GHM Brief: HIV in Eastern Europe and Arab Countries

The latest GHM Emerging Issue Brief Vulnerable and Hidden in Webs of Behaviour: Concentrated HIV Epidemics in Eastern Europe and Arab Countries by Erling Høg concludes:

“Eastern Europe and the Arab world inhabit a vast number of countries. This emerging issue brief highlights one aspect of the diversity of experiences: pockets of concentrated HIV epidemics in which people tend to hide, being afraid of coming forth for HIV testing and AIDS care.

The other side of the coin remains an inefficient HIV and AIDS service delivery that fails to reach out to all in need. A critical issue remains the emerging risky webs of behaviour among vulnerable and hidden demographic groups in both Eastern Europe and the Arab countries.

Moreover, men who have sex with men, injecting drug users and sex workers often face a general problem in countries that require a negative HIV test to marry, to enter, stay or reside permanently, to get a job or to study at a university.”

Download the brief here.

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GHM Controversial Issue Brief: Big Pharma

In the GHM Controversial Issue Brief titled ‘How can we collaborate with Big Pharma in global health?‘, Nicolai Lohse writes:

The combination of pharmaceutical companies and global health invariably makes one think of the huge lack of access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Drugs are either not affordable, not available at all, only available intermittently due to frequent pharmacy stock-outs, of poor quality, ineffective, or they are counterfeit and may even be unsafe.


Making quality medicine available, affordable, and accessible to all who need them is extremely complicated and requires a coordinated effort by many global health actors – including the pharmaceutical industry. In this need for collaborative solutions lies also the key to involving drug companies as a partner in global health.

Download the brief on Big Pharma.

Photo credit: Erling Høg

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World Immunization Week 2015

WHO’s World Immunisation Week 2015 is launched today with the message “Close the immunization gap”. It draws attention to the Global Vaccine Action Plan and the 5 of 6 targets, which the world is not on track to achieve in 2015.

The message focuses on the 21.8 million infants – equal to 1 in 5 of the world’s infants – who do not receive the third diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTP3). The message states that up to 3 million lives are being saved each year by vaccines while 1.5 million still die from vaccine preventable diseases.

But if we want to focus on child mortality, merely calculating the number of deaths caused and averted by vaccine preventable diseases and coverage of DTP3 is insufficient. Vaccines have more wide ranging effects than specific disease protection.

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GHM Emerging Issue Brief: Universal Health Coverage

“Universal Health Coverage can only lead to health and well-being for all, when it is accompanied by progress in the social determinants of health and through respect for and fulfillment of the human right to health”, argues Diederike Geelhoed in the Global Health Minders Emerging Issue Brief on Universal Health Coverage.

Download the brief on Universal Health Coverage.

Photo credit: Diederike Geelhoed

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GHM Emerging Issue Brief: Infertility

To mark the International Women’s Day, we are happy to introduce an Emerging Issue Brief on Infertility. As the authors Siri Tellier and Josephine Obel write, infertility is not a new problem. However, in the last decade it has attracted increasing attention, focusing on three concerns:

  1. A medical/clinical concern that an increasing number of couples are seeking Medically Assisted Reproduction (MAR) and that some risk factors for infertility are increasing.
  2. An economic/demographic concern regarding decreasing birth rates, leading to reduced labor force.
  3. A human rights concern that couples have fewer children than they wish.

Download the brief here.

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Just getting on with it: a Burkinabé attitude to change

When popular protest deposed former Burkinabé president Blaise Compaoré last year, many feared the country would see violent conflict. Lise Rosendal Østergaard argues that this was never inevitable. A sense of pragmatism evident in recent labour disputes shows that Burkinabés are more interested in getting on with their lives than turning to violence.

Photo credit: Göran Höglund Kartläsarn

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GHM Emerging Issue Brief: Menstrual hygiene

Until recently, menstrual hygiene has been a forgotten global health challenge even though there is evidence of serious negative impacts of poor menstrual hygiene on girls’ and women’s health, social lives and education. Supplying girls and women with proper methods and knowledge to manage their menstruations should be a major global health concern, underline authors Thilde Rheinländer and Mary Wachira in the Global Health Minders Emerging Issue Brief: Menstrual Hygiene: An ancient – but ignored Global Health problem of all women.

Photo credit: Erich Ogoso/IRIN

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