Theo Smart

I am an activist and medical writer who joined ACT UP New York in 1988 and have more than twenty years of experience writing about HIV treatment for organisations including ACT UP's Treatment & Data Committee, TAG, the PWA Health Group, GMHC, the Physician's Research Network in New York and AmFAR. After the World AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, I moved to Cape Town, Africa, where I became involved in a number of projects including serving as editor of the HIV and AIDS Treatment in Practice (HATIP) and www.aidsmap.com, and working to support National Networks of People Living With HIV participating in the HIV Leadership through Accountability Programme (www.hivleadership.org). At present, I work as a freelance writer/editor primarily interested in the scale up and delivery of patient-centred HIV/TB, improved MCH and other primary health care and treatment services in resource limited settings. I believe access to quality healthcare is a human right and believe that health systems and healthcare workers should be empowered to deliver it.

MSF doctor feels safe working in field fighting Ebola

Dr. Tim Jagatic of Médecins Sans Frontières spent March and April in Guinea when the Ebola outbreak was first recognized — and returned to West Africa to fight the disease in July. “When I went to West Africa the second time, people might have thought: 1) I’m masochistic and don’t have any sense of self-preservation, […]

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Ebola’s impact on West African countries health infrastructure

Ebola experts at the ASTMH conference in New Orleans concerned about the effect of Ebola on the health systems in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone — as the Ebola response has drawn physicians and nurses away from the normal care system. “A lot of the health infrastructure has collapsed in these countries. For instance, maternal

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Operational aspects of the response: MSF in West Africa

“The number of things that need to go right for an outbreak to be controlled is significant — a lot of working pieces are interdependent,” said Dr Armand Sprecher of Médecins Sans Frontières at the 63rd Annual American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Conference this November in New Orleans. The health promoters and the

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The critical role of the emerging middle-income countries in eliminating TB

Tuberculosis (TB) is largely under control in the industrialised countries of the ‘Global North’, which means that most of the effort to eliminate TB will fall on the shoulders of those emerging middle-income countries where TB is still an epidemic. HOW CAN BRICS PROMOTE RESEARCH TO END TB? In January this year (2013), the health

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Professor Gilla Kaplan: TB research needs to address key assumptions about TB that could be mistaken

Changing the perspective of research to end TB: a global venture “Suboptimal tools to detect, treat or prevent TB necessitate development of new tools,” said Professor Gilla Kaplan, speaking at the Stop TB Symposium, that was held on October 30, 2013, a day before the 44th Union World Conference on Lung Health. Prof Kaplan is

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Dr Christian Leinhardt: Research in the post-2015 Global TB Strategy: Finding lessons in the past and models in the present

While the previous presenters at the Stop TB Symposium, held on October 30, 2013, just before the 44th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Paris,  focused on the new Global Strategy — and the new target of TB elimination by 2035 (see recent posts) — Dr Christian Leinhardt of WHO’s Global TB Programme set

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Jigna Rao speaks on patient-centered approaches to TB care [and the effects of TB stigma]

The following is a transcript of a presentation made by Jigna Rao, who is a person who had TB and who still deals with its consequences, at the Cascades: Improving TB Care Symposium, organised by the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, Médecins Sans Frontières, Partners In Health, the

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European Approval of Delanamid, a new drug to fight TB: MSF & TAG’s responses

MSF Responds to EMA approval of new tuberculosis drug delamanid Background: On November 22, 2013, the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation for delamanid, only the second new TB drug to be developed in 50 years.  It is hoped that the new drug,

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Couldn’t get funding to go to ICASA, Cape Town, December 7-11

We tried to raise funding to attend ICASA, but could not find support to attend the meeting. Therefore, we won’t be reporting any news from this meeting. What follows if my original fundraising request. Background: I realise it is very very late in the game, but I would like to find support to cover the

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New Anti-TB Strategy Target: Elimination of the Disease

A major shift in the global anti-tuberculosis (TB) strategy was announced at the Stop TB Symposium just prior to the 44th Union World Conference on Lung Health this month in Paris. Instead of setting modest targets for incremental improvements in TB control, which has been the norm for the past few decades, the TB community

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