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GALVESTON, Texas -The first live-attenuated Zika vaccine still in the development stage completely protected mice against the virus after a single vaccination dose, according to new research from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Instituto Evandro Chagas at the Ministry of Health in Brazil. The findings are currently available in Nature Medicine. While a Zika infection typically results in mild or symptom-free infections in healthy adults and children, the risk of microcephaly and other diseases in the developing fetus is an alarming consequence that has created a worldwide health threat. Pregnant women who are infected with the Zika virus but never display any disease symptoms may still give birth to a baby with microcephaly. An effective vaccine is urgently needed for women of childbearing age and travelers to areas where the virus has been reported. Since Zika virus could also be sexually transmitted, prevention of men from infection through vaccination could also halt Zika transmission and diseases. Rapid and promising progress has been made toward a Zika vaccine. These developing vaccines have been made from an inactivated version of the Zika virus or subunits of the virus; these vaccine candidates have been shown effective in mice and nonhuman primates. "We chose to pursue a vaccine made from live virus that has been sufficiently attenuated, or weakened, to be safe, and is able to illicit robust immune response to protect us from Zika virus infection. Such live-attenuated vaccine has the advantage of single-dose immunization, rapid and strong immune response and potentially long-lived protection," said UTMB's Pei-Yong Shi, senior author and the I.H. Kempner professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "A successful vaccine requires a fine balance between efficacy and safety - vaccines made from attenuated live viruses generally offer fast and durable immunity, but sometimes with the trade-off of reduced safety, whereas inactivated and subunit viruses often provide enhanced safety but may require several doses initially and periodic boosters. Therefore, a safe live-attenuated vaccine will be ideal in prevention of Zika virus infection, especially in developing countries." To create the vaccine, the researchers engineered the Zika virus by deleting one segment of the viral genome. A similar approach has successfully been used to develop a dengue virus vaccine, which is currently in phase three clinical trials. Shi explained that the data indicate that the vaccine the team is developing has a good balance between safety and efficacy. A single immunization with the vaccine candidate produced strong immune responses and prevented the virus from infecting mice at all. "Safety is a major hurdle when developing a live-attenuated vaccine. Our Zika vaccine showed promising safety profile in mice when compared with clinically approved live-attenuated vaccines, such as the yellow fever vaccine," Shi said. "Vaccines are an important tool for preventing Zika virus transmission and microcephaly," said Pedro F. C. Vasconcelos, medical virologist and present director of the Evandro Chagas Institute and co-author. "This vaccine, the first live-attenuated vaccine for Zika, will improve the public health efforts to avoid the birth defects and diseases caused by Zika in countries where the virus is commonly found. The initial target of this vaccine is women of childbearing age, their sexual partners and children less than 10 years old. Other authors include UTMB's Chao Shan, Antonio Muruato, Huanle Luo, Xuping Xie, Maki Wakamiya, Robert Tesh, Alan Barrett, Tian Wang, Scott Weaver, and Shannan Rossi; Bruno Nunes and Daniele Medeiros who are affiliated with UTMB and the Instituto Evandro Chagas at the Ministry of Health in Brazil. This work was supported by UTMB, The University of Texas System, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pan American Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health.


News Article | May 7, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Parents seeking to adopt children in Texas could soon be rejected by state-funded or private agencies with religious objections to them being Jewish, Muslim, gay, single, or interfaith couples, under a proposal in the Republican-controlled Legislature. Five other states have passed similar laws protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or other households on religious grounds — but Texas' rule would extend to state-funded agencies. Only South Dakota's is similarly sweepingly. The bill had been scheduled for debate and approval Saturday in the state House, but lawmakers bogged down with other matters. It now is expected to come up next week. Republican sponsors of Texas' bill say it is designed to support the religious freedom of adoption agencies and foster care providers. Many of the agencies are private and faith-based but receive state funds. But opponents say it robs children of stable homes while funding discrimination with taxpayer dollars. "This would allow adoption agencies to turn away qualified, loving parents who are perhaps perfect in every way because the agency has a difference in religious belief," said Catherine Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign. "This goes against the best interest of the child." The bill also blatantly violates the Constitution, Oakley added. "As a governmental entity, Texas is bound to treat people equally under the law," said Oakley. "This is a violation of equal protection under the law." State Rep. James Frank, the bill's author, said it's designed to address the state's foster care crisis by making "reasonable accommodations so everyone can participate in the system." "Everyone is welcome. But you don't have to think alike to participate," said Frank, a Republican from rural Wichita Falls, near Texas' border with Oklahoma. A federal judge in 2015 ruled that the state's foster care system violated youngsters' constitutional rights. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott made fixing it an "emergency" priority and the Legislature has increased funding while backing a number of major changes. Suzanne Bryant, an Austin-based adoption attorney who works with LGBT clients and was one of the first individuals to have a legal same-sex marriage in Texas, said the bill fails to provide alternatives for prospective parents rebuffed by adoption agencies. "Say you call an agency and say, 'I'm Jewish,' and it's a Catholic agency and they hang up on you," said Bryant. "The bill says you can be referred to another agency, but there's no mechanism to set that up." Not only could agencies turn away hopeful parents under the religious freedom provision, but they could require children in the foster care system to comply with their faith-based requirements, said Bryant. That means child welfare organizations could send LGBT kids to conversion therapy, a treatment designed to turn people straight — which the Pan American Health Organization calls a "serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people." And they could deny young people contraception and abortions. "If a 17-year-old who is sexually active wants birth control, the burden to prove that constitutional right is on the child," said Bryant. "They don't have their parents advocating for them and supposed to go it alone against the system." Frank said most adoptions happen through the state's Child Protective Services, which would not be subject to the religious freedom mandate, though outside agencies that receive state funding would be. He said his bill "codifies" the choices adoption agencies are already making as they select parents. "My guess is if you have an LGBT agency they're going to pick an LGBT family, and if you have a Baptist agency they may be more likely to pick a Baptist family," Frank said. "They're free to do that and should be free to do that." Frank also said the bill directs state child services to ensure that other outside adoption providers without religious objections are made available to help would-be adoptive parents who get turned away by any who do raise objections. But his proposal is just one of 24 pending bills in the Texas Legislature that LGBT advocates say encourage discrimination. For more news videos visit Yahoo View, available now on iOS and Android. This story has been corrected to better reflect background on a federal judge's 2015 ruling on Texas foster care system.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.3.2-2 | Award Amount: 4.04M | Year: 2013

The use of HTA has increased recently in Europe and more widely (e.g. Americas) to enable evidence-based coverage decisions and improve efficiency in resource allocation. HTA has often resulted in different coverage decisions across settings despite the same evidence being used for this purpose. This may reflect in part societal preferences about value, priorities or risk perceptions, suggesting a significant need for methodological improvements and extensions. The fundamental objective of ADVANCE_HTA is to contribute to advancements in the methods for HTA in European and other settings by involving the wider stakeholder community in areas actively and heavily debated given their implications for decision-making and resource allocation, as follows: First, the issue around value for money and the different approaches surrounding current thresholds for resource allocation; Second, the concept of value assessment, and the factors that need to be considered beyond cost effectiveness, such as disease severity; Third, to improve the quality of the evidence required for and the methods associated with the assessment of rare diseases; Fourth, to advance the debate in the elicitation of preferences by deriving these in more realistic settings within the patient community in the wider EU; Fifth, to advance the debate on the suitability of current HTA tools across different categories of medical devices (e.g. diagnostics); and Sixth, to improve the implementation and capacity building of HTA including outside Europe, where HTA is considered explicitly in decision-making. ADVANCE_HTA aims to broaden the spectrum, complement and address areas of intense methodological debate in the application, use and implementation of HTA. It also aims to improve HTA methods, which can be taken further by competent authorities nationally whilst supplementing the work of supra-national bodies (e.g. EUnetHTA) towards a common understanding of choices in health care decision-making.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) -- the educational branch of The Gerontological Society of America -- will hold its 43rd Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference, taking place from March 9 to 12 at the Miami Marriott Dadeland in Miami, Florida. This conference provides a forum for professionals in the field of aging to present their work and share ideas about gerontological and geriatric education and training. The theme for 2017 is "The Future is Here: Educating a New Generation of Professionals in Aging Worldwide." Learn more at http://www. . Below are some program highlights. Opening Plenary Session: "Thoughts on Educating a New Workforce of Professionals in Aging Worldwide" Thursday, March 9, 5:30 p.m. The Opening Plenary will feature a conversation with the Honorable Josefina Carbonell and Dr. Martha Pelaez. Carbonell served as the third assistant secretary for Aging at the Administration on Aging, appointed by President George Bush in 2001 and served in the position until 2009. She is currently the senior vice president of long-term Care & nutrition at Independent Living Systems and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Aging. Pelaez is a founder and consultant for Network Development and Operations at Florida Health Networks, LLC, and leads the Health Foundation of South Florida, Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative. She was previously the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization regional advisor on aging and health. Networking Luncheon: "Pecha Kucha -- Build. Network. Discover. It's your Journey." Friday, March 10, 12:30 p.m. Separate registration is required. Consider participating in this new and exciting AGHE networking luncheon. Attendees will learn about AGHE committees through a set of slide performances. What is Pecha Kucha? Pecha Kucha is an exciting way to provide information at conferences. It is an image-based slide presentation style that is concise and fast-paced. It allows for speakers to share images on a variety of topics. In this case, about AGHE committees and the various charges of the committees. "A Spotlight on Gerontology Programs Around the Globe" Saturday, March 11, 4:30 p.m. This special session will provide attendees an opportunity to learn about challenges and opportunities for gerontological education in China, Russia, Turkey and Mexico. Du Peng will introduce the development of gerontology education in China and will offer information about the gerontology program at Renming University of China, which is the only program in China that offers a PhD in gerontology. William E. Hills, Eduard V. Karyukhin, and Karen T. Hills will examine the Third Age University programs of the Russian cities of Pskov and Vologda, making comparisons to the Lifelong Learning Institute movement in the United States. Following a brief history of Turkey's first gerontology program at Akdeniz University, Özgür Arun and Jason K. Holdsworth will describe some opportunities and challenges they have encountered in gerontological education at both the local and national level. Elva Dolores Arias Merino, Martha Elena Vázquez Arias, and Neyda Ma Mendoza Ruvalcaba will provide insight to the needs of students and graduates, related to the AGHE competencies, who enter the Masters in Gerontology program at the University of Guadalajara. Closing Plenary Session: "Pitching to the Global Longevity Economy -- Planning for the Global Business of Aging" Sunday, March 12, 10 a.m. The featured speakers will be Brittany C.S. Weinberg, Aging 2.0; Dana B. Bradley, Western Kentucky University; and Janice I. Wassel, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The rapid aging of the world's population brings unprecedented and important changes in the global economic environment creating unique opportunities and challenges for businesses worldwide. Gerontological educators are uniquely positioned to take advantage of these challenges and opportunities because they can create multiple opportunities to introduce business issues related to corporate and public policy in their gerontological curriculum and career options for their students. The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) is the educational branch of The Gerontological Society of America, the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. AGHE seeks to advance gerontology as a field of study at institutions of higher education through conferences, publications, technical assistance, research studies, and consultation with policy makers. It is currently the only institutional member organization dedicated to gerontology and geriatrics education worldwide.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

NSF International, a global public health organization, has launched a certification program for light fixtures intended for use in controlled environments. The new protocol, NSF P442: Controlled Environment Light Fixtures, offers clients the ability to demonstrate through a single certification that their light fixtures are constructed in a way that enables them to be used in controlled environments where low air pollutant levels, cleanability, durability and structural integrity are critical. These environments may include pharmaceutical processing, biotech research, biosafety laboratories, surgical suites, clean room manufacturing, food processing and horticulture. Prior to the development of NSF P442, lighting manufacturers had to either generate their own test data or use multiple test organizations to obtain the data required to fully demonstrate the safety of their products. Certification to NSF P442: Controlled Environment Light Fixtures incorporates three different tests into one independent, third-party certification, saving manufacturers time and money. “NSF International developed the protocol with industry input in response to an industry need for a single certification for light fixtures used in controlled environments,” said Maren Roush, Business Unit Manager, Biosafety Cabinetry Program, NSF International. “NSF P442: Controlled Environment Light Fixtures integrates a variety of tests that were previously used by lighting manufacturers to demonstrate the safety of their products for use in controlled environments. NSF International performs this single-step, independent certification to verify the design, construction and performance of light fixtures that are intended for use in controlled environments such as surgery suites, clean room manufacturing, biosafety labs and pharmaceutical processing.” NSF International uses a consensus-based process in developing certifications and protocols that includes input from industry stakeholders and manufacturers. In addition to certifying lighting for controlled environments, NSF International also offers a Biosafety Cabinet Field Certifier Accreditation Program and certifies to NSF/ANSI 49: Biosafety Cabinetry, which establishes requirements for the design, construction and performance of biosafety cabinets. The standard applies to Class II biosafety cabinets, which provide environmental and product protection for work and employees involved in procedures assigned to biosafety levels 1, 2, 3 and 4. Editor’s Note: To schedule an interview with Maren Roush, Business Unit Manager, Biosafety Cabinetry, NSF International, contact Liz Nowland-Margolis at media(at)nsf(dot)org or +1 734.418.6624. NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 165 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and the Environment.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

NSF International and ISMS Solutions are expanding their partnership to help organizations successfully attain the requirements of multiple information security standards through a single service. This partnership offers organizations full-service information security consulting and verification services. In order to conduct business with the federal government, federal contractors are required to meet numerous standards and requirements. These requirements now include multiple information security standards and guidelines. Additionally, many private organizations are voluntarily adopting these same information security requirements to ensure the safety of their supply chains, consumer databases, brand images and intellectual property assets. NSF International and ISMS Solutions have partnered to expand their service offerings. These services include a proprietary software platform, on-site consulting and cutting-edge technology that help organizations develop, implement and verify compliance with the multiple information security requirements and platforms they seek to meet. “In evolving business practices, sending data and information that can be proprietary or sensitive to organizations is becoming more commonplace, which increases the potential for added security risks,” said Tom Chestnut, Senior Vice President, NSF International. “The strength in the partnership between NSF International and ISMS Solutions is that businesses and organizations can receive full-service information security consulting, implementation and verification services from two trusted organizations through a single service.” NSF International and ISMS Solutions originally partnered to create NSF Conformance Works, the first risk and compliance tool designed to help organizations and their supply chains assess their conformance to the new requirements of the revised quality standard, ISO 9001:2015. “ISMS Solutions and NSF International are leaders in their industries, making this expansion a great asset to companies looking to verify that they meet information security standards,” said Jason Clark, Chief Executive Officer of ISMS Solutions. “Our partnership provides organizations expertise in consulting and compliance to multiple information security requirements.” For more information on these security systems services, NSF Conformance Works or the partnership between NSF International and ISMS Solutions, visit http://www.nsf.org or contact Kevin Hall at conformanceworks(at)nsf(dot)org. Editor’s Note: Media interested in more information can contact Liz Nowland-Margolis at media(at)nsf(dot)org or +1 734-418-6624. About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 165 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment. About ISMS Solutions: ISMS Solutions is the only management consulting firm that employs a holistic, organized approach to addressing governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) strategy and implementation. The ISMS Solutions team of compliance experts collaborate with clients to customize, implement and automate standards and processes that meet or exceed international certification standards set by many of the standard organizations. With our proprietary SaaS platform, Conformance Works, clients can easily and seamlessly manage customized risk and compliance initiatives across their organizations, as well as their vendors and other associated companies.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

(PRWEB) January 18, 2017 -- Global public health organization NSF International has certified the first drinking water pitcher to reduce arsenic V (pentavalent arsenic) to NSF/ANSI 53: Drinking Water Treatment Units – Health Effects, an American National Standard for drinking water treatment units. This certification verifies that MicroCeramics’ NanoNose Pitcher Filter System filters the water to reduce arsenic to at or below the health advisory levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) of 10 parts per billion (ppb). NSF International also certified the Midea-NanoNose filtration cartridge, which houses the NanoNose filtration technology for pour-through water filters, to NSF/ANSI 53. Most arsenic enters the drinking water supply either from natural deposits in the earth or from industrial and agricultural pollution. According to the WHO, more than 200 million people worldwide might be chronically exposed to arsenic in drinking water. Long-term exposure can lead to chronic arsenic poisoning and to certain cancers. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has been ranking arsenic in first place on its toxic substance priority list for more than 16 years.* “Arsenic in drinking water threatens public health worldwide,” said Liangjie Dong, CEO of San Jose-based Mesofilter Inc. and NanoNose inventor. “The technology was researched, developed and refined over a period of 12 years at the University of Hawaii with the collaboration of China Medical University in Shenyang, China. We are so pleased to be able to offer the NanoNose Pitcher Filter System certified by NSF International. We will continue to innovate next-generation water filtration technology and products in our Silicon Valley headquarters.” Certification to NSF/ANSI 53: Drinking Water Treatment Units – Health Effects means that the product reduces pentavalent arsenic (or arsenic V) in drinking water to at or below 10 ppb and has been tested to ensure the safety of materials which come in contact with drinking water. Certification also includes annual facility audits of the manufacturing facility to ensure the products continue to meet the standard. “NSF International continues to protect and improve public health by certifying products worldwide that help improve the quality of drinking water,” said Clif McLellan, Vice President of Water Systems at NSF International. “NSF’s certification of the NanoNose Pitcher Filter System and Midea-NanoNose filtration cartridge to the NSF/ANSI 53 means consumers now have a verified solution to reduce pentavalent arsenic (or arsenic V) in their drinking water to 10 ppb which is set by the EPA and WHO.” NSF International offers a listing of all certified products including the NanoNose Pitcher Filter System. For more information on NSF International’s global filtration programs, contact Tina Yerkes, Director, General Manager, Water Systems at tyerkes(at)nsf(dot)org or call +1-734-418-6596. Editor’s note: For media interested in more information or to request an interview please contact Liz Nowland-Margolis at media(at)nsf(dot)org or +1 734-418-6624. For interviews with Mr. Dong in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley, please contact Shirley Gines at sgines(at)firebrandglobal(dot)com or +1 858-395-0888. NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 165 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment. NSF International led the development of the American National Standards for all materials and products that treat or come in contact with drinking water. In 1990, the U.S. EPA replaced its own drinking water product advisory program with these NSF standards. Today, most major plumbing codes require certification to NSF standards for pipes and plumbing components in commercial and residential buildings. MicroCeramics LTD, headquartered in Nanopolis, Suzhou, China, manufactures the first-generation MicroNose and second-generation NanoNose products for solving arsenic and heavy metal filtration challenges in water. The third-generation technology, MesoNose, will be manufactured in San Jose, California. *Reference links for WHO and ATSDR World health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/92/8/13-128496/en/


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Food Logistics, the only publication exclusively dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global food supply chain, has named TraQtion, a supply chain quality and compliance software developed by NSF International, drawing on its nearly 70 years of food safety expertise, to its 2016 FL100+ Top Software and Technology Providers list. The TraQtion online software service manages food safety, quality and compliance for supply chains, products and sites. The FL100+ Top Software and Technology Providers list serves as a resource guide of software and technology providers whose products and services are critical for companies in the global food and beverage supply chain. “The software and technology sector continues to generate new and exciting opportunities for growers, food manufacturers, grocery retailers and the many logistics providers that support them,” notes Lara L. Sowinski, editorial director at Food Logistics. “Today’s cloud-based solutions like TraQtion and mobile connectivity are helping create tools that are more flexible, affordable and responsive, making software and technology even more valuable to those in the global food supply chain.” “Food safety and quality professionals’ must keep track of numerous data points originating from multiple sources to maintain compliance to safety and quality requirements,” said Sireesha Mandava, Senior Director, TraQtion. “We are honored that Food Logistics has selected TraQtion as one of its top 100 software and technology providers. As a cloud-based quality and compliance software, TraQtion allows a business to build a solution that works seamlessly with its current processes and procedures by integrating with other internal and external systems for a smooth flow of information,” Mandava continued. “Each solution has a wide range of modules to handle supplier, product and site compliance, allowing businesses to choose the depth and breadth of quality and compliance needed for their brand.” Companies on this year’s FL100+ Top Software and Technology Providers list are profiled in the November/December 2016 issue of Food Logistics, http://www.foodlogistics.com. For an overview of TraQtion, please visit the website. For more information about TraQtion for current or prospective clients, please contact info(at)TraQtion(dot)com or Andrew Thorne at athorne(at)traqtion(dot)com or +1-734-645-6790. For media inquiries, please contact Liz Nowland-Margolis at lnowlandmargolis(at)nsf(dot)org or +1-734-418-6624 About Food Logistics Food Logistics is published by AC Business Media, a business-to-business media company that provides targeted content and comprehensive, integrated advertising and promotion opportunities for some of the world’s most recognized B2B brands. Its diverse portfolio serves the construction, logistics, supply chain and other industries with print, digital and custom products, events and social media. About TraQtion: TraQtion is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that manages food safety, quality and compliance for supply chains, products and sites. Developed from the ground up using NSF International's food safety and quality expertise, TraQtion serves leading manufacturers, retailers and restaurants around the world that place a high emphasis on customer satisfaction and safety. TraQtion is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is a wholly owned subsidiary of NSF International (traqtion.com). About NSF International: Founded in 1944, NSF International is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 165 countries, NSF is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment. NSF is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org).


Vigilato M.A.,Pan American Health Organization
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences | Year: 2013

Human rabies transmitted by dogs is considered a neglected disease that can be eliminated in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) by 2015. The aim of this paper is to discuss canine rabies policies and projections for LAC regarding current strategies for achieving this target and to critically review the political, economic and geographical factors related to the successful elimination of this deadly disease in the context of the difficulties and challenges of the region. The strong political and technical commitment to control rabies in LAC in the 1980s, started with the regional programme coordinated by the Pan American Health Organization. National and subnational programmes involve a range of strategies including mass canine vaccination with more than 51 million doses of canine vaccine produced annually, pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis, improvements in disease diagnosis and intensive surveillance. Rabies incidence in LAC has dramatically declined over the last few decades, with laboratory confirmed dog rabies cases decreasing from approximately 25 000 in 1980 to less than 300 in 2010. Dog-transmitted human rabies cases also decreased from 350 to less than 10 during the same period. Several countries have been declared free of human cases of dog-transmitted rabies, and from the 35 countries in the Americas, there is now only notification of human rabies transmitted by dogs in seven countries (Bolivia, Peru, Honduras, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and some states in north and northeast Brazil). Here, we emphasize the importance of the political commitment in the final progression towards disease elimination. The availability of strategies for rabies control, the experience of most countries in the region and the historical ties of solidarity between countries with the support of the scientific community are evidence to affirm that the elimination of dog-transmitted rabies can be achieved in the short term. The final efforts to confront the remaining obstacles, like achieving and sustaining high vaccination coverage in communities that are most impoverished or in remote locations, are faced by countries that struggle to allocate sufficient financial and human resources for rabies control. Continent-wide cooperation is therefore required in the final efforts to secure the free status of remaining countries in the Americas, which is key to the regional elimination of human rabies transmitted by dogs.


Gonzalez M.A.,Pan American Health Organization
BMC public health | Year: 2011

International cohort studies have shown that antiretroviral treatment (ART) has improved survival of HIV-infected individuals. National population based studies of HIV mortality exist in industrialized settings but few have been presented from developing countries. Our objective was to investigate on a population basis, the regional situation regarding HIV mortality and trends in Latin America (LA) in the context of adoption of public ART policies and gender differences. Cause of death data from vital statistics registries from 1996 to 2007 with "good" or "average" quality of mortality data were examined. Standardized mortality rates and Poisson regression models by country were developed and differences among countries assessed to identify patterns of HIV mortality over time occurring in Latin America. Standardized HIV mortality following the adoption of public ART policies was highest in Panama and El Salvador and lowest in Chile. During the study period, three overall patterns were identified in HIV mortality trends- following the adoption of the free ART public policies; a remarkable decrement, a remarkable increment and a slight increment. HIV mortality was consistently higher in males compared to females. Mean age of death attributable to HIV increased in the majority of countries over the study period. Vital statistics registries provide valuable information on HIV mortality in LA. While the introduction of national policies for free ART provision has coincided with declines in population-level HIV mortality and increasing age of death in some countries, in others HIV mortality has increased. Barriers to effective ART implementation and uptake in the context of free ART public provision policies should be further investigated.

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