1105 NEWS ON MEDICINES and HEALTH - April - May 2011

Which Tablets To Buy?

A very easy to read booklet for workers in health centres in Africa that answers certain questions. How can we assure the quality of the medicines we are buying? What do we need to know? What precautions should we take?
You are requested to circulate it in your clinics, health centres and in the public.



WHO consultation Africa on non-communicable diseases

To address the growing problem of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), technical experts and Ministers of Health in the African region gathered in April in Brazzaville, Congo, for the first African regional consultation on NCDs under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO) to discuss the region’s response to the crisis. The Brazzaville consultation prepared a joint regional position for the First Global Ministerial Meeting on Healthy Lifestyle and Noncommunicable diseases control, and for the WHO to be held in New York from 19- 20 September 2011.


KENYA - Steady progress in infant AIDS vaccine trial

The Phase I trial of the HIV vaccine candidate, modified vaccine virus Ankara (MVA.HIVA), carried out in Kenya has been successful.  It is intended to test the safety and efficacy of the vaccine candidate in infants. The vaccin contains small particles of HIV genes, but researchers say it cannot cause HIV infection since it does not contain the whole virus. Should the vaccine prove efficacious, researchers say a trial would be conducted on another vaccine to be combined with MVA. The resultant vaccine would then be administered to children at birth like any other vaccine and could greatly help prevent HIV infection in children in future.


African countries the hardest hit by malaria

Dans cette carte, la taille
d'un pays est remplacée par
la proportion de morts par malaria qui y ont lieu.
Graphic: Benjamin D Hennig, University of Sheffield/UNICEF

The 2010 World Malaria Report provides estimates for the world's 106 malaria-endemic countries and highlights progress – and shortcomings – on key international targets. Malaria has affected the world and its people since the beginning of recorded human history, and it remains an entrenched global health challenge. Approximately half of the world's population is at risk. But the global geography of malaria is increasingly disproportionate. The vast majority of malaria cases and malaria-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.  Meanwhile, outside Africa, the malaria map is shrinking, as more and more countries eliminate malaria from their territory. 


Foundations, Conflicts Of Interest And Drugmakers

Melinda et Bill Gates at Davos
(Image: Flickr)

Major philanthropic foundations, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, regularly make the news with their donations and initiatives aimed at improving global health. But there is an aspect to their efforts that may be overlooked - such organizations can have links with drug makers that could constitute a conflict of interest. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's corporate stock endowment is heavily invested in food and pharmaceutical companies, directly and indirectly. The Foundation will soon be the largest stakeholder of Coca-Cola and Kraft in the world.



The World Medicines Situation Report 2011

The third edition of the World Medicines Situation Report brings together new data on 24 key topics relating to pharmaceutical production and consumption, innovation, regulation and safety – in one place. Topics include selection, procurement, supply management, rational use, financing and pricing. Cross-cutting chapters cover household medicines use, access and human rights, good governance, human resources and national medicines policies. Report Available online at:



Health System Strengthening, a Publication of the World Council of Churches

The magazine Contact from the World Council of Churches has dedicated its n. 189 to the strengthening of Health Systems focus on Church based pharmaceutical human resources. The document has been published by the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN) of which AEFJN is a member. The issue offers cases, constraints, successes and challenges, service provisions, analysis, and concrete experiences for a new medicine supply system.

You can find the document in English at:


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