November 13–14, 2017: University of Oslo hosts Global Health Inspiration Days

The Center for Global Health and the University of Oslo (UiO) hosts Global Health Inspiration Days for the first time. It will become an annual event with panels, workshops and seminars on global health. Global health research, training, and outreach by the UiO, are to be showcased.

Location: Oslo, Norway

Event website – University of Oslo (in Norwegian)

Norway Global health

Canadian NGO releases report on engaging youth on global health

The Canadian Partnership for Women’s and Children’s Health (CANWaCH) released a report documenting lessons learned and key accomplishments from youth engagement during the planning and execution of its Global Adolescent Health Conference held in May 2017.  The report highlights the success of the youth council initiative, which promoted youth leadership around issues of global health and provided a strong platform for networking and collaboration. It also offers lessons for other organizations, recommending that youth engagement processes are planned well in advance and prioritize diversity. 

Publication - CANWaCH

Canada Global health

Opposition spokeswoman criticises impact of budget cuts to development assistance on health in the region

In an article in The Australian, Senator Penny Wong, opposition spokeswoman on foreign affairs, has argued that cuts to Australia’s international development program under the Liberal National Party government have undermined Australia’s development cooperation. She said that health fell from 17% of the total development budget in the 2011-2012 period to slightly above 13% in the current budget. In response, Wong has called for health policy to be better integrated throughout Australia’s international development program. She wrote the article before the Australian government had announced details of its regional health security initiative, but in it she called for the initiative to put at its core three items:

  1. improve health of people in the  region;
  2. address the communicable health challenges in a disciplined, effective way; and
  3. balance Australia’s health security needs with the health priorities determined by Australia’s  neighbours.

Wong also said the initiative should provide support that meets the health needs and capacity of the people Australia is seeking to help; have autonomy to respond to health emergencies in partnership with recipient countries; be consistent in its funding and reporting structures for research; and provide opportunities of shared learning for both Australian and recipient country research and health workforces.

Newspaper article - The Australian


Australia Global health

Australia commits US$233 million to regional health security in Indo-Pacific

Australia has committed A$300 million (US$233 million) over five years on a range of measures to improve regional health security in the Indo-Pacific. This includes a commitment of up to US$58 million to product development partnerships (PDPs), as well as new measures to seek regional coordination on the approval of new drugs and devices in conjunction with Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration. Other initiatives involve additional training of staff in regional countries in the surveillance of, and response to, emerging pandemic diseases, and a new Health Security Corps, which places Australian health professionals in the region.  

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has also moved to strengthen Australia's capacity to manage and respond to infectious diseases by establishing a new Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security within her Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Website - Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security

Sweden approves policy engagement strategies with UNDP and UNFPA

The Swedish government has adopted two new organizational strategies that will guide its core support and policy engagement with two United Nations (UN) agencies for 2017-2021: the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Strategic priorities with UNFPA include gender equality and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, with focus on young girls. With UNDP, strategic priorities include UN reform; democratic governance, human rights, and the rule of law; climate change, resilience, and environmentally sustainable development; and conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction.

Sweden is the largest core donor to UNFPA and the second-largest core donor to UNDP, providing 6% and 11.6% of the agencies' total support in 2016 respectively. 

Publication - Government of Sweden (in Swedish)

Sweden Global health

Germany pushes for global anti-microbial resistance hub

Germany has used its presidency during the G20 this year to advocate for increased action on anti-microbrial resistance (AMR). Chancellor Angela Merkel has pushed for improving public awareness of AMR and infection prevention and control, as well as the creation of a global AMR R&D Collaboration Hub, to be based in Berlin. Details about the hub are expected to follow after a meeting of G20 representatives, the World Health Organization, and other nongovernmental actors, at the end of October in Berlin.

News article – Devex  

EU funding generates knowledge on poverty-related and neglected diseases

The European Commission has published an impact review of the EU’s €1.45 billion spending for poverty-related and neglected diseases (PRNDs) research from 1998­­-2013. The study finds that EU funding contributed significantly to basic/pre-clinical PRND research, and that the primary impact of the funds has been generating knowledge for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. It also notes that more stakeholder input on PRNDs is needed, as well as improved coordination on awareness-raising and donor incentives.

Press release – European Commission

EU Global health Global health R&D

South Korea discusses policy direction of Global Disease Eradication Fund

South Korea’s foreign ministry held its second council-management meeting on its Global Disease Eradication Fund. Through the fund, South Korea will focus on supporting the enhancement of risk management systems in countries with a high burden of infectious disease; the prevention and eradication of major diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria; and the strengthening of knowledge management and partnerships on infectious disease in developing countries.     

Press release - MOFA (in Korean)

Australian investments improve surveillance and data on emerging infectious diseases in the Pacific

The development office of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has completed an evaluation of Australia’s assistance to combat pandemics and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in Asia and the Pacific from 2006 to 2015. Worth A$194 million (US$145.8), Australia’s investments were found to have contributed to substantial improvements in surveillance and in the availability, timeliness, and sharing of EID data across the region. However, capacity to use this surveillance data for policy, planning, and response did not keep pace with its increased availability.

The evaluation presentation,  full report, and DFAT’s management response are available online.

News article - DevPolicy

University of New South Wales study puts threat of antibiotic resistance into perspective

A study by the University of New South Wales has found that although antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has the potential to exacerbate  pandemics or seasonal influenza epidemics, the threat it poses should be kept in perspective. The authors found that AMR itself is not an epidemic condition, but poses the greatest risk during epidemics. 

The WHO recognises AMR is an increasing global concern; however, it does not feature among the leading causes of death and disability in the world.

News article - UNSW Sydney