fight HIV/AIDS Stigma, Discrimination

A two-day gathering in The Hague of religious leaders to discuss the role people of faith can play in the fight against HIV/AIDS concluded Tuesday with a pledge to prevent discrimination against those living with the disease, the Associated Press reports.

WHO Report Calls For Countries To Improve Access To Health Services

“Tens of millions of people are pushed into poverty each year as a result of rising costs for health care, the World Health Organization said Monday” as the agency released a report on financing health systems and universal coverage, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. It also highlights the vulnerability of populations without access to health care services and outlines the steps countries can take to move toward universal health care, according to the article (11/22).

Health Groups Urge Restrictions On Tobacco Additives

Following five days of deliberations aimed at “fleshing-out the so-called Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC),” delegates on Saturday “approved a proposal to limit the use of tobacco additives, which critics say improve the flavor of cigarettes, encouraging consumers to smoke more,” Reuters reports (Fleitas, 11/20).

First African Tapped As New Head Of U.N. Population Fund

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Friday that former Nigerian Health Minister Babatunde Osotimehin has been appointed to head to head the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), the U.K. Press Association reports. Osotimehin, “a 61-year-old medical doctor and AIDS expert, is the first African to head the agency,” according to the news service (11/20).

Reproductive Health Forum In Ghana Addresses Unsafe Abortions In Africa

The issue of unsafe abortion and its role in women’s health was the focus of a four-day conference this week in Accra, Ghana, involving health experts, policymakers and health workers from across Africa, Ghana News Agency reports. According to the news service, the conference agenda was to include: “a review of regional and national progress in addressing unsafe abortion, lessons from research and experience that could improve safe abortion care, post abortion care and related reproductive health care, such as preventing unwanted pregnancy, discussion of an agenda for action for the African region and ways to improve collaboration among governments, NGOs and other stakeholders” (11/9).

Report Documents Increase In R&D Projects On Developing World Diseases

“Drugmakers are now working on over 100 R&D projects designed to tackle diseases of the developing world and almost 80% of them are being carried out with non-industry partners,” according to a report (.pdf) released on Wednesday by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), Pharma Times reports.

U.N. Agencies, Rotary International Launch Mass Polio Immunization Campaign In Central Africa

The WHO, UNICEF and Rotary International on Thursday announced they will kick off a “mass polio immunization campaign in three Central African nations” on Friday “in response to a polio outbreak suspected in more than 100 deaths and deemed ‘unusual’ because it targets adults more than children,” that was first confirmed in the Republic of Congo on Nov. 4, the Associated Press reports.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Developing World Access To Medication: “Access to life-saving, essential medicines must be improved,” Josh Ruxin, founder and director of the Access Project and director of Rwanda Works, writes in a Forbes’ “Science Business” blog. After looking at the debate over whether the free market can help improve access and examining programs,…