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106M Infants Worldwide Received Vaccines Last Year, Coverage Gaps Remain, Report Says

A joint report by the WHO, UNICEF and the World Bank on worldwide vaccination efforts released Wednesday found “a record 106 million infants were vaccinated last year against life-threatening diseases, but nearly a fifth of the world’s babies still are not protected fully,” the Associated Press reports.

Innovative Financing For Global Health Issues Discussed At Nairobi Meeting

As more countries prepare to introduce a voluntary travel tax to help fight HIV/AIDS and other diseases worldwide, Philippe Douste-Blazy, chair of UNITAID and a U.N. special advisor on innovative development financing said at a recent event in Nairobi, Kenya, that “the airline levy gives participating developing nations an opportunity to contribute to treatment in their countries rather than depending on handouts from the developed world,” the Standard reports. “Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Madagascar and Mauritius are applying the airline levy, while Benin, Burkina Faso and Kenya have said they will introduce it,” according to the Standard.

School-Age Children Most Vulnerable To Malaria Infection In Africa, Study Says

Children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 19 in malaria-endemic African countries are “the most vulnerable group to malaria following the successful distribution of the free bednets to protect children under five and pregnant women against the killer fever,” according to a study published in the journal BMC Public Health, the East African reports. The study, which looked at data taken from 18 countries in sub-Saharan Africa countries between 2005 and 2009, found that although people in this age group were exposed to malaria, they were less likely than other groups – including children younger than 5 and pregnant women – to have access to insecticide-treated nets (ITNs).

World Food Day Marked, ActionAid International Releases Hunger Report

Today marks World Food Day, with the aim of bringing “awareness to the issue of hunger,” as the world faces “more mouths to feed but fewer farmers to grow the needed crops,” Deutsche Welle reports. The news outlet calls hunger an “income problem,” adding that “farmers will continue fleeing their fields for more lucrative opportunities in the urban areas unless incomes improve.”

Opinions: Fighting Hunger; Property Ownership, Trade Key To Africa’s Development

Secretary of State Clinton Identifies Hunger As “Key Priority” For Obama Administration “For one billion people around the world, the daily effort to grow, buy or sell food is the defining struggle of their lives. This matters to them, and to all of us,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton…

Global Food Price Increases Are ‘Realistic Possibility,’ FAO Says At High-Level Forum

There is a “realistic possibility” that the world could see a repeat of the 2007-2008 upsurge in food prices that “caused a sharp rise in the number of hungry people around the world,” the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Monday at a forum of experts who are meeting in Rome through Tuesday, Reuters reports. “Food commodities prices are likely to stay high and volatile in the medium term,” according to the FAO.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Comment Examines Efforts To Subsidize ACTs A Lancet comment examines an Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm) program to help countries procure subsidized artemisinin-based combination treatments (ACTs). The authors write though it is worth celebrating the recent advances in malaria prevention, “these successes cannot hide the fact that close…

SciDev.Net Examines African Network For Drugs And Diagnosis Innovation

SciDev.Net examines a recent conference in Cape Town, South Africa, where almost “300 researchers and health policymakers from across the continent” came together and approved a 2010-2015 business plan for the the African Network for Drugs and Diagnosis Innovation (ANDI).

Health Experts Examine Maternal Mortality In Africa At Conference

Inter Press Service reports on a discussion among health experts at the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics’ (FIGO) 19th World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Cape Town, South Africa, about maternal mortality rates in Africa.