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Good morning, this is Kerry Cullinan, Africa editor of Health Policy Watch. My continent is seeing a worrying third wave of Covid-19, driven by the Delta variant that is also stimulating a global wave of lockdowns and restrictions. Meanwhile, as the European Union’s Covid ‘digital certificate’ launches today, people vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India – i.e. all COVAX recipients – have been dismayed to hear that they aren’t eligible for the ‘green pass’ - although the EU has since said that Member States ‘could’ recognise the vaccine.

On a brighter note, the mental health fallout from the pandemic is getting increased attention around the world, as are new models of community-based care that respect human rights and avoid coercion. We look at one example, Bern’s Soteria House, cited in the WHO's recent ground-breaking report.

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Kerry Cullinan


Global health news

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People wearing face masks are seen in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 02 June 2021. Victoria has recorded six new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours. (Credit: EPA/JAMES ROSS)

😷 Global wave of lockdowns as countries scramble to contain Delta variant. Thinking about throwing your mask out once vaccinated? Think again. Concerned about the Delta variant, the World Health Organisation has urged even fully vaccinated people to continue wearing masks and taking other Covid-19 precautions in the face of the highly infectious variant.

Health Policy Watch (EN)

🏡 Mental health treatment without coercion. Dominant forms of mental health treatment rely on forced psychiatric hospitalisations and patients are often treated as “dangerous”, “lazy” and unintelligent. Breaking this mould, Soteria house in Bern sets a global example on alternative community mental health treatment models that respect human rights, avoid coercion, are cost-effective and show results.

Geneva Solutiona (EN)

Here’s what else is happening

Image of the day

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Passengers use protective masks at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, Eastern India. (Credit: EPA/PIYAL ADHIKARY)

🛂 EU’s new Covid ‘vaccine passport’ - but only for some vaccine recipients. The European Union formally launched its Digital Covid Certificate today in efforts to re-launch a beleaguered tourism industry. But recipients of WHO- approved vaccines not recognised by the European Medicines Agency aren’t eligible - including recipients of the India-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine distributed by the global Covax facility to low- and middle-income countries - with major EU financial backing.

Health Policy Watch (EN)

Next on the agenda

1 July | Balancing access to and stewardship of antimicrobials in LMICs Trying to strike a delicate balance between access to and stewardship of antibiotics, this webinar will bring together experts to share experiences from working in infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance in low-middle income countries.


1 July | Zero malaria starts with smart investments Marking the third anniversary of ‘zero malaria starts with me’, a campaign to eradicate the disease, the RBM Partnership will host a virtual event exploring recent progress and remaining challenges relating to domestic resource mobilisation for malaria control and elimination across Africa.


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