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Also In Global Health News: Mass Rape In Congo; Malaria Research At Walter Reed; Nevirapine For Infants; Aid To Pakistan Improved Trust; Child Mortality In Bolivia; Jamaica Global Fund Grants

U.N. Now Estimates 500 Raped In Congo “Approximately 500 women were raped in eastern Congo in July and August,” U.N. officials said Tuesday, revising an earlier report of 242 victims, according to the New York Times. Atul Khare, deputy head of peacekeeping who was sent to the region to investigate,…

Also In Global Health News: Congo Security Warnings; Niger Food Crisis; Drug Cost In Developing Countries; Measles Vaccination In China

Congolese Community Leaders Warned U.N. About Security; 240 Rape Victims Now Identified “Congolese community leaders say they begged local U.N. officials and army commanders to protect villagers days before rebels gang-raped scores of people, from a month-old baby boy to a 110-year-old great-great-grandmother,” the Associated Press reports. The Walikale Civil Association…

Also In Global Health News: GM Mosquitoes; Iodine Deficiency In Nepal; South African Health Workers Strike; Novartis To Build Vaccine Plant In Brazil; Population Control In Niger

Malaysia Considers GM Mosquito Release To Control Dengue Fever Malaysia is still “considering releasing” up to 3,000 mosquitoes that are genetically modified to “combat dengue fever, in a landmark field trial that has come in for criticism from environmentalists,” Agence France-Presse reports. The insects are modified “so that their offspring quickly die,” which…

HHS Unveils $1.9B Strategy To Better Prepare For Biological Threats

“Acknowledging that the development of medical countermeasures against bioterrorism threats and pandemic flu is lagging, [U.S.] federal authorities Thursday announced a $1.9 billion makeover of the system for identifying and manufacturing drugs and vaccines for public-health emergencies,” Tribune Company/Seattle Times reports. “The overhaul includes manufacturing refinements aimed at shaving weeks off the time it takes to produce pandemic flu vaccine and a series of steps aimed at more quickly detecting promising scientific discoveries and getting them to market,” the news service writes (Zajac, 8/19).

Also In Global Health News: Active TB Genetic Marker Found; African Bishops Fight HIV; Polio Eradication; PEPFAR In Dominican Republic

Active TB “Genetic Signature” Found Researchers have identified a “genetic signature” in the blood of active tuberculosis patients in the U.K. and South Africa that could one day lead to a test to predict who among latent carriers might develop the disease, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, Reuters reports…

Reuters Examines Measles Outbreaks In Africa

Reuters reports on how some health experts worry that growing complacency about the threat of measles in Africa is contributing to “some of [the continent's] largest and most deadly outbreaks in years.” Worldwide, “[a]bout 164,000 people died from measles in 2008, down 78 percent from 733,000 in 2000, according to the Measles Initiative,” Reuters reports, adding that “UNICEF fears the combined effect of decreased political and financial commitment to measles could reverse the gains, resulting in an estimated 1.7 million measles-related deaths globally between 2010 and 2013.”

BBC Reports On Efforts To Broaden Access To Childhood Vaccines

The BBC reports on discussions about childhood immunization at the International Pediatric Association (IPA) meeting last week in Johannesburg, South Africa. “Vaccines are a key plank in meeting Millennium Development Goal 4 – to reduce child mortality by two thirds by 2015 – and many sessions at the congress were devoted to them,” the news service writes.