The UK has been leading the world in beginning to understand and tackle the threat of antimicrobial resistance. Ternyata was asked by the UK-commissioned Antimicrobial Review (chaired by economist Jim O’Neill) to review the links between medicine quality and antimicrobal resistance. The paper asks how poor quality medicines — that’s drugs that are badly made, badly stored or just plain fake — contribute to the development and spread of pathogens which don’t respond to common treatments. It proved fascinating work, the result of which is here (2.6MB .docx).

We’ve been helping the World Health Organisation think about the value to individual countries of its annual efforts to make comparable estimates for health conditions for every nation in the world, and recently published a paper about why some health estimates are better than others.

We supported the Chinese Centre for Disease Control as it reviewed the history of the HIV epidemic in that country, and contributed significantly to a book on the subject which was very nicely reviewed in Science.

In the field of health policy, we continue to work on data sharing issues, and on increasing the productive interaction between scientists, social institutions and communities in developing countries as well as in the United Kingdom. This BMJ paper describes some of our recent thinking. A detailed case study of a data sharing in malaria provided fascinating insights into the challenges of building equitable collaborations. With colleagues at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, we’re undertaking new work looking at the political backdrop to the spread of different models of health insurance, focusing for now on Indonesia, a natural laboratory for policy development. Here are our initial findings on how to move from rhetoric to action in Universal Health Coverage.

And just for fun, we worked with a multi-ethnic, East London based orchestra on Song of Contagion, a project through which we’re trying to turn distortions in global health decision-making into music!