5 episodes

Access is a multi-part podcast series that looks at the impact of Intellectual Property (IP), specifically patents on accessing health care in the context of COVID-19. Each week, we will be joined by local and global experts to discuss and make sense of global developments that affect us locally in South Africa.

Presented by Fatima Hassan.

Produced by the Health Justice Initiative and Volume.

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Access is a multi-part podcast series that looks at the impact of Intellectual Property (IP), specifically patents on accessing health care in the context of COVID-19. Each week, we will be joined by local and global experts to discuss and make sense of global developments that affect us locally in South Africa.

Presented by Fatima Hassan.

Produced by the Health Justice Initiative and Volume.

    Episode 5 - Equitable Covid-19 vaccine procurement and distribution

    Episode 5 - Equitable Covid-19 vaccine procurement and distribution

    In episode 5 we discuss the important implications of a court case lodged by Afriforum and Solidarity against the Minister of Health and 16 Others in January 2021. They brought an urgent court challenge to the authority of the national government to be the “sole procurer of Covid-19 vaccines” in South Africa. The Health Justice Initiative applied to intervene as a friend of the court (amicus curiae) submitting arguments based on health equity.
    Our guests are Professor Leslie London, a professor at the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town and a public health expert and Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng who serves as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Health.

    • 26 min
    Episode 4 - Access to vaccines for COVID-19

    Episode 4 - Access to vaccines for COVID-19

    Episode 4 is the final episode of ACCESS

    In episode 4 we discuss the ‘race’ to find a vaccine for COVID-19 – a vaccine that is available to everyone who needs it. Our expert guests consider global and local developments, vaccine trials, and the politics fueling what is being referred to as the COVID 19 ‘vaccine wars’ or ‘vaccine nationalism’ - which may hinder access over time.

    Our expert guests are:

    · Dr Linda-Gail Bekker is a hji Reference Group Advisory Member, researcher, clinician and public health advocate, COO of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation and Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre.

    · Priti Krishtel is a co-founder and co-director of I-MAK, and a lawyer and medicine access activist, and campaigner for justice. She is also a community organiser, and advocate for patients.

    · Safura Abdool-Karim is a public health lawyer, senior researcher at Priceless-SA and an Aspen New Voices 2020 Fellow.

    · Lukhona Mnguni is a political analyst and commentator and PhD intern researcher at the Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit at the University of KwaZula Natal.

    Presented by Fatima Hassan.

    Produced by the Health Justice Initiative and Volume.

    • 39 min
    Episode 3 – Access to treatment and Covid-19

    Episode 3 – Access to treatment and Covid-19

    In Episode 3 we discuss the clinical, patent and political obstacles to expand treatment access in a time of COVID-19, looking also at our past struggles for access to life saving medicines. We look at the most recent clinical landscape, examine patent barriers and their impact on access, and the local and regional political context when trying to manage and treat a pandemic.
    Our expert guests include Dr Sithembile Mbete, a political commentator and analyst, and professor at the University of Pretoria, Prof Francois Venter, head of Ezintsha, Wits RHI; Health Justice Initiative (hji) Reference Group Advisory Member; clinician and member of the SA Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on COVID-19, Celicia Serenata, head of Treatment Access & Optimisation at Ezintsha, Wits RHI and Umunyana Rugege, human rights lawyer and head of Section27.

    Presented by Fatima Hassan.

    Produced by the Health Justice Initiative and Volume.

    • 37 min
    Episode 2 – Access to testing for Covid-19

    Episode 2 – Access to testing for Covid-19

    In episode 2 we discuss COVID-19 testing access and the pricing, patent and criteria barriers that prevent South Africa from ramping up community wide testing as originally envisaged. We hear from Dr Shuaib Manjra, who served on the hji's Reference Advisory Group and is a physician on the front line in Cape Town, and hear about his experiences and reflections on the state's (and the private sector) readiness to successfully undertake a mass testing strategy, as well as from Catherine Tomlinson, a freelance health journalist covering the availability, coverage and price in South Africa of testing kits at present, for Spotlight, and from MSF South Africa's Treatment Access Advocacy Officer, on the challenges that patent regimes present in currently making testing more widely available globally, and for all people living in South Africa who at risk of COVID-19 and why the call on government to Fix the Patents Law is urgent and critical during this pandemic.

    Presented by Fatima Hassan.

    Produced by the Health Justice Initiative and Volume.

    • 27 min
    Episode 1 - Intellectual Property

    Episode 1 - Intellectual Property

    In episode 1 we discuss medicine access and the Intellectual Property barriers that prevent developing countries from accessing life saving medicines with reference to previous successes and challenges in the AIDS access to medicines movement. We also look at how the global patent regime can enable or block access to life saving testing, vaccines and treatment for Covid-19. In episode 1, we are joined by three long standing activists for affordable medicine access: Els Torreele, Tahir Amin and Gregg Gonsalves.

    Presented by Fatima Hassan.

    Produced by the Health Justice Initiative and Volume.

    • 38 min

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