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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.

GHC News Flash: Global Health Roundup 1/23/2017

New Coalition for Epidemics Preparedness Innovations
The celebrated news of an effective Ebola vaccine came a little too late for the 11,000 people who succumbed to the Ebola virus between 2014 to 2016. The epidemic that overwhelmed local and international capacity to contain it, has helped fuel an important debate on global health security and has sparked a number of proposed actions to help curb the inefficiencies in dealing with emerging disease threats at both national and global levels. The latest in efforts to amp up future preparedness against potential outbreaks is the launch of the Coalition for Epidemics Preparedness Innovations. The initiative, which aims to pre-emptively develop and stock-pile vaccines against the deadliest disease threats, was launched last week at the World Economic Forum. The coalition is being backed by investments from the Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the governments of Norway, Germany, and Japan. Read more.


Five Years of Fighting Neglected Tropical Diseases
In 2012, world leaders signed a commitment known as the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) that spurred unprecedented action towards reducing the burden of poverty-related NTDs. Through drug donations from pharmaceutical companies, increased funding of programs, and a greater commitment to developing new tools and treatments, the global community has seen a lot of recent progress in defeating NTDs. To mark the five-year anniversary of the London Declaration, NTDs partners worldwide will run a five-day social media campaign, beginning January 30, to highlight some of the major successes that have been achieved. NTDs affect over one billion people around the world, and disproportionately impacting those in some of the world’s poorest countries. Get involved in the upcoming campaign.


New Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data
Last week, the inaugural United Nation’s Data Forum took place in Cape Town, South Africa. The event saw the launch of a new global plan for better data to improve people’s lives as set out in the targets of the 2030 Agenda. The plan calls for a commitment by governments, policy leaders, and the international community to undertake key actions in six strategic areas, including: innovation and modernization of national statistical systems; dissemination of data on sustainable development; building partnerships; and mobilizing resources. Read the press release and view highlights from the event.


Stand with APHA Against Climate Change
GHC Member the American Public Health Association (APHA) is taking a critical step in creating the healthiest nation by declaring 2017 the Year of Climate Change and Health. Throughout 2017, APHA will engage in a series of activities to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on health and build a sense of urgency for action. This will include hosting monthly events and themes; circulating surveys and fact sheets; conducting new research and public outreach; and offering advocacy opportunities. Visit the APHA website to get involved and access resources.


TechChange Offers Flagship mHealth Course Online
Are you trying to figure out the best way to add mobile phones to a new health project? Thinking about a career switch in 2017? Looking to build skills in an exciting field? In need of new inspiration for an existing project? TechChange is offering a once-a-year flagship mHealth online certificate course from February 6 to March 3. This four-week online certificate course will feature live interactive guest expert presentations with leading M&E practitioners, software developers, and data scientists from the Red Cross, CommCare, mSurvey, and Tula Foundation, among others. It will also include a unique hands-on learning environment with animated videos, technology demos, practical activities, networking events, immersive simulations, and more. Learn more about the course. Use coupon code TFGH17 and get $50 off of the listed price.

Scaling up Neglected Tropical Disease and Nutrition Interventions to Help the World’s Poor

This guest post was written by Michelle Brooks, Policy Director for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are the most common diseases among the world’s poor. NTDs not only hinder childhood growth and development, but they also cause, aggravate and intensify the loss of key nutrients, especially Vitamin A and iron, resulting in adverse pregnancy outcomes. Simply put, NTDs stand in the way of improved health and nutrition, making it essential for the development community to embrace a coordinated, integrated response to address both problems.

The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (Global Network) recently called upon policy makers to recognize the joint impact of NTDs and malnutrition and the benefits of addressing them in tandem. Our policy brief, titled, Toward a Healthy Future, Working together to end Neglected Tropical Diseases and Malnutrition, is endorsed by and reflects the views of more than 20 development organizations.

The links between NTDs and malnutrition are clear. In fact, both NTDs and malnutrition are geographically linked; all of the 34 countries carrying the highest levels of malnutrition are also endemic for NTDs. Even more, 10 of these countries make up 90 percent of the global NTD burden.

Photo credit: Richard Hatzfeld, Sabin Vaccine Institute

Photo credit: Richard Hatzfeld, Sabin Vaccine Institute

Poor nutrition increases susceptibility to parasitic disease infections, while NTDs, like intestinal worms and schistosomiasis, are underlying causes of stunting, wasting and micronutrient deficiencies. Poor access to water, sanitation and poor hygiene practices are well-known contributing factors to the spread of NTDs.

Thankfully, encouraging work is being done to address these issues. A number of multilateral organizations, governments, NGOs and endemic countries are already implementing programs that deliver treatments for intestinal worms and schistosomiasis alongside other nutrition and health interventions, effectively leveraging policies and delivery strategies.

Further signifying momentum, USAID’s NTD Program is successfully scaling up deworming treatment around the world – an achievement marked by the program’s delivery of its one billionth NTD treatment this May. This historic delivery this year demonstrates how far the world has come in the fight against NTDs. Commitments made through the London Declaration on NTDs from USAID and other public and private partners, especially endemic country governments, made this success possible.

While the control and elimination of NTDs is a goal within sight, a funding gap stands in the way of ensuring that necessary treatments reach the people who need them. To serve the collective needs of the world’s poor, the global health community must continue to build upon this work and scale up deworming alongside nutrition interventions.

The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is an advocacy initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute that works in partnership with international agencies, governments, academic institutions, corporations, non-governmental development organizations and the general public to raise the awareness, political will and funding necessary to control and eliminate the seven most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020.Through the support of a new three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Network for Neglected Tropical diseases will continue to advocate greater policy prioritization for neglected tropical diseases among donor and endemic countries.

ASTMH Annual Meeting

ASTMH presents:

The ASTMH Annual Meeting is the premeier international forum for the exchange of scientific advances in tropical medicine, hygiene and global health.  Join the 3,500 current and future leaders in the field who will be gathering in Washington, DC, November 13-17.  Click here to view the meeting brochure.

Members: $560 (sign up to be a member when you register and get this rate); Non-members: $820; Students, trainees and post-docs receive special discounts. Click below for detailed information. 

October 24 is the last day to register online. >> Register now

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Member Spotlight: ASTMH

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is a worldwide organization whose mission is to promote global health through the prevention and control of infectious and other diseases that disproportionately afflict the global poor.  

By the numbers:

Astmh2

Founding: 1903
Staff:
4 Full Time, 4 Part Time
Members:
Approximately 3,500 members located in 91 countries across 6 continents
HQ:
Deerfield, IL
Issue areas:
Tropical diseases
Impact Statistic: 
Commemorating the 3rd anniversary of the cholera outbreak in Haiti, the October ASTMH journal – in partnership with PAHO – featured a series of invited papers highlighting key efforts, progress, and challenges.  Media pickup included Kaiser Global Health Policy Report and other national and international outlets and blogs.
Website: http://www.astmh.org/

“Tropical medicine is no longer exotic and distant.  With a virus just a plane ride away, our world is more connected than ever. Improving and protecting health benefits everyone.”