Indian patent authority gives Pfizer monopoly on pneumonia medicine in India

The Indian patent authority has prolonged Pfizer’s monopoly on pneumonia medicine in India. The humanitarian health organization Médicines Sans Frontiéres (MSF) has appealed the decision to the Indian Supreme Court and pledges to continue the fight against expensive vaccines. It points out that the cost of fully vaccinating a child in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization is 68 times more expensive than in 2001, and it places much of the blame on the practice of monopolizing vaccines. "The decision to grant patent to Pfizer is not only important in India – it has an effect on all middle and low income countries", said Øyunn Holen, medical director of MSF Norway.

News report – Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway Global health

EDTCP calls for 2018 nominations recognizing outstanding contributions to health research

The European and Developing countries Clinical Trial Partnership (EDCTP) is seeking nominations recognizing outstanding individuals and research teams from Africa and Europe who have made significant contributions to health research in the following categories:

  • Scientific leadership;
  • Outstanding female scientist;
  • Outstanding research team;
  • The Dr. Pascoal Mocumbi Prize for scientists, policy-makers, or advocates for health and research aged 51 years and above.

In addition to scientific excellence, the awardees will have made major contributions to the EDCTP objectives of strengthening clinical research capacity in Africa, and supporting networking between developing and developed countries.

Nominations are open until February 28, 2018, 17:00 CET.

Website – EDCTP

EDCTP and GHIT announce new partnership supporting product-development research

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT) and the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) have announced a new partnership to support product-development research. The partners’ first action will be to co-fund a clinical study that examines the use of a new tablet formulation to treat schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease, in preschool-aged children.

According to the announcement, EDCTP and GHIT are looking forward to co-funding research of mutual interest. Both organizations share a common funding scope covering HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and poverty-related infectious diseases.

Website – EDCTP

Sida invests US$48 million in SRHR in southern and eastern Africa

On December 1, 2017, World AIDS Day, the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) announced a US$48 million (SEK400 million) commitment to improving people's sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in five countries in eastern and southern Africa: Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Sida's new support will focus on girls, adolescents, and other vulnerable groups.

The four-year project is a new collaboration between Sida and UN agencies such as UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF and WHO, with the regional UNFPA acting as the coordinating agency. 

Press release - Sida (in Swedish)

Sweden Global health

French MP calls for health to be at heart of France’s development policies

Hugues Renson, an MP in President Emmanuel Macron’s party 'La République en Marche', penned an op-ed which singled out the historical importance of France in the fight against AIDS. He called for health to be at the heart of France’s development policies. He praised President Macron for his commitment to reaching 0.55% ODA as a percentage of GNI, which he views as an opportunity to increase support for the global health sector, notably through multilaterals like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and UNITAID. However, he noted that this will only be achieved through an increase in innovative financing mechanisms.

Op-ed – Libération (in French)

France Global health

Norad director highlights 3 actions to eradicate HIV/AIDS by 2030

Jon Lomøy, director of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and board member of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), has laid out three crucial elements for achieving the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, in an op-ed in the Norwegian publication Bistandsaktuelt. 

  • Predictable funding from donor states, earmarked for global health: Funding to global health initiatives has not increased since 2010, although the population and the needs have increased. Continued efforts to lower the prices for medicines is also highly effective.
  • Human-rights based approach to reach everyone affected: HIV thrives in areas with human-rights violations, and hits vulnerable groups especially hard. Broad alliances and enhanced efforts to secure implementation and maintenance of human rights and non-discrimination are essential.
  • Universal health care through a strong health-care system: HIV targeted efforts must become part of the universal health care system, and treatment must be offered as part of general healthcare.

Op-ed - Bistandsaktuelt

Norway Global health

Spain offers €36 million debt-relief agreement to Cameroon, DRC, and Ethiopia in exchange for investments in health

The Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness officially announced a €36 million debt-relief agreement with Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Ethiopia in exchange for investments in domestic health programs supported by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria (the Global Fund). Signed under the Global Fund’s 'Debt2Health' instrument, this agreement will allow:

  • Cameroon to invest €9.3 million in HIV programs;
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo to invest US$3.4 million in malaria programs;
  • Ethiopia to allocate €3.2 million to strengthen its national health system.

Spain is one of the largest donors to the Global Fund, having contributed over US$700 million to it thus far.

Press release - MINECO (in Spanish)

Press release - Global Fund

Spain Global health

European Public Health Alliance calls for support for AMR statement

The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) has issued, on behalf of a diverse group of public health organisations, a statement calling for eleven actions on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that should be addressed by the European Commission and national executive agencies. These actions include, among others:

  1. Involve civil society in AMR-One Health policymaking;
  2. Support the development and implementation of National Action Plans and allocate adequate European funds to actions against AMR;
  3. Empower patients and raise public awareness.

All stakeholders interested in AMR are urged to sign the statement before January 10, 2018.

Website – EPHA

EU Global health Global health R&D

South Korea gives US$8 million to fund new health center in Cambodia

South Korea has announced US$8 million to fund a new health center focused on treating ear, nose, and throat (ENT)-related diseases in Cambodia. Rates of these diseases have been on the rise, and effective treatment has been hindered by a lack of adequate infrastructure and experienced doctors. The funding will therefore support the provision of advanced medical equipment and training programs in ENT diseases for medical professionals, as well as the development of a new building.

News article-  Khmer Times

South Korea Global health

Japan gives US$17.7 million grant for vaccines and rural development in Afghanistan

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that it will provide a US$17.7-million grant to Afghanistan, which will be used to procure life-saving vaccines against tuberculosis, measles, hepatitis B, and tetanus, as well as to improve the livelihood of 1.8 million people living in border districts in Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The funding comes through UNICEF and UNDP as part of Japan's commitment made at the 2016 G7 Ise-Shima Summit, which focused on 'Cooperation for the Stabilization of the Middle East'.

Press release - UNICEF Afghanistan Office 

Japan Global health