Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
This post is courtesy of the Time Global Health Blog where they point out that it is about time we have some focus on solutions. Of course we whole heartedly agree that we need to start documenting these projects and sharing ideas:
From VOA: “A new report finds the health of people in Africa is worse than in any other part of the world. But, the report by the World Health Organization also presents a number of success stories that show Africa can tackle its own health problems. This report, for the first time, focuses on the health of the 738 million people living in 46 countries in the African region.” Read the rest of the story at VOA and you can view the full WHO report on their website.
Today Business Week profiled the Acumen Fund and their focus on developing country solutions. The Acumen Fund (based in New York City) is an interesting organization, they are “a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty”.
Below an advisor to the Acumen Fund says that the charitable money is there, but the solutions are not. I would have to disagree with such a stark statement. The money making solutions may not be there, but the solutions to some major global health problems are certainly there. Not every solution will be sustainable on its own, there are some problems that will need to be funded outright until a particular problem is eradicated or alleviated. I definitely applaud Acumen’s overall approach and their ability to raise capital make a robust attempt to find innovative projects, but let’s be clear about what type of solutions they are pursing – those with a financial return on investment. This is a great thing, but it is a mistake to send the message that solutions are not there. I highly recommend you read this article.
From Business Week, November 10, 2006:
By Jessi Hempel: “Acumen is a leader in the fast-emerging hybrid sector that straddles private industry and nonprofits. Technically a nonprofit, it invests in enterprises in developing countries with the strategy and discipline of a Silicon Valley venture-capital firm. Acumen’s founder is Jacqueline Novogratz, a former banker with an infectious magnetism…Under her leadership, the fund manages $20 million in investments that fall within three portfolios: health, water, and housing. But Acumen’s goal is far larger than successful companies. Says Novogratz: “We’re creating an overall design for how you provide goods and services to poor people.”
“There’s growing interest among investors eager to fund for-profit businesses that have both social and economic impact. Rather, there’s a paucity of creative ideas. “It’s all about innovation,” says CEO Tim Brown of Ideo, who advises Acumen. “The money is there, but the solutions aren’t.”
“Acumen uses classic consumer-focused design methods to solve the problems of poverty…Acumen’s portfolio companies create from the bottom up…”Start with the individual,” says Novogratz. “Build systems from their perspective. Really pay attention, and then see if they can scale.” Plenty of nonprofits have embraced the term “venture philanthropy” in recent years. But while most aspire to new forms of grantmaking, Acumen eschews giving money away. Instead, it buys equity in companies and offers them loans. It made a $600,000 investment in WaterHealth International, which will help the startup expand its franchise model for delivering safe, affordable water to Indian customers.” FULL STORY.
From the Business Week article here are couple of more excerpts from their photo essay on the A to Z anti-malarial bed net solution, the full slide show is availabe at the beginning of the article:
Acumen’s most successful company to date is A to Z bednet factory in Tanzania, which makes inexpensive mosquito nets that protect people from malaria. This fall, A to Z will make its final payment on a $325 million loan. Acumen’s investment allowed A to Z to introduce a new kind of anti-malarial bed net that originated from Japanese company Sumitomo Chemical. This net is impregnated with a long-lasting insecticide that lasts for up to five years. A to Z also has found a cheaper way to weave the bed net. This will bring down the cost of production to $5 from $7.
Increasing Production, Creating Jobs: By the end of 2006, A to Z’s bed net production will ramp up to 7 million per year. The nets are currently protecting more than 5 million people in Tanzania. And 2,000 jobs have been created, primarily for women. Right now, most of the nets are purchased by UNICEF and distributed as a part of their aid efforts. Acumen is working with A to Z to distribute the nets through women sales agents, who buy them from A to Z and make a commission by selling the nets in their villages.
Thanks to Farzaneh for sending this, it looks like a fantastic film. Another testament to the use of video to spread messages about global development, RSVP IS TODAY – firstname.lastname@example.org:
Dear friends and colleagues,
For those of you who know me personally and/or through my work, you know that I have spent several years working tirelessly on a few documentary film projects about Africa while also committing my NYC time to an innovative youth organization called Urban Word NYC which provides after-school programming for inner city youth writers and poets throughout the five boroughs.
I’m happy and excited to announce that I’m finally blending these two passions with a new film project called MYTH OF THE MOTHERLAND that I have wanted to do for at least four years now. The film will follow ten Urban Word youth on a creative writing journey throughout Africa . For five weeks this summer, we will travel to five different countries as the youth meet with African scholars, writers, musicians and activists, creating poetry and art that will help break stereotypes about Africa and Africans for their American youth peers.
Perhaps an experience I had earlier this week will give you a sense of the impact I believe this project may have. On Monday, I screened Kebba Jobarteh and Nduka Amankulor’s film I directed called “We Will Not Die Like Dogs” profiling four African AIDS activists at a big American public health conference in Boston . The response I received from the Africans in the packed 250-person room solidified my belief that the next generation will have a better understanding of global health, development and the responsibility of the U.S. in world affairs if they are part of the dialogue about it, which is basically the premise of the film. Going to Africa has changed my ideas about the world immensely. Now I want to share it with the incredible and talented young people I have grown to love and respect.
I am attaching an invitation for a special cocktail reception that is occurring next Thursday, November 16th in anticipation of our fundraiser on December 12th in NYC. Hosted by Amanda Ward of Radioaktive Films, this reception is basically a call out to people who have great ideas, great contacts and/or great pocketbooks. I have included you on my personal invite list bc I believe you are at least one of them and understand or “get” what it is I am trying to do using the medium of film as my tool.
So, please come out and support this project. If you do not live in NYC, feel free to forward it to your contacts who may have an interest as well…it will be a very good night for networking and inspiration.
Thank you so much. Hope to see you next week!
Global health tasks can be conceptually divided into research, disease surveillance, health education, and health programs. In much of the developing world populations are quickly connecting to telecommunication networks via mobile phone systems. As new wireless systems come online, there is great potential to expand current global health activities. There are difficulties, however, in building the “last mile” of communications systems. To help bridge that information and communication technology (ICT) divide, USAID has funded engineering research through the Last Mile Initiative. The effort was recently profiled on the Development Gateway.
In the fall of 2005, under the supervision of Principal Investigator, Dr. Michael Best, thirteen students from the Georgia Institute of Technology came together as USAID Last Mile ICT Initiative (LMI) Innovation Fellows. This activity took place within the framework of USAID’s Last Mile Innovation Committee managed by dot-ORG. The students’ job was to provide fresh and dynamic new perspectives into LMI programs in Africa, S.E. Europe, and Latin America. These student research fellows came from every major discipline represented at Georgia Tech, including International Affairs, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, Engineering Psychology, Mechanical Engineering, and Industrial Design. The results of these activities are contained in a volume titled “Last Mile Initiative Innovations: Research Findings from the Georgia Institute of Technology”
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“A declaration of a war on SARS using a 1960s image”
In the realm of ICT (information and communciation technology) we have a current tendency to focus on the internet and mobile phone technology. Yesterday, while I was at the NIH campus, I was reminded of the powerful use of another form of ICTs – posters and poster advertisements. The NIH has a collection of over 7000 posters documenting public health and Chinese society from 1930s to SARS.
A visiting scholar (Dr. Liping Bu) in charge of this project discusses the importance of tactics for reaching people on a mass scale: “Say you have a public health problem whose scale is vast: a population of 500 million, with 90% living in the countryside, where the literacy rate is 5% and life expectancy is 35 years. Malnutrition is stark. Disease and mortality rates are atrocious – millions of cases of cholera, smallpox, typhoid, malaria, TB and schistosomiasis. Meanwhile, the country is emerging from decades of conflict, foreign invasion and civil war. This was China, 1949…Later in 1965 85-90% of the population lived in rural areas and 80% of health care workers lived in cities. A massive public health campaign was born that included ‘barefoot doctors’…While only 40% of barefoot doctors were women, a female was used as the public image which helped advance the idea of women as workers of equal status with men…the posters have played a key role in educating the public” The NIH poster collection can be found here.
“In 1965, a massive public health campaign used posters touting barefoot doctors”
“Posters have been a powerful force in shaping public opinion because propagandists have long known that visual impressions are extremely strong. People may forget a newspaper article but most remember a picture… The main objective of posters…is to influence attitudes…to alter the consciousness of the public to bring about an improvement in health practices.”- William H. Helfand, National Library of Medicine.
A Berkeley-based NGO, Venture Strategies for Health and Development, is working to win developing countries’ regulatory approval for use of misoprostol in treatment of postpartum hemorrhage. Nigeria and Ethiopia are two early adopters of the technology. The report below underscores the drug’s efficacy in settings where other drugs simply cannot reach. Misoprostol is heat stable, easy to administer, and safe at a wide range of doses.
Cheap drug to make childbirth safer in poor countries
October 2006, ScidevNet
The abortion drug misoprostol can be used to help save the lives of women who bleed heavily after giving birth, say researchers. The condition is a major killer of women in developing countries.
The results of a clinical trial in rural India published today (6 October) in The Lancet indicate that misoprostol reduced the incidence of postpartum haemorrhage by almost half. Death due to postpartum haemorrhage accounts for almost 30 per cent of maternal deaths in India, where nearly half of all births take place in the home or in facilities without a trained gynaecologist or obstetrician in attendance.
“The researchers showed that giving women misoprostol after birth is a safe, inexpensive means of preventing postpartum haemorrhage from occurring”. “This advance has the potential to save thousands of lives each year.” The researchers say it is “currently the only available pharmacological option for preventing postpartum haemorrhage and reducing postpartum blood loss in these communities”.
A major concern is the potential for the misuse of misoprostol. The drug is available, although illegally, as an over-the-counter pill. Approved for use in India in 2002, it is only supposed to be
taken under medical supervision, yet it is sold in several pharmacies.
Link to full paper in The Lancet
Reference: The Lancet 368, 9543 (2006)
The scope of people engaing today in the global health battle is unprecedented. In this case, pop figures have the potential to have a huge impact on awareness and involvment in global health. Again while this is not a direct innovation or technology I felt it noteworthy enough to include here because Jay Z is focused on solutions to the water crisis. Some of you might not agree with Shawn Carter’s (Jay Z) politics or lyrics, but this will be interesting. Something like this provides free education, free marketing and hopefully increases action. I read about this a couple of months ago, but the MTV piece – The Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life – will air next month – SPREAD THE WORD!!
“Jay Z will be appearing in a new documentary where the multi-platinum rapper witnesses first hand the impact of the global water crisis.”
“More than one billion people lack access to safe drinking water, according to statistics, and water related diseases are the leading cause of death – constituting 80% of the world’s sicknesses. “
“In the beginning when I was going out on a world tour I was going out to play music in places that I haven’t played. I said to myself ‘I can’t go to these places that I haven’t been and not go out and see the people.’ The people that have been touched by my music for over ten years and the culture, what’s going on in these areas,” Jay told the press. “From that morphed, ‘well I’m not just gon’ go and do rap songs. I wanna touch, and maybe help, and see what I can do in these areas.’ As I start looking around me, looking at things in ways that I can become helpful, starting at the first thing, water. Something as simple as water.”
“I’m very pleased to announce today, a groundbreaking collaboration between the United Nations, MTV, [and] Jay-Z to raise awareness about the world’s water crisis,” Annan offered. “Jay-Z with his enormous influence will inspire young people everywhere to care and join in the search for solutions for our water crisis.” From SOHH…
I did not read the full report and based on the press release I am not sure how “groundbreaking” this study really is. I guess for the time being we will have to take their word for it. Either way its great they have (hopefully) demonstrated an investment case for vaccines and global health:
“WASHINGTON, October 20, 2006 — According to a groundbreaking study released today by BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), a vaccine to prevent tuberculosis presents a significant opportunity for industry investment with a potential global market of US $450 million to nearly $1 billion.
The first study of its kind, Tuberculosis Vaccines: The Case for Investment analyzes the demand for a tuberculosis vaccine and the potential return on industry investment, while demonstrating that a new TB vaccine would have tremendous public health impact.
“Every year, tuberculosis kills more than 2 million people and approximately 8 million new cases develop…TB vaccines could reduce deaths by as much as 62 percent…’This study is a key achievement in the field. BVGH confirms that pursuing solutions to global health challenges is not only good business but a compelling opportunity to save millions of lives…Industry’s expertise is invaluable in our work to make an effective and affordable vaccine for TB a reality. We hope that this study encourages more companies to get involved in the fight against tuberculosis.”
Full story here.
This is a good example of the public banking sector using financial capital schemes to aid global health. Its great to see others invovled because the traditional public health community would not think of this or have access to capital in such a way:
“Six European countries plan to raise up to $1 billion in the international bond markets next week to buy life-saving vaccines for millions of children in the world’s poorest countries…”
Credit for this information goes to the fellow at Pienso, where you can read more.
This recent Wharton newsletter reinforces the power of mobile phones. We can see why mobile phones have had such a large impact on developing countries. Also the application to healthcare/global health has potential:
A good interview with NetCore CEO Rajesh Jain in the “Knowledge @ Wharton” e-newsletter reinforces the relative size of the mobile internet market relative to the PC users.
In India some 10 million people have access to a PC either at home, or at work, or both…That’s only for 10 million people at the top of the digital pyramid. This is the “PC first” segment.
In the middle of the pyramid are 30 million people who access the Internet through cybercafés. The price point today hovers around 15-20 rupees [35-45 U.S. cents] an hour. But you cannot build your digital life around cybercafés… That is where the mobile phone comes in. It is a device that these people have with them all the time — This is the “mobiles first” segment.
At the bottom of the pyramid are about 70 million people who have mobile phones but who have no access to computers, mostly for economic reasons. For them, the mobile phone is their primary device to connect to the world. This segment uses pre-paid mobile services; this is the “mobiles only” segment, and it is growing rapidly.
One of the first books to take a solutions oriented approach to global health was published last year. Millions Saved is wonderful book documenting success in public health. Considering the previous post on the TIME magazine cover story I thought it would be good to discuss what works. I highly recommend this book:
“Millions Saved: Proven Success in Global Health is about part of that success story: 17 cases in which large-scale efforts to improve health in developing countries have succeeded – saving millions of lives and preserving the livelihoods and social fabric of entire communities.”
“In 1977, diarrheal diseases among children was identified as the cause of at least half of all infant deaths in Egypt.”
“Intervention or Program: The National Control of Diarrheal Disease Project of Egypt was established to promote the use of locally manufactured oral rehydration salts, which reverse the course of dehydration. The program sought to distribute the salts, along with information about the appropriate treatment of children with diarrhea, through public and private channels. The program reached mothers through mass media, including television.”
“Impact: The program succeeded in increasing the production of oral rehydration salts, increasing mother’s correct use of these salts, and changing feeding behavior.”
Full case here. Enjoy.
This is a good article on diarrhea that just came out today in Time Europe (cover story), not sure why Time USA is not covering it. While there is a cheap and easy “low tech” solution this article discusses the problems plaguing this issue that is similar to many others – lack of education, attention, potentially misguided priorities & infrastructure:
“A Simple Solution -
Diarrhea kills more young children around the world than malaria, AIDS and TB combined. Yet a simple and inexpensive treatment can prevent many of those deaths. The treatment is a simple mixture of salt, sugar and water. So why isn’t more being done to fight diarrhea?”
From the middle of the article:
Diseases that have high profiles and vocal activists — such as aids, tuberculosis and malaria — attract far more interest and money from big donors and governments, based partly on the mistaken belief that they kill the most children. Celebrities don’t host concerts to fight diarrhea. Of 29 child-health specialists at major international development agencies surveyed by the Rotavirus Vaccine Program — a charity based in Seattle, Washington — 40% named aids, tuberculosis and malaria as the three greatest childhood killers. In reality, the top three are pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria. “This problem isn’t getting the attention it deserves…”
“Many family members don’t know how to prepare a life-saving remedy that can be assembled for just a few pennies: a large pinch of salt and a fistful of sugar dissolved in a jug of clean water, the simplest recipe for oral rehydration solution. “To save the life of a person with diarrhea is probably the cheapest health intervention you can think of…”
Read the article here.
Causes of Death (under age 5, source WHO)
The BBC reported today that mobile phone technology is being developed to help manage the spread of diseases such as HIV and bird flu.
“The software is designed to allow field workers using handsets to send and receive data on disease outbreak along with patient and drug information.”
“When a disease is spreading rapidly, health authorities need information that is bang-up-to-date“
“This means a doctor working in the field can send information to a central database about how many people are affected by a disease, patient status, drug inventory levels and receive information such as alerts, treatment guidelines or lab test results…The efforts of the international health community to control pandemics, by getting life-saving drugs to those in need, depend heavily on a comprehensive and accurate picture of what is happening on the ground.”
Here is an upcoming conference part of larger one dedicated to various ICT issues. “There is a significant action, which is taking place in the sphere of e-Health globally …to fully harness the benefits available through convergence of the Internet and health care… There is a lot more which can be done in the health sector for providing better health care and services, especially for the poor communities.” I picked this up from the I-Quench site. ABSTRACT DEADLINE: Nov 2006
“A simple, $150 device can save the lives of thousands of women around the world who are at risk from dying during childbirth. Suellen Miller explains the ‘life wrap’, which looks like a wet suit, and tells us how it can save lives.” Mother Jones Radio recently covered this story (begins at the 11:11 minute mark).
From the broadcast: “25-60% of death related to pregnancy is due to hemorrage…and 85% of women in poor countries deliver at home” meaning some of these women could die within 2 hours if they start hemoragging (the #1 cause of maternal mortality in US) but they are often times 2 days journey away from a hospital. According to the broadcast, in the past thirty years until now there has been no improvement made in maternal mortality, but this could provide a major solution. The Life Wrap device is now in trials.
Microbicide development is interesting for many many reasons (novel therapeutic, targeting women, development is via public-private partnerships, etc.). We would definitely like to post more about Microbocides considering their importance and potential revolutionary power. Here is a start:
September 29, 2006
Duke University biomedical engineers have developed a computer tool they say could lead to improvements in topical microbicides being developed for women to use to prevent infection by the virus that causes AIDS. By applying fundamentals of physics and chemistry, the researchers developed a computer model that can predict the effectiveness of various microbicidal recipes in destroying human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) before it reaches vulnerable body tissues.
The HIV pandemic continues to overwhelm current preventative measures as an estimated 12,000 people contract the infection each day, the researchers said. Increasingly, a disproportionate number of women are becoming infected…
“In many cases, women lack control over their abilities to protect themselves against the virus,” Katz said. “Microbicide development is a response to the demonstrated need for new female-controlled methods for HIV prophylaxis.”
Sept. 28, 2006
– High-tech Web connection beams Hopkins medical experts across the globe in seconds
Imagine Johns Hopkins faculty members performing microsurgery in Tanzania from a computer terminal in a Baltimore operating room, or health care experts in Vietnam presenting an avian influenza patient to medical students gathered in the Hopkins outpatient center. These are some of the possible applications of a high-tech Internet communication system that will be used for the first time next week to link Johns Hopkins faculty with clinicians in India.
Internet2 is a high-speed, high-bandwidth, dedicated Internet network developed in 1996… On Tuesday, Oct. 3, Johns Hopkins faculty members will use this technology to conduct an interactive clinical education program on HIV/AIDS, with leading health care professionals in India.
“This is a major advancement in global medical education,” says Robert C. Bollinger M.D., M.P.H., professor of infectious diseases at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Center for Clinical Global Health Education. “This technology will allow us to bring Hopkins’ expertise in clinical education to some of the most resource-limited settings in the world, and it will give Hopkins the opportunity to learn from experts in the field, thousands of miles away…You could never perform these procedures with a standard connection,” says Bollinger.
CHICAGO (AP) — Dozens of “(Product) Red” items will go on sale in the coming weeks by Gap Inc., Apple Computer Inc., Motorola Inc., Converse Inc. and Emporio Armani. Portions of the product sales will go to The Global Fund, an organization that fights AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
“Some people won’t put on marching boots, so we’ve got to get to people where they are at, and they’re in the shopping malls,” Bono said in a phone interview. “Now you’re buying jeans and T-shirts, and you’re paying for 10 women in Africa to get medication for their children with HIV.” “We’ve moved from the philanthropy budgets to the marketing budgets, and guess what, there’s no comparison in size,” Bono said. “We now have some of the most creative people in commerce — Steve Jobs, the marketing people at Gap and Motorola — all working for the world’s poor. That is so so cool.”http://www.joinred.com
OCT 29th, NYC. This is a great thing to get young people mobilized and to capture their ideas:
“The NYU Global Health Review and Americans for Informed Democracy are hosting a Young Leaders Summit on Global Health with the theme: “Innovative Solutions to Healthcare in Low Resource Settings.” The summit will be a forum for discussions on the healthcare crises such as the AIDS pandemic that impact the developing world and indigent areas of the developed world, innovative options for alleviating these crises, and the manner in which sustainable infrastructure can be built for long-term healthcare improvement.”
“The handsets, wholesale-priced at under $30, are targeted for markets such as India, South Africa, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Thailand, the Philippines, and Yemen…To get below US$30 per handset is a milestone achievement…and will bring the benefits of mobile communications to a huge swathe of people in developing countries.”
Dramatic cell phone growth has occured over the past decade (graph from MIT). For those in the public health realm who are unaware of the tremendous impact of mobile phones across the world, it’s worthwhile considering the following two facts – there are now 2.5 billion mobile phone connections and 59% of mobile phone users are now in developing countries. Already people are trying to use this ICT (information and communication technology) for various health related reasons (medication reminders, data entry and transmission, pandemic tracking, etc.). ICTs (e.g. internet, phones, radios, etc) will have a profound impact on global health. I picked up this story from NEXTBILLION.NET (here and here). Also tipped off from next billion, you can read more about Africa and mobile phones here.
Healthcare Information For All by 2015: HIFA2015 email forum launches today. HIFA2015 is a new global email discussion group with an ambitious but achievable goal: ‘By 2015, every person worldwide will have access to an informed healthcare provider.
The group will provide a neutral discussion space for all those with an interest in the creation, exchange and use of relevant, practical healthcare information for family carers, primary health workers, and district-level healthcare providers in developing and transitional countries.
This will launch formally in Mombasa, Kenya, on 26th October 2006, at the 10th Congress of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa. For further details, see this.
I have surprisingly seen little coverage on the UN’s latest marketing tactic. I heard on “On The Money” (CNBC financial show) of all places that the UN has taken “celebrity” power + argubaly the hotest website (YouTube) to reach people about global poverty. With 34 million visitors per month, this link to YouTube is surprisingly saavy. LINK TO VIDEO…
The UN has teamed up with one of the most recently watched controversial posters who has been all over the news (Lonelygirl15) on YouTube to deliver their “Stand Up” against poverty campaign. The only mention of this comes from a CNET.com news blog referencing the WSJ article today:
WSJ 10/9/07 “U.N. Enlists Internet Star for Antipoverty Pitch”
“The U.N. has enlisted the star of hugely popular Web video series LonelyGirl15 and other Web video makers to participate in an ad campaign promoting an antipoverty event it plans Sunday…
The U.N. hopes the videos will spark buzz about its call for people around the world to “stand up against poverty” at rallies and other events planned for a 24-hour period Sunday. The online videos are part of a broader ad campaign, designed by WPP Group‘s ad agency Y&R, also involving television.”
I have seen a few other organizations engage in this type of social marketing, but global health advocates should take note of tools like this to spread their messages.
Recently Kenneth Behring (through his foundation) donated almost $650,000 to develop a website on the importance of safe drinking water by 2007. Behring, a real estate mogul and former owner of the Seattle Seahawks, has donated over $120 million to various causes including the Smithsonian, The Wheelchair Foundation and other water related causes. Thie purpose of water website effort is to:
“develop a web-based resource to inform decision makers around the world about the importance of safe drinking water — and what they can do to meet this need. ‘Safe water is essential for health, yet remains one of the most critical problems facing the world today,’ said Behring. “One out of every five people lacks access to clean drinking water. We must create innovative, sustainable approaches that can make a significant impact on the world’s water crisis.” Read more here.
I am not clear on what this website will do, how it will be promoted and how such a critical message will be spread. I guess we will see what happens next year. Issues surrounding water are incredibly important/dire and we plan to post more on technology and innovation in this area.
HELINA 2007: eHealth in Africa
Abstracts due before October 15, 2006.
9-10 January 2007 Bamako, Mali
Hosted by the Mali Society for Health, the HELINA 2007 conference brings together international health informatics professionals and researchers in Bamako, Mali, on January 9th and 10th, 2007. The goal of the conference is to exchange on the topic “eHealth in Africa”, sharing on lessons learned from existing projects, discussing conceptual and organizational issues, and laying the ground for the future of eHealth in Africa through a better understanding of opportunities and challenges. The submission form should be downloaded from the conference web site.
Its been a busy month for OneWorld Health (OWH), the first *non profit*
drug company in the US. OWH is dedicated to developing pharmaceuticals
for neglected diseases in developing counties. The first major event is that
they recieved their first drug approval last week for Visceral leishmaniasis.
They have faced many hurdles in starting this venture and getting to this
point, I highly encourage you check out their story. From their website,
they have a couple more drugs in the pipeline:
Second, Dr. Victoria Hale, founder, recieved the $500,000 MacArthur Genius Award. You can read more in this US News article. Finally, The mainstream press has a related article covering a OWH project with Amryis Biotechnologies to develvop a malaria compound. This piece also discusses the business idelogy some non-profit funders are taking. Its short on details, but a good summary. I am sure there will be future entries on OWH and hopefully we will have time to post a short interview from staff there.