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Accelerating US Progress in Combating Malaria Worldwide: Recommendations for Maximizing Investments Toward a World Free From Malaria

For more than a decade, the US government has made smart, strategic investments to combat malaria worldwide. These investments, alongside those of our partners, have yielded remarkable results in reducing the burden of the disease and promoting economic growth in malaria-endemic countries. Now we have reached a critical juncture, and there is both an opportunity and an urgent need to catalyze further progress.

In Accelerating US Progress¸ GHC-member PATH recommends specific actions the Administration, Congress, and relevant agencies can take to help ensure that malaria is never a death sentence, whether for a young African child or an American soldier in arms deployed overseas.

This brief lays out an investment case for what is needed, challenging US leadership to match a bold vision for malaria control and elimination with full funding for malaria programs, intensified support for R&D, and continued efforts to leverage US influence globally to achieve this vision. Access brief.

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GHC NEWS FLASH: GLOBAL HEALTH ROUNDUP 6/5/2017

GHC’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 these voices were diverse, they were united in celebrating the power of civil society. Check out some highlights from the blogs of our WHA delegates and advocates, or view the GHC WHA70 Storify.


Spotlight on the 141st Session of the WHO Executive Board
Following the recently concluded Seventieth World Health Assembly (WHA70) in Geneva, Switzerland, members of the WHO Executive Board convened between June 1 – 2 to give effect to the decisions and resolutions reached at WHA70. A small group of GHC delegates attended the 141st WHO Executive Board Session (EB141), where they tracked and reported on some of the priority agenda items that were discussed. Agenda Item 6:1, Eradication of Malaria, generated conversations that took center stage at the meeting, with several member states pushing for increased efforts and integrated approaches to boost malaria prevention and control globally. Watch recordings of the full proceedings at the EB141 Session.


Explore Planetary Health with Child Family Health International 
Thanks to technological improvements and the use of planetary resources, human health has improved tremendously in recent decades, with great improvements in life expectancy, as well as maternal and infant health. Unprecedented environmental changes threaten to undermine this progress and jeopardize future generations. With a range of new planetary health programs and placements, Child Family Health International (CFHI) aims to foster education about planetary health, food waste reduction, diets with low environmental impact, efficient use of water, and ending deforestation. These programs are designed to equip participants with a better understanding of the intrinsic connection between the health of humans, health of animals, and the health of the ecosystem. To learn more about CFHI programs with planetary health themes.


A Call to Action for Gender Equality in Global Health Leadership
After a year of analysis and over 15 global dialogues, Women in Global Health (WGH) has identified a comprehensive list of commitments that the global health community, particularly at the organizational and institutional level, need to fulfill in order to achieve the goal of greater gender equity in global health leadership. Further, WGH is developing tools in partnership with key stakeholders to better facilitate the translation of these commitments to action. As a partner of Women in Global Health, under the Women Leaders in Global Health Initiative, GHC invites members of the global health community to join the movement to advance gender equity at all levels of global health leadership. Learn more.


Upcoming Workshop on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance 
The Forum on Microbial Threats will host a public workshop, “Combating Antimicrobial Resistance: A One Health Approach to a Global Threat,” on June 20 – 21. The workshop will examine the key areas in human, animal, and environmental health that contribute to the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance through a One Health approach, and present the complexities and potential strategies of bridging the different sectors and disciplines to counter this global threat. Workshop speakers and discussants will contribute perspectives from government, academia, private, and nonprofit sectors at the global, national, and local levels. This two-day workshop will be held at the Keck Center in Washington, DC. Please RSVP to join in-person or attend via webcast.

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GHC NEWS FLASH: GLOBAL HEALTH ROUNDUP 5/01/2017

GHC Reflects on its Own First 100 Days
In global health, we know benchmarks matter. They’re the difference between whether a child reaches his or her 5th birthday or dies of a vaccine-preventable illness. They signal how a health system would respond to the next pandemic or humanitarian crisis. What gets measured gets done, and saves lives. That’s why GHC has been paying attention these first 100 days of 2017. We looked at what we’ve done to serve our members, and opportunities to make the greatest impact. Thank you to all of the global health advocates who have joined us so far. Read more.


GHC Hosts Discussion on U.S. Leadership and Engagement at WHA
On April 25, GHC convened various stakeholders for a critical dialogue on the U.S. government’s priorities at the Seventieth World Health Assembly (WHA70). The one-hour webinar, which attracted over 60 participants from the non-profit, academia, international development, and government sectors, was the second in a series of WHA Policy Scrums organized by GHC in preparation for WHA70. We were honored to have special guest speakers with strong government backgrounds and experience at WHA participate in our webinar and share their insights on the best way for civil society to engage at WHA70. You can view brief notes or watch the full webinar recording that provide a recap of this important conversation. Please join us for our final WHA Policy Scrum and New Delegate Webinar on May 9. Registration details.


A New Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program in Africa
The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO) announced that Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi will participate in the WHO-coordinated pilot implementation of the RTS,S malaria vaccine. RTS,S was developed to protect young children from infection by Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest of the malaria parasites affecting humans. It is the first malaria vaccine candidate to be recommended for pilot implementation by WHO, and the first to receive a positive opinion from a stringent regulatory authority, the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program (MVIP) is being coordinated and led by WHO in close collaboration with Ministries of Health in the participating countries and a range of in-country and international partners. Learn more.


Call for Nongovernmental Organizations to apply for Consultative Status with the United Nations
The United Nations invites nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to apply for consultative status with its Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) if they wish to be considered by the NGO Committee in 2018. NGOs that are accredited with ECOSOC can participate in a number of events including, but not limited to, regular sessions of ECOSOC, its functional commissions, and its other subsidiary bodies. Consultative relationships may be established with international, regional, sub-regional, and national non-governmental, non-profit public, or voluntary organizations. Those interested should submit their application and required documents by June 1. View the call for applications.


Global Resolve to End Neglected Tropical Diseases
The NTD Summit 2017, held between April 19 – 22, drew attention to the unprecedented progress and milestones that have been reached in efforts to control, eliminate, and eradicate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) over the last five years. For several decades, development of new drugs and vaccines to target the most debilitating NTDs, categorically described as diseases of poverty, stalled because there was simply no business incentive to do so. Since the signing of the London Declaration on NTDs in 2012, pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, NGOs, and other partners have joined forces to bring treatment to millions of people afflicted by NTDs. NTDs kill, disable, disfigure, stigmatize, and cost developing economies billions of dollars every year in lost productivity. Progress in NTD eradication has been touted as a remarkable display of how U.S. foreign assistance works to eliminate obstacles to development. Read more.


Registration is Now Open for the Women Leaders in Global Health Conference
Women in Global Health (WGH) is a movement of dynamic professionals around the world, of all genders and backgrounds, working within many different areas of global health looking to achieve gender equality in global health leadership. WGH believes that diverse, gender-balanced leadership is key for achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), improving health and well-being, and are working to give all genders an equitable voice in the global health arena. WGH is pleased to partner with Stanford University’s Center for Innovation in Global Health to present the Women Leaders in Global Health Conference this October 12. Registration is now open for this inaugural event. The conference builds on the global movement to press for gender equity in global health leadership by celebrating great works of emerging and established women in the field and cultivating the next generation of women leaders. More details.

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Home by Home: Liliane’s Tireless Fight Against Malaria

This guest post has been provided by GHC member Jhpiego. It originally appeared as a photo essay on Jhpiego’s medium blog. 

Photo credit is Jhpiego/Karen Kasmauski

Olivia Mboli, a single mom of five children, works on a palm oil plantation in west Cameroon, earning $32 to $42 per month.

“It’s difficult to meet my children’s needs,” she says, particularly when they get sick.

Three years ago, Olivia was pregnant with twins when a tree fell on her husband and killed him as he walked to work. Today, twins Norbert and Albert are just small enough to still be held, and Princess — Olivia’s only daughter — is 9 years old. Olivia also has two older sons. Keeping the five of them on a path to thrive and succeed is a constant struggle for Olivia. But community health worker Liliane Mbom is her strong ally, helping Olivia and her family to stay healthy and malaria-free.

In Cameroon, malaria accounts for 43 percent of deaths and more than half of illnesses of children under age 5. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable; malaria can have significant health consequences for both the expectant mother and her unborn child. Community health workers like Liliane serve as the first line of defense against malaria in so many areas of the country.

Liliane Mbom is a teacher by training, but when the chief officer at the local health center visited her village looking for help educating residents about malaria prevention and providing basic care, she was nominated by her peers.

“The people designated me. I initially refused…but they convinced me and I accepted,” Liliane says.

Liliane’s work — from community education to home visits — has a dramatic impact on families like Olivia’s.

“I book an appointment beforehand with the head of the family and I go to [the] house on the designated date. We discuss malaria prevention, what to do when a child or an adult has a fever, and we talk about the right way to use a mosquito net,” Liliane says, describing a typical home visit.

Through a Jhpiego-led initiative funded by ExxonMobil in April 2014, Liliane learned how to diagnose malaria using rapid diagnostic tests. She learned how to manage cases of uncomplicated malaria with common malaria medicines — artemisinin-based combination therapy — and when to refer severe cases to health facilities. Through educational talks and home visits, Liliane is raising public awareness of malaria.

She is a touchpoint for families on the best practices to prevent malaria and the first point of care for many palm oil workers.

For Olivia and her children, Liliane is a key component of a healthy, malaria-free life. This World Malaria Day, we celebrate Liliane and the thousands of community health workers like her who fight tirelessly for a malaria-free future!

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