Guinea worm disease is reaching the end of its days. The parasitic infection, which has sickened millions, mostly in Asia and Africa, is on the verge of being done in not by sophisticated medicine but by aggressive public health efforts in some of the poorest and most remote parts of the world.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office created Patents for Humanity to provide business incentives for patent holders to tackle the world's most pressing challenges. This 12-month pilot advances the President’s global development agenda by rewarding companies who bring life-saving technologies to underserved regions of the world, and by highlighting positive examples of humanitarian actions that are compatible with business interests and strong patent rights.

A United Nations-supported government campaign to eradicate measles and polio has vaccinated over 5.6 million children in Afghanistan over the past two weeks, and organizers are stressing the need for more funds to complete the effort next month.

The AIDS Institute is hosting a panel discussion on July 26 2012 as part of the 2012 International AIDS Conference to discuss the Obama Administration's National HIV/AIDS Strategy and how actions taken by the Administration and the US Congress are impacting implementation of the Strategy.

Global leaders unite to provide 120 million women in the world’s poorest countries with access to contraceptives by 2020. Voluntary family planning services will reach an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries by 2020 thanks to a new set of commitments announced today by more than 150 leaders from donor and developing countries, international agencies, civil society, foundations and the private sector.

Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced that they will work together to expand access to family planning, a critical step in improving the health of women around the world. Merck intends to pledge up to $25 million over eight years as part of Merck for Mothers – the company’s 10-year initiative to reduce maternal mortality around the world. This pledge will be matched by the Gates Foundation as part of its commitment to family planning. These contributions will advance efforts to help reach United Nations Millennium Development Goal 5, which calls for a 75 percent reduction in maternal mortality and universal access to reproductive health by 2015.

THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Merck, a global health care company, will each invest US$4 million in the newly launched Zambia Management and Leadership Academy (ZMLA). ZLMA will equip health care managers with knowledge and skills to enhance health care delivery in Zambia. Currently, over 360 health care managers are being trained and a further 900 others will be trained by 2014.

Seven pharmaceutical companies and four research institutions, working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have launched a groundbreaking partnership that aims to speed the discovery of essential new treatments for tuberculosis (TB). The partnership, known as the TB Drug Accelerator (TBDA), will target the discovery of new TB drugs by collaborating on early-stage research. The long-term goal of the TBDA is to create a TB drug regimen that cures patients in only one month.

The National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) and OraSure Technologies, Inc. announced today the launch of the eighth annual Mayors Campaign Against HIV™, a national campaign to encourage testing for HIV and promote the benefits of knowing one’s HIV status. The Campaign is part of the annual observance of National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Brazil has created and will produce a vaccine against Schistosomiasis, a chronic illness caused by the Schistosoma parasite found in areas that lack basic sanitation. On June, 12 in Rio de Janeiro, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz) issued the results of clinical safety testing for the vaccine developed by the Experimental Schistosomiasis Laboratory of Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (IOC/Fiocruz). Based on the antigen Sm14, developed and patented by the IOC, the vaccine puts Brazil at the forefront of knowledge in a field of high technological complexity.

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