A Canadian commitment to assist displaced Rohingya in Myanmar, Bangladesh and beyond is needed now more than ever

More than three years since a military coup in Myanmar led to a surge in conflict across the country, the United Nations estimates that almost two million people have been internally displaced by the ongoing violence, while thousands more have fled to neighbouring countries. In Rakhine State – an area in the west of Myanmar […]

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Pandemic Preparedness Cannot Forget Existing Tools or Existing Diseases

A version of this article appears in Policy Options magazine. The negotiation text of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) proposed Pandemic Treaty, released Oct 30th, contains language around not only equitable access to pandemic products like medicines and vaccines, but sustainable production of these products. Thankfully, Canadian proposals that would have undermined equitable access were […]

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MSF calls on governments to use recent TB wins to beat back deadly infectious disease

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2023 Global Tuberculosis (TB) Report released today shows that the estimated global incidence of TB in 2022 remains unacceptably high, including for the more difficult to treat form of this disease, drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). With an estimated 1.3 million people having died from TB in 2022, and still only about […]

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Equitable access to lifesaving medical products must be prioritized

Ahead of 7th meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR), Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urged all countries to guarantee that the principles of equity, solidarity, transparency, inclusivity and accountability are at the centre of all future PPR negotiations and […]

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Glimpses into the Fight Against Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (DR-TB)

In Mumbai, MSF runs an independent private clinic to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). India has one of the world’s highest burdens of TB, and Mumbai is a hotspot for the disease. Here, MSF’s clinic focuses on extensive drug-resistant cases, a form of the disease that has limited treatment options. The team uses newer drugs in […]

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Will Canada’s Stakeholder Consultations Actually Impact Canada’s Position on the Pandemic Treaty? 

On Aug. 24, 2023, the Canadian government finally released an outcomes document from the Pandemic Instrument Partner and Stakeholder Engagement Forum it held March 21 to 22, with more than 160 participants from multiple sectors. We both attended representing Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). During the intervening five months, multiple rounds of negotiations of […]

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Haiti: How Canada and others can help address some of the country’s many overlapping crises 

By Michael Lawson, Humanitarian Affairs Officer for MSF Canada “We have no water, we have no food. We have nothing.” That is how one man standing outside a mobile medical clinic run by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, described the situation he and his family had been living […]

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Flash Quote: Bangladesh Scabies Follow-up

A patient speaks to a health care worker.

Nearly 40 percent of people in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh have scabies according to the results of a prevalence survey conducted by the health sector in May. In some camps this figure is as high as 70 percent. This reflects what Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has seen in our clinics where we’ve conducted […]

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MSF’s submission to SRSR on Support for the Commercialization of Intellectual Property

Gloved hand drops liquid onto test plate

This spring, Canada’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Research (SRSR) is holding meetings on Support for the Commercialization of Intellectual Property. More information on these meetings, including submissions, can be found here:  https://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/SRSR/StudyActivity?studyActivityId=12062854   MSF is concerned that this discussion overemphasizes the monetization of intellectual property (IP) such as patents while overlooking the importance of societal […]

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Canada’s positions on the international pandemic treaty are concerning

Person with gloves draws liquid from vial with syringe

by Adam R. Houston. Originally published on Policy Options on May 12, 2023 Despite some recent commentary on the federal government’s approach to consulting stakeholders on the proposed pandemic treaty currently being negotiated under the World Health Organization (WHO), little attention has been paid to the positions Canada itself has actually adopted or their potential repercussions. The problem has been fueled […]

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