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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…
Barriers to migrants' healthcare access must be lowered. US Navy

Marginalised and poor, migrants are TB’s primary victims

For many people in the UK, tuberculosis is a disease that’s been out of sight, out of mind for a number of years. Although it is low and middle-income countries that bear the burden of TB-related sickness…
Nearly 60% of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis' global burden occurs in the Asia-Pacific region. DFAT Photo Library/ Flickr

Time to turn back the tide of drug-resistant tuberculosis

Tuberculosis, or consumption as it used to be known, sounds like a disease that we’ve managed to fight off for good. But a drug-resistant strain of the bacteria that causes it is making a comeback, and…
Just 74 countries, mostly in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, carry 95% of the global maternal and child mortality burden. World Bank Photo Collection

Increasing aid by $5 per person could save millions of lives

Many women and children in poor countries still die, or suffer serious ongoing disability, for reasons that are entirely preventable. What’s more, developing countries face an emerging “epidemic” of non-communicable…
Volunteers take anti-TB medications to around 400 patients each month. Image from shutterstock.com

People power: Mongolia’s battle against tuberculosis

Chinggis Khaan (or as he is known in many countries, Genghis Khan) is Mongolia’s national hero. The famous 12th and 13th century leader used considerable military and political savvy to build one of the…

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