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BRICS Health Ministers Agree To Improve Access To Low-Cost Medicines

Health ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa in Beijing “on Monday vowed to improve access to low-cost and high-quality medicine – and called on developed nations to shoulder responsibility in helping the poor,” Agence France-Presse reports (7/11).

MSF Website Lends Voice To TB Patients

“Medecins Sans Frontieres, whose volunteer doctors run TB clinics around the world, has launched a website called TB and Me, where patients are regularly blogging on their experiences,” Sarah Boseley writes in the Guardian’s “Global Health Blog.” Bloggers from Australia, India, Uganda, and Swaziland currently write for the site, which…

Lancet Seminar On Tuberculosis

The current issue of the Lancet features a seminar on tuberculosis that “presents current perspectives on the scale of the epidemic, the pathogen and the host response, present and emerging methods for disease control (including diagnostics, drugs, biomarkers, and vaccines), and the ongoing challenge of tuberculosis control in adults in…

TB Fight Must Break From Status Quo

“As WHO prepares for reform, it is also adjusting to a new financially constrained environment. WHO’s STOP TB department, like others, has to downsize and refocus its activities. With increasing demand for guidance, technical support, and capacity-building in countries, the STOP TB department and partnership will have to do more with less in the future,” a Lancet editorial states.

Ten Global Public Health Achievements

In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC describes “global public health achievements … that occurred outside of the United States during 2001-2010.” Gains in public health efforts, such as preventing child mortality, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases, have improved longevity and “resulted from improved living conditions overall, advances in medical science, and a number of population-level interventions. However, major disparities persist. During the past decade, in low-income countries, average life expectancy at birth increased from 55 to 57 years (3.6%), while increasing from 78 to 80 years (2.6%) in high-income countries,” the article notes (6/24).

Rats Help Tackle Humanitarian Issues

John Campbell, a senior fellow for Africa Policy Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes about “HeroRATs” in this CFR blog post. The giant pouched rat, a species native to Africa, can be trained to detect landmines and tuberculosis in laboratory samples, Campbell notes, adding, “HeroRATs are an innovative…

IPS Examines Access To Treatment For Drug-Resistant TB

“Access to treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) remains compromised, especially in developing countries, because too few pharmaceutical companies manufacture quality-assured drugs,” Inter Press Service reports in an article examining how a lack of competition and a working mechanism to keep prices low “has led to skyrocketing prices.”

Pakistan Facing Challenging TB Epidemic

Pakistan has one of the highest rates of tuberculosis in the world, with nearly 70,000 TB-related deaths each year, Al-Jazeera English reports.

GHI Releases Country Strategies Guidance

The GHI recently released its Guidance for Global Health Initiative Country Strategies. The guidance “defines and clarifies expectations about the GHI strategy,” “sets forth the parameters and content of a GHI strategy,” “provides guidance on how the field will structure itself to deliver on a key tenet of GHI—adopting a…