Edna Bonhomme

2 August 2022

Of International Concern

In late July, the World Health Organisation declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern. Since May, there have been more than 22,000 confirmed cases in nearly eighty countries around the world, of which more than 13,000 have been in Europe. The countries with the highest numbers of confirmed cases are Spain, the US, Germany and the UK. Last week Spain reported two deaths linked to monkeypox. Although the virus can spread to anyone, 98 per cent of confirmed cases are men who have sex with men (MSM), strongly suggesting that sexual contact is the primary mode of transmission of these new infections.

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11 May 2022

On Reproductive Justice

The leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that threatens to overturn Roe v. Wade concerns the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organisation, a 2018 Mississippi state law that bans abortions after the first fifteen weeks of pregnancy. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, then the Jackson Women’s Health Organisation – the last remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi – will have to close its doors. Most of its patients are African American and working-class women.

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27 April 2022

Diseases of Relevance

A 2013 study found that ‘diseases of relevance to high-income countries were investigated in clinical trials seven to eight times more often than were diseases whose burden lies mainly in low-income and middle-income countries.’ The NEJM reported in 2009 that pharmaceutical companies were conducting more clinical trials in developing countries, yet ‘among the ongoing phase 3 clinical trials that we examined that were sponsored by US-based companies in developing countries, none were trials of diseases such as tuberculosis that disproportionately affect the populations of these countries.’ Of more than 1500 new drugs produced between 1975 and 2004, only 21 targeted malaria, tuberculosis and other neglected diseases that are most common in low-income countries.

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29 December 2021

Rogue Science

On a chilly late November afternoon, 150 people gathered at Lübeck airport in Schleswig-Holstein to be injected with a substance they had been told would protect them from Covid-19. The unauthorised vaccine was developed by Dr Winfried Stöcker, who didn’t carry out proper clinical trials but did test it on himself. He also owns the airport.

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15 September 2021

In Little Haiti

When I was seven or so, my aunt Fifi would take my cousins, siblings and me to demonstrations outside the Immigration and Naturalisation Services building on 79th Street in Miami. We were protesting against the policy – introduced by his Republican predecessors but continued under Bill Clinton – of intercepting Haitian refugees at sea and imprisoning them in Guantánamo Bay. We stood with the other Haitians, clutching aunt Fifi with one hand and waving our other fists in the air, shouting and chanting in a mixture of English and Kreyòl: ‘Let the Haitians in!’ 

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