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Global Health Roundup 2/20/2017
Global Health Community Demonstrates Why #GlobalHealthWorks
On February 15, GHC and the global health community were on Capitol Hill to launch the latest version of the Global Health Briefing Book, Global Health Works: Maximizing U.S. Investments for Healthier and Stronger Communitiesa set of community-led recommendations for policymakers regarding global health priorities. Earlier in the day, GHC members and partners visited congressional offices to share statistics and stories of returns on U.S. investments. The day culminated with an expo of stakeholders across multiple sectors showcasing their work and impact in global health worldwide. GHC President and Executive Director Loyce Pace further delved into the significant return on investment from U.S. global health programs worldwide in a recent op-ed published by The Hill. In her op-ed, Loyce notes that for less than 1 percent of the federal budget, global health investments have yielded impressive results above and beyond their original price tag, and are poised for even greater returns in the future. View the briefing book, check out our Storify of the launch, and read Loyce’s op-ed.

Population Reference Bureau Releases New Data
New evidence suggests that the share of women and girls that have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting is declining in many countries, with girls less likely to be cut than in previous generations of women. A statistical wallchart from GHC member Population Reference Bureau (PRB), Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Data and Trends Update 2017, produced with support from U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), provides the latest data on the practice from 29 developing countries. Despite the declining prevalence in many countries, the total number of women and girls undergoing FGM/C continues to rise in absolute terms due to population growth. For more information, and to order a print version of the wallchart, please contact

WHO Model List for Essential Diagnostics Is Underway
Since 1977, the World Health Organization (WHO) has maintained a Model List for Essential Medicines (EML) to serve as reference document in conceiving procurement plans for medicines that meet the priority health needs of the population. The EML has been a global success, especially for low- and middle-income countries, offering guidance to governments, nonprofits, and development partners in the allocation of their health budgets. Last month, WHO released a long-awaited proposal for the development of a Model List for Essential Diagnostics (EDL). This follows calls by GHC member Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) and other partners for the agency to establish an EDL for vital diagnostics to compliment the EML. Read more.

Friends of the Global Fight Collects Global Fund Advocacy Videos 
Since December 2016, GHC member Friends of the Global Fight to End AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Friends of the Global Fight) has been building a case for sustained U.S. support of the Global Fund under the new administration and Congress. They are currently devising a new multimedia campaign, “The Letter,” to ensure that U.S. decision-makers hear these messages. The campaign will feature images of people directly impacted by Global Fund-supported programs. Friends of the Global Fight invites its partners to share video clips for its compilation. Please view this brief and sample video for guidance and inspiration on the general tone the campaign seeks to capture. The deadline for submission is February 28. For questions and support, please email

Women in Global Health Issues Call for Applications
Women in Global Health (WGH) believes that diverse, gender-balanced leadership is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and is working to give all genders an equal voice in the global health arena. WGH invites interested parties to join their team and help support their mission. Candidates from all genders, backgrounds, and stages of their career from around the world are welcome to apply for a number of available positions. Applications will remain open through February 28. Please send any questions to


Highlights from the 140th WHO Executive Board Session

GHC hosted a delegation of its members representing multiple sectors and priorities to the recent WHO Executive Board (EB) session (January 23 – February 1). GHC delegates tracked the discussion of key agenda items ranging from global health security and polio to R&D and non-communicable diseases, and some read statements to the EB on these topics. They also had an opportunity to liaise with Member State representatives, including a joint meeting with the U.S. delegation and WHO staff. Reactions to the statements and additional takeaways from the meeting will be posted to GHC’s blog, The Collective Voice. For those interested, GHC will open the application process for its delegation to World Health Assembly (WHA) in May next month.

During the WHO EB session, three remaining candidates for the position of WHO Director-General were announced. Ethiopia’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Pakistan’s Sania Nishtar, and Britain’s David Nabarro will face off in a final vote to be cast by WHO Member States at WHA. GHC will continue to provide updates on this election process.

Addendum Issued to Global Financing Facility (GFF) Report
In the fall of 2015, GHC member RESULTS commissioned Global Health Visions and Catalysts for Change to undertake an analysis of civil society engagement and consultation in the development of Investment Cases in the four GFF front-runner countries. The analysis provided insights on successes and challenges in civil society engagement reported by key stakeholders, as well as lessons learned and recommendations for enhancing civil society engagement moving forward. An addendum has been developed to supplement the original report with more current information. View the addendum.

Johns Hopkins Hosts Health Systems Summer Institute
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is hosting its Health Systems Summer Institute from June 12 to June 23. The Institute provides public health professionals with the skills necessary to address the key health systems issues of today. The courses are a great way for early- and mid-career professionals to expand their skill sets and improve their job performance. Last year’s participants came from organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Jhpiego, and the National Cancer Institute. Registration officially opens on February 13. Visit the Institute’s website for more information.

Zika: One Year Later
On February 1, 2016, WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan announced that the Zika virus was a public health emergency of international concern. Following its appearance in the Americas in 2015, cases of the outbreak have since been identified in 70 countries worldwide, including regions in Asia, Africa, and the Western Pacific. Zika has once again revealed the weaknesses in our global preparedness to handle epidemics. However, the global community has demonstrated a strong and united front in responding to Zika, with more than 60 global and local partners, including WHO, committing to sustained and long-term efforts to combat the disease. Recent studies have helped identify potential surveillance systems to provide early warning of Zika outbreaks in low-resource countries. Read the latest statement on Zika from Dr. Chan..

2nd Annual Aid & Development Summit 
The 2nd annual Aid & Development Africa Summit will take place from February 28 to March 1 in Nairobi, Kenya with an aim to explore how best practices can improve aid delivery and development strategy in sub-Saharan East Africa. Over 300 decision-makers from a variety of sectors, including: government, NGOs, development banks, and the private sector, will gather to discuss innovations in areas such as health and WASH; maternal and child health; and communicable diseases. If you are a GHC member and would like to be a part of the Summit, email

GHC News Flash: Global Health Roundup 1/9/2017
Major Ebola Vaccine Clinical Trial Concludes
The global health community wrapped up an eventful year with the conclusion of a major clinical trial which evaluated the effectiveness of a new Ebola vaccine on 6,000 subjects in Guinea. The one-year trial was led by the WHO, Guinea’s Ministry of Health, Médecins Sans Frontières, and other international partners. Findings from the trial reveal that the new vaccine is up to 100 percent effective. “While these compelling results come too late for those who lost their lives during the West Africa Ebola epidemic, they show that when the next Ebola outbreak hits, we will not be defenseless,” said Dr. Marie-Paul Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation, and the study’s lead author. Read more.

Upcoming World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
In 2016, the world marked one year since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Some of the achievements that were made in that year include the signing of a historical climate change agreement, renewing efforts towards gender equality, and advancing the Global Health Security Agenda. At this year’s World Economic Forum, leading voices in business and global development will meet in Davos, Switzerland to discuss ways we can build on this momentum and further our progress in solving global issues. A major highlight at this event will be the launch of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a new global effort that seeks to stop future epidemics by developing timely vaccines.

Gates Foundation Invests in New HIV Prevention Device
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently committed to investing up to 140 million dollars towards the development of a new HIV prevention device. The device, a small implantable drug pump, is being developed by Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc. to facilitate the delivery of antiretroviral medicines over extended periods of time. This will help ensure that patients on HIV treatment do not miss a single dose. While it might take several years to get the device onto the market, the agreement between the Gates Foundation and Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc. is intended to make sure that the intervention is accessible and affordable to low resource populations in the developing world. Read more.

Call for Applications: Alan Fagil Fellowship
GHC member American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) has launched a fellowship in honor of the legacy of Alan J. Fagil, a celebrated leader in the global tropical medicine community. The fellowship is targeted towards early-to-mid-career ASTMH members in low- and middle-income countries and will support leadership development in tropical medicine. The recipient will receive funding of up to $50,000 over a period of two years. Deadline for submission is February 1. View the Call for Concept Papers for more details.

United Nations Swears in New Secretary General
António Guterres took oath of office as the ninth Secretary General to the United Nations on December 12. The former Portuguese politician and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (2005-2015) pledged to reposition development at the center of the organization’s work and ensure that the UN can change to effectively meet the myriad of challenges facing the international community. The new incumbent also took occasion at his swearing in ceremony to pay tribute to former Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and applaud his action on climate change, gender equality, and the refugee crisis. Read about the new Secretary General’s priorities for Agenda 2030.
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No More Epidemics Makes Statement to G20 Leaders
Earlier this month, the No More Epidemics campaign released a statement urging G20 leaders to do more to address global health security through expanded health coverage and health system strengthening. The G20 agenda includes a focus on the connection between strong health systems and safeguarding against health crises and sustainable economic growth. No More Epidemics is a global campaign that brings together stakeholders from various sectors to work with governments and multilateral institutions to better prevent, prepare, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. The next G20 Summit will take place in Hamburg, Germany from July 7-8, 2017.

WGH’s Survey on WHO Director General Election
Women in Global Health (WGH) invites you to participate in their survey on the upcoming WHO Election for the next Director General of the world’s leading health organization. This highly publicized election cycle has refueled the discussion on gender parity in global health leadership; only two of the six shortlisted candidates are female. Learn about all six candidates and their visions and priorities for international health in these recent interviews with The Lancet and Women Deliver. You can also share your insights on this election and cast your vote for who you would like to see take office on July 1, 2017.

Gavi to Support Immunization of Children in Syria
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) has committed to helping partners purchase vaccines and cold chain equipment to facilitate the vaccination of children in war-torn Syria. In alignment with the Syrian Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), scaling up of vaccination programs will help protect millions of Syrian children from deadly infectious diseases. This announcement follows reports that vaccine coverage for the most basic vaccines has plummeted from 80% before the current conflict to 41% in 2015, putting many Syrian children at risk. “Syria now has the fourth lowest child vaccination rate in the world,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. View the press release for more details.

World AIDS Day 2016
Each year on December 1,  World AIDS Day is commemorated to honor the millions of people who have lost their lives to the AIDS pandemic, and to acknowledge and invigorate our global commitment to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Through the collective efforts of civil society, multilateral organizations, governments, and donors worldwide, we continue to make steady progress in attaining an AIDS-free generation. In 2016, an additional one million people globally have gained access to antiretroviral therapy. This year, the day’s central theme was “Hands up for HIV Prevention,” with a focus on improving HIV-prevention strategies by addressing groups of people who are most vulnerable to transmission – adolescent girls and young women. Read more.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence 
As part of the activities to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, human rights activists and advocates for gender equality have called on the global community to observe 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) between November 25 and December 10. GBV is an issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It threatens lives, undermines families and communities, and impedes national progress. “The extent to which gender-based violence is rooted in society means that uprooting it is everyone’s job,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaking at the “Orange the World” event in New York where UN Women kicked off the campaign. Read about the campaign and how to participate.

New Neglected Tropical Diseases Initiative
The Huffington Post recently launched “Project Zero,” a new initiative aimed at raising awareness of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Project Zero is a unique section on the Huffington Post with articles, videos, and photo essays dedicated to NTDs. Several NTDs will be highlighted during this year-long project, including human African trypanosomiasis (HAT or sleeping sickness) and efforts by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) to develop two promising new treatments for this disease. Read more.

CFHI Thomas Hall Scholars Program
GHC member Child Family Health International launched a scholars program for rising leaders in global health who are dedicated to health equity. This scholarship is made available by Dr. Thomas Hall, a leader on global health issues who has spent much of his life committed to improving health in low-resource countries. The $1,500 award is open to students currently enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate programs, and will go towards the program fee for a CFHI Global Health Education Program in 2017. Read about how to apply.