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Also In Global Health News: Counterfeit Condoms; Health Systems In Gaza; Malaria Parasite; SA Male Circumcision Program; MDGs In Botswana

China’s Counterfeit Condoms Have Health Officials Worried The Los Angeles Times examines how an increase in counterfeit condoms in China has health officials fearing the worst – the products “may in fact spread infectious diseases, tarnishing the axiom that condoms mean safe sex.” The newspaper continues, “Authorities estimate that up to…

Also In Global Health News: Malaria Parasite; Obama’s Africa Policy; Dengue Fever

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…

GSK To Offer Scientists Access To Compounds, Lab Space To Fight Malaria

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).

Media Outlets Examine Efforts To Develop Malaria Vaccines

Scientists have identified a group of proteins they say could form the basis of a malaria vaccine, Australia’s ABC News reports. “However, they say more laboratory work and clinical trials need to be done, with a vaccine at least 10 years away,” the news service reports (Macey, 1/19).

WHO, CDC Issue H1N1 Updates

Though H1N1 (swine flu) activity worldwide has slowed, the potential of a new wave of infections in the northern hemisphere in late winter or early spring remains viable, Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s top flu expert, said Monday at the start of the WHO’s weeklong Executive Board meeting, Reuters reports. The H1N1 pandemic “initially sparked widespread concern about antiviral and vaccine supplies, especially in developing countries, but many nations have cut back their vaccine orders recently because the pandemic has not turned out as deadly as originally feared,” the news service writes (Nebehay, 1/18).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Series Papers Examine Surveillance, Economic Impact Of NTDs “As national programmes respond to the new opportunities presented for scaling up preventive chemotherapy programmes for the coadministration of drugs to target [several neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)] possible synergies between existing disease-specific policies and protocols need to be examined,” write the…

WHO Official Rejects Claims Agency Overhyped Threat Of H1N1

Keiji Fukuda, the special adviser to the WHO director general on pandemic influenza, on Thursday dismissed allegations that the agency exaggerated the threat of the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic and has been influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, the Washington Post reports. Fukuda’s defense came amid reports this week that the Council of Europe will investigate the WHO’s actions and as several countries slash H1N1 vaccine orders.

WHO To Review Its Handling Of H1N1 Pandemic

Amid recent complaints that the WHO exaggerated the threat of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus, the agency announced Tuesday an upcoming independent review of the agency’s handling of the pandemic, Agence France-Presse reports (1/12).

UNICEF Program Aimed At Curbing Deaths In West Africa Falls Short Of Goals, Study Finds

A $27 million UNICEF program that aims to decrease disease-related child deaths in West Africa did not meet its goal of reducing death rates by at least 25 percent at the conclusion of 2006, according to a Lancet study published on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. “The U.N. children’s agency pursued strategies like vaccinating children, giving them vitamin A pills and distributing bednets to protect against malaria from 2001 to 2005 in parts of 11 countries,” according to the article.