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*UPDATED* Access to medicines: generic medicines threatened in India

*UPDATED with latest developments in the Novartis case and mobilisation at EU level.* The international humanitarian NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) urges the European Union institutions to support the Indian government in a legal fight against a pharmaceutical company over patented medicines. MSF calls for support for its petition to help protect access to affordable medicines, and urges the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis to drop its case against the Indian Government. The (...)

Health Factors Identified as Primary Causes of Homelessness

The European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless, FEANTSA, has issued a review of the 27 EU Member states’ National Social Inclusion policies. According to their report, although some of the National reports recognise that health factors have an important role in relation to homelessness, they have not yet adopted a strong health perspective into their homelessness strategies. Evaluation of National Social Inclusion Policies The EU social inclusion (...)

WHO to focus on Women’s Health

In line with Women’s International Day on the 8th March 2007, The World Health Organisation (WHO) has decided to focus on women’s health. WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan has vowed to improve the health of women everywhere. WHO has also recently published a report on Gender equality, work and health: A review of the evidence (2006), which summarises evidence regarding the relationship between gender inequality and health and safety problems related to work. Mental Health (...)

Health included in UNICEF report on Child Well-being

The UNICEF launched the 7th Innocenti Report Card on the well-being of children in rich countries. For the first time the Report Card considers children’s health as an important dimension for assessing child well-being. The report "Child Poverty in Perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries-" offers a comprehensive assessment of the lives and well-being of children and adolescents in the World’s economically advanced nations, based on the UN Convention on (...)

WHO/Europe suggest improvements for regulations on housing and health

The World Health Organisation European branch has carried out a review of housing and health regulations in selected European countries with cooperation and support from the French Ministry of Health, the Region Emilia Romagna and the city of Forlì (Italy). The WHO’s Housing and Health programme aims to highlight the relationship betwen housing conditions and the health status of European citizens, as well as propose effective strategies that ensure housing conditions positively (...)

Healthy Food for All Initiative - Ireland

Healthy Food for All is a new initiative to promote access, availability and affordabilty of healthy food for low-income groups. The aim of the initiative is to address diet-related ill-health and to end food poverty in the island of Ireland. It aims to address a healthier nutrition as well as challenge health inequalities. The Healthy Food for All Initiative has recently received an award at the World Health Organisation Istanbul conference on obesity as an example of best practices to (...)

Prevalence of TB and Inequalities in Health Care for Roma in Europe

This article gives details of two new reports regarding the health of Roma people in Europe. Firstly the prevalence of TB in Roma communities is addressed in the report Confronting a Hidden Disease: TB in Roma Communities, and secondly, the inequalities in health services is highlighted in a report by the European Roma Rights Centre TB in Roma Communities Confronting a Hidden Disease: TB in Roma Communities is a new report by Marta Schaaf of the World Lung Foundation, on behalf of the (...)

Launch of a new European Network of Homeless Health Workers (EHHW)

A new initiative is being developed to link up health professionals working with people who are homeless, with their counterparts across the EU. The European Federation of National Organisations working with people who are homeless (FEANTSA), together with doctors in the Netherlands and the UK, are working to launch this network in March. According to FEANTSA, there is an important role for such a network and enormous potential for mutual learning and cooperation in this area. FEANTSA (...)

FEANTSA statement on EU State aid rules and social housing

FEANTSA - the European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless - has released a position paper on EU State aid rules and social housing. In July 2005, the European Commission decided that States are not any longer obliged to ask permission of the European Commission to award public subsidies and other public support to allow social housing landlords to perform their public service obligations. In its position, FEANTSA assesses if and how the Commission’s (...)

World Diabetes Day 2006

On December 20 2006, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a Resolution designating World Diabetes Day as a United Nations Day to be observed every year starting in 2007. Disadvantaged Communities and Vulnerable Groups On 14 November 2006, World Diabetes Day focused on diabetes in disadvantaged communities and vulnerable groups. The event was established by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), an EPHA member, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1991 with the (...)