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WHO Director-General Expresses Concern Over Public Mistrust Of Vaccines

During the WHO’s executive board meeting Monday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan expressed concerns over what she called a “‘worrisome’ public mistrust of vaccines, following signs of a tail-off in flu vaccination,” Agence France-Presse reports (1/18).

Africa’s Economic Expansion Not Strong Enough To Reach Poverty MDG, U.N. Report Says

“Africa’s economy expanded by 4.7 percent in 2010 and is expected to maintain similar growth over the next two years,” according to the U.N.’s World Economic Situation and Prospects 2011 report, which was released Tuesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. But the economic growth and indicators of economic recovery are not strong enough to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG) poverty targets, according to the report (1/18).

Daily Report Global Health Conversations: U.N. Women

After years in the making, U.N. Women, the U.N.’s new agency devoted to gender equality and women’s empowerment officially got to work this month. The Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report’s Jennifer Evans spoke with Letty Chiwara, head of U.N. Women’s Africa Division, to discuss the agency’s launch and the overlap between issues relating to women’s health and their equality and empowerment.

WHO Director-General Opens Executive Board Session With Calls For Reform

Kicking off a nine-day annual WHO executive board meeting Monday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan called for the board to consider areas where the agency can redirect resources in a more targeted manner so as to achieve greater outcomes, Reuters reports. “In a critical assessment of the United Nations body she has headed since 2006, Chan described wasteful overlap with other health financiers and said the WHO needed to concentrate on areas where it can make the most impact,” the news service writes (MacInnis, 1/17).

Report Recommends New Approaches For Fighting World Hunger

A new report from the Worldwatch Institute, a research organization, recommends focusing on new approaches to address world hunger, Nature’s blog “The Great Beyond” reports. According to the report, “previous approaches to feeding the world’s population have ‘not really worked’ since around 925 million people globally still go hungry everyday,” the blog reports (Gilbert, 1/13). The State of the World 2011 report said, “[a]griculture as we know it today is in trouble,” Agence France-Presse writes, adding that it “said there had to be a revolution in investment in food and water to reverse a ‘frightening’ long-term depletion of stocks.”

Women’s eNews Examines Launch Of U.N. Women

Women’s eNews examines U.N.’s new agency U.N. Women, which officially got off the ground on Jan. 3. According to the news service, U.N. Women’s “Manhattan headquarters remain unoccupied, said U.N. Women spokesperson Gretchen Luchsinger”; employees from the previous U.N. entities that focused on women’s issues remain in “scattered offices around the U.N. Secretariat building”; and “[s]even high-level staff positions” remain unfilled.

News Outlets Examine Reaction To WHO Plan To Contain Drug-Resistant Malaria

In follow-up coverage of the WHO’s announcement Wednesday of a plan to contain the spread of artemisinin-resistant malaria, news outlets examined the scope of the problem, reactions to the plan and speculations by some of how the anticipated $175 million annual cost would be funded.

WHO, Roll Back Malaria Partnership Launch Initiative To Contain Artemisinin-Resistant Malaria

The WHO and Roll Back Malaria partnership (RBM) on Wednesday launched an initiative to “stop a form of drug-resistant malaria from spreading from Southeast Asia to Africa, where millions of lives could be at risk,” Reuters reports. “It would cost about $175 million a year to contain and prevent the global spread of the artemisinin-resistant parasite which first emerged along the Thai-Cambodian border in 2007, the United Nations agency said,” according to the news agency (Nebehay, 1/12).