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Nature News Examines Meningitis Vaccine Program To Roll Out In Africa

Nature News reports on an immunization campaign kicking off in Africa in December that will offer protection to some areas of Africa’s meningitis belt. “Millions will receive a new vaccine, MenAfriVac, that promises protection against the meningococcal bacterium Neisseria meningitides,” the news service writes, noting the effort “is the culmination of ten years’ work by an international consortium to develop a vaccine at a price low enough for massive use in Africa: just US$0.40 a dose.”

Pharma In Asia-Pacific Region Becomes More Active In R&D, Study Finds

In recent years, pharmaceutical companies in the Asia-Pacific region have ramped up their clinical trial activity, patent challenges of brand name drugs and their development of new products, according to report released Tuesday by CMR International, a Thomson Reuters business, Reuters reports.

Opinions: Call For African Companies To Engage In Health Goals; Holistic Approach To Development

African Private Sector Can Play Key Role In Improving Health Outcomes In Africa “The serious health problems afflicting our continent significantly affect our economies, reducing productivity, creating gaps in the workforce, causing innumerable sick days and restricting growth in African businesses,” First Lady of Rwanda Jeannette Kagame and CEO of…

Also In Global Health News: Canada’s Maternal Health Initiative; Mobile Giving; Interview With UNICEF Chief; Burning Biofuels And Anemia; ARVs In India

Sub-Saharan Africa To Receive Boost From Maternal, Child Health Initiative Canada will announce Monday “the 10 countries that will get help from the government’s $1.1-billion maternal and child health initiative,” 80 percent of which is slated for sub-Saharan Africa, the Postmedia News/Vancouver Sun reports. The majority of the money will go to…

PHARMABIZ.com Examines India’s Push For Clearer Definition Of Counterfeit, Substandard Medicines

“India has taken the lead to get together a number of generic drug-producing nations to call for better definitions to ensure quality, strengthening of regulatory authorities in the respective countries, and bringing focus of the world to public health instead of intellectual property,” PHARMABIZ.com writes in an article that examines the recent meeting of leaders from Brazil, India and South Africa on issues regarding counterfeit medicines. “The initiative came as an inter-governmental working group, appointed by the World Health Assembly last year, is looking at the WHO’s role to ensure the availability of quality, safe and efficacious and affordable medicine,” according to the new service.

Also In Global Health News: Disasters In Indonesia; Maternal Health In Pakistan; Gates Grand Challenges Grants; Development Innovation Ventures; Dengue Fever Treatment

Death Toll Rises From Two Disasters In Indonesia; Minister Says Aid Not Needed Yet The death toll from two recent disasters in Indonesia – a tsunami and volcano eruption – “rose to more than 340 Thursday” and hundreds were reportedly missing, the Associated Press reports. According to an official, “a warning system installed…

Cholera Epidemic In Haiti Persists Despite Slowdown In Fatalities

“A multinational medical response has slowed deaths in a Haitian cholera epidemic that has killed more than 250 people so far, but the outbreak is likely to widen, a senior U.N. official said on Sunday,” Reuters reports. The U.N., Haitian government and aid partners “have launched a major effort to try to contain the epidemic” of more than 3,000 cases in the country so far (Delva, 10/25). The New York Times reports that the death rate, according to the Haitian government, has “declined – from 10.6 percent of known cases three days earlier to 8.2 percent now.”