Posts tagged europe

MSF cargo teams prepare supplies to be sent to the Philippines. “Our priority is to address the urgent and immediate medical needs … After that, really it’s everything – shelter, water, food,” said MSF emergency medical coordinator Dr. Natasha Reyes today. Help MSF respond now: http://bit.ly/18m91VR

MSF cargo teams prepare supplies to be sent to the Philippines. “Our priority is to address the urgent and immediate medical needs … After that, really it’s everything – shelter, water, food,” said MSF emergency medical coordinator Dr. Natasha Reyes today. Help MSF respond now: http://bit.ly/18m91VR

Photo by Juan Carlos Tomasi
In a country where people are already struggling, refugees and migrants have become “invisible” to much of Greek society. Thousands have been arrested and imprisoned in detention centers where they live in appalling conditions with little or no access to medical care. Most of the migrants who come through northern Greece’s Evros region are from Afghanistan, like these children, while others come from Pakistan, Syria, Bangladesh and Somalia. A Doctors Without Borders emergency team has been working at three border police stations where migrants are received and at the Filakio detention center, where many are detained. Read more: http://bit.ly/19InPQT

Photo by Juan Carlos Tomasi

In a country where people are already struggling, refugees and migrants have become “invisible” to much of Greek society. Thousands have been arrested and imprisoned in detention centers where they live in appalling conditions with little or no access to medical care. Most of the migrants who come through northern Greece’s Evros region are from Afghanistan, like these children, while others come from Pakistan, Syria, Bangladesh and Somalia. A Doctors Without Borders emergency team has been working at three border police stations where migrants are received and at the Filakio detention center, where many are detained. Read more: http://bit.ly/19InPQT

Photo: Activists from across Europe stage flashmob in front of the European Parliament calling on Europe to drop harmful provisions. Belgium 2013 © Brock de Cock
HANDS OFF OUR MEDICINES
As European Commission (EC) pressure mounts on India to rush into signing a free trade agreement (FTA) by mid-April, activists from across Europe mobilised in Brussels today to demand the EC withdraw provisions that will harm peoples access to medicines in India and across the developing world. Civil society organisations have learnt through leaked texts that the EC, in closed-door negotiations, is aggressively pushing for stronger industry control at the expense of public health, threatening millions of lives.Join the cause. Take action now. 

Photo: Activists from across Europe stage flashmob in front of the European Parliament calling on Europe to drop harmful provisions. Belgium 2013 © Brock de Cock

HANDS OFF OUR MEDICINES

As European Commission (EC) pressure mounts on India to rush into signing a free trade agreement (FTA) by mid-April, activists from across Europe mobilised in Brussels today to demand the EC withdraw provisions that will harm peoples access to medicines in India and across the developing world. Civil society organisations have learnt through leaked texts that the EC, in closed-door negotiations, is aggressively pushing for stronger industry control at the expense of public health, threatening millions of lives.

Join the cause. Take action now. 

Photo: Mussa, a migrant from Mali who desperately wants to get to Europe, returns to his camp in the northwest of Morocco after his second failed attempt to cross into Spanish territory. Morocco 2012 © Anna Surinyach
Migrants In Morocco Stuck At A Dead End
They arrive breathless and defeated, drenched by sweat intermingled with the rain and covered with mud. They have run up Gourougou Mountain and some now limp. It was another unsuccessful attempt to get over the fence separating them from Melilla, an autonomous Spanish city on the northwestern coast of Morocco. Now it’s back to the small clutch of trees which serves as “home” for the time being.
In the nieghboring Moroccan city of Nador, in the pretty pine-covered hills and lowland forest of Gourougou, some several hundred African migrants are living in makeshift camps, awaiting the opportunity to enter Europe.
Stuck in the Alawite country, unable to move or return to their own countries, and unable to work in Morocco, they suffer constant harassment, even violence, from the Moroccan security forces trying to prevent them from jumping the fence into Spanish territory and making their way across the Straight of Gibraltar to Europe. Spain’s Guardia Civil is also involved in the harassment and expels migrants to the border with Algeria.
Morocco has become a dead end for these migrants, African men and women who look to Europe because it has to be better than what they have left behind. And better than what they are living through right now. But they do not give up.
“We’d been waiting all night in the rain, next to the fence, waiting for the chance,” said one migrant named Mussa, shivering in the November cold. “But it wasn’t until the morning that it came. It wasn’t possible, no one got over. There were more than a hundred of us. The soldiers got me on the head with a stone. About 20 got their feet caught in the barbed wire on the fence. We had to leave them there, they were getting hit.”

Photo: Mussa, a migrant from Mali who desperately wants to get to Europe, returns to his camp in the northwest of Morocco after his second failed attempt to cross into Spanish territory. Morocco 2012 © Anna Surinyach

Migrants In Morocco Stuck At A Dead End

They arrive breathless and defeated, drenched by sweat intermingled with the rain and covered with mud. They have run up Gourougou Mountain and some now limp. It was another unsuccessful attempt to get over the fence separating them from Melilla, an autonomous Spanish city on the northwestern coast of Morocco. Now it’s back to the small clutch of trees which serves as “home” for the time being.

In the nieghboring Moroccan city of Nador, in the pretty pine-covered hills and lowland forest of Gourougou, some several hundred African migrants are living in makeshift camps, awaiting the opportunity to enter Europe.

Stuck in the Alawite country, unable to move or return to their own countries, and unable to work in Morocco, they suffer constant harassment, even violence, from the Moroccan security forces trying to prevent them from jumping the fence into Spanish territory and making their way across the Straight of Gibraltar to Europe. Spain’s Guardia Civil is also involved in the harassment and expels migrants to the border with Algeria.

Morocco has become a dead end for these migrants, African men and women who look to Europe because it has to be better than what they have left behind. And better than what they are living through right now. But they do not give up.

“We’d been waiting all night in the rain, next to the fence, waiting for the chance,” said one migrant named Mussa, shivering in the November cold. “But it wasn’t until the morning that it came. It wasn’t possible, no one got over. There were more than a hundred of us. The soldiers got me on the head with a stone. About 20 got their feet caught in the barbed wire on the fence. We had to leave them there, they were getting hit.”

Interview: Fighting Neglected Diseases Among Italy’s Migrant Populations

Since early 2012, more than 1,000 migrants have arrived on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, Sicily by boat from Libya. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is monitoring the humanitarian and medical situation and providing screening and treatment for tuberculosis and Chagas disease, two neglected diseases to which migrants are particularly vulnerable. In this interview, Dr. Silvia Garelli, MSF head of mission in Italy, discusses MSF’s activities there and the health challenges migrants face.What is MSF currently doing to help migrants in Italy?
The conditions and health situation faced by migrants without papers in the centers for identification and expulsion continue to be extremely dire, and the situation has been aggravated by an extension of the detention period up to 18 months. Health services at these are subcontracted to private firms instead of being provided by the Ministry of Public Health, and a lack of effective coordination is causing problems that directly affect patients. For example, diseases such as tuberculosis that must be detected very early are poorly diagnosed and treated among migrants, despite the existence of national protocols. Outside of the centers, MSF has identified another medical need that primarily affects migrants (in this case, those from Latin America) and that is not covered by the national system at all: diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease. Chagas is caused by a parasite transmitted to humans by the bite of insects especially prevalent in Latin America.Read the rest of the interview here.Photo: Night view of Mineo, an asylum-seeker’s village where MSF provides mental health care for migrants.

Italy 2011 © Mattia Insolera

Interview: Fighting Neglected Diseases Among Italy’s Migrant Populations

Since early 2012, more than 1,000 migrants have arrived on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, Sicily by boat from Libya. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is monitoring the humanitarian and medical situation and providing screening and treatment for tuberculosis and Chagas disease, two neglected diseases to which migrants are particularly vulnerable. In this interview, Dr. Silvia Garelli, MSF head of mission in Italy, discusses MSF’s activities there and the health challenges migrants face.

What is MSF currently doing to help migrants in Italy?

The conditions and health situation faced by migrants without papers in the centers for identification and expulsion continue to be extremely dire, and the situation has been aggravated by an extension of the detention period up to 18 months. Health services at these are subcontracted to private firms instead of being provided by the Ministry of Public Health, and a lack of effective coordination is causing problems that directly affect patients. For example, diseases such as tuberculosis that must be detected very early are poorly diagnosed and treated among migrants, despite the existence of national protocols. Outside of the centers, MSF has identified another medical need that primarily affects migrants (in this case, those from Latin America) and that is not covered by the national system at all: diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease. Chagas is caused by a parasite transmitted to humans by the bite of insects especially prevalent in Latin America.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Photo: Night view of Mineo, an asylum-seeker’s village where MSF provides mental health care for migrants.
Italy 2011 © Mattia Insolera

Generic Drugs: Hands off Our Medicine

With the “Hands off Our Medicine” campaign, MSF is attempting to counteract policies that could restrict access to generic medicines in the developing world, medicines that are crucial to MSF’s work and the short- and long-term health of patients.

MSF’s “No Spin Zone” - Truth 4

SPIN: The EC says it is working to promote access to medicines in developing countries.

TRUTH:
Yes, the EC is involved in a number of important initiatives, not least providing support to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), and financing research and development globally. But the trade policies being pursued by the EC will entirely undermine the impact of these other initiatives.

Donor-funded treatment initiatives such as the Global Fund are dependent upon access to affordable generic medicines. Given the funding shortfall resulting from the latest GFATM replenishment round, there is a genuine fear that donor-funded programs may not be able to maintain their current levels of treatment, let alone expand access to the nearly 10 million people still on the waiting list who will die without access in the next two to three years.

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Learn more.
Support the campaign.

MSF’s “No Spin Zone” - Truth 3

SPIN: The EC says it is trying to stop fake medicines that pose a public health risk for consumers

TRUTH: The specter of harmful fake medicines is one of the concerns used to justify regulations. Yet the real effect of such regulations and agreements is not to address fraudulent, unsafe, and ineffective medicines but rather to protect the commercial interest of multinational companies.

Provisions such as those the EC is pursuing would inhibit generic competition and increase drug prices. This in turn would actually encourage the introduction of fake medicines. The WHO has recognized that high drug prices are a cause of counterfeit medicines. Patients demand low-cost alternatives, and counterfeiters respond.

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People whose lives depend on Indian generics have taken to the streets in Delhi, Bangkok, Jakarta, and Kathmandu, amplifying the message that EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht needs to back off.

Dr. Tido von Schoen-Angerer, director of MSF’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines

Help us send a message to the European Commission to keep their HANDS OFF OUR MEDICINE!

MSF’s “No Spin Zone” - Truth 2

SPIN: The EC says that it will guarantee that legitimate generic medicines are not unfairly delayed when in transit.

TRUTH: The EC is pushing for measures that do precisely the opposite. It is seeking to include civil trademark disputes, which could mean effective and safe medicines are stopped from being produced or are destroyed in order to protect company profits.

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For people with HIV/AIDS who need medicines to stay alive, a ten-year wait to get a newer drug is not viable. They’ll die waiting. Half of all children born with HIV/AIDS won’t make it to their second birthday without treatment. We can’t let the EU shut down our supply of affordable newer medicines.

Ariane Bauernfeind, operational coordinator for MSF projects in South Africa, Malawi, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe.

Help us send a message to the European Commission to keep their HANDS OFF OUR MEDICINE!

MSF’s “No Spin Zone” - Truth 1

SPIN: The EC says that its policies will not weaken India’s ability to produce and export affordable medicines.

TRUTH: There are three main aspects of the agreement that will have a chilling effect on the ability of Indian generics companies to produce and sell affordable, life-saving medicines across the developing world. These are:

(1) Delaying the registration of generic medicines through so-called ‘data exclusivity’ (DE)
(2) Stopping the flow of generic medicines through border measures
(3) Killing generic competition through a stricter enforcement of intellectual property

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"Europe! HANDS OFF Our Medicine" - MSF Weekly Podcast

Generic versions of antiretrovirals, or ARVs, that cost a fraction of the price of brand medicines make it possible for MSF to treat 160,000 people living with HIV around the world. Eighty percent of the ARVs we use come from India, and millions of others in developing countries depend on India-made generics as well.

But the European Commission has begun directing its trade policies in a way that could stamp out the production of lifesaving generics in India. MSF has launched a global public campaign to tell Europe to back off, and to honor its commitments to global health.

Subscribe to MSF Frontline Reports podcast on iTunes!

India has a patents law that is strict about what does and what doesn’t deserve a patent, but Europe is using dirty legal tricks to get around this law and block cheaper generic medicines.

Dr. Tido von Schoen-Angerer, director of MSF’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines

Help us send a message to the European Commission to keep their HANDS OFF OUR MEDICINE!