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EU and partners launch call for health research proposals in African countries

The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership (EDCTP), the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), and the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) have launched a call for proposals for implementation research on health in African countries. The call aims to strengthen capacity for implementation research conducted through close collaboration between researchers and national disease programs. Diseases covered include malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhea, lower respiratory tract infections, yellow fever, and neglected tropical diseases.

 Only WHO African Region residents are eligible to apply.

Website – EDCTP

EU Global Global health R&D

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

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 

Australia leads initiatives on panel for global water security at UNGA

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop lead three initiatives at the High Level Panel on Water at the UNGA, highlighting Australia’s increased focus on water security. The initiatives include:

  • The World Water Data Initiative, which will ease access to water data for decision-makers
  • The Water Use Efficiency initiative, which will help developing countries effectively manage their water resources by providing policy guidance
  • The Water Innovation Engine, which will focus on innovation to improve access to water and hygiene

Furthermore, Australia’s Water for Women Fund, announced last year, will become operational in 2018. The program will invest A$110.6 million (US$82 million) over five years to deliver water, sanitation, and hygiene services, with a focus on women and girls.

Press release - Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

Australia Global health R&D

Farmamundi launches new guidelines for medicine donations

Spanish health NGO Farmamundi has published a new report in collaboration with the Barcelona Metropolitan Council underlying a number of good practices for medicine donations. These come in line with World Health Organization recommendations that include ensuring that donations are guaranteed by pharmacists and that medicines have an expiration date of more than fifteen months from when they reach their destination. Farmamundi, which in 2016 disbursed medicine packages to 58 developing countries, pointed out that following the WHO’s guidelines for medicine donations is essential to avoid creating serious public health problems around the globe.

Press release - Farma Mundi (in Spanish)

Survey shows European Parliament supports PRND R&D and SRHR assistance

A new survey by Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) shows that 66% of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) believe the EU should increase research funding for poverty-related and neglected tropical diseases (PRNDs). However, according to DSW,  the European Commission and Council are likely to make “highly regressive” budget cuts in this area, having thus far proposed cuts of up to 23%.

The survey also showed that the majority of MEPs support prioritizing women’s and girl’s rights, as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in EU development policy.

Report - DSW

EU Global health R&D