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Thursday, December 27, 2007

US National Institutes of Health Public Access Mandate Made Law

The U.S. National Institutes of Health, the world's largest medical research funder, has just made public access to NIH-funded research mandatory. Congratulations to the U.S. Congress, Senate, and President for a forward-thinking move that will lead to accelerated health research and better health care for everyone, everywhere!

From: Alliance for Taxpayer Access
www.taxpayeraccess.org

For immediate release
December 26, 2007

Contact:
Jennifer McLennan
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121

PUBLIC ACCESS MANDATE MADE LAW
President Bush signs omnibus appropriations bill,
including National Institutes of Health research access provision


Washington, D.C. – December 26, 2007 – President Bush has signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007 (H.R. 2764), which includes a provision directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide the public with open online access to findings from its funded research. This is the first time the U.S. government has mandated public access to research funded by a major agency.

The provision directs the NIH to change its existing Public Access Policy, implemented as a voluntary measure in 2005, so that participation is required for agency-funded investigators. Researchers will now be required to deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive, PubMed Central. Full texts of the articles will be publicly available and searchable online in PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication in a journal.

"Facilitated access to new knowledge is key to the rapid advancement of science," said Harold Varmus, president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Nobel Prize Winner. "The tremendous benefits of broad, unfettered access to information are already clear from the Human Genome Project, which has made its DNA sequences immediately and freely available to all via the Internet. Providing widespread access, even with a one-year delay, to the full text of research articles supported by funds from all institutes at the NIH will increase those benefits dramatically."

"Public access to publicly funded research contributes directly to the mission of higher education,” said David Shulenburger, Vice President for Academic Affairs at NASULGC (the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges). “Improved access will enable universities to maximize their own investment in research, and widen the potential for discovery as the results are more readily available for others to build upon.”

“Years of unrelenting commitment and dedication by patient groups and our allies in the research community have at last borne fruit,” said Sharon Terry, President and CEO of Genetic Alliance. “We’re proud of Congress for their unrelenting commitment to ensuring the success of public access to NIH-funded research. As patients, patient advocates, and families, we look forward to having expanded access to the research we need.”

“Congress has just unlocked the taxpayers’ $29 billion investment in NIH,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a founding member of the ATA). “This policy will directly improve the sharing of scientific findings, the pace of medical advances, and the rate of return on benefits to the taxpayer."

Joseph added, “On behalf of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, I’d like to thank everyone who worked so hard over the past several years to bring about implementation of this much-needed policy.”

For more information, and a timeline detailing the evolution of the NIH Public Access Policy beginning May 2004, visit the ATA Web site at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.


The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to the results of federally funded research. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to urge that peer-reviewed articles stemming from taxpayer-funded research become fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the American public. Details on the ATA may be found at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.

Jennifer McLennan
Director of Communications
SPARC
(the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)
http://www.arl.org/sparc
(202) 296-2296 ext 121
jennifer@arl.org

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

AIDSfreeAFRICA pictures

For pictures see http://AIDSfreeAFRICA.blogspot.com

From Cameroon's Capital Yaoundé
I am writing this on a french computer with french keyboard - thus forgive me the typos.... Thursday the US Embassy called with my appointment for Friday morning. I finish my e-mails and run home from the Mezam Policlinic's office to gather my things and to let everyone know that I take the night bus to Yaoude. I am hugged as if this was the last day on earth, fed dinner, and hollered off to church. The night bus is on the way to church, so here this makes sense.
I am in the fully loaded bus asleep despite blarring music and reach Yaounde at 5:30 AM. Kenneth picks me up.
I reach the Embassy and meet the newly installed energetic new Ambassador Jeannet Garvey. She thanks us for our work in Cameroon and says: Cameroonians will be so proud knowing that they can produce drugs!
She then offers me to come back with the management of Diamond Pharmaceutical to sit down with her staff to plan how best we can get all the help the Embassy business development programs offer.
The next day I meet with Professor Jato who takes me to the Ministerium of Health where I learn how to register pharmaceuticals in Cameroon. I was introduced to Prof. Jato through the man who sat next to me in the air plane flying in from Casablanca three weeks ago.
I am now in Douala, Cameroon's industrial capital city visiting more people I have not seen yet. Tomorrow Anicestus will drive me to Mutengene where I will see my friends from the Cameroonian Babtist Convention talking about production....
Yes, I am busy and determinded to come home having left something for real in Cameroon.
Posted by Dr. Rolande at 1:04 PM 0 comments



Friday, December 14, 2007
Sewingmachine project in Weh



The sewing machine project in Weh a village in the North West Province of Cameroon is now in it's third year and growing slowly. Of course the women are also asking for additional projects. We are looking for donors who would be delighted to sponsor a project or part of a project. We need USD 1200 for a project that has the power to generate income for 40 families at a time.

Susan Frei donated the sewing items that can be seen in one of the two pictures. This time I was lucky to get the items through to Cameroon. In general, it is easier to brig donations and to buy what's needed in Cameroon.
Posted by Dr. Rolande at 2:23 PM 0 comments



Gifts from AIDSfreeAFRICA volunteer Jennifer







Last year six volunteers acompanied me on my trip to Cameroon. This year they send their love and best wishes, their pictures and toys. All was received with big smiles and apreciation.
Posted by Dr. Rolande at 1:57 PM 0 comments

Labels: 12 year old Delphine and 4 year old Benwih, Mother Eunice


Sunday, December 9, 2007
The Waiting Game
The good thing about waiting for others is that it gives me time to write this blog. Especially since it is Sunday morning, everyone is in Church and the internet is fast. The sad news is that we lost two children from the DILICIG School to Malaria yesterday. One child was rushed to the hospital with burning fever. They gave it a blood transfusion - not sure how that helps with Malaria - but it was too late.
Malaria still kills more children in Cameroon than AIDS. In fact, children are not counted in any country wide statistics until they are 5 years old. After the age of five they have a good chance to survive Malaria, assuming they get drugs. When I arrive our 4 year old orphan in Eunice's house was burning with Malaria fever, but lucky for her "mama" Eunice had gotten malaria drugs for adults and was cutting the pills with a big knife into a child portion - I am sure this is pure guess work. But the child is fine. If I get the pictures posted you will see her with her pink stuffed teddy bear from Auntie Jennifer - one of our last years volunteers.
The young man in the back ground of the photo is our hired armed guard or night watch man. The family did not want to risc anything. There were too many robberies lately, both adult women in the house had their purses snatched from them when they were walking home from church - however, it happened at 8 PM at night long after dark fall and something anyone should be avoiding.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Waiting Game

The good thing about waiting for others is that it gives me time to write this blog. Especially since it is Sunday morning, everyone is in Church and the internet is fast.
The sad news is that we lost two children from the DILICIG School to Malaria yesterday. One child was rushed to the hospital with burning fever. They gave it a blood transfusion - not sure how that helps with Malaria - but it was too late.
Malaria still kills more children in Cameroon than AIDS. In fact, children are not counted in any country wide statistics until they are 5 years old. After the age of five they have a good chance to survive Malaria, assuming they get drugs. When I arrive our 4 year old orphan in Eunices house was burning with Malaria fever, but lucky for her "mama" Eunice had gotten malaria drugs for adults and was cutting the pills with a big knife into a child portion - I am sure this is pure guess work. But the child is fine.

If I get the pictures posted you will see her with her pink stuffed teddy bear from Auntie Jennifer - one of our last years volunteers. The young man in the back ground of the photo is our hired armed guard or night watch man. The family did not want to risc anything. There were too many robberies lately, both adult women in the house had their purses snatched from them when they were walking home from church - however, it happened at 8 PM at night long after dark fall and something anyone should be avoiding.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Progress towards Production

OK, here is the short run down: Cameroon was singled out with praise by the latest UN report for having implemented behavior changes regarding HIV/AIDS. The sad news is Cameroon has lost US$8 Million in new Global Fund money. The Fund complained that monies from previous years have not been spend and are sitting in government’s bank accounts in Yaounde. At the same time, HIV/AIDS testing and treatment facilities are telling me that they are still waiting for the government to send money they had been promised.

AIDSfreeAFRICA is getting close to setting up production for an analytical reagent used in diagnostic for HIV/AIDS. Our goal is to have production started and set up in a manner that it can continue when I am leaving for the US January 24th. Coincidentally a COPAAP volunteer will be flying the same day same flight. So we can keep each other company until Morocco. She will be going home to Holland while I will be staying for 3 days to see Casablanca.

Right now I am sitting in the COPAAP office on the computer and at the same time I am waiting for the remaining 3 chemicals to arrive. I could have ordered them from Germany but our philosophy is to do as much business as possible here in Cameroon. I have a lot of faith in the capabilities of Cameroonians, but sometimes even I am are amazed what can be done. Although I admit, most things here take longer.

The Clinton Foundation is setting up a big program to prevent Mother-to-child transmission. That is preventing the transmission of AIDS from the pregnant women to her child at birth. It is gratifying to see a powerful organization with such good goals to move right into the heart of Cameroon.

One can think that getting pregnant while HIV positive should be avoided because the illness weakens the body already and a pregnancy adds stress to it all. However, at the Toronto AIDS conference two years ago I learned that this correlation does not hold true. In fact many mothers find pregnancy to be stabilizing their falling CD4 count numbers. And if the mother is properly medicated and eats well there is no negative effect to be expected from being HIV positive and pregnant. Luckily, Cameroon is a very food rich area. And all the food is fresh. There are plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. Some women however, need financial support not only to pay for the drugs but also for food.

I love to hear from you. Please feel free to e-mail me at RRHodel@yahoo.com