News Round Up

Politics & Policies

Across much of the world—including one remote Nigerian village—the availability of family planning will largely depend on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/14/isolated-in-rural-nigeria-and-waiting-for-america-to-vote/

POLITICO Launches ‘Global Pulse’ Newsletter To Highlight Global Health, Discusses U.S. Drawdown From Global Health Leadership

https://www.politico.com/newsletters/global-pulse/2020/10/22/a-world-without-america-490668

What strategies should governments adopt to improve the health of their citizens? Amid the COVID-19 syndemic it would be easy to focus attention on global health security—at a minimum, strong public health and health-care systems. WHO has based its global health strategy on three pillars: universal health coverage, health emergencies, and better health and wellbeing. 

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32131-0/fulltext

USAID Sends Letters To Prime Recipients Of Global Health Assistance, U.N. SG Emphasizing Expectation To Comply With Statutory, Policy Abortion Restrictions, Discussing Concerns Regarding Sexual, Reproductive Health Terminology

https://www.kff.org/news-summary/usaid-sends-letters-to-prime-recipients-of-global-health-assistance-u-n-sg-emphasizing-expectation-to-comply-with-statutory-policy-abortion-restrictions-discussing-concerns-regarding-sexual-repr/

Health officials across the country are calling it quits in the midst of a global pandemic as otherwise below-the-radar public servants become the targets of anger and frustration in a hyperpartisan age.

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/512350-dozens-public-health-officials-quitting-pandemic

Programs, Grants & Awards

In order to ensure that those exposed to COVID-19 receive the help they need to quarantine and cooperate with public health guidance, UCSF’s Pandemic Initiative for Equity and Action (UPIEA) is adding a soft-skills component to the training California contact tracers receive: cultural humility.

https://globalhealthsciences.ucsf.edu/news/california-covid-19-contact-tracing-expand-cultural-competency-funding-skoll-foundation

Dr. Anthony Fauci Launches YIGH Global Health Conversation Series Webinar

https://medicine.yale.edu/news-article/28298/

In new strategy, Wellcome Trust takes on global health concerns

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/370/6515/392

Research

By adulthood, gender inequalities in health and wellbeing are apparent. Yet, the timing and nature of gender inequalities during childhood and adolescence are less clear. Researchers describe the emergence of gender inequalities in health and wellbeing across the first two decades of life.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(20)30354-5/fulltext

The burden of malaria infection in sub-Saharan Africa among school-aged children aged 5–15 years is underappreciated and represents an important source of human-to-mosquito transmission of Plasmodium falciparum. Additional interventions are needed to control and eliminate malaria. Researchers aimed to assess whether preventive treatment of malaria might be an effective means of reducing P falciparum infection and anaemia in school-aged children and lowering parasite transmission.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(20)30325-9/fulltext

Unless the spread of the disease is contained, COVID-19 will likely lead to reduced life expectancy in severely affected areas, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE. The study examined the impact of COVID-19-related deaths on life expectancy for four broad world regions across multiple rates of infection and age groups.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200917181301.htm

Is there a quantifiable association between the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the volume, type, and content of primary care encounters in the US?

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2771191

Infectious diseases prevalent in humans and animals are caused by pathogens that once emerged from other animal hosts. In addition to these established infections, new infectious diseases periodically emerge. In extreme cases they may cause pandemics such as COVID-19; in other cases, dead-end infections or smaller epidemics result.

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674%2820%2931012-6

Diseases & Disasters

Representatives from the global south used this year’s World Health Summit to send a message to their counterparts in richer countries: They have a vision for how to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, and while they welcome advice and technical expertise, they are not interested in being told what to do.

https://www.devex.com/news/at-the-world-health-summit-global-south-representatives-had-a-message-for-donors-98425

The coronavirus pandemic has caused major disruption in global health, and exposed gaps in global health governance and coordination. But as the sector rethinks the current global health architecture, global health expert Steve Davis cautioned against trying to fix it by just setting up a new institution.

https://www.devex.com/news/watch-steve-davis-on-rethinking-global-health-98398

Nearly eight months after the pandemic was declared, researchers are gaining a more complete understanding of how the new coronavirus affects people.

https://globalhealth.washington.edu/news/2020/10/02/how-covid-19-affects-some-people-long-after-they-become-infected-coronavirus

India’s COVID-19 cases soared even higher today, as the world’s second most populous nation came closer to edging out Brazil as the second worst-hit country.

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/08/india-surge-pushes-global-covid-19-total-higher

Technology 

The US government has invested billions of dollars to create new health technologies — including tests, drugs, and vaccines — to combat COVID-19. These innovations could change the trajectory of the pandemic in the United States and other high-income countries, but unfortunately many of these tools may not work for people living in the world’s poorest places, where different challenges demand different solutions.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/covid-19-health-technologies-us-invest/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share&_branch_match_id=801454931345192725

The HIMSS Global Health Equity Network and Accelerate Health are working together to host the Global Maternal Health Tech Challenge, a worldwide call to action to create technology solutions focused on improving maternal health outcomes.

https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/himss-announces-global-tech-challenge-improve-maternal-health-outcomes-worldwide

New commitments from governments, international organizations and the private sector support unified approach to end pandemic, backing a response of unprecedented scale, scope and speed­—through the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator­—as pandemic claims more than 1 million lives.

https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/30-09-2020-un-welcomes-nearly-1-billion-in-recent-pledges-to-bolster-access-to-lifesaving-tests-treatments-and-vaccines-to-end-covid-19

Environmental Health

The world has already observed many devastating effects of human-induced climate change. A vivid manifestation is the several large wildfires that have occurred recently — in some cases, fires of unprecedented scale and duration — including wildfires in Australia in 2019 to 2020, the Amazon rainforest in Brazil in 2019 and 2020, the western United States in 2018 and 2020, and British Columbia, Canada, in 2017 and 2018. Since August of this year, record-breaking wildfires have burned 2.7 million hectares (as of September 18, 2020) along the West Coast of the United States, killing more than 30 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless. Robust projections indicate that the risk of wildfires will continue to increase in most areas of the world as climate change worsens and that the fires will increase excess mortality and morbidity from burns, wildfire smoke, and mental health effects.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr2028985

Yale School of Public Health offers new climate change and health concentration

https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2020/10/26/yale-school-of-public-health-offers-new-climate-change-and-health-concentration/

Improving health care in rural Indonesia reduced incentives for illegal logging in a nearby national park, averting millions of dollars’ worth of atmospheric carbon emissions, a study finds. The finding indicates that accessible and affordable health care could be a key tool for addressing the climate crisis. Although the link may not be obvious, health care and climate change—two issues that pose major challenges around the world—are more connected than people may realize.

https://www.futurity.org/affordable-health-care-logging-climate-2461882-2/

With storms to the east and wildfires to the west, the climate crisis is currently at the forefront of public consciousness. But aside from dramatic disasters there is another, pernicious threat that comes with a warming climate: diminishing global crop yields.

https://www.ehn.org/climate-change-and-food-security-2647870834.html?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2

Equity & Disparities

If wealthy countries such as Canada crowd out vaccine access for poor countries, they should help support social protections, food security and health care.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2020-09-28/commentary-canadas-covid-19-vaccine-strategy-may-come-at-cost-of-global-health

The world will not return to normal until a vaccine against the coronavirus is distributed widely and not just to developed nations, one of the leading vaccine experts said in a wide-ranging interview Wednesday.

https://thehill.com/homenews/coronavirus-report/509620-covid-19-vaccines-must-go-to-rich-and-poor-countries-warns

The coronavirus pandemic has hit disproportionately hard in Black and Hispanic communities, where infection rates and death rates have reached staggering levels. 

But as scientists race to develop vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and treatments for the COVID-19 disease it causes, many trials are struggling to enroll people from those very communities.

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/519249-diversity-emerges-as-key-challenge-for-covid-trials

Women, Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

The year 2020—five years since 189 countries signed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—has been consumed by the global response to COVID-19. One collateral effect of COVID-19 has been the setting aside of many SDGs and efforts to track progress towards them. Attention to children during the pandemic has concentrated on school closures, food insecurity, and access to care within health systems taxed by COVID-19 mitigation and response efforts. The situation of child and adolescent health before COVID-19, and consequences of the pandemic on specific health targets for SDG 3, therefore deserve attention.

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003449

One stillbirth occurs every 16 seconds, according to first ever joint UN estimates

https://www.who.int/news/item/08-10-2020-one-stillbirth-occurs-every-16-seconds-according-to-first-ever-joint-un-estimates

Children, women, migrants all at increased risk of exploitation and trafficking during second COVID wave, U.N. expert warns

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26443&LangID=E

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