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Also In Global Health News: Rotavirus Vaccine; Guinea Worm Eradication; Health Systems; Zulu King Calls For Male Circumcision

West African Group Calls For Governments To Vaccinate Children Against Rotavirus The West African Rotavirus Advisory Board is calling on governments to vaccinate children against rotavirus, IRIN reports. At a recent meeting in Dakar, Senegal, which was “financed by GlaxoSmithKline, makers of one of two rotavirus vaccines” the board issued…

Reuters Examines Quest For New TB Drugs, Vaccines

Reuters examines the search for new tuberculosis medicines and vaccines. “Although TB has plagued humankind for thousands of years, there is only one vaccine,” which isn’t very effective and doesn’t protect adults. “With the exception of rifabutin, there has been no new drug for TB for more than 40 years,” the news service writes.

Swine Flu News Round-Up

The German government is looking to sell over 2 million leftover doses of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, the country’s health minister said Monday, Agence France-Presse reports. “A health ministry senior official in the state of Thuringia, Hartmut Schubert, said that the vaccines could even be donated and that there had been requests from Afghanistan and Eastern European countries including Ukraine,” the news service adds (12/7).

H1N1 Reported In Gaza, Southern Sudan

Two women have become the first to die from H1N1 (swine flu) in Gaza, health officials said Monday, Agence France-Presse/Inquirer.net reports.

Too Early To Declare End Of H1N1 Pandemic, WHO Says

Though there are signs the H1N1 (swine flu) has peaked in the U.S. and Canada, a WHO flu expert said Thursday it is too early to declare the pandemic over, Canadian Press reports. “‘In the Northern Hemisphere, we continue to see an up and down pattern by countries. And so what you see in one country is not necessarily what you are seeing in another country,’ Keiji Fukuda, special adviser to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on pandemic influenza, said in a teleconference briefing,” the news service writes.

Measles Deaths Decline Worldwide By 78%, Experts Warn Against Complacency

Measles deaths fell from 733,000 in 2000 to 164,000 in 2008 – 78 percent – thanks, in part, to increased vaccination efforts that reached an estimated 700 million children, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S.-based Measles Initiative, Reuters reports.

Number Of New Active TB Cases Increases From 2007 To 2008, WHO Says

The WHO’s Stop TB Department released data on Thursday at the 40th Union World Conference on Lung Health indicating that the number of new active TB cases worldwide rose from 9.27 million in 2007 to 9.4 million in 2008, Reuters reports. Experts gathered for the conference in Cancun, Mexico “called for more research funding to develop better diagnostic tests, vaccines and drugs for tuberculosis, which killed 1.8 million people around the world last year,” according to the news service.