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Good morning, this is Elaine, editor of Geneva Solutions’ Health stream, produced in collaboration with Health Policy Watch.

Today, we’re covering Moderna's plans to open a new Swiss hub and the World Health Organization’s $35bn appeal for Covid-19 vaccines and cures as the UN General Assembly opens for the first time ever in a virtual session. Meanwhile, a leading water and sanitation expert describes the importance of scaling up the supply of ladies’ latrines.

photo journaliste

Elaine Fletcher


Today’s reason for hope

Photo article

Vaishnavi Navalji Dadmal, 9, at her residential toilet in Nagpur, India. Source: UNICEF.

Ladies and latrines - the unspoken development opportunity. Did you know that in some cases, 50 per cent of rape takes place when women and girls are forced to defecate outdoors because they lack access to a safe latrine? Although the world is lagging far behind on its sanitation goals, a stronger gender equality focus could help change trends, says Dr Elizabeth Wamera, an expert at the Geneva-based Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Global Health News

Moderna establishes first overseas commercial hub in Switzerland. The biotech startup, which raised a significant chunk of its early millions amongst a group of far-sighted Swiss investors a decade ago, announced Wednesday that it would be establishing its first commercial hub outside of North America in Basel.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Can the world depoliticise global health? “Pathogens are apolitical,” writes public health specialist Annie Sparrow in her opinion piece on the global response to the pandemic. “Coronavirus does not discriminate between right and left, between democracies and dictatorships. Pandemics, on the other hand, are inherently political – feeding on discord and divisiveness...That is how the virus wins.”

Geneva Solutions (EN)

WHO calls for $35bn to fast-track and ensure wide access to Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and tests. As the 75th UN General Assembly opened, the WHO issued a plea to the world’s leaders for funding to fight the COVID-19 pandemic – saying that $35bn is needed to fast-track development and distribution of 2bn vaccine doses, treatments, and tests over the coming year.

Health Policy Watch (EN)

Fresh calls for unity in the pandemic fight. The knock-on effects of the Covid-19 pandemic could set global health progress back by 25 years, says the 2020 Goalkeepers Report of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which urges countries to take a more unified approach to fight the virus.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Image of the day

Photo article

EPA/ Muhammad Sadiq

Afghan health workers administer polio vaccination to children in Kandahar as vaccination campaign resumes after a seven-month pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the beginning of 2020, the number of polio cases in Afghanistan has reached 46 - 32 of them in the southern region.

Next on the agenda

17 September | Online: Using the right to health to restore dignity The new UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, will give her first talk at the Graduate Institute and explore the right to health as a tool to restore dignity.

The Graduate Institute (EN)

17 September | Online: Women in global health security summit. The high level summit will amplify the voices of women, with a particular focus on women from low-middle income countries, that are leading the response to COVID-19.


23 September | Online: Why Local Public Health Systems Play a Critical Role in Controlling the Spread of COVID-19. This panel will highlight the role of local public health systems, particularly the challenges in Africa and Latin America, and the US.

The New School (EN)

23 September | Online: Progress and multisectoral action towards achieving global targets to end TB. A UN General Assembly virtual side-event to discuss how to collectively implement the recommendations outlined in the 2020 progress report of the UN secretary-general on reaching global TB targets.


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