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

Emergencies

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

No link between two ongoing Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – WHO
09 June 2020
Kinshasa/Brazzaville – New genetic sequence analysis by the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) has found that the newly-identified Ebola virus circulating in the Equateur Province in western DRC is different from the one which has infected more than 3400 people in the eastern part of the country.

The DRC’s 11th Ebola outbreak was announced on 1 June 2020 after a cluster of cases was detected in the Mbandaka area of Equateur Province. The INRB genetic sequencing analysis also found that the virus in the latest outbreak is distinct from the previous one that hit the same region in 2018. The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of the new outbreak, but it is likely that it originated from an animal source.

“We are not surprised to find no link between the current outbreak in Mbandaka and the two previous ones. The ongoing Ebola outbreaks are far apart and there is a flight ban in place due to COVID-19,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. “National health authorities supported by WHO and partners have led an effective response against Ebola in eastern DRC despite huge challenges. We expect the same national expertise will be leveraged to overcome the current outbreak in Mbandaka.”

WHO has more than 20 staff on the ground supporting the Ministry of Health and partners responding to the outbreak in Mbandaka and the rural community of Bikoro. Additional staff will arrive this week to support the Ministry of Health in containing the outbreak. WHO has worked with the DRC Ministry of Health, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Red Cross Movement, UNICEF and other partners over the past two years to strengthen capacity to respond to Ebola outbreaks in the DRC.

“Ebola is endemic in animal reservoirs in the DRC, so it was expected that new cases would emerge,” said Dr Moeti. “While the new Ebola outbreak in Mbandaka represents a challenge, it’s one we are ready to tackle. With each experience we respond faster and more effectively.”
Together with the Ministry of Health and partners, WHO has deployed vaccinators to the affected areas. More than 600 people have been vaccinated in Mbandaka and Wangata health zones…

POLIO Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC); WHO/OCHA Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 09 June 2020
Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Pakistan: one WPV1 case and 20 positive environmental samples
:: Côte d’Ivoire: five cVDPV2 positive environmental samples

GPEI welcomes the strong commitment of partners at Global Vaccine Summit
US$ 8.8 billion pledged to fund immunization through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
09/06/2020
On 4 June 2020, the UK Government hosted Gavi’s third donor pledging conference, the Global Vaccine Summit, to mobilize at least US$ 7.4 billion to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world. Responding to this unique call for global solidarity, leaders from donor countries and the private sector made unprecedented commitments of US$ 8.8 billion in order to save up to 8 million lives.
Since 2019, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has strengthened its collaboration with Gavi, inviting Gavi to become the sixth core partner of the GPEI. While the GPEI will continue its focus on interrupting virus transmission and eradicating polio through immunization campaigns using the oral polio vaccine (OPV), Gavi’s support for the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) at an estimated cost of US$ 800 million during its 2021-25 strategic period represents the insurance policy for the success of the Polio Endgame Strategy…

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 13 June 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: No link between two ongoing Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 9 June 2020
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 96: 10 June 2020
[See Ebola above for detail]

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 13 June 2020]
Burkina Faso [in French]
:: Riposte au COVID-19 : l’OMS renforce les capacités et la biosécurité des laboratoire…
12 juin 2020
Sudan
:: Training health workers to fight COVID-19 in Sudan 28 May 2020

Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Afghanistan – 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
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi – 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

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WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 13 June 2020]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – Page not responding at inquiry
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
:: Recent Developments in Northwest Syria – Situation Report No. 15 – As of 12 June 2020
HIGHLIGHTS
:: The Syrian Pound has halved in value since the beginning of May, pushing prices of basic necessities to record highs and further out of reach for people in northwest Syria.
:: Renewed displacement has been reported from some parts of southern Idleb governorate and northern Hama governorate following hostilities in the area.
:: No laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases identified in northwest Syria to date. Efforts remain focused on awareness raising and measures to mitigate an outbreak, with preparation for an effective response in the event of any cases.
:: Major humanitarian needs persist across all sectors. Due to the pressures of COVID-19 mitigation measures and the economic deterioration, there are increasing reports of gender-based protection issues such as short-term marriages, domestic violence, divorces and forced abortions.

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.
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth
::  11 June 2020 Zimbabwe Situation Report, 11 Jun 2020

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 6 June 2020 :: Number 319

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 6 June 2020

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

Ford Foundation Launches Global Fellows Network to Tackle Inequality Worldwide

Human Rights – “Equality”

News 1 June 2020
Ford Foundation Launches Global Fellows Network to Tackle Inequality Worldwide
Foundation commits $50 million investment to support the development of 240 global fellows over 10 years, introduces inaugural cohort of 24 emerging social change leaders.

NEW YORK — The Ford Foundation today announced the launch of a 10-year Global Fellowship program, which aims to identify, connect, and support the next generation of social justice leaders who are advancing innovative solutions to end inequality in communities most affected around the globe. The program is a $50 million investment over the next decade in a robust network of 240 global fellows. The inaugural fellows cohort is comprised of 24 promising global leaders who have demonstrated meaningful impact in their communities and are well-positioned to benefit from individualized global learning and leadership support.

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the crisis of inequality and created new urgency to fix it. The Ford Foundation believes new global leadership is therefore more important than ever to meet these challenges and bring new ideas and energy to solving problems exposed or exacerbated by the pandemic. The Ford Global Fellowship is an investment to build a global network of leaders to fight inequality, is critical at this moment.

The first group of Ford Global Fellows represents a broad range of backgrounds, fields, and approaches to addressing inequality–with areas of focus that range from restoring voting rights for formerly incarcerated people, to advancing LGBTQ+ rights, to increasing political and economic power of people with disabilities, and more. Many are from directly impacted communities and emerged as leaders drawing from their own lived experience with the challenges of inequality. The cohort draws from four regions: Brazil, the United States, East Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa.

“The Ford Global Fellowship builds on the Ford Foundation’s long standing commitment to investing in the ideas, individuals, and institutions that drive meaningful, systemic change,” said Hilary Pennington, Ford Foundation executive vice president of programs. “We are proud to introduce our inaugural cohort of Ford Global Fellows, which includes some of the world’s most innovative and promising social change leaders committed to tackling inequality — the defining challenge of our time, now more than ever. We cannot go back to the old normal that existed before the pandemic, and this program is an investment in reimagining solutions to global challenges that respect no borders. By connecting fellows to each other and to the broader Ford network, we hope to create a catalytic effect that accelerates the impact of their individual and collective work, to address challenges during the pandemic and beyond.”

The Ford Global Fellowship program will be led by Adria Goodson, a recognized leader with a proven track record in the design and stewardship of fellowship programs, some of which have produced the most prominent social justice leaders of our day…

OAS Presents Report on the Official Recognition of Gender Identity in the Countries of the Hemisphere

Human Rights – Gender Identity

OAS Presents Report on the Official Recognition of Gender Identity in the Countries of the Hemisphere
June 2, 2020
The Organization of American States (OAS) and Synergía – Initiatives for Human Rights presented the report “Panorama of the legal recognition of gender identity in the Americas,” a study that details current practices in the Americas to guarantee the right of people to have their gender identity officially recognized as they perceive it. Based on this compilation, the report describes a compendium of regional benchmark practices, as well as the challenges still to be resolved.

The document is based on the analysis of information from 16 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay), including six federal entities of Mexico (Mexico City, Coahuila, Hidalgo, Michoacán, Nuevo León and San Luis Potosí).

The report analyzes the administrative, judicial or mixed nature of the current procedures in each place for the recognition of gender identity. In addition, the report contains a file for each country and jurisdiction analyzed, with specific information in each case on:
:: the requirements
:: the economic cost and the time these processes take
:: the possibilities of homologation of the documentation of the people who request the recognition of their gender identity
:: the way in which the confidentiality and privacy of these processes are approached
:: the treatment of children and adolescents with non-normative gender identities and intersectional practices in the countries analyzed.

The report…starts from the recognition that the Americas is the most violent region in the world toward people with non-normative gender identities, and that these cycles of violence, present in all areas of transgender life, are intermingled with high levels of discrimination and stigmatization, resulting in lack of access to civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.

In addition to these cycles of discrimination and violence, people with non-normative gender identities in the region face enormous, often insurmountable, obstacles in accessing identity documents that correspond to their self-perceived gender identity. This constitutes a serious violation of a fundamental right. “The right to identity is relevant not only in itself, but it is also a necessary condition for access and exercise of the rest of the rights, so the absence of regulatory frameworks and institutional practices that allow and promote the recognition of the gender identity, an essential component of the right to identity, can lead to the virtual disqualification of the rights of populations with non-normative gender identities,” notes the report….

As part of the same project, the OAS also published the document “Guidelines for the implementation of Advisory Opinion No. 24 in the framework of the legal recognition of gender identity,” a guide to support member states in the implementation of the Advisory Opinion 24/17, adopted by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on November 24, 2017, which establishes that States of the Americas are obligated to guarantee the right to recognition of gender identity…

COVID-19 and People on the Move :: United Nations Policy Brief

COVID-19

COVID-19 and People on the Move
United Nations Policy Brief
June 2020 :: 25 pages
Executive Summary [excerpt]
COVID-19 leaves few lives and places untouched. But its impact is harshest for those groups who were already in vulnerable situations before the crisis. This is particularly true for many people on the move, such as migrants in irregular situations, migrant workers with precarious livelihoods, or working in the informal economy, victims of trafficking in persons as well as people fleeing their homes because
of persecution, war, violence, human rights violations or disaster, whether within their own countries — internally displaced persons (IDPs) — or across international borders — refugees and asylum-seekers.

The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people on the move presents itself as three interlocking crises, exacerbating existing vulnerabilities.

:: First, a health crisis as people on the move find themselves exposed to the virus with limited tools to protect themselves. In addition to their often poor or crowded living or working conditions, many people on the move have compromised access to health services due to legal, language, cultural or other barriers. Particularly impacted are those migrants and refugees who are undocumented and who may face detention and deportation if reported to immigration authorities. Many people on the move also lack access to other basic services – such as water and sanitation or nutrition – and those in fragile, disaster-prone and conflict-affected countries are facing higher risks owing to weak health systems, which is compounded by travel restrictions constraining delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance.

:: Second, a socio-economic crisis impacting people on the move with precarious livelihoods, particularly those working in the informal economy with no or limited access to social protection measures. The crisis has also exacerbated the already fragile situation of women and girls on the move, who face higher risks of exposure to gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation, and have difficulty accessing protection and response services. Meanwhile, loss of employment and wages as a result of COVID-19 is leading to a decline in migrant remittances, with devastating effects for the 800 million people relying on them.

:: Third, a protection crisis as border closures and other movement restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 have a severe impact on the rights of many people on the move who may find themselves trapped in deeply dangerous situations. Asylum-seekers may find themselves unable to cross international borders to seek protection and some refugees may be sent back to danger and persecution in their country of origin. In other instances, migrants may be forcibly returned to their home countries with fragile health systems, which are ill-prepared to receive them safely, while returning IDPs may face a similar predicament in their home localities. Aditionally fear of COVID-19
is exacerbating already high levels of xenophobia, racism and stigmatization and has even given rise to attacks against refugees and migrants. In the long-run there is a risk that COVID-19 may entrench restrictions on international movement and the curtailment of rights of people on the move…

FOUR BASIC TENETS TO ADVANCING SAFE AND INCLUSIVE HUMAN MOBILITY DURING AND IN THE AFTERMATH OF COVID-19:
1. Exclusion is costly in the long-run whereas inclusion pays off for everyone.
2. The response to COVID-19 and protecting the human rights of people on the move are not mutually exclusive.
3. No-one is safe until everyone is safe.
4. People on the move are part of the solution.

Lancet Global Health – Food insecurity will be the sting in the tail of COVID-19

Featured Journal Content

Lancet Global Health
Jun 2020 Volume 8 Number 6 e737-e857
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/issue/current
Editorial
Food insecurity will be the sting in the tail of COVID-19
The Lancet Global Health
On April 29, UNICEF published a discussion paper comparing the probable downstream effects of COVID-19 in developed and developing countries. High-income and upper-middle-income countries have borne the brunt of deaths associated with COVID-19 so far, and they are now seeing diminishing mortality rates. Countries across the world are easing lockdown restrictions. But, as this UNICEF paper outlines, for populations least affected by the disease itself, but for whom food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition are already prevalent and critical problems, the worst might be yet to come.

The Global Nutrition Report launched this month, with the bleak headline finding that one in nine people is hungry or malnourished. In 2018, almost a quarter of the world’s children younger than 5 years, 149·0 million children, were stunted and 7·3% (49·5 million children) were wasted. Progress over the past few years has been minimal and remains far from the 2025 global nutrition targets: to reduce childhood stunting to fewer than 100 million children and childhood wasting to 5% or less.

Now, in light of current global events, tackling malnutrition is expected to become harder still. On April 20, the 2020 Global Report on Food Crises was published, describing the factors that have led to a perfect storm for a food crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the report, armed conflict remains a key driver of food insecurity in the region, disrupting agriculture and trade, blocking supply chains, and prompting mass population displacement. Exacerbating the situation since last June, unusually heavy rains have facilitated the development of locust swarms, devastating crops across east Africa.

Movement restrictions in response to the COVID-19 crisis are delaying delivery of pesticides and stationing of staff to address the problem. Moreover, reports indicate that, where farmers can grow crops, lockdown restrictions are regularly preventing them from transporting produce and livestock to markets, and that rice imports to sub-Saharan Africa that were intended to compensate for the shortfall have been disrupted or stopped, driving up prices of this staple food. Finally, wage losses resulting from government-imposed shelter-in-place orders are further restricting the purchasing power of many families who were already on the borderline of poverty: an African Union study has projected that up to 20 million jobs could be lost in the region due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Global Report on Food Crises estimates that 135 million people were food insecure in 2019, but more recent World Food Programme (WFP) projections indicate that, because of the economic effects of and supply chain disruptions associated with COVID-19, this number could double in 2020, to 265 million people. In announcing these projections, WFP Executive Director David Beasley warned: “if we don’t prepare and act now—to secure access, avoid funding shortfalls and disruptions to trade—we could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months.”

Women and, particularly, children could bear the brunt of the effects of food insecurity, as well as COVID-19-associated health system disruptions. In their Article in The Lancet Global Health, Timothy Roberton and colleagues estimate the effects of these disruptions on maternal and under-5 child deaths in 118 low-income and middle-income countries. They find that even a small reduction in coverage and use of maternal and child health services could lead to 42 240 additional child deaths and 2030 additional maternal deaths per month, with worst-case scenario disruptions potentially resulting in an excess 1 157 000 child deaths and 56 700 maternal deaths over 6 months. These indirect effects will reach far beyond the disease itself, with long-term social and economic consequences for individuals and society.

How can we prepare for this impending humanitarian disaster? In March, the UN set up the US$2 billion COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan, to enable agencies such as WHO, UNICEF, and the WFP to provide food, water and sanitation, and vaccinations, as well as COVID-19 testing materials and medical equipment, to the most vulnerable communities. At the time of writing, it had only received 46% of the required amount. Fully funding this appeal should be an urgent priority for donors, even as they struggle with economic shocks of their own. Additionally, restrictions on transport and trade should be considered in the wider context of their potentially devastating effects on food supply chains. To paraphrase David Beasley, leaders should be acutely alert to the potential for an infectious disease pandemic to be compounded by a pandemic of undernutrition.

World leaders make historic commitments to provide equal access to COVID-19 vaccines for all

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

World leaders make historic commitments to provide equal access to vaccines for all
:: The Global Vaccine Summit, hosted by the UK, raises US$ 8.8 billion from 32 donor governments and 12 foundations, corporations and organisations to immunise 300 million children and support the global fight against COVID-19
:: US$ 567 million also raised for new innovative financing instrument to provide access to COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries
:: Boris Johnson: “Together we rise to fulfil the greatest shared endeavour of our lifetime – the triumph of humanity over disease, now and for the generations that follow.”

London, 4 June 2020 – World leaders have pledged an additional US$ 8.8 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, far exceeding the target of US$ 7.4 billion.

The funding will help immunise 300 million more children in the world’s poorest countries against diseases like measles, polio and diphtheria by the end of 2025. It will also support health systems to withstand the impact of coronavirus and maintain the infrastructure necessary to roll out a future COVID-19 vaccine on a global scale.

The pledges were made at the Global Vaccine Summit 2020, hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Representatives from 52 countries, including 35 Heads of State, joined leaders from global health organisations, the private sector, vaccine manufacturers and civil society organisations to support the Vaccine Alliance’s work protecting almost half the world’s children against deadly, preventable infectious diseases..

The UK remains the Vaccine Alliance’s largest donor, pledging the equivalent of £330 million per year over the next five years. Other top donors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Norway, Germany and the United States. Eight countries made their first ever pledge to Gavi, including Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Finland, Greece, New Zealand, Portugal and Uganda…

…Over the next five years, we will also see the largest investment in immunisation ever made by lower-income countries.

Gavi-supported countries will contribute US$ 3.6 billion towards the cost of buying vaccines – more than double the amount for the 2016-2020 period and more than 40% of the total estimated cost of supplying vaccines to these countries. They are also expected to invest around US$ 6 billion in immunisation service delivery costs over the same period. The dire economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may, however, disrupt these estimates.

Gavi’s market-shaping efforts to make life-saving vaccines more affordable have seen a 21% price reduction for fully immunising a child with pentavalent, pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines – from $20.01 in 2015 to $15.90 in 2018…

The world’s biggest vaccine manufacturers also committed to continue supplying the billions of doses needed to continue increasing vaccine coverage across Africa and Asia. The Vaccine Alliance is one of the world’s largest and most successful public-private partnerships, and the wider private sector continued to show support for its mission with the announcement of more than US$ 70 million of new pledges and partnerships, bringing new technology, networks and expertise to help solve some of global health’s most intractable problems.

“On behalf of the countless vaccinators, supply chain workers, programme managers and the many, many others that work tirelessly every day to ensure children in vulnerable countries continue to receive lifesaving vaccines – thank you,” said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Gavi Board Chair. “We have made incredible progress over the past two decades improving vaccine coverage and reducing child mortality across Africa and Asia. This funding will give countries new hope that, despite the devastating impact of COVID-19, this progress can be sustained and built on. The Alliance will now get to work making this happen.”

The Global Vaccine Summit also saw the launch of the Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines (Covax AMC), a new innovative financing instrument to provide access to COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries. This is the first building block towards a global mechanism to ensure equitable access to future COVID-19 vaccines. US$ 567 million was raised today in initial seed money for the AMC from 12 donors…

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledges $1.6 billion to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to protect the next generation with lifesaving vaccines
JUNE 04, 2020
Global leaders unite to safeguard 300 million more children from disease and mitigate consequences of COVID-19

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Gavi launches innovative financing mechanism for access to COVID-19 vaccines
:: Gavi Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines (Gavi Covax AMC) launched at Global Vaccine Summit 2020 draws strong support, early commitments from global leaders 
:: New financing mechanism, aimed at supporting affordable access for developing countries, is first building block in broader initiative to create a Covax Facility for global access to eventual COVID-19 vaccines
:: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: “The Gavi Covax AMC increases the likelihood that when we have a successful vaccine or vaccines, it will be available in sufficient quantities and affordable to developing countries.”

Geneva, 04 June 2020 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance today launched the Gavi Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines (Gavi Covax AMC), a new financing instrument aimed at incentivising vaccine manufacturers to produce sufficient quantities of eventual COVID-19 vaccines, and to ensure access for developing countries.

The Gavi Covax AMC is being launched with an initial goal of raising US$ 2 billion; enough for Gavi-supported countries to immunise health care workers as well as high-risk individuals, and create a flexible buffer of doses to be deployed where needed most.

It will not be a stand-alone financing instrument but rather represents the first building block in broader efforts to develop a COVID-19 Global Vaccine Access Facility (Covax Facility) aimed at ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, at all levels of development, that wish to participate.

The Gavi Covax AMC is inspired by similar mechanisms that have successfully secured equitable global access to pneumococcal and Ebola vaccines. By providing volume guarantees for specific candidates before they are licenced, as well as market-wide guarantees, the Gavi Covax AMC will encourage manufacturers to make investments in production capacity. This in turn increases supply availability and reduces the amount of time it takes for licenced vaccines to become available, particularly to the poorest countries around the world.

“Today’s launch moves us one step closer to the essential vision of equitable access for all,” said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Gavi Board. “By de-risking the cost of investing in high volumes of manufacturing against an unknown outcome – and making sure those investments are made now – the Gavi Covax AMC increases the likelihood that when we have a successful vaccine or vaccines, it will be available in sufficient quantities and affordable to developing countries…

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HPV vaccine manufacturers commit to provide enough supply to immunize at least 84 million girls in Gavi countries
:: On the eve of the Global Vaccine Summit 2020, five manufacturers commit to increasing and prioritising HPV vaccine supply to Gavi-supported countries, which have among the highest cervical cancer burdens in the world
:: Gavi estimates that up to 84 million girls in the poorest countries could receive HPV vaccines in the next 5-year period, averting 1.4 million future cervical cancer deaths
:: Dr Seth Berkley: “We are extremely grateful to MSD, GSK, Innovax, Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. and Walvax for these commitments, which should have a profound impact on women’s lives”

Geneva, 03 June 2020 – Vaccine manufacturers MSD, GSK, Innovax, Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. (SII) and Walvax have pledged to ramp up human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine supply availability for Gavi-supported countries, ahead of tomorrow’s Global Vaccine Summit 2020.

This commitment is part of an ongoing UNICEF-led tender that aims to enable Gavi to dramatically increase its reach from 50 million girls, as initially planned, to 84 million girls during the next five-year period, leading to the prevention of an estimated 1.4 million future deaths from cervical cancer…

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WHO welcomes crucial new funding for vaccines
4 June 2020 News release
WHO welcomes funding commitments made at today’s Global Vaccine Summit, hosted virtually by the UK government. The Summit is Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s third pledging conference and follows the successful Berlin summit in January 2015.

The new pledges will enable Gavi to protect the next generation and reduce disease inequality by reaching an additional 300 million children with vaccines by 2025.
“Thanks to vaccines, hundreds of millions of deaths have been prevented. Polio has been pushed to the brink of eradication, and just in the past few years new vaccines have become available for Ebola and malaria,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

“But vaccines only realize their true power when they are deployed to protect the poorest and most vulnerable. The COVID-19 pandemic is unravelling many of the gains we have made, with vaccination campaigns for polio, cholera, measles, diphtheria, and meningitis.”

The bold funding commitments mean that the Gavi Alliance will be better able to maintain immunization in lower-income countries, mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also help strengthen health systems.

The backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic is a sobering reminder of how much individual health depends on collective health and the critical role that vaccines play in keeping the global population safe and healthy. The Summit also highlighted how important a safe, effective and equitably accessible vaccine will be in controlling COVID-19.

The Global Vaccine Summit marks 20 years since Gavi was founded. Dr Tedros added: “We join Gavi in celebrating the collective success of this great Alliance. These pledges are not just an investment in the Alliance of which we are a very proud partner; they are an advance on our shared vision of a healthier, safer and fairer world.”

EMERGENCIES :: Coronavirus [COVID-19]

EMERGENCIES

Coronavirus [COVID-19]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak situation
Last update: 5 June 2020, 20:00 GMT-4
Confirmed cases :: 6 663 304
Confirmed deaths :: 392 802
Countries, areas or territories with cases :: 216

:: WHO COVID-19 Webpage: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
:: Daily WHO situation reports here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
:: WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) daily press briefings here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/media-resources/press-briefings

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Emergencies :: Ebola – DRC+

Emergencies

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

Government of Democratic Republic of Congo declares 11th Ebola virus disease outbreak
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, 2 JUNE 2020. The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared a new outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) on 31 May 2020 in Mbandaka, the country’s northwest Équateur Province. The declaration followed notification by the Équateur provincial health authorities of community deaths on 23 and 30 May 2020.
This is the 11th EVD outbreak in the DRC and it has already claimed four lives and infected four other people in the community. The outbreak began at a time when experts were close to declaring an end to the 10th EVD outbreak in North Kivu Province, and when countries are fighting hard to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DRC Ministry of Health is currently establishing a coordination and response mechanism to effectively contain the outbreak…

UNICEF Press release
Ebola resurfaces in Équateur Province, north-western Democratic Republic of the Congo
15-year-old girl among five victims of new outbreak as country battles Ebola, COVID-19 and measles
01/06/2020

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 95: 02 June 2020
[Excerpts]
Situation Update WHO Health Emergencies Programme Page 2
From 24 to 31 May 2020, no new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The source of infection of the cluster reported in April 2020 remains unconfirmed….

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Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 02 June 2020
:: After a vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreak was detected in the Philippines in 2019, health workers have been working to close a polio immunity gap present amongst some of the nation’s children. In this story, we follow Joana, a nurse working to end polio in Manila.

Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Afghanistan: six cVDPV2 cases
:: Burkina Faso: two cVDPV2 cases
:: Ethiopia: one cVDPV2 case
:: Côte d’Ivoire: three cVDPV2 cases

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 6 June 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 95: 02 June 2020
[See Ebola above for detail]

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 6 June 2020]
Angola
:: Community health mobilizers on the frontlines of Angola’s COVID-19 response
04 June 2020

Afghanistan – 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
Iran – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi – 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 6 June 2020]

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
:: Syrian Arab Republic: COVID-19 Response Update No. 05 – 5 June 2020

Yemen
:: 02 June 2020 Yemen Humanitarian Update Issue 5 (May 2020)
:: 03 June 2020 Yemen Situation Report, 3 June 2020

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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.
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth – No new digest announcements identified
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 30 May 2020 :: Number 318

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 30 May 2020

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

Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict: 20 Years After the Adoption of OPAC

Children – Armed Conflict

Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict: 20 Years After the Adoption of OPAC
Monday, 25 May 2020
Joint Statement by the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC). In this juncture, the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E. Smaїl Chergui and the Co-Chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights, Mr. David Lega join their voices with the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba to urge all outstanding Member States to sign and ratify the OPAC and fulfill the promise made to children two decades ago that they would not be involved in armed conflict. The adoption of OPAC was a milestone and within the past 20 years has contributed to releasing more than 145,000 boys and girls from armed forces and armed groups and preventing the recruitment and use of more millions of children.

Since its adoption, the Optional Protocol has become a lighthouse to guide the efforts of States in ending and preventing the involvement of children in armed conflict and to counter the long-lasting effects conflict has on children. “As we mark this anniversary, we must pause and remember what the world was like before OPAC’s adoption,” said the three officials. “We must also take time to note its remarkable achievements and enormous potential for the next decade. Indeed, the Decade of Action calls to accelerate sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges; eradicating the recruitment and use of children allows countries to focus on the actual needs of children such as education, healthcare and future livelihood opportunities.”

While OPAC paved the way for countries to ensure that children were not taking part in hostilities, its relevance and implementation in today’s world continue to be critical, especially as countries are seeking to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The protection of conflict-affected children should be an active part of the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus to ensure that the vulnerability of children is addressed before, during and after conflicts. Ending and preventing the recruitment and use of children is only the first step: supporting the sustainable reintegration of released boys and girls into their communities is essential for their future, but also for the future of the entire society.

“As we mark OPAC’s 20th anniversary, we urge Member States that are not yet parties to OPAC to become one, and to do so on behalf of their children and countries future,” said the three officials. “We also urge State Parties that have ratified OPAC to implement the obligations contained in this treaty and ensure that they do not remain dead letters. By ratifying the OPAC, Member States commits to align their legal frameworks with international standards, pursue accountability for violations of children’s fundamental rights and prevent the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict. With only 17 Member States that are yet to become a party to this important treaty, it is evident that universal ratification is more achievable than before,” they said.

“The next twenty years must reflect the translation of OPAC’s commitments into tangible actions. We must ensure that children are not only freed from the threat of recruitment and use but are also provided with options to enjoy a better future and not left without support or subsistence; conflict-affected children need our support in every aspect of their growth. The Optional Protocol should thus remain our beacon and serves to remind us that if children are not allowed to be children and forced into taking part in hostilities, we have not only failed them but have betrayed our own hopes for a brighter future.”

Precision Medicine Vision Statement :: A Product of the World Economic Forum Global Precision Medicine Council

Governance :: Precision Medicine

Precision Medicine Vision Statement :: A Product of the World Economic Forum Global Precision Medicine Council
World Economic Forum
May 2020 :: 46 pages
PDF: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Global_Precision_Medicine_Council_Vision_Statement_2020.pdf
Executive Summary
The benefits of precision medicine in terms of superior health and healthcare outcomes are increasingly clear, but there are challenges to the equitable and widespread dissemination of precision medicine tools, technologies and solutions.

The World Economic Forum convened more than 40 leaders from the public and private sectors, civil society and academia in a Global Precision Medicine Council (the Council) in 2019 to help shape the governance of precision medicine in the public interest. This document is the Council’s synthesis of the key policy and governance gaps, and its vision for the solutions to overcome them. It should serve as a reference for the greater healthcare community with an interest in helping deliver these benefits on a global basis.

These five governance gaps are:
1) data sharing and interoperability;
2) ethical use of technology;
3) patient and public engagement and trust;
4) access, delivery, value, pricing and reimbursement;
5) responsive regulatory systems.

Using illustrative examples of solutions or analytical frameworks to overcome these five gaps, the Council provides areas of opportunity to accelerate precision medicine approaches globally. The main considerations and recommendations include:
– Increasing awareness of the benefits of data standardization and interoperability and fostering trusted mechanisms of collaboration involving patients to unlock the vast amounts of data needed
– Learning lessons from research efforts that were discriminatory or hurtful and focusing new efforts on inclusivity and representativeness to support ethical technology development
– Building public and patient trust and engagement by encouraging deliberation and mechanisms on if/how genetic and other sensitive health data are accessed or used by commercial companies and law enforcement
– Innovating intellectual property protection regimes for biomarkers and algorithms as part of the process of incentivizing investment in foundational new diagnostics
– Funding and publicly reporting post-market clinical trials and studies for fast-track therapeutics that allow healthcare providers to clearly understand the value of precision medicine treatments and receive payments based on performance
– Designing and implementing consistent and appropriate regulatory frameworks that protect the health information generated from direct-to-consumer genetic services in a way that support the values of patients and participants

Unfortunately, more than half of the world’s population still has no access to precision medicine and is unable to reap the benefits. We must be ever vigilant about increasing the capabilities of many countries and populations to join this global movement towards more personalized and targeted ways of screening, preventing, diagnosing, treating and curing patients with disease. The importance of worldwide access and of addressing these inequities is urgent. With this in mind, the Council aims to contribute positively to the global debate and activity by framing solutions that may be scalable and useful in many settings, as well as by identifying ongoing challenges that remain resistant to solutions in order to focus new creativity on finding appropriate paths forward.

Blockchain Principles Launched to Preserve and Protect User Rights – The Presidio Principles

Technology/Human Rights: Blockchain

Blockchain Principles Launched to Preserve and Protect User Rights – The Presidio Principles
World Economic Forum News 22 May 2020
– 16 user rights make up the newly launched Presidio Principles: the foundational values for a decentralized future
– This ‘Blockchain Bill of Rights’ establishes a global baseline for building blockchain applications that respect participant rights, safeguard data and protect users
– It was developed for over a year by the World Economic Forum Global Blockchain Council, which brings together individuals with varying interests and perspectives on the current state and future of blockchain; it was workshopped globally with technologists and civil society
– Early adopters include public and private sector companies, international organizations, NGOs and civil society and global call issued.

The Presidio Principles
Applications built on top of blockchain-based systems should preserve the following participant rights.

A participant should have access to information that would enable them to:
 Understand how a service is operated, including potential risks of the service, availability of source code, and the rules and standards upon which it is based.
 Understand the potential risks and benefits of a service’s use of blockchain technology.
 Understand system performance expectations and where the responsibility for service delivery lies.
 Understand the rights and obligations of different participants in the system.

A participant should be able to:
 Create, manage, and independently store cryptographic keys.
 Manage consent of data stored in third-party systems.
 Port data between interoperable systems or parts of a system.
 Revoke consent for future data collection.
 Have access to information sufficient to facilitate system interoperability.
 Assess if their data is at risk through appropriate disclosure procedures, which may include, but are not limited to, an examination of audit results, certifications, or source code.
 Have their data protected in accordance with internationally recognized technical security standards.
 Limit data collection to that which is necessary and data use to the purpose for which it was provided.
 Verify – through third-party or self-created tools – that operations have been completed and confirmed in accordance with the system’s rules.
 Access information needed to: (a) understand the system’s governance and rules and (b) pursue effective recourse mechanisms.
 Opt-out of using applications that don’t treat data in accordance with internationally recognized governance and data protection standards.
 Rectify demonstrably false, inaccurate, or incomplete data when necessary.

The Principles include a menu of options for how organizations or individuals can take action. A list of signatories is available to view and self-regulate/hold others accountable.

UNESCO Report :: Museums Around the World in the Face of COVID-19

Heritage Stewardship

UNESCO Report :: Museums Around the World in the Face of COVID-19
May 2020 :: 31 pages
SUMMARY
In recent months, the COVID-19 crisis has profoundly affected societies around the world, plunging the global economy into a deep recession.

With the majority of cultural institutions forced to close their doors, the cultural sector has been one of the most affected. Tourism has largely ceased, impacting surrounding communities both socially and economically, and plunging artists and cultural professionals into a state of extreme economic and social fragility. Confined populations, unable to share and celebrate their heritage – notably their intangible cultural heritage – have suffered the loss of fundamental and structuring cultural elements of their daily social and individual lives.

Despite the challenges posed by this unprecedented crisis, many cultural institutions and professionals
have continued to serve as a source of resilience and support to communities, devising new ways to provide access to culture and education in the context of containment measures. However, it should be noted that these innovations have not addressed the severe economic shortfalls experienced by cultural professionals. Moreover, almost half of the world’s population currently has no access to the Internet, resulting in unequal access to cultural resources.

Museums have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 90% of them, or more than 85,000 institutions worldwide, having closed their doors during the crisis. The impact of these closures is not only economic, but also social. Museums play a vital role in our societies. They not only preserve our common heritage, but also provide spaces that promote education, inspiration and dialogue. Based on values of respect and cultural diversity, museums strengthen social cohesion, foster creativity and are conveyors of collective memory. Moreover, their role in the promotion of tourism is a key driver of sustainable economic development, both locally and nationally, which will be essential to overcoming the crisis in the coming months and years.

Faced with this situation, UNESCO launched a study to assess, on the basis of contributions from states and museum professionals, the impact of COVID-19 on museums and museum institutions. This initiative also seeks to understand how the sector has adapted to the constraints imposed by the pandemic and to explore ways of supporting affected institutions in the aftermath of the crisis. This report presents a first assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the museum sector.

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Media Release
Launch of UNESCO Report on museums around the world in the face of COVID-19
27/05/2020
UNESCO launched a new Report on Museums Around the World in the Face of COVID-19, fruit of an international survey targeting museums, culture professionals and Member States.

This Report, presenting a first evaluation of the impact of COVID-19 across the museum sector, sheds new light on the key trends of the world’s museums, their reaction in the face of the crisis, their capacity for resilience, and the challenges of accessing culture.

The study reveals that the number of museums is estimated at around 95,000 in 2020, which represents a 60% increase compared to 2012. They are, however, very unevenly distributed across the globe. Museums have been particularly affected by the pandemic, as 90% of them closed their doors during the crisis and, according to the International Council of Museums (ICOM), more than 10% may never reopen. Facing the crisis, museums acted quickly to develop their presence on the Internet. However the digital divide is more evident than ever: only 5% of museums in Africa and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) were able to propose online content.

“This report not only provides a better understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on museum institutions and the challenges they will face following the health crisis, but also explores the ways to support museums in the aftermath of the crisis,” declared Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO. “There is an urgent need to strengthen policies that support this sector, which plays an essential role in our societies for the dissemination of culture, education, social cohesion and support to the creative economy.”

With a view to gather information on how the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak affects the culture sector, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) launched a global survey to analyze the impact of the quarantine measures. The ICOM report provides information on the situation of museums and their staff, the predicted economic impact, digitization and communication, museum security and the conservation of collections, and the situation of independent museum professionals.
This common reflection and inter-institutional cooperation provides updated data on museums and museum institutions, that are all the more important in this period of global challenge brought about by COVID-19.

COVID-19 :: Recovery “The world needs a #HealthyRecovery”

COVID-19 :: Recovery

The world needs a #HealthyRecovery
On May 26, 2020, over 350 organisations representing over 40 million health professionals and over 4,500 individual health professionals from 90 different countries*, wrote to the G20 leaders calling for a #HealthyRecovery
The letter is supported and promoted by the Global Climate and Health Alliance, Every Breath Matters, and the World Health Organization in service of the global medical and health community.

May 26, 2020
In support of a #HealthyRecovery

Dear President Alberto Fernández, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, President Jair Bolsonaro, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Xi Jinping, President Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Joko Widodo, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President Vladimir Putin, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President Cyril Ramaphosa, President Jae-in Moon, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, President Donald Trump, President Charles Michel and President Ursula von der Leyen,
(cc: G20 chief scientific / medical / health advisors)

Health professionals stand united in support of a pragmatic, science-based approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic. In that same spirit, we also stand united in support of a #HealthyRecovery from this crisis.
We have witnessed first-hand how fragile communities can be when their health, food security and freedom to work are interrupted by a common threat. The layers of this ongoing tragedy are many, and magnified by inequality and underinvestment in public health systems. We have witnessed death, disease and mental distress at levels not seen for decades.

These effects could have been partially mitigated, or possibly even prevented by adequate investments in pandemic preparedness, public health and environmental stewardship. We must learn from these mistakes and come back stronger, healthier and more resilient.

Before COVID-19, air pollution – primarily from traffic, inefficient residential energy use for cooking and heating, coal-fired power plants, the burning of solid waste, and agriculture practices – was already weakening our bodies. It increases the risk of developing, and the severity of: pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, heart disease and strokes, leading to seven million premature deaths each year. Air pollution also causes adverse pregnancy outcomes like low birth weight and asthma, putting further strain on our health care systems.

A truly healthy recovery will not allow pollution to continue to cloud the air we breathe and the water we drink. It will not permit unabated climate change and deforestation, potentially unleashing new health threats upon vulnerable populations.
In a healthy economy and civil society the most vulnerable among us are looked after. Workers have access to well-paying jobs that do not exacerbate pollution or nature degradation; cities prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and public transport, and our rivers and skies are protected and clean. Nature is thriving, our bodies are more resilient to infectious diseases, and nobody is pushed into poverty because of healthcare costs.

To achieve that healthy economy, we must use smarter incentives and disincentives in the service of a healthier, more resilient society. If governments were to make major reforms to current fossil fuel subsidies, shifting the majority towards the production of clean renewable energy, our air would be cleaner and climate emissions massively reduced, powering an economic recovery that would spur global GDP gains of almost 100 trillion US dollars between now and 2050.
As you direct your attention to the post-COVID response, we ask that your chief medical officer and chief scientific advisor are directly involved in the production of all economic stimulus packages, report on the short- and long-term public health repercussions that these may have, and give their stamp of approval.

The enormous investments your governments will make over the coming months in key sectors like health care, transport, energy and agriculture must have health protection and promotion embedded at their core.
What the world needs now is a #HealthyRecovery. Your stimulus plans must be a prescription for just that.

Yours sincerely, the full list of signatories is available HERE.

International community rallies to support open research and science to fight COVID-19

COVID-19 :: R&D Collaboration

International community rallies to support open research and science to fight COVID-19
29 May 2020 News release
Geneva
WHO and Costa Rica launch landmark COVID-19 Technology Access Pool
Thirty countries and multiple international partners and institutions have signed up to support the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) an initiative aimed at making vaccines, tests, treatments and other health technologies to fight COVID-19 accessible to all.

The Pool was first proposed in March by President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica, who joined WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today at the official launch of the initiative.

“The COVID-19 Technology Access Pool will ensure the latest and best science benefits all of humanity,” said President Alvarado of Costa Rica. “Vaccines, tests, diagnostics, treatments and other key tools in the coronavirus response must be made universally available as global public goods”. 

“Global solidarity and collaboration are essential to overcoming COVID-19,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Based on strong science and open collaboration, this information-sharing platform will help provide equitable access to life-saving technologies around the world.”

The COVID-19 (Technology) Access Pool will be voluntary and based on social solidarity. It will provide a one-stop shop for scientific knowledge, data and intellectual property to be shared equitably by the global community.

The aim is to accelerate the discovery of vaccines, medicines and other technologies through open-science research, and to fast-track product development by mobilizing additional manufacturing capacity. This will help ensure faster and more equitable access to existing and new COVID-19 health products.

There are five key elements to the initiative:
:: Public disclosure of gene sequences and data;
:: Transparency around the publication of all clinical trial results;
:: Governments and other funders are encouraged to include clauses in funding agreements with pharmaceutical companies and other innovators about equitable distribution, affordability and the publication of trial data;
:: Licensing any potential treatment, diagnostic, vaccine or other health technology to the Medicines Patent Pool – a United Nations-backed public health body that works to increase access to, and facilitate the development of, life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries.
:: Promotion of open innovation models and technology transfer that increase local manufacturing and supply capacity, including through joining the Open Covid Pledge and the Technology Access Partnership (TAP).

With supportive countries across the globe, C-TAP will serve as a sister initiative to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and other initiatives to support efforts to fight COVID-19 worldwide.

WHO, Costa Rica and all the co-sponsor countries have also issued a “Solidarity Call to Action” asking relevant stakeholders to join and support the initiative, with recommended actions for key groups, such as governments, research and development funders, researchers, industry and civil society…

To date, the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool is now supported by the following countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Honduras, Indonesia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Mozambique, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, South Africa, Sri Lanka,Sudan, The Netherlands, Timor-Leste, Uruguay, Zimbabwe,

Other international organizations, partners and experts have also expressed support to the initiative and others can join them using the website.

 

EMERGENCIES – Coronavirus [COVID-19]

EMERGENCIES

Coronavirus [COVID-19]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

:: WHO COVID-19 Webpage: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
:: Daily WHO situation reports here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
:: WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) daily press briefings here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/media-resources/press-briefings

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Emergencies: Ebola – DRC+

Emergencies

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

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 94: 26 May 2020
[Excerpts]
Situation Update WHO Health Emergencies Programme Page 2
From 18 to 24 May 2020, no new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The definitive source of infection of the cluster reported in April 2020 remains unidentified. In the last seven days, two historic probable cases were validated, from people who had onset of symptoms in March 2019 and July 2019.…

Conclusion
Investigations into the origin of the last cluster of cases in Beni Health Zone are ongoing. The Ministry of Health began the 42-day countdown to the declaration of the end of the EVD outbreak on 14 May 2020. Given the long duration and large magnitude of the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri Provinces, as well as the fact that the virus is present in animal reservoirs in the region, there is a risk of re-emergence of the virus in the period leading up to, and beyond, the declaration of the end of the outbreak. In the coming weeks it is crucial to maintain a strong and robust surveillance system in order to detect, isolate, test and treat new suspected cases as early as possible, to improve outcome of potential cases, and to break new chains of transmission. Continued coordination, communication among partners, authorities and affected communities along with EVD survivor advocacy remain essential in this outbreak response.

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