Also In Global Health News: NTD Consortium; Clean Water Access; PEPFAR Lab Donation; River Blindness Elimination; Vaccines In India

European Laboratories Form Consortium To Study Neglected Tropical Diseases

A handful of European universities and industries have formed a consortium to “boost drug development for the treatment of two deadly diseases, the African sleeping sickness and Leishmaniasis, which affect millions of people worldwide,” afrol News reports. “This new project combines the knowledge and experience of leading European laboratories and promises to make a major contribution to the treatment of neglected tropical diseases,” according to Rob Leurs, the project’s principal investigator (8/17). Examines Populations Worldwide Without Access To Clean Drinking Water examines the number of people worldwide without safe drinking water, in honor of “World Water Week (16-22 August) [which] serves as a forum for global leaders and experts to share innovative solutions on water-related issues and its impact on poverty, health, education, gender equality and the environment.” While “approximately 5.7 billion people worldwide have access to safe drinking water, much remains to be done,” writes (8/17).

PEPFAR Donates $6.8M To Lab Development In Africa

The New Times/ examines what the recent $6.8 million donation by PEPFAR to the Association of Public Health Laboratories will do to improve laboratories in Rwanda together with 17 other African countries. “Improving the quality of laboratory services is extremely important because it enables us to be excellent centres of quality health care,” Rwandan Minister of Health Richard Sezibera said (Nambi, 8/14).

River Blindness Elimination Study Might Not Be Applicable Everywhere, Specialist Says

Though a recent PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases study showed that long-term ivermectin treatment can halt onchocerciasis (river blindness), the claims need to be treated with caution and might not be applicable everywhere, according to William David Taylor, coordinator of the Sustainable Control of Onchocerciasis Today and Tomorrow, SciDev.Net reports. Taylor said “while ivermectin may, in certain circumstances, interrupt transmission of onchocerciasis, it is generally agreed that alone it is unlikely to do so over a vast majority of areas where onchocerciasis is endemic” (Sawahel, 8/14).

GAVI $165M Grant To Provide 18M Indian Children With Five-In-One Vaccine

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) gave India a $165 million grant that will be used to provide more than 18 million children with the “pentavalent five-in-one vaccine,” VOA News reports. Children in India are not immunized against the Haemophilus influenzae type b, which causes some severe forms of pneumonia and meningitis, and the GAVI grant “will fill this gap,” according to the news service (Schlein, 8/13).

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