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Virus-Sharing Draft Agreement Very Close; U.S. Yet To Formally Approve, Reuters Reports

A draft agreement that would ensure countries would share virus samples in exchange for access to affordable vaccines derived from such samples in the event of a pandemic is nearly complete, senior diplomats told Reuters on Thursday. “Consensus has been reached across all regions, including Indonesia which three years ago stopped sharing influenza samples with the World Health Organization (WHO), but the United States has yet to give formal approval, they said,” according to the news service.

WHO Group Hopes To Have Virus-Sharing Draft Agreement Finalized By Friday

Countries are narrowing in on a “deal to speed up their response to the next flu pandemic by sharing virus samples in return for access to affordable vaccines,” co-chairs of a WHO working group told reporters on Tuesday, Reuters reports. The group, which is meeting this week and just last week was in meetings with drug manufacturers and WHO member states about the plans, says it hopes to have a draft agreement finalized by Friday to be voted on during next month’s World Health Assembly, according to the news service (Nebehay, 4/12).

Distribution Of Cholera Vaccine To High-Risk Populations In Haiti Could Reduce Infections, Death, Study Says

Administering cholera vaccines to people in Haiti who live in high-risk areas could drive down the number of cholera infections and deaths in the country, according to a study published Monday in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature News reports. The study is the latest to weigh in on the impact such vaccination efforts could have on reducing the spread of the disease, which has sickened 274,418 people and led to the deaths of 4,787 in Haiti, according to the publication (Brower, 4/11).

Also In Global Health News: Potential Corruption With DFID Funds; HIV/AIDS In Tanzania; Drug Substitution Program In Afghanistan; Rare Disease Consortium; Pnuemonococcal Vaccine In DRC

U.K.’s National Audit Office Warns DFID To Be On Guard Against Possible Corruption The U.K.’s National Audit Office (NAO) on Wednesday issued a report on the financial management of the Department for International Development (DFID) warning that “the UK had no clear picture of the ‘extent, nature and impact’ of…

Bill Gates Travels To Europe To Promote Global Health Investments

Bill Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is in Europe this week “in an effort to persuade Europeans not to cut aid budgets in the face of austerity – and in particular not to reduce spending on vaccinations and agriculture,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Also In Global Health News: Post-Disaster Health Implications; Surging Interest In Global Health; Reproductive Health Policy In The Philippines; ICRC Flags Cote d’Ivoire Conflict; Health As a Human Right; GAVI Alliance Suspends Funds

High Rates of Cardiac, Psychiatric Illnesses In New Orleans Show Implications For Other Post-Disaster Areas The health effects of major natural disasters can continue to affect populations years after the occurrence, according to a study showing New Orleans residents continued to experience a threefold increase in heart attacks and increased…

Recent Releases In Global Health

What To Do About Antibiotic Resistance: A Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial describes the growing public concerns over a global rise in antimicrobial resistance. “Bearing in mind that our objective is to contain antibiotic resistance rather than eradicate it, several policies could be adopted to help guarantee a future for antibiotics,” the…

Also In Global Health News: Sanitation Workshop; Bachelet’s Leadership; Measles In DRC; Global Water Shortages In Urban Areas By 2050

Regional Urban Sanitation, Hygiene Workshop Opens In Rwanda A three-day regional workshop on urban sanitation and hygiene kicked off on Tuesday in Kigali, Rwanda, the New Times/allAfrica.com reports. The workshop, which is bringing together more than 60 urban sanitation and hygiene professionals from several countries in the region, aims to “provide a…