September 2021

{Photo credit: MSH staff, Democratic Republic of the Congo}Photo credit: MSH staff, Democratic Republic of the Congo

This blog was originally published on the MTaPS website

Written by Comfort Ogar, Andualem Oumer, and Jane Briggs

Many accounts of the history of pharmacovigilance take their root in the thalidomide disaster of the 1960s that led to thousands of babies born with phocolemia, a condition that adversely affects limbs. The babies’ mothers had used thalidomide to treat nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy. Thanks to the vigilance of health care workers at the time, medical safety surveillance systems were birthed—60 years later, pharmacovigilance (detecting, assessing, understanding, and preventing adverse effects of medicines and other medicine-related problems) remains critical to ensuring the safety of medicines, including for mothers and newborns. 

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

At this week’s White House pandemic summit and beyond, all eyes are on the United States

This article was originally published by Think Global Health

by Neil M. Vora, Pasha Majdi, and Ashley Arabasadi

For too long, we have ignored how our actions—from deforestation to wildlife trade—drive infectious disease outbreaks. We also have not invested in controlling them. Global health security initiatives have been underfunded, even in the midst of epidemics, such as Zika virus in the Americas in 2016. COVID-19 is an opportunity to break free of this inertia, but the movement needs a leader—the United States must fund and coordinate pandemic prevention and preparedness.