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Also In Global Health News: Measles Vaccine; Drug Discovery; Child, Maternal Health; HIV/AIDS Programs

Measles Vaccine Campaign Underway In Namibia

Measles “continues to be the biggest killer of under-five children” in Namibia and a national campaign to vaccinate children is currently underway, reports Informante. Children will also receive polio vaccines and vitamin A supplements.  Regional Governor Samuel “Nuuyoma said that these campaigns require a sustained political commitment, resources and personnel which are usually done every three to four years to ensure children born after the last campaign are vaccinated before any possible outbreak,” according to Informante (Collins, Informante, 6/18).

Drug Discovery Institute Makes ‘Unusual Move’

Emory University’s new Institute for Drug Discovery, which will address “commercially neglected” diseases including malaria and tuberculosis, in an “unusual move,” says it will include pharmaceutical experts who will test newly discovered drugs for “toxicology, correct dosages and how long a drug lasts in the body,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Institute director Dennis “Liotta said the presence of these experts could help speed the discovery and development of new drugs,” the newspaper writes. The institute also plans to bring in young researchers from developing countries (Schneider, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 6/18).

Gambian First Lady Highlights Maternal, Child Health Issues

Zineb Yahya Jammeh, the first lady of Gambia, recently highlighted maternal and newborn health issues at the launch of the UNICEF 2009 State of the World’s Children’s Report in Banjul, Gambia, Daily Observer/allAfrica.com reports. She said that pregnancy complications and childbirth continue to be the major cause of disability and death among women of childbearing age (Fadera, Daily Observer/allAfrica.com, 6/17).

WPF Calls On Pakistan To Adopt Maternal Mortality Resolution At U.N. Human Rights Council Session

The World Population Foundation (WPF) Pakistan has asked the Pakistani government to sign on to the Maternal Mortality and Human Rights resolution during the U.N. Human Rights Council’s session, the Nation reports. A WPF Pakistan release said, “The resolution has so far been co-sponsored by 40 countries, including Turkey and Sri Lanka and will be put forth for final adoption on June 18, 2009” (Nation, 6/17). Pakistan is being a “regressive participant seeking to eliminate most references to human rights within the draft resolution,” reports the International News (International News, 6/17).

Namibian NGOs Criticize Government’s Support Of Country’s HIV/AIDS Programs

Namibia’s non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations voiced their concerns about the inefficiencies of the HIV/AIDS programs in the country during a meeting Tuesday with The Champions for an HIV-free Generation – “a group of renowned African leaders calling for their peers to rethink and step-up efforts to prevent the spread of HIV,” BERNAMA.com reports. Poor collaboration between the NGOs and the Namibian government and the government’s “inadequate or little support in funding civil society’s programmes dealing with the deadly pandemic, and related diseases such as tuberculosis” were some of the major issues brought to attention at the meeting (BERNAMA.com, 6/17). Namibia recently hosted the 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers Meeting – a conference which stressed the importance of sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness in HIV/AIDS programs in light of the current economic crisis (Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, 6/16).

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