Reproductive health is becoming an increasingly important concern in developing countries, where it represents the confluence of three essential issues: women’s rights, health, and economics. Increasing the availability of contraceptives can address all three of these issues, yet pharmaceutical companies are often reluctant to pursue these projects because the available profit margin is small. But effective solutions to this and other global health problems need not be reliant on large pharmaceutical companies.
The varied financial models for funding global health have caused uncertainty regarding the ideal structure of global health organizations. With a number of interests at stake – including those of governments, profit-driven initiatives, and philanthropic organizations – there are often conflicts between groups whose goals do not align.
Recently, Harald Ott’s laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital was able to make a bio-engineered rat kidney. In their experimental design, they exposed a mature rat kidney to detergents in order to wash away old cells, leaving only a web of proteins that constituted the original kidney. Then, by injecting endothelial and epithelial cells into the [...]
The WHO document suggests that the implementation of Value Added Taxes (VAT) with a share of the revenue earmarked for the health sector, and health-specific taxes on large corporations could have medium to high fundraising potential and are likely pro-poor. Oxfam has suggested that if government leaders were to close tax loopholes that enable legal tax-dodging, some $189 billion could be raised in taxes internationally each year
Global health research has long faced a paradox: That the school attainment of mothers is associated – strongly, independently and in most less-developed countries – with reduced child mortality and other beneficial health outcomes, but no consensus has emerged about why or how this happens. A new book from our Project on Maternal Schooling at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Literacy and Mothering, tackles this problem directly, not only with a detailed theoretical explanation but also with evidence from literacy assessments of mothers in four countries: Mexico, Nepal, Venezuela and Zambia.
In Seattle we often are fortunate enough to have access to a good health clinic or physician, where we can go for regular check-ups and screening tests, get necessary immunizations, address our reproductive health needs, get assessed and treated for many illnesses or injuries, and obtain referrals when we need care that the clinic does not provide. This kind of accessible, integrated care, with its focus on prevention, standard treatment for common health problems, and monitoring of chronic conditions is good for individuals, families, and communities. Yet many people around the world face a much different health care picture.
As reported by the Ghanaian NGO Basic Needs, a man by the identity of M. has been suffering through his mental illness and wandering about Ghana’s countryside for nearly 20 years, eventually getting his leg stuck in a fallen tree trunk. M. has remained in that same position for four years, plagued by his disease and nearly forgotten by the rest of society.
The debate over cost and access to drugs has long raged between patients, health advocates, and pharmaceutical companies. For patients with “orphan diseases,” or rare diseases which affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States, this debate becomes particularly acute, as the Orphan Drug Act passed by Congress in 1983 threatens to drive up prices for highly specialized treatments. While the Orphan Drug Act has helped to bring drugs for rare diseases to millions of patients and continues to stimulate research and development of orphan drugs, the law is certainly not without its problems and caveats.
Other Recent Posts
With an unlimited meal plan and buffet-style meals, do we Harvard students know how big our portions should be? Portions have more than doubled in the past twenty years, and the actual recommended portion sizes may be surprising. Both the type and size of food we consume are positively associated with weight gain, as seen at campus and country level.
As a follow-up to my previous article, “Forgotten Killers: Pneumonia and Diarrhea Prevalence in Third-World Countries,” I went to the individuals at UNICEF who are on the front lines in the battle to combat pneumonia and diarrhea. I was put in contact with Dr. Renee Van de Weerdt, the Chief of the Maternal, Newborn and [...]