TOMORROW’S HEALTH SYSTEMS: IN PHASE WITH REALITY?

by KATE HAWKINS, STEPS Centre Member Members of the Future Health Systems Research Programme Consortium are actively engaging in discussions at the Geneva Health Forum. The conference began in dramatic fashion with an assessment of the changing landscape within which health systems are being forged. The opening plenary session featured a range of speakers who…

CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE OF PRIMARY HEALTH CARE

by GERRY BLOOM & HILARY STANDING, STEPS Centre members It is thirty years since the Alma Ata Declaration outlined an international consensus on the need to provide universal access to primary health care (PHC). During the ensuing years some countries established well-organised government health services in which PHC played an important role. Many others were…

ARE ANTIBIOTICS BECOMING A ‘NON SUSTAINABLE’ DRUG SUPPLY?

With increasing resistance to existing antibiotics and little incentive for pharmaceutical companies to invest in new ones, developing countries face a serious challenge combating killer diseases such as tuberculosis and typhoid fever. SciDev.net has put together a package of news, comment and analysis on this topic, which links closely to the STEPS Centre’s Rethinking Regulation…

LIQUID DYNAMICS: WORLD SANITATION & HYGIENE WEEK

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member The effects of recurring floods and droughts, the deaths of 6,000 babies daily from waterborne diseases and growing sanitation problems in booming peri-urban and urban centres. No act of terrorism generates devastation on the scale of the crisis in water and sanitation. Despite growing global attention to water and…

ASBESTOS WORKERS LOBBY PARLIAMENT

By LINDA WALDMAN STEPS Centre member ‘Disgraceful’, ’a class decision’ and ‘an outright injustice’ were just some of the angry phrases heard as people from all over the country joined forces to express outrage at the House of Lords’ decision that pleural plaques can no longer be compensated in English law. Asbestos victim support groups…

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.

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 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…