WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on Tuesday rejected recent criticisms that her decisions to declare H1N1 (swine flu) a pandemic were impacted by her advisers’ link to the pharmaceutical industry, the Associated Press reports.
Bristol-Myers Squibb’s plans this month to close its plant in Meymac, France, that manufactures “the last therapeutic option” for HIV-positive babies has drawn criticism from UNITAID, Reuters reports. In an open letter published in the Lancet (.pdf), UNITAID writes that “[c]losing this factory means that 4,000 to 7,000 babies currently enrolled in treatment plans in developing countries through UNITAID could be left without the medicines they need.”
During the Women Deliver conference on Monday Melinda Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “will spend $1.5 billion over the next five years on maternal and child health, family planning and nutrition in developing countries, a pledge that signals a new focus for the foundation known for concentrating on vaccines and AIDS,” the Wall Street Journal reports (Jordan, 6/7).
“Millennium development goals: Profit has a place at the base of the pyramid,” Financial TimesÂ (Murray, 6/7). “ViiV, Elizabeth Glaser Pact To Expedite Access To ARV Treatment”,” Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal (Musha Baba, 6/7). “Novartis, Sanofi Pursue ‘Cash Machine’ in Indian Countryside,” Bloomberg (Sharma, 6/7).Â Agence France-PressÂ (6/7) and The PunchÂ (Nwankwo, 6/8)…
Governments worldwide should work with the U.N. on a joint action plan to significantly improve the health of women and children around the world by 2015, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a speech at the opening of the Women Deliver conference on Monday in Washington, DC, Agence France-Presse reports.
The European Union on Wednesday sent $29 million worth of food and medical aid to help “millions facing hunger” across the drought-stricken Sahel region of West Africa, Reuters reports. “Failed rains have left over 10 million people at risk in Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and other countries in the semi-arid belt stretching across the southern edge of the Sahara,” the news service writes. “Niger last month forecast that 3.3 million people, or 22 percent of its population, would face severe food shortages, with a further 3.8 million vulnerable to a lesser degree” (John, 6/2).
“Key scientists behind World Health Organization advice on stockpiling of pandemic flu drugs had financial ties with companies which stood to profit,” according to a joint investigation by BMJ in collaboration with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, BBC News reports (6/4).
Blog: Shah Describes Obama Administration’s Approach To Foreign Aid Reporting on a recent international development forum, “Obama’s Foreign Aid Reform” blog notes USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah’s remarks on how the Obama administration “is doing things differently.”Â According to the blog, “The first is on doing a ‘better job of being evidence-based’…
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on Thursday announced the WHO still considers H1N1 (swine) flu a pandemic, despite the fact “its most intense activity has passed in many parts of the world,” Reuters reports (Lynn, 6/3).
By 2030, cancer could claim the lives of 13.3 million annually, almost double the number of patients who died from the illness in 2008, the U.N.’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reports. The group also “forecast[ed] that in 2030, new cases of cancer would soar to 21.3 million,” the news service adds (6/1).