The “BRIC” countries: a new source of solutions?

This week’s global health and development news brings us a new acronym: BRIC, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, and China. We also learn most of the world’s poor don’t live in “poor” countries, and which human disease is most likely to become the second to be eradicated. Extra credit if you can name the first.

India: a powerhouse of innovation for neglected diseases?

The Huffington Post, August 28, 2012

The BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India, and China—are playing an increasingly important role in innovation. Their growing domestic markets demand goods that meet their specific needs, and their dynamic export industries are moving beyond simple imitation. This change is true in health technologies, such as vaccines, drugs and diagnostics, as well as in IT and other areas. As innovation capabilities in emerging economies grow, many are looking to these countries to correct the global health research and development imbalance that leaves the poor without needed products such as an improved tuberculosis vaccine or tests to help diagnose patients in remote rural settings. Read the article.

Gates in front of buildings housing a bio-pharma park in India.

A biotechnology campus in India. Photo: PATH/Satvir Malhotra.

Where do the world’s poor live?

Voice of America, August 28, 2012

Most of the world’s poor do not live in poor countries. New research says nearly 80 percent are actually in middle-income countries. Two billion poor people—those who live on $2 a day or less—live in middle-income countries. That compares to 500 million in low-income countries. Read the article.

Guinea worm is poised to become the second human disease to be eradicated

The Washington Post, August 27, 2012

Guinea worm disease is reaching the end of its days. The parasitic infection, which has sickened millions, mostly in Asia and Africa, is on the verge of being done in not by sophisticated medicine but by aggressive public health efforts in some of the poorest and most remote parts of the world. Read the article.

Africa innovations: 15 ideas helping to transform a continent

The Guardian, August 25, 2012

A mobile phone database for dairy farmers and a strain of sweet potato that can help fight child blindness. These are just two of the imaginative new ideas that are tackling Africa’s old problems. Read the article.

Hospitals bank ‘liquid gold’: human breast milk

National Public Radio, August 24, 2012

When Ashley Beecher had her first daughter, nursing was a struggle, and she sometimes had to supplement her baby’s diet with formula. But when she had her second daughter in January, it was a very different story. Read the article.

Posted in Health technologies, Maternal and child health | Permalink

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