Post Info TOPIC: News Stories re: Africa/Health Assistance

News Stories re: Africa/Health Assistance

BBC NEWS Bid to create market for vaccines The UK and other leading industrialised nations are setting up a £750m ($1.5bn) fund to speed up the development of new vaccines for use in poorer countries.

The plan is to subsidise the future purchase of vaccines in the hope this will galvanise drug firms into action.

A vaccine for pneumococcal disease is the first target.

A jab already exists, but developing countries need a tailored version which firms have been slow to invest in as there is no guaranteed market.

 Despite the great strides from this investment, political and financial support must go beyond developing and buying drugs
Jeffrey Mecaskey,
Save the Children

Developing countries need their own vaccines as the strains of the infections vary from many western countries.

The idea of the fund is to act as a bridge between poorer countries and drug firms.

If a developing country agrees it needs a drug which industry can develop, the fund provides a commitment to purchase the vaccines once they are produced.

Chancellor Gordon Brown will be at the launch of the fund, the so-called Advance Market Commitment, in Rome on Friday along with World Bank officials and ministers from other G7 countries.

The UK is set to contribute £200m ($400m) towards the fund.


While pneumococcal disease - which causes meningitis and pneumonia and is responsible for two million child deaths a year - is the first aim, officials are hoping to see vaccines developed for malaria, HIV/Aids and tuberculosis.

Dr Orin Levine, one of the officials behind the scheme, said the fund would act as an important incentive to the industry.

"When you say that pneumonia is one of the leading infections worldwide, people are surprised to hear that.

"But it is right up there with malaria."

Jeffrey Mecaskey, head of health at Save the Children, said: "This will help provide new vaccines and drugs and start to overcome the 10:90 divide - over 90% of drug investments go on the diseases affecting the richest 10% of people.

"However, despite the great strides from this investment, political and financial support must go beyond developing and buying drugs.

"Clinics need to be built, doctors and nurses trained and fees for medical treatment scrapped so people can afford to seek medical help in the first place.

"Without the Chancellor's commitment will be compromised and will make little difference to the children and families who would benefit."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/02/09 05:17:58 GMT




BBC NEWS Global measles deaths fall by 48% The number of people dying of measles across the world has fallen by almost half, the latest figures show.

The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund revealed deaths fell from 871,000 in 1999 to 454,000 in 2004.

The largest reduction occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, which had been hardest hit by the disease, where cases and deaths dropped by 60%.

Vaccination has been cited as the reason for the fall in cases.

The organisations made a pledge in 2001 to cut deaths in measles by half by 2005.


Public awareness of measles in the UK is largely centred around the debate over the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR jab.

 If progress continues at this rate, the global goal to cut measles deaths by half will have been achieved on time
Dr Jong-wook Lee, World Health Organization Director-General

But, in many parts of the world, it is measles itself which is the focus of attention.

It is one of the most contagious diseases known.

A cheap and safe vaccine has been available since the 1960s.

But around 410,000 children aged under five died from it in 2004, most from complications related to severe diarrhoea and pneumonia.

Many who survive are left with lifelong disabilities including blindness and brain damage.

The WHO and Unicef say poor immunisation systems in developing countries are the primary reason for high numbers of deaths from measles.

'Unecessary deaths'

A collaboration of organisations, under the umbrella organisation the Measles Initiative, targeted efforts in the 47 countries that account for 98% of measles deaths.

The initiative has raised more than US$150 million for its work since 2001.

And between 1999 and 2005, nearly 500 million children were immunised against the disease.

African countries have been successful in reducing measles deaths, it was found. But progress in the South Asia region has been slower.

Dr Jong-wook Lee, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said: "This is an outstanding public health success story.

"If progress continues at this rate, the global goal to cut measles deaths by half will have been achieved on time."

Ann Veneman, Unicef Executive Director, added: "Measles remains a major killer of children in the developing world, but it doesn't have to be.

"Just two doses of an inexpensive, safe, and available measles vaccine can prevent most, if not all, measles deaths."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/03/10 11:04:17 GMT




BBC NEWS African HIV vaccine trial launch The first large-scale trial of an HIV vaccine is set to begin in South Africa, it has been announced.

Three thousand HIV negative men and women who are sexually active will be immunised in the four-year study.

An international team of researchers, led by experts from the US, will oversee the trial of the vaccine, created by the drug company Merck.

It is hoped the study will provide information about how a vaccine will work in a heterosexual population.

 This trial will answer several major scientific issues that face all of us in the field of HIV-vaccine development
Dr Lawrence Corey, HIV Vaccine Trials Network

It should also show if it is effective among women.

The test vaccine has already been through trials for safety and immune response in the Americas, Africa and Australia.

It does not contain live HIV, so cannot cause infection, but does contain copies of three HIV genes. The hope is that exposure to these genes prompts an immune response in the body so that cells containing HIV virus would be recognised and destroyed.

The study, jointly run by the international HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) and the South African Aids Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI) is also designed to show if the vaccine, which is based on the B strain of HIV, has the potential to protect against the C strain of the virus, which is the subtype prevalent in South Africa.

'Daily burden'

All those who take part will be aged 18 to 35. No pregnant women will be involved in the trial.

Some will be given the vaccine, while others will be given a dummy version of the jab.

Everyone will receive advice about how to practise safe sex.

The trial has been approved by the South African Medicines Control Council and the South African Department of Agriculture, and has been reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Even if the trial provides positive findings, there would have to be further studies before the vaccine could be licensed.

Dr Lawrence Corey, the lead researcher for the HVTN who is based at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, who is running the study, said: "This trial will answer several major scientific issues that face all of us in the field of HIV-vaccine development.

"It will determine the usefulness of vaccines that induce high immune response to the parts of the virus that are similar between different strains of HIV."

Dr Glenda Gray, of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit at the University of Wi****ersrand in Soweto who is also working on the study, said: "Our communities here in South Africa are faced with the burden of HIV on a daily basis, and the trial investigators and study team have spent years developing a rapport with the community so that together we can move forward in our quest to identify improved approaches to prevent new HIV infections."

Deborah Jack, chief executive of the UK's National Aids Trust said: "With levels of HIV rising globally, new ways of effectively preventing HIV are urgently needed.

"The development of a safe, effective and accessible vaccine could have an enormous impact on rates of HIV infection worldwide.

"Whilst vaccine development is a long and complex process, we welcome the announcement of this new trial as a further step towards the ultimate goal of stopping the spread of HIV."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/02/08 13:40:05 GMT




Improving HIV/AIDS Care in Nigeriae-News Signup

Jan. 29, 2007—Esse Nsed will not let obstacles get in the way of improving care and support for people living with HIV in Nigeria.

When she discovered she had HIV several years ago, Esse turned to “faith and hope” to rise above stigma and get the support that she needed. And, she founded the Positive Development Foundation in Nigeria’s southeastern state of Cross River to reach others living with HIV.

She faces tremendous odds in her quest. Because of Nigeria’s poor health infrastructure and limited capacity, there is an enormous unmet need for services among the roughly four million men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS in the country.

But now Esse is gaining new skills to reach even more Nigerian families affected by HIV/AIDS.

Esse Nsed is a partner in the Positive Living program led by the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) with funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The program expands community-based HIV/AIDS services in Nigeria and builds the capacity of local organizations to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS, their families and communities.

A Positive Living Training in NigeriaDuring the next two weeks, Esse will join Nigerian leaders from faith-based and community organizations for a Positive Living training in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The training provides knowledge, tools and skills that Esse will pass on to her many community volunteers. These volunteers will be deployed to provide home-based care, counseling and medical referrals to people living with HIV in her region—giving much needed support to many families who do not have access to services today.

CEDPA’s training curriculum includes critical technical and skills-building sessions for partners in the Positive Living project. Topics include:

  • how to strengthen home-based care of people living with HIV, establish protocols for referrals to formal health interventions, and develop community support for home-based care;
  • an overview of anti-retroviral therapy, the importance of drug adherence and how to control side effects of the drugs to improve the health and well-being of people living with HIV;
  • peer education strategies to improve youth programs, including effective prevention messages; and
  • skills in monitoring and evaluation, including how to assess the impact of community-based interventions.

The Jan. 22 to Feb. 3 training involves 13 organizations with broad reach throughout Nigeria, including the Anglican Communion, National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and the Positive Development Foundation.

With added skills, ongoing technical assistance and additional funding under the Positive Living program, these organizations and others involved in future trainings will expand their community services to improve home-based care for many tens of thousands of Nigerians living with HIV.

Read more information about the Positive Living program.

Learn about the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief






i have some evidence that shows that " to date in FY 2006, the USG has committed more then $260.6 million for immediate life saving interventions, targeting the most effected areas in the Horn of Africa with water and sanitation, health nutrition and food assistance." the neg. can argue that they already spend money to help reduce the problems in africa and there is no need to waste more money..




This is a must-read for negatives next year: as well as this discussion on the article here:



What about the 'Brain Drain' in Sub Saharan Africa?  This article is cut from Wikipedia's 'Global Health' topic:

Brain drain – a major obstacle for public health in sub-Saharan Africa

[edit] Background

Healthcare workers – doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, mental health workers, lab technicians, etc – are the very core of any functional health system. In its World Health Report of 2006, The World Health Organization (WHO) states that “the workforce is central to advancing health” because “workers are in the unique position of identifying opportunities for innovation … [and also] function as gatekeepers and navigators for the effective, or wasteful, application of all other resources such as drugs, vaccines and supplies.”[6] In fact, studies have shown a direct correlation between an increase in the number of healthcare workers with an increase in child and maternal survival.

Unfortunately, the current global situation reveals a significant shortage of healthcare in much of the world – the most severe cases occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization estimates that sub-Saharan Africa is suffering a shortage of more than 800,000 doctors, nurses, and midwives, and an overall shortfall of nearly 1.5 million health workers. This translates into a mere 3% of the world’s health workers struggling to combat 24% of the global disease burden. Currently, about 38 of the 47 countries in sub-Saharan Africa do not meet the WHO recommendation of a minimum of 20 physicians per 100,000 people; in fact, approximately 13 of them have 5 or fewer physicians per 100,000 people.[6] This alarming shortage has a variety of root causes: a lack of sufficient training capacity to produce the number of health workers necessary, inadequate salaries, and most significantly, the migration of health workers from poor countries to richer countries, a phenomenon commonly called “brain drain”[7].

[edit] The crux of the problem – why has “brain drain” occurred?

In their report An Action Plan to Prevent Brain Drain, the organization Physicians for Human Rights defines “brain drain” of health workers as “part of a series of internal and international migrations of health personnel to areas deemed more favorable, including rural to urban areas, and less developed to more developed countries within the developing world.” The phenomenon is best understood as a symptom and aggravating factor of weak infrastructure due to failed or unstable political and economic systems within sub-Saharan African nations, rather than as the actual cause of inefficient healthcare systems. The migration of healthcare workers from sub-Saharan countries to primarily Anglophone countries like Britain, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand is due to a variety of reasons [7]:

Inadequate salaries or benefits: A 2002 survey listed monthly salaries for physicians that range from US$50 in Sierra Leone to US$1,242 in South Africa, while wages in destination countries like Canada and Australia are approximately four times those in South Africa. Poor work environments: characterized by heavy workloads, weak infrastructure, weak management and support systems, and a lack of institutional knowledge. Dangerous environmental factors in the workplace: Workplaces are often dangerous due to a lack of sanitation and proper supplies to protect healthcare workers from prevalent and easily transmitted diseases like HIV and tuberculosis. These conditions combined with very high HIV prevalence rates in this region of the world have created an extremely precarious situation and only a handful of African countries have created programs to treat and counsel HIV-positive healthcare workers. The need for an effective solution is most pressing: for example, the WHO estimates that if HIV-positive healthcare workers in Botswana are left untreated, the proportion of those dying as a result of AIDS could reach 40% by 2010. The shortage of healthcare workers in richer countries: The industrialization of countries around the world has raised the standard of living in those societies and thus shifted the industrialized world’s age distribution - there are now more elderly people than ever before. As a result, there has been a growing need for healthcare workers in most parts of the world – including both the US and Britain. This has led to the emergence of vigorous international recruitment efforts on behalf of the health systems of richer countries.

[edit] Efforts to combat the problem

The WHO’s World Report has outlined several key criteria that must be met in order to curb the migration of healthcare workers and to ensure a sustainable health care system in sub-Saharan nations:

•Building strong institutions for education is essential to secure the numbers and qualities of health workers required by the health system.

•Assuring the educational quality of those institutions

•Improving the performance of the health workforce by creating a system that includes supervision and adequate support systems.

•Ensuring fair and reliable compensation

•Allowing women equal access to health work as a career choice

•Ensuring safe work environments

•Retirement planning.

Additionally, many host countries have attempted to restrict their healthcare systems’ dependency on foreign healthcare workers through legal restrictions. For example, Britain implemented a "code of practice" in 2001 that prohibits its National Health Service organizations from recruiting health workers from certain African countries. Unfortunately the code is applicable only to the public sector, and thus the private sector has continued its recruitment practices. Other countries have opted to enter into bilateral agreements with other nations (such as the one between South Africa and Britain, or several others between South Africa and its poorer neighboring countries), allowing health care workers to train and work in both countries for a specified period of time.[7] Additionally, many African countries (such as Uganda) use scholarships to medical schools as a means to guarantee that physicians practice within their home countries for a significant amount of time.

[edit] Organizations addressing the problem

•World Health Organization (WHO) ( The World Health Organization, established in 1948, is the United Nations specialized agency for health. The organization’s objective, as set out in its Constitution, is the attainment of the highest level of health by all the world’s populations. The WHO is primarily occupied with achieving the health-related components of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) agreed upon by the UN General Assembly in 2000. The MDG relate to the following: 1) poverty; 2) primary education; 3) gender equity; 4) child mortality; 5) maternal health; 6) HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; 7) environmental sustainability; and 8) global partnerships for development.

•International Labour Organization (ILO) ( The International Labour Organization is a UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights. The organization creates international labor standards by setting minimum standards of basic labor rights (ex: freedom of association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, abolition of forced labour, equality of opportunity and treatment, etc) It has played a major role in promoting governmental efforts to reduce workplace violence for health care workers.

•Health Volunteers Overseas ( An organization founded in 1986 that works to increase health care access and sustainability in developing countries through clinical training and education programs in child health, primary care, trauma and rehabilitation, essential surgical care, oral health, infectious disease, nursing education and burn management.

•Physicians for Human Rights ( An organization that operates on the central belief that “human rights are essential preconditions for the health and well-being of all people.” They investigate and expose violations of human rights worldwide and educate health professionals and medical, public health and nursing students in an effort to create a culture of human rights in the medical and scientific professions.

•International Center for Equal Healthcare Access ( An international not-for-profit organization that allows healthcare professionals to teach transfer their expertise on HIV care and infectious diseases to colleagues in developing countries through clinical mentoring.

[edit] Opportunities for student involvement

•Offer financial support to any of the organizations listed above.

•Call your senators to support the African Health Capacity Investment Act currently co-sponsored by Senators Durbin (D-IL), Coleman (R-MN), DeWine (R-OH) and Feingold (D-WI). The bill would authorize the US government to use $200 million a year by 2009 in conjunction with African governments and organizations in efforts to build a self-sustaining health care workforce by reducing brain drain through providing adequate salary, increasing health worker safety, and expanding training and educational opportunities.[8]

•Volunteer – there are hundreds of organizations available for students (both within and outside of health professions) to volunteer to train healthcare workers in less developed countries – here are a few major resources:

-The International Healthcare Opportunities Clearinghouse ( A database designed for health-care professionals and students who are interested in volunteer work with communities at home or abroad. It was created in 1996 by a small group of faculty members and students from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the website serves as a database through which qualified candidates can attain grants for programs.

-Peace Corps ( A governmental organization established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 as part of his effort to promote world peace and friendship. Volunteers are asked to complete a 27 month stint in a foreign country while working in one or more of the following areas: education, youth outreach, and community development; health and HIV/AIDS; agriculture and environment; business development; and information technology.

-International Center for Equal Healthcare Access ( This is an international not-profit organization that allows healthcare professionals from developed countries the chance to transfer their expertise on HIV care and infectious diseases to colleagues in developing countries through clinical mentoring.



I would also recommend looking at Partners in Health,  I've read about the founder, Dr. Paul Farmer (who works in Boston and Haiti) and is one of the world's experts on infectious diseases in the book 'Mountains Beyond Mountains'.  I highly recommend it. 



"Action by the United States has been less than specific, with no clear assurances where

the aid money will come from. There is also no guarantee that the money will actually

reach Africa.

The track record of delivery is rather appalling. Recall the Millennium Challenge

Account announced by the United States in 2002 to provide $5billion dollars to

support Africa's development. Three years later, the United States managed to

deliver only $17 million dollars to Madagascar bizarrely in support of land

privatisation and the introduction of a cheque-account system in commercial

banks. ...The Enhanced HIPC debt relief initiative promised, in 1999 a debt relief

package for all eligible highly indebted poor countries to the tune of $100bn. Six

years later, as the HIPC regime threatens to fold up, they have delivered $40bn

less. Bush may make promises but he does not have the power to actually deliver.

It is his Congress that does and is filled with extreme neo-cons who hate foreign
aid. (Abugre, 2005)"

(Poverty Topic Paper 2006 Topic Meeting)

The neg. could use this info to ask the aff. how they will make sure that funding will be guaranteed to be granted and delivered --- chances are they wont be able to.

The aff. could also use this to show that the US has not done nearly enough to help alleviate the effects poverty in Africa.

BTW, who's loving the reference to our Congressmen as "extreme neo-cons who hate foreign funding?

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