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Jun 19, 2017

Despite progress, too many children are still dying from diarrhea

In the decade between 2005 and 2015, the world changed dramatically. The smart phone was introduced. New planets were discovered. Yet children were still dying from a preventable and treatable illness that has plagued the world since the beginning of time.

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Jun 17, 2017

Taking their best shot

In many parts of the world, babies have just one chance to be vaccinated: when they’re born. Unfortunately, newborns’ immune systems don’t respond well to most vaccines. That’s why, in the U.S., most immunizations start at two months of age. Currently, only BCG (for tuberculosis), polio and hepatitis B vaccines work in newborns, and the last two require multiple doses. But new research raises the possibility of one-shot vaccinations at birth—with huge implications for reducing infant mortality.

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Jun 9, 2017

Ebola epidemic “appears to be under control”

After many weeks of intense local, national, and international response efforts, the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) appears to be under control. Health care responders, partners, and investigators, in cooperation with the DRC Ministry of Health, continue to conduct intensive surveillance to find the source of the epidemic and any more victims.

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Jun 9, 2017

More people in less space: rapid urbanization threatens global health

The global population looks set to rise to 9.7 billion people by 2050, when it is expected that more than two-thirds of humanity will be living in urban areas. The global health community is bracing itself. Compared to a more traditional rural existence, the shift in lifestyle and inevitable increase in exposure to pollution will lead to significant long-term rises in non-communicable diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. With vaccination, arguably our strongest and most cost-effective defense against infectious disease, urbanization is already presenting challenges. It used to be the case that the one-in-five children missing out on a full course of even the most basic vaccines lived in remote rural communities.

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Jun 5, 2017

The power and promise of digital health for Africa

Billions of dollars in health care cost savings (US$200 billion by 2030). More accessible health care services for people in hard-to-reach places. The ability to stamp out emerging epidemics before they reach crisis level. Universal health coverage. These are the promises of digital health.

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Jun 2, 2017

After Ebola and Zika, most countries still not prepared for a pandemic

Despite progress made since the Zika and Ebola crises, a report released in late May by the International Working Group on Financing Preparedness (IWG), established by the World Bank, shows that most countries are not adequately prepared for a pandemic, and the world is still doing too little to finance recommended actions to strengthen pandemic preparedness.

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May 28, 2017

Science diplomacy is more vital than ever

Research depends on ideas shared across political borders—including among countries in conflict. Even as the cold war was raging, hostility between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was put aside when American medical researcher Albert B. Sabin and his Soviet counterparts tested a live-virus, oral polio vaccine in the U.S.S.R. That successful trial provided the scientific proof needed for the vaccine’s use around the world and ultimately helped to eradicate polio in most countries.

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May 28, 2017

As Ebola outbreak grows, question of using vaccine becomes more urgent

As health officials and aid workers head to a remote corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to respond to an outbreak of Ebola virus disease, a key question remains: Will the government authorize the use of a promising experimental vaccine? The vaccine had stunning results in a clinical trial in Guinea in 2015, but it has yet to be licensed for broad use.

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May 17, 2017

Global economic evaluations of rotavirus vaccines: A systematic review

Infection by rotaviruses (RVs) is globally the leading cause of severe diarrhea and dehydration in young children aged under 5 years old. These highly contagious viruses have commonly infected most children before their fifth year of life. Each year rotaviruses cause approximately 111 million episodes of rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) in young children. As of April 2016, the WHO estimated that globally 215,000 child deaths occurred during 2013 due to rotavirus infection.

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May 17, 2017

WHO prepares experimental Ebola vaccine for possible first use in Democratic Republic of Congo

The World Health Organization and outside experts are making arrangements to send an experimental Ebola vaccine to the Democratic Republic of Congo, should officials there say they need it to quell an outbreak there.

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