Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Thailand

On 24 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Thailand notified WHO of 1 laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. This is the country’s second case of MERS-CoV infection (see DON published on 10 July 2015).
Details of the case
The case is a 71-year-old Omani national who arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on 22 January. The patient travelled to Thailand to seek medical care. Once in Bangkok, the patient was admitted to hospital. On 23 January, he tested positive for MERS-CoV.

Ebola Outbreak Highlights U.K.’s, WHO’s Needs For Emergency Response Reform

A devastating report on the UK's lessons from Ebola was published this week by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. Much of the blame for the world's lacklustre response to Ebola has been laid at the door of WHO. But the committee also found surprising weaknesses in the UK's application of science to global health emergencies. It makes important recommendations for corrective action. Although targeted towards the UK, the committee's findings will also likely apply to other high-income countries involved in the response to Ebola.

Global Fund rushes HIV drugs to Uganda amid shortage

The Global Fund, a partnership that sends HIV drugs to poor countries, says it plans to send an advance supply of antiretroviral therapy to Uganda, after the East African country ran out three months before the end of last year.
Health activists say the shortage, which began last September, hit about 240,000 patients on publicly funded treatment programs, forcing them to modify their treatment or stop altogether. Private-sector clinics were not affected.

Zika Virus Is Spreading ‘Explosively,’ WHO Chief Says

The World Health Organization will convene an emergency committee in Geneva on Monday to discuss the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which the organization’s head said is spreading “explosively” and which many doctors and health officials believe is linked to an unprecedented outbreak of babies born with small heads in Brazil.
“The level of alarm is extremely high,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in remarks to the public-health agency’s executive board. “Questions abound. We need to get some answers quickly.”

Gates Foundation Sees Possible End to Polio Soon

The world may well see its last case of polio in 2016, Bill and Melinda Gates said Friday, an event that would start a countdown toward the official eradication of the highly contagious and crippling disease.
“It’s possible that the last case will be in 2016,” Mr. Gates said. “We need some good execution and a little bit of luck.”

Africa: WHO Approves Third Producer for Cholera Vaccine

The global supply of oral cholera vaccines (OCV) is set to double this year after the World Health Organisation approved a third producer, helping to address global shortages and expand access in more countries.
The vaccine producer, a South Korean company called EuBiologics, is the latest oral cholera vaccine manufacturer to be approved under the WHO's pre-qualification programme, which ensures that drugs and vaccines bought by countries and international procurement agencies such as Unicef meet acceptable standards of quality, safety and efficacy.

Tanzania: WHO Warns Cholera Could Be Here for Months

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that efforts to contain cholera, which has killed over 200 people in Tanzania since last August, may not bear fruit soon unless there is a major overhaul of sanitation systems.
The WHO representative in the country, Dr Rufaro Chatora, told The Citizen in an exclusive interview that the government's efforts to control the disease must include the repair of sanitation systems.

IAIM Joint Regional Meeting for Asia and the Pacific

Registration for this exciting event is closed since August 31, 2016. Thanks to all of you who have registered. We look forward to seeing you in Beijing soon! 



Uganda: 4.7 Million Children to Get Polio Vaccine

Beginning Saturday, the Ministry of Health will immunise children below five years against the polio virus using the oral polio vaccine.
According to the Permanent Secretary, Dr Asuman Lukwago, the vaccination campaign will start from January 23 to January 25 in 57 high-risk districts.

WHO to double cholera vaccine stockpile

The WHO hopes to address global shortages of cholera vaccines by doubling its supply in 2016. Just three companies currently have the world body's stamp of approval to create these medicines.