ASMQ, a safe, rapid and reliably effective
treatment for malaria

Cipla, one of the world’s leading generic pharmaceutical companies in collaboration with Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) have launched ASMQ, a Fixed-Dose combination of ‘Artesunate (AS)1 + Mefloquine (MQ)2’ for the treatment of resistant uncomplicated malaria that is proven to be a safe, rapid and reliably effective treatment recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The new combination simplifies the patient’s treatment with a single dose of 1 or 2 tablets for 3 days, ensuring that the drugs are taken together and in correct proportions.



Zinc improves infant infectious treatment

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended zinc and oral rehydration salts (ORS) to treat diarrhoea, a symptom of infections and a leading child killer, in 2004. Many low and middle-income countries have since changed their diarrhoea treatment policies to include zinc. Yet only a “very small proportion” of children who need zinc have access to it. Today a clinical study conducted in India, show that hundreds of seriously ill infants who received zinc - an essential micronutrient for the immune system and human growth - as well as antibiotics, responded better and more quickly to treatment than those who did not. This finding is the first proof that zinc supplements may boost infant survival from any infection.



 The tough battle against neglected diseases

 In developing countries, 1.4 billion people are affected by tropical "neglected" diseases. Due to lack of profitable business opportunities in the affected regions, pharmaceutical companies have always been reluctant to address the development of treatments for those neglected sickness. The resolution adopted by the WHO at its 2012 Intergovernmental Annual Meeting triggers a process that could lead to a framework agreement designed to encourage medical research on diseases affecting mainly developing countries. The current model of funding and prioritization of R & D (research and development) has many defects. The challenge is to separate the profits from the medical discoveries so that patients who cannot afford medical innovations can still benefit from it.



Sub-Saharan Africa's maternal death rate down
41 per cent

 The maternal death rate in sub-Saharan Africa has dropped by 41 per cent in 20 years. The 1990 rate of 850 deaths per 100,000 live births declined to a regional average of 500 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2010. The new figures for 2010 have been released in the report “Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2010” by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and The World Bank. The maternal mortality rate (MMR) is considered to be high if it is over 300 deaths per 100,000 live births, and extremely high if above 1000 deaths per 100,000 live births.

http://africa.unfpa.org/public/cache/offonce/news/pid/10767 (eng)



Public Health at the Crossroads

Since the dawn of civilization, humankind made remarkable progress in advancing public health and improving people’s health, but today we are facing emerging health problems. During the last 100 years, scientific technological breakthroughs in health have brought accelerated progress in control of communicable diseases; but, the fundamental success factors lied on social and economic development that improved environment, housing, food, nutrition, education, water supply, hygiene and sanitation; and other key health determinants. Public Health as a discipline is at the crossroads.  There are major changes due in part to globalization, political and economic reforms, technology, and social and epidemiological changes in the way we manage health systems.  All relevant stakeholders should be prepared to address a broad and ever-increasing public health agenda, with new problems being assigned over time.



Universal Health Coverage

The tremendous escalation between 1990 and 2008 in international support for global health programs spawned a massive increase in medical and public health services throughout poor countries. The largely infectious diseases–focused global health initiatives and rising demand for chronic disease have placed a tremendous burden on health systems all over the world. The surge in funding and interest, largely propelled by the expanding HIV pandemic, led to rapid proliferation of medical and public health programs, fragmentation and competition among them, and disorder. This had heavy consequences in sub-Saharan Africa and has contributed to the weakening of national health systems.




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