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.”
Author Archives: CSIS Commission
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.
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 Global Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis determined earlier this year that type 2 wild poliovirus has been eradicated, paving the way for the type 2 vaccine to be eliminated.
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.
Over the past decade, the South African government has made progress in tackling HIV, and now provides over three million patients with access to life-saving antiretroviral therapies (ARTs).
The United States and South Africa have a longstanding relationship around health. As one of the countries most deeply impacted by the AIDS epidemic, South Africa has been a major recipient of U.S. financial and technical assistance through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. HIV/AIDS remains a significant burden to the country, requiring ongoing attention and resources from the national government and its international partners.
Most remarkable, within a month the controversy surrounding the threat of Ebola to Americans had mushroomed into a political emergency for the Obama presidency itself, only a few tense weeks before the November 4 elections. Calls escalated for the appointment of an Ebola czar and a travel ban on persons originating in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the root sources of the Ebola emergency. A special measure of criticism was reserved for the Obama administration’s lead face in the U.S. response, Dr.
“Preventing vector-borne diseases” was the 2014 World Health Day (April 7) theme. The World Health Organization (WHO), which organizes the annual World Health Day, is using this year’s slogan, “Small bite: big threat,” to raise awareness about the long-term health, social and economic challenges posed by such debilitating diseases as malaria, dengue, leishmaniasis, and Lyme disease, which are transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, flies, ticks, and other vectors. With more than one billion people globally infected by vector-borne diseases each year, and with one million deaths occurring annually as a result, this year’s World Health Day message is that strengthening prevention activities and protecting the most vulnerable social sectors from vector-borne diseases are essential. Through international, regional, and local level cooperation in managing educational campaigns and vector-management activities, community members and public officials can work hand in hand to take a bite out of vector-borne diseases.
The Government of Ethiopia has recognized the importance of family planning for women’s health and empowerment and for achieving broader health and development goals for the country. Political commitment is high and significant progress has been made, but Ethiopia faces complex challenges in reaching their ambitious goal to expand contraceptive prevalence to 66% by 2015. For these reasons, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center chose to take a U.S. delegation to Ethiopia to examine family planning as a cross-cutting development issue.