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PHARMABIZ.com Examines India’s Push For Clearer Definition Of Counterfeit, Substandard Medicines

“India has taken the lead to get together a number of generic drug-producing nations to call for better definitions to ensure quality, strengthening of regulatory authorities in the respective countries, and bringing focus of the world to public health instead of intellectual property,” PHARMABIZ.com writes in an article that examines the recent meeting of leaders from Brazil, India and South Africa on issues regarding counterfeit medicines. “The initiative came as an inter-governmental working group, appointed by the World Health Assembly last year, is looking at the WHO’s role to ensure the availability of quality, safe and efficacious and affordable medicine,” according to the new service.

CNN Reports On Recent Uptick In Cholera Cases Worldwide

CNN’s “the chart” blog examines the rising number of cholera cases around the world. In addition to the cholera outbreak in Haiti, “[a]s of this month, four African nations – Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger – have reported more than 40,000 cases of cholera and more than 2,000 deaths. And Pakistan, a country that is still suffering from the effects of horrific floods, also is reporting 100+ cases of cholera since last month.”

Cholera Outbreak In Haiti Shows ‘Slight Slowing,’ But Experts Say Interventions Should Continue

Nearly 300 people have died from cholera and 3,612 diagnosed in Haiti’s week-old epidemic, Reuters reports, citing numbers from Haitian health authorities. The news service reports that “the U.N., the [Haitian] government, and its foreign aid partners are expecting the disease to spread further in its epidemic phase. They have launched a combined treatment, containment and prevention strategy for the whole country.”

Sec. of State Clinton Commits $44M Toward New Initiatives To Empower Women

Marking the 10th anniversary of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 – the first “to recognize the importance of women’s ‘full involvement’ in efforts to maintain and promote peace and security” – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday together with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and diplomats called for increased action to end sexual violence in war and increase women’s involvement in peace-building efforts, the Associated Press/Forbes reports (10/26).

Polio Vaccination Campaign Targeting 72M Children In 15 African Countries Announced; Ugandan Health Authorities Declare Polio Outbreak

The WHO on Tuesday announced a mass polio immunization campaign in 15 African countries targeting a total of 72 million children, Agence France-Presse reports. “Polio has spread again in recent years with cases imported from some of the four endemic nations in Asia and Africa, mainly Nigeria, in a setback to global attempts to eradicate the crippling and sometimes lethal disease,” the news service writes (10/26).

Also In Global Health News: Flooding, HIV Treatment Adherence, and Economic Growth In Africa; China Detects Superbug; U.S. Aid To Myanmar; Cash-Transfer Programs

1.8M Now Affected By Flooding In West And Central Africa; Hardest Hit-Benin Struggles With Disease, Damaged Health Centers Flooding continues to devastate Central and West Africa – more than 1.8 million people have been affected and 400 killed, according to the U.N., United Press International reports. “The nation of Benin has…

ECSA Forum Kicks Off Monday With Discussion On Effects Of Funding, Health Worker Shortages On MDGs

“Officially opening the East, Central and Southern Africa (ECSA) forum on best practices and joint consultative meeting on Monday, [Zimbabwe Minister of Health and Child Welfare Henry] Madzorera said the shortage of health workers and the growing burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases had slowed down progress” toward achieving the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), NewsDay reports.

Cholera Epidemic In Haiti Persists Despite Slowdown In Fatalities

“A multinational medical response has slowed deaths in a Haitian cholera epidemic that has killed more than 250 people so far, but the outbreak is likely to widen, a senior U.N. official said on Sunday,” Reuters reports. The U.N., Haitian government and aid partners “have launched a major effort to try to contain the epidemic” of more than 3,000 cases in the country so far (Delva, 10/25). The New York Times reports that the death rate, according to the Haitian government, has “declined – from 10.6 percent of known cases three days earlier to 8.2 percent now.”

To Reach MDGs, Citizens Must Demand More From Political Leaders, Former U.N. Secretary-General Tells U.N. Foundation Board Meeting

At a U.N. Foundation board meeting in Ghana to discuss Millennium Development Goal progress, which concluded on Saturday, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan “called on the citizenry to demand the attainment of these set goals from their political leaders,” the Accra Mail reports. “It is only through this that we can put pressure on the politician to work towards achieving these goals,” he said, according to the newpaper.