Archive for the ‘Medicine’ Category

BBC Radio 4 Today in Basra

25 October, 2006

Journalist John Humphrys reported from Basra this week for the influential BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

Listen to the ‘Reconstruction and Corruption’ report as he speaks to the Director of one of the city’s hospitals and describes the conditions there.


Plenty Still To Do

28 September, 2006

Although I had a few minutes spare to write about the radio show yesterday, during the previous fortnight or so a fault with my laptop meant I was offline recently for the best part of a week. I was also busy getting getting desks for the office.

Thanks to BMS in Walkinstown for fixing my laptop and fitting a new keyboard.

I managed to assemble one of the desks kindly donated on The other one came without instructions and is still in pieces. The owner also threw in an old computer, which probably needs a new keyboard and mouse. 

My thanks to Feroz Basir from Lucan and Gerard Cregan from Blackrock. 

Trip to Vienna 

Aer Lingus recently had a three day low fares offer, so I’ll be spending a few days in Vienna next month to meet with Dr Hobiger and two fathers and their sons from Iraq who travelled to Austria for cancer treatment. 

I hope to generate some publicity from this with interviews and photos. Rageh Omaar’s second article on the NGO situation in Iraq was quite interesting, so it would be great if I could expand on the detail somehow.

A little done, plenty still to do 

In the meantime, one of my volunteers might have our first sponsor lined up if we can organise a photography trip to Basra. Whether this will actually be possible is still a matter for discussion, but as always I think it is important to aim high.  

The new website is waiting to go online – I desperately need a logo to go on it, which is a job for another volunteer whose email arrived nearly two weeks ago, and to whom I must apologise for the delay in responding. 

Medicines still need to be bought and one or two potential donors still need to be approached, not to mention my lofty intention to canvass the universities for one or two PR, media or journalism student volunteers. 

Due to the worsening security situation in Basra, the final paragraph of this post has been removed.

Telecom Or Telecon?

24 August, 2006

Airtalk and Telestunt, your service does not work from either my Meteor prepay or my O2 contract mobile.

When I expected to be connected to a couple of international numbers, I was told ‘calls to this number are not allowed,’ or words to that effect.

Perhaps the good people at Comreg and the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland might look into the matter.

This is particularly timely given the government are currently drawing up new consumer protection legislation and establishing a National Consumer Protection Agency.

If these small companies want anyone to use their service, they might begin by making sure the service which they claim to offer actually works.

Given the fact that they still have a monopoly on new line connections, and that they cannot exactly make the excuse that ‘we are only a small company,’ Eircom are no better.

Our new office line, which we had been told was activated, has a fault on it. Secondly, they made a mistake when they notified me of our new number, getting a digit wrong.

What if I had spent hundreds or even thousands of euros on advertising and getting new business cards printed featuring the incorrect number?

While I wait for the landline fault to be fixed, and the broadband to be activated, I will be putting my complaint to Eircom in writing and looking forward to using VOIP. 

Cutting Medicine Costs

12 August, 2006

According to my research, there is a generic version of Imatinib manufactured in India which costs a dollar a tablet, as opposed to $16 – 20 a tablet for the Novartis version in the US or Europe.

As there has been no response from Orion Laboratories (of The Orion Group), and although I will call them anyway, I now need to approach an alternative manufacturer based in India.

I only hope their generic version meets the relevant licensing and certification requirements.