“Each year 1.2 million children under age 5 die from Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae B or Hib,” which cause pneumococcal disease and are preventable with vaccines, according to studies published Thursday in the journal Lancet, Reuters reports.
Despite progress in raising the vaccination rates in the world’s poorest countries, some countries, including India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Indonesia, continue to have vaccination rates “below 50% in certain regions, compared with the 80% or more needed to achieve a low risk of the disease spreading,” Douglas Holt, Oxford University professor of marketing, and Jacob McKnight, also of Oxford University, write in a Livemint.com analysis piece.
By offering all children in Africa vaccines that protect against bacterial infections, researchers say the number of deaths among children living with sickle-cell anaemia could be reduced, Reuters reports. An estimated 200,000 children in Africa annually are born with sickle-cell anaemia, a genetic disease “in which red blood cells deform into a sickle shape and cluster, blocking blood flow and causing pain, vulnerability to infections and organ damage.”
Addressing a meeting of South East Asian health ministers Tuesday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said the H1N1 (swine) flu pandemic will “test the world on the issue of fairness” and “reveal in a measurable and tragic way the consequences of decades of failure to invest adequately in basic health systems and infrastructure,” Agence France-Presse reports.
Also In Global Health News: West Africa Flooding; UNICEF Official Ordered To Leave Sri Lanka; South Africa Child Health Campaign; Rwanda Development; Southern Sudan At Risk For Epidemics; U.S. Training In Pakistan
Nearly 600,000 West Africans Affected By Flooding, U.N. Says The U.N. on Monday “sharply increased its toll of the number of people affected by floods in West Africa, putting the number at more than 592,000 in no less than 10 countries,” Agence France-Presse reports. Yvon Edoumou, a spokesperson for the…
“China faces a grim situation in containing the H1N1 [swine] flu, as schools start up again and the number of domestic cases, as well as clusters of cases, rises, China’s Minister of Health said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports.
GNA/Peace FM examines the recent creation of a local and international taskforce to help shorten the window of time between the completion of the clinical trial of the RTS,S malaria vaccine â€“ currently being tested in Ghana and across Africa â€“ and licensure and vaccine distribution.
The WHO on Friday announced the H1N1 (swine) flu virus has killed at least 2,837 people â€“ the result of an continued increase in the number of H1N1 cases worldwide, not the virulence of the virus, Reuters reports. “There is no sense that the virus has mutated or changed in any sense,” WHO spokesperson Gregory Hartl said during a news conference (Nebehay/MacInnis, 9/4).
Scientists from Scripps Research Institute on Thursday announced they have discovered and isolated two antibodies “with the ability to neutralize [or block the action of] many strains of the AIDS virus, a discovery that might help create a long-sought vaccine against the deadly disease,” Bloomberg reports.
The H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine will cost countries between $2.50 and $20 per dose, based upon their ability to pay, according to the director of the Initiative for Vaccine Research at the WHO, Marie-Paule Kieny, Agence France-Presse/Khaleej Times reports.