“Some 80 health professionals and telecom operators [met last week for the mHealth Africa Summit] in the Ghanaian capital Accra to explore ways to use mobile phones for better healthcare delivery,” IRIN reports in an article that details a variety of successful projects relaying health information through cell phones in Africa. The article describes how mobile phones are being used in Africa to educate populations about HIV/AIDS, TB and improve maternal health, as well as means to track medicines and other health supplies, including mosquito nets.
Private Sector Involvement
On Monday, a campaign started in Burkina Faso to “inoculate tens of millions of West Africans with a new vaccine in what scientists hope will be the beginning of the end of ravaging meningitis epidemics” across the continent, the New York Times reports. Burkina Faso marks the first country in a drive aimed at “bringing the disease under control and saving an estimated 150,000 lives by 2015 in a belt of 25 nations that girds the continent,” according to the newspaper (Dugger, 12/4).
Africa is capable of producing enough food to feed itself within a single generation, according a “study released to coincide with a meeting of several African leaders in Tanzania on Thursday, as well as U.N. talks on slowing climate change in Cancun, Mexico,” Reuters reports (Doyle, 12/2).
Ahead of World AIDS Day, the International Federation of the Red Cross on Friday released a report (.pdf) calling for governments around the world to do more to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS among populations of injecting drug users (IDUs), the Associated Press reports (Heilprin, 11/25).
GAVI Says Pentavalent Vaccine Price To Fall, But $3.7B Still Needed To Vaccinate Children In Developing Countries
The average price of a vaccine that protects children against five diseases is expected to “drop to $2.58 next year compared to the current average price of $2.97,” the GAVI Alliance said Friday, Reuters reports. The group credits the expected price decline, which “represents a decrease of 30 percent over the last seven years,” in part to an “increased demand for the pentavalent, or five-in-one vaccine,” according to the news service (Kelland, 11/26).
A study that included nearly 2,500 HIV-negative men and transgender women who have sex with men has shown that a daily dose of Truvada, a pill containing the AIDS drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir, “can reduce risk of contracting [HIV] by an average of 44% â€“ and by more than 70% if the subjects” follow the regimen closely, Los Angeles Times reports (Maugh, 11/23).
The U.S. is falling short on its goal of improving conditions for the 2.6 billion people worldwide without access to clean water and sanitation despite the fact the Water for the Poor Act became law in 2005, according to a report (.pdf) released Thursday by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), WaterAid, CARE and 11 other organization, Food Safety News reports (11/19).
Also In Global Health News: Male Circumcisions In Zimbabwe; Ruling On China’s First HIV Discrimination Case; Business And Global Health; HIV/AIDS In Africa
USAID-Backed ProgramÂ Facilitates Male CircumcisionsÂ In Zimbabwe The Canadian Press reports on how a USAID-backed program operating in Zimbabwe is helpingÂ provide male circumcision services. Despite what the article describes as tension between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the U.S., the “program, begun in May 2009, has carried out 12,000 circumcisions. The U.S.…
“Drugmakers are now working on over 100 R&D projects designed to tackle diseases of the developing world and almost 80% of them are being carried out with non-industry partners,” according to a report (.pdf) released on Wednesday by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), Pharma Times reports.
Developing World Access To Medication: “Access to life-saving, essential medicines must be improved,” Josh Ruxin, founder and director of the Access Project and director of Rwanda Works,Â writes in a Forbes’ “Science Business” blog. After looking at the debate over whether the free market can help improve access and examining programs,…