German government launches ‘Women in Global Health – Germany’ network

The German Ministry for Development (BMZ) and the Ministry of Health (BMG) have co-launched the network ‘Women in Global Health – Germany’. With this initiative, the German government seeks to strengthen women in leadership positions in global health, a sector which is characterized by a high share of female staff, but an even higher share of men in key leadership positions. The representatives of BMZ, Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, and BMG, Lutz Stroppe, highlighted that diversity and gender balance are critical to achieve the SDGs and strengthen global collaboration on health.

During the event, the hosts presented a German list of 100 women who work in global health.

Press release – BMZ (in German)

Germany Global health

Norway and the United States reaffirm common commitment to global health and vaccine distribution

At a White House meeting between Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and US President Donald Trump a united stance on global disease prevention and vaccine distribution was emphasized, with Trump commenting on the two countries' increasing cooperation on health and health security and commending Solberg's efforts to promote vaccine development and disease prevention. In addition the importance of committing to the Paris Agreement, as well as the development of green technology and green businesses, was highlighted. 

Video – C-Span

International cooperation essential to manage future epidemics, argues director of Norwegian Institute of Public Health

In an opinion piece the director of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Camilla Soltenberg, emphasized the close link between national and global health challenges and the subsequent necessity of international cooperation to prevent, detect, and manage future epidemics. The rise in infectious diseases such as measles, polio, diphtheria, and whooping cough due to a lack of vaccinations is stressed – with the suggestion that stronger cross-boarder cooperation and proactive policies could prevent this.

Op-ed - Dagens Medisin (in Norwegian) 

Norway Global health

Swedish government provides core funding to new global health institute for 2018

The Swedish government has announced it will provide SEK1 million (US$120,000) in core funding to the Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation, SIGHT, for the fiscal year 2018.

SIGHT is a global health institute that started in January 2017 under the auspices of the Royal Academy of Sciences. The purpose of SIGHT is to promote an interdisciplinary approach to strengthen and bridge collaborative policy work in the field of global health.

Press release – Swedish government (in Swedish) 

Japan announces US$2.9 billion in assistance to Universal Health Coverage

The Japanese government organized the Universal Health Coverage Forum 2017 from December 13-14, 2017 and announced that it will provide US$2.9 billion in development assistance to promote Universal Health Coverage, though it did not specify a precise time period. The Tokyo Declaration on Universal Health Coverage was also issued at the Forum, which emphasized the importance of strengthening global momentum towards UHC, accelerating country-led processes towards UHC, and promoting innovation for UHC.

Website – UHF Forum

Tokyo Declaration on Universal Health Coverage

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Japanese)

Japan Global health

Indian patent authority gives Pfizer monopoly on pneumonia medicine in India

The Indian patent authority has prolonged Pfizer’s monopoly on pneumonia medicine in India. The humanitarian health organization Médicines Sans Frontiéres (MSF) has appealed the decision to the Indian Supreme Court and pledges to continue the fight against expensive vaccines. It points out that the cost of fully vaccinating a child in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization is 68 times more expensive than in 2001, and it places much of the blame on the practice of monopolizing vaccines. "The decision to grant patent to Pfizer is not only important in India – it has an effect on all middle and low income countries", said Øyunn Holen, medical director of MSF Norway.

News report – Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway Global health

EDTCP calls for 2018 nominations recognizing outstanding contributions to health research

The European and Developing countries Clinical Trial Partnership (EDCTP) is seeking nominations recognizing outstanding individuals and research teams from Africa and Europe who have made significant contributions to health research in the following categories:

  • Scientific leadership;
  • Outstanding female scientist;
  • Outstanding research team;
  • The Dr. Pascoal Mocumbi Prize for scientists, policy-makers, or advocates for health and research aged 51 years and above.

In addition to scientific excellence, the awardees will have made major contributions to the EDCTP objectives of strengthening clinical research capacity in Africa, and supporting networking between developing and developed countries.

Nominations are open until February 28, 2018, 17:00 CET.

Website – EDCTP

EDCTP and GHIT announce new partnership supporting product-development research

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT) and the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) have announced a new partnership to support product-development research. The partners’ first action will be to co-fund a clinical study that examines the use of a new tablet formulation to treat schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease, in preschool-aged children.

According to the announcement, EDCTP and GHIT are looking forward to co-funding research of mutual interest. Both organizations share a common funding scope covering HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and poverty-related infectious diseases.

Website – EDCTP

Sida invests US$48 million in SRHR in southern and eastern Africa

On December 1, 2017, World AIDS Day, the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) announced a US$48 million (SEK400 million) commitment to improving people's sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in five countries in eastern and southern Africa: Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Sida's new support will focus on girls, adolescents, and other vulnerable groups.

The four-year project is a new collaboration between Sida and UN agencies such as UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF and WHO, with the regional UNFPA acting as the coordinating agency. 

Press release - Sida (in Swedish)

Sweden Global health

French MP calls for health to be at heart of France’s development policies

Hugues Renson, an MP in President Emmanuel Macron’s party 'La République en Marche', penned an op-ed which singled out the historical importance of France in the fight against AIDS. He called for health to be at the heart of France’s development policies. He praised President Macron for his commitment to reaching 0.55% ODA as a percentage of GNI, which he views as an opportunity to increase support for the global health sector, notably through multilaterals like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and UNITAID. However, he noted that this will only be achieved through an increase in innovative financing mechanisms.

Op-ed – Libération (in French)

France Global health