Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review 22 April 2017

Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review is a weekly digest  summarizing news, events, announcements, peer-reviewed articles and research in the global vaccine ethics and policy space. Content is aggregated from key governmental, NGO, international organization and industry sources, key peer-reviewed journals, and other media channels. This summary proceeds from the broad base of themes and issues monitored by the Center for Vaccine Ethics & Policy in its work: it is not intended to be exhaustive in its coverage. You are viewing the blog version of our weekly digest, typically comprised of between 30 and 40 posts below all dated with the current issue date

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– blog edition: comprised of the approx. 35+ entries posted below.

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David R. Curry, MS
Executive Director
Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy

Milestones :: Perspectives

Milestones :: Perspectives

Unprecedented progress against neglected tropical diseases, WHO reports
19 April 2017, Geneva

WHO reports remarkable achievements in tackling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) since 2007. An estimated 1 billion people received treatment in 2015 alone.

“WHO has observed record-breaking progress towards bringing ancient scourges like sleeping sickness and elephantiasis to their knees,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan. “Over the past 10 years, millions of people have been rescued from disability and poverty, thanks to one of the most effective global partnerships in modern public health”.

The WHO report, Integrating neglected tropical diseases in global health and development, demonstrates how strong political support, generous donations of medicines, and improvements in living conditions have led to sustained expansion of disease control programmes in countries where these diseases are most prevalent.

Since 2007, when a group of global partners met to agree to tackle NTDs together, a variety of local and international partners have worked alongside ministries of health in endemic countries to deliver quality-assured medicines, and provide people with care and long-term management.

In 2012, partners endorsed a WHO NTD roadmap, committing additional support and resources to eliminating 10 of the most common NTDs.

Key achievements include:
:: 1 billion people treated for at least one neglected tropical disease in 2015 alone.
:: 556 million people received preventive treatment for lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis).
:: More than 114 million people received treatment for onchocerciasis (river blindness: 62% of those requiring it.
:: Only 25 human cases of Guinea-worm disease were reported in 2016, putting eradication within reach.
:: Cases of human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) have been reduced from 37 000 new cases in 1999 to well under 3000 cases in 2015.
:: Trachoma – the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness – has been eliminated as a public health problem in Mexico, Morocco, and Oman. More than 185 000 trachoma patients had surgery for trichiasis worldwide and more than 56 million people received antibiotics in 2015 alone.
:: Visceral leishmaniasis: in 2015 the target for elimination was achieved in 82% of sub-districts in India, 97% of sub-districts in Bangladesh, and in 100% of districts in Nepal.
:: Only 12 reported human deaths were attributable to rabies in the WHO Region of the Americas in 2015, bringing the region close to its target of eliminating rabies in humans by 2015.

However, the report highlights the need to further scale up action in other areas.

“Further gains in the fight against neglected tropical diseases will depend on wider progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Dr Dirk Engels, Director of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. Meeting global targets for water and sanitation will be key. WHO estimates that 2.4 billion people still lack basic sanitation facilities such as toilets and latrines, while more than 660 million continue to drink water from “unimproved” sources, such as surface water…


IFPMA   [to 22 April 2017]
17 April 2017
Progress report on biopharmaceutical industry contributions to the global fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
:: 109 active R&D projects for NTDs, of which over 90% are collaborative involving over 50 universities, non-governmental organizations and public and private sector institutes.
:: Promising NTD pipeline with 7 compounds targeting American Trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), dengue, Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), lymphatic filariasis, rabies, and trachoma.
:: The biopharmaceutical industry continues to deliver on its 2012 pledge of 14 billion donated treatments over 10 years to control or eliminate the ten neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and works with WHO and other partners to implement over 40 capacity building programs.
Geneva, 18 April 2017– On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the World Health Organization’s roadmap on NTDs and the London Declaration, IFPMA released today its latest report “Doing our part – Innovating to fight Neglected Tropical Diseases that provides the most up-to-date record of active research and development (R&D) projects for the next generation of medicines and vaccines for NTDs[i]


Featured Journal Content

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
(Accessed 22 April 2017)
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Ten years of progress in neglected tropical disease control and elimination … More or less
Peter Hotez, Serap Aksoy
Editorial | published 20 Apr 2017 PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
This year PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (PLOS NTDs) celebrates its tenth anniversary following the publication of the first issue in 2007 [1]. When PLOS NTDs was founded, the framework of the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) as an alternative to “other diseases” (as they were then referred to in the Millennium Development Goals) was just getting started—especially for Africa [2, 3]. In the decade since, PLOS NTDs has overseen enormous successes in NTD control and elimination. Here, we want to briefly review the ten year progress made towards the control or elimination of the diseases now identified by the WHO as NTDs. Many of the details are highlighted in PLOS NTDs papers cited here, but the summary information is based on the recently released Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2015 (also launched with Gates Foundation support) that summarized past-decade changes in disease prevalence, mortality, or disability rates (from the years 2005 to 2015) [46], as well as the GBD Study 2013 that summarizes disease prevalence changes over a longer time horizon from 1990 to 2013 [7].


Financial Times
Accessed 22 April 2017
Special Report Neglected Tropical Diseases
18 April 2017
Neglected tropical diseases affect more than a billion people. These diseases of the poor are notorious for their disabling symptoms. Progress has been slow, but the drug industry and communities are redoubling efforts to eliminate treatable conditions



Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC)  [to 22 April 2017]

Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 19 April 2017
:: Over the next two weeks, key global meetings will take place to review the global polio epidemiology and examine what additional efforts must be implemented to achieve a lasting polio-free world.  Next week, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) will meet in Geneva, as well the next meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee on the spread of poliovirus (via teleconference).  These meetings will be followed the week after by the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), convening in London.

Country Updates [Selected Excerpts]
New cases or environmental samples reported across the monitored country/region settings: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Lake Chad Basin. Guinea and West Africa, and Lao People’s Democratic Republic have been removed from the monitored geographies list.
[No new cases or positive sampling activity reported]


WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 22 April 2017]
Iraq  – No new announcements identified
NigeriaNo new announcements identified
South Sudan  – No new announcements identified
The Syrian Arab Republic No new announcements identified
YemenNo new announcements identified


WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 22 April 2017]
Cameroon No new announcements identified.
Central African Republic No new announcements identified.
Democratic Republic of the Congo No new announcements identified.
EthiopiaNo new announcements identified.
Libya No new announcements identified.
MyanmarNo new announcements identified.
Niger No new announcements identified.
Ukraine  – No new announcements identified.


UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
:: Iraq: Mosul Humanitarian Response Situation Report No. 29 (10 April to 16 April 2017) [EN/AR]
:: Mosul Humanitarian Crisis, 19 April 2017
:: Six months into the military operation to retake Mosul City from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), civilians continue to have significant humanitarian needs. These needs are most severe among displaced families, both in and out of camps, and vulnerable residents in newly accessible areas.
:: On 19 February, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) resumed military operations to retake western Mosul from ISIL. The humanitarian impact has been significant. Since the new offensive began, approximately 330,000 people from west Mosul have been displaced to camps and emergency sites as of 18 April, according to the Government of Iraq.
:: As of 18 April 2017, an estimated 400,000 people are currently living in displacement as a result of the military operations to retake Mosul, according to government figures. Cumulative displacement from west and east Mosul and surrounds was estimated at 491,000 people as of 18 April by the authorities, and returns at 91,000.
:: An estimated 500,000 people in western neighbourhoods of Mosul city remain largely inaccessible to humanitarians, sheltering from the fighting, or waiting for an opportune time to flee. 400,000 of them are in the old city. Serious concerns remain for the protection of civilians in west Mosul, where food, water, medicine and fuel are running low. Given the narrow streets and high population density in western Mosul city, people are at great risk of being caught in crossfire, and infrastructure is sustaining considerable damage.
:: Trauma casualty rates from Mosul City remain high. From 17 October 2016 to 12 April 2017, close to 6,400 hospital referrals were made from east and west Mosul, including1,900 cases from west Mosul since 18 February.
:: Emergency response packages of food and water are being distributed to families arriving at the Hammam al-Alil screening site from west Mosul. Over 2 million people have received emergency response packages since mid-October.

:: 21 Apr 2017  Syrian Arab Republic: IDP Movements in January 2017
:: 16 Apr 2017  Statement on the situation in Aleppo, Syria – UN Humanitarian Chief

YemenNo new announcements identified.


Editor’s Note:
We will cluster these recent emergencies as below and continue to monitor the WHO webpages for updates and key developments.

Zika virus  [to 22 April 2017]
[No new digest content identified]

MERS-CoV [to 22 April 2017]
[No new digest content identified]

Yellow Fever  [to 22 April 2017]
Weekly Epidemiological Record, 21 April 2017, vol. 92, 16 (pp. 193–204)
Eliminate Yellow fever Epidemics (EYE): a global strategy, 2017–2026

EBOLA/EVD  [to 22 April 2017]
[No new digest content identified]


WHO & Regional Offices [to 22 April 2017]

WHO & Regional Offices [to 22 April 2017]

World Immunization Week, 24-30 April
Immunization saves millions of lives and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.

World Malaria Day, 25 April 2017
WHO Publication:
Malaria prevention works: let’s close the gap
Number of pages: 28
Publication date: 2017 :: 28 pages
WHO reference number: WHO/HMT/GMP/2017.6
On World Malaria Day 2017, WHO is placing a special focus on prevention, a critical strategy for reducing the burden of a disease that continues to kill more than 400 000 people annually.
This new report offers a brief summary of WHO-recommended tools in the malaria prevention arsenal. It is divided into 2 parts: the first chapter focuses on core vector control measures, and the second on preventive treatment strategies for the most vulnerable groups in Africa. It addresses a key biological threat – mosquito resistance to insecticides – and highlights the need for new anti-malaria tools.
[See HIH Announcement below]

Urgent response needed for viral hepatitis
21 April 2017 – New WHO data reveal that an estimated 325 million people worldwide are living with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The WHO Global hepatitis report, 2017 indicates that the large majority of these people lack access to life-saving testing and treatment. As a result, millions of people are at risk of a slow progression to chronic liver disease, cancer, and death.

Preventing malaria during pregnancy in Africa
21 April 2017 – Approximately 52 million pregnant women living in sub-Saharan Africa are at risk of exposure to malaria each year. A key preventive therapy – known as intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) – has been added to the antenatal care package in response. An estimated 69% of pregnant women are not receiving the full cycle of IPTp however, a gap which must be urgently closed.


Tobacco: China’s addiction
April 2017 – Smoking-related diseases are on track to claim more than 200 million lives in China this century, a new joint WHO/UNDP report warns. The majority of these deaths will occur in China’s poorest and most vulnerable communities unless critical steps are taken to reduce China’s dependency on tobacco.


Weekly Epidemiological Record, 21 April 2017, vol. 92, 16 (pp. 193–204)
Eliminate Yellow fever Epidemics (EYE): a global strategy, 2017–2026


WHO Regional Offices
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
WHO African Region AFRO
:: High level calls for vaccinations for all : Immunization partners and countries celebrate African Vaccination Week
Brazzaville /N’Djamena, 22 April 2017 – UN agencies, high level government officials, immunization partners and community leaders, with the support of the Organization of African First Ladies against AIDS (OAFLA) are launching today the African Vaccination Week (AVW), urging all people to protect their health by getting vaccinated..

WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
:: Vaccination Week in the Americas celebrates 15 years (04/20/2017)
:: Unprecedented progress against neglected tropical diseases reported (04/19/2017)
:: Regulating marketing of alcohol can help reduce consumption, harm (04/18/2017)

WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
:: WHO South-East Asia countries pledge inclusive approaches for autism 21 April 2017

WHO European Region EURO
:: Vaccination protects health at every stage of life 21-04-2017
:: Inspiration tour to North Karelia: 45 successful years of reducing coronary heart disease mortality the community way 21-04-2017
:: Neglected tropical diseases: Collaborate Accelerate Eliminate 19-04-2017

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: WHO increases support for cancer patients, the forgotten casualties of the Syrian war13 April 2017
:: WHO welcomes support from Government of Brazil to Syria health response  13 April, 2017
:: WHO’s Regional Director launches National Immunization Week in Lebanon  10 April 2017

WHO Western Pacific Region
No new digest content identified.




NIH  [to 22 April 2017]
April 21, 2017
NIH Funds Seven International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced approximately $9 million in first-year funding, subject to availability, for seven malaria research centers around the world. The 7-year awards continue NIAID’s 2010 program that created the International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMRs) in regions where malaria is endemic. The awards fund three new and four existing centers that work in 14 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The recipients of the ICEMR awards announced today are as follows:
:: Amazonian Center of Excellence in Malaria Research
Principal Investigator: Joseph Vinetz, M.D.
Lead Institution: University of California, San Diego

:: Multidisciplinary Research for Malaria Control and Prevention in West Africa*
Principal Investigator: Seydou Doumbia, M.D., Ph. D.
Lead Institution: University of Sciences, Techniques & Technologies of Bamako, Bamako, Mali

:: Malaria Transmission and the Impact of Control Efforts in Southern and Central Africa
Principal Investigator: William Moss, M.D.
Lead Institution: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore

:: Program for Resistance, Immunology, Surveillance & Modeling of Malaria in Uganda (PRISM)
Principal Investigator: Grant Dorsey, M.D.
:: Environmental Modifications in sub-Saharan Africa: Changing Epidemiology, Transmission and Pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax Malaria*
Principal Investigator: Guiyun Yan, Ph.D.
Lead Institution: University of California, Irvine

:: Southeast Asia Malaria Research Center
Principal Investigator: Liwang Cui, Ph.D.
Lead Institution: Pennsylvania State University, University Park

:: Myanmar Regional Center of Excellence for Malaria Research*
Principal Investigators: Christopher Plowe, M.D., M.P.H., and Myaing Myaing Nyunt, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.
Lead Institution: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore


IAVI – International AIDS Vaccine Initiative   [to 22 April 2017]
IAVI REPORT – VOL. 21, NO. 1, 2017
This issue of IAVI Report marks an important milestone—it ushers the publication into its third decade.
Much has changed in HIV research during the last 20 years. Life-saving antiretroviral therapy works remarkably well, new prevention approaches such as pre-exposure prophylaxis have been proven highly effective, and vaccine research is progressing both clinically, with a recently launched efficacy trial, and pre-clinically, with several candidates being designed to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies.
The style of IAVI Report has changed quite dramatically too. The content is broader, with coverage of more diverse vaccine-related issues and HIV prevention efforts at large. There are also many new features that were introduced over the years, among them the beautiful scientific images that grace the cover…


UNAIDS  [to 22 April 2017]
Selected Press Releases & Updates
The living legacy of the Global Plan
20 April 2017
The Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS) has released a special supplement on the incredible journey of the Global plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive (Global Plan), which documents the history of the Global Plan and outlines what the future holds as efforts to end AIDS among women, children and adolescents accelerate…


European Medicines Agency  [to 22 April 2017]
Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 18-21 April 2017
Eleven medicines recommended for approval, including four orphans


European Vaccine Initiative  [to 22 April 2017]
18 April 2017
The meeting report from the EDUFLUVAC workshop on “Immunoassay standardisation for universal influenza vaccines” is now online.


Global Fund [to 22 April 2017];&country=
Global Fund Names Rutger de Witt Wijnen Interim General Counsel
21 April 2017
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today announced that with effect from 1 June 2017, Rutger de Witt Wijnen will become Interim General Counsel at the Global Fund.
De Witt Wijnen, currently General Counsel at Green Climate Fund, has more than 30 years of experience as an attorney and has held varied private and public legal responsibilities in Europe, North America and Asia. He takes over the position of Gülen Newton, who left earlier this year.


Wellcome Trust  [to 22 April 2017]

News / Published: 20 April 2017 Infectious disease and the immune system
New types of blood cells discovered
Scientists have identified new classes of cells in the human immune system. 
The cells are new classes of types of white blood cells called dendritic cells and monocytes. Researchers have identified two new dendritic cell subtypes and two monocyte subtypes. They have also discovered a new dendritic cell progenitor.
Wellcome-funded researchers used a technique called single-cell genomics to analyse gene expression patterns in individual human blood cells. Previously, different types of immune cells were investigated and defined by the set of marker proteins that they express on their surface. This new technique is much more powerful and can reveal previously unrecognised and rare cell types that would be otherwise difficult to find.
Dendritic cells display molecules called antigens on their surfaces. These molecules are recognised by T cells which then mount an immune response. Monocytes are the largest type of white blood cell and can develop into macrophages that digest debris in our cells.
Divya Shah, from Wellcome’s Infection and Immunobiology team, says: “Two important white blood cell types in our bodies help defend us from infection – dendritic cells and monocytes. In this study, scientists have used cutting-edge technologies to find that there are many more types of cell than we originally thought. The next step is to find out what each of these cell types do in our immune system, both when we’re healthy and during disease.”…


Journal Watch

Journal Watch
   Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review continues its weekly scanning of key peer-reviewed journals to identify and cite articles, commentary and editorials, books reviews and other content supporting our focus on vaccine ethics and policy. Journal Watch is not intended to be exhaustive, but indicative of themes and issues the Center is actively tracking. We selectively provide full text of some editorial and comment articles that are specifically relevant to our work. Successful access to some of the links provided may require subscription or other access arrangement unique to the publisher.

If you would like to suggest other journal titles to include in this service, please contact David Curry at: