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HHS Secretary Sebelius Discusses Polio Eradication, Maintaining Smallpox Virus Stocks At World Health Assembly

In a press briefing on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday “cited two major issues for the U.S.: the eradication of polio, as concerns remain in countries where the disease is endemic, such as Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan, with outbreaks in other nations, and maintaining the stocks of smallpox virus, which has already been eradicated,” Intellectual Property Watch reports.

Recent Releases In Global Health

New U.N. Website: The new site focuses on the upcoming High Level Meeting on AIDS in New York, June 8-10, according to an update on the UNAIDS Facebook page. It includes program information, background materials and other details relevant to the meeting (5/18). Cultivating The WHO’s Strengths: This CSIS Global Health Policy Center…

Two Drug Makers Will Disclose Prices They Charge UNICEF For Vaccines

The Telegraph reports that when “UNICEF began publishing prices agreed with suppliers for a range of vaccines over the past decade, … some companies – including GSK, Novartis, Intervax and Crucell – did not initially allow disclosure.”

WHO Director-General Outlines Vision For Reform In World Health Assembly Opening Address

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on Monday laid out her vision for reforming the international health agency in the opening address of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, saying she sees “a WHO that gives a bigger voice to the many partners working on health, but encourages them to speak with a coherent voice that responds, first and foremost, to the needs and priorities as defined by recipient countries,” Intellectual Property Watch reports.

World Health Assembly Begins In Geneva

As the 64th World Health Assembly gets underway in Geneva, the body will consider “an array of subjects pertaining to reforms of the organisation and its financing, vaccines, fake medicines, and influenza pandemic preparedness, as well as communicable and non-communicable diseases,” Intellectual Property Watch reports (Saez, 5/13).

WHO Releases Annual World Health Statistics Report

The WHO on Friday released its annual World Health Statistics report, which includes data on more than 100 indicators – such as life expectancy, mother and child mortality, disease prevalence and health expenditures – from the agency’s 193 member states, the Associated Press reports (5/14).