Top 5 Global Health Headlines: Rape in Haiti Tent Camps, India Rejects HIV Patent
Corail tent camp outside Port-au-Prince. NewsHour photo.
Rape in Haiti Camps
The risk of rape and other sex crimes for women living in Haiti’s tent camps has increased over the past year, according to an Amnesty International report released Thursday.
The report calls for more security measures in the camps, better lighting, especially around latrines and showers, and more communication with women living in the communities.
India Rejects HIV Patent Request
India’s patent office rejected this week a patent request from pharmaceutical giant Abbott for the drug Kaletra, a combination of two antiretrovirals used to treat HIV. The drug is one of the most effective second-line drugs used to treat patients who have developed resistance to first line regimens.
The refusal to grant protection for Abbott means generic-drug companies can continue selling copies of the medication at a fraction of the price to the developing world.
Study Linking Vaccines, Autism Criticized
The 1998 study that first linked Autism and Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) vaccines was “an elaborate fraud” based on doctored information, according to an editorial analysis published in the British Medical Journal.
The original paper, by Andrew Wakefield, set off a panic among concerned parents and spurred the growth of an anti-vaccine movement. It was eventually retracted by the Lancet, the medical journal that published the research.
Ivory Coast Violence Slows Vaccine Campaign
An Ivory Coast immunization campaign for yellow fever, planned by the World Health Organization, has been delayed twice since November due to unrest following the national elections. Violent clashes are hampering efforts at preventing the deadly disease, the U.N. says.
Arsenic Could Cause TB
Rates of tuberculosis in a region of Chile exposed to arsenic-tainted water were twice as high as those in neighboring regions, according to new research in the American Journal of Epidemiology, suggesting a link between the chemical and the lung infection.
Arsenic occurs in nature and millions of people worldwide are exposed to potentially dangerous levels of the chemical in drinking water.