Drugmaker Merck & Co. announced Wednesday at the Clinton Global Initiative’s (CGI) annual meeting in New York that it will “donate more than $500 million of its Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine” with the goal of improving women’s health in developing countries, Bloomberg reports. The vaccine works by preventing strains of the human papillomavirus that cause 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. The Netherlands-based company Qiagen NV said it “will donate tests to screen patients to determine if they have certain strains” of the sexually transmitted virus, according to the news service (Pettypiece, 9/23).
“One in eight women in Sierra Leone risks dying of pregnancy and childbirth complications exacerbated by a combination of poverty, discrimination, inequality and government mismanagement,” according to an Amnesty International report, released Tuesday, Reuters AlertNet reports (Fominyen, 9/22).
The Clinton Global Initiative’s (CGI) 2009 meeting, which begins Tuesday in New York, has added a new theme to its agenda â€“ “investing in women and girls to narrow the gender gap,” Bloomberg reports in an article examining the conference. “In all the world there is only one strategy which clearly slows population growth, raises income and promotes more social stability that is supported across all religious and cultural lines,” former President Clinton said. “And that is putting all the girls in school and giving all the young women access to the labor market.”
IRIN examines how a recent resolution to create an agency to promote women’s “rights and wellbeing” by the U.N. General Assembly is being welcomed by international HIV/AIDS advocates.
Lancet Editorial, Comment Address Climate Change, Health In addition to the Lancet’s recent publication of an opinion piece and letter by 18 doctor association leaders about the potential health risks associated with climate change, the journal includes an editorial about sexual and reproductive health and climate change and a comment…
Poor health care, gender inequality, violence and poverty are to blame for Asian-Pacific countries’ failure to significantly reduce maternal and child mortality rates in the region, Noeleen Heyzer, executive secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), said during the Asia-Pacific Forum on International Conference on Population and Development in Bangkok, VOA News reports.
After three years of negotiations, the U.N. General Assembly unanimously voted on Monday “to create a new, more powerful agency for women, in a move supporters hailed as a breakthrough for women’s equality and rights,” Reuters reports (Worsnip, 9/14).
Cuba, Egypt, Iran and Sudan “have mounted a last-minute campaign to delay ratification” by the U.N. general assembly of a new agency, “which would have a budget of around $1 billion and consolidate four existing bodies that deal with women’s issues,” the Guardian reports.
Hundreds of non-governmental organizations from around the world gathered for a three-day conference in Berlin last week, where they emphasized the need for broader international support for improving women’s health worldwide — “15 years after the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, where a similar group set goals to improve the sexual health and rights for women, particularly in the developing world,” the Associated Press reports.
At the conclusion of the 59th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, African health ministers agreed on four resolutions that aim to improve health on the continent, the Guardian reports. The regional committee adopted resolutions that deal with drug-resistance related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; malaria elimination in Africa; and preparedness and response for the current swine flu pandemic. The fourth resolution deals with establishing high-quality institutions for disease surveillance, food and medicine regulation and other public health-related interventions, according to the Guardian.