global strategy to stop TB.Yet, Indian industry and academics have not developed any new tools (diagnostics, drugs or vaccines) for TB. Why has India has failed to innovate in TB research and development? To understand this better, we recently organized a conference at St John's Research Institute (SJRI) in Bangalore, India. For the first time, this meeting brought together over 200 representatives from industry, government, donors, academia, civil society and the media to discuss what it takes to innovate in TB diagnostics in India and to move from importation and imitation to innovation.The goal was to stimulate industry interest and investments in TB innovations.
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|Photo credit: World Heart Federation|
Sixty-three per cent deaths are due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), among which heart diseases or cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are one of the major killers. The first WHO Global status report on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) (April 2011) confirms that NCDs are the leading killer today, with 3 crores 61 lakh people dying from heart disease, strokes, chronic lung diseases, cancers and diabetes in 2008. Nearly 80% of these deaths (equivalent to 2 crores 9 lakh people) occurred in poorer communities dispelling the myth that such conditions are mainly a problem of affluent societies.
AIDS Vaccine 2011 conference (Bangkok, September 12-15) more than 400 new studies outlining advances in the search for an AIDS vaccine were presented. Most highlighted, however, was a further analysis of the so-called RV144 trial - the largest AIDS vaccine trial ever conducted (involving more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand) and the first trial to demonstrate that a vaccine can protect against HIV infection.
[हिंदी] The Global Asthma Report 2011 shows the tools to manage asthma exist but are not reaching many of the 235 million people affected. Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children and also affects adults. "The tools to treat asthma are already available – there is no reason to delay", says Dr Nils E Billo, Executive Director of The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union). "Moreover, when asthma is not diagnosed, not treated or poorly managed, and when people can not access or afford treatment, they regularly end up having to miss school or work, they are unable to contribute fully to their families, communities and societies, they may require expensive emergency care, and everyone loses. The obstacles to well-managed asthma can be overcome. Asthma is a public health problem that can – and should be addressed now” added Dr Billo.
Hepatitis C: Waiting for the Grim Reaper’ by Alex Wodak published in Medical Journal of Australia, warned of a potential Hepatitis C epidemic, ringing the alarm bells for Australia. The author called this viral infection a public health problem comparable in magnitude with HIV, and argued that as injecting drug use is undeniably the major mode of transmission, encouraging drug users to adopt non-injecting routes of administration may be the most effective way of controlling it.
study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington shows that insecticide treated bed nets (ITN) have a dramatic effect on child mortality due to malaria, reducing it by 23%. The study, “Net benefits: a multi-country analysis of observational data examining associations between insecticide-treated mosquito nets and health outcomes,” was published in PLoS (Public Library of Science) Medicine recently. The results of this study confirm that children who live in households that own at least one insecticide-treated bed net are less likely to be infected with malaria and less likely to die from the disease. The paper is focused on Africa, but the findings apply to all regions that have a significant malaria risk.
10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (10th ICAAP), held in Busan, Korea.
10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (10th ICAAP), which was attended by over 2500 delegates and one of whose main issues is to protect the human rights of populations affected with HIV/ AIDS. Activists including people living with HIV (PLHIV) from all over the world, who attended the 10th ICAAP joined Korean activists in a peaceful anti-Free-Trade Agreements (FTAs) march. Korea is in the process of signing FTA treaties with USA and the European Union (EU), and this is likely to block the production of generic medicines and increase the prices of essential medicines including antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, thus further limiting their access to those for whom they are intended.