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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Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

Donors have lost their focus on aid effectiveness in the last decade, limiting aid’s impact. Here we report on new results of one of the few measures of aid “quality” – the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA).

The US midterm election was a partial rebuke to President Donald Trump. But although Trump’s legislative agenda has largely come to an end, his ability to affect global health through non-legislative means remains vast.

One of the largest Ebola outbreaks in history shows no signs of slowing — and the Trump administration barred US health experts who want to help at the outbreak’s epicenter in the Democratic Republic of Congo from traveling there.

The British parliament is urging the government of Prime Minister Theresa May to make antimicrobial resistance (AMR) a ”top five policy priority” in a new report.

Programs, Grants & Awards

On November 4-6, 2018, Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan will attend the Fifth Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Ministerial Meeting in Indonesia, which will officially launch the next five-year phase of GHSA, known as GHSA 2024.

Research

Effect of ten-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine introduction on pneumococcal carriage in Fiji: results from four annual cross-sectional carriage surveys.

We provide new empirical and methodological findings problematising evidence, evaluation and measurement when using asset-based approaches and co-production to improve health and address inequalities.

CDC’s global health security work focuses primarily on countries with weaknesses in their health systems, because these countries are vulnerable to global disease threats that could adversely affect the health and economy of the United States at the national, state, and local levels.

Diseases & Disasters

Food, clothes, medicine: the people of Yemen just want the same life as us.  After spending years amid Yemen’s devastation, we have seen conflict and hardship overtake millions of ordinary people.

Scientists believe the STD mycoplasma genitalium—Mgen—infects 1-3% of the population. However, it often doesn’t cause symptoms or is easily confused with better-known conditions.

The first treatment for sleeping sickness that relies on pills alone was approved recently by Europe’s drug regulatory agency, paving the way for use in Africa, the last bastion of the horrific disease.

Although the WHO has not yet declared the latest Ebola outbreak an international public health emergency, its latest report warned that the volatile security situation is making the risk of disease spread to neighboring countries very high.

The withdrawal of a major international aid organization threatens to leave tens of thousands of tuberculosis patients in North Korea without the medication they need and could spiral into a severe crisis if it is not addressed soon, according to health experts familiar with the situation in the North.

Technology

Cancer scientists have combined ‘liquid biopsy,’ epigenetic alterations and machine learning to develop a blood test to detect and classify cancer at its earliest stages.

Low levels of public confidence in vaccines in the European Union are pushing immunization rates down and the number of disease outbreaks up, according to an expert report.

Environmental Health

Air pollution is a silent public health emergency, killing 7 million people every year and damaging the health of many, many more.  Despite this epidemic of needless, preventable deaths and disability, a smog of complacency pervades the planet.

Equity & Disparities

Women provide most of the world’s frontline health care in their roles as nurses and community health workers, but they are underrepresented in leadership positions.

Women, Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

In a call for concrete policy pledges from governments across the world to tackle the problem, the UN health agency reports that more than nine in 10 youngsters breathe air that is so polluted, “it puts their health and development at serious risk”.

Many migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S. border, some of them very young, have landed in shelters where they often experience stress, neglect and minimal social and cognitive stimulation. The latest findings tell a cautionary tale about the psychiatric and social risks of long-term deprivation and family separation as children transition to adolescence.

About 80 percent of an estimated 8 million children in orphanages or other institutions are not orphans, according to Lumos, a charity founded by “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, which aims to have no children living in institutions by 2050.

 

Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill hope to combat the opioid epidemic in part by expanding access to addiction treatment, a key part of a major legislative package.

Melania Trump began her week-long sojourn to Africa in Accra, Ghana.  The First Lady was greeted on the tarmac by Ghanaian first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo and a bouquet of flowers wrapped in kente cloth followed by a performance of dancing and drumming.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the future of global health, which he says has the potential to be enhanced by the development of universal vaccines and improved preventative measures.

In the lead-up to the first U.N. high-level meeting on tuberculosis, global health experts said the momentum was different, that a turning point was near in the fight against the disease, the world’s top infectious killer.

The House and Senate have reached agreement on a big package of measures to address the opioid epidemic.  The legislation, backed by leaders of both parties, is a rare bipartisan achievement that lawmakers are eager to have in hand when they go home to campaign for the midterm elections.

Programs, Grants & Awards

Global Health Corps (GHC), a leadership development organization working to build the next generation of global health leaders, was named for the prestigious of 2018 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

October 1 marks World Vegetarian Day 2018, which takes place to raise awareness of the benefits of a vegetarian diet.  With many lpeople now considering at least reducing their meat intake, here we round up what research from the past year says about how a vegetarian diet may be able to boost health.

National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is investing in a young generation of HIV prevention researchers by providing African-American and Latino medical students with opportunities to conduct independent research while receiving mentoring, project and salary funding, training, and professional development opportunities.

Research

Fuel cells have long been viewed as a promising power source. But most fuel cells are too expensive, inefficient, or both.  In a new approach, inspired by biology, a team has designed a fuel cell using cheaper materials and an organic compound that shuttles electrons and protons.

Preterm birth remains a global epidemic linked to a lifetime of potential health complications. It also is difficult to study in living creatures–especially the uniquely precise biology of preterm birth in humans.

Although substantial progress has been made in reducing diarrhoeal deaths among children in low-income and middle-income countries, from approximately 1.6 million in 1990 to 450, 000 in 2016, sustaining these improvements will require additional strategies and approaches.

The University of Birmingham has been awarded £1.9 million through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research (GHR) Programme to fund world class research into a common heart condition in disadvantaged populations in China, Brazil and Sri Lanka.

Diseases & Disasters

More than 80,000 Americans died of flu in the winter of 2017-2018, the highest number in over a decade, federal health officials said last week.

Global health officials are preparing for African swine fever, which has been spreading in pigs across borders since 2014, reaching Western Europe last week.

Everyone feels isolated sometimes, but with one in five Americans chronically lonely, has loneliness reached epidemic proportions?  In 1988, the journal Science published a landmark study suggesting isolation was as strong a risk factor for morbidity and mortality as sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure and smoking or obesity

Governments should raise the price of alcohol and restrict its availability in a bid to reduce harmful drinking, the World Health Organization has said.

Researchers have found a link between sudden cardiac death (when the heart suddenly stops beating) and a common heart condition known as mitral valve prolapse that affects around 12 in every 1000 people worldwide.

The risk of Ebola escaping from the Democratic Republic of Congo is now “very high,” and the outbreak already is nearing Uganda, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

Technology

Mobile is a key enabler of sustainable economic growth and a major contributor to the delivery of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of audacious targets to end poverty, halt climate change, and fight injustice and inequality – all to be achieved by 2030.

Environmental Health

Health officials say smoking not only kills about 7 million people every year, but has a devastating impact on the environment contributing to deforestation, water and soil depletion and acidification.

Following the extreme, earthquake-triggered tsunamis unleashed in the Indian Ocean in 2004 and Japan in 2011, a spate of disaster films like The Impossible have depicted doomsday tidal wave scenarios.

A landmark treaty signed in Greenland will help to protect vulnerable fisheries in the Arctic.

October 1 marks the 41st annual World Vegetarian Day and the start of Vegetarian Awareness month. The annual occasion was founded in 1977 by the North American Vegetarian Society and was endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978 to entice omnivores “to give meatless fare a try (even for a day)” and to commend those with “healthy, compassionate food choices.”

Equity & Disparities

Sweat poured down Fenol’s body as he writhed in pain on a stretcher in a southern Haiti emergency room. Two days earlier, a motorcycle crash caused massive trauma to his abdomen.  His internal injuries had precipitated multi-organ failure and shock, and he had lost precious time searching desperately for a hospital with surgical capacity. His pain, fear, and mortal predicament was borne from a violation of what we believe is a fundamental human right: he had no access to essential, life-saving surgery.

Women, Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

There’s very little research on whether medications are safe and effective in pregnant and lactating women, but an expert panel has ideas for how to close that information gap — and it’s calling on the federal government to take action in a new report that could stir change.

 

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.

Research

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.

Technology

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?

Global News Round Up

Politics & Policies

Technological innovation, expansion of the use of frontline personnel such as community health workers, and rapid increases in health care financing are likely to be instrumental to achieving universal health care (UHC) in countries around the world, according to a new analysis led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

UW Provost Mark Richards joined Sen. Patty Murray and seven global health security experts in Kane Hall on Monday morning to discuss the future of global health in a violent world.  The event was hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

On August 3, Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), with Ed Royce (R-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Karen Bass (D-CA) as additional cosponsors, introduced the PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018 (H.R. 6651). The bill reauthorizes the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through 2023 and upholds the United States’ commitment to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Perhaps no other prominent African personality of international clout, apart from late Nelson Mandela, has attracted so much accolade, sympathy, empathy and condolence like the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Atta Annan, who died in Bern, Switzerland, on August 18, 2018.

Programs, Grants & Awards

The Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) has selected three new Doris Duke International Research Fellows for the 2018-19 academic year.  The fellows—one medical student from Indiana University and two from Duke University—will conduct clinical global health research throughout the upcoming academic year.

Research

Researchers explored the link between cardiovascular health level (defined using the 7-item tool from the American Heart Association [AHA]) and risk of dementia and cognitive decline in older persons. They observed that increased numbers of optimal cardiovascular health metrics and a higher cardiovascular health score were related to a lower risk of dementia and lower rates of cognitive decline.

The financial fallout from breast cancer can last years after diagnosis, particularly for those with lymphedema, a common side effect from treatment, causing cumulative and cascading economic consequences for survivors, their families, and society, a study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggests.

Despite increased attention to opioid abuse, prescriptions have remained relatively unchanged for many US patients, new research finds.

Diseases & Disasters

It’s been years since the tobacco industry promised to stop luring young people to smoke cigarettes.  Phillip Morris International says it is “designing a smoke-free future.” British American Tobacco, likewise, claims to be “transforming tobacco” into a safer product.

In a shocking revelation, a recent study has found that alcohol is associated with nearly one in 10 deaths in people aged 15-49 years old.  Overall, according to the research that estimates levels of alcohol use and health effects in 195 countries between 1990 to 2016, 2.8 million deaths occur each year worldwide.

Listeria monocytogenes as the main causative agent of human listeriosis is an intracellular bacterium that has the capability to infect a wide range of cell types. Human listeriosis is a sporatic foodborne disease, which is epidemiologically linked with consumption of contaminated food products.  Listeriosis may range from mild and self-limiting diseases in healthy people to severe systemic infections in susceptible populations.

Approximately one-third of the earth’s population – that’s 2.4 billion people – drinks alcohol, and 2.8 million deaths a year are caused by alcohol-related problems, according to a massive study estimating alcohol use and health effects in 195 countries.

Salt may not be as damaging to health as is usually claimed, according to a controversial new study which suggests campaigns to persuade people to cut down may only be worthwhile in countries with very high sodium consumption, such as China.  The World Health Organization recommends cutting sodium intake to no more than 2g a day – the equivalent of 5g of salt – because of the link to increased blood pressure, which is in turn implicated in stroke.

Those who fail to vaccinate are bound to suffer the diseases of the past.  Measles, which once killed an estimated 2.6 million people a year, is still killing almost 90,000 people a year according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and may be endemic again in the Americas, according to the latest data from the Pan American Health Organization.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo started using an experimental vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus yesterday after identifying it as the virulent Zaire strain. The latest outbreak has spread to a conflict region and is suspected of killing at least 36 people during its first week.

Aardman Animations, creator of the popular “Wallace and Gromit” claymation films, and actor Hugh Laurie teamed up for a 2-minute video on the history of his disease, which claims 450,000 lives a year.  It’s called “Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Live.” And it stars “Mozzie the Mosquito.”

Technology

A new report from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) details the investigational use of a drug to treat Chagas disease now available commercially in the United States.

A rotavirus vaccine introduced in rural Malawi has reduced deaths from infant diarrhea morale by more than a third, proving for the first time that a major intervention in a low-income country can be highly effective.

Environmental Health

Exposure to a prevalent type of air pollution—particulate matter called PM2.5—takes one year off the average global lifespan, according to research published Wednesday (Aug. 22) in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. But that air pollution is never evenly distributed; for people living in the most-polluted areas of Asia and Africa, the situation is worse—life expectancy for them drops between one year and two months to one year and 11 months.

Equity & Disparities

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the ratification of the 19th Amendment and the resilient women who work to promote the American value of equality.  Today, Peace Corps recognizes the contributions that volunteers have made to help advance equality across the globe and back home in the United States. Currently, women make up 63 percent of all Peace Corps volunteers.

Women, Maternal, Neonatal & Children’s Health

An estimated 6.5 million abortions take place across Latin America each year.  Three-quarters of these procedures are unlawful, often performed in unsafe illegal clinics or at home.