Posts Tagged vaccines

XIX Meeting of the Technical Advisory Group

July 13th, 2011

The XIX Meeting of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) was held from July 6-8, 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Experts from the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) gathered to acknowledge great strides made in vaccine development and distribution, along with discussing next steps for future success. Dr. Ciro de Quadros, Chair of the PAHO/WHO Technical Advisory Group of Vaccine-preventable diseases, and Executive Vice President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute was presented an award from the Argentina Ministry of Health. The award presented by Argentinean Minister of Health Juan Manzur was to recognize Dr. de Quadros’ long commitment to global health and his work in the field of vaccines.

Minister of Health of Argentina, Dr. Manzur delivers thanks to Dr. Ciro de Quadros

“[The Americas] is the first region in the world to eradicate smallpox and eliminate polio, rubella, congenital rubella, and measles,” states Dr. de Quadros, “ and it is also the leader in introducing the rotavirus, pneumonia, and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines.”

Click here to read the full press release in Spanish. Streaming video of the XIX TAG meeting can also be found here.

Water in the World of Global Health

March 24th, 2011

By: Alanna Shaikh

March 22 was World Water Day, which meant a ton of interesting blog posts, forceful press releases, and well-researched articles on water. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about a really important issue in global health and development.

It depressed me. It should depress you too. Water is everything in global health, and I mean everything. Clean water is key to stopping a whole range of infectious diseases, from cholera to onchocerciasis. It’s especially important to saving the lives of children, since they are so easily killed by the diarrheal diseases that are transmitted so often by dirty water.

And the task ahead of us is massive. Clean water isn’t just possibly the most important health issue out there. It’s also an infrastructure issue, a governance issue, an agriculture issue. It ties to just about everything anyone is trying to do in development. In cities, access to clean water means stuff like building functioning sewers and providing running water to places where people live. In rural areas it means boreholes, pit latrines, and keeping the drinking water from getting contaminated by agricultural chemicals.

Everywhere, it means a whole lot of education about water – what clean water consists of[i], why it matters, and how to keep it clean. Don’t feed water to your animals at the same watering places humans use. Don’t dig your latrine too close to the well. Don’t wash your clothes in the drinking water, especially not diapers. Wash your fruits and vegetables before you eat them. For that matter, if you can ever afford any, wash your meat.[ii] Read more: Water in the World of Global Health

The Demise of Trachoma in Nigeria

March 23rd, 2011

International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) estimates that 53 million people are living in trachoma-endemic areas of Nigeria.

After receiving its first donation of Zithromax®, to be taken orally,  from Pfizer for trachoma control, Nigeria distributed 1,100,197 doses through mass drug administration (MDA) in ten districts in five states.

"The gray areas on the map show the districts within five trachoma-endemic Nigerian states where residents received Zithromax® to treat and prevent blinding trachoma."

Benjamin Nwobi, the National Coordinator for Nigerias National Program for the Prevention of Blindness, an initiative under the Federal Ministry of Health, stated that the Northern geo-political zones of Nigeria fall within the WHO-classified Trachoma Belt’ where trachoma contributes significantly to this avoidable blindness.

Nwobi confirms that:

the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health plans to expand distribution to 22 districts in seven states in 2011 in collaboration with its in-country partners CBM (formerly Christoffel Blindenmission), The Carter Center, and Sightsavers. Under the leadership of the National Program, ITI hopes to gradually help scale-up the Zithromax® donation to all trachoma-endemic states of Nigeria that are prepared to implement the full SAFE strategy.

To combat trachoma, World Health Organization (WHO) has deployed an integrative strategy called SAFE.  All components of this strategy must be complete in order to successfully complete a trachoma control program.

Surgery for people at immediate risk of blindness Antibiotic therapy to treat individual active cases and reduce the community reservoir of infection Facial cleanliness and improved hygiene to reduce transmission Environmental improvements to make living conditions better so that the environment no longer facilitates the maintenance and transmission of trachoma

In 2010, Mass Drug Administration (MDA) of Zithromax® reached five Nigerian  trachoma-endemic states: Nassarawa and Plateau in the central region, and Sokoto, Kebbi, and Zamfara in northern Nigeria.

Trachoma is the worlds leading cause of preventable blindness. It is a communicable infectious disease caused by chlamydia trachomatis bacterium.  Symptoms of infections are not immediately visible and people who are infected are not immediately blind.  It is often transmitted in childhood, and it is when one reaches adulthood do severe symptoms appear.  Trachoma tends to breed in areas with poor access to clean water and sanitation and Africa is reported to be the most affected continent though Latin America, Middle East, Asia and Western Pacific all have several reported endemic cases.  ITI, in collaboration with several other organizations, designed the Trachoma Atlas which maps out trachoma-endemic regions of the world.

Trachoma is a common neglected tropical disease (NTD) and thankfully, collaborative efforts, like those demonstrated by ITI, have been working hard to give this preventable disease a resounding voice.

Read the original article here.

Vaccines Save Lives An Illustration

March 9th, 2011

Video courtesy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation blog, Foundation Notes.

This past January, Bill Gates released his third annual letter, as highlighted on End the Neglect in a previous post. In his letter, Gates stated that he wanted to make this decade the Decade of Vaccines. He is particularly keen on developing a vaccine for polio. An animated video was created illustrating the power of vaccines, and the practicality in using them to relieve the disease burden in many developing countries. Click here to read the original post from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation blog, Foundation Notes.

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    • The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is a major advocacy and resource mobilization initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute dedicated to raising the awareness, political will, and funding necessary to control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)--a group of disabling, disfiguring, and deadly diseases affecting more than 1.4 billion people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day.
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