Under Shah’s Leadership, USAID Poised ‘To Regain Its Prominence’ In Global Nutrition, Lancet Opinion SaysÂ Rajiv Shah’s appointment as USAID administrator “comes at a crucial time of challenge and opportunity for the Agency to improve the nutritional well-being of impoverished societies,” write the authors of a Lancet Comment that examines…
The Canadian government on Thursday announced the country would donate five million doses of H1N1 vaccines to the WHO from the country’s current surplus, the Canadian Press reports (Branswell, 1/28). “[T]he donation will help the Geneva-based international body in its efforts to redistribute the vaccine to developing countries that couldn’t afford their own supplies,” the Globe and Mail reports (Alphonso, 1/28).
Over the next decade, efforts to vaccinate “infants against rotavirus could save the lives of millions of children in developing nations who would otherwise die from the diarrhea-causing disease, two new studies show,” HealthDay/BusinsessWeek reports. The studies track diarrhea deaths among children vaccinated against rotavirus in Africa and Mexico and appear in the Jan. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (Thomas, 1/27).
Biovac Institute, a South African vaccine maker, said Monday that it is working with other major pharmaceutical firms to increase its annual capacity sevenfold to 35 million doses by 2013, Reuters reports. Morena Makhoana, the company’s deputy chief executive, said that 25 million of those doses will remain in Africa.
During a Council of Europe meeting on Tuesday to address the WHO’s handling of the H1N1 virus, the WHO said it had not “fallen under the sway of drugs firms and exaggerated the dangers of the H1N1 flu virus, but said it might have handled the crisis better,” Reuters reports. “Critics say the WHO relied too much on advice from advisers in the pay of the pharmaceutical industry, triggering an internal review by the WHO and an inquiry by the Council of Europe, a pan European human rights watchdog,” writes the news service (Reilhac, 1/26).
In his second annual letter, Bill Gates reflects on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work and the importance innovation will play in overcoming some of the world’s greatest challenges, including in global health and agriculture, the Associated Press/Wall Street Journal reports. “Gates says the foundation currently is backing 30 areas of innovation including online learning, teacher improvement, malaria vaccine development, HIV prevention, and genetically modified seeds,” according to the news service (1/25).
WHO spokesperson Gregory Hartl on Monday rejected accusations that the organization miscategorized H1N1 (swine flu) as a pandemic, calling such accusations “irresponsible,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “WHO also dismissed claims it colluded with drug companies to bring economic benefit to the industry by playing up the danger of the new H1N1 [swine flu] influenza strain,” the news service writes.
Also In Global Health News: Counterfeit Condoms; Health Systems In Gaza; Malaria Parasite; SA Male Circumcision Program; MDGs In Botswana
China’s Counterfeit Condoms HaveÂ Health Officials Worried The Los Angeles Times examines how an increase in counterfeit condoms in China has health officials fearing the worst â€“ the products “may in fact spread infectious diseases, tarnishing the axiom that condoms mean safe sex.” The newspaper continues, “Authorities estimate that up to…
Scientists Determine How Malaria Parasite Enters Body Scientists have discovered how the malaria parasite enters the body, ABC Science reports. The researchers, who describe their findings in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, say that by better understanding the basic biology of how parasites move can help in the development…
Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s chief executive officer Andrew Witty on Tuesday unveiled the company’s plans to allow “free access to its library of 13,500 potential malaria treatments and devote the profits from its experimental [RTS,S] vaccine to battling tropical illnesses that beset poor countries,” Bloomberg reports (Randall, 1/20).