Scientists recently gathered for the Sir Mark Oliphant Conference in Australia, to discuss how vaccine and immune system technologies have the potential to protect people worldwide from tuberculosis and other diseases, the Inter Press Servicereports. The three-day conference, which concluded Friday, drew researchers from Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S.
At the conference, Warwick Britton, an Australian scientist from the Centenary Institute, discussed progress in the development of two new TB vaccines. The vaccines focus on improving protection in infants and adults who were previously vaccinated against the disease.
Gustav Nossal -- a consultant to the World Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who attended the conference -- said more money is available for vaccine research, purchase and delivery. He said that the Gates Foundation is helping with human and physical infrastructure for vaccine delivery in "many of the poorest countries."
He noted, "While companies like to do research on diseases of the First World, we are seeing a renewed commitment for research on vaccines" for the developing world, such as malaria and HIV.
Global resources for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria programs total $8 billion, Inter Press Service
reports. "The amount should be several times more than this," Nossal said. He also said that wealthy countries, such as the Group of Eight industrialized nations, should be held accountable for their funding commitments to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, adding that governments need their "hands held to the flames".
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation