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Real health for the poorest, most disadvantaged communities of the world - that's the focus of RealHealthNews, a new newsletter about real evidence, real research, and real interventions that can change people's lives for the better.

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RealHealthNews is now welcoming papers from accredited researchers and health policy makers, especially those from developing countries.

Latest stories

> Global campaign for the health MDGs

> China embraces rural health research

> Health arises from empowerment

> How Kenya doubled its health budget

> Shopping for health care


Global campaign for the health MDGs

On 26 September 2022 Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway, announced plans for a radical transformation of international development funding, with a ‘Global Campaign for the Health MDGs’. Developing countries will prepare their own national plans to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6 to reduce child and maternal mortality, and combat AIDS and other diseases, while donors will relate their support to the countries’ plans; and support will depend on measured results. The Campaign could be extended to the whole of health, and even development, and become each country’s truly Global Business Plan. We talk to the plan’s principal architect, Tore Godal. (November 07)


Global campaign for the health MDGs - Five programmes with the same goal

(November 07)


Global campaign for the health MDGs - Implementation of the Campaign

(November 07)


Health in Myanmar: a contrast

Two very different views of health status and care in troubled Myanmar can be found (November 07)


Measuring up diabetes

Global figures and studies argue that diabetes is a growing problem for the developing world, and that it needs to be tackled urgently or expensive complications will follow. (November 07)


Motherhood in Uganda

Pregnancy and giving birth in Uganda are fraught with mortal risks. (May 07)


Principles of the Global Campaign for the Health MDGsGlobal campaign for the health MDGs



Reaching out to policy-makers

The growing East African health organization REACH is making efforts to link research with policy-making (May 07)


Simple ACTs for malaria for 50 US cents

Treating malaria with ACTs was getting expensive – and complicated. Now the problems may be solved, with a new, cheap co-formulation, and a version for children. And the development model that DNDi has adopted could be used for other diseases – like TB. (May 07)


Some TB tests only 1% effective

Simple dipstick tests for infectious diseases are multiplying rapidly. But how good are they? Field trials are few, and results disappointing. Countries should press for more research and proper regulation. (May 07)


Drug distribution? Trust the people

When remote communities are in charge of distribution, malaria treatment, bednet coverage and TB detection rates double, and vitamin A coverage increases – even though the distributors are unpaid - says a multicountry study. (May 07)


A human right to health research?

While “fact-finding”, the first WHO global research strategy meeting stirs complex and competing interests (December 06)


US$200 million will get diarrhoea and pneumomia research products into action

It’s one thing to do the research – and another to get the product delivered. GAVI is now doing the trick for rotavirus and streptococcus pneumoniae vaccines 10-15 years ahead of past practice, saving an extra four million lives (December 06)


Circumcision halves HIV transmission: so what policy should we implement?

An uncompleted trial was so successful for its male participants that continuance was unethical. But what happens next? (December 06)


EAGLES flies in to link Europe and researchers in developing countries

Top scientists call for equal research partnerships with the South – and begin with diabetes. (May 06)


African health ministers lay claim to research

“Health research is a must” – Minister Eyitayo Lambo, Nigeria. “There’s nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come” – Minister Courage Quashigah, Ghana. (May 06)


“Astronomical” new product costs demand public-private collaboration – says Pharma

Public sector collaboration, experimental medicine and no intellectual property for “science” - these are the future for pharmaceutical R&D.; (May 06)


Home based management of malaria – artemisinin studies needed

Mothers can cure malarial feveres, but research funding problems are slowing application. (May 06)


Companies and communities ready to help African health systems

World Economic Forum identifies radical solutions for healthcare capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. (May 06)


New HIV infections in young women fall by half in East Zimbabwe

Change in sexual behaviour is the cause, and was in turn induced by education, claim researchers. Did information, education and communication on HIV transmission and risk – or the death of relatives and friends – cause a significant change in sexual behaviour, and a dramatic fall in new HIV infections, in Eastern Zimbabwe? (Mar 06)


Seven ways to heaven

From local African research to Indian pharma’s aim at a “five-billion” – person market, to radical R&D; proposals to the World Health Assembly: what’s happening to world health research? (Mar 06)


Fast computerized vaccine might protect against any pandemic flu

H5N1 bird flu now in Nigeria will kill chickens, and even some people, but it is not pandemic human flu. Nevertheless a pandemic may emerge anytime, anywhere – from a related virus created by its recombination with ordinary human influenza. Response needs to be fast, and now a new genetic method is claimed to be able to create a vaccine within two months of sequencing. (Mar 06)


Could statins stop bird flu deaths?

Urgent research is needed to test a cheap and widely available potential remedy for bird and pandemic flu. (Dec 05)


Quake victims need NATO for a “ Berlin airlift” says UN

Without more aid and helicopters, half-a-million could die from disease and exposure in snows due soon. (October 05)


Chasms in information in Pakistan earthquake

Health information is not reaching those most in need. With the earthquake creating massive problems from injury and increasing disease, people need good health information – but what’s known is not reaching those in need. (October 05)


Immunization rates stagnating in Europe

WHO launches initiative to combat increasing complacency about immunizing children. (October 05)


China embraces rural health research

China is undergoing a radical shift in its health policy towards the poorest, particularly in rural areas, and research is playing a major role. Here Gerald Bloom, visiting Professor at Beijing Normal University, co-chair of the China Health Development Forum, and Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex, UK, tells the story – with lessons for the world about the relation between research and policy-making. (November 07)


Dying mothers: from the evidence to political will

Mothers die overwhelmingly because they are poor - but this gives an opportunity for targeted action (May 07)


Health arises from empowerment

WHO’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health is due to report in 2008. Its Chairman, Sir Michael Marmot, here tells RealHealthNews his apolitical – but radical – philosophy based on evidence, his hopes, and his broad conclusions. (November 07)


How Kenya doubled its health budget

The Ministry of Health and health services in Kenya have received a refreshing boost from the Minister of Health, past Presidential candidate Charity Ngilu. But it hasn’t been easy. Here she puts health, and research for health, into its full political context. (November 07)


How to face donors with a health plan

Francisco Songane, Director, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and past Minister of Health for Mozambique, tells what health aid can look like from a country perspective: disrespectful and ignorant. (November 07)


Let's make health systems work

The Alliance for Health Systems and Policy Research will expand health systems science globally, and put it to work for policy-makers. Manager Sara Bennett tells RealHealthNews how. (May 07)


Mafia house/Kenya fact sheet

(November 07)


Net giveaway saves lives, changes WHO policy

(November 07)


Shopping for health care

Nurses running Child and Family Welfare Shop outlets in villages and a slum, the Executive Director of the enterprise and TDR researchers take the real measure of micro-franchised healthcare. Is it sustainable? Is it the solution for health care in Africa, or just a welcome small addition? (November 07)


Sierra Leone wants science to save mothers

Abator Thomas, Minister of Health for Sierra Leone, explains why she seeks evidence for her policy-making. (May 07)


The politics of protest

(November 07)


When Zimbabwe was willing

Gerald Bloom is a rather unusual kind of researcher. He has a strong interest in policy and in effecting real change. (November 07)


Pandemic flu - how to protect the world

We urgently need a vaccine, and meanwhile must rely on keeping people apart. Research on the social challenge to developing countries could be "very important". (May 07)


Burkina gives science a warm embrace

Research is an aid not only to good health policies – but even to political success, say ministers (October 06)


A passion for fungi - and research

Cryptococcus led from fascination to research directorship (October 06)


Iran's women investigate health priorities

Volunteer women researchers are determining Iran's health and development needs (October 06)


Science beats ideology

Julio Frenk, Mexico's health minister says science can help face special interests (October 06)


Kenya's hardy women researchers

Women in health research must fight gender stereotyping (October 06)


Politics needs ideas - statistics come later

Quantification is the bane of social medicine (October 06)


Scientific health insurance in China

China's massive New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme is listening to relevant science (October 06)


"Big Pharma must tackle global health – to survive" explains Tachi Yamada

“Seminal” GSK experience in South Africa will inspire new Gates chief. (May 06)


Could river blindness lead the way?

From women researchers to community control of health, APOC holds many of the answers for Africa. (May 06)


The Ministers’ magic moment: a cookbook for disease control

First, take 900 scientists and health experts from around the world. Second, identify the world’s most cost-effective health interventions. Third, tell the world. Fourth, over to you, Ministers: turn them into action (May 06)


Evidence, empowerment and education

Pramilla Senanayake, advisor to Editors of the Disease Control Priorities Project and Chair of the Global Forum’s Foundation Council. (May 06)


Just listen: research and activism can walk hand-in-hand

Social determinants and health systems research should underpin real health and change, but the subjects are still neglected, says Ravi Narayan. (May 06)


Dramatic boost for neglected diseases research

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, co-founded by MSF, receives its first major government grant – “and it’s core funding”, the DNDi Director tells RealHealthNews. (Mar 06)


Research for free health

Regina Keith, Global Health Advisor at Save the Children tells RealHealthNews why this is a critical moment for research on health financing. (Mar 06)


Mumbai pharma plans new drugs for all

Nicholas Piramal, India’s number two pharma company, is ignoring generics and relying on R&D.; First in the pipeline: a new low-cost cancer drug. (Mar 06)


From local to global: action science in Nairobi

Know the bureacracy, problems and politics of health – and know the frontline of health care. There’s a challenge for science, and it’s being met in Nairobi. Interview of Nduku Kilonzo, Research Director of Nairobi's Liverpool VCT and Care. (Mar 06)


Governments worldwide should “wake up” about the threat of pandemic flu

The Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla is first in the line to make generic Tamiflu, but India’s officials guesture despair at flu threat. (October 05)


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 (May 07)


What future for those PPPs?

Public private partnerships have made a dramatic impact on research for developing country diseases, but it’s time to take them in for service. (November 07)


What future for those PPPs? Eight big conclusions

(November 07)


Human existence "threatened by neglect"

Research by developing countries vital, says minister (October 06)


Research is not enough

Local communication, evaluation and civil society essential (October 06)


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. (October 06)


Time to lift the veil on AIDS

Countries in the Middle East argue that Islamic practices protect them from HIV. How true is this? (October 06)


What's WHO doing about research?

Research is central to WHO’s mandate, argues Tikki Pang (October 06)


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. (October 05)


Governments to develop global research strategy by 2008

WHO members are now required to seek new incentives for R&D; for the poorest, with results in two years (October 06)


Health ministers strategize for 2008

Fourteen Ministers of Health and Heads of Delegation from Africa, Asia, Middle East and South America, meeting in Accra this June, reached an historic agreement to link up, South-to-South, on health research (October 06)


HIV/AIDS: Indian epidemic striking women hard – study results may affect government policy

(Aug 06)


HIV/AIS vaccine: Gates' US$287 million for "open" research network; and Russia's own US$40 million centre

(Aug 06)


Pandemic influenza: GSK announce progress in low-dose vaccine for H5N1 bird flu

(Aug 06)


Malaria: Uganda considering return to DDT

(Aug 06)


Research funding: Nigeria pledges US$5 billion endowment for research

(Aug 06)


Artemisinin made in GM yeast

Successful research now going into development (May 06)


Health funding: poor countries and non-governmental groups do best at using funds from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria

(Aug 06)


Malaria develops resistance to artemisinin

(Mar 06)


TB research funds “to triple”

(Mar 06)


Could vitamin D help people of African descent fight TB?

(Feb 06)


South Africa launches malaria research initiative

(Feb 06)


Low-tech garment might prevent maternal death in childbirth

(Feb 06)


Intermittent malaria treatment in children cuts cases by 86%

(Feb 06)


Recognizing DNA triple junctions: a breakthrough in drug design?

(Feb 06)


G8 rich nations offer up to US$ 6 billion to research and develop new vaccines

(Feb 06)


Surprising variation in Culex quinquefaciatus mosquito might hold clue to filariasis patterns

(Feb 06)


Going for a TB revolution: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seeks comments

(Jan 06)


Donor leverage and access to bird flu vaccines

Indonesia believed WHO’s approach to sharing bird flu samples was overly accommodating to corporate priorities, and that it could use leverage to redress inequities. The same approach could be applied to other biological materials and personal data, such as those gathered in clinical trials. (November 07)


AuthorAID is brought to the test

AuthorAID aims to help developing country researchers publish their work in ways that will have the greatest influence - on research, policy and action - (October 06)


Japan's health revolution to be bestowed on Africa

Post-war Japan tackled several tropical diseases with community action - now it will help Africa do the same (October 06)


Time to analyse tropical disease research

By Robert Ridley and Hans Remme (Director, TDR; Coordinator, Science Strategy and Knowledge, TDR). (May 06)


Promoting evidence-based health care in Africa through training in research synthesis

By Taryn Young, Jimmy Volmink (South African Cochrane Centre, South African Medical Research Council). (May 06)


Scaling ‘3 by 5’ to Universal Access requires enhanced prevention

By Wim Van Damme, Katharina Kober, Guy Kegels, and Marie Laga (Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium). (May 06)


WHO to debate global R&D; "framework"

Square brackets – to enclose controversial text – now litter a resolution from Kenya and Brazil for May’s World Health Assembly. The resolution calls for debate on a radical proposal to transform global health R&D;, but the organization’s Executive Board is pulling the punches. Never-theless there could still be significant developments. (Mar 06)


AIDS care threatened by crisis in human resources for health in sub-Saharan Africa

Local, internationally-shared research is urgently needed to investigate the requirements for health staff in different delivery models for antiretroviral therapy, and to estimate how compatible these are with local availability of those staff. Innovative approaches to ART delivery, in public and private facilities, and in communities and civil society organisations, should also be studied, to investigate and compare their effectiveness. (Sept 05)


Action research to prevent non-communicable disease

Global organizations are needed to face the rapidly growing challenge in low and middle income countries of research for non-communicable diseases, which are deeply culture and context-dependent. But research on NCDs in developed countries is at least partially relevant, and a new research partnership between developing and developed countries – CAPCoD - is edging open the door. (Sept 05)

last updated 7 August 06
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