On 3rd and 4th February 2022, the CRASH organised a workshop aimed principally at the directors and operational managers of MSF Operational Centre Paris (OCP) to reflect on current debates, and to determine which elements of the discussion would be the most relevant to resolve to support the advancement of MSF OCP’s operational projects. Is access to medicines the same issue today as it was when MSF first became interested in the mid-1990s? Rather than just concentrating on the obstacles to accessing medicines, should the debate be broadened to encompass what are now called ‘health products’ or even further, towards access to care and thus largely structural problems of human resources, financing, or the absence of national health insurance policies?
We can all agree that the emergence of Covid-19 vaccine is “an absolutely astonishing development”, but vaccines are unlikely to completely halt the spread of the virus, let alone eradicate it. Yet even without achieving herd immunity, the ability to vaccinate vulnerable people seems to be reducing hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19.
In this paper, the two authors examine certain aspects of the French response to the epidemic in the light of the experience of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in that field, primarily with respect to the relationship between the actors of the response and the beneficiaries.
Blog written by Jean-Hervé Bradol, director of studies at the Crash.
Today, in order to obtain supplies of vaccines against Covid-19, there is neither a major difficulty related to price, nor a major obstacle related to intellectual property rules, nor a deficit in bio-medical research. However, these three topics are generally at the heart of MSF's communication in the area of access to medical care for those in most need. Our discourse must therefore evolve.
With the emergence of worrying variants of the virus present in the early stages of the pandemic and, as a consequence, the need to vaccinate on a global scale as quickly as possible, the world is facing a double challenge: biological engineering and ultra-industrial production – “ultra” echoing the need to produce on a global scale in a short period of time.
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and other researchers, including MSF-Crash Dr. Jean Hervé Bradol, report a persistent deficiency in truly new therapeutics for neglected diseases, despite nominal progress and an acceleration in research and development (R&D) efforts.
In the 1980s, a global commitment was made to eradicate polio in the wake of the eradication of smallpox. As far as the world health community was concerned, this successful experience made it an example model on which to base future campaigns against infectious diseases.
Epidemiological studies estimate that nearly nine million people were suffering from active tuberculosis (TB) in 2010, causing upwards of one and a half million deaths. More than 90% of these deaths took place in low- or middle-income countries, thus reinforcing an old idea that TB and poverty are strongly linked.
Based on MSF's experience in responding to epidemics, Jean-Hervé Bradol describes the risks of spending precious time and energy on trying to delay the spread of the epidemic rather than on the case management of large numbers of sick people.