Reports/Research/Analysis/Commentary/Conferences/Meetings/Book Watch/Tenders

Reports/Research/Analysis/Commentary/Conferences/Meetings/Book Watch/Tenders
Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review has expanded its coverage of new reports, books, research and analysis published independent of the journal channel covered in Journal Watch below. Our interests span immunization and vaccines, as well as global public health, health governance, and associated themes. If you would like to suggest content to be included in this service, please contact David Curry at:

World Malaria Report 2017
29 November 2017 :: 196 pages
The World Malaria Report 2017 draws on data from 91 countries and areas with ongoing malaria transmission. The information is supplemented by data from national household surveys and databases held by other organizations.
This year’s report shows that after an unprecedented period of success in global malaria control, progress has stalled. In 2016, there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria, an increase of about 5 million cases over 2015. Deaths reached 445 000, a similar number to the previous year.

Press Release
Global response to malaria at crossroads   29 November 2017
WHO report shows gains are levelling
News release
29 November 2017 | Geneva – After unprecedented global success in malaria control, progress has stalled, according to the World malaria report 2017. There were an estimated 5 million more malaria cases in 2016 than in 2015. Malaria deaths stood at around 445 000, a similar number to the previous year.

“In recent years, we have made major gains in the fight against malaria,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “We are now at a turning point. Without urgent action, we risk going backwards, and missing the global malaria targets for 2020 and beyond.”

The WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria calls for reductions of at least 40% in malaria case incidence and mortality rates by the year 2020. According to WHO’s latest malaria report, the world is not on track to reach these critical milestones.

A major problem is insufficient funding at both domestic and international levels, resulting in major gaps in coverage of insecticide-treated nets, medicines, and other life-saving tools.
Funding shortage

An estimated US$ 2.7 billion was invested in malaria control and elimination efforts globally in 2016. That is well below the US $6.5 billion annual investment required by 2020 to meet the 2030 targets of the WHO global malaria strategy…

The global figures
The report shows that, in 2016, there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries, up from 211 million cases in 2015. The estimated global tally of malaria deaths reached 445,000 in 2016 compared to 446,000 the previous year.

While the rate of new cases of malaria had fallen overall, since 2014 the trend has levelled off and even reversed in some regions. Malaria mortality rates followed a similar pattern.

The African Region continues to bear an estimated 90% of all malaria cases and deaths worldwide. Fifteen countries – all but one in sub-Saharan Africa – carry 80% of the global malaria burden…

Tackling malaria in complex settings
The report also outlines additional challenges in the global malaria response, including the risks posed by conflict and crises in malaria endemic zones. WHO is currently supporting malaria responses in Nigeria, South Sudan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) and Yemen, where ongoing humanitarian crises pose serious health risks. In Nigeria’s Borno State, for example, WHO supported the launch of a mass antimalarial drug administration campaign this year that reached an estimated 1.2 million children aged under 5 years in targeted areas. Early results point to a reduction in malaria cases and deaths in this state.

WHO Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for substandard and falsified medical products
November 2017 :: 73 pages:
This report has grown out of the work of the GSMS, which provides national regulatory authorities with an interconnected network. This allows them, for the first time, to cross-reference reports of suspect products with those reported from other regions by searching the WHO database and accessing photograph libraries of confirmed substandard and falsified products.
p.11  …Equally the manufacture of falsified products is also a global and complex activity. Manufacturing sites linked to the clandestine production of falsified medicines and vaccines have been discovered on all continents. Sometimes production is carried out on an industrial scale at one location or it may be on a smaller and less sophisticated scale…
[Excerpt from Table]
Type of Product: Vaccines
Number of Member State Reporting: 11
Total No. of Product Reports: 29
   Also: vaccine case examples involving from Niger [MenC], and Indonesia [YF]

A study on the public health and socioeconomic impact of substandard and falsified medical products
November 2017 :: 77 pages:
The presence of substandard and falsified medical products in countries and their use by patients threatens to undermine progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. Such products may be of poor quality, unsafe or ineffective, threatening the health of those that take them. The problem of substandard and falsified medical products continues to increase, as globalized manufacturing and distribution systems grow ever more complex. That complexity heightens the risk that production errors will occur, or that medicines will degrade between factory and consumer. Increasing demand for medicines, vaccines and other medical products in almost every country, in addition to poor supply-chain management and the growth of e-commerce also creates opportunities for falsified medicines to be introduced into the supply chain.

Press Release
1 in 10 medical products in developing countries is substandard or falsified  
28 November 2017
An estimated 1 in 10 medical products circulating in low- and middle-income countries is either substandard or falsified, according to new research from WHO.

This means that people are taking medicines that fail to treat or prevent disease. Not only is this a waste of money for individuals and health systems that purchase these products, but substandard or falsified medical products can cause serious illness or even death.

“Substandard and falsified medicines particularly affect the most vulnerable communities,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Imagine a mother who gives up food or other basic needs to pay for her child’s treatment, unaware that the medicines are substandard or falsified, and then that treatment causes her child to die. This is unacceptable. Countries have agreed on measures at the global level – it is time to translate them into tangible action.”

Since 2013, WHO has received 1500 reports of cases of substandard or falsified products. Of these, antimalarials and antibiotics are the most commonly reported. Most of the reports (42%) come from the WHO African Region, 21% from the WHO Region of the Americas, and 21% from the WHO European Region.

This is likely just a small fraction of the total problem and many cases may be going unreported. For example, only 8% of reports of substandard or falsified products to WHO came from the WHO Western Pacific Region, 6% from the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, and just 2% from the WHO South-East Asia Region…

WHO is publishing two reports today:
:: WHO launched its Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for substandard and falsified medicines, vaccines and in-vitro diagnostic tests in July 2013. This first report is based on data collected during the first 4 years of operation up to 30 June 2017.
:: A study on the public health and socioeconomic impact of substandard or falsified medical products conducted by WHO and the Member State Mechanism.
This study is based on 100 literature reviews and two peer-reviewed models developed by the University of Edinburgh and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The 100 papers reviewed provide data for more than 48 000 samples of medicines from 88 countries.    Because only 178 samples were taken in high-income countries, prevalence estimates of substandard or falsified medical products were limited to low- and middle-income countries.
Despite these limitations, these two reports represent the most comprehensive compilation to date of data related to substandard and falsified medical products and are a first step towards better understanding their public health and socioeconomic impact.