Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chinese Public Health Posters

Images are an important tool in the promotion of public health around the world. The National Library of Medicine (part of NIH) has recently created an online exhibition of around 7,000 images titled "Public Health and Chinese Society from 1930s to SARS."

"The collection has a wide range of media presentations: posters, health newsletters, health newspapers, paintings, pharmaceutical advertisements, calendars, children's chess games, jigsaw puzzles on health topics, playing cards on SARS, lantern slides, negatives, photographs, and health award certificates, as well as books and journals. These materials present rich visual representations of public health concerns which were closely tied to the political, social, economic, and even military engagements of China during different time periods."
Here are a few of the images:

"Go to have smallpox vaccination, ca. 1956."

" How baby hookworms get into human bodies (1), 1957."

"Properly cover yourself with bedding during sleep, ca. 1935."

Check out the rest of it at: Chinese Public Health Posters

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa

This week WDI's guest lecturer, Dr. Sebastian Fries, will talk about the pharmaceutical company Pfizer's new strategy to increase global access to medications. Access to essential medications has been an ongoing and controversial issue in areas worst hit by diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and TB.

Ministers of Health from across Africa came together to address this issue at an African Union Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa last year. They drafted a paper that outlined the advantages of developing local pharmaceutical industries, and presented a plan of action to make that happen. You can read the paper here:

Whether the best way of insuring access to essential medications is by developing local pharmaceutical industries, holding Western pharmaceutical companies more socially accountable, or some other model is part of the ongoing controversy of this issue.