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Analysis and Comment (24)

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…
Bill Gates is in Australia as part of efforts to secure funds for global health initiatives, particularly polio and malaria eradication. Gates Foundation

Polio eradication efforts need money and political commitment

Global health campaigner Bill Gates is in Sydney today to lobby prime minister Julia Gillard to spend more money on global health, particularly the fight against malaria and polio. But while money may…
Prescriptions for pain relief are easy to get in the UK but not if you live in certain countries. PA/Julien Behal

Pain-relief access crisis leaves millions suffering around globe

Ten percent of the world consumes 90% of the morphine. At first glance that’s just another statistic about haves and have nots. But it’s more stark than that - particularly if you have cancer in a country…
The Nigerian commissioner for health of Bauchi state, Dr Sani Malam (L), administers a polio vaccine to a Nigerian child during the launch of the national immunization drive in Nigeria on February 5, 2013. EPA/DEJI YAKE

Killing polio workers threatens grave global consequences

The murder of nine female health workers involved in child immunisation on February 8 in Kano (the largest city in northern Nigeria) is a chilling reminder that saving children’s lives is not a goal shared…
Is our distaste for toilet talk halting sanitation improvements in the developing world? Alan Porritt/AAP

Loosen up, it’s time to talk about toilets

Bodily waste can be an embarrassing subject, but one that most of us can avoid thanks to efficient toilets and sewers. Nevertheless, this embarrassment may be holding back improvements in sanitation where…
Protesters carry portraits of Osama bin Laden on his first death anniversary, during an anti-US rally in Quetta, Pakistan, 02 May 2012. Musa Farman/AAP

Nabbing Osama with a vaccine scam a threat to global health

We’ve been reminded this month of the United States' success in finally finding Osama bin Laden. But one thing missing in the media coverage was the allegation that the CIA established a fake hepatitis…
Almost 90% of the world now has access to drinking water, but there is still a long way to go. barefoot photographers of tilonia/flickr

Is this progress? Watering down the Millennium Development Goals

Did you hear about the latest success for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)? Don’t be ashamed to say no – most of the world missed it with you. So what happened? You’ll remember that the MDGs are…
Bill Gates at the 2012 World Economic Forum, where he pledged further support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. World Economic Forum

Corruption at the Global Fund? Don’t just blame the messenger!

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual gathering in picturesque Davos is always full of highest-level gossip, bellwether pronouncements, and – sometimes – significant insights. And from the global health…
Vaccines are history’s best public health tools but developing countries give low priority to health in their budgets. AAP

Gus Nossal: we can win the war against infectious disease, and here’s how

The Lancet, one of most prestigious medical journals in the world recently published a series of five papers on “the new decade of vaccines”. These were followed by a sixth paper – A call to action for…

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Research Briefs (4)