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Global health briefs - February 2019

January / February 2019 | Volume 18, Number 1

NIH launches free placental atlas tool

Investigators can now access NIH’s Placental Atlas Tool, or PAT, a free resource incorporating placental data from publications and public databases into a single website. Produced by NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the tool is useful for studying placental development and function throughout pregnancy.

African scientists face barriers, report says

A new study of Africa’s young scientists provides details of the challenges they face in terms of research output, funding, mobility, collaboration and mentoring. The publication also provides recommendations for changes to the current research systems in Africa. The book was published by the nonprofit organization African Minds.

WHO says progress on malaria has stalled

Reductions in malaria cases have plateaued after several years of decline, according to the WHO’s World Malaria Report 2018. A new country-led response has been launched to scale up prevention and treatment. Ten African countries and India together account for about 70 percent of the world’s malaria cases, the study says.

Vaccine gaps cause global measles cases to spike

Reported measles cases jumped in 2017, as multiple countries experienced severe outbreaks, according to a report published jointly by the CDC and the WHO. Because of gaps in vaccination coverage, measles outbreaks occurred in all world regions, causing an estimated 110,000 deaths.

More research needed to defeat dementia

The World Dementia Council has released a publication calling for more research. Titled Defeating Dementia: the Road to 2025, the report says data sharing and open science are critical to accelerating progress. While clinical trials on dementia have more than doubled since 2013, participant recruitment shortfalls are causing delays.

WHO: insufficient progress on road safety

Traffic deaths continue to rise, causing 1.35 million fatalities annually, according to the WHO. Its 2018 report on road safety says traffic injuries are now the leading killer of youth aged 5-29 years. While interventions have reduced deaths in wealthier countries, not a single low-income country has lowered traffic fatalities.

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