Indonesia is home to almost half of the world's human deaths from bird flu. In addition, many Indonesian households rely on raising chickens for income, so financial losses from destroyed flocks are adding up.
Vaxart has embarked on the initial phase of a human clinical trial meant to determine the efficacy of its oral vaccine against avian flu. The virus, which is transmitted by birds to humans and other animals, can be potentially fatal. Preliminary results from the trial could be ready by fall, according to the San Francisco-based vaccine delivery company.
Indonesian officials said Monday they will not fully share bird flu samples with the World Health Organization until a new global mechanism being crafted by the WHO is in place to help developing countries access affordable vaccines. Indonesia has been hit harder by bird flu cases in humans than any other country.
Donor countries like the U.S. need to rethink how they carry out their food aid to impoverished countries so that it focuses less on the quantity of food and looks more toward the quality of the products, this commentary says. A fine-tuned strategy is necessary if the battle against malnutrition is to be won, Doctors Without Borders adviser Susan Shepherd writes in The New York Times.
The United Nations refugee agency on Thursday relocated four of its staffers and 28 staffers from partnering organizations after a series of carjackings and other attacks in eastern Chad. Meanwhile, rebels in Chad said they have fought with government troops and are closing in on the capital, N'Djamena. France is now flying in extra troops to protect its citizens there.
Mexico announced Thursday it has created a new federal post that will focus on protecting the rights of women, children and other vulnerable groups such as migrants. The official, who has yet to be appointed, will tackle issues such as child labor and the killings of hundreds of women that have taken place in recent years near the U.S. border.