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Primary problems for India's TB

The highly motivated TB control programme in India relies on primary health care - but it's too weak to cope

Rupa Chinai was India's first health correspondent. She resigned as health editor of The Times of India in Mumbai over a year ago, to investigate and document the real health issues of India, particularly in the tribal areas of the North-East. Her evidence tells what deep challenges face India's health system, despite the expanding economy. Here she argues that primary health care in India must be revolutionized if the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, launched in 1997, is to succeed. Her story of a tuberculous woman, Hafeeza Begum, who could not afford treatment and developed drug-resistant TB, and of the neglect of health care among the tea workers, illustrates why.

What future for those PPPs?

Public-private partnerships need integration

Public private partnerships have made a dramatic impact on research for developing country diseases, but it’s time to take them in for service. RealHealthNews advisor Kent Buse believes they should integrate their work with developing countries’ own planning, priorities and health services – just as donors are promising with the International Health Partnership. If they are serious about health, they also need to think about non-communicable diseases and health promotion – and consider alternatives to private finance.

What future for those PPPs?

Eight big conclusions

Human existence "threatened by neglect"

Research by developing countries vital, says minister

At the High-Level Ministerial Meeting on health research in Accra this June, the Minister of Health, Ghana, argued that major issues of vital importance to health in Africa and the developing world, such as local ideas and practices, the cultural effectiveness of the ABC strategy for HIV/AIDS, and traditional medicine, were being under-researched - because low and middle-income countries have too few research resources, and are not driving the international research agenda. "Our very existence" is threatened by this neglect, he said. This is a transcript of the minister's address.

Research is not enough

Local communication, evaluation and civil society essential

At the High-Level Ministerial Meeting on Health Research this June in Accra, Lola Dare, Nigeria, Executive Secretary, African Council for Sustainable Health Development (ACOSHED), argued that research done in and by developing countries needs to be more widely shared - and used. Research is often done in academia, and has little connection with the ministries. Local evaluations of tools, new communications platforms and civil society partnerships are needed.

TDR: we all belong to the South

At the High Level Ministerial Meeting in Accra this June, TDR Director Rob Ridley said greater responsibility for research should be placed in the hands of the South - the disease-endemic countries - amidst the multitude of new global players in health research.

Time to lift the veil on AIDS

Countries in the Middle East argue that Islamic practices protect them from HIV. How true is this?

Is there such a thing as a "social vaccine", behavioural norms that slow the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Middle East? Shereen El Feki, former health correspondent of The Economist and presenter of the "People and Power" programme on Al Jazeera International, considers the question needs research.

What's WHO doing about research?

Research is central to WHO’s mandate, argues Tikki Pang

At the High-Level Ministerial Meeting, Accra, Tikki Pang, Director of WHO's Department of Research Policy and Cooperation, argued that… This is a transcript of Tikki Pang's address.

Earthquake poses hard questions

Aliya Q Khan, MD, a public health specialist and Technical Officer for Health and Development Services at The Network*, Islamabad, says the recent earthquake has posed many questions in need of answers – and many lessons for handling future disasters

(21 Oct 05)

“Dreadful, eviscerating gender inequality” drives AIDS: microbicide urgent

UNAIDS has begun to talk about the “feminization” of the AIDS epidemic. Women urgently need the means to take control of their lives. A microbicide would help them.

Extracts from a speech by UN special envoy to Africa (Sept 05)

Only African science can beat HIV/AIDS

Fake ARVs, and drug-resistant HIV, need local science. Without local science, Africa could end up being called the source of the next global plague – drug resistant HIV.

by Otula Owuor* (Nov 04)

Biotechnology to "save millions of lives"

10 hot technologies need developing country collaboration. Genomics and biotechnology could provide rapid diagnosis, prevent HIV/AIDS, and promote peace through international collaboration, says an international group of scientists.

by Prakash Khanal (Nov 04)