Today we begin a new feature: a selective scan of global health news and opinion with an eye toward stories you may have missed. This week find out about growing success in getting vaccines to the most isolated countries in the world, why news about tuberculosis is coming out of the International AIDS Conference, the reasons we’re still fighting polio, and more.
Group gets vaccines to countries isolated by war and secrecy
The New York Times, July 30, 2012
A nonprofit group founded to get vaccines to the world’s poorest children is reaching into ever-more-isolated countries. The GAVI Alliance, formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, just sold to North Korea a vaccine against five diseases, and it has announced plans to roll out other vaccines soon in Yemen, the Republic of Congo, and Pakistan. Read the article.
Hope for new TB treatment
The Economist, July 26, 2012
The International AIDS Conference this week brought a flurry of attention to the scourge. There was the usual talk about the state of the HIV epidemic and unusual excitement about new ways to prevent the disease. Buried in the HIV frenzy, however, was a rather important announcement for another blight, tuberculosis. Read the article.
World Hepatitis Day: the silent disease needs a global response
The Guardian, July 27, 2012
The silent nature of viral hepatitis infection has an enormous impact on the capacity and willingness of governments across the world to develop and implement effective policy and health responses to the disease. Read the article.
Why polio hasn’t gone away yet
CNN, July 30, 2012
Two little girls in matching gingham jumpers—Pam is crouching and pulling on her sister Patricia’s leg brace—appeared in a poster for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in the early 1950s. They’d both recovered from polio. Today, the disease has been almost entirely eliminated worldwide, and its “poster children” live in remote areas of violence-stricken developing countries. Read the article.
Medical equipment donated to developing countries inappropriate for local conditions
Medical XPress, July 31, 2012
Wealthy countries that make donations of expensive medical equipment to low- and middle-income countries may be missing the mark, according to a new Imperial College London/Lancet Commission. The report examines how medical technology should best be used to improve health in low- and middle-income countries, and it finds that in many cases, medical technology—almost exclusively developed in rich countries—is simply inappropriate for use in poorer nations. Read the article.