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Prentice Women's Hospital Launches New Initiative To Better Identify And Address Postpartum Depression

Up to 80 percent of women experience depressive symptoms postpartum, with one in eight reporting the emergence of major depression within weeks of delivery. Caused by multiple factors, including stress and hormone changes in the body, postpartum depression ranges from a minor presentation, known as postpartum blues, to major depression and in rare circumstances, the most severe form, postpartum psychosis. To better identify and address postpartum depression, Prentice Women's Hospital has implemented a new protocol to standardize screening and education of depression for patients and their families. "Postpartum depression is under-recognized and under-treated, " says Jacqueline Gollan, PhD, clinical psychologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation Women's Behavioral Health Services Program.

Also In Global Health News: India Drug Patent Rejection; Iranian Female Health Minister; Hunger In North Korea; Rape In The Congo; More

Indian Health Officials Welcome Patent Rejections Of HIV/AIDS Drugs Reuters examines Indian health officials' positive reaction to the recent decision by the country's patent office to reject patent applications on two "life-saving HIV/AIDS drugs." The decision, they say, will help to ensure patients living with HIV/AIDS have access to generic HIV/AIDS drugs, which cost a fraction of the price of patented drugs. The drug companies did not comment about their patents' rejection for the story (Majumdar, 9/9). Iran Appoints First Female Health Minister Iranian members of parliament last week approved President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's nomination of Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, a certified gynecologist, to serve as the country's health minister - "the first woman minister in the 30-year history of the Islamic republic, " the BBC reports (9/3).

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Karolinska Development Portfolio Company Completes Successful Phase II Clinical Trial

Karolinska Development (publ) announced that one of its portfolio companies, Dilafor AB, has concluded an extensive clinical study of its candidate drug, tafoxiparin, a new drug substance for the prevention of protracted labor during childbirth. The promising results of the Phase II trial bring the project closer to exit in line with Karolinska Development's business strategy. Dilafor's candidate drug, tafoxiparin DF01 is one of 11 compounds within the Karolinska Development portfolio that are currently conducting clinical trials. The completion of the Dilafor study is an important milestone for Karolinska Development and exemplifies the company's ability to develop innovative ideas through to clinical proof of concept quickly and efficiently.

Opinion: Local Drug Production In Developing Countries; Obama's PEPFAR Changes

Local Drug Production Doesn't Increase Access, Undermines Quality The international community focuses on lowering drug prices as a means of improving access and "today its idea is local pharmaceutical production ... But while the German Government and other countries' aid agencies are helping fund small firms in Africa, they have failed to undertake any serious cost benefit analysis to determine the efficacy of such a policy, " Roger Bate, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, writes in a New Ledger opinion piece. Although a drug industry can often be "a source of national pride, as well as a political opportunity, " a majority of "developing countries do not have the local conditions necessary to tackle drug production" with the "exception of countries like India, South Africa and perhaps Nigeria, " Bate writes.

More PMTCT Interventions Needed, Experts At WHO Regional Meeting Say

Experts participating in the 59th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa called for more interventions to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT), New Times/ reports. Coceka Nandipha Mnyani, an HIV researcher from the University of Witswatersrand, said officials should promote best practices of PMTCT and that efforts to curb transmission through breast feeding are required. With 90 percent of the world's HIV positive children living in Africa, Mnyani said, "it is however vital for countries to translate science into practice." Jules Mugabo, acting director of the HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections unit in TRAC plus, highlighted Rwanda's PMTCT program, which has "expanded" its services and reduced HIV prevalence in exposed infants (Nambi, 9/4).

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NGOs Call For Increased International Support For Women's Health

Hundreds of non-governmental organizations from around the world gathered for a three-day conference in Berlin last week, where they emphasized the need for broader international support for improving women's health worldwide - "15 years after the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, where a similar group set goals to improve the sexual health and rights for women, particularly in the developing world, " the Associated Press reports. Gill Greer, a conference organizer and director general of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said, "Funding for the delivery of the programs that came out of (the Cairo conference) has not kept pace with the promises, but nevertheless there have been some dramatic changes and improvements and advances.

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