From: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health [mailto:globalhealthnow@xxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 5:55 AM
Subject: Global Health NOW: Viva Vaccine!; Great Gains in Africa; and “Secret Science” Just Got More Sweeping
Nov 12, 2019
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Great Gains in Africa
53 million more women have gained access to modern since Family Planning 2020 launched in 2012, according to the group’s new progress report—with the sharpest increases in Eastern and Southern Africa.
There are now 314 million women and girls in 69 low-income countries using modern contraception. 9 countries—including Mozambique, Chad, Cameroon, and the Kyrgyz Republic—are on track to achieve their FP2020 goals for contraceptive use. Another 13 countries are just a few percentage points away.
FP2020 acknowledges that they've fallen short of their original ambition to reach 120 million women and girls—but the progress is 30% higher than the historic trendline.
“We found that sometimes the goal itself can mask the levels of progress that are underneath it,” Beth Schlachter, executive director of Family Planning 2020, told Devex.
A Call for Action on “Forgotten Epidemic”
Fed up that pneumonia—curable and highly preventable—kills a child every 39 seconds, a collection of 6 health agencies issued a joint call for governments to act.
Last year, 800,000 children died from pneumonia. Yet despite causing 15% of deaths in children under 5, it draws just 3% of global infectious disease research spending.
The agencies, including Save the Children and UNICEF, urge worst-affected governments to implement pneumonia control strategies and improve primary health care. Wealthier countries can boost immunization coverage and invest in R&D.
On the horizon: the Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia in Spain in January.
UNICEF (press release)
“Secret Science” Just Got More Sweeping
The latest draft of the EPA’s “secret science” rule proposes releasing raw data from almost every study considered in the agency’s rule-making—including confidential medical records, The Hill reports.
Architects of the proposal say it seeks transparency to avoid political sway in science; critics call it an excuse to further roll back environmental regulations, stymieing important studies whose data sharing is limited by confidentiality agreements.
Another new addition: The new rule would be retroactive, meaning it could undercut groundbreaking research now central to regulations—like the Six Cities study linking pollution to premature deaths, the New York Times reports.
The consequences for air, water and chemical regulations could be dire for public health.
The Quote: “Let’s call this what it is: an excuse to abandon clean air, clean water, and chemical safety rules,” said Andrew Rosenberg, chief of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHTS
Southern Christian pregnancy centers are rebranding and making a bid for funding relinquished by Planned Parenthood as the organization rejects President Trump’s new Title X conditions.
One Texas group, The Source, has merged 8 centers into a chain that plans to expand its offering to STD testing and contraceptive choices—a major shift for Christian health care—but still no abortions or abortion referrals.
The move won’t sit well with everyone: “Even within the pro-life community, there’s a lot of nuance in what we think we should be offering to women,” said Ingrid Skop, an obstetrician-gynecologist who sits on The Source board.
The Washington Post
Related: Pregnant people are being offered an unproven treatment to “reverse” abortions – Vox
A chemical attack on a kindergarten in China’s Yunnan province injured dozens of children and 3 teachers; the attacker was apparently seeking “revenge on society,” state officials said. CNN
The international Dengue Forecasting Project deployed 16 teams to tackle the immense challenge of predicting the disease’s progression; their findings were published in PNAS. EurekAlert (news release)
Florida health officials are racing to administer vaccines amid an alarming outbreak of hepatitis A; the state has seen 3,000+ cases since January 2018, with the Tampa Bay area most affected. AP
Temporary TB? A Penn Medicine study published in BMJ found that people may test positive because their immune system remembers the disease, clashing with the popular theory that tuberculosis is lifelong. The Daily Pennsylvanian
My husband was a veteran living in shame. He died from an opioid addiction. – Vox
Didi Kidane and Katie Sharkey: Caring for Our Women in Uniform: Ensuring Good Mental Health for Women Veterans – Physician’s Weekly (comment)
Beyond recognition: Certifying quality maternal care in India – Devex (multimedia)
The Controversy Around Virginity Testing – NPR
Shifting the Focus of Breast Cancer to Prevention – The New York Times
Why mercury still poses important threats to human health – UN Environment Program
‘It’s honestly hell.’ Hospitals see rare vomiting syndrome in heavy marijuana consumers – The Boston Globe
VERIFY: Do less than half of U.S. adults get vaccinated for the flu? – WUSA9
Surgeons Transplanted Pig Skin Onto Humans for the First Time – OneZero
Playing the didgeridoo is good for your health! WHOs review of evidence praises the wind instrument as well as choir singing, calligraphy and waltzing – Daily Mail