Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

The World Bank is creating the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility to help developing countries finance the costs of responding and containing future disease outbreaks.

David Beasley, who heads the United Nations World Food Programme, hopes a meeting with Ivanka Trump will help stop the President’s plan to withdraw US funds from diplomatic and  humanitarian efforts in the world.

A new metric of global mortality published in the Lancet has ranked the US 35th among other nations in preventing the deaths of its citizens that can be avoided by applying known medical interventions.  

In Haiti, where pharmacists are hard to come by, street vendors sell a range of drugs including generic medicines to expired pills.

Nine of India’s poorest states failed to spend the money allocated in the budget for healthcare.

Programs, Grants & Awards

The Annual Meeting of New Champions will take place in Dalian, People’s Republic of China on June 27-29.

Michael Merson will be stepping down as director of the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) effective June 30, but will remain as Wolfgang Joklik Professor of Global Health and vice president and vice provost for global strategy and programs.

Research

Results from one of the largest stroke rehabilitation trials published in The Lancet has revealed that family-led rehabilitation is ineffective and highlights the need for professional rehabilitation centers in low- and middle-income countries.

Scientists are exploring the possibility of utilizing bacteriophages to treat antibiotic-resistant infections.

Cotrimoxazole (CTX) should be given to all HIV-infected adults with mild or severe HIV disease or those with CD4 counts below 350/mm3 according to 2006 WHO guidelines. They assessed the impact of CTX prophylaxis on the risk of malaria episodes in HIV-1 infected adults from 4 West African countries with different patterns of malaria transmission.

HIV reduces fertility through biological and social pathways, and antiretroviral treatment (ART) can ameliorate these effects. In northern Malawi, ART has been available since 2007 and lifelong ART is offered to all pregnant or breastfeeding HIV-positive women.

This article presents the finding of the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) 2014 survey on syphilis testing policies and practices in the Americas.

Scientists have linked triclosan, a common household disinfectant found in products such as toothpaste and make up, to antibiotic resistance.

Diseases & Disasters

More than two years of civil war in Yemen has created the worst cholera outbreak in the world according to the UN.

Technology

The global wireless health market share was the largest in North America in 2016 and is projected to experience robust growth in the Asia-Pacific region with a total market size of around $309 billion by 2025.

Amidst a technology revolution, China’s private sector is stepping up to help in one of the biggest challenges we face in global health to improve the delivery of healthcare interventions, such as vaccines, by connecting high impact innovations with the countries that need them the most.

Researchers have developed a baker’s yeast-based biosensor that can detect a fungal pathogen for less than one cent per test.

Studies and others suggest that incorporating game-like elements (gamification) into health programs is both feasible and beneficial.

Environmental Health

Rising water shortages in low- and middle-income countries pose serious challenges within healthcare facilities, especially in surgery and maternity units.

Nearly a million plastic bottles are bought every minute around the world and this number is expected to rise another 20% by 2021.

Equity & Disparities

A new report by UNICEF entitled “Narrowing the Gaps: The Power of Investing in the Poorest Children,” found that increasing access to healthcare among poor communities saved more lives and was more cost-effective than in non-poor communities.

A new study finds major gaps in policy and practice in Global Fund’s efforts to address gender inequalities.

Analysis of hand-washing behaviors using data from 51 nationally representative surveys reveals that many families in low- and middle-income countries lack soap at home.

Women’s groups in Tanzania are urging the government to lift the ban that prevents pregnant girls from attending school.

Multinational corporations are lobbying the UN behind closed doors to keep tax avoidance off the list of targets in the Sustainable Development Goals, say advocates of global tax reform.

Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

Apart from the impact on the lives of young girls below the age of 18 who get married each year, child marriage has a huge impact on the economy costing nearly $4 tn.

WHO, along with multiple countries, is now embracing the commitment to reduce the mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT) of HIV and/or syphilis to elimination levels, such that these cease to be public health problems. This will require political advocacy and commitment from experts in HIV, syphilis, maternal child health, health policy, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

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