WHO has draft agreement in virus-sharing dispute

first_img May 15 CIDRAP News story “Indonesia: H5N1 samples going to WHO again” The Reuters story said the draft resolution is the product of “arduous” negotiations among the WHO member countries. A draft resolution passed by a WHO committee today says the agency will develop rules to ensure timely sharing of viruses with the WHO and “fair and equitable distribution of pandemic influenza vaccines at affordable prices in the event of a pandemic,” the Associated Press (AP) reported. A proposal from developing countries led by Indonesia had called for the WHO to supply H5N1 virus samples to vaccine makers only with the consent of the donor country. But the resolution adopted by the WHO committee says that during “public health emergencies of international concern,” manufacturers should have “full access” to viruses from the WHO, the AP reported. The agreement doesn’t precisely define a public health emergency, but WHO officials said a flu pandemic would qualify, according to the story. While the new rules are being developed, countries are expected to continue sharing virus samples with the WHO, Reuters reported. Researchers use the samples to develop vaccines and to monitor the viruses’ spread, its ability to infect humans, and its resistance to drugs. May 14 CIDRAP News story “Virus sharing high on agenda as WHO meeting begins” The negotiations were chaired by Viroj Tangcharoensathien of Thailand. He commented, “Trust has now gradually been regained in the work of the WHO’s Global Influenza Surveillance Network, which is the backbone of influenza containment.”center_img The draft agreement is a response to Indonesia’s complaint that drug companies can use H5N1 avian flu viruses provided by Indonesia to make vaccines the country can’t afford. In protest, Indonesia stopped sending virus samples to the WHO last December. Last week the Indonesian government said it had resumed sending specimens. But WHO officials said only three have been sent so far, according to Reuters, despite a string of more than 15 human H5N1 cases in Indonesia since the start of this year. But the resolution, which is expected to be approved by the World Health Assembly of 193 WHO members tomorrow, does not define “timely sharing” of samples or fair distribution of vaccines, the AP said. The WHO has coordinated the international sharing of flu virus samples by national and WHO collaborating laboratories for more than 50 years. Samples of both seasonal flu viruses and novel strains like H5N1 are analyzed. May 22, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has negotiated a preliminary agreement designed to maintain the international sharing of influenza virus samples while ensuring that developing countries can obtain pandemic flu vaccines, news services reported today. See also: Reuters reported that the resolution calls for setting up a working group to revise the “terms of reference” for WHO-affiliated laboratories that analyze viruses and to write rules for sharing them with other parties, including researchers and vaccine makers. The resolution sets a year-long timeline for completing those steps, with a goal of getting the plan approved at next year’s World Health Assembly.last_img read more

Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards 2015

first_imgWe always look forward to the AMVCAs – it is an event which is arguably one of the biggest awards ceremonies that unites Africa’s creative force like nothing else.This year, the inaugural edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awardsunited movie lovers and style lovers across Africa like never before on Saturday 7th March 2015.Hosted by Nigerian radio personality/BBA Host IK Osakioduwa and Zimbabwean TV star Vimbai Mutinhiri, the star studded awards ceremony took place in grand style at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, LagosKunle Afolayan’s October 1 and Mildred Okwo’s The Meeting, emerged the biggest winners of the night, as the 2015 edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards took place on Saturday night at the Eko Hotel Convention Centre.It was a massive night. Anyways, here is the full list of winners; Best Actor in a Comedy: Femi Jacobs for The Meeting Best Actress in a Comedy: Rita Dominic for The Meeting Best Actor in a Drama: OC Ukeje for Confusion Na Wa Best Actress in a Drama: Kehinde Bankole for October 1 Best Art Director (Movie/ TV): Pat Nebo for October 1 Best Cinematographer (Movie/ TV): Stanlee Ohikhuare for Verdict Best Comedy Writer (Movie/ TV): Tunde Babalola for The Meeting Best Costume Designer (Movie/ TV): Deola Sagoe & Obijie Oru for October 1 Best Documentary: Yvonne Bassey for The Gift of The Nile Best Drama Writer (Movie/ TV): Tunde Babalola for October 1 Best Lighting Designer: Lanre Omofaiye for October 1 Best Local Language Hausa: Hafizu Bello & Abubakar Bashir for Bincike Best Local Language Igbo: Obi Emelonye for Onye Ozi (The Messenger) Best Local Language Swahili: Sarika Hemi Lakhani for Veve Best Local Language Yoruba: Fathia Balogun for Iya Alalake Best Make: Up Artist: Sacred Lola Maja for October 1 Best Movie (Comedy): Mildred Okwo & Rita Dominic for The Meeting Best Movie (Drama): Steve Gukas for A Place in The Stars Best Movie Director: Kunle Afolayan for October 1 Best New Media – Online: Imoh Umoren For Hard Times Best Movie of 2014: Kunle Afolayan for October 1 Best Short Film: Ekene Mekwunye for Oblivious Best Sound Editing: Kulanen Ikyo For October 1 Best Video Editor: Victoria Akujobi for Reflections Best Supporting Actress: Linda Ejiofor for The Meeting Best Supporting Actor: Blossom Chukwujekwu for Knocking on Heavens Door Best Television Series: Georgia Arnold for Shuga.last_img read more

Professor discusses celebrities’ influence on public diplomacy

first_imgThe USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism hosted Professor Ira Wagman of Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada to discuss the origins and historical context of celebrity diplomacy.Wagman, who teaches communication studies at the School of Journalism at Carleton University and is the Fulbright research chair for Canada, discussed how celebrity involvement in humanitarian issues has changed the practice of diplomacy.Wagman opened the discussion with an introduction of the first celebrity diplomat Danny Kaye, an entertainer in the 1950s who visited Southeast Asia for children’s charities and became the first ambassador for UNICEF.He spoke about how Hollywood in the post-war era was feeling the tumultuous effects of the House Un-American Activities Committee, the anti-communist sentiments of the public and the suspicions of the American government aimed towards the film industry.Wagman said this drove the establishment of celebrity involvement in diplomatic affairs, enhancing the reputations of both the charity organizations and the celebrities. Wagman then discussed the public perception of celebrity diplomacy.“I want to encourage a movement in the discussion about celebrity diplomacy away from the ‘help-or-hurt’ model in the way we think about celebrity diplomacy,” Wagman said.Wagman also brought up questions of the effects of celebrity diplomacy and how the process ties into the public’s views on media technology.“In a way, celebrity diplomacy brings up the issue of our deep ambivalences and anxieties that we feel about celebrities and media,” Wagman said.Wagman also pointed out that because celebrities often have controversial opinions, the public does not necessarily view celebrity diplomacy in a positive light.“I would like to think that there is a process in picking someone and that that person is going to contribute to the cause, but that’s not always the case,” Wagman said.In terms of the effectiveness of celebrity diplomacy, Wagman brought up the question of just how much money celebrities donate.“There are major issues with celebrity campaigns. We place an incredible emphasis on these people, but what does it do at the end of the day?” Wagman said.Center of Public Diplomacy alumna Leah Rousseau, who now works at the Canadian Consulate of Los Angeles, attended the event and commented on the lasting effects of celebrity diplomacy.“Do [celebrities] have any set goals for when they show up to these events? Bono can throw a charity concert, but that doesn’t have a lasting effect on the people attending it,” Rousseau said.Rousseau also brought up other types of celebrity diplomacy, such as diplomatic discussions.“George Clooney is much more of an advocacy type of celebrity because he isn’t trying to sell a product; he goes to the White House and talks about Sudan without needing to host a concert,” Rousseau said.The idea of celebrities performing more charity efforts seemed constructive to many students who attended the event.Jocelyn Coffin, a first-year graduate student studying public diplomacy, had a positive viewpoint on celebrities’ involvement in charities and other causes.“I think there’s a lot of value in it as a tool of diplomacy, and I do think there’s a lot of positives and negatives associated with it,” Coffin said. “I think you have to go forward with it with a lot of caution, but I think it’s a good tool to use in targeting specific people for causes.”Danielle Saroyan, a graduate student of public diplomacy, also appreciates the use of celebrity diplomacy as a way of publicizing charitable causes.“I think it’s actually good that they use celebrities as a media tool to spread the word,” Saroyan said. “I think it’s a really effective media campaign.”last_img read more