In mid-July, amidst the busy global-health month of July, in between the Family Planning summit and the AIDS conference, the near-final draft of the independent evaluation of the Affordable Medicines Facility - Malaria (AMFm) was released. This evaluation report represents quite an expansion: an earlier AMFm evaluation report published in March 2012 was 194 pages while we, and the Global Fund, now have 675 pages to consume and process (that March report was a teaser, wasn't it?). The authors deserve credit for organizing a 7-country evaluation over a short period of time: kudos to the folks at ICF International and LSHTM, as well as the 'data contributors' from 5 different organizations working in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Global Fund had not begun, a little more than a decade ago, when Bernard Rivers, who had worked as a freelance journalist and a software entrepreneur, found himself with enough time and money to spend a couple of years learning a new field. As a teenager he had lived in Africa, and wanted to learn about something he could do there. "The biggest issue was AIDS and the fact that ARVs did exist, and that not everyone could have them," he says now. "Just to call it a health problem understates it significantly."
The AMFm led to large increases in availability of low priced ACT in Tanzania, with no significant variation in availability based on remoteness. Availability did remain lower and prices remained higher in Rukwa, which is a more remote region overall. Low availability of child and adolescent ACT doses could be due in part to lower quantities of non-adult packs imported into Tanzania. Future research will explore whether increased availability and affordability persists and whether it translates into higher ACT use in Tanzania. Read More
After service in the British SAS Regiment the author became a physician and then an orthopaedic surgeon.
He has held professorial positions in Canada, Vietnam and the United States, practiced and taught orthopaedic surgery in three continents and in several wars.
He has extensive experience as an expert witness in court. Somewhere along the way, time was found to operate a four hundred acre mixed farm, a one hundred seat restaurant and to obtain a licence as a flying instructor.
The author's books are available from bookstores, the publishers, or from on-line bookstores such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indigo/Chapters.