News Pouch: 3 October 2019

Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

News Pouch: 3 October 2019

Welcome to this issue of the newsletter where we highlight key latest news and literature relevant to health emergencies preparedness and response research and policy, tagged by thematic area.
We appreciate receiving your reports, articles and studies to share widely within our network. Please contact Chadia Wannous via email at cwannous@yahoo.com

Wishing you useful reading!
Chadia
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Topics: 

  • Spotlight: Ebola Outbreak Situation
  • Updates and News on Outbreaks
    • Priority Infectious Diseases
      • Influenza
      •  VBD, and more
  • One Health
    • Biodiversity and ecosystem
    • Food Security and Safety
    • AMR
    • Health in Emergencies and Disasters
    • Health and Climate Change
    • Urban Health
    • Migration Health
    • Global Health
    • Contact us

     

    Ebola Outbreak Situation

    WHO External Situation Report 61: 29 September 2019
    In the past week, from 23 to 29 September, 20 new confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases, with an additional 12 deaths and an additional three probable cases validated from late August/early September, have been reported from seven health zones in two affected provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This perceived decrease in the number of cases should be interpreted with caution, as operational and security challenges in certain health zones make it difficult to undertake case detection and response functions. An increase in the number of reported cases is expected in the coming weeks once response activities resume in full. The security situation in the overall operational areas of the EVD response is reported calm with no major security incidents affecting operations between the period between 26 to 29 September 2019.
    As of 29 September 2019, a total of 3191 EVD cases were reported, including 3077 confirmed and 114 probable cases, of which 2133 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 67%). Of the total confirmed and probable cases with reported sex and age data, 56% (1788) were female, 28% (906) were children aged less than 18 years, and 5% (161) were healthcare workers. A total of 984 survivors have been reported so far.
    Under Pillar 1 of the current Strategic Response Plan, the estimated funding requirement for all partners for the period July to December 2019 is US$ 287 million, including US$ 120-140 million for WHO. As of 1 October 2019, close to US$ 60 million have been received by WHO, with further funds committed or pledged. Currently available funds will close the financing gap up until the end of October 2019. Further resources are needed to fund the response through to December 2019, and WHO is appealing to donors to provide generous support. A summary of funding received by WHO since the start of this outbreak can be found here.
     click here to download the complete situation report (PDF).

    New Ebola cases confirmed in outbreak that hits women hard
    Women and girls account for 58% of patients.
    More »
     
    The Ebola epidemic is in full swing. Where is the Trump administration?
    Warning lights are flashing in our global health security system. On Sept. 17, the first annual report by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board warned that the world is woefully unprepared for a fast-moving disease outbreak.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/01/ebola-epidemic-is-full-swing-where-is-trump-administration/
     
    Regional Ebola Preparedness Overview of Needs and Requirements  
    This document presents a consolidated summary of urgent activities required to advance preparedness, as elaborated in each country’s national plan, with a particular focus on Priority 1 countries. It presents the estimated requirements, needs and gaps for each of the Priority 1 countries, and a summary for Priority 2 countries, as aligned for the period of July to December 2019.
    https://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/ebola/regional-preparedness-overview-july-december-2019/en/
     
    HHS Funds Development of Two Filovirus Vaccines for Biodefense, Public Health
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will support the simultaneous development of individual vaccine candidates against Marburg virus and Sudan ebolavirus infections. Both diseases are caused by potentially deadly filoviruses, the same family of viruses that includes the Ebola virus currently affecting communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2019/10/01/hhs-funds-development-two-filovirus-vaccines-biodefense-public-health.html
     
    HHS Provides Expertise, $14 Million to Advance Development of Investigational Ebola Treatment. 
    An investigational treatment for Ebola virus disease will receive advanced development support from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will provide $14 million and expertise to Ridgeback Biotherapeutics of Miami to manufacture the therapeutic, mAb114, and support activities required to apply for licensure from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
    https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2019/09/20/hhs-provides-expertise-14-million-development-investigational-ebola-treatment.html
     
    HHS Secretary Azar Co-Hosts Ebola Preparedness and Response Discussion at UN General Assembly. 
    US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar co-hosted Wednesday the “Meeting of Regional Ministers of Health on Ebola Preparedness and Response” during the 74th United Nations General Assembly. 
    https://homelandprepnews.com/stories/37205-hhs-secretary-azar-co-hosts-ebola-preparedness-and-response-discussion-at-un-general-assembly/

    In Congo, a ‘militarised’ Ebola response has fuelled community resistance
    ‘A body is a sacred thing.’
    The security forces are meant to help the Ebola response. But aid agencies and local residents say the heavy-handed actions of the police and military personnel have made matters worse.
    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2019/10/02/Congo-militarised-Ebola-response-community-resistance
     
    U.S. and U.K. alert travelers to Tanzania about possible unreported Ebola cases
    The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom are alerting their citizens to the possibility that there may be unreported Ebola cases in Tanzania.
    https://www.statnews.com/2019/09/27/ebola-tanzania-travelers-alerted-to-possible-unreported-cases/
     
    Ebola, cholera and measles: Triple threats to the poorest communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    http://whotogo-whoafroccmaster.newsweaver.com/JournalEnglishNewsletter/1f5gia94kky1am2qptunxm
     
    MSF criticizes WHO for imposing Ebola vaccine restrictions
    Médecins Sans Frontières wants to expand people's access to vaccination in the Ebola-affected region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but said this has been impossible with the World Health Organization's vaccination restrictions.
    "Every morning when our teams go to get the vaccines and try and vaccinate people, they face these quite arbitrary rules from the WHO," Natalie Roberts, MSF emergency coordinator, told Devex. However, WHO has disagreed with MSF's characterization, stating that it has implemented and expanded vaccination guided by recommendations made by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization. Ibrahima Socé Fall, WHO assistant director-general for emergency response, said there is "no lack of transparency" on vaccine deployment. https://www.devex.com/news/msf-who-lock-horns-over-ebola-vaccine-deployment-95670

    Ecological indicators of mammal exposure to Ebolavirus
    View at Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci
     

    Priority Diseases

    CDC Receives Designation as PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Biosafety and Biosecurity. 
    Safe and effective laboratories are a key line of defense in protecting the health, safety and security of Americans and US interests worldwide. The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has designated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Center for Global Health as a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Biosafety and Biosecurity under WHO’s reference number USA-448. 
    https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2019/p0923-collaborating-centre.html
     
    21st International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Pacific Rim
    The U.S.–Japan Cooperative Medical Sciences Program (USJCMSP) was established in 1965 by Prime Minister Eisaku Sato of Japan and President Lyndon B. Johnson of the United States to strengthen Japan’s research capacity and address public health concerns in the Asia-Pacific region.
    https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/25/11/19-1184_article

    DFID puts £220M into fighting NTDs
    Health experts have welcomed an “unprecedented” £220 million ($274 million) United Kingdom program for taking an integrated, inclusive, and sustainable approach to tackling some of the worst neglected tropical diseases across 25 countries in Africa and Asia.
    https://www.devex.com/news/dfid-puts-220m-into-fighting-ntds-95656
     
    ===============
     
    Influenza
     
    H7N9 Disease Situation Update from FAO/EMPRES – Animal Health
     

    • Post-vaccination monitoring results published by China for the period January to June 2019;
    • No new human cases reported;
    • 3 new relevant publications;

    http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/h7n9/situation_update.html
     
    The H5N8 HPAI Global Situation Update from FAO/EMPRES – Animal Health

    • No H5N8 HPAI events reported since the last update;
    • Updated maps on H5N8 and H5Nx HPAI events worldwide;
    • 4 relevant publications;

    http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/h5n8/situation_update.html

    WHO advisors recommend one new zoonotic flu virus vaccine candidate
    During a meeting last week in Geneva to recommend strains to include in the Southern Hemisphere's 2020 flu season, an advisory group to the WHO also assessed the latest zoonotic flu viruses. The experts recommended one new candidate vaccine virus, according to a report posted yesterday on the WHO's website.
    Sep 30 WHO candidate pandemic virus recommendations
     

    NIAID announces launch of multicenter universal flu vaccine program
    With $51 million in first-year funding, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), yesterday launched a new research center network to develop more broadly protective and longer-lasting flu vaccines. The program is called the Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers (CIVICs), and NIAID will provide support over 7 years.
    Sep 30 NIH news release
     

    Researchers report poor results for passive immunity for treating flu
    Two groups of researchers yesterday published new findings on passive immunity for treating flu, one assessing immune plasma for severe flu and the other examining hyperimmune intravenous immunoglobulin for influenza A and B. Though neither study showed effectiveness, the hyperimmune treatment showed promise against influenza B.
    Sep 30 Lancet Respir Med abstract on immune plasma for severe flu
    Sep 30 Lancet Respir Med abstract on hyperimmune IV immunoglobulin
    Sep 30 Lancet Respir Med commentary
     
    Executive Order on Modernizing Influenza Vaccines in the United States to Promote National Security and Public Health. 
    This order directs actions to reduce the United States’ reliance on egg-based influenza vaccine production; to expand domestic capacity of alternative methods that allow more agile and rapid responses to emerging influenza viruses; to advance the development of new, broadly protective vaccine candidates that provide more effective and longer lasting immunities; and to support the promotion of increased influenza vaccine immunization across recommended populations
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-modernizing-influenza-vaccines-united-states-promote-national-security-public-health/

    Guidance on community-acquired pneumonia updated
    Recognizing new research and more emphasis on antibiotic stewardship, experts say change was needed.
    More »
     
    ==================
     
    Vector-Borne Diseases (VBD)

    Scientists Project Northward Expansion of Valley Fever by End of 21st Century. 
    In a study published online in the American Geophysical Union journal GeoHealth, the researchers argue that a high-warming scenario will increase affected states from 12 to 17, and the number of individual Valley fever cases 50 percent, by the year 2100. The scientists' model predicts that Valley fever will travel farther north throughout the western United States, especially in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains and in the Great Plains.

    https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp

    Guinea-worm effort hits ten-year delay
    The World Health Organization has quietly pushed back the target date for stamping out Guinea worm, from 2020 to 2030. The number of new infections of the debilitating disease caused by the parasite dropped from 3.5 million per year in 1986 to just 28 in 2018. But several puzzling discoveries have made reaching the 2020 target impossible. The most urgent issue is the soaring, and unexplained, rate of infections in dogs in Chad. Then there are the emergence of the first known cases among people in Angola; perplexing infections in baboons in Ethiopia; and conflicts that have hampered eradication efforts in parts of Mali, Sudan and South Sudan.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02921-w
     
    Dissent splits authors of provocative transgenic mosquito study.
    Science
     
    ECDC rapid risk assessment: Autochthonous cases of dengue in Spain and France  
    On 16 September 2019, the Catalonian Public Health Agency confirmed an autochthonous case of dengue in a resident of Barcelonès county in Catalonia, Spain.
    https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/rapid-risk-assessment-autochthonous-cases-dengue-spain-and-france
     
    Pakistan becomes latest country to suffer severe dengue outbreak  
    Health officials in Pakistan are fighting a dengue outbreak which has infected more than 10,000 people in recent months and led to 20 deaths.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/pakistan-becomes-latest-country-suffer-severe-dengue-outbreak
     
    Relaunch: CDC's Yellow Fever Vaccine Course with Free CE
    The course is available on CDC TRAIN. A certificate of completion is available to anyone who completes the course, regardless of CE status.   
    https://www.train.org/cdctrain/course/1067623/compilation

    Shifting Burdens in sub-Saharan Africa: Malaria Risk in a Hotter Climate
    https://www.climatelinks.org/resources/shifting-burdens-sub-saharan-africa-malaria-risk-hotter-climate-infographic
    ============
    ASF

    ASF Asia Update for 26 September from FAO/EMPRES – Animal Health.

    * A slaughterhouse in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, detected ASF infection in a batch of pigs from outside of the province.
    * Further outbreaks were announced in Luzon Island, the Philippines.
    * In the Republic of Korea, additional five outbreaks were confirmed within a week.
    http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/ASF/Situation_update.html            

    European politicians and scientists join forces to face ASF
    https://www.oie.int/en/for-the-media/press-releases/detail/article/european-politicians-and-scientists-join-forces-to-face-asf
     
    A new group of experts has been created to prevent the entry ofAfrican Swine Fever in the Americas Region
    http://www.rr-americas.oie.int/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/ASF-DraftPressRelease-_FINAL.pdf
    ==============

    Cholera
     
    UNICEF and WHO will support a campaign to vaccinate 1.6 million people against cholera in Sudan, after an outbreak was declared in Blue Nile state in September.
    [U.N. News]
     

    Rapid Forecasting of Cholera Risk in Mozambique: Translational Challenges and Opportunities
    Disasters, such as cyclones, create conditions that increase the risk of infectious disease outbreaks. Epidemic forecasts can be valuable for targeting highest risk populations before an outbreak. The two main barriers to routine use of real-time forecasts include scientific and operational challenges.
    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/prehospital-and-disaster-medicine/article/rapid-forecasting-of-cholera-risk-in-mozambique-translational-challenges-and-opportunities/3A202E7428DB72335DFA6D828CF67504
    =================
    Polio
     
    Several more polio cases recorded in 3 countries
    The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in its latest weekly update today noted new cases of polio in Pakistan, Angola, and Myanmar—all countries battling ongoing outbreaks of wild or vaccine-derived poliovirus.
    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2019/09/two-strains-changed-southern-hemisphere-2020-flu-vaccine
     
    ================
     
    TB

    NIH Awards Three Contracts for Tuberculosis Vaccine Research. 
    Under a $30 million contract with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), three institutions have been selected to create new centers of immunology research to advance tuberculosis (TB) vaccine development.
    https://homelandprepnews.com/stories/37314-nih-awards-three-contracts-for-tuberculosis-vaccine-research/

    Association of BCG Vaccination in Childhood With Subsequent Cancer DiagnosesA 60-Year Follow-up of a Clinical Trial
    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2751896

    Community-wide Screening for Tuberculosis in a High-Prevalence Setting
    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1902129
     

    One Health  

    Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal- Volume 25, Number 10—October 2019
    https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/current
     
    India pushes for alternatives to animals in biomedical research.
    Nature
     

    Study: Shorter rabies post-exposure vaccine course stacks up well

    A shortened rabies post-exposure prophylaxis based on a regimen used for decades by the Thai Red Cross provides as strong of an immune response as the longer regimen, researchers based at the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia
    Sep 27 Lancet Infect Dis abstract
    Sep 27 Lancet Infect Dis commentary
     
    ===================
     
    Biodiversity and Ecosystem
     
    Nature and mental health: An ecosystem service perspective
    Drawing across the natural, social, and health sciences, the authors make a case for expanding ecosystem service assessments to include nature experience's positive impact on cognitive functioning, emotional well-being, and mental health.
    https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/7/eaax0903

    What we lose when animals go extinct
    Animals are disappearing at hundreds of times the normal rate, primarily because of shrinking habitats. Their biggest threat: humans.
    Most of the animals shown here are among the more than 28,000 species of animals and plants that the International Union for Conservation of Nature says are threatened with extinction. That number actually understates the risk.
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/09/vanishing-what-we-lose-when-an-animal-goes-extinct-feature
     
    What are mass extinctions, and what causes them?
    More than 99 percent of all organisms that have ever lived on Earth are extinct. As new species evolve to fit ever changing ecological niches, older species fade away. But the rate of extinction is far from constant. At least a handful of times in the last 500 million years, 75 to more than 90 percent of all species on Earth have disappeared in a geological blink of an eye in catastrophes we call mass extinctions. The single biggest driver of mass extinctions appears to be major changes in Earth’s carbon cycle such as large igneous province eruptions, huge volcanoes that flooded hundreds of thousands of square miles with lava. These eruptions ejected massive amounts of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, enabling runaway global warming and related effects such as ocean acidification and anoxia, a loss of dissolved oxygen in water.
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/prehistoric-world/mass-extinction

    Amazon mini dams ‘threaten livelihoods’
    Lack of information on the impact of small hydropower plants may threaten biodiversity and the livelihoods of indigenous people, say researchers.
    https://www.scidev.net/global/environment/news/amazon-mini-dams-threaten-livelihoods.html

    Putting a Price Tag on Deforestation
    Through five years of study, EcoHealth Alliance’s scientists concluded that current rates of land conversion in Borneo far exceed the optimal rate for healthy growth, ultimately costing Malaysia $21 million each year.
    https://www.ecohealthalliance.org/2019/09/putting-a-price-tag-on-deforestation
    ================

    Food Safety and Security

    The global appetite for meat is setting the world up for a drug resistance crisis
    Researchers take a global look at antimicrobial resistance on farms—and find some major hotspots in developing countries.
    Read More

    The Real Problem With Beef
    An extensive study confirms that red meat might not be that bad for you. But it is bad for the planet, with chicken and pork less harmful than beef.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/upshot/beef-health-climate-impact.html

    FDA launches food safety dashboard to track FSMA progress
    Eventually, metrics for all 7 of the FSMA foundational rules will be added.
    More »
     
    The problem with environmental food policies that are blind to food inequality
    To end world hunger, we’ll need to dramatically increase food production…right? Not so, says a group of researchers who have found that if we fight hunger by addressing food inequality, we’d only require a tiny 3% increase in global food production.
    Read more...
     
    Dietary change could save a quarter of tropical forest from destruction
    If our appetite for meat and dairy continues to grow, one-quarter of natural tropical land could disappear by 2100, and untold species will be destroyed as this biodiverse land is cultivated, new research shows.
    Read more...
     
    2019 Global Report - "Growing Better: Ten Critical Transitions to Transform Food and Land Use":
    The Food and Land Use Coalition has released their Global Consultation Report that proposes a reform agenda centered around then critical transitions and real actionable solutions in food and land use.
    Read more
     
    =============
    AMR
     
    Situational analysis of antimicrobial resistance in the South-East Asia Region, 2018: an update on two years implementation of national action plans https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/327117
     
    Interview guides. Researchers at Loughborough University posted interview guides used to create conversations around human and agricultural antibiotic use in Bangladesh.https://repository.lboro.ac.uk/articles/Pathways_of_antibiotic_use_in_humans_and_animals_in_Bangladesh_Interview_Guides/9333158/1
     
    United States Gathers 350 Commitments to Combat Antibiotic Resistance, Action Must Continue. 
    The United States will celebrate the success of The AMR Challenge today during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, having received since its inception last year nearly 350 commitments from 33 countries to implement specific actions to combat antibiotic resistance (also antimicrobial resistance or AMR). Led by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The AMR Challenge is one of the most ambitious global initiatives to date to combat the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. 
    https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2019/p0923-combat-antibiotic-resistance.html

    Tackling AMR in Europe’s healthcare facilities

    In Europe, approximately 75% of drug-resistant infections are associated with healthcare. Recognising this challenge, HCWH Europe conducted a survey (the first of its kind at the EU level) to identify best practice for tackling AMR. The subsequent report, Tackling AMR in Europe’s healthcare facilities, assesses the survey results and highlights best practice reported by respondents. The report informs stakeholders about hospital initiatives, and provides recommendations for hospitals and health systems.
    https://noharm-europe.org/articles/news/europe/tackling-amr-europe%E2%80%99s-healthcare-facilities

    India and China top hot spots of antimicrobial resistance in animals
    The rapid rise in livestock farming in developing countries is harming our ability to fight pathogens, according to a study.
    https://www.scidev.net/global/agriculture/news/india-and-china-top-hot-spots-of-antimicrobial-resistance-in-animals.html

    "Antimicrobial Stewardship: A competency-based approach" now available in French
    Version française: https://openwho.org/courses/competence-antibioresistance
    English version: https://openwho.org/courses/AMR-competency 
     
    Aetiology of invasive bacterial infection and antimicrobial resistance in neonates in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis in line with the STROBE-NI reporting guidelines.
    A study of 84,534 newborns from 56 countries across sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2018 found that Staphylococcus aureus accounted for 25 percent of all reported bacteremia or sepsis cases. Klebsiella spp. and Escherichia coli accounted for 21 percent and 10 percent of cases. Group B streptococcus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and S. aureus accounted for 25, 17, and 12 percent of all meningitis cases, respectively. More than two-thirds of cases showed resistance to WHO recommended β-lactams. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(19)30414-1/fulltext
     
    Invisible’ pharmacists selling knock-off drugs: the rise of antibiotic resistance in Cambodia.
    For the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Madlen Davies, MA, and Ben Stockton, MA, describe the role of individuals selling antibiotics without prescriptions in Cambodia, also highlighting the perspective of researcher Mishal Khan, PhD, MA, MSc, as to the importance of informal drug sellers in Cambodian healthcare and the need for training on responsible antibiotic use.
    https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2019-09-20/cambodia
     
    Superbug outbreak raises alarm in Tuscany, Italy.
    Superbug NDM-1 (New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1) has raised alarm as it spreads throughout Tuscany, Italy. Since 2018, infections caused by NDM-1 have killed a reported 31 people in 17 different hospitals in the region, with over 31 cases reported in Pisa. NDM-1 was first reported in New Delhi, India in 2010 and is resistant to many antibiotic classes including carbapenems, which are often reserved as a last line of defense. NDM-1 can cause resistance in a range of bacteria, making it difficult to treat infections such as UTIs, sepsis, kidney infections, and pneumonia, among others. https://www.thelocal.it/20190912/hospitals-on-alert-after-superbug-outbreak-in-tuscany
     

    Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Oct 01, 2019

    • MRSA nasal screening
    • MDR Acinetobacter baumannii pneumonia

    More »
     

    Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Sep 30, 2019

    • Fluoroquinolone stewardship
    • Trial of new gonorrhea antibiotic
    • Rapid viral diagnostics trial

    More »
     
     

    Emergencies and Disasters
     

    Week 39: 23 - 29 September 2019
    The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 71 events in the region. This week's edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:

    • Humanitarian Crisis in Cameroon
    • Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Measles outbreak in Nigeria.

    https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/328264/OEW39-2329092019.pdf
     
     
    Emergency preparedness, response and recovery for women and girls in Asia and the Pacific
    Asia-Pacific is the most disaster-prone region in the world and home to a number of long-running conflicts. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) places women and girls at the centre of humanitarian response. This publication shares examples of how the organisation supports actions to better mitigate the risks of disasters, and how it supports humanitarian response work that is underpinned by UNFPA’s unique mandate encompassing...
    https://asiapacific.unfpa.org/en/publications/emergency-preparedness-response-and-recovery

    Tsunami might have spread deadly fungus
    A 1964 tsunami might have kicked off the evolution of a mysterious pathogen that has killed dozens of people in the Pacific Northwest. Researchers have proposed that the fungus Cryptococcus gattii might have first travelled to the waters of British Columbia and Washington state in ships’ ballasts. Then the tsunami, caused by one of the largest recorded earthquakes in the Northern Hemisphere, might have carried the fungus onto land, where it evolved to thrive — and eventually, kill.
    BBC | 4 min read
    Reference: mBio paper
     
    When a hurricane strikes, diseases know no borders
    Hurricanes can increase exposure to infectious diseases due to the flooded areas they leave in their wake, and in which mosquitoes like to breed. Climate change is expected to lead to rising temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, and an amplification of extreme weather events with implications for increasing the incidence of water-borne and vector-borne diseases. On top of this, severe weather events may result in damage to health facilities, making it harder to care for people in need and to manage the increased flow of patients.
    Neither disease outbreaks nor natural disasters respect country borders, and the Caribbean, with its many islands, is especially vulnerable to both
    https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2019/09/25/when-a-hurricane-strikes-diseases-know-no-borders
     
    Health vulnerability to flood-induced risks of households in flood-pro
    Floods have serious consequences on community well-being and health. This study was intended to address the health vulnerability of households in flood prone informal settlements in the coastal city of Mombasa in Kenya and their adaptation measures. Mombasa City has a history of floods, in the recent past, significant severe incidences of flooding events have already been experienced.
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11069-019-03792-0

    In Houston, a Rash of Storms Tests the Limits of Coping With Climate Change
    A city that did seemed to do everything right after Hurricane Harvey was again inundated last week. Is it a model of adaptation, or a cautionary tale?
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/climate/hurricane-adaptation-houston.html
     
    The cost of being under the weather: Droughts, floods, and health-care costs in Sri Lanka
    We measure the impact of extreme weather events—droughts and floods—on health-care utilization and expenditures in Sri Lanka. We find that frequently occurring local floods and droughts impose a significant health risk when individuals are directly exposed to these hazards. Individuals are also at risk when their communities are exposed even if they themselves are unaffected.
    https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/full/10.1162/adev_a_00136
     
    The state of governance and coordination for health emergency preparedness and response
    This report focuses on the state of governance and coordination of health emergency preparedness and response, with a particular focus on activities that have occurred since the 2014-16 West Africa Ebola outbreak. Preparedness and response exist as two phases within a broader cycle of health emergency management.
    https://apps.who.int/gpmb/assets/thematic_papers/tr-1.pdf
     
    Disaster Response: FEMA and the American Red Cross Need to Ensure Key Mass Care Organizations Are Included in Coordination and Planning. 
    Disaster responders faced unprecedented demands for food and shelter after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria hit within four weeks in 2017, according to FEMA. FEMA and the Red Cross coordinate with state, local, and volunteer organizations to provide food and shelter after major disasters. We found that the agreements state and local governments made with response organizations didn’t always include information about their capacity to provide services. In some cases food and shelter needs were not met
    https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-19-526

    Accountability and nuclear accidents: Fukushima verdict
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)32211-1/fulltext
     

    Climate Change

    The global climate in 2015–2019
    Compared to the previous five-year assessment period 2011–2015, the current five-year period 2015–2019 has seen a continued increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and an accelerated increase in the atmospheric concentration of major greenhouse gases (GHGs), with growth rates nearly 20% higher. The increase in the oceanic CO2 concentration has increased the ocean’s acidity.
    http://ane4bf-datap1.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wmocms/s3fs-public/ckeditor/files/Five_year_report_2015-2019_0.pdf

    After failure in New York, we must reshape the politics of climate change
    https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/09/24/failure-new-york-must-remake-politics-climate-change/
     

    3 Keys to Outbreak Preparedness in the Climate Change Era
    At the start of the UN General Assembly this week in New York, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stepped into an “air pollution pod” and visibly struggled to breathe. 
    https://www.globalhealthnow.org/2019-09/3-keys-outbreak-preparedness-climate-change-era
     
    How health systems are meeting the challenge of climate change
    https://hbr.org/2019/09/how-health-systems-are-meeting-the-challenge-of-climate-change

    Leveraging partnerships for health climate services in the Caribbean

    https://www.climatelinks.org/blog/leveraging-partnerships-health-climate-services-caribbean

    Climate crisis is biggest threat to the future of global health, says RSTMH report
    https://rstmh.org/blog/2019/sep/12/climate-crisis-biggest-threat-future-global-health-says-rstmh-report

    Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a major Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, with new projections on ice melt, sea level rise, and ocean temperatures.
    https://www.ipcc.ch/srocc/home/
     
    United in Science
    The report provides a synthesis of the latest climate science, while underling the point that “climate impacts are hitting harder and sooner than climate assessments indicated even a decade ago”.
    https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/30023/climsci.pdf
     
    Turkish scientist gets 15-month sentence for publishing environmental study
    The study linked toxic pollution to a high incidence of cancer in western Turkey.
    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/09/turkish-scientist-gets-15-month-sentence-publishing-environmental-study
     

    Don’t rely on masks against pollution
    Putting on a gauze medical mask to step outside on a smoggy day might end up doing you more harm than good, argue environmental scientists Wei Huang and Lidia Morawska. Such masks do a good job against the spread of infection, but most of them offer no proven benefit when it comes to the tiny pollution particles that harm your lungs. If wearing one gives you a false sense of security, you might even linger too long outdoors in toxic air. People who must be outside in the smog need proper protection, say the researchers. For the rest of us, forget the mask and stay indoors (while supporting measures to prevent air pollution in the first place).
    Nature | 6 min read

    How climate change is melting, drying and flooding Earth — in pictures
    Nature’s pick of the best science images is this month dedicated to climate change — and the researchers who study it.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02793-0
     

    Oceans losing climate-calming powers
    The world’s oceans have long helped to stave off climate change by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But that is changing, warn leading researchers in a high-level report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The oceans “can’t keep up” with humanity’s greenhouse-gas output, says Ko Barrett, vice-chair of the IPCC and a deputy administrator at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “The consequences for nature and humanity are sweeping and severe.”
    Nature | 5 min read
    Reference: IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate
     
    [call for papers] JAMA Network Open - Climate Change and Health
    The global health open access journal JAMA Network Open is calling for papers on the health outcomes and risks associated with climate change. Their interest in this topic is broad; submissions may include both indirect and direct health outcomes mediated by climate change that affect other organisms, the food supply, and the degradation of the natural environment. Manuscripts will undergo peer review, including statistical review, and should be submitted by by March 1, 2020. 
    Learn more.
     

    Urban Health

    Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science Published
    The Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science is now published, in time for the 2019 Climate Action Summit. It is the primary outcome of the Cities and Climate Science Conference that was held in March 2018 in Edmonton, Canada, and was reported to the 48th IPCC Plenary session in October 2018 in Incheon, Korea.
    Read more...
     

    Migration Health

    The death toll of asylum-seekers crossing the Mediterranean for Europe has surpassed 1,000 for the sixth consecutive year, according to UNHCR.
    [Reuters]

    The number of international migrants reaches 272 million, continuing an upward trend in all world regions
     
    The number of international migrants globally reached an estimated 272 million in 2019, an increase of 51 million since 2010. Currently, international migrants comprise 3.5 per cent of the global population, compared to 2.8 per cent in the year 2000, according to new estimates released by UN DESA on 17 September 2019. 
    https://www.un.org/development/desa/undesavoice/in-case-you-missed-it/2019/10#46992
     
    Region on the Move
    8 million+ Internally Displaced between East Africa and Horn of Africa
    Read more

    Key EU countries seek support for new migration plan
    Germany, France, Italy and Malta announced Monday a stopgap relocation measure for migrants rescued at sea.
    https://euobserver.com/political/146047

    Botswana extends free HIV treatment to non-citizens
    Botswana, in consultation with IOM, extends free HIV treatment to non-citizens, a policy shift addressing gaps in Botswana's response to the epidemic.
    https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/featurestories/2019/september/20190924_Botswana_treatment_non-nationals
     
    Focus on Women, Climate Change and Migration
    Read more
     
    Climate Change and Migration in Vulnerable Countries 
    Read more
     
    Migration in a Time of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought
    Read more
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    Universal Health Coverage Must Include Migrants, IOM Tells UN 
    Read more
     

    Global Health

     China: How science made a superpower
    In 1922, Chinese philosopher Feng Youlan wrote “what keeps China back is that she has no science”. Today, the country is a superpower that publishes more research papers than any other. Historian Shellen Wu traces how the unwavering belief that science is the path to wealth and power became “the red thread that runs through China’s past 150 years”.
    Nature | 12 min read

    Legal Epidemiology for Global Health Security and Universal Health Coverage
    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1073110519876175

    Four proposals to increase protection of the people of Europe against vaccine-preventable disease
    Ahead of the Meeting of the Coalition for Vaccination, that took place on 11 September and the Global Vaccination Summit, that took place 12 September 2019 in Brussels, Belgium, EUPHA published a short statement on vaccination. The Coalition meeting was attended by Anna Odone, vice-president of the EUPHA Infectious diseases control section. The Summit was hosted by the European Commission and the World Health Organization. Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, EUPHA President, attended this high-level event. 
    https://eupha.org/repository/advocacy/Va...
     

    World leaders sign historic declaration on universal health coverage
    World leaders make bold commitments on universal health coverage as WHO warns of glaring gaps
    https://www.scidev.net/global/health/news/world-leaders-sign-historic-declaration-on-universal-health-coverage.html
     
    Guide posts for investment in primary health care and projected resource needs in 67 low-income and middle-income countries: a modelling study
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(19)30416-4/fulltext
     
    What Works in Gender and Health: Setting the Agenda
    Outcomes and recommendations from an expert meeting focused on identifying and implementing evidence-based approaches that promote gender equality in health policies, programmes, and workplaces. 

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    Integrating Social Care into the Delivery of Health Care: Moving Upstream to Improve the Nation’s Health
    http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2019/integrating-social-care-into-the-delivery-of-health-care
     

     

     

     

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