WHO & Regional Offices [to 16 December 2017]

WHO & Regional Offices [to 16 December 2017]

Up to 650 000 people die of respiratory diseases linked to seasonal flu each year
14 December 2017 – Up to 650 000 deaths annually are associated with respiratory diseases from seasonal influenza, according to new estimates by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC), WHO and global health partners.

Half the world lacks access to essential health services
13 December 2017 – At least half of the world’s population cannot obtain essential health services, according to a new report from the World Bank and WHO. And each year, large numbers of households are being pushed into poverty because they must pay for health care out of their own pockets. Currently, 800 million people spend at least 10% of their household budgets on health expenses for themselves, a sick child or other family member.
[See Milestones/Perspectives above for more detail]

New perspectives on global health spending for universal health coverage
December 2017 – WHO global health financing report summarizes the latest internationally comparable data on health spending in all WHO Member States between 2000 and 2015. For the first time the report uses the new international classification for health expenditures in the revised System of Health Accounts.


Fact Sheets
::  Avian and other zoonotic influenza   Updated December 2017
::  Influenza (Seasonal)  Updated November 2016
::  Universal health coverage (UHC)  December 2017

Weekly Epidemiological Record, 15 December 2017, vol. 92, 50 (pp. 761–780)
:: Review of global influenza activity, October 2016– October 2017
:: Monthly report on dracunculiasis cases, January-October 2017

WHO Regional Offices
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
WHO African Region AFRO
:: The Stop Transmission of Polio (STOP) program contributes to sustain Polio eradication in South Sudan  15 December 2017
:: South Sudan implements the second round of Oral Cholera Vaccination to enhance outbreak response efforts in high risk locations  15 December 2017
:: Amid protracted and widespread violence, WHO partners with National NGOs to improve immunization coverage and save the lives of women and children in South Sudan
Juba, 15 December 2017:  The World Health Organization (WHO) is expanding on its partners’ engagement mechanisms to address critical barriers in reaching vulnerable persons including women and children with life-saving interventions in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, where access and restrictions on movement severely hinder the ability of populations to get health services.
Since 2015, an estimated 456 000 people in south-eastern Upper Nile area have not been reached with life-saving health interventions leaving critical gaps and the derailment of vaccine preventable and communicable disease control achievements. Besides, surveillance indicators have remained very sub-optimal for vaccine preventable diseases.
To improve access and reduce family and community resistance to vaccination, WHO signed an agreement with Universal Network for Knowledge and Empowerment Agency (UNKEA), a national non-governmental organization operating in South Sudan to increase access to Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) services to achieve the overall goal of immunizing every child against vaccine preventable diseases in four counties of the south-eastern Upper Nile.
The four counties host over 342 482 persons at risk of meningitis, 86 763 exposed to deadly effects of measles and over 91 300 children not immunized with vaccine in the past two years, says Mr Kofi Boateng, the WHO EPI Officer…
:: Saving lives through streamlined emergency care  15 December 2017
:: WHO spearheads provision of mental health services in primary healthcare facilities  15 December 2017
:: South Sudan is getting closer to becoming free from Guinea-worm disease  14 December 2017
:: The Ministry of Health and World Health organization Conclude a 3-day advanced Infection Prevention Control (IPC)Follow Up training Workshop for County and Hospital IPC Focal Persons
14 December 2017
:: South Sudan adopts a new strategy to reduce deaths from cholera by 90 percent by 2030
14 December 2017
:: WHO reaffirms its support for initiatives and networks for harmonization and convergence of regulatory practices for Medicines in Africa  12 December 2017
:: WHO donates cholera kits to support the cholera outbreak response in the country  12 December 2017

WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
:: Regional movement for universal health launched (12/13/2017)
:: PAHO Director calls for building alliances to leave no one behind on the road to universal health (12/11/2017)

WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
:: Bangladesh moves to protect Rohingya children from diphtheria
WHO European Region EURO
:: Greek health reform: opening of new primary health care units 14-12-2017
:: Financial hardship linked to inadequate health coverage policies 12-12-2017
:: Systems thinking helps England plan future health and care workforce 12-12-2017
:: Belarus and WHO Europe sign new collaborative agreement 11-12-2017

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: Universal Health Coverage Day: ensuring the right to health, leaving no one behind
13 December 2017
WHO Western Pacific Region
:: More action needed to achieve universal health coverage in Asia and the Pacific by global deadline  13 December 2017

MMWR News Synopsis for December 14, 2017

CDC/ACIP [to 16 December 2017]
MMWR News Synopsis for December 14, 2017
Health and Development at Age 19–24 Months of 19 Children Who Were Born with Microcephaly and Laboratory Evidence of Congenital Zika Virus Infection During the 2015 Zika Virus Outbreak — Brazil, 2017
Children with congenital Zika infection and microcephaly are now getting older and falling far behind their age-appropriate milestones, showing the need for long-term followup and support. These children will continue to require specialized care from many types of healthcare providers and their caregivers as they age. A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigation shows that children born with microcephaly (small head size for age) and evidence of congenital Zika virus infection face complex health and developmental challenges at ages 19-24 months, including an inability to sit independently, difficulties with sleeping and feeding, seizures, and hearing and vision problems. A majority of the 19 children in this investigation face challenges in multiple areas.

Large Outbreak of Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup C — Nigeria, December 2016–June 2017
Although the most recent meningococcal serogroup C outbreak in Nigeria is now fully controlled, improved surveillance and outbreak preparedness at all levels of the public health system are needed. Additionally, urgently expanding the availability of vaccines effective against multiple strains of the bacteria might help reduce the risk of outbreaks in Nigeria and other high-risk countries. From December 2016-June 2017, Nigeria experienced the largest global outbreak of meningitis caused by a new strain of the bacteria N. meningitidis serogroup C (NmC); 14,542 suspected cases and 1,166 deaths were reported. Nigeria, a country in the sub-Saharan “meningitis belt,” previously experienced large outbreaks caused by meningococcal A serogroup, which declined dramatically following the introduction in 2013 of meningococcal A vaccines. National and regional evaluations of the outbreak response outlined recommendations for improving meningitis outbreak prevention, timely detection, and response. Implementing these recommendations and expanding the availability of multivalent vaccines effective against non-A serogroups will reduce future meningitis outbreaks.

Introduction of Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine and Elimination of Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis — Beijing, China, 2014–2016
High population coverage with the sequential inactivated polio vaccine/oral poliovirus vaccine (IPV/OPV) schedule in Beijing resulted in the successful introduction of IPV in Beijing and the elimination of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP). IPV Introduction using a sequential IPV/ OPV schedule in Beijing was associated with a good safety record, no occurrence of VAPP or other serious adverse events, and maintenance of >95 percent coverage with polio vaccines. Strong public health leadership, good operational planning, and secured resources and budget were critical to successful IPV introduction in Beijing, assuring public confidence in the safety of OPV, assuring the availability of 1-dose IPV access, and helping improve the current routine immunization system.



European Medicines Agency  [to 16 December 2017]
Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 11-14 December 2017
Seven medicines recommended for approval, including an advanced therapy …

European Vaccine Initiative  [to 16 December 2017]
14 December 2017
ZIKAVAX Annual Meeting 2017
The first annual meeting of the EU-funded project ZIKAVAX took place on 7 December 2017 at CEA,…
FDA [to 16 December 2017]
December 15, 2017 –
Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on new FDA efforts to support more efficient development of targeted therapies
New website streamlines how FDA updates information used to help health care providers choose an appropriate treatment for a patient’s infection
Fondation Merieux  [to 16 December 2017]
December 12, 2017
REAOLAB presents the overview of phase 2 durig its 5th Steering Committee meeting held in Mali
The RESAOLAB project brought together the partners and networks members in Bamako for its 5th International Committee Meeting on 5 and 6 December 2017. This meeting was an opportunity to take stock of the achievements of phase 2 while reporting on the continuation of the program. A workshop dedicated to antimicrobial resistance, an increasing public health challenge, and a round table on the future of young researchers in West Africa, were also organized on this occasion.
GHIT Fund   [to 16 December 2017]
GHIT was set up in 2012 with the aim of developing new tools to tackle infectious diseases that devastate the world’s poorest people. Other funders include six Japanese pharmaceutical ·
Press Room   2017.12.11      
GHIT Fund’s Strategic Plan for 2018 to 2022: Accelerating Product Development and Product Delivery for its global health innovations

TOKYO, JAPAN (December 11, 2017)—The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT) today announced its Strategic Plan targeting the next five years (FY2018-FY2022). Comprised of four pillars—i: Research & Development (R&D), ii: Partnership for Delivery, iii: Excellence through Good Governance, iv: Financial Strategies—GHIT will continue to accelerate global health R&D through an international partnership between Japan and countries overseas.
Since its inception in April 2013 as the world’s first global health R&D public-private partnership fund, GHIT has advanced the development of therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics for infectious disease in low and middle income countries, by galvanizing Japan’s science and pharmaceutical capabilities. To date, GHIT has invested a total of US$115M in 68 global partnerships, and 7 clinical trials are currently underway…

Global Fund [to 16 December 2017]
Kenya and Global Fund Sign New Grants to Accelerate Response to Diseases
15 December 2017
The Global Fund and health partners in Kenya today signed six grant agreements to strengthen the response to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. The grants aim to reach 1.3 million people with antiretroviral therapy by 2021, and drastically expand interventions to find more missing cases of TB, among other objectives.
Hilleman Laboratories   [to 16 December 2017]
12th October 2017
Hilleman Labs successfully completes Phase I/II Clinical Trial of its Heat Stable Rotavirus Vaccine (HSRV)
New Delhi: Making headway towards providing the developing nations an affordable and easy-to-use Heat Stable Rotavirus Vaccine (HSRV), Hilleman Laboratories, a joint-venture between Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) and the Wellcome Trust, today announced the successful completion of Phase I/II clinical trial of its oral vaccine against the deadly Rotavirus disease.
The study was conducted in partnership with the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b)…
Human Vaccines Project   [to 16 December 2017]
Public Release: 13-Dec-2017
New Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research launch
The Michelson Medical Research Foundation and the Human Vaccines Project announce young investigator prizes to advance the development of future vaccines and therapies to defeat major global diseases
[See Milestones/Perspectives above for more detail]

IVAC  [to 16 December 2017]
Statement on Dengvaxia® issued by Global Dengue & Aedes-Transmitted Diseases Consortium (GDAC) with support from International Vaccine Access Center
JEE Alliance  [to 16 December 2017]
Strong health systems are essential for resilience and preparedness – time for synergy and joining up
Health security contributes to peace and security, democracy, economic and social stability as well as wellbeing. Strengthening health security is therefore an integral target of the SDGs…
MSF/Médecins Sans Frontières  [to 16 December 2017]
Press release
MSF: At Least 6,700 Rohingya Killed During Attacks in Myanmar
December 14, 2017
NEW YORK/AMSTERDAM/PARIS—At least 9,000 members of the ethnic Rohingya minority died—most of them from violence— in Rakhine state, Myanmar, between August 25 and September 24, according to surveys conducted in refugee settlement camps in Bangladesh and released today by the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Press release
Yemen: Diphtheria Spreads as War and Blockade Leave Health System in Tatters
December 12, 2017
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is responding to a suspected outbreak of diphtheria in Yemen, where the disease has reemerged as the country’s health system is weakened by ongoing war and a blockade on essential goods.
PATH  [to 16 December 2017]
Press release | December 12, 2017
Launch of ‘Be Me. Be Happy!’: A campaign to increase transgender women’s access to HIV services in Vietnam

UNAIDS [to 16 December 2017]
15 December 2017 –
UNAIDS PCB discusses discrimination in health-care settings

14 December 2017 –
Closing the HIV resource gap in Nigeria with more domestic funding

13 December 2017 –
Key populations platform in Ukraine established

12 December 2017
41st meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board opens

UNICEF  [to 16 December 2017]
15 December 2017
World Bank and WHO: Half the world lacks access to essential health services, 100 million still pushed into extreme poverty because of health expenses
TOKYO, December 13, 2017 — At least half of the world’s population cannot obtain essential health services, according to a new report from the World Bank and the World Health Organization. And each year, large numbers of households are being pushed into poverty because they must pay for health care out of their own pockets.
[See Milestones/Perspectives above for more detail]

Three months after deadly hurricanes hit Caribbean islands, thousands of children still in need of assistance
PANAMA CITY, 13 December 2017 – Three months after two category-5 hurricanes – Irma and Maria – barreled through the Caribbean, causing widespread damage and loss of life, thousands of children remain in need of support across the region.

New funding will allow countries to secure sustainable vaccine supplies and reach children more quickly
COPENHAGEN, 13 December 2017 – UNICEF announced today that funding for its Vaccine Independence Initiative (VII), a mechanism to help countries secure a sustainable supply of life-saving vaccines, has more than doubled in the past year, increasing from $15 million to $35 million.
[See Milestones/Perspectives above for more detail]

Bangladesh moves to protect Rohingya children from diphtheria
COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh, 12 December 2017 – The Government of Bangladesh, with the support of UNICEF, the World Health Organization and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, today launched  a vaccination campaign against diphtheria and other preventable diseases for all Rohingya children aged 6 weeks to 6 years living in 12 camps and temporary settlements near the Myanmar border.
[See Emergencies above for more detail]

Wellcome Trust  [to 16 December 2017]
News / Published: 12 December 2017
Wellcome’s charitable spend reaches record levels
Wellcome spent over £1.1 billion on science, research, innovation and public engagement in 2016-17, more than ever before and double what we spent a decade ago.
Explainer / Published: 11 December 2017
Sharing Clinical Trial Data: what it means for you
Wellcome is joining ClinicalStudyDataRequest.com (CSDR), a data-sharing initiative involving academic research funders and pharmaceutical companies. Jen O’Callaghan, from our Open Research team, explains why and what it means for researchers.
As a global research foundation, we’re dedicated to ensuring that the outputs of the research we fund – including clinical trial data – can be accessed and used in ways that will advance medical science by building on previous findings and exploring new questions.
CSDR (opens in a new tab) is a website portal for listing and sharing clinical trial datasets. Initially established to provide a way in which researchers could access trial data from a consortium of 13 pharmaceutical companies, CSDR is now expanding to include data from academic-led trials….

IFPMA   [to 16 December 2017]
13 December 2017
10th annual G-FINDER report: Pharmaceutical industry R&D investment funding for negected diseases
Geneva, 13 December 2017: IFPMA, the international association representing the research-based biopharmaceutical companies, welcomes the 10th annual G-FINDER report[i] results that show industry contributed USD 497m to global R&D efforts, accounting for 16% of total global funding. The report notes that industry funding has reached new record highs for the last three years. Since 2008, reported industry investment has increased by nearly 50%. This firmly consolidates industry’s position as the 3rd largest funder of R&D for neglected diseases after the US NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation…

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: david.r.curry@centerforvaccineethicsandpolicy.org


Spatial clustering of measles vaccination coverage among children in sub-Saharan Africa

BMC Public Health
(Accessed 16 December 2017)

Research article
Spatial clustering of measles vaccination coverage among children in sub-Saharan Africa
Authors: Tenley K. Brownwright, Zan M. Dodson and Willem G. van Panhuis
Citation: BMC Public Health 2017 17:957
Published on: 15 December 2017
During the past two decades, vaccination programs have greatly reduced global morbidity and mortality due to measles, but recently this progress has stalled. Even in countries that report high vaccination coverage rates, transmission has continued, particularly in spatially clustered subpopulations with low vaccination coverage.
We examined the spatial heterogeneity of measles vaccination coverage among children aged 12–23 months in ten Sub-Saharan African countries. We used the Anselin Local Moran’s I to estimate clustering of vaccination coverage based on data from Demographic and Health Surveys conducted between 2008 and 2013. We also examined the role of sociodemographic factors to explain clustering of low vaccination.
We detected 477 spatial clusters with low vaccination coverage, many of which were located in countries with relatively high nationwide vaccination coverage rates such as Zambia and Malawi. We also found clusters in border areas with transient populations. Clustering of low vaccination coverage was related to low health education and limited access to healthcare.
Systematically monitoring clustered populations with low vaccination coverage can inform supplemental immunization activities and strengthen elimination programs. Metrics of spatial heterogeneity should be used routinely to determine the success of immunization programs and the risk of disease persistence.