On February 1, Margaret Chan, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), acting on the recommendations of 18 infectious disease experts, stated: "I am now declaring that the recent cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders reported in Brazil, following a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014, constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”
Delivering basic health services to border populations is a challenge confronted by developing nations around the world, and Ethiopia is no exception. At the farthest reaches of its territorial boundaries, Ethiopia faces the daunting task of providing health care to culturally diverse populations that are geographically isolated, highly mobile, and often lacking access to even the most basic health infrastructure.
Stopping all polio transmission by the end of 2016 will require enhanced security for immunization campaigns and devising ways to vaccinate children in increasingly complicated settings, the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio Eradication initiative argues in its October report. Fluctuating security situations along with growing displaced populations create a heightened risk of outbreaks, not just in the Middle East, but in parts of Europe as well since refugees sometimes skirt designated camps and avoid registration in attempts to resettle.
Last month I was in Mexico City to attend the first Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference, which ran from October 18 to 21. The theme of the meeting, hosted by Mexico’s Secretaría de Salud, and co-organized by the Maternal Health Task Force, Save the Children, and USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), was “reaching every mother and newborn with quality care.”
Across swathes of eastern Ethiopia, there’s no water to be found. Overall, an estimated 15 million people are likely to need emergency food aid.
On September 28, 2015, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center hosted a major international conference on global polio eradication, bringing together top experts from around the world to discuss key remaining challenges to eradicating the paralytic disease.
Working together to expand pharmaceutical research agendas, improve the access of vulnerable populations to quality health care, and encourage decision-makers to tackle tough social problems, the United States and Mexico have an opportunity to eliminate the shared challenge of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), according to experts at a September 30 workshop held at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston, Texas.
The vaccine switch calls on all national immunization programs to move from a trivalent OPV that provides immunity for all three types of wild, or naturally occurring, poliovirus to a bivalent version that addresses only types 1 and 3. The shift will greatly reduce the incidence of both circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses and vaccine-associated paralytic polio since the type 2 vaccine virus is responsible for 90% and 40% of such cases, respectively.
The contribution of faith-based organizations (FBOs) to health services and in reaching poor communities around the world has long been the subject of debate among public health experts and policymakers. To explore the nexus between faith and health, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center convened two recent events. The first focused on faith-based organizations and family planning in Kenya, and the second, timed for the release of the new Lancet series on faith-based health care, examined the contributions of faith organizations to global health efforts, and implications for U.S. policy.
July 24 marks a significant milestone in the global effort to eradicate polio: Nigeria, one of the countries where wild poliovirus has proven hardest to extinguish, has reported no cases of the disease for a year. While the success should be celebrated, it also should be viewed with a note of caution. The country’s polio program needs continued political attention and sufficient resources to achieve official polio-free certification, a determination made formally by the World Health Organization only after three full years with no cases.
A highlight of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held last week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was the launch of a new Global Financing Facility (GFF) to end preventable maternal and child deaths by 2030. This partnership will bring together countries, UN agencies, multilateral groups, private sector investors, and civil society organizations in order to close the $33 billion annual funding gap for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH).
The world is celebrating a giant milestone in the fight against HIV: 15 million people are now on lifesaving treatment using highly effective antiretroviral drugs! It’s a huge win for global health, and of course for the millions whose lives have been saved.