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Security Concerns Hindering Polio Immunizations In Pakistan, WHO Official Says

“Some 240,000 children have missed U.N.-backed vaccinations against polio because of security concerns in Pakistan’s tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, a top official with the World Health Organization said Friday,” the Associated Press/Huffington Post reports. “Nima Saeed Abid, the acting WHO chief in Pakistan, said health workers have not been able to immunize…

Parents, Officials In Pakistan Working To Bring Polio Vaccine To Areas Under Militant Control

“Parents and officials are going to great lengths to immunize children after militants imposed a ban on polio vaccinations in Pakistan’s restive North Waziristan Agency,” with some parents “traveling long distances to get their children vaccinated” or “smuggling the vaccine back home,” IRIN reports. “Militants in the area banned all polio vaccinations…

South Africa To Host Third Global Forum On TB Vaccines

“This week more than 250 scientists, researchers, and tuberculosis (TB) advocates from all over the world will gather in Cape Town, South Africa, at the Third Global Forum on TB Vaccines to share findings and look to the future of TB vaccine research and development,” Tom Evans, CEO of Aeras,…

Bill Gates Tours Ghana’s Health System, Discusses Polio Eradication

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “is currently in Ghana to assess the country’s health systems,” Ventures Africa reports. Gates “touched down in Accra March 25, 2013, and says he is in Ghana to get firsthand information on why the country’s immunization system is working so…

Researchers Examine Performance Of Africa’s Expanded Programme On Immunization

In a paper published in PLoS Medicine last week, researchers from the Vaccines for Africa Initiative at the University of Cape Town’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine examine the performance of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) in Africa since its inception in 1974. “With the 2015 deadline…

Bill Gates Reflects On Visit To Ghana To Learn About Immunization Program

“I arrive in Ghana today to see firsthand why the country’s immunization system is working so well and meet the people involved,” Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in the foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog. “Ghana’s approach works so well for a few key reasons: Rigorous…

Effectiveness Of Candidate Malaria Vaccine Decreases Over Time, Study Shows

“The effectiveness of an experimental malaria vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline wanes over time, with the shot protecting only 16.8 percent of children over four years, according to trial data,” Reuters reports. “The disappointing results for RTS,S — the world’s first potential malaria vaccine — raise further questions about whether it…

Mozambique Completes First HIV Vaccine Clinical Trial

Last week, “researchers at Mozambique’s Polana Cancio Centre for Research and Public Health completed a trial evaluating the safety of an HIV vaccine candidate,” the country’s “first HIV vaccine trial,” and it “is set to embark on a second, a demonstration of the country’s increased HIV research capacity,” PlusNews reports. The Phase…

IRIN Examines Maternal Mortality In Nepal

IRIN examines maternal mortality in Nepal, writing, “Observed declines [in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR)] since the early 1990s make Nepal, together with Bangladesh, the most recent ‘success story,’ comparable to countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Cuba that gained ground decades earlier, Julia Hussein, lead author of a 2011 medical…

Nigerian Polio Vaccinators Face Challenges But Aim For Eradication By 2018

The Independent reports on the challenges polio vaccinators in Nigeria face, including “the daily gauntlet of militant gangs, kidnappers, and unforgiving waters, on a mission to immunize children.” Polio remains endemic in Nigeria, as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan, “[a]nd it’s why the vaccinators — determined to cut the deaths…