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Also In Global Health News: Rotavirus, Cholera Vaccines; EU’s Commitment To Humanitarian Aid; HIV/AIDS Funding In Malawi

Rotavirus Vaccine Available In India

“A prophylactic vaccine to safeguard infants against the major killer rotavirus is now available in India where one in every 200 children under the age of five dies due to rotavirus diarrhea,” The Hindu reports. “Rotavirus, which presents as mild to severe watery diarrhea with abrupt onset of fever and vomiting, is considered to be the single most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in children worldwide, infecting virtually every child below five years of age,” the news service adds (3/17). The pentavalent RotaTeq vaccine, produced by the pharmaceutical group MSD India, is administered in a three-dose regimen, the Times of India reports (3/17). “RotaTeq is specifically designed to help protect against [the five] common rotavirus serotypes that cause more than 90 percent rotavirus disease worldwide,” the Deccan Chronicle reports (3/17). 

Cholera Vaccines Can Prevent Up To 60% Of Cases In First Two Years Following Vaccination

Currently available cholera vaccines can prevent up to 60 percent of cholera episodes during the first two years following vaccination, according to a review published in the Cochrane Library on Wednesday, ANI/Sify News reports. The authors analyzed “40 studies that examined the effect of cholera vaccinations incorporated into a routine vaccination schedule in areas of the world where the disease is prevalent,” according to the news service (3/16). They note, “The impact and cost-effectiveness of adopting oral cholera vaccines into the routine vaccination schedule of endemic countries will depend on the prevalence of cholera, the frequency of epidemics, and access to basic services providing rapid rehydration therapy” (Sinclair et al., 3/16).

AlertNet Examines EU’s Commitment To Humanitarian Aid

On the heels of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva on Monday emphasized the EU’s commitment to humanitarian aid, including funds for disasters, AlertNet reports. “The European Commission earmarked 850 million euros ($1.18 billion) for humanitarian assistance in 2011, Georgieva said,” according to the news service. “More than 560 million euros ($781 million) will be spent to help with ongoing crises in Sudan, Darfur and Sahel. The rest is slated for unpredictable natural disasters and conflict, Georgieva said” (3/15).

Nyasa Times Examines Growing Worries Over Future HIV/AIDS Funding In Malawi

The Nyasa Times reports on the growing concerns in Malawi over the future funding for HIV/AIDS treatment, after the Global Fund to Treat AIDS, TB and Malaria rejected the country’s proposal for additional funds last year. “Principal Secretary for HIV and AIDS and Nutrition in the Office of the President and Cabinet Mary Shawa last year assured people living with HIV and AIDS that Malawi has funds to take them to 2012,” however HIV/AIDS groups worry what will happen after these funds are used up, the news service writes, adding that the country has approximately 255,000 people on antiretroviral drugs (3/16). 

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