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Also in Global Health News: U.N. Asks For IDP Aid; Gates On Polio & HIV/AIDS Vaccine; AIDS Cases Triple In Indonesia; Drugs In Kenya, Uganda & Liberia

U.N. Agencies, NGOs Appeal For $37M For IDPs In Pakistan

The WHO, UNICEF, the U.N. Population Fund and 19 NGOs have appealed for $37 million to provide “life-saving healthcare” for more than three million internally displaced people currently residing in temporary camps in northwest Pakistan, the International News reports. The funds are needed for basic health services, medicines, disease surveillance, health and hygiene promotion, drinking water supply monitoring, as well as general healthcare service strengthening (International News, 6/4).

Gates Says Polio Eradication Within Reach, HIV/AIDS Vaccine 10-15 Years Away

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, on Wednesday said he remains committed to eradicating polio and is disappointed that a vaccine to prevent HIV/AIDS had not been developed, but added that he is optimistic about other HIV/AIDS prevention methods that could be used to prevent the disease in women, Reuters reports.

“We have to get rid of polio because if we don’t, it will spread back and we will have millions affected,” said Gates, who also noted that the foundation’s greatest success has been in the area of vaccination. Melinda Gates said an AIDS vaccine is the “holy grail,” and Bill Gates said that it will probably be between 10 and 15 years before one is produced (Acher, Reuters, 6/3). 

HIV/AIDS Cases In Indonesia Tripled Since 2005

The number of reported HIV/AIDS cases in Indonesia has almost tripled since 2005 – jumping from 9,565 cases in 2005, to 26,632 in March this year, AIDS commission head Nafsiah Mboi said Wednesday, AFP/Google.com reports. Mboi said the number of HIV/AIDS cases in the region is likely higher, because an estimated 85 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are unaware of their status (AFP/Google.com, 6/3).

Daily Nation Examines The Continued Distribution Of Banned Antimalarials In Kenya

For nearly three years, Kenya’s government has pushed for pharmaceutical companies to stop the production and distribution of antimalarial drugs containing single artemisinin molecules rather than the recommended artemisinin combination therapy, yet, as the Daily Nation reports, the banned drugs remain “readily available in almost all drug stores.” The article examines how the continued distribution of arteminisin monotherapies and other mislabeled “substandard antimalarials” could lead to the spread of parasite resistance to the drugs (Gathura, Daily Nation, 6/2).

Independent Examines Drug-Resistant TB In Uganda

The Independent examines the challenges of controlling drug-resistant tuberculosis in Uganda. Large pill size and lengthy treatment regimens are among the various challenges involved with getting patients to stick to a full course of treatment, according to the Independent. Public education is also an issue. “While many people can fluently talk about HIV, they know very little about” TB, the newspaper reports. There is also a shortage of TB drugs because of “tight-fisted funding” (Asiimwe, Independent, 6/2).  

National Efforts to Make Liberia ‘Fake Drugs Free’

The Concord Times/allAfrica.com examines the efforts being made by the Liberian government to make the country “fake drugs free.” Over 77,000 persons die annually from fake drugs, according to the WHO. Liberia’s Chief Pharmacist, Tijli Tarty Tyee said the “porosity of border points with Sierra Leone and Guinea is primarily responsible for the deluge of fake drugs in Liberia,” Concord Times/allAfrica.com writes (Concord Times/allAfrica.com, 6/2).