Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline are increasing their sales of reduced-cost pneumonia vaccines to developing countries through the GAVI Alliance “by more than 50 percent, marking the scale-up of an international program to protect millions of children,” Reuters reports (Hirschler, 12/16).
Private Sector Involvement
As part of its “CNN Heroes” series, CNN examines the Global Soap Project, started by Derreck Kayongo, a Ugandan war refugee and one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2011. The organization works with more than 300 hotels in the U.S. to collect used bars of soap, clean them and reprocess them to be distributed in countries such as Haiti, Kenya, Swaziland and Uganda, CNN reports. “Across the globe, 2.4 billion people do not have access to clean sanitation, according to the World Health Organization,” and “[a]n estimated 1.5 million children die every year because their immune systems are not mature enough to battle diarrheal and respiratory diseases spread in contaminated environments,” the news service writes (Fantz, 11/15).
In a post on Global Health Hub, blogger and medical student Abraar Karan examines the roles of global health non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local governments in the countries where they work with regard to development initiatives, writing, “While it is true that NGOs are responsible for a large portion of health…
IRIN profiles the establishment of a “‘fistula hotline,’ a free phone number for women who suffer from this debilitating condition that is seldom spoken about,” at the Aberdeen Women’s Centre, a clinic in Freetown, Sierra Leone. “The fistula hotline, which is run by the center, is the result of a public-private partnership between the Gloag Foundation, USAID, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and telecommunications company Airtel,” IRIN notes.
“China’s vaccine makers are gearing up over the next few years to push exports in a move that should lower costs of lifesaving immunizations for the world’s poor and provide major new competition for the big Western pharmaceutical companies,” the Associated Press reports in a feature examining the entry of Chinese vaccine makers into the international market. “China’s entry into this field is important because one child dies every 20 seconds from vaccine-preventable diseases each year,” the news agency writes, adding that the country’s “vaccine makers, some of whom already export in small amounts, are confident they will soon become big players in the field” (Wong, 11/29).
Thousands of government and private aid officials will meet in Busan, South Korea, on Tuesday for the beginning of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, which is “aimed at making sure billions of dollars in global aid money gets to the people who need it most,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (11/29). “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend [the] summit in Busan, held against a backdrop of economic crisis in the United States and Europe and the rich world’s repeated failure to meet its targets for helping the poorest nations,” Reuters writes (Quinn, 11/28).
“If the momentum gained in the last few years” in fighting global diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, measles, and meningitis “is any indicator of our future trajectory, we are standing on the threshold of a revolutionary change in the state of global health,” Wendy Taylor, senior adviser of Innovative Finance and Public Private Partnerships at USAID, and David Cook, executive vice president and COO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), write in this opinion piece in The Hill’s “Congress Blog.” They discuss the importance of “Product Development Partnerships, or PDPs for short,” which “are great examples of public-private collaborations [that] are starting to build deep pipelines for new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tools.”
In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Orin Levine, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University, notes some of the parallels between the development of RTS,S, the experimental malaria vaccine currently being tested in Africa, and the polio vaccine, but he says “there are also some particularly disappointing ways in which the polio and malaria efforts could differ.”
As part of its series on innovation, the Washington Post features an interview with PSI Vice President for Corporate Marketing and Communications Kate Roberts, who answers several questions regarding PSI’s work in global health. Roberts discusses providing safe drinking water; creating partnerships between the private sector and non-profit organizations; being a “lone actor” for short periods in order to prove an intervention’s worth; investing in an Innovations Fund “that allows us to experiment with new ideas that PSI believes in but that donor agencies aren’t yet ready to support”; and social franchising, which is “a way of delivering health products and services that ensures that they’re accessible, affordable and desirable to all those in need” (Roberts, 11/8).
“As global pharmaceutical companies increasingly look to China and other emerging markets to make up for lackluster sales in the developed world, they are working to build an image as corporate good guys,” the Financial Times writes. The newspaper examines “Novartis’s Health Express project in Xinjiang — which has extended…