News Pouch 18 March 2019

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

News Pouch: 18 March 2019


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


    Ebola Outbreak Situation

    WHO chief says much larger Ebola outbreak averted
    Tedros said there are signs the virus is retreating, but added that security is still the main challenge for health workers.
    More »

    Ebola response is working, WHO director-general says, amid criticism and violence

    WHO says Ebola area contained but Congo needs long-term support

    Attacks could reverse gains in Congo’s Ebola fight, says WHO

    CDC’s Redfield: It could take another year to control Ebola in DRC

    Ebola virus disease and palliative care in humanitarian crises

    On the Ebola frontline: five minutes with . . . Oliver Johnson
    ASPR’s Strategic Approach to Ebola Medical Countermeasure Development and Utilization in the 2018 Ebola Outbreak
    During the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, HHS/ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority started working closely with partners in industry and throughout government to accelerate the development of potential vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. Today, BARDA is supporting the late-stage development of two vaccine candidates one by Merck and one by Janssen and Bavarian Nordic. BARDA is working with these vaccine developers to support potential licensure of the vaccines.
    Go to article
    US Hopes to Send More Experts to Congo as Ebola Outbreak Rages
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hopes to send experts to Congo in the next few weeks to train international and local personnel in the fight against a raging Ebola outbreak that has killed nearly 600 people and is far from under control, the CDC director said Thursday in an interview.
    Go to article

    DRC: OCHA says humanitarian situation worrying
    “Nearly 13 million Congolese are facing food insecurity in 2019, including over 4 million malnourished children, of whom at least 1.3 million are severely malnourished,” reads the statement by OCHA.
    “The latest Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri has killed more than 500 people, while cholera and measles continue to spread and sexual and gender-based violence remains widespread.

    Liberia wants change of football match venue due to Ebola in DR Congo

    Ebola Simulation in Three Counties Gives Liberia’s Health System a Failing Grade
    The chief medical officer of Liberia, Dr. Francis Kateh, said Liberia scored an ‘F’ in a recent simulation of the country’s resilience and preparedness to handle another Ebola epidemic.
    The simulation was simultaneously done by the National Public Health Institute of Liberia in three counties: Bong, Lofa, and Nimba, with cases of the Ebola virus disease reported at separate health facilities
    Funding Opportunity
    Ebola Response Accelerator Challenge
    The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation (the Foundation) will provide rapid funding to accelerate the use of innovative approaches for overcoming these obstacles to stopping Ebola in the DRC.
    Priority Solution Areas:

    • Enable Ebola patients in hard to access communities and/or insecure locations to receive safe and effective treatment (infection prevention and control, clinical treatment, vaccinations etc.)
    • Mobilize effective community engagement (risk communication, etc.)
    • Accelerate and improve data, analysis and communication for improved response (data collection, contact tracing, surveillance, and analytics for improved decision making)

    Priority Diseases

    Emerging Infectious Diseases Videos for Prehospital Providers
    This program is designed to meet the needs of first responders who are expected to deal with the health needs of people who find themselves in health emergencies they cannot manage on their own.
    Go to article


    High-path H5 outbreaks strike poultry in Iran and Vietnam
    Mar 9 OIE report on H5N8 in Iran
    Mar 13 OIE report on H5N6 in Vietnam

    Vaccine cuts child pneumonia cases by a quarter


    18 infections you can get from mosquitoes

    2018 Nipah outbreak in India led to 3 subclinical infections
    A study yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases describes how a Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak in Kerala, India, last year led to three subclinical infections. The authors also said all three contacts had a history of exposure to an infected patient's bodily fluids, and the risk for subclinical infections was higher for contacts with exposure to bodily fluids compared with those who had physical contact only
    Mar 12 Emerg Infect Dis study

    What next in the fight against Lassa fever?

    The IDs of March: Another Suspected Nipah Cluster in Bangladesh?
    Just over a year ago the WHO released their 2018 revised list of Blueprint Priority Diseases, which selected Infectious Diseases with a ‘...potential to cause a public health emergency' and for which there is an 'absence of efficacious drugs and/or vaccines'.
    Go to article


    Trial data support shorter drug-resistant TB regimen
    Short-course therapy led to a favorable outcome in 79% of patients, compared with 80% in long-course patients.
    More »

    After the UNGA High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis—what next and how?

    World TB Day 2019: Join the Campaign
    1. Use the Specially Developed World Tb Day 2019 Campaign Materials
    On the website you will find all campaign materials we developed for your use in 6 UN languages. Please click here.
    2. Take A Photo with A Time Theme and Share On Social Media Using The Hashtag #ItsTimetoEndTB and #WorldTBDay2019


    Curing HIV just got more complicated. Can CRISPR help?


    In Madagascar, 1,100 measles deaths are more about money than ‘vaccine hesitancy’

    US Warship Quarantined at Sea Due to Virus Outbreak
    A US warship has essentially been quarantined at sea for over two months and has been unable to make a port call due to an outbreak of a viral infection similar to mumps. Twenty-five sailors and Marines aboard the USS Fort McHenry amphibious warship have been diagnosed with parotitis, which causes symptoms similar to mumps, according to US military officials.
    Go to article

    One Health  

    Biodiversity and Ecosystem

    Scientists fight deforestation in Australia
    Children aren’t the only ones lobbying for action on climate change this week. Nearly 400 scientists have signed a letter calling for Australia to introduce tougher laws against land clearing, which has increased dramatically over the past decade. Land clearing has been linked to increases in the number of threatened species, and it also contributes to global warming, which raises the risk of bushfires and drought.
    Nature | 1 min read

    Hundreds of Indian land laws cause confusion, conflict: researchers


    The International Conference on (Re)emerging Infectious diseases
    13 - 15 March, 2019, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    3rd OHCEA International One Health Conference
    July 24 - 26, 2019 Kampala, Uganda


    A new project is launched to support climate-smart livestock strategies and investments in East Africa
    The many gifts of livestock—A view from Kenya
    Irrigated forages improve livestock productivity and livelihoods in Ethiopia
    FeedLink – to link fodder surplus-deficit regions


    Global Health Security Conference 2019
    The GHS 2019 Conference, to be held 18-20 June in Syndey, Australia, will examine the progress made to date in strengthening health systems and identify the gaps and opportunities for enhancing the international community’s ability to respond more efficiently and effectively to future adverse health crises. 
    Information and Registration Here

    Food Security

    Can agricultural intensification help attain sustainable development goals? Evidence from Africa and Asia


    The Swiss Recipe for Containing Antimicrobial Resistance’:
    WHO AMR Secretariat working paper

    Germany joins CARB-X partnership in the fight against deadly drug-resistant superbugs
    CARB-X announced today it has signed a partnership agreement with Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to invest €39 million over four years in the early development of antibiotics, vaccines, and diagnostics to combat drug-resistant bacteria.

    Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Mar 15, 2019

    • Penicillin allergy de-labeling
    • Antibiotic misuse in Irish long-term care
    • Resistant bacteria in imported shrimp

    More »

    Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Mar 14, 2019

    • MRSA in hospital roaches
    • Test for resistant gonorrhea
    • German funding for CARB-X

    More »

    Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Mar 13, 2019

    • Antibiotics for citrus trees
    • Origins of MCR-1 in France

    More »

    Emergencies and Disasters

    WHO AFRO - Outbreaks and Emergencies Bulletin - Week 11/2019
    11 - 17 March 2019
    The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 65 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:

    • Flooding in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe
    • Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Measles in Chad
    • Humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Tropical Cyclone Idai displaces 1.5 million across Mozambique and Malawi

    At least 89 dead in Zimbabwe as Cyclone Idai leaves trail of destruction

    Death toll in floods in Indonesia's Papua rises to nearly 80

    Record floods engulf U.S. Central states, rivers to rise in days ahead
    Guidance: Implementing nature-based flood protection
    Protecting the world from the threat of pandemics
    Creating mathematical and computational models of infectious diseases like pandemic flu gives government and policy-makers a toolkit to respond to this ever-present threat
    Five approaches to build functional early warning systems

    ECDC launches e-learning course and operational tool for development of rapid risk assessments

    Disability Inclusion in Hospital Disaster Risk Management (INGRID-H): An evaluation/action methodology to improve the inclusion of persons with disabilities

    Prevention and Response to Health Emergencies: First regional meeting of national health disaster coordinators and national focal points for the International Health Regulations (IHR)



    Climate Change

    World pledges to protect polluted, degraded planet as it adopts blueprint for more sustainable future

    Ministerial Declaration, Resolutions and Decisions for UNEA 4

    Ministers of the Caribbean approve a plan to prepare for the impact of climate change on health


    U.N. warns of millions of premature deaths by 2050 due to environmental damage
    Air pollution from vehicles and industry as well as burning fuels such as wood, coal and kerosene for cooking, heating and lighting results in around 7 million deaths annually

    Researcher Connects Dots Among Ocean Dynamics, Drought and Forests,-drought-and-forests.html
    3-5°C temperature rise is now ‘locked-in’ for the Arctic
    Even if Paris Agreement goals met, Arctic winter temperatures will increase 3-5°C by 2050 compared to 1986-2005 levels. Thawing permafrost could wake ‘sleeping giant’ of more greenhouse gases, potentially derailing global climate goals. Ocean acidification and pollution also posing major threats to Arctic
    read Global Linkages – A graphic look at the changing Arctic

    Scientists support school strike for climate
    Tens of thousands of scientists have released statements expressing support for the ongoing climate strikes by schoolchildren. Today is set to be the biggest moment yet for the grassroots movement inspired by Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, in which young people walk out of schools to demand that adults do more to combat climate change. The young protesters “have every right to be angry about the future that we shall bequeath to them, if proportionate and urgent action is not taken”, said the statement from UK academics.
    Nature | 5 min read

    Climate change - Heat-induced heart attack risk on the rise
    read the paper here Temporal variations in the triggering of myocardial infarction by air temperature in Augsburg, Germany, 1987 to 2014.
    Public perceptions of the health risks of extreme heat across US states, counties, and neighborhoods
    UN Environment’s sixth Global Environment Outlook (2019)
    This flagship report shows how governments can put the world on the path to a truly sustainable future. It emphasizes that urgent and inclusive action is needed by decision makers at all levels to achieve a healthy planet with healthy people.
    Summary for policy makers

    It’s 2050 and all’s well
    An almost-all-electric transport network, a sharing economy and a lot less meat are just some of the changes in NPR’s extremely optimistic future scenario for a world remade to stop climate change. The analysts who contributed agree that the biggest barrier to such a future isn’t developing the solutions, but finding the collective will to use them.
    NPR | 13 min read


    Environmental groups take France to court over climate change inaction
    Environmental groups including Greenpeace and Oxfam have filed an unprecedented court action against the French government, accusing it of insufficient policy actions to tackle climate change.

    World Bank Doubles Pledge to Climate Efforts in Africa
    Funding opportunities
    Climate, Environment and Health (CEH)

    Improving understanding of Climate, Environment and Health pathways to protect and promote health
    The Belmont Forum in collaboration with Future Earth, announces a new collaborative research action for transdisciplinary research which will improve understanding of the pathways between climate, environment and health to protect and promote human health and well-being in the face of climate challenges.
    Multilateral, inter- and transdisciplinary research projects will investigate where significant uncertainties exist that are barriers to action; address complex climate, ecosystem and health pathways to determine processes underlying causal links; and foster the use of scientific information and climate-related decision support tools to better inform planning and enhance resilience.
    Read Call Documents. Expressions of Interest Closes: 06 May 2019, 16:00 GMT

    Urban Health

    As climate changes, the way we build homes must change too

    Investing in Greener and Cleaner African Cities

    Migration Health

    UN must provide redress for minorities placed in toxic Kosovo camps, says rights expert
    According to the Special Rapporteur, around 600 people lived in the camps -following their displacement during conflict between the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Kosovo Albanian rebels who were supported by NATO airpower - between 1999 and 2013. Approximately half were children under the age of 14.
    Reports of lead poisoning among residents were available as early as 1999, Mr Tuncak said in a statement, noting that protective measures to prevent lead exposure were taken for peacekeeping personnel in 2000. Such action was not carried out for residents until 2006, however, he said.

    Regional ministerial meeting identifies priority actions in migration and health

    Healthy migrant effect in the Swedish context: a register-based, longitudinal cohort study


    Webinar organized by the Working Group on Health in Emergencies and Disaster
    World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPAH)
    Date and time: 25 March at 15.00-17.00 CET
    With one billion people on the move or having moved in 2018, migration has become a complex social and political issue. On 10 December 2018, over 160 countries adopted theGlobal Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration . It is the first-ever UN global agreement on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions.  Now implementation of the Compact will take centre stage. The UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Health steps in to provide evidence for cooperation and action. The report published online on December 5, 2018 documents the devastating impacts of forced migration and the overall benefits to the health of individuals and populations that migration generates. It also lays out a research agenda to better ensure the health of migrants.
    Against this background, this webinar aims to 

    • Introduce the Global Compact for Migration, highlight the links between Migration and Development, and focus on the issue of the health of migrants and refugees
    • Assess the major challenges to implement the Global Compact and the key role international and professional organizations, such as Public Health Associations, can play to inform solutions for access to health for migrants and refugees
    • Facilitate a dialogue to advance understanding and capabilities to tackle health challenges faced by migrants and refugees by leveraging the power of community and professional organizations.

    The webinar is free and open to all interested health and migration and development professionals.
    Register here:

    Global Health

    7 issues gaining momentum in global health

    WHO reform continues to confuse

    WHO structural overhaul draws mixed initial response

    WHO launches new guideline for community health workers
    Last week during AHAIC, WHO launched a new guideline on health policy and system support to optimize community health worker programs in alignment with the organization’s Workforce 2030 global strategy on human resources for health, which includes goals such as halving current inequalities to health worker access and improving completion rates in medical and professional health training courses.

    Can vaccines help fight the rise of drug-resistant microbes?

    Measuring primary health care expenditure in low and lower-middle income countries




    Knowledge sharing

    We welcome receiving your reports, articles and studies to share widely within our network.
    Please contact Dr. Chadia Wannous via email at 

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