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Good morning, Elaine bringing you the latest global health news, in collaboration with Health Policy Watch.

Today we’re covering some of the health trends and issues that are often neglected in the rush of pandemic news - even if they also are deeply affected by Covid.

The health and humanitarian crisis raging in Syria is another example of how the pandemic can amplify longstanding global health issues faced in conflict zones. Access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. It’s critical to beating the pandemic as well as to reducing deaths from other waterborne diseases. We look at some of the innovative solutions that cities are developing to fight both.

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Elaine Fletcher


Global health news

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An aerial view of a flooded village in Gaarsen, Tana River district, southwest of Nairobi, Kenya (Source: Keystone)

🚰 Improving urban water management - lessons learnt from Covid. Handwashing has been a staple of Covid management and long before that, a key preventive measure against childhood diarrhoeal deaths. But large swathes of developing cities lack adequate water supplies for critical hygiene. Here are some solutions that UN Habitat and the Geneva Cities Hub showcased in a session to mark World Water Day, 22 March.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola outbreak contained - but country remains on high alert. While the latest Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo now appears to have been contained, the country remains on high alert in the wake of new research pointing to the virus’ abilities to lurk in the body for years. Preparedness remains key to heading off future infections, warns the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

😷 Covid-19 exacerbates Syria’s health and humanitarian crisis. A depleted health workforce is battling a surge in the virus alongside attacks by Syrian government forces on hospitals in opposition-controlled regions of the conflict-torn country, from which some 70 per cent of health workers have fled. WHO appeals for $78m in funding support.

Health Policy Watch (EN)

Here’s what else is happening

Image of the day

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A patient suffering from Tuberculosis (TB) blows air as part of the medical treatment at a local hospital, Peshawar, Pakistan, as the world celebrates World TB Day, 24 March 2021. (Credit: Keystone)

World TB day. WIth healthcare systems at their breaking points, it is estimated that around 1.4 million fewer people received care for tuberculosis in 2020 compared with 2019. The disease kills 1.5 million people each year, making it the most infectious killer, even though it is curable and preventable. This World TB day is marked by calls from the World Health Organization to screen groups including those living with HIV, and people in prisons and detention centres.


Next on the agenda

📍 25 March | Covid-19 and the right to education: current impact and future consequences. Covid-19 and its broad and long-term effects on education will be discussed in this event bringing different educational stakeholders together.

Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue (EN)

📍 25 March | Health inequities and racial and ethnicity based discrimination. Part of a wider webinar series, this session will share perspectives on the impact of racial and ethnicity-based discrimination on health, whilst looking at ways to address inequties.



Last week. Geneva Solutions published the article, ‘Human rights defenders call for end to Israel 'vaccine apartheid', which reported on the views expressed at a public event on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council co-organised by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights. The piece has been updated to include a statement by the Israeli mission to the UN in Geneva to ensure the reporting of claims on all sides of the story.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

What happened, what worked

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