Africa

African Union says urgent need to address patents and technology barriers for access to future COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 Press release Africa

In a communique issued following the ‘Africa’s Leadership Role in COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access’ conference of the African Union (AU), African health ministers took a crucial step to state their concern that patents and other technology barriers could negatively impact the ability to ensure access of future potential COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries.

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Affordable vaccines — is it really too much to ask for when we paid for the research?

Why CEPI* needs to get tougher with its industry partners to ensure equitable access to vaccines.

In medical school we are given the impression that infectious diseases, while scary, are something we can handle with the right tools.

The thought of facing them without treatments or vaccines available never crossed my mind, but if it had, it would have been terrifying.

Yet, this was exactly what our teams faced when we responded to the 2014–16 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa which killed more than 11,000 people.

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26 January 2020
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Blog Tropical & neglected diseases AfricaCongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo Ebola

No time to lose: detect, treat and prevent AIDS

AIDS related mortality remains high - 770,000 deaths in 2018 - and has hardly declined in recent years. This global trend is reflected in countries where Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) works and continues to witness high ongoing mortality.

To achieve the UNAIDS target of 500,000 deaths in 2020 requires a focus on and a drastic acceleration of measures to decrease mortality. For this it is  necessary to plan,  fund and implement a package of care to prevent, detect and treat Advanced HIV Disease (AHD) or AIDS, as outlined in the World Health Organisation’s 2017 Guidelines for managing Advanced HIV Disease and rapid initiation of antiretroviral therapy.

This report, compiled by MSF, presents data from the AHD dashboard initiated by the HIV Advanced Disease Consortium (HIV-ADC). 

HIV/AIDS UNAIDS HIV/AIDS Report
Kingsley Makwale MSF clinician examining Aisha at Mbenje Health Centre on the first appointment date of Aisha after being discharged from the hospital. Photograph by Isabel Corthier

NO TIME TO LOSE: DETECT, TREAT AND PREVENT AIDS

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AIDS related mortality remains high - 770,000 deaths in 2018 - and has hardly declined in recent years. 
This report, compiled by MSF, presents data from the AHD dashboard initiated by the HIV Advanced Disease Consortium (HIV-ADC). 

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From guidelines to reality: Accelerating access to prevention and treatment of paediatric HIV

In 2011, UNAIDS launched the “Global Plan Towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive”, endorsed by UN member-state governments to scale up prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services. While this initiative saw the number of new HIV infections in children fall from 280,000 in 2010 to 160,000 in 2018, the rate of decline in the past 3-4 years has plateaued, leaving the goal of only 20,000 new infections per year by 2020 far out of reach. Nine out of 10 of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2018, 82% of pregnant women living with HIV globally were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART), but wide regional variations exist, and access to ART for PMTCT ranges from 92% in eastern and southern Africa, to 53% in the Middle East and North Africa. ART coverage for children living with HIV continues to lag behind – in 2018, more than half of children (54%) were still not receiving the lifesaving treatment they needed.

This report examines the barriers to preventing new paediatric HIV infections and to providing timely and optimal treatment where we have failed to prevent transmission. 
 

HIV/AIDS UNAIDS HIV/AIDS Technical brief
Gloria Chipasula (Center), 11 years old, and her mother Teleza James (Right) sit in Milepa Health Centre's consulting room as Ministry of Health’s nurse Violet Banda (Left performs a standard medical examination for HIV patients. Photograph by Luca Sola
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This report examines the barriers to preventing new paediatric HIV infections and to providing timely and optimal treatment where we have failed to prevent transmission.

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