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Florian Sparr on strengthening the global R&D system: innovation for health needs in developing countries

15 May, 12 | by BMJ Group

florian starrOn Friday 4 May 2012 “Strengthening the Global R&D System: Innovation for Health Needs in Developing Countries” took place in Geneva.

The keynote address, “Investing in Global Public Goods” was given by Joseph E Stiglitz, recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and professor at Columbia University. more…

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Investing in our future—the African youth dividend

8 Mar, 12 | by BMJ

South Africa has a bright future—with strategic investments now, we will have a vibrant economy fueled by our “youth bulge.” I believe that investments today will pay a youth dividend of increases in economic productivity, innovation and quality of life. more…

Tracey Koehlmoos: Climate change, health, and security

14 Nov, 11 | by BMJ Group

Tracey KoehlmoosOn 17 October, I was fortunate to attend a daylong seminar at BMA House on “the health and security perspectives of climate change.” Uniquely, this programme pulled together medical and military professionals along with climatologists, zoologists, and politicians. The morning focused on threats to global climate, health, and security whereas the afternoon sessions focused on the way forward.

The health risks from climate change might seem more obvious than the security risks, but what I learnt is that situations in Darfur and Somalia are the perfect storm examples of the intersection of climate change, health and security. In Bangladesh, if we project forward to a world without improvement and with increased violent weather and rising sea levels, we will encounter a situation in which some 75 million Bangladeshi people (half of the population) are at risk of displacement along with the stability of the nation despite long term excellence in disaster planning and management. more…

Tracey Koehlmoos: Road traffic accidents in developing countries – farewell to the colonel

2 Sep, 11 | by BMJ Group

Tracey KoehlmoosOn 11 June 2011, 44 schoolboys died when the truck they were travelling in flipped into a canal in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The boys were from three villages and were riding in an open truck on their way back from a football competition. I was haunted by the image of the devastated village parents, who no doubt had joyously sent their sons to a day of sports competition.

On 13 August 2011, eminent film maker Tareq Masud, and Mishuk Munir, ATN news chief executive officer (CEO), died along with three friends in a car crash outside of Dhaka. The loss of such talent is keenly felt by all in Bangladesh. more…

Mervyn Dean reflects on culture specific medicine

21 Feb, 11 | by BMJ


In the past 10 days or so I’ve settled into some sort of routine at KCMC, seeing patients on the wards in the morning, and in the afternoons either following up on administrative matters or trying to arrange teaching sessions, the latter with some small degree of success. more…

Seye Abimbola: Reflections on the non-existent health system

11 Jan, 11 | by BMJ


Imagine a country without a health system; imagine the chaos, and inefficiency. In such a setting, the only form of health systems research necessary would be to generate evidence towards achieving universal coverage. Research will not only be about which interventions work, but where and how the interventions would be most optimal. Indeed, if we push our understanding of what constitutes a health system to include its ideals, it becomes clear that the thought experiment is not quite so far-fetched. Especially ideals which according to the WHO include improving population health, protecting people from the cost of ill-health, providing health care with fair treatment to all. more…

Louise Kenny: Flying solo

9 Oct, 09 | by BMJ

After the blow to my confidence last week with obstetrics patients, I have developed a healthy fear of the uterus and have understandably been reluctant to see ante-natal, labouring, or post-natal patients.  Any organ that bleeds 500ml a minute is a thing to be feared in my book.  Of course the problem with my reluctance is that over 50% of what happens here has something to do with pregnancy, and again today we found ourselves without an obstetrician for both a delivery and also an ante-natal clinic.  Me, again? Oh no. more…

Richard Feinmann on aid to Africa

13 May, 09 | by BMJ Group

Richard Feinmann Sitting here pondering as a VSO doctor in Uganda I wonder all the time is the aid money to Africa well spent. Uganda gets £70m from the Department for International Development (DFID) and Africa gets about £1.2 billion. I feel some of it could be spent differently. more…

Tejshri Shah on the BMJ/MSF appeal

23 Dec, 08 | by BMJ

My name is Tejshri Shah and I am the head of the medical unit of Médecins Sans Frontières UK, the Manson Unit. When asked to be a guest blogger for the BMJ and help promote the BMJ Christmas Appeal for MSF, my mind raced back to my first mission and a little boy, who for the purposes of this letter, and to protect his identity, I will call A. more…

Michael Adler and colleagues on HIV today

28 Nov, 08 | by BMJ Group

It has been 25 years since HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, was isolated. Since that time, 25 million people have died of HIV related illnesses. In 2007 there were an estimated 33 million people (CI 30-36) living with the virus and three quarters of all related deaths and two thirds of incident cases were in sub-Saharan Africa. more…

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