Ever since giving birth to a stillborn baby 15 years ago, Mary*, a peasant farmer from Mubende District in central Uganda, has continuously leaked urine.
The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the negotiation of which is set to conclude this year, could drive research into new drugs and improve access to medicines. Except – it won’t.
Maryan Yusuf, 39, is weak and barely able to speak because of her excruciating pain. A few hours earlier she delivered a baby at Somalia’s Afgooye Hospital, where essential drugs are dwindling at an alarming rate.
When Francois Biloa fell ill with malaria, his family did what they had always done in the past – they gave him anti-malaria drugs and antibiotics bought from the local market. Only when his condition worsened and he became bedridden and fell unconscious, did his family take him to a local clinic in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé.
The disease itself may not discriminate on the basis of gender, but when it comes to healthcare for patients with diabetes, women in India find themselves at a disadvantage compared to men.
“If I don’t have my pills, I don’t know what will happen. I will probably get sick again, very sick. Maybe I will die this time,” says Xoliswa Mbana* as she readies her four young children for school in the impoverished informal settlement of Masiphumelele, in Cape Town, South Africa.
India’s refusal to grant patent protection for the anti-cancer drug Glivec, developed by Swiss drugmaker Novartis, is a victory for the developing world, which depends on low-cost exports of generic medicines from the Asian giant, said public health specialist Germán Velásquez.
Chagas disease, the third most serious infectious disease in Latin America, is developing a “new face” and moving into urban areas, while a new treatment may offer hope for millions of sufferers.
A new kind of public-private partnership will begin in 2013 in Brazil to produce an antiretroviral drug, through a technology transfer agreement that will be in effect until the patent expires in 2017.
On World AIDS Day, the fact that the number of children newly infected with HIV continues to decline is welcome news to UNITAID, the International Drug Purchase Facility hosted by the World Health Organisation
. But UNITAID is also well aware of how much more remains to be done for children already living with the disease.
For an orthodox Islamic country, the Maldives has made remarkable progress in halting the spread of HIV in the Indian Ocean archipelago through bold awareness programmes and the distribution of condoms.
Public health experts in Cambodia are unenthused by reports of trials for a dengue vaccine conducted in neighbouring Thailand, saying it will be too costly for those who need it most – children in the least developed and developing countries.
“I can’t imagine life without misoprostol,” says Dr. Azra Ahsan, a gynaecologist and obstetrician who has, for more than a decade, been using the controversial drug to stop women from bleeding to death after delivery.
Despite pledges from governments across Eastern Europe and Central Asia to fight HIV/AIDS – one of the eight Millennium Development Goals – the region has the world’s fastest-growing HIV epidemic.
Measles outbreaks, which have killed at least 100 children in Pakistan’s militancy-hit border areas since May, have prompted calls by experts for better cooperation in territories adjacent to Afghanistan with international immunisation campaigns.