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Posts Tagged ‘WHO’

What 50 Cents Can Buy

by admin on: April 11th, 2011

There was a time when $0.50 could buy a cup of coffee. Well, not a double-macchiato-something, or something with syrups and different milks, or milk-substitutes, but a good cup of coffee. Nowadays, coffee is more expensive, and most consumers opt for coffees that retail for over $2 a cup. This, of course, begs the question: Can fifty cents still buy something of value?

The answer is a resounding yes. There is a new meningitis vaccine that was given approval by the World Health Organization. This vaccine was developed by the World Health Organization and PATH (a not-for-profit group focused on medical research), and is going to be made by the Serum Institute of India at a cost of about $0.50 per vaccine. This price for the vaccine is well within the budget s of many African governments, and it will likely save thousands upon thousands of lives. In what are termed the ???bad??? years, outbreaks of meningitis may claim upwards of 25,000 lives in Africa???s ???meningitis belt??????an area of land that includes about 25 African countries that sit just below the bottom edge of the Sahara, and stretch from Senegal to Ethiopia. In addition to the lives claimed by meningitis, a number of people are spared, but are left either mentally impaired or deaf.

This new vaccine is designed to work against the most common epidemic strain of meningitis, the group A Neisseria meningitis. It is expected this vaccine will be used in a mass campaign in October 2010. This will be the first time a meningitis vaccine is used in a mass campaign and it is expected to begin in Burkina Faso???a West African country that is approximately the size of Colorado. The rollout of this vaccine to other countries depends on the amount of money raised by donors. For those interested in more information, please visit the PATH.org website.