Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

According to a recent NPR-ProPublica investigation, we’re the only developed nation in the world where the rate of women dying of pregnancy-related complications is still rising, with more women dying from these causes here at home than in any comparably developed country.

The federal law protecting women from violence was set to expire at the end of the month, yet neither the House nor the Senate made renewing it a priority.

A pathbreaker in global health and a former CDC director, Bill Foege has some startling advice for young people interested in global health: Don’t have a life plan.  “Life plans are an illusion” he writes in his new book, “The Fears of the Rich, The Needs of the Poor.” Rather, he urges them to have a life philosophy that will guide them in the career and life decisions they make.

The United States’ commitment to global development does not look good compared with that of other wealthy countries – and it’s likely to get worse.

India has experienced a dramatic transition from a huge burden of infectious diseases to noncommunicable diseases, which now cause more than 69 percent of deaths in the country— almost 6 million each year.

Officials in Berkeley, Calif., have voted to require vegan-only food be served at city events and meetings that take place on Mondays.

Programs, Grants & Awards

The third UN High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) on Sept 27, 2018, will review national and global progress towards the prevention and control of NCDs, and provide an opportunity to renew, reinforce, and enhance commitments to reduce their burden. NCD countdown 2030 is an independent collaboration to inform policies that aim to reduce the worldwide burden of NCDs, and to ensure accountability towards this aim.

The second phase of the “Science Management” course, aimed at researchers and managers from Portuguese-speaking countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and organised by the Calouste Gulbenkian and the “la Caixa” Foundations in collaboration with ISGlobal and the Manhiça Health Research Center (CISM), took place at the CaixaForum in Barcelona from September 10-14.

In the early 2000’s, three of Catherine Nalungwe’s children died one after another before the age of three. The cause of the children’s death became a source of pain and confusion for the family. Catherine later tested positive for HIV in 2002, but she had no access to treatment through nearby health facilities at that time.  With improvements in access to HIV/AIDS services in Zambia, she started treatment in 2004.

The opening session of the 2nd World Sepsis Congress, ‘Sepsis – still a Global Health Threat’ is now available on demand on YouTube and as a Podcast on Apple Podcasts.

A new global health institute aimed at tackling emerging health challenges was launched on Friday (Sep 21) at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Scientific Congress 2018.


A new analysis has found that many of the products critically needed to fight some of the world’s most prevalent infectious are not likely to be developed based on current candidates in the research & development (R&D) pipeline, and reveals significant gaps in funding for health innovation.

Diseases & Disasters

A week after the storm made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, Florence continues to menace Southeastern North Carolina — both on and offshore.  After pummeling the region with wind and rain, the remnants of the storm haven’t dissipated and now have a slim chance to reform for a second go at the N.C. coast.

Water appears to have receded in some areas of the Carolinas, but more flooding from Hurricane Florence could arrive through the weekend, officials say.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has urged residents to remain in shelters as the floodwaters from Storm Florence continue to rise across the state.

Active infections kill 4000 people a day worldwide, more than AIDS does. But the notion that a quarter of the global population harbors silent tuberculosis is “a fundamental misunderstanding.”

A novel study indicates promising avenues in an innovative approach for developing a vaccine against Plasmodium vivacious, the most prevalent human malaria parasite outside sub-Saharan Africa.

A WHO report estimates that more than a quarter of people worldwide – 1.4 billion – are not doing enough physical exercise, a figure that he barely improved since 2001.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) 10th Ebola outbreak continued over the weekend, as officials reported three new deaths.


The government of Burkina Faso granted scientists permission to release genetically engineered mosquitos anytime this year or next,  researchers announced Wednesday. It’s a key step in the broader efforts to use bioengineering to eliminate malaria in the region.

Environmental Health

The impacts of climate change, from air pollution to extreme weather events, to disruptions to food and water systems will pose the greatest threats to global health in this century, and health leaders say it’s time for the sector to be a more active participant in the global climate debate.

Duke Energy said Thursday that three inactive coal ash basins in Goldsboro, North Carolina, are underwater after Hurricane Florence.  The electric utility said it’s monitoring the site and only a small amount of ash has leaked. But the heavy flooding has environmentalists worried about other sites and other hazards.

Climate change is the greatest health threat, and opportunity, of the 21st century and the health sector must lead the way to call on local, national and global policymakers to act now to significantly reduce climate pollution and build climate resilience,” said Dr. Maria Neira, the director of the Department of Public Health, Environment, and Social Determinants of Health of the World Health Organization, and the Public Health Institute is ready to meet the challenge head-on.

It’s no secret that California and the U.S. government are singing very different tunes when it comes to climate change.   The Golden State gathered a chorus of sorts at the Global Climate Action Summit, an international meeting of leaders and stakeholders in San Francisco Sept. 12-14.

Equity & Disparities

At the end of her mission to the country, Ikponwosa Ero, UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albanism, issued a statement on Monday welcoming Kenya’s “unique achievements”, saying that the country was set to become a regional leader on the issue.

The philanthropist Bill Gates has thanked the UAE for its support in working to eliminate deadly diseases and reduce world poverty.

The HDI, compiled by the UN Development Program (UNDP), is used as a composite measure of global development, tracking national successes in health, income and education in 189 countries. Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland and Germany top the rankings in the latest report, while Niger, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Chad and Burundi have the lowest scores.

High poverty rates, low education and lack of insurance are all social determinants that are expected to lead to high mortality rates and negative health outcomes. Despite a 62 percent minority population with these characteristics in California, the state’s health profile was significantly better than the nation’s as a whole.

An estimated 5 million deaths per year in low and middle income countries (LMICs) are the result of poor quality care, with a further 3.6 million the result of insufficient access to care, according to the first study to quantify the burden of poor quality health systems worldwide.

In January, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will welcome Australia’s first female representative to the committee — Rosemary Kayess.

Women, Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

Ending preventable maternal mortality and correcting unacceptable levels of disparity are essential to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, which focuses on ensuring healthy lives for all.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights NGOs struggling to deliver services in the wake of the United States “global gag rule” have spent a year caught between donors, after the Swedish aid agency, a key funder of sexual and reproductive health and rights, said it could not support organizations that go along with the rule. This report builds on WHO’s long-standing work on young people’s health and rights, including the Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030), the Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!) guidance, and contribution to the new UN Youth Strategy.  It was developed as part of the roadmap towards the development of a WHO strategy for engaging young people and young professionals.

More than 60 years after the drug thalidomide caused birth defects in thousands of children whose mothers took the drug while pregnant, scientists have solved a mystery that has lingered ever since the dangers of the drug first became apparent: how did the drug produce such severe fetal harm?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.