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In this edition:

A Conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Professor Paul Kelly: Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security

A must-attend! On Wednesday, 10 March from 7:00 – 7:30 a.m. AEDT the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security and the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security will co-host a discussion with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the US President and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Professor Paul Kelly, Chief Medical Officer at the Australian Government Department of Health. Moderated by Katherine E. Bliss, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, the discussion will examine how the Australian and United States governments are recalibrating their public health strategies in response to SARS-CoV-2 variants, which have fundamentally changed the trajectory of the pandemic. Register here

WHO Collaborating Centres Network hosts its first NCDs and Ageing Workshop

The Australian WHO Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) Network was delighted to host the first Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Ageing Workshop on Monday 8 February 2021 –  which was a chance for WHOCCs in Australia to: share information on the work on NCDs and Ageing that each Centre is undertaking; and explore opportunities for collaboration between Centres.
 
16 WHOCC participants joined the robust discussion around current projects being undertaken by their Centre, COVID19 opportunities and challenges and a vision for future collaboration on this topic.  Regional work and the need to support our neighbouring countries came up as a strong theme, as well as joining together as a “united” front to tackle NCDs and Ageing and to offer support to the Australian Government; highlighting this important public health area.

The network thanks the facilitators, Hayley Jones and Rob Eikelboom, and the participants for their very generous time and support of these projects. They look forward to taking forward these ideas and building impactful work together as a Network – and highlighting and tapping into the expertise of the WHOCCs to create better health in Australia and the Region.

BRACE trial reaches 6,500 global participants: MCRI

Since the BRACE trial launched in Melbourne one year ago, more than 6,500 healthcare workers have enrolled in 34 sites across five countries: Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. 

The Australian-led study is the largest of its kind worldwide, working to determine if the ‘off-target’ effects of Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine reduce the incidence and severity of COVID-19 in healthcare workers. 

With COVID-19 vaccines now available, Professor Nigel Curtis, Leader of Infectious Diseases Group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Chief Principal Investigator of the BRACE trial, has introduced a sub-study to determine whether BCG improves the immune response to these vaccines. Find out more here.

What is the role of admission diabetes in managing COVID‐19 patients? Nossal Institute

As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns are being raised about a bi‐directional relationship with diabetes. Yingting Cao has been collaborating with colleagues from McMaster University, Coventry University, Monash University and Christian Medical College in Vellore Tamil Nadu, India to conduct a series of studies including commentaries and systematic reviews into the relationships between COVID and patients with unknown pre-existing diabetes. Read more about the study

Light up red for TB on World TB Day: Results Australia

Once again this year on World TB Day, Results Australia are lighting up iconic landmarks and buildings all across Australia in red as an act of solidarity with the 1.4 million people who lose their lives to TB each year.

Stay tuned on their social media channels - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn - for the release of locations participating.

First COVAX COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Africa: Gavi

As the global rollout of COVAX vaccines accelerates, the first COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in Africa using COVAX doses began last week in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. These campaigns are among the first to use doses provided by the COVAX Facility’s Gavi COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC). The AMC is the COVAX Facility’s mechanism to provide donor-funded vaccines to lower-income countries.

Both countries received the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine licensed and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). A significant milestone in the international COVID19 response and recovery! Read more here or keep up to date with the COVAX roll-out live feed

 
UPDATE: COVAX Vaccines also arrived in Cambodia yesterday! The first doses to reach the Western Pacific. 

Safely reopening requires testing, tracing and isolation, not just vaccines: Global Fund

No matter how effective vaccines are, they are not enough, says Peter Sands, CEO of The Global Fund.

The recent surge of positive COVID-19 vaccine developments has sent waves of relief throughout a pandemic-weary world. However, no matter how effective these vaccines are, they will not be enough to end this global pandemic—and for many of the world’s most vulnerable communities, they won’t arrive fast enough. Read more.

COVID-19 oxygen emergency impacting more than half a million people in low- and middle-income countries every day, as demand surges: Unitaid

Oxygen is an essential medicine, and despite being vital for the effective treatment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients, access in LMICs is limited due to cost, infrastructure and logistical barriers. Health facilities often cannot access the oxygen they require, resulting in the unnecessary loss of lives.

Recognising the central importance of sustainable oxygen supply – alongside therapeutic products such as dexamethasone – for the treatment of COVID-19, a new COVID-19 Oxygen Emergency Taskforce brings together key organisations working on oxygen access under the ACT-Accelerator Therapeutics pillar, as COVID-19 surges and preventable deaths occur. Taskforce partners will work together to measure oxygen demand, work with financing partners, and secure oxygen supplies and technical support for worst-affected countries.  Read more here.

 

Cervical cancer elimination, opportunities and challenges: VCS Foundation

In the lead up to HPV Awareness Day on 4 March, experts Mr David Wrede (The Women’s) and Professor Marion Saville AM (VCS Foundation Ltd) gave an inspiring presentation about the opportunities and challenges of the World Health Organization's call for the global elimination of cervical cancer by 2100. This presentation focused on Australia and Asia-Pacific in light of the latest evidence, new screening strategies and the success of the HPV vaccination strategies, led by Australian ABC News anchor and cervical cancer awareness advocate, Tamara Oudyn.

You can view a recording of this webinar here

Kylie Robb awarded the Fellowship of ACIPC

Kylie Robb, current Board Director of ACIPC and Chair of the Membership Engagement Committee was recently awarded the Fellowship of ACIPC.

Kelly sat down with the ACIPC team to discuss what the fellowship means to her, her motivations for applying and what advice she would give others applying for the fellowship.

You can read her full interview in the ACIPC newsletter here.

People with asthma can breathe easier when it comes to COVID risk, study shows: George Institute

A new study looking at how COVID-19 affects people with asthma provides reassurance that having the condition doesn’t increase the risk of severe illness or death from the virus. George Institute researchers analysed data from over 300,000 people infected with COVID-19 from Asia, Europe, and North and South America and found they had similar proportions of asthma to the general population.

Read more here.

AustralaSian COVID-19 Trial opens in India: George Institute

The AustralaSian COVID-19 Trial (ASCOT) has been expanded into India, with the first patients recruited to the first two sites, Christian Medical College and Hospital Ludhiana in Punjab and Sterling Multispecialty Hospital in Pune, Maharashtra. ASCOT aims to discover which existing treatments are most effective in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 and whether they will prevent patients deteriorating to the point of needing a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit. ASCOT has partnered with the George Institute for Global Health to oversee the trial in India given its substantial experience operating clinical trials in the country with a presence in 21 states. 

Read more here.

Global Citizen's Recovery Plan for the World

Global Citizen's Recovery campaign calls for renewed efforts across the world to finally end COVID-19 for everyone and kickstart a global recovery. The world lost hard-earned progress in global health, education and fighting extreme poverty. This year, we must focus on getting the world back on track to meet the Global Goals by 2030. Global Citizen is calling on world governments, the private sector and philanthropists alike to make this effort to keep the end of extreme poverty in sight. Learn more and read the campaign white paper here

WHAT'S ON IN GLOBAL HEALTH?

  • 11 March: 12 months since COVID-19 first declared a pandemic
     
  • 24 March: World TB Day
  • 7 April: World Health Day

     
  • 25 April: World Malaria Day

UPCOMING EVENTS & COURSES

COVID19 Vaccines - Your Questions Answered: The Doherty Institute

What is mRNA? Why are there two vaccines on offer? What’s the difference? What does herd immunity mean? How long will the rollout take? Are the vaccines safe?

As Australia begins to rollout the COVID-19 vaccine, we are faced with an abundance of new information, technical terminology, and vaccine myths and misinformation. It can quickly become confusing and overwhelming.

At this Q&A event hosted by the ABC’s Michael Rowland, a panel of experts will answer your burning questions around the COVID-19 vaccines.

The Panel:
  • Professor Sharon Lewin AO, Director, Doherty Institute
  • Associate Professor Margie Danchin, Consultant Paediatrician, Royal Children's Hospital and Clinician Scientist at the University of Melbourne and Murdoch Children's Research Institute
  • Professor Terry Nolan AO, Head of Vaccine and Immunisation Research Group, Doherty Institute
  • Dr Janine Trevillyan, Lead, COVID-19 Vaccination Program, Austin Hub; Head, Clinical Virology and HIV Services, Austin Health; and Infectious Diseases Physician


Tuesday, 16 March
6.00 - 7.30pm
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

This will be a hybrid event! Register for either in-person tickets or livestream details. 

Preventing Cervical Cancer Conference 2021 Virtual Events: Eliminating Cervical Cancer in Australia and the Indo-Pacific Region
 
On the morning of Friday 26 March 2021, VCS Foundation and Cancer Council NSW, with the support of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Cervical Cancer Control and the Australian Department of Health, will host a virtual event to mark the Australian Launch of the World Health Organization’s Global Cervical Cancer Elimination Strategy. The event will feature a panel discussion featuring Australian cervical cancer prevention experts and cervical cancer survivors led by Jill Margo AM, Health Editor for the Australian Financial Review.
 
In the afternoon, a second virtual event will be held focusing on achieving elimination of cervical cancer in the Indo-Pacific region. This session will include a joint meeting of VCS Foundation’s SUCCESS ECHO, the Asia-Oceania Research Organisation in Genital Infection and Neoplasia and APEC to discuss strategies for scaling up HPV-based screening in low and middle income countries. This will be followed by an expert panel discussion led by Dr Ted Trimble, Director of the Center for Global Health at the United States’ National Cancer Institute, focusing how inequities in cervical cancer outcomes in the Indo-Pacific region can be addressed.  

For details about these virtual events please email PCC2021@vcs.org.au
Salt wars: Using policy and the law to reduce salt intake
 
The George Institute for Global Health invites you to a #GeorgeTalks on “Salt wars: using policy and the law to reduce salt intake” to mark ‘World Salt Awareness Week’.

For this #GeorgeTalks event, we will be joined by Dr. Michael F. Jacobson, Senior Scientist and former Executive Director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington D.C.

Dr. Jacobson will discuss his recently published book, “Salt Wars: The Battle Over the Biggest Killer in the American Diet”, that outlines how food industry lobbyists and a small group of scientists and anti-regulatory politicians have successfully fought government efforts to reduce dangerous levels of sodium in our food. But progress is on the horizon.

Wednesday 10 March 2021
12pm (AEDT)


This #GeorgeTalks will be a hybrid event with the option to:

Attend and network in person over lunch; or
Join us online via Zoom
Women on the Frontlines of COVID and Climate: RESULTS Australia and Global Citizen

Global Citizen is partnering with RESULTS Australia, UN Women and The Asia Foundation to honour International Women's Day 2021 with a virtual event on the topic of Women on the Frontlines of COVID and Climate. 

Join to hear an exclusive message from loved Australian artist Delta Goodrem on what IWD means to her as well inspiring speakers from across Australia and the Pacific including: 
  • Natasha Stott Despoja, Global Citizen Australia Board Director and Representative to the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 
  • Jane Sloane, Senior Director, Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality, The Asia Foundation
  • Alvina Erekali, Country Programme Coordinator, UN Women Solomon Islands
  • Ariadne Gorring, CEO, Pollination Foundation:
Thursday 11 March
12pm - 1pm AEDT 
 
Register here to receive the Zoom link ahead of the event.
“How can we do better next time?”: Next gen pandemic preparedness 
 
At this special seminar from the Peter Doherty Institute and Melbourne Children’s Global Health, researchers will discuss current and emerging technologies which may unlock the future of pandemic preparedness.
 
Monday 29 March 
12.30-1.30pm


Join us on Zoom! Register Here
 
For more information, contact global.health@mcri.edu.au
The Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN): ACIPC

The Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) is a technical collaboration of over 250 institutions worldwide that deliver support to countries affected by infectious diseases. Led by the World Health Organization, GOARN continues to support public health emergencies with an impressive 18 year history of over 130 outbreaks controlled worldwide deploying more than 2500 public health professionals including doctors, IPC professionals, nurses, logisticians, epidemiologists, and social mobilisers.

In this short video, Dr Peta-Anne Zimmerman, who is the GOARN Focal Point for ACIPC and Senior Teaching Faculty discusses the Request for Assistance process as well as deployment and training. If you have seen the GOARN alerts and would like to understand more about working in an outbreak environment, overseas, make sure you watch this video.

To access the ACIPC Conference Community portal and view this content click here. The presentation will remain available to view on demand until June 30, 2021.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS 

Unitaid looks to invest in better tools to prevent and treat postpartum haemorrhage

Unitaid is pleased to announce a new call for proposals in the area of tools for reducing maternal mortality.

Despite a significant reduction in the number of women who die in pregnancy and childbirth over the last 30 years, global progress has stalled. There were almost 300,000 preventable maternal deaths in 2017, most of which occurred in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs).

A coordinated, integrated effort, with emphasis on expanded access to innovative health interventions is needed to reach the 2030 SDG targets and address the unacceptably high number of global maternal deaths.

Under this call, Unitaid is soliciting proposals for interventions aimed at accelerating the adoption and scale-up of innovations to reduce maternal mortality from postpartum haemorrhage (PPH).

Projects that fall under the scope of this call are those that accelerate the introduction of new or newly recommended drugs for PPH, and also push forward the late-stage development of new formulations for the prevention and treatment of PPH.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals for one or both areas of intervention.

The closing date for receipt of full proposals is Wednesday 7th April at 10pm AEDT.
 

GRANTS

PHD OPPORTUNITIES

There is an exciting opportunity for a PhD candidate to join a research team in a dynamic and stimulating work environment. The Injury Program seeks to identify and test cost-effective programs to reduce the global burden of injury, influence policy and scale up proven programs for sustainable change.  Our work covers a range of topics from surveillance, observational studies and large-scale pragmatic intervention trials through to program evaluation and policy research. A close collaboration with the Statistics Division will enable the successful candidate to be surrounded and supported by a team of statistical programmers, biostatisticians and health economists

The successful candidate will develop a PhD project addressing a critical area of need in childhood injury prevention using quantitative (ie. statistics, health economics) methods and data collected through data linkage and/or from randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews of the literature/meta analyses.


Closing Date: 7 March 2021

What we're reading, watching and listening to

📖 Multilateral Cooperation for Global Recovery

We should not be afraid of a post-pandemic world that will not be the same as the status quo ante, writes Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Antonio Guterres, Macky Sall, Charles Michel and Ursula Von Der Leyen. We should embrace it and use all appropriate fora and available opportunities to make it a better world by advancing the cause of international cooperation.
🎧 ACFID's Bridi Rice in conversation with James Gilling: The future of development

In the Good Will Hunting podcast's Summer Series, ACFID’s Bridi Rice takes you inside the Canberra foreign policy community to ask one key question: what does increased poverty mean for Australian international affairs? In the fifth of this six-part series, Bridi chats with James Gilling about all things localisation, empowering local voices, and the future of Australian development.
📖 Challenges in ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines: production, affordability, allocation, and deployment : Policy Cures Research

The COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to end until there is global roll-out of vaccines that protect against severe disease and preferably drive herd immunity. Regulators in numerous countries have authorised or approved COVID-19 vaccines for human use, with more expected to be licensed in 2021. Yet having licensed vaccines is not enough to achieve global control of COVID-19: they also need to be produced at scale, priced affordably, allocated globally so that they are available where needed, and widely deployed in local communities. This paper reviews potential challenges to success in each of these dimensions and discuss policy implications. 
🎧 Contain this podcast: Indo-Pacific Health Leaders Series: Dr Bouaphanh Khamphaphongphane, Deputy Director of the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology in the Lao People's Democratic Republic

In episode 23 of the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security's 'Contain This' podcast, In this installment of the Indo-Pacific Health Leaders Series, Dr Stephanie Williams speaks with Dr Bouaphanh Khamphaphongphane on the Lao response to COVID-19 response. During the early days of COVID-19 outbreak, she supervised rapid response teams in provinces to look for suspect cases and worked closely with WHO to conduct COVID-19 testing.
📖 COVID-19 pandemic control centre's critical functions 'at risk of collapsing' in PNG, leaked government report reveals: ABC News

There are holes in Papua New Guinea's COVID-19 quarantine systems, and "critical functions" at its pandemic control centre are "at risk of collapsing" because some staff haven't been paid, leaked documents reveal. 

📖Rich nations must either help developing countries fight Covid or live in a fortress

Recognising that “no one is safe until everyone is safe,” the G7 recently announced additional steps to facilitate globally more “affordable and equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics” to combat Covid-19. But translating stated intent into effective action will require both bold political leadership at home and support for developing countries that goes well beyond financial aid. Getting it right won’t be easy, but the effort is essential if rich countries wish to avoid living in a fortress with the mentality to match.

GLOBAL HEALTH JOBS

Policy Cures Research
Senior Analyst, Neglected Diseases 
Location: Europe or Australia

Burnet Institute
Research Assistant (SCOOP study)
Location: Melbourne

Project Manager (Senior)
Location: Melbourne
The Fred Hollows Foundation
Partner Capacity Building Coordinator
Location: Sydney
Nossal Institute for Global Health
Program Officer - Education & Learning – Part-time at 0.8 FTE for a 12 month contract
Location: Melbourne
Have something to share? We want to share your news, events, jobs, courses and accomplishments in our monthly ezine. Send all content through to deputydirector@glham.org.

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