WHO & Regional Offices [to 26 Oct 2019]

WHO & Regional Offices [to 26 Oct 2019]

25 October 2019
News release
WHO expert panel on digital health meets for first time
WHO is convening global experts to help shape the Organization’s roadmap to advance the digital health ecosystem. The WHO Digital Health Technical Advisory Group met for the first time this week to discuss topics ranging from data governance, to ethical and equitable use of digital technologies, to helping communities benefit from proven and cost-effective digital health solutions.

“All governments are facing increasing demands to provide health services to their citizens, and many digital technologies offer solutions to help meet these needs,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “But countries require confidence in what works. The action plan agreed today focuses our efforts on helping the world benefit from digital health technologies and solutions while safeguarding the misuse of people’s data and protecting their health.”

The two-day meeting at WHO’s headquarters in Geneva led to an agreed action plan to focus the expert group’s activities and priorities over the next two years. Meeting focused on better defining WHOs role in supporting global digital transformation. Topics included:
:: Developing a global framework for WHO to validate, implement and scale up digital health technology and solutions.
:: Recommendations for safe and ethical use of digital technologies to strengthen national health systems by improving quality and coverage of care, increasing access to health information.
:: Advice on advocacy and partnership models to accelerate use of digital health capabilities in countries to achieve better health outcomes.
:: Advice on emerging digital health technologies with global reach and impact, so no one is left behind.

Advisory group co-chair Steve Davis, president and chief executive officer of global health non-profit PATH, said the new plan provides direction to help WHO maximize the potential of the digital health landscape and chart future trends, tools and opportunities…

25 October 2019
News release
High rates of unintended pregnancies linked to gaps in family planning services: New WHO study

22 October 2019
WHO signs MoU with International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association to promote access
Full access to medicines is hampered by a variety of factors. Two important barriers are high prices and regulatory issues such as long lag times in bringing medicines to market.

To address these issues, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, and Jim Keon, Chair of the International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association, today signed a memorandum of understanding.
The new agreement is an important step in WHO’s drive towards universal health coverage by underscoring the importance of generic and biosimilar medicines to increasing access to affordable, quality treatment.

WHO is an active supporter of expanding use of generic medicines: The vast majority of the products in the WHO Essential Medicines List are generic. WHO’s prequalification programme – which assesses the quality of priority medicines supplied by UN agencies and other organizations in low-income countries – has prioritized generic medicines as a way to treat more people with the funds available; around 70% of the medicines it prequalifies are generic. A recent independent study by McKinsey estimated WHO prequalification saves the world up to US$ 590 million every year. Every $ 1 invested in WHO Prequalification has a return in terms of savings of between $ 30-40.

WHO has also supported use of and access to generics through normative guidelines. Implementation of WHO guidance on interchangeability of generic medicines is further supported by the WHO List of International Comparators, which provides information on reference products for clinical trials into bioequivalence – i.e. whether two different products achieve the same results. Another tool is the WHO Biowaiver List which describes generic medicines that are eligible for a waiver from such studies…

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Weekly Epidemiological Record, 25 October 2019, vol. 94, 43 (pp. 497–504)
:: World Polio Day – 24 October 2019
:: Global routine vaccination coverage, 2018

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WHO Regional Offices
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
WHO African Region AFRO
:: New milestone towards a polio-free world, but there is no time to relax 24 October 2019
:: Communique on cross-border coordination, partnerships, and communication for Ebola v…
23 October 2019
:: Ten African countries endorse cross-border collaboration framework on Ebola outbreak…
21 October 2019

WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
:: Saint Lucia joins HEARTS initiative to improve prevention and control of hypertension (10/24/2019)
:: District of Columbia recognizes PAHO for including persons with developmental disabilities in the workplace (10/24/2019)
:: Ultra-processed foods gain ground among Latin American and Caribbean families (10/23/2019)
:: PAHO Director in Rio de Janeiro highlights achievements and challenges in vaccine production (10/22/2019)
[See Perspectives above for detail]

WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
No new digest content identified.

WHO European Region EURO
:: World Polio Day marks a major milestone towards polio eradication 24-10-2019
:: Parliaments urged to help deliver universal health coverage by 2030 23-10-2019
:: Public health at the centre of a sustainable future 22-10-2019
:: New country profiles show changes in environmental health inequalities 21-10-2019
:: What can you do about flu? 21-10-2019

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: Thalassemia patients have renewed hope through support provided by EHNP
23 October 2019

WHO Western Pacific Region
No new digest content identified.

Featured Journal Content

 

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. 
Syrian Arab Republic
:: Syria ǀ Flash Update #9, Humanitarian impact of the military operation in north-eastern Syria, 21 – 24 October 2019

Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

 

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UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
Editor’s Note:
Ebola in the DRC has bene added as a OCHA “Corporate Emergency” this week:
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth – No new digest announcements identified
EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified

 Featured Journal Content

American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume 101, Issue 4, Supplement_2019
http://www.ajtmh.org/content/journals/14761645/101/4
Impact, Innovation, and Inclusion of Civil Society Organizations in Polio Eradication: The Core Group Polio Project Story
Guest Editors: Henry Perry and Jon Andrus
Selected Articles
Community Engagement, Ownership, and Civil Society Organizations in Polio Eradication
Jon K. Andrus and Henry B. Perry
https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.19-0529

The CORE Group Polio Project: An Overview of Its History and Its Contributions to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Lee Losey, Ellyn Ogden, Filimona Bisrat, Roma Solomon, David Newberry, Ellen Coates, Dora Ward, Lisa Hilmi, Karen LeBan, Vanessa Burrowes and Henry B. Perry
https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.18-0916

Involvement of Civil Society in India’s Polio Eradication Program: Lessons Learned
Roma Solomon
https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.18-0931

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Editor’s Note:
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 26 Oct 2019]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 64: 22 October 2019
[See Ebola above for detail]

Yemen
:: Thalassemia patients have renewed hope through support provided by the Emergency Health and Nutrition Project (EHNP) 23 October 2019 (Yemen)

Mozambique floods – No new digest announcements identified
Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 26 Oct 2019]

Afghanistan
:: Dedication: 17 years, 15 years, 13 years, 11 years… meet the people who live to eradicate polio in Afghanistan 24 October 2019

Iraq
:: WHO intensifies support to vulnerable communities in Ba’aj by strengthening the delivery of primary health care services
21 October 2019 – The World Health Organization (WHO) has intensified its health support to vulnerable communities in areas of return in Ninewa governorate delivering more than 140 000 health interventions to people in and around Ba’aj town since January 2019…

Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Burkina Faso [in French] – No new digest announcements identified
Burundi – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
HIV in Pakistan – No new digest announcements identified
Iran floods 2019 – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi floods – No new digest announcements identified
Measles in Europe – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
Niger No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 26 Oct 2019]

Kenya
:: Kenya takes vital step against cervical cancer and introduces HPV vaccine into routi…
18 October 2019
With President Uhuru Kenyatta leading the way, Kenya today joins an increasing number of African countries taking a vital step against a common cause of death among women – in the country and the region – by introducing the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer into its routine immunization schedule…

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – No new digest announcements identified
Mali – No new digest announcements identified
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified