Developing and developed countries that require children to be vaccinated against rotavirus “have significantly reduced the number of children admitted to hospitals with the disease, a report showed on Thursday,” Reuters reports (Kelland, 1/20).
As the WHO executive board continues meeting in Geneva this week, members “on Thursday backed efforts by the U.S. and Russia to keep the last known stocks of the smallpox virus for research to combat terrorism, in an initial debate over the fate over what is left of one of the world’s most lethal pathogens,” the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the article, the 34-member board supported the notion “that those stocks are needed to finish developing drugs and vaccines to counter a potential bioterror attack or accidental release of smallpox from unsanctioned stocks, officials familiar with the talks said.”
Intellectual Property Watch reports on how delegates at WHO’s executive board meeting used Wednesday to discuss WHO policy on counterfeit and substandard medications. According to the news service, WHO “members â€¦ raised strong concerns that a working group they mandated last May to address problems with WHO policy on counterfeit and substandard medicines has yet to be formed â€“ with four months remaining before it must report back to members.”
“A joint venture between U.S. drugmaker Merck and Britain’s Wellcome Trust charity said on Monday it is working on an oral rotavirus vaccine designed to be cheaper and easier to use than current shots,” Reuters reports. “Hilleman Laboratories, an India-based joint venture set up on a not-for-profit basis in 2009, said the vaccine will aim to protect against diarrhea-causing rotavirus infections and will be based on thin strips or granules that dissolve in the mouth and can be easily transported, stored and administered.”
“The cholera bacterium has undergone important mutations in recent years, causing longer outbreaks of the disease with increased fatalities, researchers reported on Wednesday,” Reuters reports. “In a package of papers published in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, they said mass vaccinations should be considered as a solution even after outbreaks have begun,” the news service writes (Lyn, 1/26).
Innovative Health Financing Can Benefit Global Health, Pharma: “The launch of pneumococcal vaccination in Nicaragua under AMC [advance market commitment] has shown that innovative approaches to health financing can benefit both global health and pharmaceutical companies,” according toÂ a Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial that describes how the roll-out of GAVI initiative…
Also In Global Health News: Medical Tourism In Southeast Asia; Cholera, Yellow Fever In Ivory Coast; U.S. Aid To Egypt; Universal Coverage In Mexico; Pneumonia’s Evolution
IRIN Examines Medical Tourism’s Affect In Southeast Asia IRIN examines how “rapid growth in medical tourism” in southeast Asian countries is affecting health systems in the region. According to the WHO, “medical tourism is leading to some highly skilled specialists, as well as other trained medical staff, leaving public health…
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “urged developed nations to help him wipe out polio ‘once and for all’ at an event to release his third annual letter [.pdf] Monday,” Agence France-Presse reports.
Stockpiling Flu Drugs, Vaccines Reduces Impact Of Pandemic, But Option Out Of Reach For Most Countries, Study Finds
“Stockpiling antiviral flu drugs and vaccines saves lives and reduces disease in a flu pandemic,” but the cost to maintain such a stockpile and deploy interventions in the event of an outbreak “is too expensive for around two thirds of the world’s population, scientists said on Wednesday,” Reuters reports.
Also In Global Health News: HIV, Health Insurance In India; Measles Immunization Drive In Liberia; U.S. Aid To Egypt; Expansion Of Ugandan Pharma; Funding Cuts To Non-Profit Offering HIV/AIDS Drugs In Africa
Health Officials To Press For National Insurance Policy For People Living With HIV/AIDS “India could soon see a national medical insurance policy for people living with HIV,” Times of India reports. Though HIV coverage is currently “excluded from all insurance policies available in the country â€¦ Union health ministry officials…