The Burden of Global Mental Health in the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Update

Written By: Elena Schatell PA-C MPH MMS and Dr. Heather F. McClintock PhD MSPH MSW

Over two years ago we co-wrote IH Connect’s blogs on mental health and COVID-19 (part 1 and part 2 here). Since this time the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to shape and influence so many facets of our lives. This unprecedented pandemic has created challenges with psychological ramifications for people around the world such as the loneliness from social isolation during quarantine, fear of contagion and infection, constraints on the ability to work and attend school, unemployment, financial worries, domestic violence, grief after the death of a loved one, and the emotional burdens of working on the frontlines. Furthermore the economy has been impacted, as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global economic recession worse than the Great Depression. Hundreds of millions around the world have lost jobs due to the inability to work remotely, businesses going bankrupt, declines in labor demand, falling export demand and supply chain disruptions.

The impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and well-being of people around the globe is substantial. A February 2021 brief published by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) reported a four-fold increase in U.S. adults reported symptoms of a depressive or anxiety disorder. Parents, children, young adults, people experiencing unemployment, essential workers and communities of color are populations at increased risk for experiencing poor mental health during the pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 on mental health and well-being is not limited to any single country or region; it has impacted people in every part of the globe. In the first year of the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a 25% increase in the global prevalence of depression and anxiety. For more details about the global mental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic please read this WHO scientific brief.

I (Elena Schatell) spent the past year working in different medical offices and hospital systems across the country as part of my final year of physician assistant school. I have been exposed to many health care settings and various patient populations, and at every single site I have witnessed the mental health effects of COVID-19 on patients and their families. On my pediatrics rotation at a practice in a western Pennsylvania suburb, there were multiple teenage girls who came in for follow-ups after being admitted to behavioral health units for attempting suicide. Suicidality among U.S. adolescents was already a public health topic of concern, but since the start of the pandemic, rates of teen suicidality and poor mental health have increased. I heard numerous individuals talk about the hardships their families have faced since the establishment of online school, or “distance learning.” In an emergency department (ED) on the south side of Chicago I saw countless mental health emergencies and drug overdoses. I talked to individuals experiencing homelessness who came to the ED solely for comfort and shelter. I could not help but imagine all the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted these individual’s lives.

The increased prevalence of mental health problems has been accompanied by an increased disruption to mental health services, leaving large gaps in care for people who need it the most. Some of these disruptions began at the start of the pandemic, like lack of access to face-to-face care, reduced outpatient appointments and limited admissions to emergency departments. However, many of these disruptions were pre-existing and the pandemic exacerbated already struggling and taxed systems. The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light onto the critical need for accessible and well-resourced mental health care systems globally. The lack of such infrastructure has widened disparities across many sectors and dimensions of well-being (e.g. social, economic, psychological) leaving the underserved even more marginalized and disempowered.  Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, stated, “This is a wake-up call to all countries to pay more attention to mental health and do a better job of supporting their populations’ mental health.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on mental health and well-being globally and has shed light on fractured and under-resourced mental health care systems; there is a silver lining. It has afforded the opportunity for growth, development and creativity to address the complex mental health needs of populations around the world. The WHO and countries around the world have been “stepping up” their mental health response. For instance, with increasing suicide death rates, the U.S. federal government has launched the national three-digit number “988” as the mental health crisis hotline. Callers who are experiencing a mental health crisis will be automatically routed to a trained mental health professional, instead of law enforcement.  Telehealth has stepped up to the plate to meet mental health needs during the pandemic. An analysis from KFF and Epic Research found telehealth services for mental health and substance use increased from near zero percent in 2019 to 40% in mid-2020. Two-thirds of community health centers in the U.S. have added new mental health services, including virtual services. I (Elena Schatell) can personally attest to the enormous benefit of telehealth access for mental health care. From 2020 into 2022 I participated in telehealth counseling services offered through my university and later through an online mental health service platform. Conveniently having a mental health professional whom I could communicate with online helped me navigate stressors I was experiencing. When reliable and easily accessible, these services are effective at filling gaps in mental health care. But in resource-limited settings around the world, developing and implementing digital tools poses a challenge. WHO has been instrumental in providing guidance, tools and resources to member states, public health planners and responders, and the general public. In collaboration with partners around the world, WHO developed multilingual resources such as a stress management guide and mental wellness toolkit for older adults. As of early 2021, 90% of WHO member states reported including mental health support in their COVID-19 response plans and the number of countries with an emergency mental health support platform doubled. 

WHO acknowledged global mental health as a priority when it published its Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020. Just one year prior to the start of the pandemic, in 2018, the WHO Director-General acknowledged mental health as an area in which action needed to be accelerated. He established the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health, covering 2019-2023, with the goal of 100 million more people having access to quality and affordable mental health care by 2023. Largely focused on finding innovative ways to provide support in hard-to-reach communities, the initiative was created just in time for the pandemic. It is underway in Bangladesh, Ghana, Jordan, Nepal, Paraguay, the Philippines, Ukraine and Zimbabwe. In Ukraine, which has been affected by military conflict and COVID-19, community mental health mobile teams have been developed to provide services to individuals in remote areas.

In April 2020 the publication of the storybook, My Hero is You, was produced through a collaboration of over 50 organizations, including WHO, UNICEF, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Federation of Red Cross. This is a picture book, available in 142 languages, that serves as a resource for helping children around the world cope with and respond to the mental health impacts of COVID-19. Found to be hugely successful, multimedia formats and additional resources were created targeting other populations. A sequel was released in September 2021, reflecting on the new challenges the world has faced in the second year of the pandemic. The sequel is based on survey responses from over 500 individuals around the world. The coordination and collaboration involved in creating these books is amazing. The pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on psychological health and well-being. However, (as evidenced by the projects described above) it has created an opportunity for collaboration and cooperation as well as highlighting the importance of nations in prioritizing global mental health care.

Elena Schatell PA-C MPH MMS

Elena Schatell is a recent graduate of Arcadia University’s Dual Master of Public Health/Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Program. She aims to promote public health in underserved communities as a family medicine physician assistant. Her 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.

Dr. Heather F. McClintock PhD MSPH MSW

Dr. McClintock is an IH Section Member and Associate 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.

News Round Up

WORLD POPULATION:  7,964,410,225


July 4, 2022: Atul Gawande, the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s global health office, is trying to figure out how to tackle one of the world’s biggest crises in decades as governments struggle to fund the effort.


July 25, 2022: Virtual indigenous peoples panel discussion: Inputs to the Report on Health and Nature-Based Solutions.–inputs-to-the-report-on-health-and-nature-based-solutions

July 26, 2022: Introduction to recent World Health Organization (WHO) publications on Patient Blood Management, Clinical Use of Blood and Haemovigilance Systems – Webinar.–patient-blood-management–clinical-use-of-blood-and-haemovigilance-systems-webinar


July 12, 2022: Patients with a specific form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the United States, are at significant risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to new research from New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. This study, published in the July issue of Retina, is the first to demonstrate a link between the disorders.

July 7, 2022: Preeclampsia—a condition that occurs in pregnancy and is characterized by high blood pressure and signs of kidney damage—can be dangerous for both mother and baby. New research published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica suggests that the characteristics and lifestyle of the fathers do not play a significant role in their partners’ susceptibility to preeclampsia.


July 18, 2022: Scientists at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom report that they used cell and animal models to show that the drug, dubbed AZD1390, can block the body’s response to DNA damage in nerve cells and restore function after a spinal injury. “This early study shows that AZD1390 could be used as a therapy in life-changing conditions,” said Dr. Richard Tuxworth of the university’s Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences. “In addition, repurposing this existing investigational drug potentially means we can reach the clinic significantly faster than developing a new drug from scratch.”


July 12, 2022: Rising COVID-19 cases are not only putting further pressure on already stretched health systems and workers but also triggering an “increasing trend of deaths”, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists at the regular weekly press briefing on Tuesday.  

July 22, 2022: Two fatal cases of Marburg virus disease (MVD) were reported from Ashanti region, Ghana. On 28 June 2022, these cases were notified to health authorities as suspected viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) cases and tested positive for Marburg virus on 1 July 2022. An outbreak of MVD has only been reported once previously in West Africa, and this is the first time MVD has been notified in Ghana. An outbreak of MVD may represent a serious public health threat as it is severe and often fatal.


July 27, 2022: With medical devices and data at a heightened risk of Log4j exploitation, here are steps you can take to secure your organization and your health IT environment. As a prime target for cyberattacks and data breaches, healthcare companies must be constantly on guard against new threats. One of the latest and most dangerous vulnerabilities involves a commonly used application tool that resides on many medical devices and in healthcare software solutions.


July 22, 2022: In a world first, the American state is expected to adopt a bill that would let people contribute to the Least Developed Countries Fund when filing their tax return.

July 21, 2022: US President Joe Biden has announced $2.3bn (£1.9bn) to help build infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather and natural disasters. But he stopped short of formally declaring a climate emergency, which would grant him further powers. Mr Biden spoke in Massachusetts as a heatwave brings extreme weather to Europe and North America. Tens of millions of people in the US, across more than two dozen states, are living under heat warnings this week.


July 15, 2022: MUSCATINE, Iowa — Bailee Tordai, who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy, barely made it to the prenatal checkup. Her clunky old Jeep couldn’t complete the 2-mile trip from her house to the University of Iowa’s outreach clinic in her southeastern Iowa hometown. It was a hot June day, and a wiring problem made the Jeep conk out in the street.

July 12, 2022: SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After the Russian invasion, Katie Nelha and her husband couldn’t safely return to their home in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, so they took their chances as refugees. Flying from Poland, where they were working, to Mexico in early April, they crossed into the U.S. at Tijuana, where they were granted a temporary visa for humanitarian reasons.


July 15, 2022: The largest sustained decline in childhood vaccinations in approximately 30 years has been recorded in official data published today by WHO and UNICEF. The percentage of children who received three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) – a marker for immunization coverage within and across countries – fell 5 percentage points between 2019 and 2021 to 81 per cent. 

July 21, 2022: The Senate today passed and sent to the president for his signature the Formula Act (H.R. 8351), bipartisan legislation that would suspend tariffs on imported infant formula through 2022. The Food and Drug Administration has allowed formula imports to help address a U.S. formula shortage, but tariffs have increased the retail cost of these products. The Department of Health and Human Services offers a webpage to help health care providers and families locate formulas.


July 4, 2022: When 5.3 million Ukrainians entered the EU between February and June 2022, alongside life-saving emergency assistance came similarly crucial support: the right to stay and work in the EU for up to three years. This arose out of the recognition that people deserve the chance to make a living in exile – and that doing so can benefit host countries as well.

July 20, 2022: The founder of the world’s largest Western-based international Muslim relief agency, one that helps millions worldwide. Today, Islamic Relief Worldwide has an income of some $200m per year, supporting almost 12 million people in 36 countries. The Muslim relief agency was co-founded by Hany El-Banna, an Egyptian medical student training in the United Kingdom.

News Round Up

WORLD POPULATION:  7,960,832,160


June 30th, 2022: The devastating human, economic, and social cost of COVID-19 has highlighted the urgent need for coordinated action to build stronger health systems and mobilize additional resources for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPR).–preparedness-and-response-(ppr) 

June 27th, 2022: The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations have pledged to raise $600bn in private and public funds over five years to finance infrastructure in developing countries and counter China’s older, multi trillion-dollar Belt and Road project.

June 20th, 2022: (Reuters) – Russia on Monday accused some members of the Group of 20 major economies of politicizing a meeting on global health, as it faced criticism over how its invasion of Ukraine in February had plunged its healthcare system into chaos.

June 9th, 2022: BANGKOK — Thailand made it legal to cultivate and possess marijuana as of Thursday, like a dream come true for an aging generation of pot smokers who recall the kick the legendary Thai Stick variety delivered.

June 8th, 2022: The COVID-19 pandemic took a devastating human toll on Latin America and the Caribbean, taking the lives of more than 2.7 million people across our hemisphere — accounting for more than 40 percent of global reported deaths.  It showed us the many cracks in our global health systems and underscored the importance of strong and resilient health systems for the entire population, health security, and pandemic preparedness and response, starting with a strong foundation based on cooperation, transparency, and accountability.


June 7th, 2022: The World Hepatitis Summit 2022 will review progress and renew commitments by global partners to accelerate action to achieve the global target of eliminating of viral hepatitis by 2030. At the 2016 World Health Assembly, countries made a historic commitment to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. Since 2016, countries have met the global 2020 target of reducing the incidence of hepatitis B in children under 5 and the number of people receiving treatment for hepatitis C has increased 10-fold.

June 3rd, 2022: Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have received a $5.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Fogarty International Center to help foster the next generation of global health scientists. The award, titled “Integrated Network of Scholars in Global Health Research Training (INSIGHT),” will expand global health research across sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean by providing one-year mentored research training to U.S. and lower-middle-income country scholars.

June 1st, 2022: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has shaped the global development landscape for two decades, with about $60 billion in grants to its name. Global health is one of the foundation’s biggest priorities — so we’re taking a look at where that money went.


June 16th, 2022: New study offers the first comprehensive, county-level life expectancy estimates in the US and highlights important differences among racial and ethnic groups. The analysis reveals that despite overall life expectancy gains of 2.3 years (from 76.8 years in 2000 to 79.1 years in 2019) during the 20-year study period (2000–2019), disparities among racial and ethnic groups remain, with Black populations still experiencing shorter life expectancy than White populations.


June 23rd,2022: The first COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial setting was administered on Dec 8, 2020. To ensure global vaccine equity, vaccine targets were set by the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility and WHO. However, due to vaccine shortfalls, these targets were not achieved by the end of 2021. We aimed to quantify the global impact of the first year of COVID-19 vaccination programmes.

June 20th,2022: SINGAPORE, June 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) (the Company) today announced the launch of the new J&J Satellite Center for Global Health Discovery (Satellite Center) at Singapore’s Duke-NUS Medical School, jointly established by Duke University and the National University of Singapore (NUS) as a graduate-entry medical school and research powerhouse. As the first of the J&J Centers for Global Health Discovery (J&J Centers) in the Asia-Pacific region, the Satellite Center at Duke-NUS aims to help drive new solutions to address flaviviruses, which disproportionately impact communities across the region, by bringing together the talent and expertise of the world’s largest healthcare company with that of a leading academic institution.–johnson-opens-first-satellite-center-for-global-health-discovery-in-asia-pacific-at-duke-nus-to-advance-dengue-research-301571141.html

June 13th, 2022: Stress — in the form of traumatic events, job strain, everyday stressors and discrimination — accelerates aging of the immune system, potentially increasing a person’s risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and illness from infections such as COVID-19, according to a new USC study.


July 6th, 2022: LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) – More than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 58 countries in the current outbreak, the World Health Organization said. The U.N. agency will reconvene a meeting of the committee that will advise on declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of alert, in the week beginning July 18 or sooner, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference from Geneva.

June 24th, 2022: A new commentary series introduced in the July issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association will examine oral health from a global perspective. The global pandemic that ravaged populations around the world these past two years brought home the importance of global health and how it impacts us all,” said Tim Wright, D.D.S., editor-in-chief of JADA. “The global health commentary series presents information on issues that are important locally and globally for oral and systemic health.

June 25th, 2022: The monkeypox outbreak does not currently constitute a global public health concern, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday, though “intense response efforts” are needed to control further spread.

June 23rd, 2022: LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization convenes its emergency committee Thursday to consider if the spiraling outbreak of monkeypox warrants being declared a global emergency. But some experts say the WHO’s decision to act only after the disease spilled into the West could entrench the grotesque inequities that arose between rich and poor countries during the coronavirus pandemic. Declaring monkeypox to be a global emergency would mean the U.N. health agency considers the outbreak to be an “extraordinary event” and that the disease is at risk of spreading across even more borders, possibly requiring a global response. It would also give monkeypox the same distinction as the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing effort to eradicate polio.

June 15th, 2022: An emergency committee of independent experts will meet next week to determine whether the growing monkeypox outbreak that’s spread to dozens of countries should be declared an international health emergency, the World Health Organization announced Tuesday. That’s the highest level of alert for viral outbreaks and doing so would mean that WHO views the normally rare disease as a continuing threat to nations worldwide, the Associated Press reported.

June 10th, 2022: To end AIDS, beat COVID-19 and “stop the pandemics of the future”, the world needs to ensure global access to lifesaving health technologies, the UN Chef de Cabinet has told a meeting of the General Assembly to review progress.


July 8th, 2022: LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today praised the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) for committing to share innovative technologies with a South Africa-based biotech company, Afrigen, which should speed up the development and rollout of modern, highly-effective vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, including on the African continent.

June 10th, 2022: NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. government is buying more monkeypox vaccine as a surprising international outbreak continues to grow, health officials said Friday. As of Friday, the U.S. had identified 45 cases in 15 states and the District of Columbia. More than 1,300 cases have been found in about 30 other countries outside the areas of Africa where the virus is endemic.

June 8th, 2022: As global monkeypox cases continue to rise, public-health officials and researchers are questioning whether the current outbreaks can be contained. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the situation is unlikely to escalate into a full-blown pandemic. But there are now more than 1,000 confirmed infections in nearly 30 countries where outbreaks do not usually occur (see ‘Unusual spread’).


June 15th, 2022: Children are more likely than adults to suffer health impacts due to environmental impacts. Kari Nadeau of Stanford’s Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy & Asthma Research discusses related risks, as well as what caregivers and health care workers can do about them.


June 2nd,2022: As of May 31, only 58 countries and territories have done so, according to Our World in Data. Most are from high-income countries — which doesn’t include yet the United States — and none are from low-income countries. Collectively, only 16.2% of low-income countries’ population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.


June 24th, 2022: We expect that today’s decision will have practical impacts on hospitals and health systems, including on health care provided across state lines, EMTALA obligations, maternal health care, the clinician-patient relationship, medical education and access to care for individuals regardless of socioeconomic status. We are committed to helping our member hospitals and health systems navigate the evolving landscape consistent with AHA’s mission of advancing the health of all individuals and communities.


June 28th, 2022: On the United Nation’s World Refugee Day, June 20, I found myself reflecting on how my capstone project fits into the field of refugee health. I was drawn to work on a project in refugee health because of the experiences that my parents had as Kurdish refugees fleeing oppression in Turkey. Kurdish identity, language, and culture have long been targeted by the Turkish government through acts of violence and persecution. As minorities living under the jurisdiction of a system built to erase their existence, many Kurds are forcibly displaced either internally or internationally. For my parents, the best hope for our family was to start a life in the United States by applying for asylum. Growing up in the midst of this, I knew that I wanted to work towards justice and advocacy for asylum seekers and refugees.

Nominate your colleagues for an IH Section Award!

Dear APHA International Health Section members,

It is time again to solicit your nominations for awards to be presented at the next annual APHA convention in Boston in early November. The deadline for submission of nominations is June 15, 2022. These awards provide us with the opportunity to recognize our colleagues who have made significant contributions to international health and our Section.

The IH Section has five award categories:

1. Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award in International Health

2. Gordon-Wyon Award for Community-Oriented Public Health, Epidemiology and Practice

3. Mid-Career Award in International Health

4. Distinguished Section Service Award

5. Young Professional Award

We encourage you to think about APHA and International Health Section members who might merit public recognition through an award. The nomination process is quick and easy. We ask for only a page or so that describes how the nominee meets the award criteria, plus the CV of the proposed awardee. If you have an idea of someone who might merit an award and desire some feedback, or if you need to verify whether they are APHA or IH Section members, please contact me at

Instructions for submitting nominations are found below. You can also access the award descriptions and criteria, along with the names of past awardees as compiled by IH Historian Ray Martin, on the IH website,   

The IH Section Awards Committee consists of Laura Altobelli, Jean Marie Armas, Paul Freeman, Omar Khan, Ray Martin, Padmini (Mini) Murthy (IH Section Chair ex officio), Henry Perry, Brianne Riggin-Pathak, Gopal Sankaran, Rose Schneider, Sarah Shannon (former IH Section Chair), and Curtiss Swezy.


Henry B. Perry

IH Awards Committee Chair

American Public Health Association

International Health Section

Annual Awards Guidance

The International Health (IH) Section recognizes each year outstanding individuals who have contributed in an important way to the field of international health and/or to the IH Section. Guidance is provided here on the process and criteria for selecting the individuals to receive the five major awards:

  • Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Gordon-Wyon Award for Community-Oriented Public Health, Epidemiology, and Practice
  • Mid-Career Award in International Health
  • Distinguished Section Service Award
  • Young Professional Award
  1. Process for award nominations and selection

The Awards Committee of the IH Section is entrusted with the awards process, with collaboration and input from IH Section leadership when needed.  

The annual request for nominations for IH Section awards is prepared by the IH Section Awards Committee. This request is sent out to all IH Section members and others on multiple virtual platforms managed by the IH Section Communications Committee. 

A nomination can be made by submitting to two items: (1) a letter of nomination of about one page that specifies the name of the nominee, the title of the award, and how the nominee meets the specific criteria for the award (listed below); and (2) the nominee’s current curriculum vitae.

Nominations will be reviewed by the IH Section Awards Committee and a short list of candidates for each award will be developed. The committee will then vote on short-listed candidates.

Awardees are honored at the following Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA).

  • Awards Criteria

Carl E. Lifetime Achievement Award in International Health

The Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award in International Health honors the visionaries and leaders who have shaped or continue to shape the direction of International Health. Carl E. Taylor was the founder of the APHA International Health Section and a pioneer in and global champion of international health in the 20th century. The evaluation criteria for the Lifetime Achievement Award include: (1) Quality, creativity, and innovativeness of the individual’s contributions to the field of international health; (2) Application of the individual’s work to international health practice (as opposed to primarily theoretical value); (3) The individual’s contributions as a leader, visionary, and role model in international health; and (4) Current membership in APHA, and preferably membership in the IH Section.

Gordon-Wyon Award for Community-Oriented Public Health, Epidemiology, and Practice

The Gordon-Wyon Award for Community-Oriented Public Health, Epidemiology, and Practice recognizes outstanding achievement in international community-oriented public health, epidemiology, and/or practice. This award was established in 2006 by the IH Section. John Gordon and John Wyon were pioneer epidemiologists and mentors in this field, and the award is one important way of remembering and honoring them. The evaluation criteria include: (1) Outstanding achievement in international community-oriented public health, epidemiology, and practice; (2) Demonstrated creativity in expanding the concepts pertinent to the practice of international community-oriented public health; and (3) Current membership in the APHA IH Section.

Mid-Career Award in International Health

The Mid-Career Award in International Health recognizes an outstanding mid-career professional in the IH Section. Evaluation criteria include: (1) Demonstrated achievement and commitment to international health promotion and development over a suggested period of seven to 20 years; (2) Demonstrated creativity in expanding the concepts pertinent to the practice of public health with an international focus; and (3) Current membership in the APHA IH Section.

Distinguished Section Service Award

The Distinguished Section Service Award honors outstanding service to the IH Section. The evaluation criteria include: (1) Dedication to the IH Section mission and goals as demonstrated by exceptional contribution to its activities; (2) Serving in IH Section elected positions or chairing its committees with outstanding or unusual effort and achievements; (3) Excellence in team work with peers in the IH Section and the APHA; and (4) Current membership in the APHA IH Section.

Young Professional Award 

The International Health Section recognizes the important contribution of young professionals for their leadership, innovation, and demonstrated contribution to international health with its annual Young Professional Award instituted in 2018. The evaluation criteria include: (1) Demonstrated contribution to the field of international health through leadership, innovation, and impactful practice; (2) Age younger than 35 years at the time of application; and (3) Current membership in the APHA IH Section.

– Updated and approved by the IH Section Awards Committee, April 2022

News Round Up

WORLD POPULATION:  7,945,471,541


April 21st, 2022: The White House, ahead of its May 12 virtual Global Covid-19 Summit, is asking countries, companies and philanthropies to help fight the pandemic worldwide. 

April 7th, 2022: On Thursday, April 7, 2022, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus held a joint press conference on World Health Day. 

March 16th, 2022: Comparing responses to COVID-19 and the Ukraine war points to a difficult future for global health 


April 27th, 2022: The University of Kentucky International Center’s Office of Global Health Initiatives hosted a virtual panel discussion noon Wednesday, April 27, focused on treating patients from Afghanistan and Ukraine. 

April 19th, 2022: On Friday April 22nd, the State University of New York hosted a global health research symposium supported by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research of Downstate Health Sciences University. 

April 7th, 2022: World Health Day on April 7 celebrates and advocates for health globally. For World Health Day 2022, the World Health Organization is highlighting Our Health, Our Planet and health as a human right. 


April 19th, 2022: India’s air quality data, removed at the last minute from the WHO Air Quality database update just prior to its launch two weeks ago, has been restored again to the online repository. 

April 15th, 2022: Native American researchers are turning long-held traditions into novel public health solutions. 


April 1st, 2022: The consequences of the dissemination of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines overflows distrust and hesitation into an entire public health project. 

April 19th, 2022: Fractionating COVID-19 Vaccine Doses May Save Lives 


April 26th, 2022: Testing for COVID-19 has fallen by 70% to 90% across the world, making it more difficult for the global health community to monitor the evolution of the pandemic, treat patients, and track variants, according to Dr. Bill Rodriguez, chief executive officer of FIND, a co-convener of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator “diagnostics pillar.” 

April 6th, 2022: As the COVID-19 Pandemic Enters the Third Year Most Adults Say They Have Not Fully Returned to Pre-Pandemic ‘Normal’ 


April 26th, 2022: Vaccine-derived polio is on the rise. A new vaccine aims to stop the spread 

April 12th, 2022: A single dose of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine provides as much protection against cervical cancer as the standard three-dose regimen, a new study finds. 


April 4th, 2022: Almost the entire global population (99%) breathes air that exceeds WHO air quality limits, and threatens their health. 


April 14th, 2022: The Clinton Health Access Initiative selected Dr. Neil Buddy Shah as its new CEO Thursday, a sign of the global health organization’s move towards growth in low- and middle-income nations and use of new philanthropic efforts to help fund the expansion. 

April 5th, 2022: Global groups propose pandemic plan costing $10 billion a year. 


April 29th, 2022: A study recently completed at the University of Helsinki revealed that the fungal microbiota in the gut is more abundant and diverse in children treated with antibiotics compared with the control group even six weeks following the start of the antibiotic course. In light of the findings, a reduction in the number of gut bacteria as a result of antibiotic therapy reduces competition for space and leaves more room for fungi to multiply.

May 6th, 2022: Over the past three decades, birthrates have declined for women in their 20s and jumped for women in their late 30s and early 40s. Older mothers discuss the benefits of having children later in life, with more wisdom and resources to help them and their children.

April 4th, 2022: Physicians may be able to determine if menopause-related bone loss is already in progress or about to begin by measuring the level of a hormone that declines as women approach their final menstrual period, new UCLA research finds.


April 30th, 2022: The UN’s Humanitarian Country Team in Yemen on Saturday, released its Response Plan (HRP) for this year, seeking nearly $4.3 billion to reverse a steady deterioration across the country, the grinding war there continues, despite a current pause in fighting.