Health, Safety and Dignity of Sanitation Workers: An Initial Assessment – ILO+

Health – Sanitation

Health, Safety and Dignity of Sanitation Workers: An Initial Assessment
World Bank Group, World Health Organization, International Labour Organization, Water Aid
November 2019 :: 61 pages
PDF: https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/health-safety-dignity-of-sanitation-workers.pdf?ua=1
Overview
Sanitation workers provide an invaluable service that many of us notice only when confronted with locked, blocked, or filthy toilets; overflowing septic tanks; or beaches contaminated with sewage. These workers are vital to the proper functioning of the sanitation systems that underpin daily life, and many more ae needed to achieve the ambitious agenda of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.

Yet sanitation workers are often invisible and too often subject to conditions that expose them to the worst consequences of poor sanitation: debilitating infections, injuries, social stigma, and even death in their daily work. Workers’ rights need to be recognized; workers need freedom and support to organize as a labor force; and their working conditions need to be improved and progressively formalized to safeguard health and labor rights to ensure decent working conditions, as called for by SDG 8.

The World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO), International Labour Organization (ILO), and WaterAid have joined forces in the year of “no one left behind” to shed light on this neglected issue. This report, the most extensive global exploration of the topic to date, analyzes the problems, explores good practices, and sets out actions to improve the health, safety and dignity of sanitation workers..

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14 November 2019 News release
New report exposes horror of working conditions for millions of sanitation workers in the developing world
Millions of sanitation workers in the developing world are forced to work in conditions that endanger their health and lives, and violate their dignity and human rights, according to a report released today.
Sanitation workers provide an essential public service that is key to safeguarding human health. They are often the most marginalized, poor and discriminated against members of society, carrying out their jobs with no equipment, protection or legal rights.

“A fundamental principle of health is “first do no harm”. Sanitation workers make a key contribution to public health around the world – but in so doing, put their own health at risk. This is unacceptable,” said Dr Maria Neira, Director, Department of Public Health and Environment, WHO. “We must improve working conditions for these people and strengthen the sanitation workforce, so we can meet global water and sanitation targets.”

The report on the plight of sanitation workers in the developing world is jointly authored by the International Labour Organization, WaterAid, World Bank and World Health Organization to raise awareness of the de-humanizing working conditions and to push for change. It is the most extensive global study to date on the issue, and part of a growing body of work on sanitation workers…

WHO launches first-ever insulin prequalification programme to expand access to life-saving treatment for diabetes

Access To Medicines

WHO launches first-ever insulin prequalification programme to expand access to life-saving treatment for diabetes
13 November 2019 News release
The World Health Organization (WHO) today announced the start of a pilot programme to prequalify human insulin to increase treatment for diabetes in low- and middle-income countries.

The decision, announced ahead of World Diabetes Day (14 November), is part of a series of steps WHO will take to address the growing diabetes burden in all regions. About 65 million people with type 2 diabetes need insulin, but only half of them are able to access it, largely due to high prices. All people with type 1 diabetes need insulin to survive.

“Diabetes is on the rise globally, and rising faster in low-income countries,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Too many people who need insulin encounter financial hardship in accessing it, or go without it and risk their lives. WHO’s prequalification initiative for insulin is a vital step towards ensuring everyone who needs this life-saving product can access it.”

Insulin prequalification can lead to lower prices
WHO prequalification of insulin is expected to boost access by increasing the flow of quality-assured products on the international market, providing countries with greater choice and patients with lower prices.

Insulin was discovered as a treatment for diabetes almost 100 years ago and has been on WHO’s List of Essential Medicines since it was published in 1977.

Despite an ample supply, insulin prices are currently a barrier to treatment in most low- and middle-income countries. Three manufacturers control most of the global market for insulin, setting prices that are prohibitive for many people and countries.

Access to insulin a challenge in many countries
Data collected by WHO in 2016-2019 from 24 countries on four continents showed that human insulin was available only in 61% of health facilities and analogue insulins in 13%. The data showed that a month’s supply of insulin would cost a worker in Accra, Ghana, the equivalent of 5.5 days of pay per month, or 22% of his/her earnings.

In wealthy countries, people often have to ration insulin, which can be deadly for people who do not get the right quantity of the medicine.

“Prequalifying products from additional companies will hopefully help to level the playing field and ensure a steadier supply of quality insulin in all countries,” says Dr Mariângela Simão, Assistant Director General for Medicines and Health products.

More than 420 million people live with diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death and a major cause of costly and debilitating complications such as heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and lower limb amputations.

People with type 1 diabetes need insulin for survival and to maintain their blood glucose at levels to reduce the risk of common complications such as blindness and kidney failure. People with type 2 diabetes need insulin for controlling blood glucose levels to avoid complications when oral medicines become less effective as the illness progresses.

Insulin prequalification is one of a number of steps WHO will take in the coming year to address the diabetes burden. Plans are underway to update diabetes treatment guidelines, devise price reduction strategies for analogues and improve delivery systems and access to diagnostics. WHO also works with countries to promote healthier diets and physical activity to lower people’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Note to editors
The WHO Prequalification of Medicines Programme contributes to accelerating and increasing access to critical medical products that are quality-assured, affordable and adapted for markets in low- and middle-income countries.

The programme does this by evaluating medical products developed by manufacturers to ensure their quality, safety and efficacy, in turn expanding the pool of available quality medicines.
Evaluating and prequalifying health products then guides international procurement agencies, such as the Global Fund, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and UNICEF, and increasingly countries to make bulk purchases of medicines vaccines, diagnostics and other critical products at lower prices.

Emergencies

Emergencies

Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 67: 12 November 2019
1. Situation update
Over the last three months, there has been a steady decrease in confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the peak of the epidemic in the last week of April 2019, 120 cases were reported. In the week of 4 to 10 November 2019 only 12 cases were reported. Teams are building on this progress by enhancing efforts to thoroughly investigate all new cases and improving contact tracing in order to break the remaining transmission chains…

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POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 13 November 2019
:: Besides Acute Flaccid Paralysis surveillance and Environmental surveillance, how else do disease surveillance officers track the poliovirus in populated cities, hard-to-reach geographical areas and in conflict zones? Find out here.
:: With the current VDPV outbreaks in the Philippines, the Government with the support of GPEI and other partners is working hard to tackle the virus. The Government has pledged US$ 9 million in domestic resources and has to date disbursed US$ 6.7 million, complemented by contributions from the GPEI. Read the country’s latest situation report [below]

Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Pakistan— two WPV1 cases, three WPV1-positive environmental samples, seven cVDPV2 cases and nine cVDPV2 positive environmental samples;
:: Nigeria – one cVDPV2 case;
:: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo)- eight cVDPV2 cases;
:: Angola— three cVDPV2 cases;
:: Chad— two cVDPV2 community contacts;
:: Côte d’Ivoire- one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample.

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Weekly Epidemiological Record, 15 November 2019, vol. 94, 46 (pp. 525–540)
:: Progress towards poliomyelitis eradication – Pakistan, January 2018–September 2019
:: Update on vaccine-derived polioviruses – worldwide, January 2018–June 2019

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Philippines
Situation Report 9 – Polio Outbreak
WHO-UNICEF 9 November 2019
Highlights
– 4th confirmed poliovirus type 2 case is a three-year old female from Maguindanao. Virus was found to be genetically linked to other 2 cases from Mindanao. Outbreak immunization for 18,268 children 0-59 months in the area was conducted on 4-8 November: 16,295 children (89.2%) vaccinated thus far.
– Synchronized polio vaccination campaigns on 14-27 October covered 1,628,717 children under 5: 95.5% of the target. Preparations ongoing for the next round on 25 November-7 December in National Capital Region (NCR) and all provinces of Mindanao targeting 4,388,281 children 0-59 months.
– Current polio outbreak resulting from persistently low routine immunization coverage, and poor sanitation and hygiene.
– Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) is considered a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

… Risk assessment
The risk for further polio transmission in the country continues to be assessed as high at the national level, because of chronically suboptimal immunisation coverage, sub-optimal performance of AFP sur-veillance, and poor sanitation and hygiene conditions.
The regional risk of potential spread across international borders is assessed as moderate considering the large number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). Although many OFW work globally, the risk of in-ternational spread is still considered low, but not negligible, further influenced by dynamic migratory patterns (particularly the USA).

… Immunization response
The first of three rounds of scheduled mass vaccination campaigns has been successfully implemented in polio affected areas. Between 14 and 27 October 2019, a total of 1,628,717 children under 5 were vac-cinated out of a targeted 1,703,639 in NCR, Davao del Sur, Davao City and Lanao del Sur. Both NCR and Davao City have reported reaching the target of 95% children vaccinated…

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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 16 Nov 2019]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 67: 12 November 2019

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
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 16 Nov 2019]

Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
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
Iraq – 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
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – 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 16 Nov 2019]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – No new digest announcements identified
Kenya – 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

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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
:: Humanitarian Update Syrian Arab Republic – Issue 06 |14 November 2019
Response Efforts Increase in North-east Syria
The UN and its partners are working to address the needs of hundreds of thousands of people recently impacted by last month’s military escalation in north-east Syria.
Since Turkey’s military offensive began on 9 October, more than 190,000 women, children and men have been displaced. As of 12 November, more than 74,000 people remain displaced, including from Al-Hasakeh (48,134), Ar-Raqqa (19,471) and Aleppo (6,776) governorates. More than 14,000 people have reportedly fled to Iraq.
The fighting has seen civilian casualties in both Syria and Turkey, damage to and closure of critical infrastructure, including health and water treatment facilities, as well as significant forced displacement. At least 92 civilians have been killed in north-west and north-east Syria during these latest hostilities, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Of particular concern are threats to civilians and critical infrastructure, forced displacement of civilians within or outside Syria, the potential negative impact on essential services and livelihoods, as well as the obstruction of access for humanitarian assistance and protection services…

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
:: 13 Nov 2019 Southern Africa: 12 million people are food insecure
:: 12 November 2019 Southern Africa Humanitarian Snapshot (November 2019)

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified

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The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 9 November 2019

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

PDF: The Sentinel_ period ending 9 Nov 2019

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals  [see PDF]

“Nature” at 150: evidence in pursuit of truth

Featured Journal Content

Nature
Volume 575 Issue 7781, 7 November 2019
http://www.nature.com/nature/current_issue.html

Editorial | 06 November 2019
Nature at 150: evidence in pursuit of truth
A century and a half has seen momentous changes in science. But evidence and transparency are more important than ever before.
In this, Nature’s 150th anniversary issue, we’re celebrating and remembering many of the notable discoveries that authors have communicated in the journal’s pages, along with the agenda-setting journalism and commentary that has always been an essential part of our voice…

…As the boundaries between disciplines blur and research becomes increasingly multi- and transdisciplinary, Nature is moving beyond a traditional focus on the natural sciences to embrace social sciences, translational and clinical research and applied science and engineering. Looking to the future, we hope to contribute to greater transparency and openness in academia. We will probably see even more collaborative ways of doing research and more changes in the way it is published.

… In other respects, Nature now is just the same as it was at the start. We will continue in our mission to stand up for research, serve the global research community and communicate the results of science around the world. We will strive to hold to account those in positions of responsibility in research, policy and industry, and to continue to advocate for fewer unintended harmful consequences of research for people and the planet.

Research, science, knowledge, scholarship — however we might choose to characterize the marshalling of evidence in the pursuit of truth — the values we hold are more important than ever before.

Accountability for Perpetrators: UN Officials Welcome ICC Sentence Against Bosco Ntaganda for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Governance/Justice

Accountability for Perpetrators: UN Officials Welcome ICC Sentence Against Bosco Ntaganda for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
Thursday, 7 November 2019
New York – Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, and Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect, Karen Smith, welcomed the sentencing of Bosco Ntaganda to 30 years in prison by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The officials reiterated their call to pursue justice and accountability for all perpetrators of such horrendous crimes.

The sentence of 30 years of imprisonment is the longest ruled by the ICC since its establishment in 2002. Ntaganda’s crimes include, among others, murder and attempted murder, rape, sexual slavery, persecution, intentionally directing attacks against civilians, and the conscription and use of children under the age of 15 into an armed group and using them to participate actively in hostilities.

“The sentence handed down today by the ICC sends a strong message to both perpetrators and victims that no one is above the law and that accountability for atrocity crimes must be pursue at all times,” the three UN Officials stated. They commended the survivors for their courage and expressed their deep support and solidarity with the victims and their families.

“No sentence can compensate the suffering of the victims; yet, this verdict has the power to bring some peace and a sense of justice to victims and survivors of grave violations and human rights abuses in the DRC and around the world,” said the three UN Officials. They also stressed that there are other alleged perpetrators in ICC custody facing similar charges…

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Universal Ratification of Rome Statute Crucial to Reduce Impunity for Atrocity Crimes, International Criminal Court President Tells General Assembly
4 November 2019
GA/12210
The International Criminal Court exerts the needed pressure against those who “think little of plunging their own people and others into egotistical armed conflicts,” the Court’s President told the General Assembly today as he urged Member States to ratify the Rome Statute to reduce the space for impunity.

UNHCR welcomes commitment by Central American states and Mexico to address forced displacement

Forced Displacement – Central America

UNHCR welcomes commitment by Central American states and Mexico to address forced displacement
09 November 2019
MEXICO CITY – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes the commitment by six Central American countries and Mexico to strengthen their efforts to address and prevent forced displacement in their region, in line with the spirit of solidarity and shared responsibility set out in the Global Compact on Refugees.

Violence and persecution in the region continue to drive growing numbers of people across borders in search of safety. Over 53,000 new asylum applications were submitted worldwide by citizens of countries in northern Central America during 2019, an 86% increase on the same period in 2018. By mid-2019, the number of refugees and asylum seekers from northern Central America had risen to nearly 387,000. In addition, 97,000 Nicaraguans have been uprooted by persecution, the vast majority, almost 80 per cent, currently hosted by Costa Rica.

The declaration was adopted in Mexico City during the second annual meeting of the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (known as MIRPS after its acronym in Spanish), which is a regional version of the Global Refugee Compact. The MIRPS brings together Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama to work together as countries of origin, transit and asylum to address pressing issues…

Speech: President and CEO of the IRC David Miliband for the Stockholm Human Rights Award

Human Rights

Speech: President and CEO of the IRC David Miliband for the Stockholm Human Rights Award
STOCKHOLM, 4 NOVEMBER 2019
I am delighted to accept this award, with humility and gratitude, on behalf of 13,000 IRC staff and 15,000 volunteers working in more than 40 countries and 190 field sites around the world. The nutrition worker in Juba, South Sudan; the child protection worker in Raqqa, Syria; the gender-based violence responder in Helmand, Afghanistan; the refugee resettlement specialist in Dallas, Texas. It is their work providing life-saving and life-changing aid – upholding the most basic of human rights – to people whose lives have been shattered by conflict and disaster who have earned this award and in whose name I speak tonight. We are truly honored by the decision of the Swedish Bar Association, the International Bar Association and the International Legal Assistance Consortium to award the Stockholm Human Rights Award to the International Rescue Committee.

These staff are the modern face of an organization born in the mind of a great European, Albert Einstein, in the 1930s. They are the diverse face of an organization founded to rescue Jews from Europe now working in half of our field sites in Muslim majority countries. They are the professional face of an organization that hires locally to make a sustainable difference. They are the human face of an organization that brings out the best of humanity, and depends on the best of humanity, from taxpayers who fund us through their governments, philanthropists who fund us through their foundations, businesses who fund us through their charitable efforts, and private citizens who fund us through their donation.

We are proud of our long term relationship with the Swedish government through our partnership with SIDA, which is bringing help to people facing emergency around the world. We have shown, together, how commitments to impact, to innovation, to gender equality, can be put into practice. This award, alongside our new office in Stockholm, led by our new Executive Director, the brilliant Swedish change-maker Therese Engstrom, launches our engagement with civil society. Therese is here tonight and looks forward to working with you in the future.

There is something especially appropriate about the recognition by the legal community of the need to uphold the rights of civilians caught up in war, the internally displaced forced from their homes and refugees forced from their country – the people served by the International Rescue Committee.

The great ambition of the post-World War II pioneers was to use international law as a lever to improve the lives of the most vulnerable – and who could be more vulnerable than civilians facing the might of state power or refugees without a state of their own at all. This legal regime – international humanitarian law, the international conventions on human rights and on refugees, the conventions on the rights of the child – is, however, in retreat in the places where we work.

My message tonight is that we need your help to defend and uphold the regime of human rights that defined the ambitions of the second half of the 20th century. Today we face a triple emergency around the world, and that makes tonight’s award all the more poignant and important. It is not just an honor. It needs to serve as a rallying call.

The first emergency is the sheer scale of the displacement and humanitarian crisis. The figures are striking. 70.8 million people displaced by conflict, persecution, or disaster – more than at any point since World War II. 29 million of them are refugees or asylum seekers, crossing from their own country to another state.

Nearly 90 per cent of those people are now in poor or lower middle-income countries like Jordan, Bangladesh, Kenya or Pakistan – not in high-income countries like the US, UK, or Sweden. Most of these individuals live in cities, not refugee camps, and most will be displaced for more than a decade.
This is more than a human tragedy. It does not just reflect a crisis of diplomacy. It is a source of instability.

The second emergency is blame game politics. Isolationist, beggar-my-neighbor, it plays the oldest card of all: blame the victim and blame the foreigner. It has neither the heart to show empathy to human beings in desperate need nor the head to consider the long-term ramifications of turning away and letting the problems fester. In the US this has led the Trump Administration to slash the successful, bipartisan, refugee resettlement program. That harms America, and starts a race to the bottom.

This fuels what I call the “Age of Impunity” – the sense that anything goes. This is the chilling new normal in war zones around the world where civilians are seen as fair game for armed combatants, humanitarians are viewed as an impediment to military tactics and therefore unfortunate but expendable collateral, and investigations of and accountability for war crimes are considered optional extra for state as well as non-state actors.

Over the past decade we’ve seen a six-fold increase in annual civilian battle deaths, growing numbers of children at risk, a doubling in the number of aid workers killed each year, a 150% increase in the number of landmine-related casualties, and a significant rise in the cases of “ethnic cleansing”.
As our staff work in North East Syria, in Myanmar, in Yemen, this is their daily concern.

The third emergency is the failure of the development and humanitarian sectors to rise to the challenge that is being presented. Systems are still based on what happens in refugee camps, when most refugees are not in camps. Education is an add-on, when half of those in humanitarian need are children. Grants are still short term when the problems are long term. Funding neglects gender when it is inequalities of power which puts women and girls most at risk. Adherence to legal rights is honored in the breach not the observance.

This award is important in highlighting these challenges. I believe it also reflects IRC’s work to tackle them. Our work to grow to meet the scale of the crisis. To bear witness what we see through powerful advocacy. And to innovate so that we are modern day problem solvers, tackling the resignation that fuels populism, with ideas that can inspire major change…

…The instincts that drove Einstein to establish the IRC in the 1930s – the value of transatlantic cooperation, the need to use both the head and the heart to save lives, and the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship to tackle seemingly insurmountable global challenges – are still at the core of everything we do, from South Sudan to Syria, and now, I’m proud to say, to Sweden.
…Because every member of our staff, from the doctor fighting Ebola in the DRC to the case worker greeting a newly resettled family at the airport in Los Angeles, is stronger when people like you are standing behind them.

We need the principled voice of the Swedish government to continue standing up against the age of impunity.

We need the innovative spirit of Swedish businesses to help us transform the humanitarian sector into an effective, modern system that works for the problems of 2019, not the problems of 1945.

And we need the engaged, internationalist attention of the Swedish people to help show the world that indifference, cynicism, and pessimism in the face of such a massive global challenge is neither smart nor worthy.

The world is more interdependent than ever. And we have more resources than ever before to tackle the problems we face. We believe we are in the solutions business. So thank you for recognizing our work. And join us going forward.

Getty and Myanmar to Partner on Conservation Plan for Bagan, Myanmar

Heritage Stewardship

Getty and Myanmar to Partner on Conservation Plan for Bagan
Getty will work with Myanmar’s Department of Archaeology and National Museum on a comprehensive and long-term conservation plan for thousands of ancient buildings, art, and objects

BAGAN, MYANMAR/LOS ANGELES – The Getty Conservation Institute of Los Angeles will begin a long-term commitment in Bagan to conserve and protect ancient cultural heritage supporting Myanmar’s Department of Archeology and National Museum, Getty and Bagan officials announced today.

Getty will partner with local officials to address a variety of complex conservation issues across the vast Bagan Archeological Zone to preserve the site for future generations. Work will include research into the repair of buildings damaged by earthquakes and assistance to prevent damage from future seismic events, identifying methods to conserve the treasured decorative elements of the site, developing strategies to manage an anticipated influx of tourism, and training local professionals to continue conservation efforts.

A large-scale conservation project has become critically important since Bagan was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in July 2019. While the World Heritage designation will bring welcome attention to the region, increased numbers of visitors will compound the conservation challenges.

“Bagan is a treasure. This vast cultural landscape is significant not only to the people of Bagan, but to people around the world as evidenced by its recent inscription on the World Heritage List,” says Tim Whalen, John E. and Louise Bryson Director of the Getty Conservation Institute. “We look forward to this long-term partnership with our colleagues here at Bagan to conserve this magical place and together to build the professional capacity necessary to preserve its significance well into the future.”

…Getty envisions that other regions of Southeast Asia will be able to learn from the conservation experience in Bagan. The project is part of Getty’s Ancient Worlds Now: A Future for the Past, a new global initiative to promote a greater understanding of the need to protect and save the world’s cultural heritage for future generations…

Disaster Giving Report Shows Foundations and Public Charities Funded Nearly $504 Million in 2017

Disaster Giving Report Shows Foundations and Public Charities Funded Nearly $504 Million in 2017
New York, NY—November 7, 2019. Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) announce the sixth edition of their annual research report, Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2019: Data to Drive Decisions. The report draws from 12 data sources and documents $45 billion in private, public, corporate, and individual disaster-related giving to address major global disasters and humanitarian crises in 2017. In the United States, 2017 was the costliest year of natural disasters on record, with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and wildfires in California. Global disasters included two large earthquakes in Mexico, famines in Africa, and civil unrest in Syria and Yemen.

Key findings for 2017 funding reveal:
:: $504 million in funding by foundations and public charities for disasters and humanitarian crises.
:: Natural disasters accounted for 65 percent of disaster funding.
:: Among disaster assistance strategies, 64 percent of dollars were for response and relief; 17 percent went toward reconstruction and recovery; and only 2 percent each went to resilience and preparedness efforts.
:: Disaster-related funding doubled from 2016, based on a year-over-year analysis of grantmaking by 1,000 of the largest U.S. foundations.
:: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) distributed $15.6 billion for U.S. disasters in 2017, an $11.9 billion increase from 2016.
:: Based on available data, corporate giving programs committed at least $275.4 million to disasters and humanitarian crises in both cash and in-kind donations…

Emergencies

Emergencies

Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 66: 05 November 2019
1. Situation update
In the past week, from 28 October to 3 November 2019, 10 new confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases were reported from five health zones in two affected provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Though the number of new confirmed EVD cases reported is lower this week, compared to the 20 cases reported last week, security issues and poor access continue to slow response activities in certain health zones. This can prevent the detection of cases in these hard to reach areas.
Violence this week in Lwemba Health Area in the Mandima Health Zone, caused the death of an Ebola response community health worker, and left his spouse critically injured with multiple wounds. WHO and partners condemned the attack, adding that acts of violence against individuals involved with the response are unacceptable and compromise the ability of health workers to provide assistance to communities impacted by the devastating effects of Ebola…

Implementation of ring vaccination protocol
As of 3 November 2019, 246,824 people at risk have consented to and received the rVSV-ZEBOV-GP Ebola Vaccine with 2,865 vaccinated in the past week

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POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 06 November 2019
:: The GPEI is pleased to announce that the UK Government has confirmed its commitment to eradicating polio by pledging a £400 million contribution for the next four years, which will help vaccinate more than 400 million children a year. Read more on the remarkable announcement.
:: In Pakistan, a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 has been confirmed.  A detailed investigation into the origin of the outbreak is ongoing, with circulation confirmed in a geographically-limited area, and outbreak response is being planned and implemented.
:: Are you an immunization expert interested in serving on the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on polio? The call for nominations for membership on the working group has now been issued, targeting individuals to submit their nominations.
: Want to know the future of polio eradication efforts in Africa? Then stay tuned for a Facebook live interview with Dr Pascal Mkanda, chief polio expert in the WHO African Region, on 08 November 2019 at 10:00am, West Africa Time.

Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Afghanistan— one WPV1 case and one WPV1 positive environmental sample;
:: Pakistan— three WPV1 cases and 19 WPV1-positive environmental samples;
:: Angola— 7 cVDPV2 cases and one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample;
:: Central African Republic— one cVDPV2 case and one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample;
:: Cote d’Ivoire one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample;
:: Ghana two cVDPV2 cases;
:: Philippines— one cVDPV2 case and four cVDPV2 positive environmental samples.

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UK aid to help vaccinate more than 400 million children a year against polio
Press release Published 5 November 2019
International Development Secretary Alok Sharma has pledged new UK aid support to help vaccinate more than 400 million children a year against polio.
:: UK support will help vaccinate more than 750 children a minute against polio in developing countries around the world
:: The UK package of up to £400 million will help support 20 million health workers and volunteers
:: Polio was wiped out in UK in the 1980s, but three countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria – are still not officially wild polio free

::::::

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 9 Nov 2019]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 66: 05 November 2019

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
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

::::::

WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 9 Nov 2019]

Sudan
:: Yellow fever campaign launches in Khartoum State as final phase of countrywide immunization drive 7 November 2019
:: WHO scales up cholera vigilance in Khartoum, Sudan 5 November 2019

Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
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
Iraq – 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
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

 

::::::

WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 9 Nov 2019]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – No new digest announcements identified
Kenya – 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

::::::
::::::

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 #11, Humanitarian impact of the military operation in north-eastern Syria, 29 – 31 October 2019 [EN/AR]

Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

::::::

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
:: 08 Nov 2019 South Sudan: CERF allocates up to $15 million for flooding response

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified

::::::
::::::

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 2 November 2019

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

PDF: The Sentinel_ period ending 2 Nov 2019

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals  [see PDF]

Joint EU-IOM-UNHCR Communique: International Solidarity Conference on the Venezuelan Refugee and Migrant Crisis

Venezuela

Joint EU-IOM-UNHCR Communique: International Solidarity Conference on the Venezuelan Refugee and Migrant Crisis
2019-10-29 17:12
Joint Communique by the co-chairs António Vitorino, Federica Mogherini, Filippo Grandi
The International Solidarity Conference on the Venezuelan Refugee and Migrant Crisis held in Brussels on 28-29 October 2019 sent a strong message of support to the Venezuelan refugees and migrants as well as to their host countries and communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Conference was co-chaired by Federica Mogherini, High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, and IOM Director General António Vitorino. The event aimed to raise global awareness about the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis and the efforts of hosting countries and communities. It also reviewed best practices and achievements of host countries, confirmed international support for a regional and coordinated response, and called for a global and inclusive partnership, where solidarity and responsibility are shouldered by the entire international community but also shared between public and private sectors.

120 delegations attended, including EU Institutions and Member States, the most affected Latin American and Caribbean countries, donor countries, UN agencies, private sector, NGOs, civil society organisations and development actors including international financial institutions.

The Conference acknowledged that the serious and deteriorating political, human rights and socio-economic crisis in Venezuela has produced one of the most severe displacement situations in the world. The outflow continues unabated, while resources and financing fall considerably short of the needs. According to official figures, some 4.5 million Venezuelans have left their country and most of them are in Latin American or Caribbean countries. This figure could reach 6.5 million people by end of 2020 worldwide.

The Conference commended the remarkable solidarity of countries in the region and acknowledged the substantial challenges they face. Participants reaffirmed their strong commitment to continue protecting and assisting Venezuelan refugees and migrants and to support the efforts of the governments of the receiving countries, notably in ensuring a sustainable integration in host communities.

The Conference also expressed appreciation for the coordinated response of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Quito Process constitutes a significant step forward in harmonizing policies and practices, thereby scaling up the humanitarian response and integrating refugees and migrants across the region.

While recognizing the sovereign right of States to manage their borders, the co-chairs stressed the importance of preserving access to asylum, strengthening the mechanisms that allow the identification of people in need of international protection, maintaining flexible entry policies, continuing regularizing and providing documents to Venezuelan refugees and migrants, as well as facilitating family reunification. Any acts of hatred, intolerance and xenophobia – even if isolated and unrepresentative – need to be forcefully rejected…

US $14 billion needed to achieve universal literacy in countries with lowest literacy rates and E-9 countries

Education – Literacy

US $14 billion needed to achieve universal literacy in countries with lowest literacy rates and E-9 countries
9 September 2019
Paris, France: A new UNESCO cost analysis shows that US $14 billion(1) will be needed if the 20 countries with the lowest literacy rates(2) and the E-9 countries(3) are to achieve functional literacy and numeracy skills by 2030. The analysis highlights a funding gap of US $10 billion in the 20 countries with adult literacy rates below 50 per cent and US $4 billion among the E-9 countries, where the majority of the youth and adults with low literacy levels live.

David Atchoarena, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, says: ‘Of the approximately 750 million illiterate adults worldwide, 565 million live in 29 countries. Even if an increase in domestic resources with 5 per cent of the GDP being allocated to education and 3 per cent of the education budget invested in literacy is taken into account, these countries will only achieve universal literacy by 2030 with the support of the international community. This analysis shows how far we still have to go in meeting this target, in line with commitments made by world leaders as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. I call on donors worldwide to contribute to closing the current funding gap of US $14 billion.’

…The study is authored by UIL, the UNESCO Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, in collaboration with the Global Education Monitoring Report team.

The study shows that the majority of youth and adults with poor literacy live in the Asia-Pacific region, with approximately 80 per cent of all illiterate youth and adults living in the E-9 countries. However, most non-E-9 countries such as Afghanistan, Haiti, South Sudan and others require significant external funding support since they will not be able to cover the costs from national budgets.

The authors of the study also underline that while basic data on literacy related costs exists there is a strong need for further data collection and research in order to enable well-informed decision-making in regards to the expansion of literacy programmes…

Technical notes
:: The calculated costs above comprise the annual salary for instructors and are based on the estimation of 500 contact hours per learner, as estimated by the expert panel of the study.
:: The 20 countries with literacy rates below 50 per cent are Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan.
:: The E-9 countries are Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

Download: 2019 UNESCO literacy cost analysis

 

OAS – Statement of the Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas

“Public Security” – the Americas

Statement of the Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas
OAS – Adopted at the fourth plenary session held on October 31, 2019
We, the Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas and Heads of Delegation, gathered in Quito, Ecuador, on October 30 and 31, 2019, at the Seventh Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA VII), hereby issue the following statement, pursuant to paragraph 3.a of the “Document of Port-of-Spain: Institutionalization of the MISPA Process”:

We commit to consolidation, strengthening, and international cooperation in public security, while at the same time voicing our concern at the violent events occurring in the region, which undermine democratic institutions and have resulted in the disruption of public order through pillaging, unrest, and the destruction of public and private property, without prejudice to the legitimate right to demonstrate and to peaceful protest in accordance with the law.

Consequently, we declare our opposition to said acts of violence, crime, and insecurity, including those perpetrated as an organized attack on peace, and we reiterate our support for democratic institutions, the rule of law, human rights, the right to freedom of expression, assembly, demonstration, and protest, while underscoring the importance of boosting actions to prevent, confront, investigate, and prosecute those criminal activities and conspiracies to commit crime, which threaten public security.

Likewise we reject any form of violence and call for guarantees to protect the integrity of everyone and for full observance of human rights.

We consider that dialogue is the best mechanism for settling disputes.

Comment – Achieving health equity: democracy matters

Featured Journal Content

The Lancet
Nov 02, 2019 Volume 394Number 10209p1591-1684, e34
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current

Comment
Achieving health equity: democracy matters
Johanna Hanefeld, Aaron Reeves, Chris Brown, Piroska Östlin
Progress on health equity in the European region in the past two decades has been slower than expected. Indeed, some countries have even seen health inequalities widen.1 This slow progress is, to some extent, surprising because there is almost unanimous political commitment to addressing health inequities and many countries have made great strides in implementing policies to reduce the health gap.1, 2 Europe, as a region, is on track to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) overall, but countries are not attaining SDG 10 and SDG 3 because ensuring healthy lives for all is impossible without reducing health inequities.

The report of the WHO European Health Equity Status Report Initiative (HESRI), launched on Sept 10, 2019, reviews achievements on the road to health equity to understand how to further accelerate action, and to discuss how to influence decisions related to fiscal policy and industrial strategy in order to deliver healthy, prosperous lives for all.3 The findings of the HESRI report3
show that the evidence on how to best tackle health inequity is clear and overwhelming, even more so in Europe, where we can draw on a wealth of health inequalities research.4 We know the size of the gaps in life expectancy, the social gradients in the burden of disease across the European region, and the root causes of these health inequalities, the social determinants of health.

The root causes of health inequities are driven by policies that structure access to the social determinants of health. Five conditions are necessary to reduce health inequity: good-quality and accessible health services; income security and an appropriate, fair level of social protection; decent living conditions; good social and human capital; and decent work and employment conditions.3 Of these, the two most important determinants are precarious housing and living conditions,5 and low income and weak social protection.6 When people live in unaffordable, cold, and unsafe housing on insecure contracts, their health is worse and they die prematurely.7 When people cannot make ends meet and when social protection systems are stigmatising and inadequate, their health suffers.8 Inadequate access to health services, conditions of employment, and personal and community capabilities are all important too. Health outcomes improve when people can access the care they think they need; when people work in secure employment with a living wage; and when people have someone to turn to for help and feel they have a voice in decision-making processes.9,10

The drivers of health inequity are all too prevalent across the region. This situation is not inevitable. These determinants of health inequalities are all modifiable through policies focused on the five areas identified in the report:3 health services, social protection, decent living conditions, social and human capital, and decent employment. Why, then, has progress been so slow?

Emerging evidence indicates that policies to address health inequalities do not emerge out of thin air, rather they are the result of a country’s or region’s wider political economy.11, 12
Policies are the product of people in particular socioeconomic contexts interacting with political institutions that shape the political process in a given location—be that a community, city, region, or country. Where these institutions are not accountable, transparent, participatory, or coherent, we will be far less likely to see the policy change necessary to deliver health equity. Governments and other stakeholders must actively work to alter how we incorporate the voices, lived experiences, and passions of the child, the young person, or adult who is not able to thrive and prosper because of health inequities. Democratic institutions, such as free and fair elections, are part of establishing the conditions that empower individuals and communities, ensure participation is meaningful, and establish decision-making processes that are accountable. Furthermore, accountable and transparent decision-making processes generate coherent policies by making participation inclusive. Beyond consulting people, participation can only be inclusive where economic barriers to participation are alleviated and where we alter the governance structures of policy processes to ensure the communities affected by policy decisions have a meaningful voice that influences outcomes in these processes.

There are countervailing forces, however. Vested interests, such as commercial actors or those who oppose health-enhancing policies, will seek to subvert efforts to address health equity.13m
Crucially, the influence of these groups depends on how our political systems are organised.14
Addressing health inequity requires a restructuring of our political systems so that we can deepen democracy through making our decision-making processes more inclusive.15, 16

To allow all people in Europe to prosper and flourish in health and in life, we need to recognise both the centrality of equity in health to the sustainable development of Europe and that political institutions are one of the essential conditions that make health equity possible.

Online political ads are in urgent need of regulation – Fin Times Editorial

Governance – Online Political Advertising

Online political ads are in urgent need of regulation
As elections loom, the risks from paid disinformation remain high
The Editorial Board
Financial Times, November 1, 2019

Online political advertising, with troves of personal data allowing messages to be highly targeted, has become one of the most powerful tools in the electoral arsenal. The scope for disinformation or outright lies — and the fact the advertising often falls outside the regulations applied to television, radio and newspapers — calls for urgent oversight.

Twitter’s move to ban political advertising on its platform this week is a welcome sign of a company taking a proactive approach. It is also an implicit challenge to rival Facebook.

Twitter said it would ban most political ads, excluding those aiming to increase voter registration. Twitter’s chief executive Jack Dorsey argued that political ads offer a larger megaphone to those with deeper pockets than their opponents and that they have helped spread harmful content.

By contrast, Facebook exempted political ads from its usual fact-checking procedures, sparking outrage among its critics. Allowing politicians and parties to make statements without scrutiny makes Facebook’s anti-disinformation efforts look hollow. Questioned recently by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on whether she could run false stories on the network, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said she “probably” could.

Mr Zuckerberg says people would not want tech companies to be arbiters of truth in politics. These companies have long claimed to be platforms rather than publishers under the US Communications Decency Act. But the spread of political advertising on social media requires companies fact-check political ads in collaboration with trusted, independent organisations.

The very nature of online advertising also requires further investigation. Compared to television, social media companies have far greater control over what specific audiences see. Platforms have made some efforts to allow third parties to assess who is paying to advertise on them. Yet these tools can be rudimentary. Tech companies should make sure metrics such as the audience segments that have been targeted are clear and publicly available.

Official political advertising is only part of the problem, however. Sites including Twitter are still grappling with fake accounts which can boost the reach of messages, in some cases directed from foreign states. Efforts to detect and remove these accounts should be stepped up, requiring social media companies to engage more with academics and law enforcement.

While online advertising has clear differences from its traditional counterparts, existing regulation still offers a blueprint to bring it under control. In the UK, bodies such as Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Agency have clear rules on material that can be shown on television and radio. By updating and expanding the power of national regulators — perhaps with funding provided by a social media levy — more transparency around political ads could be created. In Facebook’s case, increasing regulation could also push up the costs of running political ads without verification. Tech companies have often shown that commitments to free speech are secondary to commercial imperatives.

Governments and regulators should provide clarity on how politicians and parties can promote themselves on social media platforms. National regulators should keep the threat of imposing a full-scale ban on political advertising in their arsenal. Social media companies have often proved resistant to change. With a divisive UK general election campaign now beginning and the US presidential election a year away, the stakes are exceptionally high.

Leveraging European infrastructures to access 1 million human genomes by 2022

Featured Journal Content

Nature Reviews Genetics
Volume 20 Issue 11, November 2019
https://www.nature.com/nrg/volumes/20/issues/11

Roadmap | 27 August 2019
Leveraging European infrastructures to access 1 million human genomes by 2022
Gary Saunders, Michael Baudis[…] & Serena Scollen
Abstract
Human genomics is undergoing a step change from being a predominantly research-driven activity to one driven through health care as many countries in Europe now have nascent precision medicine programmes. To maximize the value of the genomic data generated, these data will need to be shared between institutions and across countries. In recognition of this challenge, 21 European countries recently signed a declaration to transnationally share data on at least 1 million human genomes by 2022. In this Roadmap, we identify the challenges of data sharing across borders and demonstrate that European research infrastructures are well-positioned to support the rapid implementation of widespread genomic data access.

Conclusions [Excerpt]
Our understanding of the human genome is recognized as a primary factor for improvement in health care. Initiatives on a national scale are being established to generate genomic data to realize the benefits of precision medicine. The most advanced — Genomics England in the UK — has now completed full genome sequencing for more than 100,000 participants22 and has already demonstrated benefits by providing a diagnosis for one in four participants of the rare disease component of the initiative. No other national sequencing initiative has reached this scale, with most being currently at the stage of inception.

Data sharing knowledge and technologies sit mostly within the research sector where, to date, most data have been generated. As the majority of genomics data generation shifts to the health-care sector4, a sector that is not used to handling data at this scale, the knowledge that already exists should be leveraged. Providing access to sensitive human data to authorized researchers within one country is challenging in itself; providing access to 1 million human genomes cross-border by 2022 (as proposed by the EU declaration5) will be even more so. Beyond the technical capabilities, such a project needs to ensure that patients are satisfied and understand how their data are shared, or willingness to participate will dwindle and future benefits will not be realized.

Efficient management of genomics data from human participants, ensuring that the privacy of individuals is preserved, will be vital to meet current aims. To truly federate services for controlled-access human data we will need to identify, develop and disseminate global interoperable and reusable standards, and these standards must be persistent, stable and fit for purpose. We have described in this paper the infrastructure that exists to build upon for transnational-scale genomics data access and our minimal recommendations for an EU-wide infrastructure for accessing and analysing genomics data…

Declaration of cooperation: towards access to at least 1 million sequenced genomes in the European Union by 2022. European Commission (2018).

Emergencies

Emergencies

Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

No new Situation Update posted.

::::::

Global consortium working with DRC Government to introduce second Ebola vaccine
31 Oct 2019 CEPI
A global consortium is supporting the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to introduce a second investigational Ebola vaccine as part of ongoing efforts to contain the outbreak in eastern DRC.

The large-scale clinical trial, sponsored by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), is designed to help prevent the spread of the epidemic, the second worst in history, beyond the currently affected areas in eastern DRC, and if possible gather crucial information about the effectiveness of the vaccine to be better prepared to fight Ebola in the future.

The consortium is led by the DRC Ministry of Health (MOH) and Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) and includes LSHTM, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI); Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Epicentre; with the Wellcome Trust contributing critical strategic guidance. Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V. is donating the experimental vaccine regimen for the study undertaken by the consortium.

The two-dose Ebola vaccine regimen (Ad26.ZEBOV, MVA-BN-Filo) is manufactured by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. It was developed in collaboration with global partners, including Bavarian Nordic A/S, the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) funded through the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) at HHS.

The introduction of this second vaccine was recommended by the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization in May 2019 to complement ongoing use of another investigational vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOV, made by Merck Pharmaceuticals. The Merck vaccine is being used in a ring vaccination strategy targeting contacts of those with Ebola virus disease and other health and frontline workers at high risk.

More than 6,500 people have taken part in multiple previous and ongoing clinical trials of the Janssen Ebola vaccine regimen. The available data indicate that the vaccine is well tolerated and induces robust immune responses to the Zaire strain of Ebola virus – the cause of the DRC outbreak. At present, there are no human data on efficacy in preventing Ebola virus infection.
In 2019 researchers in Uganda began a two-year clinical trial of the vaccine among healthcare and frontline workers. The vaccine is also undergoing evaluation along with the Merck vaccine as part of a large Phase 2 randomized, placebo-controlled trial in West Africa called PREVAC that began in 2017.

Ad26.ZEBOV, MVA-BN-Filo will be offered to adults and children aged one year or older under a clinical trial protocol that aims to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine in an outbreak setting. The regimen includes two doses (one of Ad26.ZEBOV and the second of MVA-BN-Filo), spaced two months apart.

Janssen will donate up to 500,000 doses of the vaccine regimen for those in communities near the outbreak who are considered at risk, as determined by the DRC MOH, INRB and consortium partners, taking into account the latest epidemiological data on disease spread, as well as logistical and security concerns.

Dr Eteni Longondo, Minister of Public Health, DRC, said: “As part of our Ebola response efforts, the Government of DRC plans to introduce a second experimental Ebola vaccine within a clinical trial protocol. It’s vital that we intensify our efforts. That’s why we’re working with international partners to provide our response teams with another tool to fight and ultimately stop the spread of this terrible disease.”

The study will be implemented by the INRB and MOH, supported by MSF, Epicentre, and LSHTM under the leadership of the Principal Investigator Dr Jean-Jacques Muyembe, INRB Director General and head of the DRC multisector Ebola response committee.

Dr Muyembe said: “The current Ebola outbreak is concentrated in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, areas which have had to deal with insecurity and violent conflict. This environment has complicated response efforts and led to distrust of health care workers, which has become a major problem. Therefore, effective community engagement will be absolutely critical to the successful introduction of a second Ebola vaccine. Deploying any vaccine in these circumstances is enormously challenging and must be done alongside a range of other public health measures and interventions, such as contact tracing. But building trust and confidence within affected communities must be our priority.”…
country….

::::::
::::::

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 30 October 2019
:: With less than a month left to the GPEI pledging event in Abu Dhabi, G20 Health Ministers gathered in Okayama, Japan, on 19 – 20 October 2019 to address major global health issues where they maintained their commitment to eradicating polio. Read more on the ministers’ declaration.
:: Following the certification of eradication of WPV3, WHO Director General Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed his gratitude to all who made the achievement possible and called on all stakeholders to continue with the fight to eradicate WPV1. Read the DG’s thank-you letter.
:: The effects of polio hit hard. The disease not only causes pain and suffering to the victim and the family, but also forces relatives to quit their income-generating activities, to provide care to the afflicted child. Read about little Junaisa – the first polio patient in the Philippines since 2001.
:: Get up-to-date on the different aspects of GPEI’s status of work in 2018 through the newly released 2018 annual report.

 

Summary of new viruses this week:
:: Afghanistan— one WPV1 case;
:: Pakistan— one WPV1 case and 12 WPV1-positive environmental samples;
:: Central African Republic— three cVDPV2 cases and one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample. Angola— 11 cVDPV2 cases;
:: Philippines— one cVDPV2 case, one cVDPV1 and two cVDPV2 positive environmental samples.

::::::

Okayama Declaration of the G20 Health Ministers
October 19-20, 2019

12. We reaffirm our commitment to eradicate polio, and we note the leadership role of WHO.
We are concerned with the rising number of vaccine-derived polio outbreaks. We call for
a strong cross-border cooperation and strict implementation of vaccine requirements for
travelers as specified in the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005). We support the
efforts of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi),
WHO, UNICEF, and other stakeholders in strengthening routine and supplemental
immunization. We also support their efforts to ensure transition of relevant polio assets
into the national programs and we encourage countries to provide adequate domestic
resources to strengthen national health systems. We look forward to the replenishment of
GPEI next month.

13. We recognize that immunization is one of the most cost-effective health investments with
proven strategies that make it accessible to all segments of the population with an
emphasis on women and girls, the most hard-to-reach as well as the vulnerable and
marginalized populations. We express our concern about vaccine hesitancy as mentioned
in the WHO’s Ten threats to global health in 2019. We are committed to strengthen health
systems and accessibility of safe, effective, quality, and affordable vaccines for sustainable
immunization to achieve high vaccination coverage as well as confidence in vaccines. We
look forward to the third replenishment of Gavi next year in the United Kingdom…

::::::

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 2 Nov 2019]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: 835 000 people to receive second dose of the cholera vaccine in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo Goma, 30 October 2019

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
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

::::::

WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 2 Nov 2019]

Myanmar
:: Bi‐weekly Situation Report 21 – 24 October 2019 pdf, 639kb

Niger
:: Evaluation externe de la riposte (OBRA) à l’épidémie de poliomyélite 31 octobre 2019

Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
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
Iraq – 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
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

::::::

WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 2 Nov 2019]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – No new digest announcements identified
Kenya – 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

::::::
::::::

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 #10, Humanitarian impact of the military operation in north-eastern Syria, 26 – 28 October 2019 [EN/AR]

Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

::::::

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
:: 01 Nov 2019 Kenya: Heavy rains impact more than 100,000 people

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified

::::::
::::::