Happy National Public Health Week 2020!


In the midst of the most challenging public health crisis of our lifetimes, it’s more important than ever to celebrate public health.

During each day of National Public Health Week, we focus on a particular public health topic. Then, we identify ways each of us can make a difference on that topic. These areas are critical to our future success in creating the healthiest nation, and everyone can do their part to help.

NPHW Daily Themes

  • Monday: Mental Health — advocate for and promote emotional well-being
  • Tuesday: Maternal and Child Health — ensure the health of mothers and babies throughout the lifespan
  • Wednesday: Violence Prevention — reduce personal and community violence to improve health
  • Thursday: Environmental Health — help protect and maintain a healthy planet
  • Friday: Education — advocate for quality education and schools
  • Saturday: Healthy Housing — ensure access to affordable and safe housing
  • Sunday: Economics — advocate for economic empowerment as the key to a healthy life

You can apply a COVID-19 lens to the NPHW daily themes and help us keep equity at the forefront of the ongoing worldwide conversation about public health.

How can you get involved?

Has your NPHW event been cancelled due to COVID-19? We have some ideas for celebrating while respecting the need for physical distancing.

APHA is hosting NPHW events entirely online this year, to protect our partners and neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about what APHA is doing, and what you can do to prepare without panic.

Our NPHW fact sheets are available year-roundon the NPHW website so we can keep the momentum and learning going. Learn more about this year’s daily themes and how you can be part of the movement for science, action and health, year-round.

Find additional info at: http://www.nphw.org/

The latest Section Connection newsletter is here!

Dear friends and colleagues,

It was so great to connect with many of you at the Annual Meeting. We hope you learned a lot from our sessions and got to know many of your fellow International Health section colleagues. A lot has changed in our world since November and it is my hope that our IH community can serve as a resource for you during these challenging times.

In this issue of Section Connection, you will hear more about the work our section is doing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; learn more about how you can get involved with National Public Health Week; hear about the work that the membership committee does; read an interview with Dr Aisha Jumaan and Dr. Samer Jabbour who presented at our IH luncheon last year; and get up close and personal with IH section member – Dr. Yara Asi.

We will also share updates from the Climate Change and Health Working Group, the International Abortion Working Group, the Membership Committee, the Communications Committee, and the Nominations Committee.

Please click here to access our latest issue of Section Connection: https://tinyurl.com/SectionConnection13

We hope you continue to stay connected and involved with our section.

Sarah Shannon
International Health Section Chair

An Overview of Global Mental Health

By: Dr. Heather F. McClintock PhD MSPH MSW, Elena Schatell MPH (c) MMS (c), and Hannah Stewart

This is the first part of a IH Blog series, Global Mental Health: Burden, Initiatives and Special Topics.

Part I: An Overview of Global Mental Health 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) mental health is more than the absence of mental disorders. It is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” The Global Burden of Disease Study has reported that for nearly three decades more than 14% of Years Lived with Disability (YLDs) were due to mental health concerns, such as depressive disorders and substance abuse. Over one in three people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. Depression, the most prevalent psychiatric diagnosis, affects an estimated 264 million people globally. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia affect 45 million and 22 million people worldwide, respectively. One out of five of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental disorder, and about half of mental health concerns begin before the age of 14. The burden of mental health concerns has serious human repercussions. Every year, approximately 800,000 people die by suicide, this is nearly 1 person every 40 seconds.  

The burden of mental disorders varies significantly by country. In order to track this variation, WHO created a Mental Health Atlas. The Atlas contains profiles for nearly all member states presenting information on each country’s burden of mental health concerns, system governance, resources, and service availability and uptake. The Atlas also contains many other important indicators of mental illness including suicide mortality rates and the number of treated cases of severe mental disorders.       

According to the most recent 2017 Atlas, the United States reported that 4,128.45 disability adjusted life years (DALYs) per 100,000 people were lost due to mental health concerns. This is higher than some of the USA’s high-income counterparts: Denmark (3,819.99 DALYs per 100,000), France, (3,700.67 DALY’s per 100,000), Australia (2,972.99 DALY’s per 100,000), and Japan (2,240.63 DALY’s per 100,000). And while reported rates of mental health concerns tend to be higher in high-income countries, more than 80% of people living with mental health concerns live in low- and middle income countries (LMIC’s). In these settings, access to culturally appropriate and effective mental health services remains low with treatment rates often as low as 35-50%. The outlook isn’t improving. By 2030, major depression alone is projected to be the largest contributor to global disease burden

Determinants of mental health concerns include biological, psychological, social, economic, environmental, and cultural factors. Biologically, genetic factors increase risk for the onset of mental disorders. Psychologically, personality factors are associated with poor mental health. Contextual factors such as violence, unsafe neighborhoods, war, unemployment, minimal social cohesion, discrimination, and human rights violations all increase the likelihood of mental disorders. Humanitarian crises, due to their widespread impact globally, have been a recent focus for the assessment and evaluation of mental health issues. In conflict settings the prevalence of depression and anxiety is more than double. Roughly one in five people who have experienced conflict or war in the past 10 years will have depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. 

In comparison with the general population, persons with psychiatric diagnoses die 10 to 20 years younger than those without such disorders, a prognosis worse than heavy smoking. The morbidity and mortality of mental health concerns translate into devastating global economic costs. We lose about $1 trillion U.S. dollars globally per year in productivity due to depression and anxiety. It is projected that the burden of poor mental health will cost the global economy $16.3 trillion between 2011 and 2030, more than chronic heart disease. The economic costs of mental disorders go beyond the direct healthcare costs and extend to hidden indirect economic costs such as loss of productivity according to the 2011 World Economic Forum report.

But the true cost of the burden of mental health concerns comes at the price of human  suffering. Living with mental health concerns not only affects the human psyche, it has social and human rights consequences. Unmanaged and untreated mental illness not only impacts the individual lives of those affected; it impacts family, friends, their social and work-related environments, and society as a whole. Individuals experiencing mental illness are often maltreated and marginalized on a global level. They are subjected to human rights violations, including denial of employment, denial of education, malnutrition, negligence, and physical abuse. It’s critical that the world radically change the way we deliver mental health services to create new systems that are rights-oriented, user-centered, and achieve true parity. 

References (in order of appearance)
  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-strengthening-our-response
  2. GBD 2017 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. (2018). Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32279-7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6227754/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24648481
  4. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)32279-7/fulltext
  5. https://www.who.int/health-topics/suicide#tab=tab_1
  6. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-disorders
  7. Wang et al., (2007). Use of mental health services for anxiety, mood, and substance disorders in 17 countries in the WHO world mental health surveys. The Lancet.
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17826169
  9. https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/profiles-2017/en/
  10. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-disorders
  11. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-in-emergencies
  12. https://www.who.int/news-room/facts-in-pictures/detail/mental-health
  13. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244014526209
  14. Bloom DE, Cafiero ET, Jané-Llopis E, et al. The global economic burden of non-communicable diseases. Geneva, 2011. https://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/documents/s18806en/s18806en.pdf
  15. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244014526209

About the Authors:

Dr. Heather F. McClintock PhD MSPH MSW

McClintock.PictureDr. McClintock is an IH Section Member and Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences at Arcadia University. She earned her Master of Science in Public Health from the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. McClintock received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on health behavior and promotion. Her research broadly focuses on the prevention, treatment, and management of chronic disease and disability globally. Recent research aims to understand and reduce the burden of intimate partner violence in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to completing her doctorate she served as a Program Officer at the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and a Senior Project Manager in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania. At the University of Pennsylvania she led several research initiatives that involved improving patient compliance and access to quality healthcare services including the Spectrum of Depression in Later Life Study and Integrating Management for Depression and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Study.

Elena Schatell MPH (c) MMS (c)

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 7.52.50 PMElena Schatell is a current student at Arcadia University enrolled in the Dual Master of Public Health/Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Program. She aims to promote public health in underserved communities as a future physician assistant. Her current public health interests include access to mental health services, stigma surrounding mental illness, and the relationship between faith and mental health. She has interned at the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) national office in Arlington, Virginia, working closely with the Advocacy and Public Policy team on conducting research on service barriers and state mental health policy. During her time at NAMI, she also authored articles for the Advocate magazine and blog.

Hannah Stewart

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 7.53.02 PMHannah Stewart is a global mental health researcher and advocate that uses the power of research methodology to elevate mental health as a human rights issue. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Baylor University and her Master of Public Health in Global Health Leadership at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include the psychological impact of traumatic experience, culturally appropriate psychosocial interventions, and the intersection of mental health and climate change. She is currently a research scholar at the Global Environmental Health Lab where she focuses on building research capacity at universities in Myanmar. Hannah is also one of two delegates from the United States to the Executive Committee of the Global Mental Health Peer Network, a lived-experience organization that advocates for individuals living with mental health concerns by engaging diverse stakeholders in mental health.


COVID-19 Resources for the Global Health Community

We will share resources for the global health community on COVID-19 here. This page will be updated regularly. Please bookmark this page. If you have a resource to share, please email ihsection.communciations@gmail.com 

To learn more about how the IH section is responding to COVID-19, please visit: https://aphaih.org/covid19response/ 

Last updated: Thursday, April 8, 2020


  1. APHA’s COVID-19 Information Page
  2. Resources for Sharing with the General Public 
  3. Global Health Policies and Funding
  4. Global Health Focused Newsletters
  5. What You Can Do
  6. Technology Tools
  7. Equity and Inclusion
  8. Medical Journal Resource Centers
  9. Official Resources
  10. Dashboards and Data
  11. Resources for Clinicians and Researchers updated today 
  12. Funding Opportunities updated today 

APHA’s COVID-19 Information Page

A great, short video of Dr. Benjamin talking about not panicking and the role of public health in a pandemic, and a 10-minute podcast conversation he had with JHU’s Josh Sharfstein on how public health can serve the communities that are at greatest risk for being left behind.


APHA is urging the public health community to share science-based information with the public and speaking out for funding and support to respond to the outbreak. The page includes information on what APHA is doing, links to the latest guidance, and fact sheets on what you need to know about COVID-19 that can be shared with the public.


As of today, APHA is fully committed to holding the 2020 APHA Annual Meeting and Expo in San Francisco, Oct. 24-28, as planned.


A list of APHA’s priorities during pandemic response 


APHA’s Get Ready campaign has resources that can be shared widely. Includes fact sheets, videos, FAQs, preparation tips, resources for specific audiences, graphics, and videos.


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Resources for Sharing with the General Public

COVID-19 Expert Reality Check

To help improve understanding of an emerging outbreak’s complex dynamics, Global Health Now has reached out to some of the world’s most respected global health experts for their quick “reality checks” on key issues related to the outbreak.


WHO Advice for Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Breastfeeding

Question and answer on COVID-19, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.


Hesperian Health Guides Fact Sheets in Multiple Languages

Hesperian Health Guides has Fact Sheets in accessible and clear information on Coronavirus (online and as downloadable/ printable PDFs) in: English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Urdu, Bangla, Filipino, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesia, Farsi, Sindhi, Telugu, and Hindi.


COVID-19 Fact Sheets from the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project

All of our materials are reviewed and vetted by physicians and medical school faculty members at the Harvard hospitals. These materials are created in collaboration with Harvard Health Publishing. These materials are freely available for download and distribution without copyright restrictions.
We currently support 35 languages.


Coronavirus Information in Multiple Languages

Washington State has released fact sheets in multiple languages: Amharic, Arabic, Chinese Simplified and Traditional, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese.


AA and NHPI In-Language Resources for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This google spreadsheet is a collection of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) in-language resources on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The resource links have been submitted by national and community-based organizations that work with health & AA and NHPI communities.


CDC COVID-19 Communication Resources

CDC offers free resources including video, fact sheets, and posters. Below are links to current communication tools and resources available for use and distribution.


Jive Media Africa – COVID-19 Posters

In response to the global pandemic, research communication specialists Jive Media Africa have produced a series of posters to grab attention and engage a broad range of public audiences. Download, print or share them now. Available in: Afrikaans, French, IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, Luo, Setwana, Sesotho, Sepedi, SiSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Yoruba.


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COVID-19 Global Health Policies and Funding

Global Health Council – U.S. and Global Response to COVID-19

Global Health Council has compiled detailed information about what the US government, other governments and WHO are doing to address the spread of COVID-19.


US State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus

To date, states have taken a number of actions aimed at reducing existing barriers to testing and treatment for those affected. These specific policy actions are compiled below, along with data on current cases and deaths as well as additional state-level data on health coverage and provider capacity within each state, important factors that may play a role in how effectively states respond to this outbreak. These data will be updated regularly and new information will be added in response to the evolving situation.


Donor Funding for the Global Novel COVID-19 Response

While donors have begun providing support to China and other low- and middle-income countries, there is currently no centralized repository for this information. This tracker provides an accounting of publicly available information on donor funding to date. Not included are funding from governments for their own domestic response efforts or commitments focused on economic stimulus or recovery efforts related to the outbreak (such as a $6 billion commitment from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation or a $50 billion commitment, including $10 billion in zero-interest loans for low-income countries, from the International Monetary Fund).1 It will be updated as needed.


WHO COVID-19 Response

A list of donors contributing to WHO for the COVID-19 response.


USAID Response

Track developments in USAID assistance for COVID-19.


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Global Health Focused Newsletters

Kaiser Family Foundation

The Kaiser Family Foundation sends emails to notify subscribers of new research, reports, polls and data available on our website, as well as to invite you to public briefings.  They also publish a daily newsletter summarizing global health policy news.  


The Center for Strategic and International Studies

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges.


Health Security Headlines

A daily digest of news and developments in health security published by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Health Security. Health Security Headlines is a daily update on US and global health security. The editorial team tracks the most important news, events, developments, research, and policy in the areas that comprise health security: biosecurity and biodefense, medicine and public health, science and technology, domestic preparedness and response, government affairs and national security, and 21st century threats.


Global Health NOW – John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Global Health NOW is an essential daily read for anyone interested in US and global public health. Every weekday, we aggregate and summarize the latest global health news—delivering all the day’s critical stories to your inbox.


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What You Can Do

APHA Advocacy Letters

Global Health Preparedness

Recommendations for investing in preparedness by topping up the CDC, USAID, and Defense and State Department health security accounts, investing more in the World Health Organization, the Africa CDC, and the Global Health Security Agenda.


Preparing for COVID-19 in Low and Middle Income Countries: Leveraging U.S. Global Health Assets

To assess where the U.S. government has existing global health assets that could be mobilized when and if needed, we identified all countries that received U.S. government bilateral global health assistance in FY 2018. We also identified LMICs that the U.S. has designated as high-priority for receiving COVID-19 assistance.


Global Health Security Agenda

The Global Health Security Agenda is an international partnership that works to build capacity to prepare for and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.


COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is hosted by two foundations, the UN Foundation (registered in the United States) and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation (registered in Switzerland). Donations support WHO’s work to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments. 


CDC Foundation Response Fund

Funds raised by the CDC Foundation through our Emergency Response Fund will be used to meet fast-emerging needs identified by CDC to help respond to the public health threat posed by this virus. These include additional support for state and local health departments, support for the global response, logistics, communications, data management, personal protective equipment, critical response supplies and more.


APHA’s Advocacy Webpage


Global Health Advocacy Guide

Produced by the University of California’s Global Health Institute. Guide includes information on how to contact your representatives, meet with congressional representatives, and write an op-ed.


Berkeley Media Studies Group: Advocacy Tools

This document outlines BMSG’s four-stage approach to media advocacy planning, a process we call the Layers of Strategy: http://www.bmsg.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/bmsg_layers_of_strategy.pdf

Use this worksheet to practice developing messages for your target audience: http://www.bmsg.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/bmsg_message_development_worksheet.pdf

GOTMME stands for Goals, Objectives, Target, Message, Messenger, and
Evaluation, a 6-step strategic planning process that guides communication
efforts aimed at achieving policy change: http://www.bmsg.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/bmsg_gotmme_planning_tool.pdf

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Technology Tools

Global Telehealth Resource Aggregator

A resource directory created for individuals looking to get telemedicine consults, anywhere in the world.


10 Digital Health Technology Solutions for Global COVID-19 Response

A list of digital health solutions that could be used (or are already being used) to contain the coronavirus. The public solutions spreadsheet is for donors, governments, and health workers to identify new technologies for deployment to contain the coronavirus.


WHO Health Alert brings COVID-19 facts to billions via WhatsApp

The service can be accessed through a link that opens a conversation on WhatsApp. Users can simply type “hi” to activate the conversation, prompting a menu of options that can help answer their questions about COVID-19.


Online COVID-19 Assessment Tool

Emory doctors have helped create a new online tool allowing people everywhere to assess how likely it is that they have contracted the novel coronavirus.


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Equity and Inclusion

List of Women Experts in Global Health 

Women in Global Health and Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security are compiling a list of expert women who are working to strengthen global, regional, national, and local capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks.


International Disability Alliance Key Recommendations toward a Disability-Inclusive COVID19 Response

In the light of the COVID19 pandemic and with the aim to support a disability-inclusive response to the crisis, International Disability Alliance (IDA) has launched this webpage to share the most recent updates and resources as they become available.


Gender and COVID-19 Resources

Content on the gendered impact of COVID-19 from the Interagency Gender Working Group.


COVID-19: A Gender Lens

Disease outbreaks affect women and men differently, and pandemics make existing inequalities for women and girls and discrimination of other marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities and those in extreme poverty, worse. This needs to be considered, given the different impacts surrounding detection and access to treatment for women and men.

Women represent 70 percent of the health and social sector workforce globally and special attention should be given to how their work environment may expose them to discrimination, as well as thinking about their sexual and reproductive health and psychosocial needs as frontline health workers.


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Medical Journal Resource Centers

British Medical Journal

This page collects all BMJ coverage of the coronavirus outbreak from across the BMJ’s journals and learning resources. All articles and resources are freely available.



Here you will find expert, curated information for the research and health community on SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus) and COVID-19 (the disease). All resources are free to access and include guidelines for clinicians and patients.


Journal of the American Medical Association

Browse the JAMA Network COVID-19 collection, including Q&A’s with NIAID’s Anthony Fauci, an interactive map of the outbreak courtesy of The Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and past publications on vaccine development, infection control, and public health preparedness.



To assist health workers and researchers working under challenging conditions to bring this outbreak to a close, The Lancet has created a Coronavirus Resource Centre. This resource brings together new 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) content from across The Lancet journals as it is published. All COVID-19 content is free to access.



LitCovid is a curated literature hub for tracking up-to-date scientific information about the 2019 novel Coronavirus. It is the most comprehensive resource on the subject, providing a central access to 3368 (and growing) relevant articles in PubMed. The articles are updated daily and are further categorized by different research topics and geographic locations for improved access.


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review

Novel Coronavirus Reports



To support urgent research to combat the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the editorial teams at Nature Research have curated a collection of relevant articles. Their collection includes research into the basic biology of coronavirus infection, its detection, treatment and evolution, research into the epidemiology of emerging viral diseases, and coverage of current events. The articles will remain free to access for as long as the outbreak remains a public health emergency of international concern.


New England Journal of Medicine

A collection of articles and other resources on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, including clinical reports, management guidelines, and commentary.


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Official Resources on COVID-19

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Dashboards and Data

WHO Situation Dashboard


John Hopkins Bloomberg Dashboard


University of Washington Virology COVID-19 Dashboard


US COVID-19 Projections 


Estimation of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Prevalence in Santa Clara County


Epidemic Calculator


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Resources for Clinicians and Researchers

Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment

The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine has treated 104 patients with confirmed COVID-19 in the past 50 days, and their experts wrote real treatment experience night and day, and published this Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment yesterday, expecting to share their invaluable practical advice and references with medical staff around the world. You can read the handbook in English online or download it for free.


University of California, San Francisco – COVID-19 Updates

Link to lectures hosted by the UCSF School of Medicine on COVID-19.


List of Canceled Health Conferences

As the novel coronavirus races around the globe, a growing number of conference organizers are cancelling, postponing, or virtualizing their medical meetings, biotech gatherings, and scientific summits.


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Funding Opportunities

Grant Opportunities to tackle the Coronavirus Outbreak

A list of recently opened funding opportunities for you to fight the coronavirus outbreak that hit nations globally.


Coronavirus news, funding and resources for global health researchers

The Fogerty International Center’s resource page for global health researchers.


COVID-19 Funding Opportunities

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research (VPR) at John Hopkins University is pleased to announce the following funding opportunities specific to COVID-19.


COVID-19 Funding Opportunities by UNC Research

Information about funding opportunities related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will be added to this page as they become available.


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News Round Up

Politics & Policies

One of the hallmarks of an effective foreign policy is that it runs in the background, neither loud nor especially visible. Governments must urgently adopt such an approach to stem the growing global panic caused by the coronavirus outbreak, which has now killed more than 1,300 people and infected in excess of 63,000.

Tedros took office on 1 July 2017 with an ambitious to-do list: Reform WHO, strengthen evidence-based decision-making, highlight the health impact of climate change, and provide 1 billion more people with health coverage. But the epidemic of COVID-19, as the new disease was christened on 11 February, will overshadow all of his stated priorities.

As concerns mount over the coronavirus that first emerged in China, public health officials there and around the globe have launched a massive response.

Amid two global health crises, the Trump administration has proposed cutting $3 billion from the U.S. government’s global health programs in its latest budget request.

In the midst of a growing public health care emergency with the coronavirus and more than 15 years after the SARS epidemic, an international study shows that no country is fully prepared to deal with a potentially deadly outbreak.

Programs, Grants & Awards

The World Health Organization (WHO) comprehensive global review highlights the importance of adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for human health.

UnitaidExplore is a new funding mechanism seeking new ideas from across spheres to develop innovations or innovative products that can be modified, repurposed, or re-imagined for the goals of global health. UnitaidExplore is looking to improve existing methods of delivery of oxygen therapy, and through that to improve access to oxygen in low resource settings


In December 2019, an outbreak of COVID-19, an acute respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (also known as 2019-nCoV) was detected in mainland China. Researchers have been tracking the spread of the virus, have developed a diagnostic test for 2019-nCoV and are working on a number of vaccines to protect against 2019-nCoV.

Seasonal influenza virus is a common cause of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) in young children. In 2008, we estimated that 20 million influenza-virus-associated ALRI and 1 million influenza-virus-associated severe ALRI occurred in children under 5 years globally.

Due to Zika virus, more than 1,600 babies were born in Brazil with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, from September 2015 through April 2016. The epidemic took health professionals by surprise because the virus had been known since 1947 and was not linked to birth defects.

Diseases & Disasters

The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is a public health emergency of international concern, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared, but he warned governments not to impose travel or trade restrictions on China.

Much of global health work focuses on making sure that the medical advances made in high-resource countries get to the patients who need them all around the world, including in poor, underdeveloped or remote areas.

As disasters have changed over the years, so must the personnel who manage these crises.  In 1932, sociologist Lowell Carr first described a predictable pattern of how disasters impact society. Refined over the decades by many researchers, the “disaster cycle” includes four phases: prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and rehabilitation.

The number of people who are infected with the new coronavirus that is spreading from China is dwarfed by those affected by a far more common respiratory illness: seasonal flu.  Every year there are as many as 5 million severe flu cases worldwide and hundreds of thousands of deaths.


Medic Mobile announced the creation of Medic Labs, a new global health technology accelerator, with $3 million in seed funding from The Rockefeller Foundation. Medic Labs will pursue moonshot ideas – in the tradition of dedicated R&D arms of major technology companies, including Microsoft Research, Google X, and Bell Labs – to drive better community health outcomes for all people, everywhere, through the intentional, equitable application of data science.

The WHO has its own app to help you keep updated on the latest global health information. The app updates daily with the latest news, feature stories, fact sheets, disease outbreak updates, and public health emergency information.

Tuberculosis (TB) has burdened humanity with symptoms including cough, fever, and emaciation for thousands of years. Today it is the world’s leading infectious disease killer: 10 million people fell ill from TB and 1.5 million died in 2018 alone. Yet only one low-efficacy TB vaccine exists, treatment takes months to years, and improved diagnostics designed specifically for low-resource settings are needed.

Environmental Health

The year-long investigation by EHN found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stacked the deck against findings from independent scientists that BPA, as well as many compounds used in “BPA-free” products, can harm people at very low doses.

Equity & Disparities

Low- and middle-income countries could see an 80 percent rise in cancer over the next 20 years if treatment and prevention services are not stepped up, according to the latest World Cancer Report.

In November, the WHO launched a pilot program to boost the availability of insulin worldwide. The idea is to work with insulin manufacturers to increase the global supply — and in the process, potentially drive down the price of the treatment.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 10 percent of global health research is devoted to 90 percent of the global disease burden. WHO research confirms that the majority of diseases in low-income countries are caused by poverty.

Women, Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

A three day awareness campaign on high risk pregnancies was organised in Jhajhar district of Haryana as part of the SMARThealth pregnancy project from Feb 3 to 5, 2020.  This follows a similar exercise done in villages in Guntur for high risk mothers and ASHA workers.  The campaign was part of an endeavour to strengthen post and ante-natal care for pregnant women.  

Poor infection control practices led to an unprecedented HIV outbreak among hundreds of children in Pakistan, according to a recent study.