- Amanda Glassman discusses the debate surrounding a new proposal by the United Network for Organ Sharing to prioritize younger, healthier donors for kidney transplants instead of their current “first come, first served” approach.
- The highly-anticipated new UN agency, UN Women was launched on Thursday. It will be headed by former Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet. Women’s rights advocates argue that domestic violence should be the agency’s top priority.
- A paper published in Science by a research group at the University of Maryland demonstrates that a fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae, can be used to combat the malarial parasite inside the mosquito. Another promising study suggests that a compound produced by a seaweed in Fiji could be used to combat malaria.
- A new study has shown that that Internet kiosks providing information on prenatal and postnatal care have helped reduce infant, child, and maternal mortality rates in rural India.
- A study published by the Harvard School of Public Health last year found that the poorest third of the world’s population account for only 4% of surgeries worldwide, and that over two million people in low-income countries have no access to life-saving surgery.
- The first phase trials of the HIV vaccine developed in India were completed with no side effects reported. Meanwhile, a three-year research trial on a vaginal anti-HIV gel has been launched in Rwanda.
- The Trachoma Atlas, an open-access resource on the geographical distribution of trachoma, was launched by a team of collaborators from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the International Trachoma Initiative at The Task Force for Global Health, and the Carter Center. It is funded by a generous donation from (you guessed it!) the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- The European Solutions Enterprise for Neglected Diseases (euSEND), a new initiative, based in the Netherlands, was launched to aid in the fight against neglected tropical diseases. The organization’s goal is to “take the role of matchmaker” to facilitate partnerships in research for NTD treatments and vaccines.
- Swaziland has a large-scale circumcision drive in an attempt to lower HIV rates.
- Cash-transfer programs as a means of assisting the poor are beginning to gain attention and popularity from development and economic professionals. Mexico’s and Brazil’s have captured particular attention and are credited with poverty reduction and GDP growth.
- The first methadone maintenance program in sub-Saharan Africa recently opened in a hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Heroin use is a growing problem in port cities, where the drug passes through en route from Afghanistan to Europe.
- WHO Director-General Margaret Chan and IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano published a joint editorial on the growing burden of cancer on the world’s poor and disadvantaged populations.
- H5N1, colloquially known as bird flu, is making a comeback: a report of a Cambodian mother and her infant dying after eating meat from a contaminated chicken is the latest in a series of cases in Indonesia, South Korea, and India.
- here has been an increase in reported cholera cases in three regions in Ghana, where 34 deaths have occurred over the last five months. In Haiti, the WHO has warned of a high risk of cholera during Carnival in the absence of strict hygiene measures.