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Good morning, Pokuaa here reporting exceptionally this month from Accra, Ghana. In today’s global health news we delve into the importance of measuring the affordability of water and sanitation, which are critical in the fight against Covid.

We also take a look at the new proposed WHO epicentre for pandemic and epidemic intelligence, which will be based in Berlin, whilst also identifying some of the WHO’s delayed responses to crucial Covid questions.

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Pokuaa Oduro-Bonsrah


Global health news

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Two men walk past a water supply vehicle distributing water, in Nepal. (Source: Keystone)

💰🚾Why can’t people afford water and sanitation? Measuring and monitoring the affordability of water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are critical ingredients for providing urgent services to those most in need. However billions of people are still being left behind, warns a new UN report. The findings come at a time where UK aid funding of overseas WASH projects faces significant cuts of more than 80 per cent.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🧪💻Germany is the chosen health emergency data centre. Berlin, the German capital will house the global hub for pandemic and epidemic intelligence. This was announced at a virtual press conference on Wednesday by top World Health Organization and German government officials. The health minister Jens Spahn emphasised that the aim of the hub is to strengthen the global early warning assessment system through improved collection of health-related data, something that is currently lacking as seen in the case of Covid.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

⌛⚕️Too little too late. Over a year since declaring the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization finally admits that the coronavirus is airborne. On 30 April 2021, almost 10 months after WHO said it would review the research on airborne transmission, it updated its Q&A page as follows: “A person can be infected when aerosols or droplets containing the virus are inhaled or come directly into contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth,” a statement criticised for coming too late.

Forbes (EN)

Here’s what else is happening

Image of the day

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A girl washes her hands at a roadside in Bangalore, India on Handwashing Day, (Source: Keystone).

'Clean your hands'. Maintaining hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways of preventing diseases like Covid-19, common cold and diarrhoea. WHO emphasised the crucial role of hand washing as the World observed Hand Hygiene Day on 5 May.

Firstpost (EN)

Next on the agenda

📍 6 May | Building climate resilient health systems As part of the 12th Petersberg Climate Dialogue, the Adaptation Action Coalition will heighten calls for additional commitments from governments and other key sta\keholders to build health systems that are climate resilient and environmentally sustainable.


📍 6 May | In the eye of the Covid storm: how media can hold governments accountable All aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic in comparison to other health issues has been subject to the most media scrutiny in contemporary history. Policy makers, researchers and global health reporters explore the challenges and opportunities of reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Graduate Institute (EN)

Number of the day

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Empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (Source: Keystone, Credit: AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Pharma giant cashes in on Covid vaccine. Pfizer, the US pharmaceutical firm revealed on Tuesday how lucrative its vaccine against Covid-19 was in the first three months. The company has not disclosed profits from sales of its messenger RNA shots but based on forecasting, their profit margin would be in the high 20 per cent range to roughly 900 million US dollars in the first quarter.

Courrier International (FR)

Take a deep dive into International Geneva

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