“Thanks to a herculean effort by health advocates, 78 percent of children in low-income countries receive the basic set of childhood vaccines, covering diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenza,” a Bloomberg View editorial states. However, “[t]his campaign will be disrupted, and lives lost, if immunization critics win their latest battle for an international ban on a vaccine component” — thimerosal, a mercury-containing organic compound — “that has proved to be safe time and time again,” the editorial writes, noting, “Groups such as the Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs and the Coalition for SafeMinds are pressing their case before the United Nations Environmental Program [UNEP] meets on Jan. 13 to prepare a global treaty reducing mercury use.”
Several newspapers published opinion pieces regarding the recent murders of polio vaccination workers in Pakistan. The following summarizes two opinion pieces and one editorial on the issue.
Jose “Oying” Rimon, deputy director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Ben de Leon, president of the Forum for Family Planning and Development, Inc., write in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog that the many people who worked for 14 years to pass a reproductive health bill in the Philippines are “profiles in courage.” They continue, “This is the story of these courageous people but it’s also a story of resolution in staying the course, abiding with scientific evidence and facts, and the nobility of staying positive against on onslaught of insults and misinformation.” The bill represents “an unparalleled educational process in which common sense and science prevailed,” they conclude (1/2).
The January 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine “includes the first article in a series of review articles on global health,” Harvey Fineberg of the Institute of Medicine and David Hunter of the Harvard School of Public Health write in an NEJM editorial. “The series is built around articles that explain the need for global health, the challenges to achieving it, and the solutions to problems related to it,” they add. They discuss how “the meaning of the term global health has evolved over time,” and say, “In developing this series, we adopted the concept of global health as ‘public health for the world,'” which “condenses the definition offered by the Institute of Medicine’s Expert Committee on the U.S. Commitment to Global Health in 2008.”
Several news outlets published opinion pieces regarding the recent murders of polio vaccination and other aid workers in Pakistan. The following summarizes two opinion pieces and one editorial on the issue.
“The murders of charity and aid workers in Pakistan has dealt a devastating blow to a national campaign to wipe out polio and other deadly diseases,” a New York Times editorial states. “No one has claimed responsibility for the most recent attack, but suspicions point to the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups that have opposed the vaccination drives, calling them a cover for government or international spies, or part of a plot to sterilize Muslim children,” the editorial says.
“Millions of lives are saved today in developing countries because of bold, innovative financing arrangements over last 10 years. These financing mechanisms are good examples of private sector partnership with public sector for common good,” Taufiqur Rahman, an international health consultant, writes in The Hill’s “Congress Blog.” He describes several examples, including the GAVI Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm), UNITAID, Clinton Foundation efforts, and the patent pools, Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and Pool for Open Innovation. Rahman concludes, “Our efforts must be to support and expand these innovative financing mechanisms and promote innovation for efficient pricing arrangements. At the same time, we must ensure that these financing mechanisms remain lean, efficient, and transparent” (1/4).
The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ (NTDs) “End the Neglect” blog features two posts discussing the first anniversary of the London Declaration and two recently released reports on progress against NTDs. Simon Bush: Discussing the new NTD Scorecard (.xls) and the “From Promises to Progress” report from Uniting to Combat NTDs,…
Writing in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog in advance of the Monitoring & Evaluation Reference Group (MERG) meeting convened by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and taking place in Namibia this week, Lucy Chesire, executive director and secretary to the board of the TB ACTION Group, interviews Roly Gosling, an…
“Government representatives are meeting in Geneva this week to decide whether to introduce a global ban on mercury that could include thiomersal, a mercury-based preservative that has been used in some vaccine manufacturing since the 1930s to prevent bacterial or fungal contamination of multidose vials of vaccine,” Seth Berkley, a…