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Nature News Examines Meningitis Vaccine Program To Roll Out In Africa

Nature News reports on an immunization campaign kicking off in Africa in December that will offer protection to some areas of Africa’s meningitis belt. “Millions will receive a new vaccine, MenAfriVac, that promises protection against the meningococcal bacterium Neisseria meningitides,” the news service writes, noting the effort “is the culmination of ten years’ work by an international consortium to develop a vaccine at a price low enough for massive use in Africa: just US$0.40 a dose.”

Also In Global Health News: Congo Polio Outbreak; Aid Groups Ordered Closed In Afghanistan; Subsidized Malaria Drugs In Kenya; Gates Grand Challenges; Contraception In The Philippines

Polio Outbreak In Congo Leads To Emergency Immunization Effort “Eighty-five deaths and 184 cases of paralysis were reported in the port city of Pointe Noire, the epicenter of the Republic of Congo’s first polio outbreak in a decade, the World Health Organization said in a statement yesterday,” Bloomberg reports. “The…

Also In Global Health News: Preventing Bioterrorism; Condom Use In Thailand; Stunted Growth Among Nepalese Children; Measles Vaccination In Ghana; BBC Apologizes For Live Aid Reports

Lugar, Pentagon Officials Head To Africa For Laboratory Inspections In a Foreign Policy blog post, David Hoffman reports that Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and several Pentagon officials will travel to Kenya and Uganda this week to inspect laboratories that “are working on infectious disease diagnosis and treatment; the concern is that…

Scientists Identify Genes That Enable Some Immune Systems To Halt HIV; Finding Could Spur Drug, Vaccine Development

“Tiny variants in a protein that alerts the body to infection could explain how one in 300 HIV-infected people are able to resist the onset of AIDS for years without needing any treatment, researchers said Thursday” in a study published online in the journal Science, Agence France-Presse reports (11/4). “The findings are encouraging for the development of vaccines because they tell scientists how the immune system might be manipulated to fend off HIV,” the Independent writes (Connor, 11/5).

Sanofi Pasteur’s Dengue Vaccine Enters Phase III Trial In Australia

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Aventis, on Thursday announced the company had begun testing its dengue fever vaccine in a Phase III clinical trial in Australia, Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal reports. “Sanofi-Aventis already performed earlier clinical tests on children and adults with the vaccine in the U.S., Asia and Latin America,” Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal adds (Landauro, 11/4).

Also In Global Health News: WFP In North Korea; Maternal Health In Indonesia; Possible Vaccine Contamination; GM Mosquitoes In Malaysia; Mobile Micro-Insurance In Kenya

World Food Programme Director Visits North Korea, Tours Food Factory U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Josette Sheeran and former U.S. Special Envoy Jack Pritchard arrived in North Korea Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reports (11/2). The visit is WFP’s “first top-level visit to the communist country in nearly 10 years,” the…

Guardian’s Katine Project Coverage Concludes

The Guardian concluded its three-year Katine project in north-eastern Uganda, which “tracked the implementation of a development project focusing on five aspects of deprivation: health, education, water and sanitation, livelihoods and governance,” the newspaper writes. Together with the help of Barclays, Guardian readers, Amref and CARE International, the newspaper covered “an extraordinary picture of the ups and downs, strains and stresses of a development project” (Bunting, 10/30).

Lancet Series Examines Malaria Eradication Goal

“Eliminating malaria can be achieved only with repeated investment over the long term and will require a major shift in policy and funding,” according to some experts, Reuters reports (Kelland, 10/29). The Associated Press reports that the feasibility of “eliminating malaria was examined in a series Friday in the Lancet. Experts analyzed issues like the practicalities of wiping out malaria and its financial costs” (10/29).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Global Fund Will Make ‘Every Possible Effort’ To Raise Additional Resources: Although pledges to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at its recent replenishment meeting did not meet “the lowest estimate of demand,” the Fund “will make every possible effort to raise the additional resources that we…