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Regab

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  • bobutne
    Regab, the national beer of Gabon, claims 4.5% alcohol. You never know how much alcohol is really in each bottle. That is always a surprise. Kronenbourg was
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 2, 2003
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      Regab, the national beer of Gabon, claims 4.5% alcohol. You never
      know how much alcohol is really in each bottle. That is always a
      surprise. Kronenbourg was the beer we drank in Gabon back in the
      60's since Regab wasn't brewed until the late 70's. I did down more
      than a few Regabs when I returned to Gabon in June 2002. Anyone want
      to share some Regab stories?
    • jonathonwithano
      Scientists accuse international agencies of approving useless malaria programs Eds: SUBS 4th graf, `At least ... to CORRECT spelling of chloroquine By EMMA
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 15, 2004
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        Scientists accuse international agencies of approving useless
        malaria programs
        Eds: SUBS 4th graf, `At least ...' to CORRECT spelling of
        chloroquine
        By EMMA ROSS
        AP Medical Writer
        LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization and other aid
        agencies are undermining the battle against malaria by funding
        cheaper and less-effective drugs, contributing to tens of
        thousands of deaths of children in Africa, researchers asserted.
        The scientists, writing in The Lancet medical journal, accused
        WHO and the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria of
        promoting programs that use the wrong drugs because they are
        a tenth the cost of better medicines.
        Both agencies defended their positions, saying they cannot
        dictate countries' drug policies and that many are changing to
        the new drugs.
        At least 1 million people, most of them children, die every year
        from malaria. One reason propelling the deadly mosquito-borne
        epidemic is that the bug has become immune to the
        conventional drugs, chloroquine and
        sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine.
        Newer drugs, known as artemisinin-class combination therapy,
        or ACT, are considered the best treatment in areas where
        resistance has become widespread.
        In the Lancet, health scholar Amir Attaran from the
        London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs and
        colleagues from Africa, Asia and Europe cited many examples
        where the old drugs were funded for countries with
        drug-resistant malaria.
        Many malaria programs are financed by the Global Fund for
        AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, set up in 2002 to channel
        money into fighting the three diseases in the developing world.
        "Most African countries reluctantly cling to chloroquine,
        sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, or the insignificantly better
        combination of (them) because ACT is 10 times more
        expensive, and therefore unaffordable to them," the scientists
        say in the Lancet paper.
        "When those same countries seek financial aid from the Global
        Fund to purchase ACT, they are forcefully pressured out of it by
        governments such as the U.S.A.," the scientists said.
        The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a
        statement that it "has never pressured any nation to use the
        drugs cited in the article as less effective, in place of the more
        expensive ACT drugs."
        The experts cited Kenya, where drug-resistant malaria is
        widespread. The Global Fund rejected an application to fund a
        $102 million malaria program based on the new drugs, but later
        approved one using two older drugs that cost $33 million.
        Vinand Nantulya, senior adviser to the executive director of the
        Global Fund, said Kenya's original application was rejected
        because its strategy was not clear enough.
        However, Attaran said the Global Fund had also agreed to
        finance a combination of the two old drugs in Uganda and
        Ethiopia, a pairing WHO describes as "not recommended."
        Attaran and his colleagues said the funding of the wrong drugs
        is "indefensible." The practice "at least wastes precious
        international aid money and at most kills patients who have
        malaria."
        The scientists estimate tens of thousands of children die every
        year as a direct result of getting the wrong drugs.
        WHO spokesman Iain Simpson said the agency's approval of
        Global Fund proposals does not constitute a full technical
        review. He said WHO officials might have signed off on
        something that is in line with a country's drug policy, even if the
        policy is outdated.
        "It's not up to us to advise the Global Fund on how to spend their
        money," or to dictate a country's policy on malaria treatment,
        Simpson said. "It is up to us to assist countries in making sure
        that they have the right drug policy and we believe that we're
        doing that. A number of countries have changed their drug policy
        over the last couple of years and we would advise others to do
        so."
        But Attaran rejected that explanation.
        "When countries request the wrong medicines, WHO signs off
        on those applications and that's the bottom line," he said. "They
        are saying they are happy to support the wrong medicine."
        The Global Fund said it plans, together with WHO, to submit a
        rebuttal to the Lancet article.
        Nantulya of the Global Fund acknowledged some countries use
        old drugs that should be using the new ones.
        "At the time they made their proposals, the countries' drug
        policies were based on what they could afford. They didn't know
        the data on resistance," he said.
        Proposals that involve the old drugs do get rejected, he added,
        citing Nigeria as an example.
        In addition, money is not tied to specific drugs and countries can
        switch to the new drugs during a program without having to
        reapply to the Global Fund, he said.
        Nantulya said the Global Fund is now advising countries to shift
        to the new drugs. "We don't think there is a crisis, because
        countries that want to change are changing," he said.
      • bobutne
        By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The deadly Ebola virus, which emerged mysteriously from African forests, probably
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 16, 2004
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          By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
          WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The deadly Ebola virus, which emerged
          mysteriously from African forests, probably attacks people who
          butcher and eat infected animals, researchers said on Thursday.

          The virus, which most recently killed 29 people in the Congo
          Republic, seems to break out when people slaughter chimpanzees,
          gorillas and small antelopes called duikers, the scientists said.

          "Humans and duikers scavenging for meat probably became infected by
          contact with dead apes," they wrote in their report, published in
          Friday's issue of the journal Science.

          "Almost all human Ebola outbreaks in Gabon and the Republic of Congo
          have been linked to the handling of dead animals by villagers or
          hunters, and increased animal mortality always preceded the first
          human cases," added the international team of researchers, led by
          Eric Leroy of the Development Research Institute in Gabon.

          They said health workers may be able to get a warning of Ebola
          outbreaks when large numbers of dead animals start appearing in
          forests.

          Ebola first appeared in 1976 and causes a particularly frightening
          and deadly form of hemorrhagic fever. Patients die of shock but may
          bleed internally and externally.

          Depending on the strain of virus, it kills between 50 and 90 percent
          of patients.

          Leroy and colleagues studied several outbreaks in central Africa and
          said villagers, and they themselves, found many dead animals just
          around the time of an outbreak.

          They also found that great apes such as chimps and gorillas could be
          infected, although the original source of the virus remains unknown.

          "The human outbreaks consisted of multiple simultaneous epidemics
          caused by different viral strains, and each epidemic resulted from
          the handling of a distinct gorilla, chimpanzee or duiker carcass,"
          they wrote.

          "These animal populations declined markedly during human Ebola
          outbreaks, apparently as a result of Ebola infection. Recovered
          carcasses were infected by a variety of Ebola strains, suggesting
          that Ebola outbreaks in great apes result from multiple virus
          introductions from the natural host."

          This natural host, or reservoir, is likely to be an animal that is
          not made ill by the virus, scientists say.
          EBOLA ANOTHER BLOW TO ENDANGERED GORILLAS

          Gorillas in particular have been hard-hit by Ebola, the researchers
          noted. Along with poaching and habitat loss, this could lead to their
          extinction in western Central Africa, they said.

          Many people in Africa depend on apes and monkeys -- known as bush
          meat -- for food. But some governments are trying to discourage the
          practice because many apes are endangered.

          And other viruses, including the HIV virus that causes AIDS, are
          believed to have come from chimps and other close relatives of
          humans.

          "Now we know that the virus doesn't 'spread' as much as it spills
          over from many sources in the forest," said Dr. William Karesh of the
          New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, who worked on the
          study.

          Karesh, Leroy and colleagues found that one outbreak between October
          2001 and May 2003 was caused by eight viral strains originating from
          different areas.
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