6-20 | As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise in India, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders opened a 100-bed temporary treatment centre for COVID-19 patients in Patna, the capital of Bihar state in the northeast of the country.The MSF COVID-19 treatment centre is housed in the remodelled Patliputra Sports Complex in Patna Indoor Stadium. Fully managed by MSF, it will initially provide medical care to patients with mild or moderate symptoms to support the isolation of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and reduce community spread.
10-18 | Kasaye sits on his bed in the intensive care unit of the MSF health centre in Abdurafi, a bottle of soda and some cookies in his hands. He looks incredibly frail and the simple acts of drinking and eating seem to require immense effort. “This is the thirteenth time that I have come to MSF for kala azar treatment,” he says. Kala azar (also known as visceral leishmaniasis) is the second largest parasitic killer after malaria, which makes it one of the most dangerous neglected tropical diseases in the world.
7-20 | RCEP trade deal could cut medicines lifeline for people in developing countries As the sixteen countries negotiating Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement meet in Bangkok this week for another round of closed door negotiations, public health experts and the international medical humanitarian organization - Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warn that inclusion of any harmful intellectual property provisions in the agreement could have a severely negative impact on access to affordable generic medicines.
8-22 | Hopes for improved access to an affordable pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) that safeguards both children and adults from pneumonia was dealt a major blow after the Indian patent office granted a patent to the US pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer for its PCV13 product, marketed as Prevnar13. “It’s unfair and unacceptable that almost a million children die each year from pneumonia, even though a life-saving vaccine is available.
5-5 | Manila, Philippines is set to host the 18th round of the multilateral trade deal - the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that encompasses 50% of the global population. With the Philippines holding the chairmanship of ASEAN for 2017, it can be an opportune time for Philippines to take the lead in ensuring that market gains will not trump the right of millions of people to access affordable medicines.