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Global Health Governance: We Need Innovation not Renovation

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-03-09
Abstract: 

Although the global health community widely accepts that WHO, as currently configured, is no longer fit-for-purpose, commentators cling to renovation (‘reform’), rather than innovation, at the expense of a global health governance system that reflects the needs of a very changed world.Collective action in a globalised world requires institutions that look very different from what we currently have. Rather than the renovation of outdated institutional forms—which are closed, territorially fixed and hierarchical—we need to harness innovations such as social networks, open-source systems and the sharing economy.One of the biggest forms of institutional innovation more broadly is ‘network governance’, by which collective action is achieved through interconnected institutions spanning government, business and civil society.

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Article
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Controlling Corporate Influence in Health Policy Making: An Assessment of the Implementation of Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-03-08
Abstract: 

The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) stands to significantly reduce tobacco-related mortality by accelerating the introduction of evidence-based tobacco control measures. However, the extent to which States Parties have implemented the Convention varies considerably. Article 5.3 of the FCTC, is intended to insulate policy-making from the tobacco industry's political influence, and aims to address barriers to strong implementation of the Convention associated with tobacco industry political activity. This paper quantitatively assesses implementation of Article 5.3's Guidelines for Implementation, evaluates the strength of Parties' efforts to implement specific recommendations, and explores how different approaches to implementation expose the policy process to continuing industry influence.

Highly selective and incomplete implementation of specific guideline recommendations facilitates extensive ongoing opportunities for industry policy influence. Stronger commitment to implementation is required to ensure consistently strong compliance with the FCTC internationally.

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Article
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The Globalisation Strategies of Five Asian Tobacco Companies: A Comparative Analysis and Implications for Global Health Governance

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-01-31
Abstract: 

The global tobacco industry, from the 1960s to mid 1990s, saw consolidation and eventual domination by a small number of transnational tobacco companies (TTC). This paper draws together comparative analysis of five case studies in the special issue on 'The Emergence of Asian Tobacco Companies: Implications for Global Health Governance.' The cases suggest that tobacco industry globalisation is undergoing a new phase, beginning in the late 1990s, with the adoption of global business strategies by five Asian companies. The strategies were prompted foremost by external factors, notably market liberalisation, competition from TTCs and declining domestic markets. State protection and promotion enabled the industries in Japan, South Korea and China to rationalise their operations ahead of foreign market expansion. The TTM and TTL will likely remain domestic or perhaps regional companies, JTI and KT&G have achieved TTC status, and the CNTC is poised to dwarf all existing companies. This global expansion of Asian tobacco companies will increase competition which, in turn, will intensify marketing, exert downward price pressures along the global value chain, and encourage product innovation. Global tobacco control requires fuller understanding of these emerging changes and the regulatory challenges posed by ongoing globalisation.

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Article
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‘Preparing Ourselves to Become an International Organization’: Thailand Tobacco Monopoly’s Regional and Global Strategies

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-01-31
Abstract: 

The Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM) controlled the country's tobacco industry from its formation in the 1940s, until the government dropped restrictions on imported cigarettes in the late 1980s in response to pressure from the United States. The TTM has since competed with transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) in a semi-monopoly market in which TTCs have steadily increased their market share. Coupled with a decline in national smoking prevalence, the result of Thailand's stringent tobacco control agenda, the TTM now accounts for a diminishing share of a contracting market. In response, the monopoly has looked to regional trade liberalisation, and proximity to markets with some of the world's highest smoking rates to expand its operations. Expansion strategies have gone largely unrealised however, and the TTM effectively remains a domestic operation. Using TTM publications, market and trade reports, industry publications, tobacco industry documents and other resources, this paper analyses TTM expansion strategies, and the limited extent to which they have been achieved. This inability to expand its operations has left the monopoly potentially vulnerable to global strategies of its transnational competitors. This article is part of the special issue 'The Emergence of Asian Tobacco Companies: Implications for Global Health Governance'.

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Article
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The Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation: To ‘Join the Ranks of Global Companies’

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-01-31
Abstract: 

Until the late 1990s, the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation (TTL) focused almost exclusively on serving the domestic market as a highly protected monopoly. This paper describes how the company has adopted a more outward looking strategy since 2000, with ambitions to become a regional, and eventually global, business by 2021. Drawing on company documents and industry sources, the paper argues that this shift in strategy was a direct reaction to the decline in domestic market share following liberalisation of the Taiwanese tobacco market and adoption of tougher domestic tobacco control measures. Market opening occurred as a result of pressure from the U.S. Trade Representative in the 1980s, as well as World Trade Organization membership in 2002. It is argued that TTL's efforts to globalise operations have been limited by bureaucratic company management and structures, and ongoing political tension between Taiwan and China. However, the relative success of TTL's alcohol branch, and potential détente as the Taiwanese government reaches out to improve relations with China, may provide TTL with new opportunities to achieve its goal of becoming a regional player with global ambitions. This article is part of the special issue 'The Emergence of Asian Tobacco Companies: Implications for Global Health Governance.'

Document type: 
Article
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The China National Tobacco Corporation: From Domestic to Global Dragon?

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-08
Abstract: 

The China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC), which produces one-third of the world’s cigarettes, is the largest tobacco company in the world.  Over the past sixty years, the CNTC has been focused on supplying a huge domestic market.  As the market has become increasingly saturated, and potential foreign competition looms, the company has turned to expansion abroad.  This paper examines the ambitions and prospects of the CNTC to “go global”.   Using Chinese and English language sources, this paper describes the globalization ambitions of the CNTC, and its global business strategy focused on internal restructuring, brand development and expansion of overseas operations in selected markets.  The paper concludes that the company has undergone substantial change over the past two decades and is consequently poised to become a new global player in the tobacco industry.

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Article
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KT&G: From Korean Monopoly to ‘a Global Name in the Tobacco Industry’

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-01
Abstract: 

Until the late 1980s, the former South Korean tobacco monopoly KT&G was focused on the protected domestic market. The opening of the market to foreign competition, under pressure from the U.S. Trade Representative, led to a steady erosion of market share over the next 10 years. Drawing on company documents and industry sources, this paper examines the adaptation of KT&G to the globalization of the South Korean tobacco industry since the 1990s. It is argued that KT&G has shifted from a domestic monopoly to an outward-looking, globally oriented business in response to the influx of transnational tobacco companies. Like other high-income countries, South Korea has also seen a decline in smoking prevalence as stronger tobacco control measures have been adopted. Faced with a shrinking domestic market, KT&G initially focused on exporting Korean-manufactured cigarettes. Since the mid-2000s, a broader global business strategy has been adopted including the building of overseas manufacturing facilities, establishing strategic partnerships and acquiring foreign companies. Trends in KT&G sales suggest an aspiring transnational tobacco company poised to become a major player in the global tobacco market. This article is part of the special issue 'The emergence of Asian tobacco companies: Implications for global health governance'.

Document type: 
Article
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The Globalisation Strategies of Five Asian Tobacco Companies: An Analytical Framework

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-11
Abstract: 

With 30% of the world's smokers, two million deaths annually from tobacco use, and rising levels of tobacco consumption, the Asian region is recognised as central to the future of global tobacco control. There is less understanding, however, of how Asian tobacco companies with regional and global aspirations are contributing to the global burden of tobacco-related disease and death. This introductory article sets out the background and rationale for this special issue on 'The Emergence of Asian Tobacco Companies: Implications for Global Health Governance'. The article discusses the core questions to be addressed and presents an analytical framework for assessing the globalisation strategies of Asian tobacco firms. The article also discusses the selection of the five case studies, namely as independent companies in Asia which have demonstrated concerted ambitions to be a major player in the world market.

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Article
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Implementation of Couples’ Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing Services in Durban, South Africa

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015
Abstract: 

Background

Couples’ voluntary HIV counseling and testing (CVCT) is an evidence-based intervention that significantly reduces HIV incidence in couples. Despite the high prevalence of HIV and HIV couple serodiscordance in South Africa, there are few CVCT services.

Methods

From February-June 2013, The Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group provided support, training, and technical assistance for local counselors and promoters to pilot CVCT services in five hospital-based clinics in Durban, South Africa. Client-level data (age, gender, years cohabiting, pregnancy status, previous testing, antiretroviral treatment (ART) status, neighborhood, and test site) collected as a component of routine CVCT service operation is presented stratified by couple serostatus.

Results

Twenty counselors and 28 promoters completed training. Of 907 couples (1,814 individuals) that underwent CVCT, prevalence of HIV was 41.8 % and prevalence of HIV serodiscordance was 29.5 % (19.3 % M-F+, 10.3 % M + F-). Most participants were 25–34 years of age, and this group had the highest prevalence. Previous individual HIV testing was low (50 % for men, 63 % for women). Only 4 % of couples reported previous CVCT. Most (75 %) HIV+ partners were not on ART, and HIV+ individuals in discordant couples were more likely to be on ART than those in concordant positive couples. Pregnancy among HIV+ women was not associated with previous HIV testing or ART use.

Conclusions

Implementation of standard CVCT services was found to be feasible in Durban. The burden of HIV and couple serodiscordance in Durban was extremely high. CVCT would greatly benefit couples in Durban as an HIV prevention strategy.

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Article
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A Qualitative Study of Transgender Individuals’ Experiences in Residential Addiction Treatment Settings: Stigma and Inclusivity

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015
Abstract: 

Background

While considerable research has been undertaken on addiction treatment, the experiences of transgender individuals who use drugs are rarely explored in such research, as too often transgender individuals are excluded entirely or grouped with those of sexual minority groups. Consequently, little is known about the treatment experiences in this population. Thus, we sought to qualitatively investigate the residential addiction treatment experiences of transgender individuals who use illicit drugs in a Canadian setting.

Methods

In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 34 transgender individuals in Vancouver, Canada between June 2012 and May 2013. Participants were recruited from three open prospective cohorts of individuals who use drugs and an open prospective cohort of sex workers. Theory-driven and data-driven approaches were used to analyze the data and two transgender researcher assistants aided with the coding and the interpretation of data in a process called participatory analysis.

Results

Fourteen participants had previous experience of addiction treatment and their experiences varied according to whether their gender identity was accepted in the treatment programs. Three themes emerged from the data that characterized individuals’ experiences in treatment settings: (1) enacted stigma in the forms of social rejection and violence, (2) transphobia and felt stigma, and (3) “trans friendly” and inclusive treatment. Participants who reported felt and enacted stigma, including violence, left treatment prematurely after isolation and conflicts. In contrast, participants who felt included and respected in treatment settings reported positive treatment experiences.

Conclusions

The study findings demonstrate the importance of fostering respect and inclusivity of gender diverse individuals in residential treatment settings. These findings illustrate the need for gender-based, anti-stigma policies and programs to be established within existing addiction treatment programs. Additionally, it is vital to establish transgender and/or LGBTQ specific treatment programs as recommended by the participants in this study.

Document type: 
Article
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