Health Ministries, UN agencies and communities are uniting with tens of thousands of volunteer immunizers over four days to go door-to-door and hut to hut for a vaccination campaign against polio in 20 African countries starting on 23 March. Across West and Central Africa, over 111.1 million children below the age of five are expected to be vaccinated through this campaign.

"This year's progress in India has proven what is possible when we focus on the task at hand," he said. "In Africa, the end of polio is in sight, but we still have hard work ahead. Failure is not an option."

WHO/David Rochkind

March 24th is World TB Day (#WorldTBDay). Now is the time to be even more ambitious and "Stop TB in our lifetime," the theme of this year's World TB Day.

The WHO has opened a web-based consultation (19 March 2012 – 9 April 2012). The aim of the consultation is to generate comments from Member States, as well as views of relevant NGOs and selected private sector, on a possible set of specific policy options and recommendations for strengthening and facilitating multisectoral action for the prevention and control of NCDs through effective partnership.

An antiretroviral (ARV) drug given to HIV-positive children "can boost the preventive power of a key malaria drug," according to a study conducted in Uganda and presented last week at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, ScienceNow reports.

Lack of adherence to the full course of Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) treatment is threatening the effectiveness of the drug recommended as first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in countries where the disease is endemic, according to recent studies.

Rep. Donald Payne, the dean of the New Jersey delegation and its first and only black member, died Tuesday at a Livingston hospital from colon cancer, his office said. He was 77 years old. He took a particular interest in foreign policy involving Africa, and at the time of his death he was the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health. He sponsored legislation to help relieve famine in Darfur and championed funding for treatment of HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases abroad.

The international target to halve the number of people who do not have access to safe drinking water has been met, five years before the 2015 deadline, the UN announced on Tuesday. According to the WHO, 89% of the population – 6.1 billion people – now used improved drinking water sources, 1% more than the 88% target contained in millennium development goal (MDG) number seven, set in 2000.

(March 2, 2012) An estimated 910 000 lives were saved globally over six years by improving collaboration between TB and HIV services that protect people living with HIV from TB, according to global health impact figures released today. To follow up on the success of the 2004 initial guidance on TB and HIV, WHO is releasing today an updated global policy for joint prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB and HIV. TB is a leading killer of people living with HIV.

(March 1, 2012) The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Grand Challenges Canada invite global problem solvers to answer their second call for innovative solutions to dramatically reduce maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths.

The NCD Alliance supports the position voiced by others that priority-setting should be driven by the mandate of the WHO and the burden of disease borne by its Member States, rather than allocation of resources and donor priorities. The NCD Alliance calls on WHO to ensure its future work gives greater priority and resources to NCDs.

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