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GHC News Flash: Global Health Roundup – 9/11/2017

Johnson & Johnson (J&J)  Introduces New GenH Challenge
The GenH Challenge is a social venture prize competition designed to incentivize early-stage, human-centered health solutions from entrepreneurs, innovators, and individuals working on the front lines of care worldwide. With prizes up to $250,000 USD, the GenH Challenge seeks to combine the creativity of entrepreneurs with insights from the front lines of health to surface new, sustainable ideas that meet local health needs. Organizations, both for-profit and non-profit, from all over the world can apply. To be eligible to apply, teams must include someone who works on the front lines of care and the idea must have received under $250,000 USD funding or been in development for less than five years. Additionally, J&J has initiated a series of local events across the world for those wanting to learn more about the Challenge. Currently, events are being planned in Mexico City, Singapore, and Nairobi. Sign up for more information.

Call for Nominations Open for the Innovating for Impact Awards
GHC member Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) is leading a new Innovating for Impact Awards initiative to celebrate the research partnerships and political champions that help transform breakthrough scientific research into lifesaving drugs, diagnostics, vaccines, and other health tools for devastating, unmet global health challenges. Awards will be presented in two categories. The Partnership Award will celebrate an innovative R&D partnership that brings together industry, government, nonprofits, academia, or other partners to advance a high-impact and game-changing global health technology. The Congressional Champion Award will honor two U.S. Members of Congress whose actions have strengthened political will and advanced U.S. efforts to develop technologies to fight the world’s most challenging diseases and health conditions. The deadline to submit nominations is September 20.

Have You Registered for the 2017 Triangle Global Health Annual Conference?
The Triangle Global Health Consortium invites you to attend the 2017 Triangle Global Health Annual Conference on September 28 in Raleigh to share, learn, and build relationships within North Carolina’s rich global health community. North Carolina (NC) is a leader in global health, housing more than 220 organizations, companies, and academic institutions that work in more than 185 countries to improve the health of people around the world. Global health work supports over 26,000 jobs in NC, and in 2015, the global health sector in NC contributed about $3.7 billion in gross state product. The conference sessions will highlight many areas of global health work taking place in the state and their far-reaching impact. Read Triangle Global Health’s blog to learn more about speakers and breakout sessions.


1) In June, the GCM/NCD convened the first in a three-part webinar series on Gender and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). The second webinar on September 27 will examine settings approaches for preventing and treating NCDs affecting women and girls.
2) GHC member IntraHealth International announced the release of their 2016 Annual Report last month. Read the report to understand the full impact of the organization’s work upon health workers worldwide.
3) From September 18 until November 17, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is offering an innovative and free online course on global health research, “Measuring Health Outcomes in Field Surveys.” The course uses documentary-style footage from ongoing health research in India and Kenya along with expert interviews to explore the fundamentals of field based health research.
4) Join CUGH for two upcoming webinarsOctober 2 – How to Engage with Journalists and the Media to Communicate Your Projects and Programs to the Public – Learn how to pitch a story and translate technical information to a lay audience; and October 16 – USAID & CDC Financial Management & Compliance 2017/18 & Beyond – A must for those individuals responsible for ensuring technical and financial compliance under the new Uniform Guidance Rules.



PRB Builds Capacity for Youth Family Planning Advocates
Youth are a priority in efforts to expand access to and use of family planning (FP) in developing countries. The Population Reference Bureau (PRB) recently launched Empowering Evidence-Driven Advocacy (EEDA), a three-year project in partnership with the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning to assess the implementation of youth-friendly FP services in six countries and develop advocacy communications materials that increase the use of evidence by family planning decision makers. The project, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will build youth FP advocates’ capacity to hold decision makers accountable for policy implementation. EEDA also follows the release of PRB’s Youth Family Planning Policy Scorecard that assesses youth FP policies in 16 countries. A second component of the EEDA project, the Family Planning Advocacy Resource Hub, will develop tailored, evidence-based communications materials for FP advocates. EEDA launches at an opportune moment for FP advocacy, as country governments increasingly formalize young people’s rights to sexual and reproductive health services, including at the recent Family Planning Summit. EEDA will offer young people the opportunity to lead substantive policy research and drive accountability for commitments that affect youth themselves.

Know the Facts. Share Your Story. Change the NCD Narrative
Stories are powerful. For instance, they can demonstrate the power of united voices representing individuals living with or working towards combatting Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). These stories can further inspire leaders to do more to achieve the nine voluntary global NCD targets by 2025 as part of realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. With the combined support of leaders and advocates, these targets can be met. As part of the Global Communications Campaign on NCDs, WHO has launched NCDs&Me, an online platform that enables health workers, people living with NCDs, advocates, and others to share their stories.

World Breastfeeding Week marks the launch of the Global Breastfeeding Collective
Last week was World Breastfeeding Week and the start of National Breastfeeding Month. This is a great opportunity to highlight the need to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding to ensure children everywhere get a healthy start to life. 1,000 Days is joining the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to launch the Global Breastfeeding Collective – a partnership of 20 prominent international agencies and non-governmental organizations committed to increasing investment in breastfeeding worldwide. Alongside of the launch of the Global Breastfeeding Collective, two reports have also been released: 1) A new scorecard that shows no country meets the recommended standards for breastfeeding, and 2) A new investment case that demonstrates  how investing in breastfeeding now will save lives and money and lead to health and economic well-being worldwide for generations to come.


1. ) A new Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) report quantifies impact of U.S. global health R&D funding on the American economy and breakthrough technologies being developed.

2.) The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) released a new report, “America’s Global Economic Leadership: A Strategic Return on U.S. Investments”, which presents the case that America’s international affairs programs are critical to our nation’s economic prosperity and competitiveness.

3.) On 18 July, 2017, Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) launched their 2017 Progress Report “Progress in Partnership” at the High-Level Political Forum in New York. 

4.) The Canada Gairdner Foundation announced the 2018 Call for Nominations for its Canada Gairdner Global Health Award.

U.S. Senate Introduces Legislation Aimed to Save Lives of Women and Children Around the World

Washington, DC (August 3, 2017) – Yesterday, Global Health Council (GHC) applauded U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE) who led a bipartisan group of 10 Senators to reintroduce the Reach Every Mother and Child Act (S.1730). This bipartisan legislation aims to accelerate the reduction of preventable child, newborn, and maternal deaths, putting us within reach of the global commitment to end these deaths within a generation.

“Strong investments in maternal and child health programs have been critical in helping us to drastically reduce the number of maternal, newborn, and child deaths. However, every day women and children still die from preventable conditions such as complications during labor or from diarrhea, and this is unacceptable when we know what works,” said Loyce Pace, GHC President and Executive Director. “The Reach Every Mother and Child Act ensures that we are maximizing investments to save the lives of women and children around the world.”

The Reach Act builds upon the success of such global health initiatives as PEPFAR and the President’s Malaria Initiative, and would enact key reforms that increase the effectiveness and impact of USAID maternal and child survival programs. A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the House later this year.

Specifically, the legislation would require a coordinated U.S. government strategy that addresses ending preventable child and maternal deaths, as well as institute reporting requirements to improve efficiency, transparency, accountability, and oversight of maternal and child health programs. In addition, it would establish the position of Child and Maternal Survival Coordinator at USAID and ensure that the return on U.S. investments are maximized through a scale-up of the highest impact, evident-based interventions. The legislation would also allow USAID to explore innovative financing tools.

In addition to Senators Collins and Coons, the Reach Act is sponsored by Gerald Moran (R-KS), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Richard Durbin  (D-IL), and Chris Murphy (D-CT).

The Reach Act is supported by more than 50 diverse non-profit and faith-based organizations working to end preventable maternal, newborn, and child mortality at home and abroad.

About Global Health Council
Established in 1972, Global Health Council (GHC) is the leading membership organization supporting and connecting advocates, implementers, and stakeholders around global health priorities worldwide. GHC represents the collaborative voice of the community on key issues; we convene stakeholders around key priorities and actively engage with decision makers to influence global health policy. Learn more at Follow GHC on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook for more information.


Join GHC at the Global Health Security Roundtable and Faith and Global Health Caucus
GHC is relaunching its Global Health Security Roundtable, which will be meeting today, July 10, at 3 pm EDT in Washington, DC. Read more about the Roundtable and learn how to join the listserv.

A small group of members is relaunching the Faith and Global Health Caucus. Open to all faiths, the Caucus will meet quarterly to share best practices and provide a fellowship-centered space. The first meeting is onJuly 17 at 5 pm EDT in Washington, DC. Learn more and RSVP.

Powerful Discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals
On July 17, Global Compact Network USA will host an event on the role of the private sector in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2017 Symposium will bring together companies, nonprofits, and United Nations entities to explore practical actions that we can all take to advance the SDGs. The event will take place at Pfizer Headquarters in New York City, on the heels of the High-Level Political Forum on SDGs (HLPF 2017). View registration details for this event and visit GHC’s special events calendar for more information on health-related side-events at HLPF 2017.

Reducing Global Inequities in Maternal and Child Health
A recent study by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reveals that the number of lives saved by investing in the most deprived populations is almost twice as high as the number saved by equivalent investment in less deprived groups. Study findings show that increased access to key interventions reduced under-five mortality in 51 countries that are collectively home to 400 million children under age five. The report analyzes six critical indicators: antenatal care visits, skilled birth attendants, early initiation of breastfeeding, malaria prevention, full immunization, and care-seeking for sick children. View the report and interactive data site.

Global Development Alliance Annual Program Statement Deadline Extended
The Global Development Alliance (GDA) Annual Program Statement (APS) deadline has been extended until February 23, 2018. The GDA APS is USAID’s open invitation to the private sector to co-create and implement transformational partnerships to tackle both business and global development challenges that have a sustainable development impact. Through leveraging expertise, resources, and capabilities from various stakeholders, GDA APS addresses critical business and development challenges using market-based approaches. Learn more.

Fighting Big Diseases with Little Computers

Treatments for diseases like tuberculosis (TB) and HIV are lengthy and complex. Medications need to be taken regularly and for extended periods. Interruptions come at a high cost for patients, their families, and the health systems that treat them.

Over the past several years, professionals across a range of disciplines have focused on creating solutions at all levels of the health system. From a tool that helps governments calculate the economic cost of medicine stock-outs to a piece of software that allows doctors across Ukraine to follow a patient’s complex TB treatment, technology can play a critical role in bringing solutions to scale and making significant progress in the age-old fight against deadly diseases.

Here are two examples of how MSH is helping health workers use computers to fight back.


To appreciate the importance of having these tools, you might need to be reminded of two things. First, that curing a patient of TB requires a months-long course of antibiotics whose dose and type often need adjusting over the life of the treatment. Even then, success is not guaranteed. Second, if a patient does not finish the complete course of antibiotics, he or she may develop resistance to the medicine. That “stronger” form of the illness—called multidrug-resistant, or MDR-TB—is harder to treat, and is also more contagious. This is, in part, how MDR-TB came to be, and why we’re running out of medicines to treat certain types of TB.

To deal with TB effectively, we need systems to identify it early and treat it appropriately with an uninterrupted course of medicine.

Enter the innovators from Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS)—a USAID-funded program implemented by Management Sciences for Health that bolsters pharmaceutical management for better health outcomes. They built a web-based digital health technology called e-TB Manager that allows a country’s health system to manage all the information needed for tuberculosis control. The tool enables health workers to monitor in real time the status of TB treatment and flow of medicines by integrating data across key aspects of TB control (presumptive cases, patients, medicines, laboratory testing, diagnoses, treatments, and outcomes). e-TB Manager has been adopted by national TB control programs in 10 countries.

But they didn’t just build the technology. They worked with health ministries across those countries to train users and test, implement, and institutionalize the tool. At the end of it all, they studied user adoption and satisfaction.

Take Ukraine, where TB is among the leading cause of death among infectious diseases. According to a study by SIAPS’s Niranjan Konduri, whose research findings appear in the European Respiratory Journal Open Research, since its implementation in 2008, e-TB Manager has shown strong results: 90% of users, including doctors, nurses, and laboratory professionals, agree that it has improved patient care, and 82% say it enhances productivity.

“I once encountered a situation in the office of a Ukrainian doctor who had to approve for a hospital maternity ward to release a newborn to his TB-positive mother,” says Konduri. “Instead of making time-consuming phone calls to the patient’s district health facility, the doctor was able to swiftly review the mother’s treatment history in e-TB Manager and discover that she had developed multidrug-resistant TB. That information had not been communicated to the maternity hospital. Eventually, the doctor decided to withhold releasing the newborn to the mother until she finished her treatment to protect the baby.”

Seeing such tangible benefits, Konduri explains, goes a long way toward reducing any reluctance doctors and health workers may feel toward adopting a digital health technology.