By Megha Kaveri
The last two weeks have been eventful for the global health community, what with the World Health Summit 2022, the GESDA Summit and the World Cancer Congress to name a few. The 2022-edition of the World Health Summit was a mixed bag – on the one hand, donors pledged $2.6 billion towards polio eradication while on the other hand, racism and sexual assault allegations reared their ugly heads. Read more about the summit here.
The World Health Organization (WHO), on Wednesday, recommended rationing of Cholera shots due to a global shortage of vaccines. As of date, 29 countries have reported Cholera outbreaks, with countries like Haiti, Syria and Malawi dealing with large outbreaks. While the Cholera vaccine is a two-dose regimen, the global health agency has recommended that countries stick to a one-dose regimen in order to provide some protection for a larger number of people. The two-dose regimen offers protection against the Cholera bacteria for three years. Read more here.
As another flu season is upon us, there is a pressing need to be doubly cautious since Covid-19 is nowhere close to be over. While it is common knowledge how devastating Covid-19 can be on people, it is high time we pay attention to the rather silent monster that’s making its presence felt across the world – long Covid. World Health Organization (WHO)’s director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, last week, urged countries to launch immediate and sustained measures to tackle long Covid. Effects of long Covid have been reported across the world by people irrespective of their age, race, gender, comorbidities and sexual orientation. However, it remains an area lacking research and investment.
Speaking of ending Covid-19 and treating long Covid, access to medicines continue to be a much-debated topic in the global health community. Health equity can be achieved only when medicines and health technologies become affordable and accessible. While pharma companies have, time and again, sought refuge that their drug prices reflect their investment into research and development, researchers have called them out on their lies. Read this enlightening article from Wired to know more.
In an attempt to walk the talk on ethical funding, the WHO Foundation recently refused to accept donations from Nestle. The refusal comes in light of Nestle being the world’s largest producers of formula milk. The Foundation, in 2021, received a multi-million dollar donation from the company towards its Covid solidarity fund, which allegedly caused an internal furore within the Foundation. Read this BMJ piece to know more.
We are ending this piece with this scathing opinion piece on STAT News by none other than Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of UNAIDS. She calls out Big Pharma and the farcical nature of the term “global solidarity” when it comes to dealing with disease outbreaks and epidemics. Read it here.
Apart from the above, I have also curated a few other “not-to-be-missed” pieces, papers, events and podcasts for you.
A ‘Simple Career’: The Untold Story of Bernard Pécoul and a Paradigm Shift in Global Health (Health Policy Watch)
Racism: Overcoming Science’s toxic legacy (Nature special issue)
How states can act to limit drug price increases, saving employers and workers billions (STAT News)
Medicines Patent Pool signs first cancer deal — but there’s a catch (Devex)
Reimagining human rights in global health: what will it take? (BMJ Editorial – Open access)
Combating influenza now and in the future (Global Health Matters – Spotify)
The pandemic, climate change and conflict has turned the dial back on the progress made in women’s and children’s health across the world. Listen to this episode of BBC Health Check where UNICEF’s Dr Jennifer Raquejo discusses the latest report on this.
Climate is closely linked to global health outcomes. This has been proven extensively. This episode of ‘Pandemic Planet’ dissects how a multi-sectoral approach can work on the climate-health nexus.
A rights-based perspective: Addressing gender equality in global health security (Contain this: The latest in global health security – Listen here.)
TRIPS Covid-19 Waiver : Enabling access to medicine (Oct 27, 2022. 3pm CET; South Centre lecture series. Register here.)
How to better care for those who care for us in times of health emergencies? Time for new or stronger international legal norms? (Oct 27, 2022. 3.30pm CET; Medicus Mundi policy dialogues. Register here.)
We hope you liked our curation of selected news pieces for you. We aim to improve our choices in the coming days. Global Health Initiative is a student initiative at Geneva Graduate Institute where students passionate about global health policy meet and network. For more information about us, check us out on Instagram @graduateinstitute_ghi