The African Development Bank Group [to 24 January 2015]

The African Development Bank Group [to 24 January 2015]

African Development Bank and MasterCard Broaden Financial Inclusion in Africa
22/01/2015 – On Thursday, January 22 in Davos, Switzerland, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and MasterCard announced a broad collaboration that aims to expand financial inclusion across the African continent. The collaboration seeks to develop solutions that drive inclusive growth in Africa by broadening access and usage of digital financial services.

MasterCard brings proven expertise to design and scale inclusive financial services solutions and infrastructure. The AfDB actively promotes sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in Africa. Together they will work with African governments and local private sector companies to develop and deliver affordable services that meet the needs of a wide consumer base, especially the traditionally unbanked.

Specifically, the collaboration will seek to:
:: Build cohesive African financial systems that drive inclusion at a country level and enable service delivery to traditionally excluded populations;
:: Invest in a curated set of innovative financial services companies and solutions targeted at addressing barriers that hinder financial inclusion; and
:: Share knowledge across academic, policy and commercial sectors to create thought leadership on financial inclusion and economic development.

ASEAN [to 24 January 2015]

ASEAN [to 24 January 2015]

Indonesia Deposits Instrument of Ratification of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution
on Tuesday, 20 January 2015.
JAKARTA, 20 January 2015 – H.E. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, the Director General for ASEAN Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, today deposited Indonesia’s Instrument of Ratification of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution with H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN…
…The Governments of the ten ASEAN Member Countries signed the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) on 10 June 2002 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and it entered into force on 25 November 2003. The Agreement is the first regional arrangement in the world that binds a group of contiguous states to tackle transboundary haze pollution resulting from land and forest fires. It has also been considered as a global role model for the tackling of transboundary issues. With Indonesia’s ratification, the Agreement has now been ratified by all ASEAN Member States.


ASEAN, ACB Celebrate a Decade of Cooperation on Biodiversity Conservation
on Tuesday, 20 January 2015.
LOS BANOS, 20 January 2015 – Governments of ASEAN Member States (AMS) have increasingly recognized biodiversity’s extreme importance to human survival. National and local governments are taking individual steps to preserve flora, fauna, and other biological resources. With biodiversity knowing no boundaries, ASEAN Member States acknowledge that working together is crucial to addressing common problems.

World Bank [to 24 January 2015]

World Bank [to 24 January 2015]

Most Commodity Prices Expected to Continue Declining in 2015, in Rare Occurrence, Says WB Report
WASHINGTON, January 22, 2015 – This year may well see a rare occurrence for world commodity markets – a decline in all nine key commodity price indices, says the World Bank’s latest Commodity Markets Outlook, released today.While oil prices have seen the most dramatic decline, the third largest since World War II, other commodities have also been gradually weakening in recent months. And this broad-based weakness is expected to continue throughout 2015, before beginning a modest turn around in 2016.In oil markets, a “perfect storm” of conditions has led to a plunge in prices since mid-2014: growth in unconventional oil production, decline in demand, appreciation of the U.S. dollar, receding geopolitical risks, and a major redirection toward maintaining market share rather than targeting prices by the world’s oil cartel, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)…
January 22, 2015


Green Bonds Are Changing Investor Expectations & Making Sustainable Investing Easier
Expanding the issuer and investor basesAs the market grows, the size of green bonds is growing and new types of issuers are coming in.Cities and state agencies, which have used bonds in the past to raise money for infrastructure projects, have started issuing green bonds to help support and highlight environment- and climate-friendly projects, such as efficiency improvements and public transportation. Johannesburg, South Africa, issued Africa’s first municipal green bond last year to help finance emissions-reducing projects including bio gas energy, solar power, and sustainable transportation.Corporations and utilities have also started issuing green bonds. The French utility GDF Suez issued the largest green bond to date, 2.5 billion euros, intended to finance renewable energy projects such as wind farms and energy efficiency work such as smart metering and integrated districting heating networks
January 22, 2015


Ebola: Most African Countries Avoid Major Economic Loss but Impact on Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone Remains Crippling
Africa-wide impact in 2015The Bank Group expects sub-Saharan Africa to grow at 4.6 percent in 2015, down from a 5.0 percent forecast in June 2014. Projections have been lowered because of global events, including the West African Ebola epidemic as well as the net effect of winners and losers from a steep fall in the global prices of oil and other commodities. Key risks to this projected growth include a renewed spread of Ebola, violent insurgencies, further reductions in commodity prices, and volatile global financial conditions.Much of the economic impact of Ebola beyond the epicenter of directly affected West African countries is based on fear, as was the case during the SARS outbreak in East Asia a decade ago…
January 20, 2015

Amref Health Africa [to 24 January 2015]

Amref Health Africa [to 24 January 2015]

Amref Health Africa Appoints Interim Chief Executive Officer
21 January 2015
Amref Health Africa has announced the appointment of Dr Lennie Bazira Kyomuhangi-Igbodipe as Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective November 2014 following the retirement of Director General Dr Teguest Guerma.

Making the announcement, Amref Health Africa International Board Chair Mr Omari Issa said: “While the process of recruiting a CEO is ongoing, the Board is committed to ensuring a smooth transition and has appointed Dr Lennie Kyomuhangi-Igbodipe the interim CEO. We will announce the new CEO once the recruitment process is finalised.”

Dr Kyomuhangi-Igbodipe has been serving as Country Director for Kenya and has over 20 years’ experience within the sub-Saharan African health sector.

BRAC [to 24 January 2015]

BRAC [to 24 January 2015]

BRAC Sierra Leone empowers child Ebola survivors and adolescent girls in collaboration with Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs
7 January 2015, Sierra Leone. Interventions include cash transfers, radios and safe spaces for girls; efforts will help recovery efforts by providing livelihood assistance for affected families and support for adolescent girls BRAC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children Affair (MSWGCA), has started distributing cash grants to young Ebola survivors with the aim of starting small livelihood activities, while also supporting adolescent girls in Ebola recovery…

ICRC – International Committee of the Red Cross [to 24 January 2015]

ICRC – International Committee of the Red Cross [to 24 January 2015]

Iran/Iraq: Soldiers’ remains returned to families
News release
22 January 2015
Baghdad/Tehran (ICRC) – The ICRC has once again participated in the handover of the remains of soldiers killed during the Iran-Iraq war. The remains were repatriated to their respective countries on 22 January 2015 during a ceremony at the Shalamcha border crossing near Basra (Iraq), attended by military and civilian officials from both countries in the presence of ICRC staff. Of the remains repatriated during this ceremony, forensic teams have so far identified 46 of the Iranian soldiers and 3 of the Iraqi personnel. Work continues on identifying the others…

Plan International [to 24 January 2015]

Plan International [to 24 January 2015]

Plan starts operations in Nigeria
20 January 2015: Plan International is launching full operations in Nigeria today, making it our 13th programme country in West Africa and 51st globally.
Plan International Nigeria will focus on health, education, economic security, child protection and child participation.

The opening follows Plan International USA’s acquisition of the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) in 2012.

“Sixteen years after Plan Niger, the last Plan office opened in the region, we are very excited to welcome Nigeria as our 13th country office in West Africa,” said Adama Coulibaly, Plan’s Regional Director for West Africa.

With a population of 160 million people Nigeria’s population is equivalent to all other West African states put together. It is also the largest economy in Africa.

Plan Chief Executive Officer Nigel Chapman said: “A strong Plan operation in Nigeria would influence and support making child rights a reality in the most populous African state. Our ambition is to make Nigeria our largest programme in West Africa by 2020.”…

SOS-Kinderdorf International [to 24 January 2015]

SOS-Kinderdorf International [to 24 January 2015]

ICT job prospects for young people in Africa’s Horn
14.01.2015 – A new e-Learning centre recently opened in Djibouti with the help of SOS Children’s Villages and German partners is giving disadvantaged young people the chance to learn in-demand ICT job skills and escape from a life of poverty.

GAVI [to 24 January 2015]

GAVI [to 24 January 2015]

Half a billion children vaccinated and seven million lives saved thanks to Gavi partners
Global health milestone announced days ahead of major replenishment meeting
Davos, 22 January 2015 – New figures released today by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance show that half a billion children have been reached with lifesaving vaccines in the 15 years since the organisation was founded….

Start Network [Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies] [to 24 January 2015]

Start Network [Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies] [to 24 January 2015]

Two more projects join the DEPP portfolio!
January 21, 2015
Posted by Tegan Rogers
We are delighted to announce that two more projects have joined the DFID Disaster Emergency Preparedness Programme (DEPP): ‘Alert’ and ‘Better dialogue. Better information. Better action.’

The Start Network’s ‘Alert’ Project, led by HelpAge, is a £2m project to develop a tool for collaboration around disaster preparedness. This is a consortium project also including members from Oxfam, CARE, Islamic Relief, Handicap International and Concern.

The CDAC-Network ‘Better dialogue. Better information. Better action’ project is a £3m initiative aimed at improving effective delivery through information sharing and two-way communication with and between disaster-affected communities.

The DEPP represents an innovative collaboration over three years between Start Network, CDAC-Network and DFID. DFID have committed up to £40m to improve the quality and speed of crisis response in at-risk countries. The DEPP aims to strengthen humanitarian capacity across the system with a focus on local humanitarian workers at the national level…

BMGF (Gates Foundation) [to 24 January 2015]

BMGF (Gates Foundation)

Bill and Melinda Gates Release 2015 Annual Letter: “Our Big Bet for the Future”
SEATTLE (January 21, 2015)— Today, Bill and Melinda Gates share their 2015 Annual Letter.
“Our Big Bet for the Future” addresses the breakthroughs they see coming over the next fifteen years that will improve the lives of people in poor countries faster than at any other time in history.

Kellogg Foundation [to 24 January 2015]

Kellogg Foundation

Statement for Support: Providing equal opportunities for native children
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Brian Cladoosby, president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), today articulated in his State of Indian Nations address that progress is being made in implementing policies that are strengthening tribal economies and justice systems, improving the quality of life of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples and modernizing the trust relationship between tribal nations and the federal government. Yet, Cladoosby emphasizes that much more must be done. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) fully endorses his declaration that “we must tear down barriers to growth” that are hindering opportunities for Native Americans…
Jan. 22, 2015

Statement of Support: Keeping kids at the center of our nation’s priorities
W.K. Kellogg Foundation President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron issues statement on President Obama’s State of the Union
Jan. 20, 2015

BMC Health Services Research (Accessed 24 January 2015)

BMC Health Services Research
(Accessed 24 January 2015)

Research article
Cost to households in treating maternal complications in northern Ghana: a cross sectional study
Maxwell Ayindenaba Dalaba12*, Patricia Akweongo3, Raymond Akawire Aborigo24, Happiness Pius Saronga15, John Williams2, Gifty Apiung Aninanya2, Rainer Sauerborn1 and Svetla Loukanova1
Author Affiliations
BMC Health Services Research 2015, 15:34 doi:10.1186/s12913-014-0659-1
Published: 22 January 2015
Abstract (provisional)
The cost of treating maternal complications has serious economic consequences to households and can hinder the utilization of maternal health care services at the health facilities. This study estimated the cost of maternal complications to women and their households in the Kassena-Nankana district of northern Ghana.
We carried out a cross-sectional study between February and April 2014 in the Kassena-Nankana district. Out of a total of 296 women who were referred to the hospital for maternal complications from the health centre level, sixty of them were involved in the study. Socio-demographic data of respondents as well as direct and indirect costs involved in the management of the complications at the hospital were collected from the patient’s perspective. Analysis was performed using STATA 11.ResultsOut of the 60 respondents, 60% (36) of them suffered complications due to prolonged labour, 17% (10) due to severe abdominal pain, 10%(6) due to anaemia/malaria and 7%(4) due to pre-eclampsia . Most of the women who had complications were primiparous and were between 21?25 years old. Transportation cost accounted for the largest cost, representing 32% of total cost of treatment. The median direct medical cost was US$8.68 per treatment, representing 44% of the total cost of treatment. Indirect costs accounted for the largest proportion of total cost (79%). Overall, the median expenditure by households on both direct and indirect costs per complication was US$32.03. Disaggregating costs by type of complication, costs ranged from a median of US$58.33 for pre-eclampsia to US$6.84 for haemorrrhage. The median number of days spent in the hospital was 2?days – five days for pre-eclampsia. About 33%( 6) of households spent more than 5% of annual household expenditure and therefore faced catastrophic payments.
Although maternal health services are free in Ghana, women still incur substantial costs when complications occur and face the risk of incurring catastrophic health expenditure.

Research article
Mobile phone text messaging interventions for HIV and other chronic diseases: an overview of systematic reviews and framework for evidence transfer
Lawrence Mbuagbaw123*, Sara Mursleen1, Lyubov Lytvyn1, Marek Smieja14, Lisa Dolovich5 and Lehana Thabane12678
Author Affiliations
BMC Health Services Research 2015, 15:33 doi:10.1186/s12913-014-0654-6
Published: 22 January 2015
Abstract (provisional)
Strong international commitment and the widespread use of antiretroviral therapy have led to higher longevity for people living with human immune deficiency virus (HIV). Text messaging interventions have been shown to improve health outcomes in people living with HIV. The objectives of this overview were to: map the state of the evidence of text messaging interventions, identify knowledge gaps, and develop a framework for the transfer of evidence to other chronic diseases.
We conducted a systematic review of systematic reviews on text messaging interventions to improve health or health related outcomes. We conducted a comprehensive search of PubMed, EMBASE (Exerpta Medica Database), CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), PsycINFO, Web of Science (WoS) and the Cochrane Library on the 17th April 2014. Screening, data extraction and assessment of methodological quality were done in duplicate. Our findings were used to develop a conceptual framework for transfer.
Our search identified 135 potential systematic reviews of which nine were included, reporting on 37 source studies, conducted in 19 different countries. Seven of nine (77.7%) of these reviews were high quality. There was some evidence for text messaging as a tool to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy. Text messages also improved attendance at appointments and behaviour change outcomes. The findings were inconclusive for self-management of illness, treatment of tuberculosis and communicating results of medical investigations. The geographical distribution of text messaging research was limited to specific regions of the world. Prominent knowledge gaps included the absence of data on long term outcomes, patient satisfaction, and economic evaluations. The included reviews also identified methodological limitations in many of the primary studies.
Global evidence supports the use of text messaging as a tool to improve adherence to medication and attendance at scheduled appointments. Given the similarities between HIV and other chronic diseases (long-term medications, life-long care, strong link to behaviour and the need for home-based support) evidence from HIV may be transferred to these diseases using our proposed framework by integration of HIV and chronic disease services or direct transfer.

Research article
How rural and urban parents describe convenience in the context of school-based influenza vaccination: a qualitative study
Candace Lind1*, Margaret L Russell2, Ramona Collins1, Judy MacDonald3, Christine J Frank1 and Amy E Davis4
Author Affiliations
BMC Health Services Research 2015, 15:24 doi:10.1186/s12913-014-0663-5
Published: 22 January 2015
Abstract (provisional)
Seasonal influenza vaccine uptake among school-age children has been low, particularly among rural children, even in jurisdictions in Canada where this immunization is publicly funded. Providing this vaccination at school may be convenient for parents and might contribute to increased vaccine uptake, particularly among rural children. We explore the construct of convenience as an advantage of school based influenza vaccination. We also explore for rural urban differences in this construct.
Participants were parents of school-aged children from Alberta, Canada. We qualitatively analyzed focus group data from rural parents using a thematic template that emerged from prior work with urban parents. Both groups of parents had participated in focus groups to explore their perspectives on the acceptability of adding an annual influenza immunization to the immunization program that is currently delivered in Alberta schools. Data from within the theme of `convenience? from both rural and urban parents were then further explored for sub-themes within convenience.
Data were obtained from nine rural and nine urban focus groups. The template of themes that had arisen from prior analysis of the urban data applied to the rural data. Convenience was a third level theme under Advantages. Five fourth level themes emerged from within convenience. Four of the five sub-themes were common to both rural and urban participants: reduction of parental burden to schedule, reduction in parental lost time, decrease in parental stress and increase in physical access points for influenza immunization. The fifth subtheme, increases temporal access to influenza immunization, emerged uniquely from the rural data.
Both rural and urban parents perceived that convenience would be an advantage of adding an annual influenza immunization to the vaccinations currently given to Alberta children at school. Improving temporal access to such immunization may be a more relevant aspect of convenience to rural than to urban parents.

The European Journal of Public Health – 01 February 2015 :: Migration and health

The European Journal of Public Health
Volume 25, Issue 1, 01 February 2015

Migration and health
Suicide among immigrants in Europe—a systematic literature review
Jacob Spallek, Anna Reeske, Marie Norredam, Signe Smith Nielsen, Jessica Lehnhardt, Oliver Razum
Eur J Public Health (2015) 25 (1): 63-71
First published online: 5 August 2014 (9 pages)
How do immigrants use primary health care services? A register-based study in Norway
Esperanza Diaz, Amaia Calderón-Larrañaga, Alexandra Prado-Torres, Beatriz Poblador-Plou, Luis-Andrés Gimeno-Feliu
Eur J Public Health (2015) 25 (1): 72-78
First published online: 1 August 2014 (7 pages)
Caesarean section by immigrants’ length of residence in Norway: a population-based study
Ingvil K. Sørbye, Anne K. Daltveit, Johanne Sundby, Camilla Stoltenberg, Siri Vangen
Eur J Public Health (2015) 25 (1): 78-84
First published online: 5 September 2014 (7 pages)
Remigration of migrants with severe disease: myth or reality?—a register-based cohort study
Marie Norredam, Oluf Hoejbjerg Hansen, Jørgen Holm Petersen, Anton E Kunst, Maria Kristiansen, Allan Krasnik, Charles Agyemang
Eur J Public Health (2015) 25 (1): 84-89
First published online: 8 September 2014 (6 pages)
Sexual and gender-based violence in the European asylum and reception sector: a perpetuum mobile?
Ines Keygnaert, Sonia F. Dias, Olivier Degomme, Walter Devillé, Patricia Kennedy, András Kováts, Sara De Meyer, Nicole Vettenburg, Kristien Roelens, Marleen Temmerman
Eur J Public Health (2015) 25 (1): 90-96
First published online: 29 May 2014 (7 pages)

Eurosurveillance – 22 January 2015

Volume 20, Issue 3, 22 January 2015

Rapid communications
An outbreak of measles associated with an international dog show in Slovenia, November 2014
by M Grgič-Vitek, T Frelih, V Ucakar, M Fafangel, O Jordan Markocic, K Prosenc, A Kraigher

Serogroup C invasive meningococcal disease among men who have sex with men and in gay-oriented social venues in the Paris region: July 2013 to December 2014
by L Aubert, MK Taha, N Boo, Y Le Strat, AE Deghmane, A Sanna, AS Barret, D Lévy-Bruhl, S Vandentorren, I Parent du Châtelet

Lactating mothers infected with Ebola virus: EBOV RT-PCR of blood only may be insufficient
by M Moreau, C Spencer, JG Gozalbes, R Colebunders, A Lefevre, S Gryseels, B Borremans, S Gunther, D Becker, JA Bore, FR Koundouno, A Di Caro, R Wölfel, T Decroo, M Van Herp, L Peetermans, AM Camara

Global trends in health research and development expenditures – the challenge of making reliable estimates for international comparison

Health Research Policy and Systems
[Accessed 24 January 2015]

Global trends in health research and development expenditures – the challenge of making reliable estimates for international comparison
Alison J Young, Robert F Terry, John-Arne Røttingen and Roderik F Viergever
Health Research Policy and Systems 2015, 13:7 doi:10.1186/1478-4505-13-7
Published: 24 January 2015
Abstract (provisional)
Better estimates of changes in the level and structure of national, regional, and global expenditures on health research and development (R&D) are needed as an important source of information for advancing countries’ health research policies. However, such estimates are difficult to compile and comparison between countries needs careful calibration. We outline the steps that need to be taken to make reliable estimates of trends in countries’ expenditures on health R&D, describe that an ideal approach would involve the use of international sets of deflators and exchange rates that are specific to health R&D activities, and explain which methods should be used given the current absence of such health R&D-specific deflators and exchange rates. Finally, we describe what should be the way forward in improving our ability to make reliable estimates of trends in countries’ health R&D expenditures.

Humanitarian Exchange Magazine – January 2015

Humanitarian Exchange Magazine
ISSUE 63 January 2015
The Typhoon Haiyan response
This edition of Humanitarian Exchange focuses on lessons from the humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan, the worst disaster ever to hit the Philippines. Making landfall on 8 November 2013, the typhoon killed more than 6,000 people and affected more than 14 million. It also triggered a swift, large-scale national and international (Level 3) response.

In the lead article, David Carden and Ashley Jonathan Clements highlight the important coordination role of the Philippines government in the response.

Katie Peters and Mirianna Budimir analyse why such heavy losses were sustained despite significant government investment in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
Gemma Ocon and Olaf Neussner assess the early warning efforts prior to the typhoon.

Julie Hall analyses the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s long experience of responding to disasters in the Philippines, emphasising that government structures need to be able to handle multiple waves of health needs for months or even years after an event.

Articles by Barb Wigley and Alex Jacobs reflect on the attitudes and tools needed to build a culture of accountability to affected populations.

Caroline Austin and Nicki Bailey discuss lessons learned from a review of support to enhance two-way communications with communities.

Articles by John Tipper, Anne Street and Michiel Hofman and Sandrine Tiller focus on the need to improve the quality of partnerships and engagement with local actors by clusters and individual agencies.

Alesh Brown reflects on the collective cash response in the Philippines, one of the largest humanitarian cash-based interventions ever mounted

Serena Brown points out the extensive and growing role of the private sector in the Haiyan response.

The issue ends with articles by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Philippines and Victoria Maynard and Phil Barritt discussing key aspects of the shelter response.

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health – February 2015

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Volume 17, Issue 1, February 2015

Frequency of Infectious Diseases in Immigrants in a Western European Country: A Population-Based Study
Rosa Maria Limina, Guglielmino Baitelli, Claudio Marcantoni, Loredana Covolo, Andrea Festa, Fabrizio Speziani, Francesco Vassallo, Carmelo Scarcella, Francesco Donato
The aim of this population-based study was to assess the incidence rates of infectious diseases in native- (Italian) and foreign-born (immigrants) populations in a North Italy area, in 2006–2010. Crude, age-specific incidence rates (IRs) and age-standardised rate ratios (SRRs) between foreign- and native-born subjects and their 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI) were estimated. A total of 32,554 cases of infectious diseases were found (9.9 % in foreign-born subjects). The highest SRRs between foreign- and nativeborn subjects were found for tuberculosis (SRR = 27.1; 95 % CI 21.3–34.3), malaria (SRR = 21.1; 14.6–30.4), scabies (SRR = 8.5; 7.6–9.4), AIDS (SRR = 2.5; 1.8–3.4) and viral hepatitis B (SRR = 3.3; 2.1–5.2). The highest IR was found for AIDS in people from the Americas (IR = 4.57; 95 % CI 2.2–8.4), for malaria and tuberculosis in people from Africa (IR = 13.89; 11.6–16.5 and IR = 11.87; 9.8–14.3 respectively). Therefore immigrants are at a higher risk of acquiring some common infectious diseases compared to the native population in Western European countries.

Among Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) Vaccinated Persons
Joan M. Mangan, Sebastian Galindo-Gonzalez, Tracy A. Irani
Misperceptions surrounding the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine can lead some vaccinated individuals to resist being tested and treated for tuberculosis (TB). Educational messages to best explain the risk of TB to BCG-vaccinated, Hispanic persons were systematically developed and tested. First, TB program staff provided messages they considered effective. These were analyzed and validated by TB experts, and then presented in group interviews initially to foreign-born Hispanic persons with a TB diagnosis, and then persons without a prior TB diagnosis. Based on interviewees’ feedback, preferred statements were used to develop one long and three short comprehensive messages. One-on-one interviews were conducted with Hispanic persons to assess the saliency of the comprehensive educational messages. Participants preferred messages that were gain or positively-framed and explained that BCG does not confer lifelong protection against TB. Participants confirmed the messages would likely have a positive impact on patient decisions to undergo TB testing and treatment.

Understanding HPV Vaccination Among Latino Adolescent Girls in Three U.S. Regions
Beth A. Glenn, Jennifer Tsui, Gloria D. Coronado, Maria E. Fernandez, Lara S. Savas, Victoria M. Taylor, Roshan Bastani
A multi-site study was conducted to assess HPV vaccine initiation and correlates of initiation among Latina adolescents. The study was a collaboration of the CDC/NCI-funded Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network. Data were collected in 2009 from caregivers of Latina adolescents recruited from Los Angeles Country (n = 274), Washington State (Yakima Valley region; n = 90), and Texas (Houston, n = 38; Lower Rio Grande Valley, n = 42). A set of 24 survey items assessed use of the HPV vaccine and awareness, attitudes and barriers to vaccination. Moderate levels of vaccine awareness among caregivers and low uptake of the vaccine (26–37 %) among girls were observed. Attitudinal barriers such as concerns about negative effects of the vaccine on daughter’s sexual behavior, fertility, and future health were infrequently endorsed. Efforts to understand regional similarities and differences may help inform interventions

The Lancet – Jan 24, 2015

The Lancet
Jan 24, 2015 Volume 385 Number 9965 p303-392

What are affordable vaccines?
The Lancet
Affordability of vaccines prevents many people from accessing the benefits of immunisation, says a new report from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) released on Jan 20. Although the world’s poorest countries are supported by GAVI, the report describes how a large group of middle-income countries, aid agencies, and GAVI-graduating countries are struggling to afford key vaccinations. For example, in 2014, 78% of low-income countries, but only 56% of middle-income countries, have introduced or intend to introduce pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.

Indicators linking health and sustainability in the post-2015 development agenda
Dr Carlos Dora, PhD, Prof Andy Haines, F Med Sci, John Balbus, MD, Elaine Fletcher, BA, Heather Adair-Rohani, MPH, Graham Alabaster, PhD, Rifat Hossain, MA, Mercedes de Onis, MD, Francesco Branca, PhD, Maria Neira, MD
The UN-led discussion about the post-2015 sustainable development agenda provides an opportunity to develop indicators and targets that show the importance of health as a precondition for and an outcome of policies to promote sustainable development. Health as a precondition for development has received considerable attention in terms of achievement of health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), addressing growing challenges of non-communicable diseases, and ensuring universal health coverage. Much less attention has been devoted to health as an outcome of sustainable development and to indicators that show both changes in exposure to health-related risks and progress towards environmental sustainability.

We present a rationale and methods for the selection of health-related indicators to measure progress of post-2015 development goals in non-health sectors. The proposed indicators show the ancillary benefits to health and health equity (co-benefits) of sustainable development policies, particularly those to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to environmental change. We use illustrative examples from four thematic areas: cities, food and agriculture, energy, and water and sanitation. Embedding of a range of health-related indicators in the post-2015 goals can help to raise awareness of the probable health gains from sustainable development policies, thus making them more attractive to decision makers and more likely to be implemented than before.

What’s the Big Deal? Responder Experiences of Large Animal Rescue in Australia

PLOS Currents: Disasters
[Accessed 24 January 2015]

What’s the Big Deal? Responder Experiences of Large Animal Rescue in Australia
January 22, 2015 • Research article
Background: The management of large animals during disasters and emergencies creates difficult operational environments for responders. The aims of this study were to identify the exact challenges faced by Australian emergency response personnel in their interactions with large animals and their owners, and to determine the readiness for large animal rescue (LAR) in Australia.
Methods: A survey tool collected the views and experiences of a broad cross section of emergency services personnel operating across Australia and across all hazards. Data were collected from 156 responders including Australian emergency services personnel, emergency managers such as federal agricultural departments, and local government.
Results: Overall, many of the respondents had serious concerns, and felt that there were significant issues in relation to LAR in Australia. These included the coordination of emergency care for animals, physical management of large animals, inter-agency coordination, and dealing with animal owners. Very few respondents had received any formal training in LAR, with an overwhelming majority indicating they would attend formal training if it were made available.
Discussion: Results help to guide the development of evidence-informed support tools to assist operational response and community engagement, and the production of professional development resources.