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PAHO Documents Increase In Dengue Fever Cases In Latin America

Countries in Latin America “are bracing this year for a particularly virulent outbreak of the mosquito-borne tropical disease” known as dengue fever, after reports show an increase in the number of cases recorded this year, Agence France-Presse reports. “The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) said so far it has logged some 146,000 cases in the first three months of the year, of which 79 have been fatal. This time last year there were some 79,000 cases of dengue reported, with 26 deaths,” the news service writes.

World TB Day Coverage: Lesotho, Armenia, Drug Resistance, HIV Coinfection

“To mark World [Tuberculosis] Day on Wednesday, Medecins Sans Frontieres [MSF] drew attention to Lesotho, which has the world’s third-highest prevalence of HIV … and the fourth-highest prevalence of tuberculosis,” the Associated Press reports. The average life expectancy in the country is just 36 years, according to the AP.

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.

UNAIDS Executive Director Calls For ‘Serious Attention To TB’ On World TB Day

In a statement marking World Tuberculosis Day, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe “warned Wednesday that double infections of HIV and TB could become the next new epidemic,” the Associated Press reports. Sidibe said, “I’m calling for serious attention to TB, and serious attention to TB-HIV co-infection” (Corder, 3/24).

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).

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…

WHO Advises Continued Use Of GSK’s Rotavirus Vaccine In Developing Countries

The WHO on Monday advised developing countries to continue administering GlaxoSmithKline’s Rotarix vaccine – which offers protection to children against the diarrhea-causing rotavirus – after the FDA advised doctors in the U.S. to temporarily stop using the vaccine following the discovery it was “contaminated with an apparently harmless pig virus,” Reuters reports. “Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe childhood diarrhea and causes more than 500,000 deaths from dehydration among young children worldwide, mostly in countries where vaccination isn’t common,” the Wall Street Journal writes (Corbett Dooren/Favole, 3/23).