Global health

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Bjorn Lomborg’s cost-benefit approach isn’t necessarily the best way to look at problems with a global scope. Simon Wedege/Wikimedia Commons

Bjorn Lomborg’s consensus approach is blind to inequality

Bjorn Lomborg's "consensus" approach involves ranking global development policies by their ratio of benefit to cost. But this hard-headed economic rationale can actually end up entrenching inequality.
Non-communicable diseases were responsible for 38 million (68%) of the world’s 56 million deaths in 2012. Dave/Flickr

Global report shows how to beat the world’s biggest killers

The World Health Organization (WHO) has just released its Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases, the second in a series tracking worldwide progress in the prevention and control of cancers…
A$1.8 billion is no longer available to help populations in our neighbouring countries achieve a decent standard of health. Gates Foundation/Flickr

How cuts to foreign aid will reduce health care in the region

The federal government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook announcement this week to cut the foreign aid budget by a further A$3.7 billion over three years is unprecedented. The current government has…
The country’s capacity to treat infected patients and prevent further spread is very limited. UN Women Asia & the Pacific/Flickr

How would Papua New Guinea deal with Ebola?

Contemplating how Papua New Guinea (PNG) would deal with Ebola may not be that different from asking the same of Liberia 12 months ago. While PNG’s per capita gross national income (US$2,540 in 2013) is…
West African health-care workers are overworked and under-equipped to deal with the outbreak. European Commission DG ECHO/Flickr

How Ebola started, spread and spiralled out of control

Too slow. Too little, too late. Unprecedented. Out of control. These are just some of the descriptors for the biggest recorded epidemic of human infection by an ebolavirus. The question by some is how…
Major pharmaceutical companies have shown little interest in developing effective treatments for illnesses such as Ebola virus disease. AAP Image/David Crosling

How Western national interest drives Ebola drug development

Ebola virus disease typically only occurs in rural and remote areas among resource-poor populations. Until the large, recent outbreak in West Africa, cases of the illness were a rarity. So the fact that…
Liberia’s lack of infrastructure. Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA

Tackling Ebola: isolate, hydrate and educate

Our understanding of Ebola has increased considerably since outbreaks of a mysterious haemorrhagic fever caused by an unknown virus first occurred in Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo…
Authorities are rapidly trying to stop the spread of Ebola. Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA

How Ebola could head out of Africa – a tale of two travellers

It is 6am on a warm West African morning. Two men, Ahmed and Milton, are up early, getting ready for long journeys. Apart from that they have little in common. Ahmed is a high-ranking official in the Ministry…
Indonesia’s status as a middle-income country has made it ineligible to receive funding even though it’s not ready or able to take over. EPA/JURNASYANTO SUKARNO

Too soon for rich countries to stop HIV funding in poor ones

The global HIV epidemic has been unprecedented, both in its extent and in the way it has changed the world’s approach to health funding. Over the last ten to 15 years, large sums of money have for the…
A child is vaccinated against polio during a three-day nationwide campaign to eradicate polio, in Karachi, Pakistan, May 2014. EPA/SHAHZAIB AKBER

CIA stops fake vaccination programs, but will it matter?

The US government has told a group of local health educators that it will no longer use immunisation programs as a cover for espionage. But the damage from previous such programs is difficult to undo…

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