New paper released on the global burden of severe neonatal jaundice

While severe neonatal jaundice (SNJ) that is not successfully treated is rare in the U.S. and Western Europe, and thus often ignored as a global health problem, there is  evidence that SNJ is still a problem globally. In a paper co-authored by IH Section Councilor Dr. Mark Strand on the global burden of severe neonatal jaundice in newborns, the incidence of SNJ was found to be at 667.8 per 10 000 live births in the African region, where it is the highest, followed by Southeast Asia (251.3), Eastern Mediterranean (165.7), and the Western Pacific (9.4). This condition is easily diagnosed and inexpensive to treat and can save lives of children.

Read the rest of the research article here: http://bmjpaedsopen.bmj.com/content/1/1/e000105

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Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

President Trump and other populist world leaders are dismantling funding that protects the world from future epidemics as they put national interests ahead of global health, a Pulitzer Prize-winning expert said Tuesday at Brigham Young University.

In late July, the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Steering Group, chaired by the Republic of Korea, convened in Seoul to discuss ongoing implementation of the GHSA.  A partnership of 61 nations, international organizations, and non-governmental stakeholders, GHSA facilitates collaborative, capacity-building efforts to advance a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats.

The US opioid epidemic and the “war-on drug” language being used internationally is a cause for concern among palliative care experts, especially given a serious gap in access to painkillers in poor countries.

Programs, Grants & Awards

USAID has announced a new development impact bond called the Utkrisht Impact Bond, aimed at reducing maternal and neonatal deaths in India.

Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health has received a grant to study the impact of the expanded global gag rule on women’s health and wellbeing.

Chemonics International is under mounting pressure to show that the largest project ever funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has turned a corner.

One Health lies at the core of the Global Health Ethic, recognizing the highly interdependent nature of the health and well-being of humans, domestic animals, wildlife and the ecosystem we all share.

Crossing Boundaries 3 is a conference to showcase Oxford’s multidisciplinary research informing health systems strengthening in low and middle-income countries.

Research

An increase in dengue cases from zero (pre-2000) to 35,000 in Acre State in Brazil has been attributed to landscape changes coinciding with commercial development in the state.

An economic modeling study showed that a TB-sensitive cash transfer approach to increase all poor households’ income is unlikely to be as effective or affordable to prevent TB’s catastrophic costs as a TB-specific cash transfer approach.

Diseases & Disasters

After unprecedented global success in malaria control, progress has stalled, according to the World malaria report 2017.  With 5 million more malaria cases in 2016 than in 2015, experts worry that the progress toward global malaria control has stalled. Without urgent action, there is a risk of missing the malaria control targets for 2020 and beyond.

The U.N. is voicing alarm over the spread of HIV in Egypt, where the number of new cases is growing by up to 40 percent a year, and where efforts to combat the epidemic are hampered by social stigma and a lack of funding to address the crisis.

Technology

Several security problems have been identified in a software platform used by aid agencies to store data on vulnerable people.

Prognos, a New York City-based artificial intelligence company, has wrapped up a $20.5 million Series C financing round. The seven-year-old company utilizes AI to track and predict disease as early as possible in collaboration with payers, diagnostics and life sciences companies.

Environmental Health

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is a leading implementer of climate change projects in developing countries, but the money that is supposed to materialize to support the developing world as climate change impacts intensify is still hard to come by.

Noting the severity of the threats posed by pollution to both people and the planet, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the need for rapid, large-scale and coordinated action by all actors to make the world pollution-free.

Arctic sea ice loss of the magnitude expected in the next few decades could impact California’s rainfall and exacerbate future droughts, according to new research.

Equity & Disparities

About 11 percent of medicines in developing countries are counterfeit and likely responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of children from diseases like malaria and pneumonia every year, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

Persons with disabilities, as both beneficiaries and agents of change, can fast track the process towards inclusive and sustainable development, and for the 2030 Agenda to truly live up to its promise to ‘leave no one behind,’ all physical and cultural barriers must be removed to create societies that provide real opportunities for everyone everywhere, the United Nations has said.

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people in poor countries. are detained every year in hospitals over unpaid bills.

Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

The Philippines has achieved maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination status, a status given when there is less than one case per 1000 live births in every region.

Many girls get married before age 18 in the northern, Amhara region of Ethiopia.  The legal age of marriage is 18 — but the law is seldom enforced.

Air pollution significantly increases the risk of low birth weight in babies, leading to lifelong damage to health, according to a large new study.

Don’t Forget to Apply: IH Section’s Mentoring Applications Now Open (December 15th Deadline)!

Attention IH Section Members:

The Global Health Mentoring Program applications for mentors and mentees is now open. Applications and information on the program can be found here: https://aphaih.org/global-health-mentoring-program/

Applications will be open until December 15, 2017 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

Matches will be introduced via email in early January.

For questions please email: ih.gh.mentoring@gmail.com

Theresa Majeski
Chair, Mentoring Committee
International Health Section, APHA

Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

Nearly 100 years after the 1918 flu pandemic claimed as many as 50 million lives, many of us would like to think such devastating losses will never be seen again. Unfortunately, the experts say otherwise.

Even as parts of north India are caught in the throes of a major public health emergency, and there have been calls to take urgent steps to mitigate the toxic air, the problem lies with the existing framework. It’s time for some hard policy decisions

EU is pledging 8% of its annual humanitarian aid budget to education in emergencies, an increase from 6% in 2017.

Programs, Grants & Awards

Peter Sands, a former British banker has been named as the head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

At the end of the first-ever WHO health minister meeting on ending tuberculosis held in Moscow, representatives from 114 countries agreed on a set of actions called Moscow Declaration to End TB.

On Sunday, November 19, the world turned its attention to the lowly—yet incredibly important—toilet bowl. World Toilet Day was created in 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Today, 4.5 billion people inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Today, 4.5 billion people live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste.

Research

Amish people in rural Indiana have a rare gene mutation that protects them from Type 2 diabetes and appears to extend their lifespan.

In South Africa, a country with the largest number of women of childbearing age living with HIV, authors of a new study identify perceived facilitators and potential barriers to implementing the Women’s Health CoOp in clinics and substance abuse rehabilitation centers.

Analysis of Swedish national records with over 3.4 million people and spanning 12 years showed that registered dog owners had lower rate of cardiovascular disease and lower risk of death.

Diseases & Disasters

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis and the international community must step in before it worsens, humanitarian agencies warn.

The world is in the midst of a global sanitation crisis – about 2.3 billion people lack access to even basic sanitation services.  Ensuring people around the world have access to basic sanitation services is vital to preventing the spread of infectious diseases and protecting our health.

The large plague outbreak that began in Madagascar in August appears to be waning, according to government case counts and local news reports.  The outbreak has infected about 1,800 people so far, killing 127 of them.

U.S. and Congolese scientists are tracking a virus. At a time when a deadly disease can cross the globe, they need to understand mysterious monkeypox.

The debate over taxing sugary drinks has turned into a ferocious global policy brawl.  In Columbia, proponents faced intimidation and censorship.

Technology

Around the globe, a staggering $455 billion intended for healthcare is lost every year to fraud or misuse.  Much of this abuse occurs in developing countries, where the loss of funds can have devastating consequences for health and development.

Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering faculty and graduate students, global health experts, and technology specialists will receive $100,000 to further develop a phone-based system enabling mothers in remote villages to spot serious health problems during newborn babies’ critical first week.

Environmental Health

More than 16,000 scientists from 184 countries have published a second warning to humanity advising that we need to change our wicked way to help the planet.

A handful of researchers in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere are methodically accumulating evidence suggesting that higher temperatures could be linked to a higher risk of premature births, stillbirths, or other negative pregnancy outcomes.

Equity & Disparities

Some nomadic communities in Africa are among the most challenging populations to reach with consistent health care. The World Health Organization estimates that there are at least 400 million people who lack access to at least one or more essential health services, leading to scores of preventable deaths worldwide.

Jeffrey Sachs, economics professor in Columbia University has said that the world’s richest are waging a war on the poor and has urged senators to not support the tax cuts or proposed changes to health care.

According to a new study, temperatures in slums in Nairobi were 5 -10℉ higher than the temperature reported by the city’s official weather station less than half a mile away.

Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

Adverse childhood experiences are linked to health problems in teens, a new study shows.

While prevalence of stunting decreased in African nations between 2000 and 2016, the absolute numbers rose from 50.4 million in 2000 to 58.5 million in 2016.

In a new report released to coincide with World Children’s Day, UNICEF revealed that in 37 countries, some 180 million youth are more likely to exist in extreme poverty, be out of school or be killed by violence, than children in those same countries 20 years ago.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO OUR READERS FROM THE UNITED STATES!

IH Section’s Mentoring Applications Now Open!

Attention IH Section Members:

The Global Health Mentoring Program applications for mentors and mentees is now open. Applications and information on the program can be found here: https://aphaih.org/global-health-mentoring-program/

Applications will be open until December 15, 2017 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

Matches will be introduced via email in early January.

For questions please email: ih.gh.mentoring@gmail.com

Theresa Majeski
Chair, Mentoring Committee
International Health Section, APHA