African scientists are working hard to test new drugs against COVID-19 that would also be affordable, but they are running into significant challenges, Nature reports.   Why new drugs are needed:

A new Lancet study offers proof that England’s 13-year-old HPV vaccination program prevented thousands of women from developing cervical cancer—not just precancers, The Guardian reports. 

2 Ecuadorian scientists face 10–13 years in prison after being embroiled in a criminal case involving Quito’s purchase of allegedly sub-par COVID-19 tests.   Scientists and universities have come out in defense of molecular biologist Linda Guamán and public health scientist…

18 months into a UK/EU ban on products with a “characterizing menthol flavor,” tobacco companies are using loopholes to continue selling the products. The ban was designed to deter young people from starting smoking.   The key problem: “Nobody knows for…

When the CDC launched an ambitious plan in 2019 to reduce HIV infections by 90% by 2030, a technological advance at the centerpiece raised red flags.  

For Big Tobacco, COVID-19—for which smoking is a known risk factor— has been leveraged as a global opportunity to “gain influence, meddle in life-saving health policies and secure preferential treatment,” leaving no region immune from industry sway, according to a new…

Boys and young men made up 61% of global deaths among people ages 10 to 24 in 2019, according to a new Lancet report that suggests young males are being left behind in global efforts to address mortality.   Among males between 10 and 14 years old across all regions, most…

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is poised to serve a second term as the WHO chief—he’s the sole nominee for the top job, according to Western diplomats.   Among the supporters: France, Germany and other EU members, plus 3 African countries—Botswana, Kenya and…

Vaccinated people can pass the Delta variant to their vaccinated housemates, though at lower rates than to unvaccinated people, according to a new Lancet study from Imperial College London, Reuters reports. 

By year’s end, just 5 African countries will meet the World Health Assembly goal of fully vaccinating 40% of their populations against COVID-19, WHO Africa said yesterday.   Takeaways: