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.
7-10 | An urgent scale-up of aid is needed in the northern district of Abs, the area worst affected by Yemen’s cholera outbreak, according to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The disease is spread by contaminated water, so water and sanitation activities are particularly vital to tackle the problem at source, says MSF. “In Abs district, our teams are seeing an extremely poor sanitation situation and insufficient access to clean drinking water,” says Gabriel Sánchez, MSF programme manager for Yemen.
6-23 | Malnutrition and paediatric treatment underway in Galkayo North Nearly four years after withdrawing its teams from the country, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has restarted treating patients in Somalia. MSF is once again providing support to Mudug Regional Hospital, Galkayo North, in Somalia’s Puntland region, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
6-9 | As fighting intensifies for control of the Syrian city of Raqqa, people must decide whether to remain in the city and surrounding villages under heavy bombardment, or leave the area by crossing active frontlines and minefields, says Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF). “Parents have to make an impossible decision,” says MSF emergency coordinator Puk Leenders.
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.