Media/Policy Watch

Media/Policy Watch
This watch section is intended to alert readers to substantive news, analysis and opinion from the general media and selected think tanks and similar organizations on vaccines, immunization, global public health and related themes. Media Watch is not intended to be exhaustive, but indicative of themes and issues CVEP is actively tracking. This section will grow from an initial base of newspapers, magazines and blog sources, and is segregated from Journal Watch above which scans the peer-reviewed journal ecology.

We acknowledge the Western/Northern bias in this initial selection of titles and invite suggestions for expanded coverage. We are conservative in our outlook in adding news sources which largely report on primary content we are already covering above. Many electronic media sources have tiered, fee-based subscription models for access. We will provide full-text where content is published without restriction, but most publications require registration and some subscription level.

Accessed 3 June 2017
More Harm From Anti-Vaxxers: Germany Takes Action To Stem Measles Outbreak
29 May 2017
Steven Salzberg, Contributor
Measles outbreaks in Germany, Italy, Romania and other countries are spurring governments to take new action to try to get the disease under control. Meanwhile, the anti-vax movement continues to frighten parents with misinformation that often causes great harm.
Foreign Policy
Accessed 3 June 2017
Trump Won’t Pay a Penny For U.N. Cholera Relief Fund in Haiti
By Colum Lynch
June 1, 2017
Washington set to reject the U.N. chief’s latest appeal for money to tend to Haiti’s cholera victims.
The Trump administration will rebuff a recent U.N. appeal to contribute millions of dollars to a cash-short trust fund established last year to provide relief to victims of a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 9,000 Haitians and sickened more than 800,000 more, according to U.S. and U.N. officials.
The move will be the latest blow to U.N. efforts to raise $400 million dollars from member states to provide assistance to the Haitian victims of cholera. The disease is widely believed to have been introduced into Haiti more than six years ago by infected U.N. Nepalese peacekeepers. Since the fund was set up in October, the U.N. has collected only a pittance, about $2.7 million, from Britain, Chile, France, India, Liechtenstein, South Korea and Sri Lanka…

New York Times
Accessed 3 June 2017
Mishandled Measles Vaccine Kills 15 Children in South Sudan
June 02, 2017 – By JACEY FORTIN
[See Emergencies above for more detail]
Opinion – Editorial
W.H.O.’s Identity Crisis
May 29, 2017
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization, under more democratic rules than in the past, elected its first African director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Dr. Tedros, who goes by his first name, is a malaria expert who built his reputation by cutting through bureaucracy to bring transformative change to health services in his native Ethiopia. The W.H.O. will need him to do just that in his new job.

W.H.O., the world’s most important global health organization, is in peril and is suffering from an identity crisis. Some important tasks have shifted to other organizations, like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which is financed by the Gates Foundation. The W.H.O. has also been charged with missteps in doing what it should do best: coping with epidemics, including the 2014 Ebola epidemic and last year’s yellow fever epidemic in Africa. The organization, which gets about a third of its $2.2 billion annual budget from member countries, is also facing a severe funding shortfall.

For most of its budget, the W.H.O. depends on the generosity of a handful of big donors, the biggest being the United States. Given that President Trump has suggested that the United States will push for funding caps on a host of United Nations agencies, potentially including the W.H.O., a scathing report published on May 21 by The Associated Press could not come at a worse time. Based on internal documents, the report charged that W.H.O. staff members routinely flout travel rules to fly business class and stay in five-star hotels.

Dr. Tedros will need to move swiftly to bring transparency and accountability to the W.H.O., and to demonstrate that every dollar is well spent. His background should help. In a speech delivered before Tuesday’s vote, Dr. Tedros recalled his childhood in Africa, when he lost a brother to preventable disease, saying, “Knowing survival to adulthood cannot be taken for granted, and refusing to accept that people should die because they are poor, I have dedicated my life to improving health, to reducing inequalities, to helping people everywhere live more productive lives.”

The W.H.O. is the only agency that can declare a global health emergency. It oversees cooperation between national laboratories when a fast-moving disease, like avian flu, strikes. It sets global medical standards, like declaring generic drugs safe and recommending the best treatment for emerging diseases, which are important for developing countries. The world desperately needs a fully functioning W.H.O., and must hope that in Dr. Tedros the organization has found the leadership it needs to overcome its current woes.
Accessed 3 June 2017
Nigerian government to set up vaccines joint venture with May & Baker
31 May 2017
Nigeria’s cabinet approved on Wednesday a plan to set up a joint venture with pharmaceutical firm May & Baker Nigeria Plc to produce vaccines, the health minister said.
The company will have an initial capital of 100 million naira ($328,515)….
Health minister Isaac Adewole told reporters the joint venture would be based in the commercial capital Lagos with the government holding a 49 percent stake and the pharmaceutical firm the rest.
“It will take off in 2017,” he said, adding that a final agreement would be signed within two weeks.
“The company between 2017 and 2021 will produce basic vaccines that we need,” he said.
Wall Street Journal,us&_homepage=/home/us
Accessed 3 June 2017
Authorities Holding Off Deployment of Experimental Ebola Vaccine in Congo
1 June 2017
Washington Post
Accessed 3 June 2017
These 3 things help make sense of the dangerous Minnesota measles outbreak
1 June 2017
Measles outbreak in Minnesota surpasses last year’s total for the entire country
By Lena H. Sun June 1