During a Council of Europe meeting on Tuesday to address the WHO’s handling of the H1N1 virus, the WHO said it had not “fallen under the sway of drugs firms and exaggerated the dangers of the H1N1 flu virus, but said it might have handled the crisis better,” Reuters reports. “Critics say the WHO relied too much on advice from advisers in the pay of the pharmaceutical industry, triggering an internal review by the WHO and an inquiry by the Council of Europe, a pan European human rights watchdog,” writes the news service (Reilhac, 1/26).
In his second annual letter, Bill Gates reflects on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work and the importance innovation will play in overcoming some of the world’s greatest challenges, including in global health and agriculture, the Associated Press/Wall Street Journal reports. “Gates says the foundation currently is backing 30 areas of innovation including online learning, teacher improvement, malaria vaccine development, HIV prevention, and genetically modified seeds,” according to the news service (1/25).
WHO spokesperson Gregory Hartl on Monday rejected accusations that the organization miscategorized H1N1 (swine flu) as a pandemic, calling such accusations “irresponsible,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “WHO also dismissed claims it colluded with drug companies to bring economic benefit to the industry by playing up the danger of the new H1N1 [swine flu] influenza strain,” the news service writes.
Also In Global Health News: Counterfeit Condoms; Health Systems In Gaza; Malaria Parasite; SA Male Circumcision Program; MDGs In Botswana
China’s Counterfeit Condoms HaveÂ Health Officials Worried The Los Angeles Times examines how an increase in counterfeit condoms in China has health officials fearing the worst â€“ the products “may in fact spread infectious diseases, tarnishing the axiom that condoms mean safe sex.” The newspaper continues, “Authorities estimate that up to…
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…
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).
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).
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).
Also In Global Health News: HIV Vaccine; Chile To Provide Free ‘Emergency Contraception’; China Indoor Smoking Ban; Malaria Clinical Trials
TIME Examines HIV Vaccine Efforts TIME features a profile on David Ho, director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC) in New York City, who is currently working on a novel HIV vaccine. Ho “now believes that a traditional shot, one that relies on snippets of a virus to…
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…