GAVI initiatives applauded in Japan

Media Release: GAVI initiatives applauded in Japan
Programmes in public-private partnership, such as IFFIm, held up as models for Japanese corporate sector
Tokyo, 11 October 2012 – [Excerpt]
GAVI’s success in partnering with the private sector was highlighted at a global health symposium of Japanese companies in Tokyo today, supported by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Companies can “make a reasonable profit and help people at the same time,” said Shiro Konuma, director of the Global Health Policy Division within the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Governments always must keep in mind the raison d’etre of private companies. That is the starting point. But we all share the responsibility to help save lives.”

Vaccine bonds
Japan recently made its second direct donation to GAVI, and the Japanese public has been responsible for about a quarter of GAVI’s funding through Japan’s uridashi bond market, noted GAVI CEO Seth Berkley, a featured speaker alongside those from the Health & Global Policy Institite (HGPI) think tank, and a panel discussion with five Japanese companies and UNICEF.

Among them was Daiwa Securities, which helped introduce “vaccine bonds” in Japan to benefit GAVI through IFFIm, the International Finance Facility for Immunisation. IFFIm overall has raised US$ 3.7 billion through bonds backed by the pledges of nine donor governments, funding about half of GAVI’s programmes, Berkley notes. And about US$ 2 billion of it has come from Japanese investors.

IFFIm link
IFFIm was consistently cited by the panel as an example of good business that has benefited public health. It “seems like water and oil, but IFFIm is the link,” said Satoru Yamamoto, director/head of International Investors Services at Daiwa. Underwriters like Daiwa can expand and market their business to Japanese investors, who secure both a financial and a social return…

http://www.iffim.org/library/news/press-releases/2012/gavi-initiatives-applauded-in-japan/

Meeting: WHO – Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization – 6-8 November 2012, Geneva

Meeting: WHO – Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization
6-8 November 2012, Geneva

[Selected agenda topics]:
– Report from GAVI
– Global polio eradication initiative
– DoV – GVAP (GVAP key steps to implementation; Decade of Vaccine M&E/Accountability Framework; GVAP Costing, Financing and impact update and tracking commitments; Independent review of progress and reporting to governing bodies)
– Hib immunization schedules
– Measles and rubella status report
– Vaccination in humanitarian emergencies
– New vaccine introduction in middle-income countries: current initiatives to address financial challenges

Draft Agenda at 22 October 2012:
http://www.who.int/entity/immunization/sage/Annotated_draft_Agenda_6-8_Nov_SAGE_2012_22Oct.pdf

Symposium: Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR) 31 October–3 November 2012 – Beijing, China

Symposium: Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR)
31 October–3 November 2012 – Beijing, China

The Symposium will be dedicated to evaluating progress, sharing insights and recalibrating the agenda of science to accelerate universal health coverage (UHC).

A primary theme for the symposium will be innovation and inclusion, highlighting ‘neglected’ themes such as research on neglected public health priorities, causes of exclusion of populations or problems, and on what works in reducing these exclusions.

Each day, 17 concurrent sessions will provide examples of innovations across all health systems building blocks that facilitate faster progress towards universal health coverage in an affordable manner.

In addition, the WHO strategy on health systems research and the member-based Society for HSR will be launched. Anticipated is the establishment of a Beijing Agenda for further advancing the HSR and in particular, the initiation of a process to construct and agree on measures to monitor UHC.

All plenary sessions will be webcast live and are available from the Symposium web site’s home page. In addition, WHO will be tweeting daily from the meeting.

Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR)

Commentary: Call to Action on World Pneumonia Day

Emerging Infectious Diseases
Volume 18, Number 11—November 2012
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/index.htm

Commentaries
Call to Action on World Pneumonia Day
PDF Version  [PDF – 155 KB – 2 pages]
R. Hajjeh and C. G. Whitney

[Excerpt]
This month, on November 12, the world will recognize the fourth annual World Pneumonia Day. First launched in 2009 by a coalition of global health leaders (1), World Pneumonia Day aims to raise awareness about pneumonia’s toll on the world’s children and to promote interventions to protect against, treat, and prevent the disease. Pneumonia continues to be the leading killer of young children around the world, causing ≈14% of all deaths in children 1 month to 5 years of age (2). It is a critical disease for countries to conquer in order to reach Millennium Development Goal 4: reducing the child mortality rate by two thirds from 1990 to 2015 (3). Most children who die from pneumonia live in developing countries, where such factors as malnutrition, crowding, and lack of access to quality health care increase the risk for death. Pneumonia kills few children in industrialized countries, although it remains among the top 10 causes of deaths in the United States, for example, because of deaths in older adults (4).

Fortunately, many interventions are now available to reduce deaths due to pneumonia among children throughout the world. On the first World Pneumonia Day in 2009, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, together with many global experts and partners, launched the Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP) (5). GAPP recommends a strategy of prevention, protection, and treatment that is designed to implement readily available interventions that can reduce pneumonia deaths in children. GAPP focuses on improving nutrition (through measures such as exclusive breastfeeding), increasing access to vaccines that protect from agents that cause pneumonia (such as Haemphilus influenzae type b and pneumococcal vaccines), reducing exposure to indoor air pollution, and increasing access to antimicrobial drugs that can treat pneumonia…

Integrating Genome-based Informatics to Modernize Global Disease Monitoring, Information Sharing, and Response

Emerging Infectious Diseases
Volume 18, Number 11—November 2012
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/index.htm

Online Reports
Integrating Genome-based Informatics to Modernize Global Disease Monitoring, Information Sharing, and Response
F. M. Aarestrup et al.

Abstract
The rapid advancement of genome technologies holds great promise for improving the quality and speed of clinical and public health laboratory investigations and for decreasing their cost. The latest generation of genome DNA sequencers can provide highly detailed and robust information on disease-causing microbes, and in the near future these technologies will be suitable for routine use in national, regional, and global public health laboratories. With additional improvements in instrumentation, these next- or third-generation sequencers are likely to replace conventional culture-based and molecular typing methods to provide point-of-care clinical diagnosis and other essential information for quicker and better treatment of patients. Provided there is free-sharing of information by all clinical and public health laboratories, these genomic tools could spawn a global system of linked databases of pathogen genomes that would ensure more efficient detection, prevention, and control of endemic, emerging, and other infectious disease outbreaks worldwide.

Infectious disease emergence and global change: thinking systemically in a shrinking world

Infectious Diseases of Poverty
2012, 1
http://www.idpjournal.com/content
[Accessed 27 October 2012]
Aims & scope
Infectious Diseases of Poverty is an open access, peer-reviewed journal publishing topic areas and methods that address essential public health questions relating to infectious diseases of poverty. These include various aspects of the biology of pathogens and vectors, diagnosis and detection, treatment and case management, epidemiology and modeling, zoonotic hosts and animal reservoirs, control strategies and implementation, new technologies and application. Transdisciplinary or multisectoral effects on health systems, ecohealth, environmental management, and innovative technology are also considered.

IDP aims to identify and assess research and information gaps that hinder progress towards new interventions for a particular public health problem in the developing world. Moreover, to provide a platform for discussion of the issues raised, in order to advance research and evidence building for improved public health interventions in poor settings.

Research Article  
Infectious disease emergence and global change: thinking systemically in a shrinking world
Colin D Butler Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2012, 1:5 (25 October 2012)

Abstract [Open Access]
Background
Concern intensifying that emerging infectious diseases and global environmental changes that could generate major future human pandemics.

Method
A focused literature review was undertaken, partly informed by a forthcoming report on environment, agriculture and infectious diseases of poverty, facilitated by the Special Programme for Tropical Diseases.

Results
More than ten categories of infectious disease emergence exist, but none formally analyse past, current or future burden of disease. Other evidence suggests that the dominant public health concern focuses on two informal groupings. Most important is the perceived threat of newly recognised infections, especially viruses that arise or are newly discovered in developing countries that originate in species exotic to developed countries, such as non-human primates, bats and rodents. These pathogens may be transmitted by insects or bats, or via direct human contact with bushmeat. The second group is new strains of influenza arising from intensively farmed chickens or pigs, or emerging from Asian “wet markets” where several bird species have close contact. Both forms appear justified because of two great pandemics: HIV/AIDS (which appears to have originated from bushmeat hunting in Africa before emerging globally) and Spanish influenza, which killed up to 2.5% of the human population around the end of World War I. Insufficiently appreciated is the contribution of the milieu which appeared to facilitate the high disease burden in these pandemics. Additionally, excess anxiety over emerging infectious diseases diverts attention from issues of greater public health importance, especially: (i) existing (including neglected) infectious diseases and (ii) the changing milieu that is eroding the determinants of immunity and public health, caused by adverse global environmental changes, including climate change and other components of stressed life and civilisation-supporting systems.

Conclusions
The focus on novel pathogens and minor forms of anti-microbial resistance in emerging disease literature is unjustified by their burden of disease, actual and potential, and diverts attention from far more important health problems and determinants. There is insufficient understanding of systemic factors that promote pandemics. Adverse global change could generate circumstances conducive to future pandemics with a high burden of disease, arising via anti-microbial and insecticidal resistance, under-nutrition, conflict, and public health breakdown.

Opinion: Technology innovation for infectious diseases in the developing world

Infectious Diseases of Poverty
2012, 1
http://www.idpjournal.com/content
[Accessed 27 October 2012]
Aims & scope
Infectious Diseases of Poverty is an open access, peer-reviewed journal publishing topic areas and methods that address essential public health questions relating to infectious diseases of poverty. These include various aspects of the biology of pathogens and vectors, diagnosis and detection, treatment and case management, epidemiology and modeling, zoonotic hosts and animal reservoirs, control strategies and implementation, new technologies and application. Transdisciplinary or multisectoral effects on health systems, ecohealth, environmental management, and innovative technology are also considered.

IDP aims to identify and assess research and information gaps that hinder progress towards new interventions for a particular public health problem in the developing world. Moreover, to provide a platform for discussion of the issues raised, in order to advance research and evidence building for improved public health interventions in poor settings.

Opinion  
Technology innovation for infectious diseases in the developing world
Anthony D So, Quentin Ruiz-Esparza Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2012, 1:2 (25 October 2012)

Abstract [Open Access]
Enabling innovation and access to health technologies remains a key strategy in combating infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, a gulf between paying markets and the endemicity of such diseases has contributed to the dearth of R&D in meeting these public health needs. While the pharmaceutical industry views emerging economies as potential new markets, most of the world’s poorest bottom billion now reside in middle-income countries–a fact that has complicated tiered access arrangements. However, product development partnerships–particularly those involving academic institutions and small firms–find commercial opportunities in pursuing even neglected diseases; and a growing pharmaceutical sector in BRICS countries offers hope for an indigenous base of innovation. Such innovation will be shaped by 1) access to building blocks of knowledge; 2) strategic use of intellectual property and innovative financing to meet public health goals; 3) collaborative norms of open innovation; and 4) alternative business models, some with a double bottom line. Facing such resource constraints, LMICs are poised to develop a new, more resource-effective model of innovation that holds exciting promise in meeting the needs of global health.