By K. S. Harikrishnan, IPS | Staff, Rediff Business. American pharmaceutical companies, taking advantage of a Congressional provision called The Pediatric Exclusivity Provision, have been carrying out clinical trials in poor and developing countries where the drugs might never be available. In India there were over 2,000 deaths in the last four years from serious-adverse events (SAE) during clinical trials, many of which were illegally done without consent. These deaths and a recent discovery of drug testing on Bhopal gas victims have ignited the wrath of rights activists and prompted prominent legal institutions to begin to tighten the country’s drug regulation laws.
By Staff, AHP | Translation by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. The Medical School of the Dr. Aristide Foundation University (UNIFA), in the neighborhood Tabarre in Port-au-Prince, opened its enrollment on Wednesday August 1 for the new class in the coming academic year. The University’s Director of Studies Dr. Peter Gaetchen announced that registration for the first year will run until August 14, and the entrance examination will be held on August 20. (English | French)
By Amelia Duarte de la Rosa, Granma | YouTube. Twenty-two new graduates from Havana’s Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), originating from Peru, El Salvador, Bolivia and Ecuador, have arrived in Haiti on an internationalist mission. A total of 387 ELAM graduates have undertaken medical missions in Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake. They will work alongside the Cuban Medical Brigade to provide medical attention and preventive and rehabilitation services for Haitians, while specializing in comprehensive general medicine.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery (English) | Renaud Piarroux and Claire Hedon, Priorite Sante (French). Contrary to the daily predictions of mayhem from the mainstream press about Haiti’s cholera epidemic, Dr. Renaud Piarroux, who has access to up-to-date medical information and laboratory results about the epidemic, says it is waning and now exists only as a series of clusters in the North of the country. Based on his extensive experience in controlling epidemics of tropical diseases, he adds that cholera could be completely eradicated from Haiti in a few months, but not by the oral vaccination campaign promoted by Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population. (English | French)
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. A medical trial in Haiti — presumably of the oral cholera vaccine Shanchol — on poor women and children is being presented as a vaccination campaign. To avoid possible abuse it is essential that the Declaration of Helsinki guidelines be followed. The medical trial should be monitored by a panel of impartial observers; potential medical subjects should be advised of their rights, including the fact that they are entitled to informed consent, health monitoring, and participation that is voluntary, without coercion and with the option to withdraw at any time. UPDATES: April 12, Additional information about involvement of Harvard scientists in promoting oral vaccines for Haiti. April 17, Information on Shanta’s manufacture of the pentavalent vaccine Shan5 recommended for recall and destruction by the World Health Organization.
By the World Medical Association. Guidelines for all research on humans include a requirement to inform potential human subjects of their right to abstain or withdraw consent at any time. Potential subjects must be informed of the purpose, methods, funding sources, conflicts of interest and benefits of the research, as well as the risks of possible side effects. The guidelines also require researchers and their publishers to supply complete and accurate information on their findings, including negative results. (English | French)
By Staff, AHP | Translated from the French by Dady Chery for Haiti Chery | Staff, AFP via News 24 I Staff, AFP via La Presse | When the foreign press considers a bad road accident in Haiti, which caused no harm to their nationals, to be newsworthy, something is afoot that involves foreign interests. In this case, two fatal Haitian road accidents resulted in an immediate decree to ban transit vehicles from transporting passengers together with their goods and livestock: a move that will gravely damage the little that is left of the country’s peasant economy. (English | French)
By Julio Godoy, IPS | You Tube | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Five prematurely born children died in the northern German city of Bremen from infections acquired in a hospital. The infections involved highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria detected in poultry sold in markets, and the hospitals are believed to have acquired these bacteria from patients who had been in contact with the contaminated poultry. (English | Spanish)
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. The epidemiological information about Haiti’s cholera outbreak is brought together with up-to-date molecular biology evidence, in an article by Dr. Renaud Piarroux and his colleagues, to make an ironclad scientific case about a United Nations (UN) MINUSTAH Nepalese base being the source of Haiti’s cholera contamination. The epidemic is attributed directly to the inadequate medical surveillance of 1,280 UN personnel who were taken to Nepal to train during an epidemic and the unsanitary practices at the base to which they came, upriver from the towns of St. Marc and Mirebalais, Haiti.
By Aline Sainsoivil, Le Matin | Translation and editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) presented a plan to strengthen its “Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI)” at a meeting on Monday, March 12, with UN organizations UNICEF, PAHO, and WHO. Might this strengthened EPI involve a plan to administer oral cholera vaccines? (English | French)
By Jan Salick, Missouri Botanical Garden | Staff, e! Science News. The Yanesha of the upper Peruvian Amazon and Tibetans of the Himalayas are different peoples who live in dissimilar environments, but mountains are considered to be sacred by both cultures, and they excel in promoting plant biodiversity for their shelters, clothing, medicines, and foods. In the case of cassava (Manihot esculenta) alone, for example, the Yanesha grow over 200 varieties.
By Rashid Haider, Haiti Chery. Prof. Richard A. Finkelstein, an eminent microbiologist and Nobel-Prize nominee for his pioneering studies on cholera, advises that for cholera “the best solution resides in providing safe drinking water and sewage disposal.” In Dec 2010, alarmed by the oral vaccination plans for Haiti, he wrote to the health officials, including Jon Andrus, the Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that the proposed use of Dukoral was “a useless and expensive waste of resources.” This vaccine was not adopted, but a campaign immediately started for the use of Shanchol, another questionable oral cholera vaccine. (English | French)
By Staff, AlterPresse | Editorial comment and translation by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Brazilian President Dilma Roussef visited Haiti for a few hours on Feb 1st. However valuable her gifts might be, she failed to deliver one she could easily have given and the one Haitians wanted most: the withdrawal of the Brazilian MINUSTAH occupation troops. (English | French)
By Staff, Granma | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Cuban-led medical teams recently reported an entire year without death among cholera patients treated by Cuban physicians and Latin American Medical School (ELAM) graduates in Haiti. Since the start of the epidemic, a combined approach of epidemiological surveillance for cholera and community education has resulted in a 3.6 times lower death rate for the Cuban-led medics than all other medical groups working in Haiti.