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Out of sight, out of mind

Cate Swannell
Med J Aust
Published online: 16 December 2013

MÉDECINS Sans Frontières (MSF) has released a series of films entitled See what we see, highlighting the continuing need for funding and resources directed at HIV/AIDS.1 http://see.msf.org/

“AIDS deaths are now rare in rich countries, but every day 4 000 people, the majority in developing countries, still die unnecessarily from the disease”, Dr Gilles van Cutsem, Medical Director for MSF in South Africa and Lesotho, said.

An MSF spokesperson expressed concern that if donors fail to meet the minimum US$15 billion replenishment target for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, some HIV/AIDS endemic countries may be left behind, “crippling” the momentum built over the past 12 years.

“In several other countries where MSF works — such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Central African Republic, Nigeria, South Sudan and Myanmar — timely treatment remains out of reach for the majority of people who urgently need it”, the spokesperson said.

“This is despite the fact that these countries are considered to have low HIV prevalence levels.

“The See what we see films reveal what MSF medical staff witness and also highlight proven strategies for community-based care that puts more people on treatment earlier and helps them adhere to treatment in the long term.”

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PULSE+IT magazine reports that a new smartphone application has been developed to help general practitioners assist patients in pain at or near the end of their lives.2

“GP Pain Help” app includes a treatment decision tree; a section on types of pain and various analgesics; information on breakthrough pain; a dose conversion tool; patient FAQs [frequently asked questions]; pain management and palliative care resources; and a troubleshooting section.

The app is a joint effort between the Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education, which developed the content, and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, which developed the app and website (www.gppainhelp.com).

1 Médecins Sans Frontières. See what we see [film series]. 2013. http://see.msf.org/

2 MacDonald K. App to help GPs help patients in pain. Pulse+IT 2013; 25 Nov. http://www.pulseitmagazine.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1672:app-to-help-gps-help-patients-in-pain&catid=16:australian-ehealth&Itemid=327

  • Cate Swannell


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