Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, who’s in D.C. this week to meet with administration officials and members of Congress, told Axios he hopes the U.S.’ souring relationships with Europe and China — sparked by the Trump administration’s tariffs — won’t hurt long-term global health or climate change goals.

Stereotypes that migrants are disease carriers who present a risk to public health and are a burden on services are some of the most prevalent and harmful myths about migration.

Pakistan’s expulsion of 18 international aid agencies will hurt 11 million aid recipients in a South Asian nation grappling with perilously low standards of education and healthcare.

Programs, Grants & Awards

Each year, in June and November, the Global Health Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia facilitates educational exchanges in the Dominican Republic (DR) through the Global Health Allies Program.  The program is open to all benefits-eligible CHOP employees who have been employed at CHOP for at least 18 months at the time of the trip.  Approximately six people whose expertise fits with the particular needs of each exchange are chosen following a formal application and interview process.

Students from the Clinton, Janesville Craig, Janesville Parker, Marshall, Milton, Portage and Sun Prairie high schools spent the day at “Opening Doors to the World,” the sixth annual High School Global Public Health Day at UW-Madison.

Research

For most people who take statins to lower cholesterol, the risk of side effects is low compared to the benefits, according to a recent scientific statement.

Diseases & Disasters

U.S. Navy sends hospital ship to Colombia to treat Venezuelan migrants.

The UN appealed Tuesday for $4 billion to cover humanitarian needs in Yemen in 2019 – its largest country appeal ever – and announced its first appeal related to Venezuela, calling for $738 million to help those who have fled the country’s economic meltdown and health crisis.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) confirmed that in September of 2018, first ladies from both China and Africa have committed to advocate and prevent HIV/AIDS among adolescents, creating a joint initiative that emphasizes a three-year health promotion and HIV-prevention advocacy program.

Newly released data by the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) shows it is this community-centered approach that has helped Namibia exceed some of the 90-90-90 targets set by UNAids in 2014.

Decades after polio was eradicated from Papua New Guinea, the crippling and sometimes deadly disease has returned, leaving doctors scrambling to revive long-lapsed vaccination programmes.

A drug that protects children in wealthy countries against painful and sometimes lethal bouts of sickle-cell disease has been proven safe for use in Africa, where the condition is far more common, scientists reported on Saturday.

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is quickly becoming an international concern.  With 489 people diagnosed with the disease and 289 deaths, it is already the second largest Ebola outbreak in history (although still dwarfed by the 2014 West Africa outbreak). While the DRC has a good track record of responding to these outbreaks, the ongoing military conflict in the country is making the response much more difficult.

Technology

Tanzania is the first confirmed country in Africa to achieve a well-functioning, regulatory system for medical products according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

A chatbot is a computer program that automatically replies to user messages based on a decision tree or artificial intelligence algorithm. Increasingly, chatbots are being used to give technology a more human face and make data more accessible to people.

Researchers from the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine have generated six antibodies that could be used to test for and potentially treat the Zika virus.  To date, the mosquito-borne disease has afflicted more than 1.5 million people worldwide, but there is no effective vaccine or drug available for treatment. It is most dangerous during pregnancy, which can result in miscarriages, stillbirths, or congenital disabilities.

An inexpensive, easy-to-use blood test could dramatically alter how sickle cell disease is diagnosed in Africa, where the often-undiagnosed disease is a leading cause of childhood mortality, according to a manufacturer-sponsored study presented here.

Environmental Health

Britain is bidding to host the UN climate change conference in 2020, the biggest since the Paris agreement was signed in 2015, as part of the government’s aim to be seen as a green leader.

Equity & Disparities

Uterine cancer is killing more women, and black women are disproportionately burdened by the disease, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Women, Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

Malaria quickly kills toddlers.  But rapid diagnostic tests, a new suppository drug and  bicycle ambulances can buy enough time to get stricken children to hospitals.

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