News

    South Africa Maps Strategy for TB Fight

    David Mametja of South African Department of Health speaks in Johannesburg at the launch of Global TB Vaccine Road map, March 20, 2012.
    David Mametja of South African Department of Health speaks in Johannesburg at the launch of Global TB Vaccine Road map, March 20, 2012.
    Delia Robertson

    A global strategy to develop safe and effective tuberculosis vaccines over the coming decade was unveiled in South Africa this week.

    The new plan establishes international worldwide research targets for the next 10 years, with the goal of having safe and effective vaccines ready for production by 2022.

    Each year there are about nine million new cases of TB and 1.4 million deaths. The disease often occurs in people who have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, due to their compromised immune systems. And in recent years strains of TB have emerged that are increasingly multi-drug resistant.

    David Memetja, who is responsible for TB control and management at the South African Department of Health, told journalists the solution lies in finding a vaccine.

    “The solution is really in preventing TB, and in that regard the announced TB vaccine blueprint we believe is part of the important solution in terms of minimizing the risk of TB in the country,” he said.

    Memetja says South Africa is at the epicenter of the global TB pandemic.

    “So in fact if you take our incidence rate, which currently stands at almost 1,000 [infections] per 100,000 people, so adjusting for our population size we actually rank first in the world among the 22 countries that account for 80 percent of the world’s TB burden,” said Memetja.

    Gavin Churcyard, chief executive of the Aurum Institute, an independent, public-benefit organization that focuses on TB and HIV, says the work going on in South Africa is an important part of the effort to control TB.

    “South Africa researchers are playing a leading role internationally in development and evaluation of new TB drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines," said Churcyard. "Recently a national plan for an HIV vaccine was launched, and there are plans to launch a national plan for TB based on the [TB vaccine] blueprint.”

    Hassan Mahomed, team leader at the South Africa TB Vaccine Initative at the University of Cape Town, says most of the vaccine trials under way are being done in this country.

    “There are five research institutions around South Africa that are actively involved in clinical trials of new TB vaccines," he said. "Of the 12 TB vaccines that are being actively tested at the moment, six of them are being tested in South Africa.”

    Mahomed says it also is important that local researchers are working together with nine institutions across the African continent in a collaborative effort to find new vaccines.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora