Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

The goal of the  Resolve to Save Lives initiative is to save 100 million lives within 30 years. With $225 million in funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Gates Foundation, Resolve zeroed in on cardiovascular disease and epidemics as its twin priorities.

Friends of the Global Fight today released an updated, two-page edition of its policy brief, “The Case for U.S. Investment in the Global Fund and Global Health.” This short edition includes updated data and talking points to show how U.S. support for the Global Fund offers extraordinary return on investment.

Ahead of Secretary Tillerson’s budget testimony, humanitarian, development and global health organizations release new data showing the devastating human costs of proposed administration cuts to foreign assistance.

It could take several years before United States aid recipient countries such as Uganda and Nigeria feel the full impact of the expanded Mexico City Policy. But new analysis shows there are already clear signs that the policy is pushing these countries to limit their expansion of key health services, including for women’s health care.

Launching the TB Free India Campaign at ‘Delhi End TB Summit’, PM Narendra Modi said his government is implementing a national strategic plan to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2025.

Global health care efforts rely heavily on U.S. funding, but U.S. attitudes toward spending in this area are increasingly hostile.

Programs, Grants & Awards

Drs. Catherine Blish, Nathaniel Landau, and Sara Sawyer are recipients of the 2018 Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The Gates Foundation concentrates on advocacy efforts that encourage political leaders to fund initiatives supporting the elimination of global inequalities.  Other notable efforts include initiatives centered around helping farmers in developing countries research and implement better agricultural practices. These include the production of rice and flour enriched with micronutrients.

Research

Human antibody CIS43 protected mice from infection with the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a new study shows.

Physical inactivity is an important cause of noncommunicable diseases.  Interventions can increase short-term physical activity (PA),  but health benefits require maintenance. Few interventions have evaluated PA objectively beyond 12 months. We followed up two pedometer interventions with positive 12-month effects to examine objective PA levels at 3–4 years.

In a paper in Public Health Research & Practice, published by the Sax Institute, we outline how collaboration between like-minded national governments can improve pre-migration health assessments (PMHAs) through information sharing, collaborative learning and increased capability in countries of origin.

Diseases & Disasters

Egypt has become the first country in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region to eliminate lymphatic filariasis. This success comes after nearly 20 years of sustained prevention and control activities.

Whooping cough, caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis, is no longer a familiar condition to most Americans. The United States began widespread vaccinations in the 1940s, which nearly eradicated the disease. But whooping-cough has been increasing here over the past two decades despite record rates of vaccination: in 2016, more than 15,000 people in the US came down with the disease, and 7 people died.

There has been an 80 percent decrease in the number of new cholera cases reported among a community of Congolese refugees in Uganda’s western Lake Albert region, the World Health Organization told Devex Friday. As recently as Feb. 28, health care workers were identifying roughly 100 new cases a day and as of March 12, that number is down to 20.

A huge and deadly outbreak of Listeria in South Africa could alter the country’s approach to food-borne disease and prompt improvements in food safety standards, a leading health official said on Friday.

Technology

UNICEF aims to scale up real-time monitoring systems in 110 countries by 2021 using the open source technology called RapidPro.

Researchers are developing low cost technology to improve water quality and to remove contaminants using magnetic nanoparticle based adsorption.

Profusa Inc has developed injectable body sensors that are capable of streaming data to mobile phones and to the cloud.

Environmental Health

After the latest study showed that more than 90% of bottled water brands contained tiny plastic particles, the World Health Organization has announced a review of potential risks of plastic contamination in drinking water.

New study shows that alleviating the effects of global warming with tougher climate policies could save 150 million lives.

New research led by IIASA researcher Narasimha Rao has shown how it might be possible to reduce micronutrient deficiencies in India in an affordable way whilst also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Equity & Disparities

Two members of the polio vaccination team were ambushed and killed in a remote tribal region in Pakistan.

Advances in mapping tools and the ability to create maps with extraordinary detail is helping efforts from vaccination to disaster relief.

Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

Even with futuristic advances in medicine and science, and increased access to food and other forms of nutrition, the oldest human health problem has remained stubborn—and, sometimes, seemingly impossible to fix: Young children and infants still die at epidemic rates in the poorest corners of the globe.

An international study of over 300,000 women from across 29 countries showed that pregnant women with anemia are twice as likely to die during or shortly after pregnancy.

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