It is impossible to prevent professionals from moving

In the developing world, tens of thousands of health workers have left their country in search of better opportunities abroad. Their reasons are varied, but often they look for better working conditions and a more appropriate salary. One of these nurses tells her story and mentions that it is impossible to prevent people from moving. Despite the many difficulties, leaving one’s country to go somewhere else is always a learning process.

http://www.irinnews.org/PrintReport.aspx?ReportID=93035 (only in French)

Malaria vaccine could have extra benefits

 The malaria vaccine that has eluded medical science for decades is now within reach with the final phase of clinical trials underway in seven African countries, including Malawi.  In Malawi, the disease claims 6,500 lives a year, most of them children under the age of five. Most researchers agree that a malaria vaccine will not substitute for current preventative measures, but could greatly reduce mortality from the disease and create huge financial gains for countries where malaria is endemic. Public health researchers estimate that in such countries, malaria directly absorbs one percent of GDP, excluding indirect costs like loss of work hours. 


Ghana - Malaria investment pays off

A report released at the World Economic Forum has shown that a multi-million rand AngloGold Ashanti investment in a malaria control programme in Ghana has led to massive reductions in productivity losses, school absenteeism, infant mortality and treatment costs. This is evidence that the fight against malaria can be won. According to the World Health Organisation's Roll Back Malaria (RBM) programme, Malaria is costing Africa U$12-billion annually in lost productivity.



Critics are challenging the way a major procurer of vaccines for the developing world operates. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), a public-private initiative that recently raised US$4.3 billion, has come under fire for the way it spends its money. The GAVI model depends on giving more and more money, year after year, to get vaccines to poor countries in ways that are not self-sustaining and at prices that are unaffordable. GAVI's decisions are skewed by the pharmaceutical companies that sit on its board.



The South African health department has revealed that every electoral district is set to have a primary health care nurse-driven team established in the future with specialist doctor teams assigned to districts where maternal and child mortality is highThe recruitment of retired nurses to promote health schools will kick off in June 2011. The Health minister, after a study tour to Brazil, announced that he was determined to revitalise the country’s primary health care system, copying some of the successes from the Latin American country.



The roll-out of a revolutionary meningitis vaccination in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger has dramatically cut transmission rates, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). If each country can find sufficient funds to co-finance the campaign, it will be extended to all 25 countries in the Africa meningitis belt by 2016, says the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI). In the 2010-2011 meningitis season, Burkina Faso has confirmed just four cases of meningitis A; Niger has reported four cases; and Mali none, according to WHO.


http://video.who.int/streaming/MenAfriVac/MenAfriVac_eng.wmv (video)

NGOs and access to essential medicines

The article describes and assesses the activity of NGOs and social enterprise in essential medicines wholesaling. Low-income countries' impoverished populations generally struggle for access to essential medicines through out-of-pocket purchases on poorly regulated markets, resulting in ill health, drug resistance and further impoverishment. In the absence of effective governmental activity and regulation, social enterprise and NGOs can improve access to good quality essential medicines, as they can exercise a broader regulatory influence over their markets by influencing the behaviour of competitors.


EU Customs Regulation don’t dispel fear of
Medicines Seizures

In 2008, shipments of legitimate generic medicines transiting through Europe were detained by customs authorities on allegation of IP rights infringement. Members of the European Parliament, NGOs and certain Members of the WTO[1] expressed their concern about the impact of such detentions on the trade in legitimate medicines. The Commission said in a fact sheet that a new draft customs regulation will address past concerns over wrongful seizures of generic drug shipments transiting through European ports. But the proposed regulation does not change existing rules defining what an IPR infringement is and does not appropriately address the problem of the faulty interception of lawful generic medicines.


[1] World Trade Organization

Legal questions about ACTA

ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement that under the cover of fighting piracy strengthens intellectual property rights, has been questioned by parliaments and civil society in many countries. In January 2011, European academics issued an “Opinion of European Academics on ACTA.”  In June, the Mexican Senate asked the government not to sign it. At the end of June, the European Parliament's Trade Committee (INTA) asked the Parliament’s legal service to answer some questions about ACTA and the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 


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