HARD TO SWALLOW

“Vaccination is one of medicine’s greatest achievements, so why do so many people fear it?” Jim Giles of New Scientist asks this question of STEPS Centre director Melissa Leach and others in this week’s magazine. The feature covers many of the issues Melissa and James Fairhead write about in their new book, Vaccine Anxieties.

DEATH BY WATER

The Guardian’s economics editor Larry Elliott turns his attention to sanitation today, in particular, the situation in Bangladesh. “The vacuum [of action on sanitation] needs to be filled – by western governments and by aid organisations – and not just for Bangladesh but for all the even poorer countries in sub-Saharan Africa where sanitation is…

BEIJING: GLOBAL FORUM FOR HEALTH RESEARCH

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member The world is likely to fail to meet the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals related to health, the head of the World Health Organization said this week at the Global Forum for Health Research.Speaking at the annual conference in Beijing, Margaret Chan said a rise in funding for research…

FOOT-AND-MOUTH: TAKE THE BULL BY THE HORNS

By Erik Millstone, STEPS Centre member The new UK foot and mouth crisis highlights the need for the government to drag the veterinary medicines directorate into the 21st century, says Erik Millstone in a comment piece for the Guardian’s Comment is Free website.

RISK IN INDIA: NEW CROP TECHNOLOGIES OR NEW DISEASE?

By ESHA SHAH, STEPS Centre member A deadly strain of disease has been identified as spreading fast across the wheat fields of Asia and Africa and scientists are worried that it could potentially cause mass starvation, according to new reports in the Indian and the UK press. The Hindu recently picked up on an article…

RISK IN INDIA: NEW PHARMACEUTICALS & PATENT LAW

By ESHA SHAH, STEPS Centre member Controversy over the extent to which private pharmaceutical interests can creep into the debates around public good has arisen recently here in India. A technical expert committee constituted by the government of India to look into the patent laws with respect to new pharmaceuticals and micro-organisms recently withdrew its…

AVIAN FLU: BBC RADIO HIGHLIGHTS STEPS ISSUES

By IAN SCOONES, STEPS Centre co-directorScientists in Egypt are examining the possibility that the H5N1 Avian flu virus could be changing into a deadlier strain. There is a fear the virus will cross the species barrier causing a pandemic which will disrupt world economies and claim lives on an unprecedented scale. Dr Zuhair Hallaj, director…