Welcome to the Healthcare Diversity Council! Here we strongly believe in a global representation in hospitals and clinics across the country, that every healthcare institution should mirror the environment and patients that it serves.
There are many opportunities to volunteer your time and talent in creating greater diversity and inclusion in Healthcare. Our volunteers get involved in all aspects of event planning and implementation, as well as outreach, communication, and advocacy within their organization and the community…
COVID-19 and Health Workforce Equity
by Candice Chen and Patricia Pittman
COVID-19 has uncovered and multiplied health workforce equity challenges across the US. In the early days of the pandemic, healthcare workers faced incredible personal risk from an unknown, highly contagious, deadly disease. Insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) and reprimand and dismissal by employers for speaking out worsened this risk. As waves of COVID-19 swept across… Read More » Author information Candice Chen Health workforce equity researcher and practicing primary care pediatrician at the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. | Twitter | The post COVID-19 and Health Workforce Equity appeared first on The Medical Care Blog.
The Uncertainty of Black Pregnant Women and COVID-19 Vaccines
by Sharla Smith, Michelle Redmond, Jason Glenn
In March 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed COVID-19 as a pandemic. More than 18 months later, the nation has yet to return to ‘normal’. Hope for normalcy increased with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the months that followed. Reluctance and resistance to vaccination, however, have made it difficult to… Read More » Author information Sharla Smith Dr. Sharla Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Health at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Kansas City. Dr. Sharla Smith has a PhD in Health Systems and Services Research with a concentration in Health Economics. Dr. Smith earned an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Management from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and a PhD in Health Services and Systems Research at UAMS. She is a health services researcher that has been working in public health since 2006. Her current research focuses on maternal and infant health disparities. | Facebook | The post The Uncertainty of Black Pregnant Women and COVID-19 Vaccines appeared first on The Medical Care Blog.
Supporting Front-line Workers with Resiliency Training
by Jess Williams
Front-line workers are always at risk. It’s in the name. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this reality more salient for everyone. Risks of sickness from COVID-19 include death and morbidity. Front-line workers may also have lost more friends and co-workers than the average person. Healthcare workers have also been subject to violence and see the… Read More » Author information Jess Williams Assistant Professor at University of Kansas School of Medicine Jessica A. Williams, PhD, MA is an Associate Professor of Health Policy and Administration at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Williams has been a member of the editorial board since 2013. Her research examines how workplace psychosocial factors affect the health and well-being of employees. Specifically, she investigates the role of pain in work disability and well-being. In addition, she researches the utilization of preventive medical services. She holds a Doctorate in Health Policy and Management from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, a Master's in Economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a BA in economics from Stanford University. | Twitter | LinkedIn | The post Supporting Front-line Workers with Resiliency Training appeared first on The Medical Care Blog.
Multimorbidity and Psychosocial Aspects of Homelessness
by Ben King
Homelessness persists in the US, and across the world, despite decades of recognition and longstanding efforts to end the condition. There have been major successes in our understanding of what policies and programs work to prevent and end homelessness. However, the work must and will find new ways to adapt and improve if we are… Read More » Author information Ben King Research Scientist at UT Austin, Dell Medical School Ben King is an epidemiologist and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Houston College of Medicine, in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health Sciences. He is also a statistician in the Human Integrated Health Systems Sciences Institute at UH and the President of Methods & Results, a research consulting service. His own research is often focused on the intersection between housing, homelessness, & health. Other interests include neuro-emergencies, diagnostics, and a bunch of meta-analytic methods like measurement validation & replication studies. For what it's worth he has degrees in neuroscience, community health management, and epidemiology. | LinkedIn | The post Multimorbidity and Psychosocial Aspects of Homelessness appeared first on The Medical Care Blog.
Tracking Community Benefit Spending
by Alexa Ortiz
Nonprofit hospitals make up the majority of hospitals in the US. In exchange for their tax-exempt status, the federal government requires these hospitals to provide support in the form of community benefits. Tracking community benefit spending and its impact is important to ensure that such spending aligns with community needs. Community benefit activities can include… Read More » Author information Alexa Ortiz Health IT Scientist at RTI International Alexa Ortiz graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Before receiving her graduate degree she was a practicing nurse for five years and has clinical experience in the field of both Cardiology and Neurology. In 2014 she received a Master of Science in Nursing specializing in nursing informatics from Duke University. Presently, she works as a Health IT Scientist at RTI International in the Center for Digital Health and Clinical Informatics. Despite no longer working in a clinical setting, she continues to maintain an active nurse license in the state of North Carolina. Her primary areas of research at RTI International focus on the clinical implementation of health information technology and the evaluation of consumer wearable devices. | Twitter | The post Tracking Community Benefit Spending appeared first on The Medical Care Blog.
Whistleblowers: Time to Change Our View?
by Colin Hung
Theranos and Facebook have been in the news a lot lately. The stories are unrelated, but both prominently feature whistleblowers – brave individuals who brought forward their concerns about the company’s behavior but who got nowhere internally. Facebook Whistleblower In the case of Facebook, Frances Haugen, former data scientist and Facebook employee, has testified before
Bad Behavior in Healthcare
by Joe Babaian
Blog by Joe Babaian What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate. ~ Cool Hand Luke The current trial surrounding Theranos gives us pause to consider, how much “fake it until you make it” is ok? Looking also at you, OZY Media – perhaps they should have taken Ozymandias by Shelley a little more literally?
Fast Science vs Good Science at a Time of Growing Anti-Science
by Colin Hung
We live in a world where science is quickly weaponized or demonized (depending on what you believe). Studies saying one thing are pitted against studies that say the opposite. Yet rarely does the underlying science get called into question and even if it does, it gets buried in rhetoric. The CBC recently published a story
Discovering Patient-Centered Care
by Joe Babaian
Blog by Joe Babaian The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease. ~ Sir William Osler, M.D. Let’s visit care at the N of 1. During this fraught time of pandemic, patient focus ranges from the personalized care we expect (or should expect) to the detrimental rejection of
Global health spending: immigrant and refugee seniors
by Colin Hung
Join us on Tuesday, September 14 at 8:30 EST (for your local time click here), as we explore ways to address the competing challenges for immigrant seniors experiencing social isolation during this pandemic. We will be joined by Shanthi Johnson @ShanthiJohnson, the Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, who
Statement of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization: Continued review of emerging evidence on AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccines
WHO is committed to updating its policy guidance whenever relevant new information has been obtained through the use of the vaccine in populations around the world and new results from clinical research.Accordingly, new data continues to regularly emerge from ongoing clinical trials and monitoring on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine and other vaccines. On the basis of this additional evidence, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization has updated its interim guidance on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccines against COVID-19 that are produced by different manufacturers (Astra Zeneca-Vaxzevria, Serum Institute India SII Covishield, and SK Bioscience).WHO continues to support the conclusion that the benefits of these vaccines outweigh the risks. Pursuant to the latest data, further clarification of precautions and types of risk (ie. Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome) has been added. More data have been obtained on the effectiveness of the vaccines in different population groups, such as older adults, making the evidence base more robust. Clarifications and specifications have been added as to the vaccination of specific population groups (pregnant and lactating women, person with previous SARS-CoV2 infection and others).The changes to these Interim Recommendations apply to multiple sections of the document. The updated version is available here.The SAGE Working Group on COVID-19 Vaccines will continue to evaluate available data and modify the guidance as required.
World Malaria Day: WHO launches effort to stamp out malaria in 25 more countries by 2025
Ahead of World Malaria Day, marked annually on 25 April, WHO congratulates the growing number of countries that are approaching, and achieving, zero cases of malaria. A new initiative launched today aims to halt transmission of the disease in 25 more countries by 2025. Of the 87 countries with malaria, 46 reported fewer than 10 000 cases of the disease in 2019 compared to 26 countries in 2000. By the end of 2020, 24 countries had reported interrupting malaria transmission for 3 years or more. Of these, 11 were certified malaria-free by WHO. “Many of the countries we are recognizing today carried, at one time, a very high burden of malaria. Their successes were hard-won and came only after decades of concerted action” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Together, they have shown the world that malaria elimination is a viable goal for all countries.”Key drivers of successThough each country’s elimination journey is unique, common drivers of success have been seen across all regions. “Success is driven, first and foremost, by political commitment within a malaria-endemic country to end the disease,” said Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme. “This commitment is translated into domestic funding that is often sustained over many decades, even after a country is malaria-free,” he added. Most countries that reach zero malaria have strong primary health care systems that ensure access to malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment services, without financial hardship, for everyone living within their borders – regardless of nationality or legal status.Robust data systems are also key to success, together with strong community engagement. Many countries that eliminate malaria have relied on dedicated networks of volunteer health workers to detect and treat the disease in remote and hard-to-reach areas.New report: “Zeroing in on malaria elimination”Through the E-2020 initiative, launched in 2017, WHO has supported 21 countries in their efforts to get to zero malaria cases within the 2020 timeline. A new WHO report summarizes progress and lessons learned in these countries over the last 3 years. According to the report, 8 of the E-2020 member countries reported zero indigenous cases of human malaria by the end of 2020: Algeria, Belize, Cabo Verde, China, El Salvador, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Malaysia and Paraguay. In Malaysia, the P. knowlesi parasite, normally found in monkeys, infected approximately 2600 people in 2020.A number of other countries made excellent progress: Timor-Leste reported only 1 indigenous case, while 3 other countries – Bhutan, Costa Rica and Nepal – reported fewer than 100 cases. Building on the successes of the E-2020, WHO has identified a new group of 25 countries that have the potential to stamp out malaria within a 5-year timeline. Through the E-2025 initiative, launched today, these countries will receive specialized support and technical guidance as they work towards the target of zero malaria.Malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong In the face of the ongoing threat of antimalarial drug resistance, countries of the Greater Mekong subregion have also made major strides towards their shared goal of elimination by 2030. In the 6 countries of the subregion – Cambodia, China (Yunnan Province), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam – the reported number of malaria cases fell by 97% between 2000 and 2020. Malaria deaths were reduced by more than 99% in this same period of time, from 6000 to 15.Tackling malaria during a global pandemicIn 2020, COVID-19 emerged as a serious challenge to malaria responses worldwide. Since the early days of the pandemic, WHO has urged countries to maintain essential health services, including for malaria, while ensuring that communities and health workers are protected from COVID-19 transmission. Heeding the call, many malaria-endemic countries mounted impressive responses to the pandemic, adapting the way they deliver malaria services to the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by governments. As a result of these efforts, the worst-case scenario of a WHO modelling analysis was likely averted. The analysis found that if access to nets and antimalarial medicines was severely curtailed, the number of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa could double in 2020 compared to 2018.However, more than one year into the pandemic, substantial disruptions to health services persist across the globe. According to the results of a new WHO survey, approximately one third of countries around the world reported disruptions in malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment services during the first quarter of 2021. In many countries, lockdowns and restrictions on the movement of people and goods have led to delays in the delivery of insecticide-treated mosquito nets or indoor insecticide spraying campaigns. Malaria diagnosis and treatment services were interrupted as many people were unable – or unwilling – to seek care in health facilities. WHO is calling on all people living in malaria affected countries to “beat the fear”: people with a fever should go to the nearest health facility to be tested for malaria and receive the care they need, within the context of national COVID-19 protocols. Note to the editor Malaria by numbers: global and regional burden In 2019, there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria and 409 000 malaria-related deaths in 87 countries. Children under the age of 5 years in sub-Saharan Africa continued to account for approximately two thirds of global deaths from malaria.The WHO African Region shouldered 94% of all malaria cases and deaths worldwide in 2019. About 3% per cent of malaria cases in 2019 were reported in the WHO South-East Asia Region and 2% in the WHO Region for the Eastern Mediterranean. The WHO Western Pacific Region and the WHO Region of the Americas each accounted for fewer than 1% of all cases.Target: zero malaria Although progress in the global response to malaria has stalled in recent years, a growing number of countries with a low burden of malaria are approaching, and achieving, the target of zero malaria transmission. Between 2000 and 2020, 24 countries reported zero indigenous cases of malaria for 3 or more years. These countries include: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cabo Verde, China, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates.WHO malaria-free certificationCertification of malaria elimination is the official recognition by WHO of a country’s malaria-free status. WHO grants the certification when a country has proven that the chain of indigenous malaria transmission has been interrupted nationwide for at least the past three consecutive years. A country must also demonstrate the capacity to prevent the re-establishment of transmission. Globally, 39 countries and territories have achieved this milestone. Eleven countries have been certified malaria over the last 2 decades: United Arab Emirates (2007), Morocco (2010), Turkmenistan (2010), Armenia (2011), Sri Lanka (2016), Kyrgyzstan (2016), Paraguay (2018), Uzbekistan (2018), Algeria (2019), Argentina (2019) and El Salvador (2021). Countries that have been certified malaria-free must remain vigilant to prevent a return of the disease. Any imported cases of the disease must be identified and treated rapidly. Countries should maintain up-to-date malaria surveillance systems and ensure that health workers at all levels are continuously trained in how to prevent, detect and treat the disease.
Driving Global Health: Romain Grosjean announces his support for the WHO Foundation
Romain Grosjean, French-Swiss professional racing driver competing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for 2021 is announcing his support for the WHO Foundation, an independent grant-making Foundation which supports the work of the World Health Organization (WHO). Romain will race with the WHO Foundation logo prominently displayed on his race suit and helmet this year. Grosjean notes, “I am proud to support the important work of the WHO Foundation and WHO. Global health matters now more than ever and I am excited to use my voice to help raise awareness for key health issues of our time.” After recovering from a devastating crash at the Formula 1 World Championship race at the Bahrain International Circuit in November, Grosjean is determined to support critical health priorities including the global response to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Grosjean understands first-hand the importance of safety and resilience and is teaming up with the WHO Foundation to promote preparedness activities that ensure health for all. “Romain is an inspiration to anyone who faces a challenge. We are thrilled to share his incredible reach and unique story with the WHO Foundation community to help engage the world of sports in global health priorities.” says Anil Soni, Chief Executive Officer of the WHO Foundation.On 6 April 2021, International Day of Sports for Peace & Development, Grosjean and Soni partook in an Instagram live hosted by WHO to discuss sports, community, global health, vaccine equity and the path ahead of us. Grosjean will be supporting the WHO Foundation in their upcoming vaccine equity campaign by amplifying key messages and encouraging his community to participate in the global fight to end the pandemic. Editors notes:Images of Romain Grosjean’s race suit showing the WHO Foundation logo can be downloaded from here: https://bit.ly/3na1Oqn Please use credit: NTT Indycar series/R. Grosjean About the WHO Foundation The WHO Foundation is an independent grant-making foundation, based in Geneva, that sets out to protect the health and well-being of everyone in every part of the world, working alongside the World Health Organization and the global health community. It aims to support donors, scientists, experts, implementing partners, and advocates around the world in rapidly finding new and better solutions to the most pressing global health challenges of today and tomorrow. The Foundation targets evidence-based initiatives that support WHO in delivering Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 (To ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all). It is focused on reducing health risks, averting pandemics, better managing diseases, and creating stronger health systems. It tackles these areas by building awareness and supporting its partners, including WHO, so that every life is invested in and the world is ready for any health emergency that may arise. WHO Foundation. Together we have so much to achieve. More information: www.who.foundation
Statement on the seventh meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic
The seventh meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) took place on Thursday, 15 April 2021 from 12:00 to 16:30 Geneva time (CEST). Proceedings of the meetingMembers and Advisors of the Emergency Committee were convened by videoconference. The Director-General welcomed the Committee, expressed concern over the continued rise in cases and deaths, and the need to scale up the global vaccination efforts. He thanked the committee for their continued support and advice. Representatives of the Office of Legal Counsel (LEG) and the Department of Compliance, Risk Management, and Ethics (CRE) briefed the members on their roles and responsibilities. The Ethics Officer from CRE provided the Members and Advisers with an overview of the WHO Declaration of Interest process. The Members and Advisers were made aware of their individual responsibility to disclose to WHO, in a timely manner, any interests of a personal, professional, financial, intellectual or commercial nature that may give rise to a perceived or direct conflict of interest. They were additionally reminded of their duty to maintain the confidentiality of the meeting discussions and the work of the Committee. Each member who was present was surveyed and no conflicts of interest were identified. Two members of the Committee and one advisor who were members of the joint international team participating in the WHO-convened Global Study of Origins of SARS-CoV-2 agreed not to contribute to potential recommendations made by the Committee regarding the investigations concerning the origin and emergence of the virus. The Secretariat turned the meeting over to the Chair, Professor Didier Houssin. Professor Houssin also expressed concern over the current trends with the COVID-19 pandemic and reviewed the objectives and agenda of the meeting. The Secretariat presented on the following topics and responded to questions from the Committee. Progress made on WHO’s implementation of the 15 January 2021 advice to the Secretariat; Recent global and regional epidemiological trends, the tracking, monitoring and assessment process for SARS-CoV-2 variants, updates on the mission to understand SARS-CoV-2 origins, and the actions that WHO is taking to ensure a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic; Global COVID-19 vaccine rollout and equity, the impact of vaccines on asymptotic infection and transmission, and vaccine performance against variants of concern (VOC); WHO’s assessment of the impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern on public health interventions; and An overview of WHO actions related to health measures in relation to international traffic. The Committee thanked the Secretariat for the quality of the presentations made and unanimously agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic still constitutes an extraordinary event that continues to adversely affect the health of populations around the world, pose a risk of international spread and interference with international traffic, and to require a coordinated international response. As such, the Committee concurred that the COVID-19 pandemic remains a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and offered advice to the Director-General.The Committee noted that many of the past recommendations remain relevant to current global response efforts. The Committee requests that the IHR Secretariat review past advice and temporary recommendations and bring to the committee a proposal for the process of new issuance, termination, or modification of advice and temporary recommendations in a consistent manner.The Committee recognized WHO’s and States Parties’ progress in implementing the previous advice and Temporary Recommendations from the 6th meeting of the Emergency Committee. The Committee congratulated the mission team and the report from the WHO-convened Global Study of Origins of SARS-CoV-2 and encouraged implementation of the recommendations published in the Mission report. The Committee remains concerned that the world will not exit the pandemic unless, and until, all countries have access to appropriate supplies of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines, irrespective of their ability to pay and the capacity and financial resources to rapidly and effectively vaccinate their populations. Inequities within and among all countries is slowing the return to normal social and economic life. The Committee provided the following advice to the Director-General accordingly. The Director-General determined that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to constitute a PHEIC. He accepted the advice of the Committee to WHO and issued the Committee’s advice to States Parties as Temporary Recommendations under the IHR. The Emergency Committee will be reconvened within three months or earlier, at the discretion of the Director-General. The Director-General thanked the Committee for its work.Advice to the WHO SecretariatCOVID-19 Vaccination Promote global solidarity and equitable vaccine access by encouraging States Parties and manufacturers to support the COVAX Facility, including by sharing vaccine doses, and to conduct technology transfer for local production of COVID-19 vaccines and ancillary supplies, including in low- and middle-income countries with scalable capacities. Accelerate evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, encourage regulatory agencies to use reliance mechanisms, and support States Parties in strengthening their regulatory agencies to facilitate supply of vaccines with assured quality, efficacy, and safety. Mobilize technical assistance and financial support to States Parties with insufficient capacity and financial resources for vaccine introduction and roll out. Encourage States Parties to prioritize vaccination of high-risk groups as identified in the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts in Immunization (SAGE) roadmap. Continue to closely monitor potential vaccine safety signals globally, disseminate timely reports on adverse events following immunization (AEFI), and provide regular SAGE interim recommendations to inform timely national decision-making on the use of COVID-19 vaccines. Continuously collect and share best practices and lessons learned from COVID-19 vaccination, to guide national, regional, and global decision-making. Strengthen WHO and support strengthening of States Parties’ capacities to prevent, detect and respond to the growing threat of substandard and falsified vaccines. Encourage all countries and support low- and middle-income countries to conduct research in line with WHO guidance and best practices. Research topics include COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and effectiveness with regards to infection, transmission, and disease including due to VOC, duration of protection against disease and asymptomatic infection, long-term protection after using different vaccination intervals, protection after one/two/booster dose schedules, and protection following mixed vaccine product schedules.Accelerate research to establish correlates of protection from COVID-19 vaccines against infection and disease, including for VOC, thereby facilitating implementation of vaccines and policy development on the use of vaccines. SARS-CoV-2 Variants Support States Parties to strengthen their epidemiological and virologic surveillance as part of a comprehensive strategy to control COVID-19. Provide clear guidance to States Parties for sequencing to monitor virus evolution and encourage broader geographic representative of genetic testing, rapid sharing of sequences, and meta-data with WHO and publicly available platforms. This will strengthen SARS-CoV-2 evolution monitoring, increase global understanding of variants, and inform decision-making for public health and social measures, diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. Strengthen the WHO SARS-CoV-2 risk monitoring and assessment framework for variants by accelerating collaboration, harmonizing research to answer critical unknowns about mutations and VOC, and prioritizing issues most relevant for vaccine development, regulatory authorization, and policy formulation, through relevant networks and expert groups such as WHO SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution Working Group, WHO Research and Development Blueprint for Epidemics. Work with States Parties to conduct in-depth analyses into the factors contributing to the current surge of cases and deaths, including the potential role of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Health Measures in Relation to International TrafficUpdate the WHO December 2020 risk-based guidance for reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission related to international travel (by air, land, and sea) based on current science and best practices that include clear recommendations for testing approaches and traveler quarantine duration, as appropriate. Incorporate an ethical framework into the updated guidance to guide national decision making. The guidance should take into consideration COVID-19 vaccination roll out, immunity conferred by past infection, risk settings, movements of migrants, temporary workers, and purpose of travel (non-essential versus essential).Continue to coordinate with relevant stakeholders in the fields of international travel and transport, including ICAO, UNWTO, and IATA, for the regular review, updating, and dissemination of evidence-based guidance on travel-related risk reduction measures.Continue to update the WHO interim position on the considerations regarding requirements of proof of vaccination and to produce interim guidance and tools related to standardization of paper and digital documentation of COVID-19 travel-related risk reduction measures (vaccination status, SARS-COV-2 testing and COVID-19 recovery status) in the context of international travel. Continue to work with States Parties and partners to enable essential travel and repatriation and to facilitate the movement of goods to prevent delays in access to aid and essential supplies. Continue to encourage vaccination of seafarers and air crews in line with the Joint statement on prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination for seafarers and aircrew. Origin of SARS-CoV-2 Proceed with rapid implementation of the recommendations in the WHO-convened Global Study of Origins of SARS-CoV-2 report as part of the phase two studies. Encourage research into the genetic evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. One Health Promote One Health approaches to better understand and reduce the risk of spill-over of emerging infections from animal to human populations and from humans to animals, including from domestic animals. Work with partners to develop and disseminate joint risk-based guidance for regulation of wet markets and farms to reduce transmission of novel pathogens from humans to animals and vice-versa. Risk Communications, Community Engagement, and Risk Management Provide communications materials and guidance to explain to communities the continued need for a sustained pandemic response; document and provide messaging to respond to pandemic fatigue. Provide the public with communication materials that outline the relative benefits and risks of vaccinations and therapeutics, explain the need for the continuation of public health and social measures, and dispel misinformation.Assist States Parties in providing their populations with credible and current information to guide national decision-making by analyzing the latest scientific evidence, sharing evidence-based good practices and experiences, and providing tools and strategies for engaging and understanding community concerns.Temporary Recommendations to States PartiesCOVID-19 VaccinationContribute to global solidarity efforts to increase equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and ancillary supplies by supporting the COVAX Facility and engaging in technology transfer, where feasible. Reduce national and global inequities by ensuring vulnerable populations’ access to COVID-19 vaccines and by prioritizing vaccination of high-risk groups in line with the SAGE Roadmap. In light of currently limited global supply, prioritized vaccination can ensure vaccine supply is available for all countries. Enhance capacity for COVID-19 vaccination by using the guidance, tools, and trainings for national/subnational focal points and health workers available in the COVID-19 vaccine introduction toolkit. Incorporate, as necessary and appropriate, the private sector into the COVID-19 vaccine planning and introduction to supplement existing service provision and vaccination capacity. Share with WHO data and key insights on COVID-19 vaccine uptake and acceptance, wherever possible, and provide the public with credible information on vaccine safety and the benefits of vaccination to address concerns. Strengthen national vaccine pharmacovigilance systems to identify, report, and respond to vaccine safety signals. SARS-CoV-2 Variants Strengthen epidemiological and virologic surveillance as part of a comprehensive strategy to control COVID-19 and leverage existing systems such as the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) and relevant networks for systematic sharing of data and specimens.Share sequences and meta-data with WHO and publicly available platforms to strengthen SARS-CoV-2 evolution monitoring, increase global understanding of variants, and inform decision-making for public health and social measures, diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. Virus sharing, including sharing of VOC, should be undertaken to facilitate evaluation of vaccines against VOC using internationally standardized assays.Health measures in relation to international traffic Do not require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry, given the limited (although growing) evidence about the performance of vaccines in reducing transmission and the persistent inequity in the global vaccine distribution. States Parties are strongly encouraged to acknowledge the potential for requirements of proof of vaccination to deepen inequities and promote differential freedom of movement. Prioritize vaccination for seafarers and air crews in line with the Joint statement on prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination for seafarers and aircrew. Special attention should be paid to seafarers who are stranded at sea and who are stopped from crossing international borders for crew change due to travel restrictions, including requirements for proof of COVID-19 vaccination, to ensure that their human rights are respected.Implement coordinated, time-limited, risk-based, and evidence-based approaches for health measures in relation to international traffic in line with WHO guidance and IHR provisions. If States Parties implement quarantine measures for international travelers on arrival at their destination, these measures should be based on risk assessments and consider local circumstances.Reduce the financial burden on international travelers for the measures applied to them for the protection of public health (e.g. testing, isolation/quarantine, and vaccination), in accordance with Article 40 of the IHR. Share information with WHO on the effects of health measures in minimizing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during international travel to inform WHO’s development of evidence-based guidance. One Health Strengthen regulation of wet markets and discourage the sale or import of wild animals that pose a high risk of transmission of novel pathogens from animals to humans or vice versa.Conduct risk-based monitoring of animal populations to reduce disease transmission from animals to humans. Monitoring efforts should prioritize potential high-risk animal populations that may become reservoirs or lead to emergence of novel viruses or variants.Origins of SARS-CoV-2 Support global research efforts to better understand critical unknowns about SARS-CoV-2 including the origin of the virus as well as specific mutations, variants, and genetic factors associated with severe disease.Risk Communications, Community Engagement and Risk ManagementCommunicate about COVID-19 vaccinations clearly and consistently, including on the benefit-risk of vaccination and on potential AEFI. It should be clearly communicated that no vaccination is 100% effective and that risk of disease, especially severe disease, is significantly reduced but not eliminated. Consequently, public health and social measures are still critically needed to prevent infections and control transmission of SARS-CoV-2 while vaccination supplies increase and coverage grows. Materials should be provided in an easily understandable format and local languages.Engage and enable communities, the media, and civil society stakeholders in response efforts to reduce pandemic fatigue and enhance vaccine acceptance. Establish mechanisms to prepare and support health workers and public health authorities as the pandemic is likely to continue for many additional months.In addition, the following previous recommendations are extended as advised by the Committee.Extension and Updates of Previous Advice to the WHO Secretariat: Essential Health Services and Strengthening Health Systems: Work with partners to support States Parties in strengthening their essential health services, with a particular focus on mental health, public health prevention and control systems, and other societal impacts, as well as preparing for and responding to concurrent outbreaks, such as seasonal influenza. Special attention should continue to be provided to vulnerable settings.Provide strategic insight on how States Parties can strengthen and sustain their public health infrastructure, capacities, and functions developed for COVID-19 response to support strengthened health systems, emergency preparedness, and universal health coverage in the long-term.Extension and Updates of Previous Temporary Recommendations to States Parties: Essential Health Services and Strengthening Health Services: Maintain essential health services with sufficient funding, supplies, and human resources; strengthen health systems to cope with mental health impacts of the pandemic, concurrent disease outbreaks, and other emergencies.Continue to strengthen public health infrastructure, system capacities, and functions for COVID-19 response, build health systems that can meet health security demands, and to enhance universal health coverage.
Greta Thunberg, climate and environment activist, joins World Health Organization’s call for vaccine equity
The Greta Thunberg Foundation to donate 100 000 Euros to support vaccine equity Ms Thunberg urges countries and manufacturers to boost and share COVID-19 vaccine supplies so everyone everywhere can be vaccinated Greta Thunberg, the climate and environment activist, will donate 100,000 Euros (US$ 120 000) via her foundation, to the WHO Foundation, in support of COVAX to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, as part of the global effort to ensure equitable access of vaccines to the most at-risk in all countries, including health workers, older people and those with underlying conditions. The donation has been made possible thanks to awards that the Greta Thunberg Foundation has received for her advocacy in support of action on climate change.Ms Thunberg, who today will join the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 press conference (details below) said: “The international community must do more to address the tragedy that is vaccine inequity. We have the means at our disposal to correct the great imbalance that exists around the world today in the fight against COVID-19. Just as with the climate crisis, we must help those who are the most vulnerable first. That is why I am supporting WHO, Gavi and all involved in the COVAX initiative, which I believe offers the best path forward to ensure true vaccine equity and a way out of the pandemic.”On average, 1 in 4 people in high-income countries have received a coronavirus vaccine, compared with just 1 in more than 500 in low-income countries.WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thanked Greta Thunberg for her advocacy in support of vaccine equity and the example she has set, through the Greta Thunberg Foundation, for making this life-saving donation to COVAX.“Greta Thunberg has inspired millions of people worldwide to take action to address the climate crisis, and her strong support of vaccine equity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic yet again demonstrates her commitment to making our world a healthier, safer and fairer place for all people,” said Dr Tedros. “I urge the global community to follow Greta’s example and do what they can, in support of COVAX, to protect the world’s most vulnerable people from this pandemic.” Anil Soni, chief executive officer of the WHO Foundation, applauded the donation by the Greta Thunberg Foundation as an important signal to policymakers that there is widespread support from young people around the world for a global response to this global challenge. “Greta’s gift shows how we, as a global community, must come together to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines. Each of us can do our part,” said Mr Soni. “The WHO Foundation is committed to working hand in hand with all those who share this vision.” The WHO Foundation is mobilizing resources to support COVAX, in part through a new fundraising campaign being launched at the end of April.-----------------------------Editors notes:Greta Thunberg will join the WHO COVID-19 press conference later today, Monday 19 April, at 5pm Central European Summer Time. She will be joined by WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros, and youth activists from the Global Youth Mobilization initiative.Journalists can follow the press conference on WHO’s social media channels or connect using the following details: By Zoom: https://who-e.zoom.us/j/97576439142 Password: VPCyouth21By phone: Webinar ID 975 7643 9142; Numeric passcode for phone: 4662611775; International numbers https://who-e.zoom.us/u/aczVepLgsXAbout Greta Thunberg: Greta Thunberg (born 2003) is a climate and environmental activist from Sweden. In 2018, she started a global school strike movement to protest against governments’ inaction on the climate crisis. Since then, millions of young people have demonstrated on the streets and online, asking world leaders to listen to the science and take action to protect our future. The Greta Thunberg Foundation was founded in 2019 and supports projects and groups working towards a just and sustainable world by donating award and royalty funds linked to Greta Thunberg’s activism. About the WHO Foundation:The WHO Foundation is an independent grant-making foundation, based in Geneva, that sets out to protect the health and well-being of everyone in every part of the world, working alongside the World Health Organization and the global health community. It aims to support donors, scientists, experts, implementing partners, and advocates around the world in rapidly finding new and better solutions to the most pressing global health challenges of today and tomorrow.The Foundation targets evidence-based initiatives that support WHO in delivering Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 (To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all). It is focused on reducing health risks, averting pandemics, better managing diseases, and creating stronger health systems. It tackles these areas by building awareness and supporting its partners, including WHO, so that every life is invested in and the world is ready for any health emergency that may arise.WHO Foundation. Together we have so much to achieveMore information: www.who.foundation About WHO:The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. For updates on COVID-19 and public health advice to protect yourself from coronavirus, visit www.who.int and follow WHO on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube