New Ebola vaccine shows 100% success rate in clinical trial. Today the World Health Organization has announced that the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine had a 100% success rate in preventing onset of the disease if administered within 10 days of exposure (n=4,000). In response to the current outbreak in West Africa that has afflicted over 27,000 and killed over 11,000, this collaborative effort led by the WHO pushed the vaccine through a process that usually takes more than a decade in just 12 months. Official paper from The Lancet here (pdf).
There's been an ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. With 122 cases so far, this is the worst outbreak since 2007's 264-case outbreak. The worst outbreak was 2000-2001's 425 cases. What makes this one different is the way it has spread so widely. [more inside]
In the Shadows. The healthcare and human rights challenges of the LGBT populations of Malawi -- where homosexuality is outlawed. Via
Since 2010, over 3,000 children throughout northern Uganda have come down with nodding disease, a degenerative neurological condition, reports CNN. [more inside]
A new malaria vaccine has been shown effective in large-scale field trials. After decades of disappointment, researchers think they're finally on track to unleash the first practical vaccine against malaria, one of mankind's ancient scourges. In the world's first large field trial of an experimental malaria vaccine, several thousand young children who got three doses had about 55 percent less risk of getting the disease over a year than those who got a control vaccine against rabies or meningitis. [more inside]
Evidence Based, Culturally-relevant African First Aid Guidelines and Training Materials, from researchers at the Belgian Red Cross and Stellenbosch University. [more inside]
Outcasts in Their Own Villages "More than one million young women with the condition are scattered throughout the so-called fistula belt that stretches across the southern hem of the Sahara from Eritrea to Mali. Because of their severe incontinence and smell, many have been ostracized by their families and villages and live by themselves or with fellow fistula sufferers. They are the lepers of the desert." [also see]
"They do not use Western means to tell time. They use the sun. These drugs have to be administered in certain sequences, at certain times during the day. You say, take it at 10 o'clock, they say, what do you mean, 10 o'clock?" They, of course, refers to "Africans" and the above logic from the head of USAID was used an explanation for why it's tough to extend AIDS treatment to Africa. The only problem with this argument is that it's wrong. People with HIV in developing countries are in better compliance with drug regimes than in the US as new research is showing [RealAudio]. As we've seen throughout the epidemic, it's a lot easier to get funding for researchers in lab coats than for actual treatment . . .
Tanzania 9th most corrupt country, of course the word here is that they bribed transparency international to place them above kenya....... according to the director "HIV AIDS is killing millions of Africans, and in many of the countries where AIDS is at its deadliest the problem is compounded by the fact that corruption levels are seen to be very high. While it is imperative that richer countries provide the fruits of medical research at an affordable price to address this human tragedy, it is also essential that corrupt governments do not steal from their own people. This is now an urgent priority if lives are to be saved." local traditions don't help either. what this story does not say is that 4,000 girls will be circumsised at this ceremony and the govt/police won't interfere.