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Good morning, it's Pokuaa here. Eradicating malaria is no small feat but global health actors are joining forces to battle the deadly disease, as we'll cover today.

And whilst philanthropic actors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have come under fire for being too powerful in the global health sector, a top Foundation official says governments should step up economically. Finally, we go back not-so-long down memory lane, to take a look at some of the successes and challenges of the Covax vaccine sharing scheme one year on.

photo journaliste

Pokuaa Oduro-Bonsrah,

22.04.2021


Global health news


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A municipal worker wearing a face mask uses an anti-malaria fumigation spray machine at a residential area in Mumbai, India, 28 July, 2020. (Credit: Keystone).

🚋🦟 Journey to malaria eradication. The World Health Organization has set itself a new task of eradicating malaria in 25 countries by 2025 but the journey is proving difficult with progress plateauing in the last few years. Challenges such as drug resistance and Covid are fighting against the efforts to eliminate the disease, yet good news in countries such as El Salvador are keeping hopes alive.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

💰👄Put your money where your mouth is. Bill Gates’ dominant presence in global health and as the second biggest donor to the WHO has raised concerns over the influence of private actors in public health institutions. Speaking to the Global Health Centre, Chris Elias president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s global development division, says countries should step up their contributions to the UN health agency as this is currently not the case.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🧬💉The life of Covax. The global equitable sharing scheme Covax was launched in April last year to distribute Covid-19 vaccines to low income countries. The scheme has however faced setbacks including production glitches, a lack of support from wealthy nations and a recent move by India, the biggest vaccine manufacturer, to curb its exports. Looking at the life cycle of Covax, we see it has come a long way since its inception.

Reuters (EN)

Here’s what else is happening


Image of the day


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Alexander M. Ross' late 19th Century magazine "The Anti-Vaccinator", The US National Library of Medicine

An age-old tale. Once upon a time, a vocal minority of public voices made it their mission to rile up communities against vaccines. In Montréal, 1885 these voices were successful and as such had deadly results. For as long as vaccines have existed, anxiety around immunisations have been riddled with the complex mixture of politics and social forces, with these beliefs not changing anytime soon as seen in the case of Covid.

GAVI (EN)

Smart Info


A new vaccine to combat malaria. In addition to the current tools used to fight malaria such as insecticides, bed nests and testing, a new vaccine being piloted in three countries is proving to be a worthy opponent to the disease. The WHO is hoping to expand the use of the RTS, S/AS01 vaccine which has so far been administered to 650,000 children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. This, in addition to other preventative and treatment measures, could be a key measure in eliminating malaria. However for this to succeed, massive investment in research and development is needed.

WHO (EN)

Next on the agenda


📍 22 April | Global health in disarray?: What Next? Covid highlights pre-existing fractures, revealing ways in which the global health system is not prepared to face challenges of such unprecedented dimensions. This event thus seeks to find answers to the following: What does “global health” mean today and what could it mean tomorrow?

Graduate Institute (EN)

📍 22 April | One year of Covid-19. What is the impact on Geneva-based NGOs? The pandemic continues to have an impact on all aspects of life locally, nationally and globally – International Geneva is no exception. The webinar seeks to explore the impact of Covid-19 on non-governmental organisations, which represent a key constituent of the International Geneva ecosystem.

Club suisse de la presse (EN)

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