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Oct 21, 2018

The biggest pandemic risk? Viral misinformation

A hundred years ago this month, the death rate from the 1918 influenza was at its peak. An estimated 500 million people were infected over the course of the pandemic; between 50 million and 100 million died, around 3% of the global population at the time.

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Oct 17, 2018

Good data saves lives

In the harsh, dry highland plains of the Ngorongoro region of Tanzania stands a small red tent – a tiny speck of colour in an otherwise dusty, lifeless landscape. It can be seen from several kilometres away, and that is precisely the point. Because even before Bakari Shemagembe, the local Assistant Medical Officer, and his team have finished setting up around the tent, the local Maasai tribespeople start to arrive, trickling in from all directions, drawn towards this beacon.

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Oct 9, 2018

The lifesaving power of rotavirus vaccines in Malawi: Behind the numbers

Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrheal disease among infants and young children in all countries. Despite improvements in sanitation and case management, rotavirus still caused 215,000 child deaths in 2013, with 121,000 of these in Africa. With support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, many countries with high death rates have added rotavirus vaccine to their routine immunization program over the past five years.

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Oct 8, 2018

Data for decision making: using a dashboard to strengthen routine immunisation in Nigeria

Availability of reliable data has for a long time been a challenge for health programmes in Nigeria. Routine immunisation (RI) data have always been characterised by conflicting coverage figures for the same vaccine across different routine data reporting platforms.

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Sep 4, 2018

How Met Office weather data is being used to predict cholera outbreaks

Sophisticated computer models of weather data and population movement are being used to predict future outbreaks of cholera. Weather data from the UK Met Office and Nasa is being combined with research on the spread of the disease to predict where there is likely to be a cholera outbreak in Yemen – helping health workers to plan a response.

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Aug 28, 2018

Catch-up HPV vaccine effective for women aged up to 20 years, US study suggests

US study confirms effectiveness of quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in women aged up to 20 years who receive all three doses, but more research is needed in women aged 21-26 years. For women aged 14-20 years, catch-up HPV vaccination—offered if American women miss the recommended vaccination series at 11-12 years—is effective against the risk of important cervical precancers if women receive all three doses, according to a population case-control study of over 25000 people published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

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Aug 27, 2018

Vaccines, explained

Vaccines are one of the biggest breakthroughs in public health — eradicating deadly diseases like smallpox and saving untold numbers of people since they were first developed in the 18th century. Today, vaccines are being readily deployed across the world to combat potentially deadly diseases like the flu, polio, and measles.

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Aug 17, 2018

New initiative to bring vaccination to over 8 million people across Africa

Millions of people living in remote areas across Liberia, Uganda, and Kenya will get support to access lifesaving vaccines thanks to a new partnership between Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, The Audacious Project, Last Mile Health and Living Goods.

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Aug 16, 2018

GOFR-Connect: Supporting Guinea in their efforts to achieve health care facility data integration

In many countries, scattered, unintegrated health care data make it challenging for officials to have a full picture of their country’s health system. Data on health service facilities, such as hospitals and clinics, are one foundational dataset that is often found in multiple databases that are not complete and can have conflicting information. This leaves countries without one definitive facilities list to inform improvements in health service delivery.

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Aug 13, 2018

Signs of hope emerge against influenza

Hundreds of thousands of people die every year from influenza or a related condition. Unlike chicken pox and many other viruses in which the initial infection often provides lifelong immunity, the flu virus is constantly evolving. As a result, although most children will have been infected by the time they are around 3 years old, they will encounter new bouts of flu every 5–10 years.

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