Heads Up! Upcoming Conferences in DC & Beyond
Summer is fast approaching and instead of taking a vacation, the global health and development communities are ramping up the heat as they host and participate in several landmark conferences. On the development front, this week the InterAction Forum (June 12-14) will host breakout sessions that address issues like strengthening local health centres while Devex World (June 12) will lead discussions on maternal and child health, HIV, and more. Speaking of honing in on specific global health topics, registration is open for the civil society hearing on the prevention and control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) as part of the preparatory process for the UN High-Level meeting on September 27. Moreover, the latest advances in HIV prevention science will be on display at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (July 23-27). Finally, network and develop solutions to the most pressing water-related challenges of today at the 2018 World Water Week (August 26-31). More details about these conferences and others can be found on GHC’s Upcoming Calendar of Events.

Governments Off Track to Meet Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 Targets
On World No Tobacco Day (May 31), WHO released its second edition of the Global Report on Trends in Prevalence of Tobacco Smoking 2000-2025. The report indicates that 27% of the population smoked tobacco in 2000, compared to 20% in 2016. While this may demonstrate progress, the report warns that global and national commitments toward tobacco reduction targets (22% reduction by 2025) are falling behind. Consecutively, on June 1, the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs published its “Time to Deliver” Report, highlighting the limited progress addressing NCDs. The report reveals that SDG target 3.4, which includes a one-third reduction of premature mortality from NCDs through prevention and treatment by 2030, may not be met due in part to the inaction from multiple national governments in following through with the commitments that they have made to tackle NCDs. In the midst of these reports, WHO shared its new goal to reduce physical inactivity in adults by 15% by 2030 through the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030. We encourage the advocacy community to use these WHO reports and recommendations to demonstrate the need for continued and additional support from governments and donors.

A New Global Gag Rule Report Points Toward a Significant Scale Down of Services
On June 5, the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) released its “Prescribing Chaos in Global Health Report,” scanning the effects of the expanded Mexico City Policy, a U.S. government policy blocking funding to international NGOs providing services associated with family planning. The report demonstrates the reach of the policy among existing programs, which include, but are not limited to, sexual and reproductive health services. Other services affected include HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment programs, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), and nutrition programs. While some programs have found flexibility to maintain funding levels, other programs have suffered in terms of potential future partnerships. CHANGE and others are continuing to collect impact stories from the community.

NEWS BITES

May 18: The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is looking to recruit a diverse range of organizations and fellowship applicants for its Bloomberg Fellows Program. Potential fellows will have the opportunity to complete fully-funded Master of Public Health degrees.

June 1: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a call for abstracts for their International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases. Abstract submission is open until June 22.

June 4: The Medtronic Foundation is seeking innovators and advocates for the Bakken Invitation, which brings together patients who “Live On” through their advocacy contributions, “Give On” through their innovation, and “Dream On” through their vision of a better world. Applicants are encouraged to apply by July 18.

June 4: Civil society representatives identified multiple priorities in order to realize an impactful political declaration to end Tuberculosis at an Interactive Civil Society Hearing in NewYork City. This is one event, supported by the Stop TB Partnership and WHO, in the lead up to the UN High-Level Meeting on TB (September 26). Watch the recording of the hearing.

June 6: In recent news from the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, five investigational drugs have been approved for compassionate use in treating the disease. View more information on WHO’s response strategy. Also, see Gavi’s statement of support regarding the ongoing Ebola vaccine campaign.