Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

President Trump’s nominee to be the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva sparred with the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday over whether rape victims should be allowed to have abortions.

Programs, Grants & Awards

Cancer is a truly global epidemic, with rates rising dramatically in low- and middle-income countries and continuing to increase in wealthier countries. Across Fred Hutch, our cancer and infectious disease researchers are making discoveries and testing new diagnostics and therapies that can have potentially worldwide impact.

Each May, the World Health Assembly brings a whirlwind of global health debate and discussion to the UN’s Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Research

Researchers in the United States and the Netherlands propose a new theory: global warming may have played a key role in the spread of Candida auris, a new and highly drug-resistant yeast, and suggest that this may be the first example of a new fungal disease emerging from climate change, according to a study published in mBio, a journal of the American Society of Microbiology.

Despite substantial progress, only three African nations expected to meet global breastfeeding goals. Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, and São Tomé and Príncipe, are singled out in a new study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine.

Weizmann Institute of Science researchers have developed an algorithm that may predict the onset of such diseases as tuberculosis. The findings of this research were recently published in Nature Communications.

Diseases & Disasters

In epidemic preparedness, we dive deep into the core components of outbreak detection and response like laboratory strengthening and response planning. But when an outbreak occurs, it’s the strength of the system working as a whole—not the individual pieces in isolation—that determines whether it will be contained quickly or spiral out of control.

Technology

China passed a law on Saturday tightening the supervision and management of how vaccines enter the market, requiring stricter management of their production, research and distribution, after a series of safety scandals.

The Salzburg Statement on Vaccination Acceptance lays down several recommendations to combat the global fall in vaccination rates fuelled by a powerful worldwide ‘anti-vax’ movement.

Public mistrust of vaccines means the world is taking a step backwards in the fight against deadly yet preventable infectious diseases, warn experts.

Four years ago, antibiotics developer Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals Inc. had a market value of almost $2 billion. Now its shares trade for about 70 cents as investors flee the market for new drugs that kill bacterial infections.

Environmental Health

The prime minister called on the G20 countries to set targets for net zero greenhouse gas emissions.  Instead, 19 pledged to meet their targets set in the 2015 Paris agreement. The US did not sign up.

The world’s wood products — all the paper, lumber, furniture and more — offset just 1 percent of annual global carbon emissions by locking away carbon in woody forms, according to new research.

An Oakland-based environmental health group is threatening to sue the manufacturers and retailers behind two bottled water brands for failing to warn consumers about allegedly high levels of arsenic in their products. 

Equity & Disparities

Too often toxic coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power, ends up in poor, minority communities. U.S. civil rights officials are launching a deeper look at federal environmental policy to find out why.

In countries such as Zambia, Senegal and Tunisia, everyday drugs like paracetamol can cost up to 30 times more than in the UK and USA.

President Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to cross from South Korea into North Korea (in a demilitarized zone dividing the two countries). The goal was to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a diplomatic effort to discuss the denuclearization of North Korea. But the country poses much more of a global deadly force and significant security concern than just nuclear weapons.

Women, Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

Luciana Angueira, a social worker in Villa Fiorito, a poor neighborhood outside of central Buenos Aires, Argentina, says many of the women she sees are looking to end their pregnancies, but don’t want their husbands to know.

For 10 years, Honduran women like Emilia have been unable to legally and easily buy the morning-after pill (also referred to as the day-after pill), a form of contraception that the World Health Organization (WHO) considers a human right.

Approximately 1 million treatment courses of new tuberculosis medicines designed for easy administration in children have been ordered by 93 countries since they were first introduced in 2016, according to the nonprofit organization TB Alliance.

The report, “Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Voices from Beirut,” reveals that girls between the ages of 10-19 living in refugee communities in this region face gender-based violence and rising child marriage — which parents are supporting less for cultural reasons, but in a bid to protect their daughters.

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