WHO: Cholera in Haiti – update 4: 24 November 2010

WHO: Cholera in Haiti – update 4

24 November 2010 — As of 20 November 2010, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) reported 60,240 cumulative cholera cases including 1,415 deaths at the national level. The case fatality rate in hospitals at the national level is 2.3%, with 67% of the deaths occurring at health services level and 33% at community level…

WHO/PAHO and partners, including the GOARN (Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network) continue to support the Haitian MSPP in the response to the outbreak. Civil unrest since 15 November has slowed down several activities, including delivery of supplies for prevention and treatment of patients, particularly in the Northern city of Cap Haitian. Trainings on cholera treatment and initiatives to chlorinate water for 300,000 people had to be postponed…


WHO does not recommend restrictions to international travel or trade due to the cholera outbreak in Haiti.


GAVI opens new application round anticipating strong donor support

The GAVI Alliance opened a new application round from developing countries “in anticipation of continuing strong support from its donors, which currently include, among others, 17 countries and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”

GAVI Interim CEO Helen Evans commented, “GAVI is determined to continue supporting countries with life-saving vaccines. Far too many children in developing countries continue to remain vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases. This new round of applications offers the opportunity for eligible countries to continue reaching more children and save more lives.” The GAVI announcement noted that “although GAVI is facing a major funding challenge, the Executive Committee of the GAVI Alliance Board felt confident that donors would recognise the importance of these cost-effective vaccines and provide the necessary support to ensure that countries which have applications approved will be able to deliver urgently-needed vaccines.” GAVI said that “to continue its mission to save lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunisation, (it) GAVI needs to raise approximately US$3.7 billion more within the next five years. GAVI estimates that a fully-funded programme would prevent approximately 4 million future deaths by 2015, and enable the introduction of new vaccines including importantly those that tackle major causes of the world’s two biggest killers of children, pneumonia and diarrhoea.”

GAVI said the deadline for applications is 15 May 2011, allowing approximately six months for countries to prepare proposals. The timely submission of new proposals “will provide donors with clear evidence of the level of country demand for new life-saving vaccines when they meet in June for the first GAVI pledging conference.”


IFFIm prices inaugural Australian dollar benchmark

GAVI said the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) priced its inaugural Australian dollar benchmark. The AUD$400 million, five-year bonds “provide investors with a unique opportunity to help protect millions of children in the world’s poorest countries against preventable diseases.” This most recent offering from IFFIm “demonstrates institutional investors’ continued support for IFFIm and its humanitarian purpose. IFFIm raises funds that are used by the GAVI Alliance to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunisation in developing countries.” Alan R. Gillespie, Chairman of IFFIm’s Board, said, “This new offering introduces IFFIm as a benchmark issuer in another market – the Australian Dollar market. It follows IFFIm’s debut in the USD benchmark market in 2006, its institutional GBP offering in 2009, and a series of bonds for institutional and retail investors in Japan and the UK. We are extremely pleased that the transaction was received with great enthusiasm by such a diverse group of investors that seized the opportunity to purchase IFFIm bonds, while enabling IFFIm to deliver cost-efficient financing for much needed immunisation programmes in the poorest countries through the GAVI Alliance.”


Evolution of Population Science: Advent of the Mega Cohort

Vol. 304 No. 20, pp. 2205-2314, November 24, 2010

The Evolution of Population Science: Advent of the Mega Cohort
J. Michael Gaziano

As more attention and resources have been focused on the health of populations over the last 2 centuries, epidemiology has emerged as an essential tool for gaining knowledge about disease and reducing the associated burden. Driven by the discovery of biomarkers, the advent of DNA analysis, and high-powered statistical software, as well as numerous other technological advances, epidemiology has evolved to a point at which massive cohorts with hundreds of thousands of participants are needed. Each step in this evolution can be defined by an enabling technology that aided in a better understanding of exposure-disease relationships, and in many cases, to transformative changes in public health efforts related to health care delivery. This commentary describes this evolution, from early descriptive studies to the new mega cohorts of today.

Childhood pneumonia: a neglected, climate-sensitive disease?

The Lancet
Nov 27, 2010  Volume 376  Number 9755  Pages 1799 – 1872

Childhood pneumonia: a neglected, climate-sensitive disease?
Stuart Paynter, Robert S Ware, Philip Weinstein, Gail Williams, Peter D Sly

Reports from WHO and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) list undernutrition, diarrhoea, and vector-borne disease as the most important health effects of climate change.1,2 Although these disorders are of major importance, childhood pneumonia, which is responsible for 17% of childhood deaths worldwide,3 is rarely mentioned in the context of climate change. Respiratory infections follow seasonal patterns. In temperate settings, respiratory illness is most common in winter months.4 However, the epidemiology is quite different in tropical settings, where most childhood deaths due to pneumonia occur, with the incidence of lower respiratory-tract infection being generally increased during the rainy season.