EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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Jul 24, 2015

World’s first malaria vaccine gets go-ahead from EU regulators

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – The world’s first malaria
vaccine got a green light on Friday from European drugs
regulators who recommended it should be licensed for use in
babies in Africa at risk of the mosquito-borne disease.

The shot, called RTS,S or Mosquirix and developed by British
drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the PATH Malaria
Vaccine Initiative, would be the first licensed human vaccine
against a parasitic disease and could help prevent millions of
cases of malaria in countries that use it.

Jul 23, 2015

Nigeria marks polio-free year, raising global eradication hopes

LONDON, (Reuters) – Nigeria marked its first year without a single case of polio on Friday, reaching a milestone many experts had thought would elude it as internal conflict hampered the battle against the crippling disease.

It means the country could come off the list of countries where polio is endemic in a few weeks, once the World Health Organization (WHO) can confirm that the last few samples taken from people in previously affected areas are free of the virus.

Jul 22, 2015

Health specialists call for $2 billion global fund for vaccines

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – Global health experts called on Wednesday for the creation of a $2 billion vaccine development fund to feed a pipeline of potential new shots against priority killer diseases like Ebola, MERS and the West Nile virus.

The fund would help bridge the gap between early stage drug discovery work carried out at universities and small biotech firms, and the late stage development and large-scale clinical trials needed to get a new vaccine to market.

Jul 15, 2015

Large UK trial to ask if mindfulness boosts teenage mental health

LONDON (Reuters) – Nearly 6,000 British school children are to take part in a major trial designed to assess whether mindfulness training for teenagers can improve their mental health.

Mindfulness is based on the idea of being more aware of the present by intentionally focusing on emotions, thoughts and sensations and viewing them with acceptance. Advocates say this understanding helps people to respond in ways that are more purposeful, rather than reacting on “automatic pilot”.

Jul 15, 2015

Two new trials of Ebola vaccines begin in Europe and Africa

LONDON (Reuters) – Two new Ebola vaccine trials began on Wednesday with volunteers in Britain, France and Senegal getting “prime-boost” immunizations developed by Bavarian Nordic, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson.

The mid-stage, or Phase II, trials are designed primarily to test the vaccines’ safety, but will also assess whether they provoke an immune response against the deadly virus.

Jul 14, 2015

Caveats, costs and complexities shadow first malaria vaccine

LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) – It’s a showpiece drug that has
the potential to end a disease that kills half a million African
children a year. Yet even before it wins a licence, the world’s
first malaria vaccine has lost some of its sheen.

Backed by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and
developed by GlaxoSmithKline, the vaccine — called RTS,S or
Mosquirix — is being assessed by regulators and global health

Jul 9, 2015

New analysis of smoking and schizophrenia suggests causal link

LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) – In research that turns on its head previous thinking about links between schizophrenia and smoking, scientists say they have found that cigarettes may be a causal factor in the development of psychosis.

After analyzing almost 15,000 tobacco users and 273,000 non users and their relative rates of psychosis – where patients can experience delusions, paranoia and hear voices in their heads – the researchers said cigarette smoking appears to increase risk.

Jul 8, 2015

Oral cholera vaccine could speed control efforts, trial finds

LONDON, July 9 (Reuters) – An oral vaccine has reduced cases
of severe cholera by nearly 40 percent in a key trial in
Bangladeshi slums, suggesting the shot could be used routinely
to help endemic countries control the life-threatening disease.

In the first real-life trial of the vaccine, called Shanchol
and recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO),
researchers said it proved safe, easy to administer and
relatively inexpensive at $1.85 per dose.

Jul 7, 2015

Experts call for immediate WHO reform after Ebola exposes failings

LONDON, July 7 (Reuters) – Experts called on Tuesday for
urgent, root-and-branch changes to the World Health Organization
after an inadequate response to West Africa’s vast and deadly
Ebola outbreak.

The U.N. agency “does not currently possess the capacity or
organizational culture to deliver a full emergency public health
response”, a panel of independent experts said in a report on
the handling of the Ebola crisis.

Jul 7, 2015

WHO urges governments to raise tobacco taxes to beat smoking

LONDON (Reuters) – Governments around the world should increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products to save lives and generate funds for stronger health services, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

In a report entitled “The Global Tobacco Epidemic 2015″, the United Nations health agency said that too few governments make full use of tobacco taxes to dissuade people from smoking or help them to cut down and quit. It recommends that at least 75 percent of the price of a pack of cigarettes should be tax.

    • About Kate

      "I cover health and science news for the region of Europe, Middle East and Africa -- from flu pandemics to the newest planetary discovery to the latest drug and research developments. I joined Reuters in 1993 and worked in London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt before moving to BBC television to work on European politics for Newsnight for 2 years. Since returning to Reuters, I have also worked as a parliamentary correspondent in Westminster and on the main news desk of the London bureau."
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