During the week of 18 December 2012, at least six people working on a polio vaccination campaign have been reported shot dead in several locations in Pakistan – Gadap, Landi, Baldia and Orangi towns of Karachi city, Sindh Province and Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Those killed were among thousands who work selflessly across Pakistan to eradicate polio.
The Government of Pakistan and the affected provinces temporarily suspended the vaccination campaign due to concerns over safety of health workers.
Such attacks deprive Pakistan’s most vulnerable populations — especially children — of basic life-saving health interventions. of the children of Pakistan.
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that can cause permanent paralysis in a matter of hours. Safe and effective vaccines protect children from the disease. Currently the disease remains endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
The Advocacy/Policy Committee would like to invite you to participate in our first Advocacy Day, led in partnership with the Global Health Council. The day, scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd, 2011, immediately following the annual meeting in Washington, D.C., will be an opportunity for us to voice support for a continued focus on international health to our elected officials. With the intense Congressional pressure to cut the budget, our voices can make a real difference. As a participant during this exciting day, you will be provided with training materials on effective advocacy techniques to ensure your message is clearly heard. Even if you do not have advocacy experience, you need not hesitate to sign up because you will be teamed with others. Please consider joining your fellow International Health Section members on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 on Capitol Hill to advocate for a healthy globe. Interested parties should register here. Please note that registration will close on October 14th. Any questions should be directed to Peter Freeman, Advocacy/Policy Committee Chair, at email@example.com or 773.318.4842.
The University of Washington has launched the first full year of its Global Health Minor program!
Foreign aid has acquired a bad reputation in recent years, as something usually wasteful and useless. Yet all this sound and fury has overshadowed the evidence that aid often can work.
A report by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health finds that over 100 countries have increased financing for maternal and child health initiatives.
The humanitarian impact of the world economic crisis became clearer this week, as the UN warned of huge job losses, a rise in the number of people afflicted by chronic undernourishment, and the “extraordinary price” being paid by children as “austerity programs” constrict the developing world.
UNICEF has called on the IMF and World Bank to ensure that children are not negatively impacted by austerity measures carried out by various countries.
The New York Times shows how male circumcision is one of the most effective and simple solutions in HIV reduction, but has so far been hard to implement. Meanwhile, a group of economists, including Bjorn Lomborg, are casting doubt on the cost-effectiveness of voluntary male circumcision campaigns as an HIV prevention measure.
The New York Times features an article about the simple innovation of using vinegar to detect if a woman has cervical cancer by applying it with a brush to the cervix.
Spanish researchers are pleased by the results from the MVA-B vaccine trials, but this ABC report warns that there is still work to be done until a complete vaccine can be discovered.
A slew of mobile initiatives are revolutionizing the way that healthcare is delivered in Africa and other developing communities. Doctors and hospitals in remote areas are getting information and assistance to improve health services in poor communities across the continent.
The recent heavy flooding caused by the monsoon in Pakistan, most devastating in Sindh, has affected the lives of over five million people. The Health and Nutrition Cluster is appealing for US$45.9 million. WHO requires US$14.8 for response for Health, Nutrition and Water and Sanitation intervention.
New enterovirus causes respiratory disease: Promed reports on 6 clusters of respiratory illness associated with human enterovirus 68 in Asia, Europe, and the United States during 2008–2010.
More than 20 percent of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean lacks basic sanitation and 15 percent has no access to drinking water because of poor management, said experts at a meeting that ended Thursday in Brazil.
In a new report on rabies, the WHO finds that 45% of cases in the world take place in Southeast Asia.
A decade-long study of 135,000 men found that those who did not have children had a higher risk of dying from heart disease than those who did, raising new questions over the links between fertility and overall health,U.S. researchers said on Monday.
More money is needed to save lives in famine-ravaged East Africa, with the UN saying it’s something like $700 million through year’s end. The World Bank announced from Washington it would boost its aid to area countries to nearly $1.9 billion. As if famine weren’t enough, Nick Kristoff tells us that as Somalis stream across the border into Kenya, at a rate of about 1,000 a day, they are frequently prey to armed bandits who rob men and rape women in the 50-mile stretch before they reach Dadaab, now the world’s largest refugee camp.
An explosion of new technologies and treatments for cancer coupled with a rapid rise in cases of the disease worldwide mean cancer care is rapidly becoming unaffordable in many developed countries, oncology experts said on Monday.
The Supercourse team at the University of Pittsburgh has taken the initiative to spread the WHO’s definition of health, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” They have translated the definition into over 60 different languages using Google translate and have asked health professionals to review them to make sure they are correct. This global health knowledge campaign is being developed by the Supercourse team, WHO Collaborating Centre, University of Pittsburgh. Please contact Dr. Ronald LaPorte, Director, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, for more information.
Former U.S. Ambassador on HIV/AIDS Jack Chow says the CIA’s fake vaccination scheme in Pakistan, aimed at locating Osama Bin Laden, threatens to undermine a broad set of American global health initiatives.
The U.S. government and the Gates Foundation were responsible for 85% of the steep increase in malaria funding between 2007 and 2009. Richard Tren argues that we need to diversify funding sources and focus on control efforts.
To raise awareness about violence against women in Europe, the UN has opened up a contest to design a newspaper advertisement in support of the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. View submissions and the winning entries here.
Seattle-based development blogger Tom Paulson continues to raise some interesting issues regarding the Gates Foundation’s funding of media coverage for global health issues. Their latest venture is a weekly program on the BBC.
A study conducted by the WHO found that France, the U.S., the Netherlands, and India have the highest rates of depression in the world, while China has the lowest. Detailed interviews were conducted with over 89,000 individuals in 18 countries.
It is becoming more apparent that one of the most effective ways to deal with HIV/AIDS is to address neglected tropical diseases, argues the Public Library of Science in Eureka Alert.
The first stage of trials for a new malaria vaccine by Swiss researchers in Tanzania have shown promising results.
Has announced in a study in Pediatrics that the varicella vaccine for chickenpox has reduced the annual death toll in the United States from 105 to 14. Tests are in progress that could lead to major family planning advances. The New York Times reports on some innovations in male contraceptives that could offer safe and effective contraception.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
The Agbogbloshie slum outside of Accra, Ghana, is a major electronics waste dump. This site is an example of what happens to “donated” discarded electronics: residents burn them to extract precious metals and simultaneously exposed to a host of hazardous chemicals, as the goods release lead, mercury,
thallium, hydrogen cyanide, and PVC.
Last week, a United States federal appeals court overturned a George W. Bush-era “anti-prostitution pledge” that required all organizations that receive US funds to fight HIV and AIDS to adopt a formal position condemning prostitution and trafficking.
An in-depth report by Gregg Carlstrom for Al Jazeera examines the state of the new Republic of South Sudan’s health systems. Future plans appear to be in the right direction, but the present health situation is dire for the newly established
U.S. officials are defending the CIA’s use of a vaccination program in the hunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden amid concerns from international aid groups that the operation could compromise future public health efforts in Pakistan. The CIA orchestrated a hepatitis vaccination program in the city of Abbottabad in a bid to collect DNA evidence to help identify the location of bin Laden family members.
A growing reluctance from donor countries to provide funds to help ever-wealthier China battle HIV/AIDS will adversely affect efforts against the disease’s spread, says Michel Sidibe, head of UNAIDS.
The Medicines Patent Pool, established by UNITAID to share drug patents, has just received its first contribution from Gilead Sciences. This will allow Indian generics companies to make cheap copies of some of the best HIV/AIDS drugs.
A new study has shown that ARVs taken by women with HIV/AIDS may have an effect on fertility.
The United Nations praised a study showing that the use of ARVs by people with HIV can reduce chance of infection between partners by 73%.
HIV/AIDS drugs can be used to provide additional protection against infection as well as for treatment of those already affect by the disease, according to results of two studies conducted in Africa.
Researchers in Tanzania are developing a device that uses the scent of malodorous human socks to attract mosquitoes in the wild, then poisons them. Donations of $775,000 announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada are intended to reduce the global infection rate of malaria by producing an affordable outdoor trap ranging in cost from between $4 and $27.
A new study says that an inexpensive de-worming pill can help people become deadly to malaria-carrying mosquitoes, but for the pill to work, nearly everyone in a community would have to take the pill at the same time — and repeat monthly. The drug reduces insect lifespan, helping against malaria because only the older mosquitoes can transmit it.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
The World Health Organization says the world is better prepared for the next influenza pandemic. The centerpiece of the plan is to strengthen the capacity of manufacturers to provide enough vaccines to immunize the world’s population against influenza.
According to a report published in March 2011 by the United Nations Environment Programme, only two in every five people in the Southern Africa have access to safe water for drinking and household use. Three quarters of those lacking access, live in rural areas and the majority of these are women and children.
Drug manufacturers, government representatives and pharmacists from six countries in East Africa have estimated that as much as 30 percent of all drugs on the market are either of very poor quality or counterfeit medicines.
A lack of financial support and political will are contributing to the upsurge of measles in 33 countries. In an video interview, Andrea Gay at Measles Initiative, explains the different reasons for measles outbreaks in the developing and developed countries.
The number of children facing death by starvation in Somalia has almost doubled since March and the country’s child malnutrition rate is now the highest in the world, the International Committee of the Red Cross warns. Aid agencies have struggled to reach Somalis affected by drought due to security concerns across the conflict-ravaged country.