COVID-19 Resources for the Global Health Community

We will share resources for the global health community on COVID-19 and keep this page up to date as much as possible. Please bookmark this page. If you have a resource to share, please email ihsection.communciations@gmail.com 

Last updated: Monday, March 29, 2020

Categories:

  1. APHA’s COVID-19 Information Page
  2. Resources for Sharing with the General Public updated today
  3. Webinars and Events (Past and Future) updated today
  4. Global Health Policies and Funding
  5. Global Health Focused Newsletters
  6. What You Can Do updated today
  7. Technology Tools
  8. Equity and Inclusion updated today
  9. Medical Journal Resource Centers
  10. Official Resources
  11. Dashboards and Data
  12. Clinical Resources
  13. Funding Opportunities

APHA’s COVID-19 Information Page

A great, short video of Dr. Benjamin talking about not panicking and the role of public health in a pandemic, and a 10-minute podcast conversation he had with JHU’s Josh Sharfstein on how public health can serve the communities that are at greatest risk for being left behind.

http://publichealthnewswire.org/?p=georges-benjamin-on-pandemic 

APHA is urging the public health community to share science-based information with the public and speaking out for funding and support to respond to the outbreak. The page includes information on what APHA is doing, links to the latest guidance, and fact sheets on what you need to know about COVID-19 that can be shared with the public.

https://apha.org/topics-and-issues/communicable-disease/coronavirus

As of today, APHA is fully committed to holding the 2020 APHA Annual Meeting and Expo in San Francisco, Oct. 24-28, as planned.

http://publichealthnewswire.org/?p=apha-2020-status

A list of APHA’s priorities during pandemic response 

https://apha.org/-/media/files/pdf/topics/covid/apha_pandemic_priorities.ashx?la=en&hash=EFA7A5939CD07E2EA03DFDF4C524BC0B000B6B84

APHA’s Get Ready campaign has resources that can be shared widely. Includes fact sheets, videos, FAQs, preparation tips, resources for specific audiences, graphics, and videos.

http://aphagetready.org/coronavirus.htm

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Resources for Sharing with the General Public

COVID-19 Expert Reality Check

To help improve understanding of an emerging outbreak’s complex dynamics, Global Health Now has reached out to some of the world’s most respected global health experts for their quick “reality checks” on key issues related to the outbreak.

https://www.globalhealthnow.org/2020-02/coronavirus-expert-reality-check

WHO Advice for Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Breastfeeding

Question and answer on COVID-19, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-on-covid-19-pregnancy-childbirth-and-breastfeeding

Hesperian Health Guides Fact Sheets in Multiple Languages

Hesperian Health Guides has Fact Sheets in accessible and clear information on Coronavirus (online and as downloadable/ printable PDFs) in: English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Urdu, Bangla, Filipino, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesia, Farsi, Sindhi, Telugu, and Hindi.

https://en.hesperian.org/hhg/Coronavirus

Coronavirus Information in Multiple Languages

Washington State has released fact sheets in multiple languages: Amharic, Arabic, Chinese Simplified and Traditional, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese.

https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/NovelCoronavirusOutbreak2020/FactSheet

AA and NHPI In-Language Resources for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This google spreadsheet is a collection of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) in-language resources on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The resource links have been submitted by national and community-based organizations that work with health & AA and NHPI communities.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1XePaKv7Ar59PG7z37QqzIb8WfynEx5BK5ZfK3VLXIJA/edit#gid=1512808134

CDC COVID-19 Communication Resources

CDC offers free resources including video, fact sheets, and posters. Below are links to current communication tools and resources available for use and distribution.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/index.html

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Webinars and Events (Past and Future)

Future Events

Global Health Council: COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall
March 31, 2020 | 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM PDT

These virtual town halls will provide a space for community dialogue on our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Members and partners will discuss how we approach global health advocacy at such a critical moment for our issues, and the short- and long-term challenges or opportunities.

Our first discussion will be on how organizations are adjusting their advocacy messages or tactics, in light of current events. We will hear directly from key speakers who will expand on these topics and open up a deeper discussion with participants to ask questions and share solutions on how their organizations are shifting their campaigns and narratives on other global health areas such as maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health; HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria; NCDs and mental health; or health systems strengthening and innovation. CDC and USAID representatives are also expected to join us in this conversation.

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1275388814044538635

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans: Community Briefing on COVID-19
March 31, 2020 | 12 PM ET

Join us to hear from AAPI national community leaders about resources to combat COVID-19 and anti-Asian rhetoric. Come learn more about how you can get involved so we can all stand together as a more unified AAPI Community.

http://bit.ly/AAPICOVID19Briefing 

The Science of Social Distancing: Part 2
April 1, 2020 | 5 pm to 6:30 PM ET

The second COVID-19 Conversations webinar will: discuss benefit-risk analysis of social/physical distancing strategies, including for vulnerable populations; examine strategies for mitigating mental health impacts; and explore what science is available to guide eventual relaxation of measures.

https://cc.readytalk.com/registration/#/?meeting=olmjdmlxakbu&campaign=un17r6mjzrk9

COVID-19: Why Paid Sick Leave Matters to Controlling its Spread
April 1, 2020 | 4:00 EST

The webinar will highlight recommendations made in Trust for America’s Health’s (TFAH) Ready or Not and Promoting Health and Cost Control in States reports on the important role of paid sick leave in combating infectious diseases, as well as other complementary evidence-based policies that can be adopted by federal, state and local governments and by employers. Those participating in the webinar will hear about pending federal legislation, states that have adopted laws regarding paid leave, and businesses that are expanding these benefits. There will also be a focus on the potential short-term uses of the recently approved supplemental budget to assist individuals without paid leave when confined to their homes. Please join this timely webinar hosted by TFAH with a panel discussion and time for audience Q&A. Registration is free and closed captioning is available to all attendees.

Registration link

COVID-19 Monitoring Systems Webinar
April 1, 2020 | 11 AM to 12:30 PM EDT

BAO Systems will host a webinar on Wednesday, April 1st at 11:00 AM (EDT) (GMT-5) to discuss the growing need for deployment and scaling of COVID-19 monitoring systems.

The webinar will focus on the rapid implementation of digital tools that can facilitate:
Health care worker self-assessment, Case-based surveillance , Contact tracing , High level case reporting, Integrated analytics

https://www.baosystems.com/covid19-webinar/

Discussion on Challenges and Strategies for M&E in the Time of COVID-19
April 1, 2020 | 9 AM to 10:30 AM EDT

The M&E community is adjusting its practices to support program needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This online discussion will provide an opportunity for practitioners to:

  • Discuss M&E challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic with fellow practitioners
  • Hear how other organizations are addressing these challenges
  • Connect with M&E colleagues to brainstorm strategies for prioritizing and adapting M&E within current activities

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/discussion-on-challenges-and-strategies-for-me-in-the-time-of-covid-19-registration-100817255124

COVID-19 and HIV: Webinar series
April 3, 2020 | 9:00 – 10:30 Zurich time, CEST

The IAS is organizing a series of webinars on COVID-19 and HIV to discuss the pandemic and its impact on people living with HIV. The first webinar of this series, COVID-19 and HIV: What you need to know, will take place on 3 April 2020 (9:00 – 10:30 Zurich time, CEST).

Register here

GGHA WEBINAR: The 2020 Policy Landscape during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic
April 3, 2020 | 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM EDT

The Kyle House Group and the Georgia Global Health Alliance invite you to participate in a webinar on President Trump’s FY 2020 budget request and its implications for global health. We will cover the shifting political landscape and its implications for global health and foreign assistance in a world experiencing a global pandemic, COVID-19.

Register here

Global Responses to COVID-19
April 9, 2020 | 12:30 to 2 pm, CST

This National Public Health Week webinar is hosted by the North Dakota State University MPH program students. International students from the NDSU MPH program will be presenting on what their country/region is doing to prevent and control COVID-19, what it says about their healthcare and political system, and how it reflects their distinct culture.  Countries represented include Poland, Nepal, and Nigeria.

https://ndsu.zoom.us/j/764276238
Meeting ID: 764 276 238

Past Events

The Science of Social Distancing: Part 1

The first COVID-19 Conversations webinar will review how COVID-19 is transmitted, historical lessons from past pandemics, the state of the science on social distancing, and the targeted and layered nature of how social distancing practices are enacted. This is a free webinar series from the National Academy of Medicine and APHA on the latest science and strategies.

https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/meetingArchive?eventId=mj415bksu3zh

How PEPFAR investments can be re-utilized in the COVID-19 response

Digital Square is hosting a webinar on how PEPFAR investments can be re-utilized in the COVID-19 response. Speakers Carl Leitner (Digital Square at PATH), Annah Ngararu (ICF), Vladimer Shioshvili (ICF), and Emily Nicolson (IntraHealth) will present on a mix of digital tools including DATIM, Patient Level Monitoring, and the Global Open Facility Registry. Please use this link to register for the Zoom session. We encourage you to share this invite with your colleagues and others in the global health community.

https://wiki.digitalsquare.io/index.php/Global_Goods_Community

Italy and Germany Facing COVID-19

As Europe is now at the centre of the COVID-19 crisis, public health response strategies and hospital infrastructures are being tested, the hardest way. How do we make sure our health systems are not completely overwhelmed? How do we secure a continuity in the provision of services to our citizens while protecting our already burned out workforces? And how can digital solutions help? This webinar compares the situation and approach of two very different health systems in Europe: Italy and Germany.

https://www.himsslearn.org/italy-and-germany-facing-covid-19

COVID-19 Virtual Summit

Watch videos from this three-day virtual summit that featured leading experts in health, medicine, technology, society, and impact. It is focused on sharing facts, facilitating discussion, answering questions, and addressing your concerns around COVID-19, as well as the impact of outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz-xaNyC9s_pNVok3fFcuLQjFZDXP7KX4

How the Global Digital Health Community Can Support COVID Response

On March 12, members from around the world gathered for a rapid response session of the GDHN on COVID-19. The interactive workshop started with an update on COVID-19 and coronavirus infections. Government health experts in LMICs reported on what national health systems are doing to prepare and mitigate COVID-19 impact. Additionally, the meeting revisited lessons learned from the West African Ebola response. The group explored the challenges in responding to coronavirus, and identified use cases where digital development solutions can be utilized in COVID response. The recording is available using this link

https://www.globaldigitalhealthnetwork.org/2020/03/17/slides-and-recording-gdhn-november-2019-meeting-2/

List of Canceled Health Conferences

As the novel coronavirus races around the globe, a growing number of conference organizers are cancelling, postponing, or virtualizing their medical meetings, biotech gatherings, and scientific summits.

https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/07/stats-guide-health-care-conferences-disrupted-covid-19

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COVID-19 Global Health Policies and Funding

Global Health Council – U.S. and Global Response to COVID-19

Global Health Council has compiled detailed information about what the US government, other governments and WHO are doing to address the spread of COVID-19.

https://globalhealth.org/coronavirus-response-information/

US State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus

To date, states have taken a number of actions aimed at reducing existing barriers to testing and treatment for those affected. These specific policy actions are compiled below, along with data on current cases and deaths as well as additional state-level data on health coverage and provider capacity within each state, important factors that may play a role in how effectively states respond to this outbreak. These data will be updated regularly and new information will be added in response to the evolving situation.

https://www.kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief/state-data-and-policy-actions-to-address-coronavirus

Donor Funding for the Global Novel COVID-19 Response

While donors have begun providing support to China and other low- and middle-income countries, there is currently no centralized repository for this information. This tracker provides an accounting of publicly available information on donor funding to date. Not included are funding from governments for their own domestic response efforts or commitments focused on economic stimulus or recovery efforts related to the outbreak (such as a $6 billion commitment from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation or a $50 billion commitment, including $10 billion in zero-interest loans for low-income countries, from the International Monetary Fund).1 It will be updated as needed.

https://www.kff.org/global-health-policy/issue-brief/donor-funding-for-the-global-novel-coronavirus-response/

WHO COVID-19 Response

A list of donors contributing to WHO for the COVID-19 response.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/donors-and-partners/funding

USAID Response

Track developments in USAID assistance for COVID-19.

https://www.usaid.gov/coronavirus

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Global Health Focused Newsletters

Kaiser Family Foundation

The Kaiser Family Foundation sends emails to notify subscribers of new research, reports, polls and data available on our website, as well as to invite you to public briefings.  They also publish a daily newsletter summarizing global health policy news.  

https://www.kff.org/email/

The Center for Strategic and International Studies

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges.

https://www.csis.org/subscribe

Health Security Headlines

A daily digest of news and developments in health security published by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Health Security. Health Security Headlines is a daily update on US and global health security. The editorial team tracks the most important news, events, developments, research, and policy in the areas that comprise health security: biosecurity and biodefense, medicine and public health, science and technology, domestic preparedness and response, government affairs and national security, and 21st century threats.

http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/newsroom/newsletters/hsh/

Global Health NOW – John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Global Health NOW is an essential daily read for anyone interested in US and global public health. Every weekday, we aggregate and summarize the latest global health news—delivering all the day’s critical stories to your inbox.

https://www.globalhealthnow.org/subscribe

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What You Can Do

APHA Advocacy Letters

Global Health Preparedness

Recommendations for investing in preparedness by topping up the CDC, USAID, and Defense and State Department health security accounts, investing more in the World Health Organization, the Africa CDC, and the Global Health Security Agenda.

https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/482049-stop-coronavirus-and-the-next-epidemic-by-establishing-a-healthy-security

Preparing for COVID-19 in Low and Middle Income Countries: Leveraging U.S. Global Health Assets

To assess where the U.S. government has existing global health assets that could be mobilized when and if needed, we identified all countries that received U.S. government bilateral global health assistance in FY 2018. We also identified LMICs that the U.S. has designated as high-priority for receiving COVID-19 assistance.

https://www.kff.org/global-health-policy/issue-brief/preparing-for-covid-19-in-low-and-middle-income-countries-leveraging-u-s-global-health-assets/

Global Health Security Agenda

The Global Health Security Agenda is an international partnership that works to build capacity to prepare for and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.

https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF11461

COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is hosted by two foundations, the UN Foundation (registered in the United States) and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation (registered in Switzerland). Donations support WHO’s work to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments. 

https://www.covid19responsefund.org/

CDC Foundation Response Fund

Funds raised by the CDC Foundation through our Emergency Response Fund will be used to meet fast-emerging needs identified by CDC to help respond to the public health threat posed by this virus. These include additional support for state and local health departments, support for the global response, logistics, communications, data management, personal protective equipment, critical response supplies and more.

https://www.cdcfoundation.org/coronavirus

APHA’s Advocacy Webpage

https://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/advocacy-for-public-health

Global Health Advocacy Guide

Produced by the University of California’s Global Health Institute. Guide includes information on how to contact your representatives, meet with congressional representatives, and write an op-ed.

https://www.ucghi.universityofcalifornia.edu/sites/default/files/advocacy-student-guide.pdf

Berkeley Media Studies Group: Advocacy Tools

This document outlines BMSG’s four-stage approach to media advocacy planning, a process we call the Layers of Strategy: http://www.bmsg.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/bmsg_layers_of_strategy.pdf

Use this worksheet to practice developing messages for your target audience: http://www.bmsg.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/bmsg_message_development_worksheet.pdf

GOTMME stands for Goals, Objectives, Target, Message, Messenger, and
Evaluation, a 6-step strategic planning process that guides communication
efforts aimed at achieving policy change: http://www.bmsg.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/bmsg_gotmme_planning_tool.pdf

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Technology Tools

Global Telehealth Resource Aggregator

A resource directory created for individuals looking to get telemedicine consults, anywhere in the world.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1XMsJJIduO6yI_GEo1Vy_b_SXoz9YwbgtEL63-siNS_Q/edit

10 Digital Health Technology Solutions for Global COVID-19 Response

A list of digital health solutions that could be used (or are already being used) to contain the coronavirus. The public solutions spreadsheet is for donors, governments, and health workers to identify new technologies for deployment to contain the coronavirus.

https://www.ictworks.org/digital-health-solutions-covid-response/#.XmpcHpNKhp8

WHO Health Alert brings COVID-19 facts to billions via WhatsApp

The service can be accessed through a link that opens a conversation on WhatsApp. Users can simply type “hi” to activate the conversation, prompting a menu of options that can help answer their questions about COVID-19.

https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-health-alert-brings-covid-19-facts-to-billions-via-whatsapp

Online COVID-19 Assessment Tool

Emory doctors have helped create a new online tool allowing people everywhere to assess how likely it is that they have contracted the novel coronavirus.

https://c19check.com/start

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Equity and Inclusion

List of Women Experts in Global Health 

Women in Global Health and Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security are compiling a list of expert women who are working to strengthen global, regional, national, and local capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks.

https://c8fbe10e-fb87-47e7-844b-4e700959d2d4.filesusr.com/ugd/ffa4bc_440731ea3dfd4985929e7045ee303ab1.pdf

International Disability Alliance Key Recommendations toward a Disability-Inclusive COVID19 Response

In the light of the COVID19 pandemic and with the aim to support a disability-inclusive response to the crisis, International Disability Alliance (IDA) has launched this webpage to share the most recent updates and resources as they become available.

http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/covid-19

Gender and COVID-19 Resources

Content on the gendered impact of COVID-19 from the Interagency Gender Working Group.

https://www.igwg.org/2020/03/gender-and-covid-19-corner

COVID-19: A Gender Lens

Disease outbreaks affect women and men differently, and pandemics make existing inequalities for women and girls and discrimination of other marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities and those in extreme poverty, worse. This needs to be considered, given the different impacts surrounding detection and access to treatment for women and men.

Women represent 70 percent of the health and social sector workforce globally and special attention should be given to how their work environment may expose them to discrimination, as well as thinking about their sexual and reproductive health and psychosocial needs as frontline health workers.

https://www.unfpa.org/resources/covid-19-gender-lens

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Medical Journal Resource Centers

British Medical Journal

This page collects all BMJ coverage of the coronavirus outbreak from across the BMJ’s journals and learning resources. All articles and resources are freely available.

http://www.bmj.com/coronavirus

Elsevier

Here you will find expert, curated information for the research and health community on SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus) and COVID-19 (the disease). All resources are free to access and include guidelines for clinicians and patients.

https://www.elsevier.com/connect/coronavirus-information-center

Journal of the American Medical Association

Browse the JAMA Network COVID-19 collection, including Q&A’s with NIAID’s Anthony Fauci, an interactive map of the outbreak courtesy of The Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and past publications on vaccine development, infection control, and public health preparedness.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/pages/coronavirus-alert

Lancet 

To assist health workers and researchers working under challenging conditions to bring this outbreak to a close, The Lancet has created a Coronavirus Resource Centre. This resource brings together new 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) content from across The Lancet journals as it is published. All COVID-19 content is free to access.

https://www.thelancet.com/coronavirus

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review

Novel Coronavirus Reports

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/Novel_Coronavirus_Reports.html

Nature

To support urgent research to combat the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the editorial teams at Nature Research have curated a collection of relevant articles. Their collection includes research into the basic biology of coronavirus infection, its detection, treatment and evolution, research into the epidemiology of emerging viral diseases, and coverage of current events. The articles will remain free to access for as long as the outbreak remains a public health emergency of international concern.

https://www.nature.com/collections/hajgidghjb

New England Journal of Medicine

A collection of articles and other resources on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, including clinical reports, management guidelines, and commentary.

https://www.nejm.org/coronavirus

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Official Resources on COVID-19

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Dashboards and Data

WHO Situation Dashboard

https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd

John Hopkins Bloomberg Dashboard

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html?fbclid=IwAR0jwCaN2Ls7RtVoJjlcu3REPJb4VmeYwbyrNghpn7fp9wDc3n44nOdwnL0#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

University of Washington Virology COVID-19 Dashboard

http://depts.washington.edu/labmed/covid19/

US COVID-19 Projections 

https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections

Estimation of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Prevalence in Santa Clara County

https://medium.com/@jsteinhardt/estimation-of-sars-cov-2-infection-prevalence-in-santa-clara-county-36f9f7daab71

Epidemic Calculator

http://gabgoh.github.io/COVID/index.html

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Clinical Resources

Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment

The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine has treated 104 patients with confirmed COVID-19 in the past 50 days, and their experts wrote real treatment experience night and day, and published this Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment yesterday, expecting to share their invaluable practical advice and references with medical staff around the world. You can read the handbook in English online or download it for free.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GFYb9axy9e-hstAsf0A20STFSLeaxzrU/view

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Funding Opportunities

Grant Opportunities to tackle the Coronavirus Outbreak

A list of recently opened funding opportunities for you to fight the coronavirus outbreak that hit nations globally.

https://www2.fundsforngos.org/listing/grant-opportunities-to-tackle-the-coronavirus-outbreak/

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An Overview of Global Mental Health

By: Dr. Heather F. McClintock PhD MSPH MSW, Elena Schatell MPH (c) MMS (c), and Hannah Stewart

This is the first part of a IH Blog series, Global Mental Health: Burden, Initiatives and Special Topics.

Part I: An Overview of Global Mental Health 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) mental health is more than the absence of mental disorders. It is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” The Global Burden of Disease Study has reported that for nearly three decades more than 14% of Years Lived with Disability (YLDs) were due to mental health concerns, such as depressive disorders and substance abuse. Over one in three people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. Depression, the most prevalent psychiatric diagnosis, affects an estimated 264 million people globally. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia affect 45 million and 22 million people worldwide, respectively. One out of five of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental disorder, and about half of mental health concerns begin before the age of 14. The burden of mental health concerns has serious human repercussions. Every year, approximately 800,000 people die by suicide, this is nearly 1 person every 40 seconds.  

The burden of mental disorders varies significantly by country. In order to track this variation, WHO created a Mental Health Atlas. The Atlas contains profiles for nearly all member states presenting information on each country’s burden of mental health concerns, system governance, resources, and service availability and uptake. The Atlas also contains many other important indicators of mental illness including suicide mortality rates and the number of treated cases of severe mental disorders.       

According to the most recent 2017 Atlas, the United States reported that 4,128.45 disability adjusted life years (DALYs) per 100,000 people were lost due to mental health concerns. This is higher than some of the USA’s high-income counterparts: Denmark (3,819.99 DALYs per 100,000), France, (3,700.67 DALY’s per 100,000), Australia (2,972.99 DALY’s per 100,000), and Japan (2,240.63 DALY’s per 100,000). And while reported rates of mental health concerns tend to be higher in high-income countries, more than 80% of people living with mental health concerns live in low- and middle income countries (LMIC’s). In these settings, access to culturally appropriate and effective mental health services remains low with treatment rates often as low as 35-50%. The outlook isn’t improving. By 2030, major depression alone is projected to be the largest contributor to global disease burden

Determinants of mental health concerns include biological, psychological, social, economic, environmental, and cultural factors. Biologically, genetic factors increase risk for the onset of mental disorders. Psychologically, personality factors are associated with poor mental health. Contextual factors such as violence, unsafe neighborhoods, war, unemployment, minimal social cohesion, discrimination, and human rights violations all increase the likelihood of mental disorders. Humanitarian crises, due to their widespread impact globally, have been a recent focus for the assessment and evaluation of mental health issues. In conflict settings the prevalence of depression and anxiety is more than double. Roughly one in five people who have experienced conflict or war in the past 10 years will have depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. 

In comparison with the general population, persons with psychiatric diagnoses die 10 to 20 years younger than those without such disorders, a prognosis worse than heavy smoking. The morbidity and mortality of mental health concerns translate into devastating global economic costs. We lose about $1 trillion U.S. dollars globally per year in productivity due to depression and anxiety. It is projected that the burden of poor mental health will cost the global economy $16.3 trillion between 2011 and 2030, more than chronic heart disease. The economic costs of mental disorders go beyond the direct healthcare costs and extend to hidden indirect economic costs such as loss of productivity according to the 2011 World Economic Forum report.

But the true cost of the burden of mental health concerns comes at the price of human  suffering. Living with mental health concerns not only affects the human psyche, it has social and human rights consequences. Unmanaged and untreated mental illness not only impacts the individual lives of those affected; it impacts family, friends, their social and work-related environments, and society as a whole. Individuals experiencing mental illness are often maltreated and marginalized on a global level. They are subjected to human rights violations, including denial of employment, denial of education, malnutrition, negligence, and physical abuse. It’s critical that the world radically change the way we deliver mental health services to create new systems that are rights-oriented, user-centered, and achieve true parity. 

References (in order of appearance)
  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-strengthening-our-response
  2. GBD 2017 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. (2018). Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32279-7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6227754/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24648481
  4. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)32279-7/fulltext
  5. https://www.who.int/health-topics/suicide#tab=tab_1
  6. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-disorders
  7. Wang et al., (2007). Use of mental health services for anxiety, mood, and substance disorders in 17 countries in the WHO world mental health surveys. The Lancet.
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17826169
  9. https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/profiles-2017/en/
  10. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-disorders
  11. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-in-emergencies
  12. https://www.who.int/news-room/facts-in-pictures/detail/mental-health
  13. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244014526209
  14. Bloom DE, Cafiero ET, Jané-Llopis E, et al. The global economic burden of non-communicable diseases. Geneva, 2011. https://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/documents/s18806en/s18806en.pdf
  15. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244014526209

About the Authors:

Dr. Heather F. McClintock PhD MSPH MSW

McClintock.PictureDr. McClintock is an IH Section Member and Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences at Arcadia University. She earned her Master of Science in Public Health from the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. McClintock received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on health behavior and promotion. Her research broadly focuses on the prevention, treatment, and management of chronic disease and disability globally. Recent research aims to understand and reduce the burden of intimate partner violence in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to completing her doctorate she served as a Program Officer at the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and a Senior Project Manager in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania. At the University of Pennsylvania she led several research initiatives that involved improving patient compliance and access to quality healthcare services including the Spectrum of Depression in Later Life Study and Integrating Management for Depression and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Study.

Elena Schatell MPH (c) MMS (c)

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 7.52.50 PMElena Schatell is a current student at Arcadia University enrolled in the Dual Master of Public Health/Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Program. She aims to promote public health in underserved communities as a future physician assistant. Her current public health interests include access to mental health services, stigma surrounding mental illness, and the relationship between faith and mental health. She has interned at the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) national office in Arlington, Virginia, working closely with the Advocacy and Public Policy team on conducting research on service barriers and state mental health policy. During her time at NAMI, she also authored articles for the Advocate magazine and blog.

Hannah Stewart

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 7.53.02 PMHannah Stewart is a global mental health researcher and advocate that uses the power of research methodology to elevate mental health as a human rights issue. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Baylor University and her Master of Public Health in Global Health Leadership at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include the psychological impact of traumatic experience, culturally appropriate psychosocial interventions, and the intersection of mental health and climate change. She is currently a research scholar at the Global Environmental Health Lab where she focuses on building research capacity at universities in Myanmar. Hannah is also one of two delegates from the United States to the Executive Committee of the Global Mental Health Peer Network, a lived-experience organization that advocates for individuals living with mental health concerns by engaging diverse stakeholders in mental health.

 

News Round Up

Politics & Policies

One of the hallmarks of an effective foreign policy is that it runs in the background, neither loud nor especially visible. Governments must urgently adopt such an approach to stem the growing global panic caused by the coronavirus outbreak, which has now killed more than 1,300 people and infected in excess of 63,000.

Tedros took office on 1 July 2017 with an ambitious to-do list: Reform WHO, strengthen evidence-based decision-making, highlight the health impact of climate change, and provide 1 billion more people with health coverage. But the epidemic of COVID-19, as the new disease was christened on 11 February, will overshadow all of his stated priorities.

As concerns mount over the coronavirus that first emerged in China, public health officials there and around the globe have launched a massive response.

Amid two global health crises, the Trump administration has proposed cutting $3 billion from the U.S. government’s global health programs in its latest budget request.

In the midst of a growing public health care emergency with the coronavirus and more than 15 years after the SARS epidemic, an international study shows that no country is fully prepared to deal with a potentially deadly outbreak.

Programs, Grants & Awards

The World Health Organization (WHO) comprehensive global review highlights the importance of adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for human health.

UnitaidExplore is a new funding mechanism seeking new ideas from across spheres to develop innovations or innovative products that can be modified, repurposed, or re-imagined for the goals of global health. UnitaidExplore is looking to improve existing methods of delivery of oxygen therapy, and through that to improve access to oxygen in low resource settings

Research

In December 2019, an outbreak of COVID-19, an acute respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (also known as 2019-nCoV) was detected in mainland China. Researchers have been tracking the spread of the virus, have developed a diagnostic test for 2019-nCoV and are working on a number of vaccines to protect against 2019-nCoV.

Seasonal influenza virus is a common cause of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) in young children. In 2008, we estimated that 20 million influenza-virus-associated ALRI and 1 million influenza-virus-associated severe ALRI occurred in children under 5 years globally.

Due to Zika virus, more than 1,600 babies were born in Brazil with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, from September 2015 through April 2016. The epidemic took health professionals by surprise because the virus had been known since 1947 and was not linked to birth defects.

Diseases & Disasters

The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is a public health emergency of international concern, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared, but he warned governments not to impose travel or trade restrictions on China.

Much of global health work focuses on making sure that the medical advances made in high-resource countries get to the patients who need them all around the world, including in poor, underdeveloped or remote areas.

As disasters have changed over the years, so must the personnel who manage these crises.  In 1932, sociologist Lowell Carr first described a predictable pattern of how disasters impact society. Refined over the decades by many researchers, the “disaster cycle” includes four phases: prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and rehabilitation.

The number of people who are infected with the new coronavirus that is spreading from China is dwarfed by those affected by a far more common respiratory illness: seasonal flu.  Every year there are as many as 5 million severe flu cases worldwide and hundreds of thousands of deaths.

Technology 

Medic Mobile announced the creation of Medic Labs, a new global health technology accelerator, with $3 million in seed funding from The Rockefeller Foundation. Medic Labs will pursue moonshot ideas – in the tradition of dedicated R&D arms of major technology companies, including Microsoft Research, Google X, and Bell Labs – to drive better community health outcomes for all people, everywhere, through the intentional, equitable application of data science.

The WHO has its own app to help you keep updated on the latest global health information. The app updates daily with the latest news, feature stories, fact sheets, disease outbreak updates, and public health emergency information.

Tuberculosis (TB) has burdened humanity with symptoms including cough, fever, and emaciation for thousands of years. Today it is the world’s leading infectious disease killer: 10 million people fell ill from TB and 1.5 million died in 2018 alone. Yet only one low-efficacy TB vaccine exists, treatment takes months to years, and improved diagnostics designed specifically for low-resource settings are needed.

Environmental Health

The year-long investigation by EHN found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stacked the deck against findings from independent scientists that BPA, as well as many compounds used in “BPA-free” products, can harm people at very low doses.

Equity & Disparities

Low- and middle-income countries could see an 80 percent rise in cancer over the next 20 years if treatment and prevention services are not stepped up, according to the latest World Cancer Report.

In November, the WHO launched a pilot program to boost the availability of insulin worldwide. The idea is to work with insulin manufacturers to increase the global supply — and in the process, potentially drive down the price of the treatment.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 10 percent of global health research is devoted to 90 percent of the global disease burden. WHO research confirms that the majority of diseases in low-income countries are caused by poverty.

Women, Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

A three day awareness campaign on high risk pregnancies was organised in Jhajhar district of Haryana as part of the SMARThealth pregnancy project from Feb 3 to 5, 2020.  This follows a similar exercise done in villages in Guntur for high risk mothers and ASHA workers.  The campaign was part of an endeavour to strengthen post and ante-natal care for pregnant women.  

Poor infection control practices led to an unprecedented HIV outbreak among hundreds of children in Pakistan, according to a recent study.

Repealing the ACA will be catastrophic for America’s mental health

On December 18, 2019, a big piece of healthcare news went relatively unnoticed amidst the impeachment vote in the United States House of Representatives. A federal court based in New Orleans ruled that the “individual mandate” within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the provision that imposes a tax penalty on those in the US who do not have health insurance, was not constitutional. The court failed to make decisions on the rest of the law, asking a lower court to decide if the ACA could hold up with the individual mandate removed. Democrats in favor of the healthcare bill have vowed to fight for its longevity, and it’s expected that it will eventually be heard before the US Supreme Court. 

Still, the future of the ACA is once again in question, and the countless Americans who have accessed healthcare in the last decade with the help of Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies now face uncertainty. So far, the bill is estimated to have saved the country about $2 trillion in health costs. But with the repeal of the individual mandate, 13 million Americans are expected to choose to go without coverage by 2027, leading to an expected 10% increase in annual premiums on average for plans in the individual marketplace. For many, this translates to even higher costs in a country that is already spending disproportionately more on healthcare. Those of us that live with a mental health concern have particular cause for concern. 

How the ACA Changed Mental Health Care in the US

  • The ACA required that a number of preventive care services, including certain screenings, be available to patients at no cost. One of these screenings was the inclusion of a yearly screener for depression, alcohol misuse, and cognitive impairment. 
  • Insurance companies could no longer deny plans to individuals based on their pre-existing conditions. This was a big win for the mental health advocacy community, as serious mental health concerns (major depression, anxiety, etc.) were the second most common reason cited for health coverage denials. Even mental health counseling for situational or acute concerns (grief, trauma, etc.) could count as a “pre-existing condition” prior to the ACA.
  • The legislation also expanded the existing mental health parity laws in the US (Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008). The former parity laws required that mental health services had to be covered in a way that was equal to physical health services but only IF mental health services were offered by the plan. Many plans got around these laws by simply not offering coverage for mental health and substance use services. The ACA closed this loophole by listing mental health services as one of the ten “essential health benefits” for individual and employer-provided health plans (different parity laws apply to plans offered by Medicaid and Medicare). 
  • The Community Health Center Fund, established by the ACA, generated over $11 billion in grants for community health centers, the primary care clinics seeing a huge portion of the country’s under- and uninsured population, to expand services in their communities. Behavioral health services were one of my qualifying service targets eligible for funds. 

As a result of these provisions, million uninsured Americans were able to obtain coverage. The number of patients with mental health concerns that were uninsured or could not afford treatment dropped post-ACA implementation. The ACA has allowed providers and health networks to find innovative ways to integrate physical and behavioral health. As a result, patient satisfaction with providers and treatment has, not surprisingly, increased. Nearly one-third of Medicaid dollars are now spent on mental health or substance use disorders. Those living at 138% of the Federal Poverty Line, those who may have previously had to delay seeking care for mental health concerns, are now able to receive earlier intervention and more consistent care. 

Image Source: https://twitter.com/ObamaWhiteHouse/status/819607805552394241/photo/1

Having a mental illness isn’t cheap, and healthcare reforms have been instrumental in improving access to care for countless Americans. A 12-month prescription for antidepressants costs approximately $800. An in-patient hospital stay costs more than  ten times that. Individuals with depression have more than twice the number of outpatient visits per year than those without and more than three times as many prescriptions. Repealing the Affordable Care Act or dismantling its’ individual provisions could mean that the United States returns to a not-so-distant past where nearly 20% of individual plans offered no coverage for mental health services. With Medicaid expansion removed, 3 million low-income Americans with with serious mental health concerns could find themselves with nowhere to turn for care. Repealing the essential health benefits would allow insurers to go back to side-stepping parity laws. And should states be allowed to reduce Medicaid eligibility again, individuals living with a mental health concern will be disproportionately impacted. 

There’s still time for major portions, if not all, of the ACA to be saved. Due to the lengthy court proceedings, the case would not make it in front of the Supreme Court until after the 2020 elections, lending hope that a new wave of elected officials might hinder attempts to dismantle the legislation. But whatever the next year of divisive American politics brings, those living with mental health concerns should not be punished. At a time when illness attributed to mental health or substance use are on the rise in the United States, and at a time when more economic productivity is lost to mental health concerns than any other non-communicable disease, weakening the current mental health delivery system is more than irresponsible: it’s dangerous. 

News Round Up

Politics & Policies

Today, the field of “global health” strives to create equitable and just relationships between wealthy and impoverished regions, places and peoples. But it is still a field with markedly unequal power dynamics: racism, classism and many of the residual exploitations of a terrible colonial past.

In June, a public health professional serving as an International Health Specialist deployed to Iraq as part of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

Global health, a field dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the poor and most vulnerable, has quietly developed a penchant for highly-paid management consultants and their business world tools.

One of the greatest threats to public health today, in the United States and around the world, isn’t a new exotic hazard. It’s antibiotic resistance: the potential failure of one of our most important and well-known disease-fighting tools.

The world is not on track to reach the 2020 targets of the End TB Strategy, according to the World Health Organization’s latest Global Tuberculosis Report, published on Thursday.

The nation’s hospital groups sued the Trump administration over a new federal rule that would require them to disclose the discounted prices they give insurers for all sorts of procedures.

Programs, Grants & Awards

More people around the world than ever before led healthy, productive lives in 2018.  It was the year that transmission of wild poliovirus was cornered to the smallest area in history, the first new treatment for relapsing malaria in 60 years was approved, and the number of women in developing countries using modern contraceptives reached record levels. Innovations in sanitation, financial services and healthcare were brought to refugees, a billion people were treated for neglected tropical diseases, and 100 million mobile money accounts across Africa were made interoperable—allowing people to send and receive payments more quickly, safely and affordably.

Inaugural Nipah virus conference convenes leading experts to strengthen global collaboration, improve efforts to combat deadly virus.

Research

Many people under 60 who develop stomach cancer have a “genetically and clinically distinct” disease, new Mayo Clinic research has discovered. Compared to stomach cancer in older adults, this new, early onset form often grows and spreads more quickly, has a worse prognosis, and is more resistant to traditional chemotherapy treatments, the study finds.

Diseases & Disasters

The Samoas, an island nation of 200,000 was unprepared for the 300% increase in measles worldwide. While it had 90% measles vaccine coverage in 2013, that percent had fallen to 30% by 2018.

In 2019, the World Health Organization and partners have responded to 51 emergencies in more than 40 countries and territories and have investigated 440 potential health threats in 138 countries and territories. 

The future of global HIV response must be very different from today’s efforts. It must be youth focused and youth led. Otherwise, many of our successes against HIV may be endangered by the rapid growth of vulnerable youth populations in the highest burden countries.

More than two years after doctors in Jerusalem removed thousands of barklike lesions that had prevented Mahmoud Taluli from using his hands for more than a decade, he continues his battle with a rare, incurable skin condition.

New Zealand has ordered 1,292 square feet of skin to treat patients injured in Monday’s volcanic eruption on White Island, authorities said Wednesday.

Rising temperatures across Asia and the Americas have contributed to multiple severe outbreaks of dengue fever globally over the past six months, making 2019 the worst year on record for the disease.

The Pacific island nation of Samoa will shut down government services for two days so that civil servants can focus on a nationwide immunization drive as the country struggles to end a measles outbreak that has claimed more than 50 lives, most of them children.

Technology 

After more than two decades of research, the world finally has an approved Ebola vaccine.

Researchers have developed a new tool to predict the global spread of human infectious diseases, like dengue, and track them to their source.

Environmental Health

At Boulder High, students are prohibited from smoking cigarettes or vaping electronic cigarettes anywhere on school grounds. But Lewis and other school employees still regularly pluck e-cigarettes from students’ hands or find the used pods scattered all around.

Equity & Disparities

The United Nations said on Tuesday it was procuring food assistance for 4.1 million Zimbabweans, a quarter of the population in a country where shortages are being exacerbated by runaway inflation and climate-induced drought.

Yemen’s civil war has exacted an enormous toll on people with disabilities, who find themselves on the margins of society and excluded from badly needed humanitarian assistance, Amnesty International said in a report released Tuesday.

Women, Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

Children continue to pay a deadly price as they succumb to a nearly three-fold rise in attacks over the last 10 years in conflict-ridden areas, the United Nations has said.

What does it mean that more seasoned pediatricians are also wanting to become more engaged in global health work?  We asked Dr. Suzinne Pak-Gorstein, a pediatric leader in global health efforts, to weigh in with an accompanying commentary.

As technology advances in the things we use every day, it’s generally accepted they also become safer. But according to one UBC engineer, that may not be true for a large portion of the population.

Eastern Ukraine has become one of the most mine-contaminated places on earth, despite recent developments aimed to protect the rights of girls and boys affected by more than five-year-long conflict.