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Neglected Diseases Group seeking child-friendly AIDS drug

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 29, 2011 (IPS) - A scientific alliance in which developing countries are playing a key role has taken on the challenge of producing paediatric AIDS drugs, an area that is no longer a priority for pharmaceutical companies because mother-to-child transmission of HIV has virtually been eliminated in the industrialised world.The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), an international non-profit drug research and development organisation, launched the programme to develop antiretroviral (ARV) drugs adapted for children. The programme will focus exclusively on developing child-adapted formulations for children under three, the most neglected segment in term...

"BREASTFEEDING CAN SAVE YOUR BABY’S LIFE", UN tells mothers

New York, 1 Aug 2011 - The United Nations and its partners are promoting the use of all possible means of communication, including social networking, blogs and even flash mobs, to get the message out on the benefits of breastfeeding beyond clinics and delivery rooms to the wider public. Breastfeeding is directly linked to reducing the death toll of children under five, yet only 36 per cent of infants below the age of six months in developing countries are exclusively breastfed, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).“With so much at stake, we need to do more to reach women with a simple, powerful message: Breastfeeding can save your baby’s life,” UNICEF Executive Director Antho...

HORN OF AFRICA: "It's not a heartless mother leaving a child behind, it's just one who wants to survive"

By Miriam Gathigah NAIROBI, Jul 27 (IPS) – On the road between the Kenyan and Somali border lie the dead bodies of children who have succumbed to the famine and the hardships of making the journey from their drought-stricken villages to Kenya. And it is the story of these children who die between Somali’s southern town of Dobley, which is the last border town before crossing into Kenya, that is yet to be told, aid workers say. Ahmed Khalif, who works for a local non-governmental organisation in Kenya and regularly crosses the border between the two countries for his work to aid people in Somalia, talks of seeing the bodies of numerous children on the roadside. "I am a regular...

FEWER NEWBORNS DYING WORLDWIDE BUT PROGRESS TOO SLOW, SAY UN AND PARTNERS

New York, Aug 30 2011  - A new study by the United Nations health agency and its partners has found that fewer newborns are dying worldwide but progress is too slow and Africa in particular is being left further behind.“The first week of life is the riskiest week for newborns, and yet many countries are only just beginning post-natal care programmes to reach mothers and babies at this critical time,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a news release. Newborn deaths decreased from 4.6 million in 1990 to 3.3 million in 2009, and fell slightly faster in the years since 2000, according to the study, led by researchers from WHO, Save the Children and the London School of Hygiene...

UN high-level forum spotlights young people’s potential as agents of change

28 July 2011 – Hundreds of young people converged on the United Nations in New York today as the General Assembly kicked off a high-level meeting devoted to tackling the challenges facing youth and exploring their potential to bring about change in their societies and in the world at large. “We are seeking to promote a culture of dialogue and mutual understanding between young people and with young people as key stakeholders in today’s world,” Assembly President Joseph Deiss said as he opened the meeting. “The events of recent months, in the Arab world in particular, have shown us the extent to which young people are key players in our societies and to what extent they c...

Vaccination campaigns for children underway in the Horn of Africa

“Critical lifeline” to protect malnourished children from killer diseases NAIROBI, 26 July 2011 – This week, UNICEF, the Kenya Ministry of Health and WHO have launched a vaccination campaign for children living in the host communities around Dadaab refugee camp in Northern Kenya.  The campaign will target 202,665 children under five, with measles and polio vaccines, together with Vitamin A and de-worming tablets. It is part of a regional push to ensure all children in drought affected areas are vaccinated against a killer disease like measles which can be deadly for malnourished children, and be protected from polio.Already last week, a vaccination campaign started in ...
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