Developing What Works Best
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Jun 18, 2018

Stories of typhoid: Mothers in Kenya

Typhoid is a common bacterial infection that can have an outsized impact on young kids and their families, particularly for moms who are the primary caregivers. Symptoms such as prolonged fever, fatigue and nausea can be debilitating and last for days on end, forcing mothers to upend their lives to care for their children. Unfortunately, this is a shared experience among many moms in Kenya, where typhoid is endemic and multi-drug resistance is on the rise.

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Jun 18, 2018

HPV vaccine has almost wiped out infections in young women, figures show

The HPV vaccine has almost completely wiped out infections in young women, and if expanded to men could prevent thousands of cancer cases in Britain each year, new figures suggest. New figures from Public Health England show that the rate of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in women aged between 16 to 21 who were vaccinated between 2010 and 2016 has fallen by 86 percent.

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Jun 13, 2018

Crucial test of Ebola vaccine raises hopes, doubts in Congo

Irene Mboyo Mola spent 11 days caring for her husband as he died of Ebola in a hospital where she said nurses were too scared to get close. She helped him to the bathroom, picked up his feverish body when he lost his balance, and reinserted an IV that fell out of his bleeding arm. “He told me all he could see was death,” recalls Mola, a 30-year-old mother of six, as she sat slumped on the floor in her small hut.

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Jun 11, 2018

How to measure digital interventions in development

It’s a familiar question for anyone working in development — whether setting up a savings club for young mothers or a public awareness campaign to encourage HIV testing — how do you know if it’s working? This big question has even more relevance now that many development organizations are turning to digital products to reach and engage program participants.

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Jun 4, 2018

A new push for a universal flu vaccine

If all goes according to plan, the annual flu shot protects about 60 percent of vaccinated people. This year’s inoculation, of course, fell far short of such expectations, safeguarding only one in four vaccinated people who encountered the dominant H3N2 strain. This shortfall injected further momentum into the push to create a universal vaccine that protects against many flu types over time.

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May 31, 2018

Ebola and the future of vaccines: In conversation with Seth Berkley

Dr. Seth Berkley is an epidemiologist and the CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a global health organization dedicated to improving access to vaccines in developing countries. When he last spoke at TED, in 2015, Seth showed the audience two experimental vaccines for Ebola — both of them in active testing at the time, as the world grappled with the deadly 2014–2016 outbreak.

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May 11, 2018

Why the world needs pop-up vaccine factories

If anything is going to cause cataclysmic loss of life in the coming decade, Bill Gates has argued, it’s far more likely to be a virus than a war. “Not missiles but microbes,” he said. Nations both large and small, first world and third world, are unprepared to deal with large-scale outbreaks of disease. When there are outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases in developing countries – such as Ebola in West Africa and Zika in South America – it can take years before a vaccine is identified and reaches affected regions in quantities that can have a significant impact.

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May 10, 2018

The role of digital health to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals

On September 2015, the 193 United Nations member states agreed to continue their progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), started in the year 2000. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), major challenges remain in terms of reducing maternal and child mortality and in the need to continue the fight against transmissible and chronic diseases, including their risk factors. It is also clear that work is still required on water, sanitation and air quality, as well as on continuing to strengthen health systems to achieve universal health coverage. All these challenges were included under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), mainly under the goal #3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”

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May 1, 2018

Ending the pandemic threat: A grand challenge for universal influenza vaccine development

2018 marks the 100-year anniversary of the most severe influenza pandemic in recorded history, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide – more than the total deaths caused by the First World War. The subsequent influenza pandemics of 1957, 1968, 1977, and 2009, though milder than the 1918 pandemic, demonstrated the potential of influenza viruses to cause excessive morbidity, mortality, and, more generally, severe disruptions of healthcare systems. Clearly, the threat of pandemic influenza is very real. Also, influenza viruses pose a significant threat to humankind, with seasonal influenza disease leading to an estimated 290,000 – 650,000 deaths each year.

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Apr 30, 2018

Cold supply for hot demand

Cold chains have facilitated the delivery of vaccines in some of the world’s poorest countries for over 40 years. Today, they are increasingly outdated and struggle to handle a rising number of vaccines.

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