News Pouch: 2 December 2019

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

News Pouch: 2 December 2019

Welcome to this issue of the newsletter where we highlight latest research and policy news and literature on health emergencies preparedness and response, tagged by thematic area.

Please send your feedback, articles and reports, or questions you would like to share to Dr. Chadia Wannous via email cwannous@yahoo.com  

Wishing you useful reading!
Chadia
=============
Topics: 

  • Spotlight: Ebola Outbreak Situation
  • Updates and News on Outbreaks
    • Priority Infectious Diseases
      • Influenza
      •  VBD, and more
  • One Health
    • Biodiversity and ecosystem
    • Food Security and Safety
    • AMR
    • Health in Emergencies and Disasters
    • Health and Climate Change
    • Urban Health
    • Migration Health
    • Global Health
    • Contact us

     

    Ebola Outbreak Situation

    External Situation Report 69: 26 November 2019
    Violence and civil unrest in the week have led to the suspension of Ebola response activities in some areas of Beni, Butembo, and Oicha health zones. On 26 November 2019, some response personnel were temporarily relocated from Beni, though most remain in place to continue responding. The immediate focus will be on maintaining the safety and welfare of response personnel while preserving essential response activities in these places.
    The disruptions to the response and lack of access to Ebola-affected communities is threatening to reverse recent progress. As seen previously during this outbreak, such disruptions limit contact tracing, surveillance, and vaccination efforts, and they often result in increased transmission.
    In the past 21 days (from 4 to 24 November 2019), 12 health areas and four health zones have reported cases. During this period, a total of 28 confirmed cases were reported, with the majority reported from Mabalako (54%; n=15 cases) and Beni (32%; n=9). There have been no new confirmed cases in Nyakunde Health Zone for 42 days.
    As of 24 November 2019, a total of 3303 EVD cases, including 3185 confirmed and 118 probable cases have been reported, of which 2199 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 67%). Of the total confirmed and probable cases, 56% (1862) were female, 28% (935) were children aged less than 18 years, and 5% (163) were healthcare workers.
    click here to download the complete situation report (PDF).

    Violence in DR Congo Ebola hotspot leaves people ‘caught in crossfire’
    Attacks on communities in an Ebola outbreak hotspot in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have sparked a humanitarian crisis and threatened aid distribution, the UN said on Friday, amid reports of serious civil unrest.
    https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/11/1052441
     
    Dead and injured following attacks on Ebola responders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/28-11-2019-dead-and-injured-following-attacks-on-ebola-responders-in-the-democratic-republic-of-the-congo

    WHO, UNICEF evacuates staff in DRC amid growing unrest
    With 1 new case confirmed today, the Ebola outbreak has grown to 3,304 infections, including 2,198 fatal ones.
    More »

    Violence hampering efforts to contain Ebola
    Ebola cases are likely to rise in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) because a surge in violence is hampering efforts to contain the virus. The World Health Organization has temporarily evacuated one-third of its 120 staff from the city of Beni. Over the past three weeks, an armed group called the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) has terrorized residents of Beni and nearby areas with machetes and knives — at least 77 people have been killed. The current Ebola outbreak has killed nearly 2,200 people in the eastern DRC since August 2018.
    Nature | 3 min read
     
    Lessons Learned in 40 Years of Fighting Ebola Outbreaks  
    Chaos, fear, poor coordination, limited resources, unintentional neo-colonialism, violence against healthcare workers, getting the right interventions to the right people, poor community engagement—these were some of the challenges noted Thursday at TropMed19 by an all-star panel of Ebola experts reflecting on lessons learned from their frontline experience spanning more than 40 years of outbreak response.
    http://iamtropmed.org/blog/2019/11/21/lessons-learned-in-40-years-of-fighting-ebola-outbreaks

    Two Ebola treatments yield ‘substantial decrease’ in mortality, landmark trial shows
    Two treatments based on Ebola antibodies led to a survival rate of about 65% in treated patients, compared to 33% in the outbreak overall.
    https://www.statnews.com/2019/11/27/two-ebola-treatments-mortality-decrease

    This lab on wheels could be a game-changer during the next Ebola outbreak, scientists say
    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/11/lab-wheels-could-be-gamechanger-during-next-ebola-outbreak-scientists-say
     

    Priority Diseases

    Influenza
     
    WHO biweekly global influenza update  www.who.int/influenza/surveillance_monitoring/updates/latest_update_GIP_surveillance/
     
    The latest FluNet summary of lab-confirmed data from GISRS  www.who.int/influenza/gisrs_laboratory/updates/summaryreport
     
    The first edition of a new Global AIV with Zoonotic Potential Situation Update from FAO/EMPRES – Animal Health
     

    • 12 new outbreaks reported across Eastern Asia and Central America
    • Updated map of the global situation of AIV with zoonotic potential in the current wave
    • 23 new relevant publications

    http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/Global_AIV_Zoonotic_Update/situation_update.html
     
    Accurate influenza forecasts using type-specific incidence data for small geographical units
    Influenza incidence forecasting is used to facilitate better health system planning and could potentially be used to allow at-risk individuals to modify their behavior. For example, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) runs an annual competition to forecast influenza-like illness (ILI) at the regional and national levels in the US, based on a standard discretized incidence scale.
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/19012807v1

    Swine fever raises fears of bird flu pandemic
    Pork meat shortages caused by swine fever can spur backyard poultry farming and trigger another bird flu pandemic.
    https://www.scidev.net/global/livestock/feature/swine-fever-raises-fears-of-bird-flu-pandemic-1x.html
     
    Low 2018/19 vaccine effectiveness against influenza A(H3N2) among 15–64-year-olds in Europe: exploration by birth cohort
    https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2019.24.48.1900604
     
    Influenza imprinting in childhood and the influence on vaccine response later in life
    https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2019.24.48.1900720
     
    Impact of influenza vaccination programmes among the elderly population on primary care, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands: 2015/16 to 2017/18 influenza seasons
    https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2019.24.45.1900268

    Respiratory viruses on personal protective equipment and bodies of healthcare workers
    View at Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol

    Oseltamivir is effective against 1918 influenza virus infection of macaques but vulnerable to escape
    View at mBio
    ==================
     
    Vector-Borne Diseases (VBD)

    Emergence of Lyme disease as a social problem: analysis of discourse using the media content
    https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/eurpub/ckz198/5613229
     
    Vector-borne transmission of Zika virus in Europe, southern France, August 2019  
    https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2019.24.45.1900655

    Mosquitoes armed with bacteria beat back dengue virus
    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/11/mosquitoes-armed-bacteria-beat-back-dengue-virus

    Dengue infection in Pakistan: not an isolated problem
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(19)30621-8/fulltext

    Unprecedented rise in dengue outbreaks in Bangladesh
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(19)30616-4/fulltext

    Worldwide surge in dengue
    https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-scales-up-response-to-worldwide-surge-in-dengue
    ============
    ASF

    ASF Asia Update for 28 November from FAO/EMPRES – Animal Health.
    * The Republic of Korea reported additional 4 wild pig case in Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do.
    * China’s Central-South Zone starts implementing new measures on live pig and pork product transportation.
    http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/ASF/Situation_update.html             

    ==============
     
    HIV

    Innovative WHO HIV testing recommendations aim to expand treatment coverage
    WHO has issued new recommendations to help countries reach the 8.1 million people living with HIV who are yet to be diagnosed, and who are therefore unable to obtain lifesaving treatment. Today, 3 in 4 of all people with HIV live in the African Region.
    https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/27-11-2019-innovative-who-hiv-testing-recommendations-aim-to-expand-treatment-coverage

    HIV among women in the WHO European Region – epidemiological trends and predictors of late diagnosis, 2009-2018
    https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2019.24.48.1900696
    ============
    TB

    WHO releases new guidance on treating drug-resistant tuberculosis in children and adolescents
    WHO/Europe has released an expert opinion on managing drug-resistant tuberculosis in children and adolescents, supported by a commentary in the Lancet.
    Drug-resistant tuberculosis is particularly dangerous, and many young people suffering with the disease are undiagnosed. It is estimated that in the WHO European Region, 2000 children under the age of 15 with TB remain undiagnosed each year, a figure that is believed to be higher in the 15–19 years age group.
    The guidance is evidence-based and provides updates on recent scientific evidence, as well as region-specific clinical and public health recommendations on tackling DR-TB in children and adolescents.
    http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics...
     

    One Health  

    The Convergence of Infectious Diseases and Noncommunicable Diseases: Proceedings of a Workshop
    While there has been growing recognition of the convergence of infectious diseases and noncommunicable diseases, the two fields continue to remain siloed in many aspects. Getting a better understanding of this connection and bridging cross-sector collaborations would advance progress to effectively respond to these diseases and to ultimately reduce the public health impact and burden of the convergence from the local to global levels. On June 11 and June 12, 2019, the Forum on Microbial Threats held a 1.5-day public workshop at The Rockefeller Foundation in New York City.
    https://bit.ly/2KytNxJ
     
    One Health as a moral dilemma: Towards a socially responsible zoonotic disease control
    https://doi.org/10.1111/zph.12536
     
    An experimental test of community‐based strategies for mitigating human–wildlife conflict around protected areas
    https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12679
     
    Concepts and Experiences in Framing, Integration and Evaluation of One Health and EcoHealth
    doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00155
     
    Operationalizing One Health Employing Social-Ecological Systems Theory: Lessons From the Greater Mekong Sub-region
    doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00085
     
    The Global Burden of (How we Manage) Animal Disease: Learning Lessons from Southern Africa
    doi: 10.7589/2019-01-024
     
    Ongoing accumulation of plant diversity through habitat connectivity in an 18-year experiment
    DOI: 10.1126/science.aax8992
     
    An experimental test of community‐based strategies for mitigating human–wildlife conflict around protected areas
    https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12679
     
    Systems Thinking in Practice: Participatory Modeling as a Foundation for Integrated Approaches to Health
    doi: 10.3389/fvets.2018.00303.
     
    Beyond One Health—Zoological Medicine in the Anthropocene
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2017.00102
     
    Ecology and conservation: contributions to One Health
    https://bit.ly/2XtBDhu
     
    Call for Papers
    New Frontiers Research Topic e-book in
    Frontiers in Veterinary Science and Frontiers in Public Health, Integrated Approaches to Health Call for manuscripts focused on generating One Health/EcoHealth knowledge and practice and reports of case studies that apply the Network for Evaluation of One Health (NEOH) methodology in order to highlight strengths, weaknesses and added value of One Health based on practical examples in a variety of contexts.
    https://bit.ly/2QxgKAD
     
    Webinar
    December 18, 2019 
    One Health Social Sciences Action Team Meeting   
    10:00 – 11:30 am Eastern
    The One Health Commission's One Health Social Sciences (OHSS) Initiative is taking the next step to further its mission of streng-thening the global network of scientists and practitioners inte-grating One Health and social science concepts and methods in research and practice. If you are interested in this expanding arena of One Health approaches, please join in this online meeting with colleagues from across the world working on similar issues.
    Free but you must register to receive your unique login to join the meeting.
    https://tinyurl.com/umhzm63   
     
    ===================

    Biodiversity and Ecosystem

    “The stability and resilience of our planet is in peril.”
    Evidence is mounting that abrupt and irreversible shifts in the Earth system — such as the loss of the Amazon rainforest or the West Antarctic ice sheet — are more likely than was thought. At worst, a global cascade of these tipping points could lead to a new, less habitable, ‘hothouse’ climate state. Seven climate scientists look at the evidence for tipping points, explore the effects and urge an emergency response.
    Nature | 10 min read
     
    Ensuring enough water for ecosystems
    SDG Indicator 6.4.2 for which FAO is the custodian agency is presently the only indicator across the SDGs that explicitly considers the vital role of environmental water in ensuring sustainable water use. FAO has produced guidelines for a minimum standard method for global reporting ’Incorporating environmental flows into water stress indicator 6.4.2 which were published in January 2019, and aim at supporting countries in the process of producing data and information on environmental flows. .
    + Read the guidelines

    Deforestation is leading to more infectious diseases in humans
    As more and more forest is cleared around the world, scientists fear that the next deadly pandemic could emerge from what lives within them.

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/11/deforestation-leading-to-more-infectious-diseases-in-humans/#close

    Development, Environmental Degradation, and Disease Spread in the Brazilian Amazon:
    discuss the impact of Amazonian development on human health – specifically on vector-borne disease risk – and outline policy actions that could mitigate these negative health impacts.

    https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000526

    Shoring up Asia's mega deltas
    Asian mega deltas are home to more than 400 million people and serve as biodiversity hotspots. They are, however, facing severe challenges such as shrinking and sinking, due to climate change and unsustainable development.
    https://www.sei.org/perspectives/deltas-face-the-brunt-of-unsustainable-development-and-climate-impacts-we-must-move-beyond-concrete-to-shore-them-up

    Community land rights: An untapped solution to secure climate, biodiversity, and development goals
    https://blogs.worldbank.org/sustainablecities/community-land-rights-untapped-solution-secure-climate-biodiversity-development-goals

    One-third of African tropical plant species could go extinct
    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/11/one-third-african-tropical-plant-species-could-go-extinct
     
    Emissions and Health Impacts from Global Shipping Embodied in US-China Bilateral Trade
    Global shipping activity emits 938 million tons of CO2 annually. Liu et al. (2019) use a mixed-method approach to evaluate satellite-observed vessel activities, their shipping emissions, and these impacts on human health – projecting that US-China bilateral trade is responsible for 2.5% of global shipping CO2 emissions and 4.8% of global premature deaths caused by related air pollution.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-019-0414-z
     
    Extended: Open call for proposals on SDG Labs on Biodiversity 
    Closes: 8 December 2019
    Open call for proposals on SDG Labs on Biodiversity has been extended until 8 December. Researchers, innovators and change-makers are invited to propose SDG Labs on Biodiversity-based solution to sustainability challenges for the International Conference on Sustainability Science (ICSS) 2020 held in Kunming, China in October 2020. The conference will precede the CBD-COP15 as a means of catalyzing transdisciplinary discussions on biodiversity.
    To apply for SDG Labs, visit the conference website.
     
    ================
    Food Safety and Security
     
    Satellite ‘surveillance’ reveals which sustainable farming methods work—and which don’t
    Sustainable intensification has become a buzzword in agriculture, covering a fleet of new farming methods, interventions, and technologies that are designed to scale up farming at the lowest-possible environmental cost. But one catch is that it’s difficult to measure how effective these methods really are across large areas of farmland. The new study, however, provides some convincing evidence that some interventions really are worth their salt.
    Read more...
     
    Zimbabwe facing man-made starvation, says UN expert
    Man-made starvation is “slowly making its way into Zimbabwe” and most households in the country are unable to obtain enough food to meet their basic needs, Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur on the right to food, declared on Thursday.
    https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/11/1052411
     
    Climate change impacts and responses in small-scale irrigation systems in West Africa. Case studies in Côte d'Ivoire, the Gambia, Mali and the Niger
    The West and Central Africa region is particularly threatened by climate change and weather-related shocks, due in part to its high dependence on rainfed agriculture. Small-scale irrigation is very promising for the region as it can support rural food security, poverty alleviation and adaptation to climate change. Improving the resilience of small-scale irrigation systems to climate change-related shocks should be therefore an essential The West and Central Africa region part of any effective irrigation investment plan. 
    + Read more
    + Read the publication
     
    WaPOR, FAO's tool that monitors carbon sequestration by vegetation is now enriched with new data
    WaPOR, FAO’s portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open access of Remotely sensed derived data, is now enriched with high resolution data (30m) for an area around Lamego, in central Mozambique. The area was selected for its relevance to assess the impact of extreme weather events that are becoming more frequent as a result of global warming. Mozambique was devastated by cyclone Idai in March 2019 and remote sensing data can help assessing the longer term impact and recovery efforts. WaPOR, in addition to monitoring water consumption through evapotranspiration and other key variables related to water and agriculture, provides seamless monitoring of carbon uptake by vegetation in near-real time, from 2009 to date. 
    + Visit the WaPOR online portal
    + For more information on WaPOR, visit the WaPOR websit
     
    Multiple Health and Environmental Impacts of Foods
    investigate the health and environmental impacts of 15 different food groups, finding that the same foods associated with improved adult health – particularly lower incidences of non-communicable disease – also contribute less to environmental degradation.
    https://www.pnas.org/content/116/46/23357
     
    Lack of Sustainable Cooling Threatens Safety, Health and Food Security of Hundreds of Millions
    Brian Dean reviews the recommendations from a new SEforALL report, including a call for countries to develop comprehensive national cooling plans.
    Read
     
    =============
     AMR
     

    CDC: Medical devices key source of antibiotic-resistant infections
    Resistance is more prevalent in bacterial infections tied to devices like catheters and ventilators compared with surgical infections.
    More »
     
    A chink in the armour of drug-resistant MRSA
    Biochemists have found a compound that lowers the defences of drug-resistant strains of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus — the leading cause of infections worldwide. Researchers screened around 45,000 candidates before alighting on MAC-545496, which shows promise against MRSA (methicillin-resistant S. aureus) in lab tests. Rather than acting as an antibiotic itself, MAC-545496 makes MRSA more vulnerable to attack by the immune system, and weakens its resistance to existing drugs.
    Forbes | 5 min read
    Reference: Nature Chemical Biology paper

    Dangerous bacteria communicate to avoid antibiotics
    Researchers have found a new survival mechanism for a commonly known type of bacteria. It can send out warning signals and thus make sure that other bacteria escape 'dangers' such as antibiotics. The researchers hope that the new knowledge can be utilized to make antibiotic treatment more effective.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20.. .

    Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Nov 27, 2019

    • Rapid susceptibility test
    • Vegetarians harboring superbugs
    • Fidaxomicin against C diff in kids

    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2019/11/stewardship-resistance-scan-nov-27-2019

    Emergencies and Disasters
     

    Medical facilities coping well in Albania following earthquake
    http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/emergencies/pages/news/news/2019/11/medical-facilities-coping-well-in-albania-following-earthquake

    Floods across Europe affect thousands: Public health advice on flooding
    WHO has published advice for anyone affected by flooding, including measures to take before, during and after a flood to help contain health hazards.
    http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics...

    WHO-AFRO Emergencies: Week 47: 18 - 24 November 2019
    The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 61 events in the region. This week’s main articles cover key new and ongoing events, including:

    • Lassa fever in Sierra Leone
    • Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Cholera in Ethiopia
    • Humanitarian crisis in Mali.

    https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/329974/OEW47-25112019.pdf

    The tip of the iceberg: why 99% of humanitarian resources in crises are ignored
    At the global level, our research estimates that international humanitarian assistance comprises as little as 1% of resource flows to countries affected by humanitarian crises. These other resources cover a wide range, including monetary and in-kind help raised by crisis-affected individuals and communities themselves, remittances sent by family members abroad, local and national government resources and other informal aid, including volunteering, philanthropy and faith-based giving, as well as climate finance and development assistance.
    https://www.odi.org/blogs/tip-iceberg-why-99-humanitarian-resources-crises-are-ignored
     

    Climate Change

    Guide to climate change and mental health
    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (C-CHANGE) publishes a guide explaining how global environmental change matters to your child's mental health and explains steps that one can take to keep their child healthy in a changing climate.
    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/c-change/subtopics/climate-change-and-mental-health/

    Special Issue 'Hospital Outdoor and Indoor Environmental Impact: Control Measures'
    https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph/spec...

    Health and climate change: making the link matter
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lance...
     
    COP25: UN climate change conference, 5 things you need to know
    Climate change is happening—the world is already 1.1°C warmer than it was at the onset of the industrial revolution, and it is already having a significant impact on the world, and on people’s lives. And if current trends persist, then global temperatures can be expected to rise by 3.4 to 3.9°C this century, which would bring wide-ranging and destructive climate impacts.
    https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/11/1052251
     
    Is the world ready to end the coal era and embrace clean energy?
    Access to electricity has transformed the world, helping countries to develop their economies, and lifting millions out of poverty. However, this success has come at a great cost: the energy sector, heavily reliant on fossil fuels, is responsible for some 40 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions – one of the so-called greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere and warm the Earth – and almost two-thirds of these emissions come from coal.
    https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/11/1052271

    NOAA finds 2019 can be the Earth's second-hottest year
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a new report that shows 2019 can be the planet's second or third warmest year since modern temperature data collection has started in 1880. The report says there is about an 85 percent chance that this year is likely to be the second warmest year.
    Read more...

    How the fossil fuel “production gap” hinders climate goals
    The new Production Gap Report — produced by SEI, IISD, ODI, CICERO, Climate Analytics and the UN Environment Programme — shows that the world is on track to produce 120% more fossil fuels than can be burned under 1.5°C warming. Specifically, countries’ current plans and projections for fossil fuel production would lead, in 2030, to the emission of 39 billion tonnes (gigatonnes) of carbon dioxide (GtCO2). That is 13 GtCO2, or 53%, more than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway. It is 120% or 21 GtCO2 greater than fossil fuel production levels consistent with a 1.5°C pathway. This gap grows even wider by 2040, when production levels reach 110% and 210% higher than those consistent with the 2°C and 1.5°C pathways.
    https://www.sei.org/featured/the-fossil-fuel-production-gap-climate-goals
     
    Business leaders urge EU to increase 2030 target to at least 55%
    Members of the European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe) - including Unilever, Coca Cola European Partners, Interface and Signify - are supporting a significant increase in the EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target for 2030 in order to remain in line with climate neutrality by 2050.
    Read the full briefing here.
     
    Angela Merkel criticises EIB decision to ban gas lending
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she didn’t find it “right” for the bank to end lending to natural gas projects by the end of 2021. Germany backed the EIB’s decision to end funding for fossil fuels projects just two weeks ago.Hours before, Von der Leyen – a Merkel ally – praised the EIB’s progress in becoming “a climate bank”.
    https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/11/27/angela-merkel-criticises-eib-decision-ban-gas-lending/
     
    European Union climate investment lags behind US and China
    The European Investment Bank warned the EU needs to make a “tremendous effort” to develop a comprehensive climate strategy as green investments lag behind the US and China.
    https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/11/27/european-union-climate-investment-lags-behind-us-china/
     
    The EU Environmental Foresight System - Final report of 2018-19 annual cycle: emerging issues at the environment-social interface
    The EU foresight system for the systematic identification of emerging environmental issues (FORENV) was established in 2017 responding to the need for improved understanding of emerging environmental and climate risks, set out in the 7th Environmental Action Programme. Through a collaborative process, combining expert knowledge and desk based research, each year FORENV identifies, characterises and communicates 10 priority emerging issues and their associated risks and opportunities for Europe’s environment and environmental policy. 
    https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-deta...
     
    Climate change impacts on socioeconomic damages from weather‑related events in China
    China is vulnerable to climate change impacts, and this study investigates the potential socioeconomic damages to China from weather-related events under future climate conditions. A two-part model incorporating a hierarchical Bayesian approach is employed to explore the effects of climate on human damage (the share of affected people in a total population) and economic damage (the share of economic losses in gross domestic product).
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11069-019-03588-2

    5G wireless threatens weather forecasts
    Meteorologists are worried about a ruling last week that means 5G signals could muddy the radio frequencies used to gather crucial weather and climate data. To give companies a leg up as they implement the new super-fast wireless technology, regulators will allow eight years of slightly relaxed standards for how much noise from 5G signals is allowed to leak into neighbouring frequencies. Water vapour in the atmosphere naturally produces a weak signal near 24 gigahertz, which satellites use to measure humidity and which sits perilously close to the bands designated for the 5G roll-out.
    Nature | 4 min read

     JAMA Network Open - Call for papers on Climate Change and Health
    The global health open access journal JAMA Network Open is calling for papers on the health outcomes and risks associated with climate change. Their interest in this topic is broad; submissions may include both indirect and direct health outcomes mediated by climate change that affect other organisms, the food supply, and the degradation of the natural environment. Manuscripts will undergo peer review, including statistical review, after you submit by March 1, 2020. 
    Learn more.
     

    Urban Health

    CityRAP tool - City resilience: Action planning tool
    CityRAP Tool is DiMSUR’s flagship product. It is a tool used for training city managers and municipal technicians in small to intermediate sized cities in sub-Saharan Africa. CityRAP enables communities to understand and plan actions aimed at reducing risk and building resilience through the development of a Resilience Framework for Action.
    http://dimsur.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/CityRAP-Tool_Booklet_05032019-compressed.pdf
     
    Exploring trade-offs among the multiple benefits of green-blue-grey infrastructure for urban flood mitigation
    Climate change is presenting one of the main challenges to the planet. In parallel, all regions of the world are projected to urbanise further. Consequently, sustainable development challenges will be increasingly concentrated in cities. A resulting impact is the increment of expected urban flood risk in many areas around the globe.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719349721
     
    Monitoring and evaluating climate adaptation activities: A reference guide for city managers
    Cities are leading the way in committing to ambitious climate adaptation goals and implementing strategies to reduce climate risks. However, these commitments to adaptation action often face challenges in documenting changes in resilience of urban systems and populations.
    https://www.climatelinks.org/resources/monitoring-and-evaluating-climate-adaptation-activities-reference-guide-city-managers
     
    Resilient cities, resilient lives learning from the 100RC Network
    In the six years since the creation of 100 Resilient Cities, more than 70 cities have published Resilience Strategies containing over 3,000 initiatives. To date, more than US$25 billion has been catalyzed by 100RC member cities toward the resilience agenda, and the world’s leading development financial institutions are building resilience criteria into how large-scale infrastructure projects are funded. 
    https://www.preparecenter.org/resources/resilient-cities-resilient-lives-learning-100rc-network

    Greener, longer life: More trees reduce premature deaths in cities
    City dwellers tend to live longer if they are in leafy neighborhoods, according to a study published on Wednesday that linked green areas to lower rates of premature death.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-globa...

    UNU-IAS and Partners Launch Asia-Pacific Mayors Academy
    A new initiative will create and support a network of local leaders who are committed to sustainable urban development throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

    READ MORE »

    Migration Health

    World Migration Report 2020 Launched
    Read more | Watch here
    Download Report | Infographics
     
    Climate Change a Clear Driver of African Migration: IOM
    Read more
     
    270 Million Migrants Sent Home a Staggering USD 689 billion in 2018
    Read more

    Tuberculosis testing and migrant health
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanin...
     

    Global Health

    The case for mandatory vaccination
    In terms of improving public health, vaccination is second only to providing clean drinking water. Yet vaccination rates are falling in high-income countries where the toll of disease is less visible — motivating some regions to impose mandatory vaccination. Public-health experts examine the evidence and find that investing in information campaigns and making access easier can inspire higher vaccination rates without compulsion.
    Nature | 10 min read
    This article is part of Nature Outlook: Vaccines, an editorially independent supplement produced with financial support from GSK.

    State of Health in the EU: shift to prevention and primary care is the most important trend across countries
    The European Commission published the reports that depict the profile of health systems in 30 countries. Country Health Profiles are being issued with the Companion Report that shows some of the biggest trends in the transformation of the healthcare systems and draws key conclusions from the Profiles.
    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_19_6336

    The new State of Health in the EU
    The State of Health in the EU aims at making health system information, expertise and best practices easily accessible to policymakers and policy influencers. The Country Health Profiles are designed to be a one-stop-shop for knowledge and information on a country’s health system, put into the perspective of a cross-EU comparison. Meanwhile, the Companion Report, published alongside the Country Health Profiles, showcases some of the biggest trends in the transformation of health systems.
    https://ec.europa.eu/health/state/summary_en

    Africa should set its own health-research agenda
    For more than 20 years, Francisca Mutapi led a programme in Zimbabwe on human schistosomiasis. The experience gave her first-hand knowledge of how inequitable partnerships that task African scientists as data gatherers for Western research agendas are unlikely to make a difference to the African health problems that really matter. Local experts — not rich donors — must design and control studies, argues Mutapi.
    Nature | 4 min read

    On World Toilet Day, UN Highlights Plight of Sanitation Workers
    A joint agency report finds that sanitation workers face high occupational health risks, weak legal protections, financial insecurity, and social stigma.  
    Read
     

     

     

    Knowledge Sharing

    Thank you for reading. If you have thoughts, feedback, story ideas, or questions you would like to share or interested in partnering with us on a special event coverage, please send a note to Chadia Wannous via email cwannous@yahoo.com  

     

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