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Post00616 Note + Grand Challenges + Blood + News 12 September 2011

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0. Moderators Note
1. Request for Proposals: Grand Challenges in immunization systems
2. RFP in French : Grand Challenges in immunization systems
3. News
– Philippines: HIV-contaminated blood donations increasing
– India: 23 kids get HIV after blood transfusion
– Nevada USA: Court won’t stop health district workers from testifying at
hepatitis C trials

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0. Moderators Note

The next edition of SIGNpost will be posted on 6 October 2011

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1. Request for Proposals: Grand Challenges in immunization systems

Many Thanks To Michel Zaffran at WHO Optimize for this posting.

More resources at:

Applications at:

Dear Colleague,

As we move to introduce a growing number of vaccines in low and middle
income countries, we need to ensure that the systems trusted with
delivering them are ready for the task.

Over the past year a group of partners and stakeholders has been working to
develop a vision for immunization supply systems for 2020. A key part of
this work was a landscape analysis of efforts ongoing to strengthen
immunization logistics and supply systems, and an assessment of the gaps
that need to be addressed to move from the efforts underway to achieving
this vision.

I’ve attached that document for your reference
Download at:
The file is Adobe Acrobat PDF, 1,577KB

A first step in finding innovative solutions for some of these gaps has
been launched by the Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations
program, offering grants of $100,000 to promising 2 page proposals that
address a selection of the gaps.

This year, the initiative offers scientists, inventors, non-governmental
organizations, ministries of health and entrepreneurs from around the world
the opportunity to acquire US$100 000 grants to pursue unconventional ideas
that could transform immunization supply systems in low and middle income

It is particularly important to us to ensure applications and new ideas are
received from countries, and we hope you will help us in spreading the word
of this opportunity to those in your network.

Proposals are being sought in the following priority areas:

1. vaccine characteristic prioritization;
2. Immunization supply system design;
3. environmental impact;
4. information systems;
5. human resources; and
6. vaccination acceptance.

Projects showing success will have the opportunity to receive additional
funding up to US$1 million.

For more information, or to apply visit:

Michel Zaffran
Senior Adviser WHO/IVB & Director, Project Optimize
Optimize – Immunization Systems & Technologies for Tomorrow
A WHO-PATH Collaboration
Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals
World Health Organization

2. RFP in French : Grand Challenges in immunization systems

Modibo Dicko, Project Optimize Coordinator, kindly posted the French

Chers collegues,

Comme nous allons vers l’introduction d’un nombre grandissant de vaccins
dans les pays a revenu faible ou modere, nous devons nous assurer que les
sytemes charges de les delivrer sont prets pour cette tache.

Au cours des mois passes, un groupe de partenaires et d’autres parties
prenantes se sont attles a elaborer une vision pour 2020 des systemes
d’approvisionnement de la vaccination. Une part importante de ce travail a
consiste en une analyse situationnelle des efforts en cours pour renforcer
les systemes logistiques d’approvisionnement et en une evaluation des
insuffisances a combler pour avancer des efforts en cours vers la
realisation de cette vision.

Ce document est joint pour votre information.

Une premiere etape vers l’obtention de financements pour des solutions
novatrices a ces insuffisances vient d’etre lancee par le programme
“Exploration des Grands Défis” de la “Fondation Bill & Melinda Gates” qui
offre des subventions de 100 000 USD chacune aux propositions de 2 pages
prometeuses s’interessant a une ou plusieurs de ces insuffisances.

Cette année, l’initiative offre aux scientifiques, inventeurs, ONG,
Ministères de la santé et entrepreneurs du monde entier la possibilité
d’obtenir des subventions de 100 000 $ américains chacune pour développer
des idées non conventionnelles qui pourraient transformer les systèmes
d’approvisionnement de la vaccination dans les pays les plus pauvres du

Il est important que des propositions et des idées novatrices puiisent
provenir des pays a revenu faible ou modere, de leurs universites, centres
de recherche, bureaux d’etudes, ONG ou autres institutions publiques ou
privees. Nous souhaiterions que vous nous aidiez a faire parvenir un mot
sur ces opportunites a ceux figurant dans vos reseaux.

Les domaines prioritaires ouverts pour le financement comprennent:

(1) Hiérarchisation des caractéristiques des vaccins;
(2) Conception du système d’approvisionnement;
(3) Impact environnemental;
(4) Systèmes d’information;
(5) Ressources humaines;
(6) Acceptation de la vaccination.

Les projets prometteurs selectionnes auront la possibilité de recevoir des
fonds supplémentaires pouvant atteindre 1 million de $ américains sur deux

Pour soumisionner ou avoir plus d’informations, merci de visiter le site

Meilleures salutations.


Modibo Dicko
Technical Officer EPI
Project Optimize Coordinator
Optimize – Immunization Systems & Technologies for Tomorrow
A WHO-PATH Collaboration
Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals
World Health Organization

3. News

– Philippines: HIV-contaminated blood donations increasing
– India: 23 kids get HIV after blood transfusion
– Nevada USA: Court won’t stop health district workers from testifying at
hepatitis C trials

Selected news items reprinted under the fair use doctrine of international
copyright law:

Philippine: HIV-contaminated blood donations increasing
by Bernadette E. Tamayo, Journal Online, Philippines (13.09.11)

SENATOR Manny Villar Jr. has sought an inquiry into the reported increasing
number of blood donations found to be contaminated with the human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which puts recipients – such as those
afflicted with dengue — at greater risk.

Villar filed Resolution No.584 urging the Senate Committee on Health and
Demography, chaired by Sen.Pia Cayetano, to lead the public hearing on the

He made the call amid the rising number of dengue cases recently that
prompted the Department of Health, the Philippine National Red Cross, local
government units, and hospitals to conduct bloodletting drives to address
the need for a steady supply of blood.

There is need to “enforce stringent screening procedures among blood
collecting agencies and upholding honesty among donors to advocate
recipient safety,” he said. “In many countries, the
intentional or reckless infection of a person with HIV is considered to be
a crime,” Villar stressed.

He noted that Section 2 of Republic Act 7719 or the National Blood Services
Act of 1994 mandates government “to provide for adequate, safe, affordable
and equitable distribution of supply of blood and blood products.”

The DoH said the country needs about 950,000 bags of blood a year for
patients who need about five bags of blood at a time. The DoH’s National
Epidemiology Center (NEC) reported a rise in the number of donated blood
units tainted with HIV — 74 cases in 2008, 89 in 2009 and 146 in 2010.

“To date, a total of 124 blood units were confirmed to be positive for HI V
by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). According to the
National AIDS Registry Report, a total of 178 new HIV cases were recorded
in the country in June, marking a 63 percent increase compared to the same
period last year,” Villar said.

India: 23 Indian Children Get HIV from Blood Transfusions
R.K. Mishra, Associated Press (12.09.11)

At least 23 children with thalassemia, a rare genetic disorder that
requires regular transfusions, have tested positive for HIV after receiving
tainted blood, Indian officials said today. The government of Gujarat state
has dispatched a team of doctors to the Junagadh district to investigate.
Hospital chief G.T. Dayalu said all the children received free blood
transfusions at a government-run hospital between January and August. While
news reports quoted state government spokesperson Jai Narayan Vyas as
saying many of the children were transfused at more than one hospital, the
Indian Express newspaper quoted parents as saying the children had received
blood only at the government hospital.

India: 23 kids get HIV after blood transfusion
India Today, Junagadh, India (11.09.11)

At least 23 Thalassemic children have reportedly contracted HIV after being
given contaminated blood in Junagadh city of Gujarat.

The shocking incident took place at the Government Hospital in Junagadh
after the children were administered HIV positive blood during blood

The infected blood was allegedly sourced from the blood bank of the

The hospital does not have facility for advance screening for HIV in blood.
There are fears that many more children have been infected.

All the affected children are in the age group of 5 to 10 years and needed
regular blood transfusion to stay healthy.

They had in the past undergone several blood transfusions in the same

The hospital first admitted the lapse but later retracted from its
position. Senior doctors are claiming that the children had HIV before
being admitted for the transfusion.

Read more at:

Nevada USA: Court won’t stop health district workers from testifying at
hepatitis C trials
By Cy Ryan, Las Vegas Sun, Nevada USA (09.09.11)

CARSON CITY – The Nevada Supreme Court has refused to issue an emergency
order to stop employees of the Southern Nevada Health District from being
called as witnesses at multiple trials involving the 2008 hepatitis C
outbreak in Las Vegas.

The health district said it would result in a hardship if its employees
were required to appear in person at each of the possibly hundreds of
trials. It suggested that the depositions taken earlier of the district
workers would be satisfactory for introduction at the trials.

The health district maintained there was an agreement with the drug
manufacturers that the depositions would be used at trial and the employees
would not be called to testify, but the Supreme Court said the health
district failed to show there was an agreement.

The health district is not a party to the suits, but the drug companies
want the right to call these health district workers to testify.

The patients are suing the drug companies on the theory that defective
vials of the anesthetic Propofol were to blame.

The suits say the size of the vials distributed to the Endoscopy Clinic of
Southern Nevada led to them being reused. The workers at the clinic
reportedly injected needles contaminated with hepatitis C into vials of
Propofol, then reused those vials.

The decision of the Supreme Court upholds the ruling of District Judge
Ronald J. Israel.

Those companies wanting the right to call health district workers include
Teva Parenteral Medicines, Sicor Pharmaceuticals, Endoscopy Center of
Southern Nevada, Baxter Healthcare Corp. and McKesson Corp.
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