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.

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