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Tuberculosis: Global Health Security Threat

Organized by RESULTS

September 29
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Room 419, Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC


Tuberculosis (TB) kills more people than any other single infectious agent, and drug resistant strains continue to spread.  Women and children are more vulnerable to harder-to-detect forms of the disease.

Join RESULTS to hear from experts about the global epidemic as well as US-led efforts to build capacity and leverage an effective response.


David Bryden, TB Advocacy Officer, RESULTS


1) Dr. Sanjay Jain, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and International Health, Johns Hopkins University
2) Dr. David Dowdy, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
3) Cheri Vincent, Tuberculosis Division Chief, Office of Infectious Disease, Bureau of Global Health, USAID

Refreshments will be served


Global Health Council’s Collective Voice Converges in Geneva for WHA70

Last week the Seventieth World Health Assembly (WHA70) concluded in Geneva, Switzerland. It was a whirlwind WHA with a WHO Director-General election, and several agenda items – from Health Systems to Communicable Diseases – addressed.

Global Health Council (GHC) sent a robust delegation of 70 members to WHA70, representing multiple health priorities. Many of GHC’s WHA delegates took part in daily huddles, read statements to the Assembly, and partnered on side-events. Although the delegation’s voices were diverse, they were united in celebrating the power of civil society.

Check out the highlights from the blogs of GHC’s WHA delegates and advocates below or peruse through GHC’s WHA70 Storify.

Heroines of Health: Celebrating Women in Global Health
by Women in Global Health

Global Health Security: Why Women Matter
Katherine C. Bond, U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP)

Attacks on Healthcare, Where do We Stand One Year After the Adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2286?
by Len Rubenstein, 
Johns Hopkins Blomberg School of Public Health and Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition

The Power and Promise of Digital Health for Africa
by Lesley-Anne Long

Chronic Childhood Disease: A Personal, Local, and Global Struggle
by Elizabeth Montgomery Collins
, Individual GHC Member

Health in All Policies
by Terry L Schmidt DrHA MBA (MPH)
, Individual GHC Member

Why Investments in Frontline Health Workers Matter: Preventing Needless Deaths through Trusted Healthcare Relationships
by Samalie Kitooleko, Uganda Rheumatic Heart Disease Registry and Belinda Ngongo, Public Health Institute

Global Health Security: Why Women Matter
Maternal child health

As the world responds to a new outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, many may not realize that women tend to be at greatest risk. If this outbreak follows previous patterns, as many as 75% of those infected will be women, which has massive implications for families and society at large.
To help women survive and thrive, it is imperative that health security efforts focus not only on building response capacity to emergencies like the last Ebola pandemic, but on creating more resilient health systems. As I prepare for the World Health Assembly which begins May 22 in Geneva, Switzerland, I hope to help bring more attention to key components of effective healthcare delivery: the availability of quality assured medicines, and the human workforce to sustain services in the face of pandemic threats.
If these efforts are to have a lasting impact, it is critical that women, already the traditional caregivers in many communities, be part of those efforts.

Women’s Disproportionate Burden

Women are disproportionately affected during health crisis situations for several reasons. Lower socioeconomic standing means women often have poorer nutrition and lack access to education and basic health services. Traditional gender roles means women are more likely to be exposed to disease because they are the primary caregivers. Women prepare meals, care for the sick and attend to the dead. Women also make most health care decisions in the family.  Simply put, women are at the center of global health security.
High-profile emergencies, such as Ebola, Zika and Influenza, demand responses that require not only effective services, but also effective treatments. But in low- and middle-income countries regulatory authorities often face daily challenges assuring medicines quality, even outside a crisis situation. The growth of online distributors, according to the WHO, now means there is not a single country that is untouched by this problem of substandard or falsified medicines.
Shortages in quality-assured medicines hamper health emergency responses during outbreaks, they undermine continued efforts to reduce the impact of the tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS epidemics and impede improvements in maternal and child health outcomes.

Women Leaders in Science, Policy and Practice

Resilience during public health crises requires investing in health systems and people, especially women, as agents of change.
USP collaborates with the WHO, national medicines regulatory authorities, manufacturers and other partners to increase the supply of quality-assured essential medicines by building technical capacity and human resources at all levels. In Africa, for example, in 2015 USP created the Women in Science Exchange (W.I.S.E.), a program to empower and mentor female students and professionals in science and help them to advance into leadership positions. Recognizing that women are under-represented in the African health workforce, the program paired female students with mentors, African women who are established leaders in pharmaceutical, medical or regulatory science.
In a recent visit to Myanmar, I was struck by the efforts of the head of the recently accredited National Medicines Quality Control lab, Dr. Khin Chit, to mentor her staff, over 90% of whom were young women, reflecting a similar shift in opportunities in Southeast Asia.

Women leaders in science

USP also provides on-site training for quality-assurance professionals around the world. In 2016, USP facilitated the training of over 1,000 individuals from 19 countries – over 500 of which were women. Together these efforts seek to improve the pipeline of future women scientists. We can all do better to support women in science as part of building resilient health systems.

Looking to the Future

Neither pathogens nor medical products respect national borders. Substandard and falsified medicines may be uncommon in the U.S. and other industrialized and middle income nations but global supply chains and travel make all of us vulnerable to health threats associated with poor quality medicines. They fail to treat infectious diseases and contribute to drug resistance, elevating the risk of further spread, locally and globally.
To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, everyone needs medicines that are accessible, affordable and  quality assured. USP is committed to investing in women and strengthening systems across the globe so the medicines people take are quality-assured, no matter their gender or where they live.

World Health Assembly (#WHA70) Social Media Alerts

Day 1: Monday, May 22, 2017

Highlights from Yesterday

Check out the best of our social media coverage from our Welcome Reception and Women in Global Health’s Heroines of Health Dinner. Please share as much as you can.

{RETWEET} @globalgamechngr: Great kickoff to #WHA70, starting with @GlobalHealthOrg delegate mixer & capped off by @womeninGH partnership celebrating “health heroines.”

{RETWEET} @RonPiervincenzi: Excited to be here at #WHA70, looking forward to connecting with #globalhealth delegates and partners at @GlobalHealthOrg Welcome Reception

{RETWEET} @GlobalHealthOrg: A great start to #WHA70! Thank you to GHC board member @lenrubenstein for his inspirational remarks at our delegates Welcome Reception.

{RETWEET} @GlobalHealthOrg: We need to create an enabling environment for women – #WHODG candidate @SaniaNishtar #WomeninGH

{RETWEET} @FHWCoalition: Ugandan #nurse Samalie honored as #healthheroines2017 @ #WHA70 for inspiring work fighting #heartdisease. Her story:

{RETWEET} @womeninGH: Great to see @davidnabarro at #healthheroines2017 celebrating #womeningh. #Genderequality in #globalhealth needs great leadership! #wha70

{RETWEET} @PeterASinger: .@DrTedros — a champion of gender equality & #SRHR — with Heroines of Health #wha70

{RETWEET} @davidnabarro: Thank you @womeninGH for inviting me to #heroinesofhealth2017 event. Committed to #genderequality across WHO if I am #NextDG

In addition, GHC delegate Joseph Harris took some notes from yesterday’s Introduction to the World Health Assembly: A Briefing for Delegates at the Graduate Institute. Feel free to review and share!

Today’s Events

Today at 4 PM CET, we continue to cast a light on women leadership in global health with our event: Enabling Global Health Security through Health Systems Strengthening: Perspectives from Women Leaders. Help us spread the word:

{SHARE} #WHA70 kicks off today! A priority item on today’s agenda is #GlobalHealthSecurity. Join us for this discussion:

{SHARE} Join us today at 4 PM CET to hear women leaders share their perspectives on #GlobalHealthSecurity:  #WHA70

{SHARE} Women leaders offer unique perspectives on #GlobalHealthSecurity at #WHA70. Watch the live stream at 4PM CET:

Facebook Post:

{SHARE} In an increasingly interconnected world, where diseases know no borders, #GlobalHealthSecurity efforts are vital to protecting both health around the world and the health of American citizens. Follow us today as women leaders share unique perspectives on advancing global health security. #WHA70

Finally, please continue to use our #WHA70 Social Media Toolkit to generate content throughout the week, and if you have any items you would like us to include in our next alert, please email them to

DAY 2: TUESDAY, MAY 23, 2017

Highlights from yesterday

Yesterday, Dr. Margaret Chan gave her final address as WHO Director-General, and GHC co-hosted important conversations on two key agenda items: Global Health Security and Research & Development. Special thanks to all our partners for putting together informative discussions. Here are some of the day’s highlights:

{RETWEET} @globalgamechngr: GREAT to hear @HHSGov Secretary Price reiterate USG commitment to #globalhealth security, curbing impact on economy & stability. #WHA70

{RETWEET} @GlobalHealthOrg: Listen to civil society. Civil society can give citizens a face and voice – Dr. Margaret Chan @WHO DG #wha70

{RETWEET} @FHWCoalition: Building strong #healthsystems is necessary to prevent, detect & respond to #GlobalHealthSecurity threats -Ug health minister Aceng @ #WHA70

{RETWEET} @MBNalab: @BethCameron_DC: Synergized action & coordination among heath, security, finance sectors is needed to further GHS @GlobalHealthOrg#WHA70

{RETWEET} @GlobalHealthOrg: ICYMI: Here is a recording of our #GlobalHealthSecurity #WomenLeaders panel discussion: #WHA70

{RETWEET} @JBayNishi: Sabine Campe of SEEK: Need new mechanisms to incentivize private investments in global health R&D #wha70 @GHTCoalition

{RETWEET} @LibbyInTheSky: Are you at the World Health Assembly? Welcome to Geneva! We are @GlobalHealthOrg at #WHA70. Follow our live updates: 

Also check out and share GHC delegate blogs on Monday’s WHA side-events:

Enabling Global Health Security Through Health Systems Strengthening: Perspectives from Women Leaders – Anne Bell, USP

Attacks on healthcare. Where do we stand one year after the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2286? – Len Rubenstein, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Today’s Events

Today at 12 PM CET GHC is co-hosting a discussion on Priorities for the Next WHO Director-General with partners: Dentons, Harvard Global Health Institute, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), and U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP). Secretary Thomas Price, U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services, will be our keynote speaker. This event will belive streamed. Please promote widely:

{SHARE} Day 2 at #WHA70: We are looking forward to the outcome of the #NextDG #WHOElection. Good luck to all the candidates!

{SHARE} The live webcast of today’s #WHA70 sessions begins at 9 AM CET. Tune in to follow the #NextDG #WHOElection:

{SHARE} Join us for a critical discussion on the #NextDG’s priorities – with keynote speaker @SecPriceMD @HHSgov. #WHA70

{SHARE} The #NextDG of @WHO should foster stronger relationships with civil society to advance #globalhealth: #WHOElection

{SHARE} What priorities should the #NextDG of @WHO work to address? @SecPriceMD @MarianMSH @j_heals weigh in at #WHA70.

Facebook Post:

{SHARE} With the World Health Organization (WHO) slated to elect a new Director-General during the Seventieth World Health Assembly (WHA70), what is the potential impact new leadership can bring? Today, panelists from U.S. government, academia, the NGO community, and the private sector will hold a discussion on the implications of this election and its potential impact on the current fault lines of global health.

DAY 3: WEDNESDAY, MAY 24, 2017

Highlights from yesterday

Yesterday, after three rounds of voting, member states elected Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the next Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). He will take over from Dr. Margaret Chan on July 1, 2017.

Earlier this month, GHC hosted a small group discussion with Dr. Tedros, during which he expressed his commitment to working with civil society to address global health challenges. We look forward to connecting with Dr. Tedros and continuing to foster a valuable relationship with WHO under his leadership.

If you haven’t already, please join us again in congratulating Dr. Tedros with this easy {RETWEET}.

Below are more highlights from the WHO Director-General Election, including statements and reactions from some of our delegates and members.

{RETWEET} .@unfoundation Welcomes @DrTedros as the New Director-General of @WHO. #WHOElection #NextDG #WHA70 Read Statement:

{RETWEET} @PATHTweets: PATH congratulates #NextDG @DrTedros and urges his action to address #globalhealth challenges & @WHO reform … #WHA70

{RETWEET} @womeninGH: We congratulate @DrTedros @DrTedros4WHO for his new appointment. We look forward to following up on the commitment on #GenderEquality #WHA

{RETWEET} @davidnabarro: Congratulations to @DrTedros on his new role as Director-General of @WHO. I urge everyone to unite behind him & his vision #WHA70

{RETWEET} @SaniaNishtar: Congratulations @DrTedros on becoming Director-General of @WHO and @davidnabarro for a hard fought election.

{RETWEET} @GlobalHealthOrg: Closing remarks: Special thank you to Dr. Margaret Chan. We look forward to the #NextDG! #WHA70 @RonPiervincenzi@USPharmacopeia

{RETWEET} @USPharmacopeia: Wish list for 1st 100 days of #NextDG = 1) multi-sectoral approach 2)focus on prevention 3)gender equity per @JanMBeagle Exec Dir of @UNAIDS

{RETWEET} @USPharmacopeia: #NextDG needs to look at #globalhealth holistically & connect dots b/w SDGs & development, says @globalgamechngr Pres of @globalhealthorg

{RETWEET} @MBNalab: HHS Secretary Price on priorities for next DG: @WHO should be more effective, accountable, and transparent. @GlobalHealthOrg

{RETWEET} @GlobalHealthOrg: Did you miss our discussion on Priorities for the Next @WHO DG? Revisit the full recording: #WHA70 #WHOElection

As member states convene today to discuss Health Systems Strengthening, we would like to share a recap of our panel yesterday, Against All Odds: Strengthening Health Systems to Better Serve Vulnerable Women and Children.

{SHARE} #WHA70 Recap: Our diverse panel of delegates explores the challenges health systems face in complex settings:

{SHARE} ICYMI: How can we strengthen health systems to better serve women and children in complex settings? #WHA70

{SHARE} #HealthWorkers are critical to #HealthSystemsStrengthening. Our Heroine of Health, Samalie, shares her story: #WHA70


This guest post has been provided by GHC-member Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

Infectious disease threats – whether naturally occurring, deliberate, or accidental – pose grave risks to human life, the global economy, and political stability. In our increasingly interconnected world, biological crises – from the 2001 anthrax attacks to the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa – make plain the need for partnerships between the national security, global health, development, and private sectors. Innovative, synergistic partnerships can identify and fill gaps, enhance accountability, improve threat awareness among leaders, policymakers and private-sector experts, and spark novel approaches to address emerging and persistent threats.

In recognition of this need, Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) recently joined Global Health Council. Mindful that the risk of catastrophic biological events will continue to be magnified by global travel and trade, urbanization, terrorist interest in weapons of mass destruction, and rapid advances in technology that can both create and eliminate disease threats, NTI seeks to engage with the broader health community to jointly address risks posed by the intentional and accidental creation of disease agents, while also improving global capability to fight pandemics and shore up health systems around the world.

At a recent meeting, Dr. Elizabeth Cameron, NTI senior director for global biological policy and programs, discusses the development of a new Global Health Security Index.

The threat is urgent. Although progress has been made to improve global health security – including through the launch of the Global Health Security Agenda, the Alliance for Joint External Evaluations, and the Next Generation Global Health Security Network – most countries remain ill-prepared to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to biological threats. Weak health systems, poor biosecurity practices, and lack of robust disease detection and response mechanisms continue to threaten public health and economies. Despite intermittent focus and funding during periods of crisis, world leaders and policymakers have failed to establish the capacity and financing mechanisms necessary to address biological threats.

For nearly two decades, NTI has worked to address risks posed by bioterrorism, pandemics, and dual-use biotechnology. NTI helped create both regional and global organizations focused on disease surveillance, including initial support for Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance (CORDS), which recognizes the importance of cross-border communication and training, as well as the immediate impact of a biological crisis in one country on neighboring countries and continents. NTI is also a founding member of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Consortium, an international coalition of non-government stakeholders working with governments focused on accelerating progress in global health security.

More recently, NTI launched a new effort to spur more targeted commitments and sustained investments in health security. With generous new grants from the Open Philanthropy Project and the Robertson Foundation, NTI is partnering with the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Economist Intelligence Unit to develop a multi-factorial Global Health Security Index. The Index will be designed to assess national technical, financial and political capabilities to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to epidemic threats with international implications. The first phase will be advised by an international expert panel and will draw from internationally-accepted technical assessments, while incorporating other important factors, such as overall healthcare system strength, commitment to global norms, and the overall risk environment within the country.

For more information about NTI’s biosecurity work, visit the organization’s website.