News Flash 494: Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

News Flash Links, as part of the research project PEAH (Policies for Equitable Access to Health), aim to focus on the latest challenges by trade and governments rules to equitable access to health in resource-limited settings

Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse (Coris Julis)

Painted Comber (Serranus Scriba)

News Flash 494

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


How to cope with a world in crisis? MMI policy dialogues 2022 – 26-31 October 2022, as Zoom webinars

Webinar registration: PHM Reflections on Policy Developments on NCD control in WHA 75- 30th Sept, 1 PM UTC

One Health: A Paradigm Whose Time Has Come?

Fault Lines: Global Perspectives on a World in Crisis

International Geneva: missed opportunities, new possibilities

Liz Truss: friend or foe? …The jury is out

The U.S. Government and Global Health

Responsible dissemination of health and medical research: some guidance points

First patient dosed with HIV gene therapy

To Drive Equity In Monkeypox Response, States Should Learn From COVID-19

New recommendations for the composition of influenza vaccines in 2023 for the southern hemisphere

Covid-19 Cases in Africa

Long-term neurologic outcomes of COVID-19

Health Brief: Long TRIPS must come to an end

Malaria Eradication and Prevention through Innovation by Kirubel Workiye Gebretsadik 

Why We Need a New Grand Bargain for How the World Buys Antibiotics

How Public Health Can Stem the STI Epidemic

Hepatitis C elimination: why prisoners’ health must be revalued

Prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in migrants in Europe in the era of universal health coverage


A World of One Billion Empty Plates

Small number of huge companies dominate global food chain, study finds

People’s Health Dispatch: Bulletin #34: A festival of solidarity and struggle

Global gendered impacts of the Ukraine crisis on energy access and food security and nutrition

Who is responsible for the deaths of children at EU borders?

Horn of Africa drought puts 3.6m children at risk of dropping out of school

Fuel makers blast EU focus on electric vehicles amid energy crisis


India’s Toxic Air Set to Continue as New Punjab Leaders Fail to Control Farm Fires

Air Pollution is Linked to Adverse Brain Development in Young Children

German citizens sue government for right to breathe clean air

Member states slam Commission’s plans to slash pesticide use

Opinion: World Bank and MDBs must show proactive climate leadership












Malaria Eradication and Prevention through Innovation

 A reflection here on WHO-led key initiatives to protect pregnant women and children against the scourge of malaria in underserved low- and middle-income countries

By Kirubel Workiye Gebretsadik

Medical Doctor and Master of Public Health student 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 Malaria Eradication and Prevention through Innovation



Malaria is an infectious disease caused by parasites of the plasmodium group, spread through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. Though a preventable and curable disease, malaria is a huge burden for sub-saharan African nations. Approximately 92% of malaria cases and 93% of malaria deaths are within low- and middle-income countries.

At the seventh replenishment conference for the Global Fund to combat AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in New York, which was hosted by US president Joe Biden, governments from all around the world contributed a record US $14.25 billion. Over 45 nations attended the meeting, including governments, international partners, the commercial sector, and civil society organizations. Significant strides have been made in the fight against malaria since the global fund was established in 2002; it is predicted that interventions funded by the global fund prevented a 70% increase in malaria cases. Nevertheless, almost two decades later, there are still 241 million cases of malaria worldwide. Africa is heavily burdened by it.

Malaria infection during pregnancy is a major public health problem. Pregnancy-related malaria infection can result in life-threatening consequences, such as severe anemia in the mother, low birth weight in the baby, or even stillbirth or death. In addition to using insecticide-treated mosquito nets and ensuring efficient case management of malaria and anemia in pregnant women, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended in 2012 giving pregnant women at least three doses of the antimalarial drug sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) to significantly lower the risk of malaria infection. Data revealed that millions of women were still being overlooked despite this guidance.

Jhpiego is the project’s leader, and it is referred to as intermittent preventative therapy in pregnancy (IPTp). Through the use of skilled health extension program officers, this study sought to find out by providing malaria prophylaxis to women in their homes. It had the belief that it could close care gaps and open doors to more health services for millions of women. This flexible community-led strategy has been successful in 2021 in reaching 80% of the targeted pregnant women. This strategy has provided at least three doses of SP through community interventions, protecting approximately 100,000 pregnant women against malaria.

SP is also successful in protecting infants against anemia and malaria. As a result, WHO also suggests intermittent preventive therapy in infants (IPTi-SP).

IPTi-SP is the administration of a full therapeutic course of SP delivered through the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) at intervals corresponding to routine vaccination schedules for the second and third doses of DTP/Penta3, and measles vaccination — usually at 8-10 weeks, 12-14 weeks, and ~9 months of age — to infants at risk of malaria. It is anticipated that the Population Service International (PSI)-led IPTi project will produce data to encourage the broad adoption of an effective but underutilized preventive strategy that, if scaled up, could prevent 6.7 million cases of malaria and anemia in children under two by 2030.

Let us work together on the WHO global target for malaria 2016-2030.


By the same Author on PEAH


Social Innovation in Healthcare


News Flash 493: Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

News Flash Links, as part of the research project PEAH (Policies for Equitable Access to Health), aim to focus on the latest challenges by trade and governments rules to equitable access to health in resource-limited settings

Wrasse (Labrus)

News Flash 493

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


WHO at the high-level session of the 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA)

Informal, focused consultations (IFCs) on WHO’s pandemic treaty to address: 1) legal matters, 2) equity, 3) IP and access to pandemic response products, and 4) One Health, AMR, Climate and Zoonosis

Global Fund is Still Short of Billions Ahead of Crucial Pledging Conference

Dimensionality of criticality in HPSR and global health: Thoughts from 2022 Emerging Voices for Global Health Fellows

Rethinking Humanitarianism | ‘No regrets’: Peter Maurer on 10 years as ICRC president

Moderna Gives WHO’s mRNA Hub Some Help, Pfizer Snubs Request

EMA recommends standard marketing authorisations for Comirnaty and Spikevax COVID-19 vaccines

A Bivalent Omicron-Containing Booster Vaccine against Covid-19

‘Massive COVID-19 failure’ sets back global development

WHO responds to The Lancet COVID-19 Commission

Innovative Financing to Protect Public Health During a Pandemic

Learning from Different Nations’ Experiences with COVID-19: Models of Public Inquiry, Methods to Globally Network

Closing the Public Health Ethics Gap

To Meet Global HIV Prevention Goals, Expand The PEPFAR-FDA Tentative Approval Pathway

The unknown efficacy of tecovirimat against monkeypox

Gutter to gut: How antimicrobial-resistant microbes journey from environment to humans

Answering the Challenges Posed by Antimicrobial Resistance

Medicines Patent Pool and MedinCell sign license deal to fight malaria

‘Best yet’ malaria vaccine developers eye 2023 rollout

MSF warns that supply delays of critical TB test will cost lives

NCDs in Ghana Spark Caution, Policy Shifts

Heads of State commit to Noncommunicable Disease Global Compact to save 50 million lives by 2030

Curbing the cost of sickle cell disease in Africa

European Health Union: A new EU approach on cancer detection – screening more and screening better

Climate adaptation ‘critical’ for Africa

Protecting Pregnant People and Babies from the Health Effects of Climate Change

Low-Carbon Health Care Done Right

Parliament backs e-fuels, higher EU transport decarbonisation target

Denmark becomes first to offer ‘loss and damage’ climate funding

The Green Brief: Europe’s failed ‘grand bargain’ on energy

Global crises fuel rise in modern slavery, report finds

Jailed and Pregnant: What the Roe Repeal Means for Incarcerated People

Hunger now killing one person every four seconds, NGOs say

Extreme hunger soaring in world’s climate hotspots, says Oxfam





News Flash 492: Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

News Flash Links, as part of the research project PEAH (Policies for Equitable Access to Health), aim to focus on the latest challenges by trade and governments rules to equitable access to health in resource-limited settings

Amberjacks (Seriola Dumerili)

News Flash 492

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


What are the priorities for the new UK prime minister?

The UK’s Trade and Development agenda can help tackle global inflation and the cost of living crisis

Dr Luis Pizarro becomes new Executive Director of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative

Need to review proposed health financing model

Outcomes-Based Approaches to Health Care Finance Can Address Unmet Needs

WHO: Public hearings regarding a new international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response

UN Approves High-Level Pandemic Summit

ECDC-EMA statement on booster vaccination with Omicron adapted bivalent COVID-19 vaccines

Why Paxlovid is still not available in many LMICs

New Initiative Will Enable Speedy Introduction of COVID-19 Antivirals in Africa and Southeast Asia

Commission urges bloc to act now in preparation for COVID-19 winter surge

Audio Interview: Covid-19 and the WHO

Chengdu, Chinese city of 21m, has Covid lockdown extended indefinitely

Covid-19 and the Global South by Christiane Fischer

Back to School: COVID, CDC Guidance, Monkeypox, and More

Intradermal Vaccination for Monkeypox — Benefits for Individual and Public Health

After smallpox, can other diseases be eradicated?

The Polio Outbreak and What Needs to Be Done To Eradicate the Virus Globally

A Breakthrough Tuberculosis Treatment Just Got Safer

Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings


‘Health Too’ by Women in Global Health

Healthy workplaces for a healthy living

The importance of Community Mental Health for refugees

244M children won’t start the new school year (UNESCO)

Five Things to Look for at the UN’s Transforming Education Summit

Smoking control in China: A need for comprehensive national legislation

Fertiliser stranglehold in Africa

Air Pollution Kills Millions Every Year: Action Needed

Pakistan floods pose urgent questions over preparedness and climate reparations

Large parts of Amazon may never recover, major study says

Rich nations to fund 80% of S.Africa’s climate plan with loans, some hard to unlock

What is COP27?












Covid-19 and the Global South

What are the effects of the Covid measures on people from southern and northern countries? Are these more positive or more negative for the world's poor? How are you politically classified? The following article seeks to answer these questions by evaluating the impact of common interventions on individual and global health, as well as social impacts

By Dr. med. Christiane Fischer

Chairwoman, PHM Deuteschland

 Covid-19 and the Global South



At the individual level all vaccines are positive! The resistance to vaccination, which is mainly found in rich countries, seems unfounded. The vaccinations have no more side effects than any other vaccinations and, as with other vaccinations, long-term effects have not been described.

On a global level, there is a massive problem that people, especially from poor African countries, have insufficient access. While in Germany the vaccination rate on August 31, 2022 was 76.2% of the population, in Burkina Faso it was only 8.1%. India has a vaccination rate of 73%, as the vaccines are produced in the country by its own Indian pharmaceutical companies and are therefore accessible to the entire population. [i]  Unfortunately, India cannot export them due to the existing patent law in many African countries. Therefore, they do not benefit the poor, especially in African countries. A main reason for the lack of access for poor countries without their own pharmaceutical industry is massively inflated prices, which are usually caused by unnecessary patent protection. Globally, 67.7% of people worldwide have been vaccinated at least once, but as is almost always the case, the vaccine is distributed very unfairly between the rich who swim in vaccine and the poor who at best have miserable access. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 34 countries have rates below 10%.[ii]

On October 2, 2020, South Africa and India applied to the World Trade Organization to temporarily suspend patent protection for all products necessary to prevent, contain and treat Covid-19. In the language of the WTO, such an exemption is called a “TRIPS Waiver”. As of October 2020, over 100 governments have endorsed the TRIPS Waiver. After 18 months of negotiations, a document has been made public that is described as a possible compromise between the EU, the USA, South Africa and India. However, the text in no way corresponds to the original proposal tabled by India and South Africa. The compromise proposal is too narrow and does not provide sufficient measures for equal access to Covid-19 technologies. It does not represent a simplification but a complication of the necessary conditions for Covid-19 technologies. [iii]


The sensitivity of tests is only 40%, as evaluated by the German professional association of paediatricians (BVKJ). The number of false-negative and false-positive results is unacceptably high and would do more harm than good, so the conclusion. The isolation and quarantine measures and school closures associated with the tests have led to schools in particular, and thus the education of children and young people, being massively disrupted. [iv] Therefore, testing without cause, be it with rapid antigen tests or PCR pool tests, is currently and probably not justifiable for the further course of the pandemic. This should also apply to nursing homes, clinics and other facilities, as the example of Switzerland shows, which abolished all corona measures in February and does not have a higher incidence than Germany. [v]

On the other hand, there are fears that are triggered by tests and cannot be justified in view of the lack of sensitivity. In addition, a large amount of waste is caused by tests.


In the debate about the new Infection Protection Act, the German Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ) spoke out against compulsory masks for schoolchildren in autumn and winter, because studies would show that masks tend to postpone infections. [vi]

At the same time, people who consistently and correctly wear mouth and nose protection indoors in public had a significantly reduced risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 in a case control study by the California health authority. [vii]

Consequently, a weighing of interests must take place here between protecting others and protecting yourself, your own body awareness and the right not to wear a mask yourself. The fact that people can effectively protect themselves with a mask should not be an obligation, but only a recommendation.

From an ecological point of view, masks create a lot of waste. A lot of resources are used for mask production that are missing in other areas. These reasons also speak against a mask requirement.


The societal impact of lockdowns far outweighs the health benefits they have produced.[viii] This is especially true for the poor in southern countries. If, for example, people do not have money to drive the bus to a treatment center for tuberculosis or AIDS due to lockdowns, this causes more resistance and deaths in poor countries. [ix] Other measures such as curfews have generally been controversial due to a lack of evidence.


Vaccinations are the most effective measure to combat the pandemic in the long term. In order for everyone to have access to vaccinations, it is necessary to suspend patents on vaccines, medicines and diagnostics. The aim of progressive politics and health policy is to fight poverty worldwide. This is central in the case of the Covid-19b pandemic. All measures must therefore be measured against this. The effects of the other Covid-19 measures are particularly problematic for people from countries in the south (but also in the north) and for ecological reasons. The focus must be on action that serves in the poor and fights poverty globally. This is only possible with patent-free access. Therefore, our commitment to off-patent vaccines, medicines and diagnostics should be stepped up so that global justice can emerge.













By the same author on PEAH

Access to Corona Vaccination only for the Rich 

Action Alliance “Training 2020” – An Alliance for Independent Continuing Medical Education

Corrupt Medical Practices in Germany

Interview: MEZIS (Mein Essen zahl ich selbst – I pay for my own lunch)


News Flash 491: Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges

News Flash Links, as part of the research project PEAH (Policies for Equitable Access to Health), aim to focus on the latest challenges by trade and governments rules to equitable access to health in resource-limited settings

Salema fish (Salpa Salpa)

News Flash 491

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


The call for abstracts EECA INTERACT 2022 is open. Please, apply!

Webinar registration: CSO DG dialogue on climate and health Sep 5, 2022 02:00 PM in Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna

First adapted COVID-19 booster vaccines recommended for approval in the EU

US Food and Drug Administration Approves Omicron-Targeting COVID-19 Boosters for Fall

Scientists question Moderna invention claim in COVID-19 vaccine dispute: Company sues rivals Pfizer and BioNTech over mRNA technology

India pitches for special WTO meet to expand scope of Covid IP waiver

Poor Vaccines Coverage in Pandemic Blamed on Multiple Barriers

Research characterizes clinical and epidemiologic features of SARS-CoV-2 in pets

Novel Coronaviruses Are Riskiest for Spillover

Primary Care Beyond COVID-19

WHO Lists Entities That Can Engage with Pandemic Treaty Negotiating Body

Why We Need A Pandemic Treaty Built For Accountability & Financial Assistance To Countries That Need It

The New Abnormal by Brian Johnston

Access (or not) to vaccines for monkeypox in Africa: a sense of déjà vu?

Substandard and falsified antibiotics: neglected drivers of antimicrobial resistance?

Reflections on research ethics in a public health emergency: Experiences of Brazilian women affected by Zika

Principles for Access to Multi-disease Molecular Diagnostics

WHO product review process needs better clarity: External report

Half of health care facilities globally lack basic hygiene services – WHO, UNICEF

A Message From Global Initiative for Environment and Reconciliation – GER Rwanda by Innocent Musore 

European towns exchange good practices to boost migrants’ integration

The Reality of Ethics and the Role of Disruptive Technologies in the Medical Data Industry: How Do They Align? by Tomas Mainil  

Reimagining human rights in global health: what will it take?

The Berlin Wall Between Welfare and Health in Iran: Who Gains the Health Subsidies? by Manal Etemadi

Africa’s water woes ‘driving up food prices’ 

Is There Any Point Defining a ‘Climate Migrant’?

A “hierarchy of suffering” exacerbates asylum seekers’ mental health in Lithuania

What Satellite Data Can (And Can’t) Tell Us About Climate-Affected Migration 

 ONE HEALTH ONE WORLD by Kirubel Workiye Gebretsadik 

‘Time has run out’: UN fails to reach agreement to protect marine life

Commission adopts new rules to fastrack approval of biological pesticides

Latin America Looks to COP27: ‘The Time to See Ourselves Only as Climate Victims is Over’

When open letters work: publication of the EU proposal on pollution emission standards for vehicles













A Message From Global Initiative for Environment and Reconciliation – GER Rwanda

Find a message here by Innocent Musore, Executive Director Global Initiative for Environment and Reconciliation-GER Kigali City, Rwanda, as a reminder of GER-Rwanda 2022 field engagement and practices. We are pleased to post and circulate it as a follow-up to Improving Communities’ Livelihood, Healing and Reconciliation in Rwanda PEAH published by the same author on February this year

By Innocent Musore

Executive Director

Global Initiative for Environment and Reconciliation-GER

Kigali City, Rwanda

A Message From Global Initiative for Environment and Reconciliation – GER Rwanda

GER-Rwanda-logo.jpg (235×225)


Welcome to GER!

Since 2015, Global Initiative for Environment and Reconciliation (GER) –a Non-Governmental Organization ,  whose Vision is to see people living in harmony with themselves and the environment , with a Mission to support the process of peace building and community development in Rwanda, and the Great Lakes region has  actively been a peacebuilding and development organization.

We work with communities and stake holders, community based organizations to facilitate conflicts transformation and ecosystem conservation with a keen focus to empower women and youth to become agents of change.  We facilitate interactions with people of all walks of life, including; survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and perpetrators to reconcile and recover from collective trauma and historical wounds.

We facilitate community knowledge exchange and intergenerational learning dialogues that help environmental reconciliation and conservation initiatives to secure food system by Agroecoly farming. This includes and is not limited to testimonies and story-telling.

The beneficiaries should know how to cultivate their land so that it becomes and remains fertile to the future generations, even in times of climate change. Our aim is to raise community awareness so that people are sensitized to become better informed and enlightened about how our actions impact the environment and the associated ecosystems.

We are thus able to understand not only the impact of our decisions and actions, but also learn how to anticipate these changes before they occur and act in such a way as to protect our natural environment which allow us to live in harmony with nature. We work with communities to improve ecosystem conservation and climate resilience.

Our interventions are in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) particularly in the Eastern part of North Kivu, where communities have been affected by ethnic conflicts and violence, famine, disease as well as extreme poverty. Principally, working with communities has enabled us to learn much from their experiences and program interventions, hence meeting their needs already identified in the communities.  We believe that change is possible when communities are empowered and supported to take full ownership and engage in their own home-grown community development initiatives. Noteworthy, community-based approach permits changes from individuals to families, community members and societal levels.

To that end, we therefore invite individuals with tangible ideas and good will from various organizations, foundations and development partner to support this noble cause of restoring trust and regional integration.

For more information, our social media:,,

Thank you!




The Reality of Ethics and the Role of Disruptive Technologies in the Medical Data Industry: How Do They Align?

Technical innovation in globalized health systems seems to become the future pandemic in our current time frame. Disruptive technologies can be used for the good and the bad. This research letter wants to pinpoint the landscape of choices in which medical doctors and other medical professions need to balance the trade in health services with their ethical stance and commitment to nurture and treat patients

By Dr. Tomas Mainil

Phd, Ma, Msc, PD, Senior Lecturer/Researcher and strategic policy analyst, Breda University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands.


 The Reality of Ethics and the Role of Disruptive Technologies in the Medical Data Industry: How Do They Align?


Innovative technologies such as Digital Twins, AI and Blockchain are currently changing the way of working in the medical industries, which probably will lead to early adaptors versus businesses which will react to late in this technological battle for the patient. (Nam et al., 2021) point out that smart destinations are beginning to embrace blockchain solutions, which could result in different business practices. According to (Gossling, 2021) we have arrived in the stage of usurpation with regards to ICT adoption in the tourism industry. This is certainly also true for the structure present in the health space worldwide. It will generate new room for imagination to envision the future (Xiang, 2018). So, we need to assess if the application of these technologies are influencing: mutual understanding between health management levels and professionals, Individual fulfillment, Sustainable development, Stakeholder obligations, Right to health care, Liberty for medical movements and finally the rights for health workers in the medical industry.

Each of these ethical perspectives will be touched by the usage and implementation of these technologies. We want to analyze for each of these principles what the positive and negative relationships are with the continuous development of these technologies. This technological shift will be in need of anti-disciplinary thinking, embarking on new paradigms and mindsets (Sigala, 2018).

In the near future disruptive technologies will change the medical industry rapidly and without taken into account workforce, sustainable communities and hosting places and geographic sensitive environments. In the distant future AI and the development of synergetic systems of supervised machine learning will replace human activities and ways of acting in general societies and how these societies will be organized: technology at the front of destructive innovation or technology and AI for the good of society, the citizens in those societies, and last but not least technology which will create a shift in the trade-off between the elite and endangered communities all over this planet.

So, to humbly conclude: do we want as a globalized civil system to sustain our medical apparatus and the planet; or do we want to perish, and is this current time frame the advent of not being able to provide future generations what our ancestors understood better: to simply live in a harmonic system, rather than to enslave our own past and future. Urgently, but at the same time without any political and policy speeding up processes, we have – without debate – arrived at the bones of our current society.

Without solutions and actions from inside our outside the medical profession, no globalized sustainable health system will arise. But in the end, these disruptive technologies can enhance the sustainable character and the ratio of the healthcare sector: to make the right choices and finding the right equilibrium between human striving and technological innovation. (Putera et al., 2022) show evidence in Indonesia, where technology, policies and health care delivery are coinciding.  Possibly and hopefully this will deliver stuctural results or solutions.


The author has no conflicting interests



Nam, K., Dutt, C.S., Chathoth, P. & Khan M.S. (2021). Blockchain technology for smart city and smart tourism: latest trends and challenges, Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 26(4), 454-468.

Gössling, S. (2021). Tourism, technology and ICT: a critical review of affordances and concessions, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 29(5), 733-750.

Putera B.P., Widianingsih, I., Ningrum, S., Suryanto, S., Rianto, Y.(2022). Overcoming the COVID-19 Pandemic in Indonesia: A Science, technology, and innovation (STI) policy perspective, Health Policy and Technology,11(3)

Xiang, Z. (2018). From digitization to the age of acceleration: On information technology and tourism, Tourism Management Perspectives, 25, 147-150.

Sigala, M. (2018). New technologies in tourism: From multi-disciplinary to anti-disciplinary advances and trajectories, Tourism Management Perspectives, 25, 151-155.


Some smart reflections here on the overarching importance of not to be postponed ONE HEALTH ONE WORLD mindset in today’s planetary arena at the intersection of human, animal and environmental contexts

By Kirubel Workiye Gebretsadik

Medical Doctor and Master of Public Health student 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



There is a health day on November 3. This day is meant to honor and draw attention to the idea of “one health, one globe.”

Animal health, and shared environmental health are all directly related to human health.

One health is a transdisciplinary, multisectoral, and collaborative strategy. In addition to addressing health issues, including the rise of infectious illnesses, antibiotic resistance, and food safety, collaboration across sectors and disciplines also helps to promote the health and integrity of our ecosystems. One Health, according to WHO, may cover the complete spectrum of disease control, from prevention to detection, readiness, response, and management, and contribute to global health security by tying humans, animals, and the environment together.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, commented on one health, saying: “We need to develop a more thorough and integrated one health governance framework at the global level. We require a capable labor force, a political commitment, and ongoing financial support. To bring about the change we need, we must adopt a more proactive communication and engagement strategy across sectors, disciplines, and communities.

Since agriculture and farming technologies permitted humans to dwell in sedentary communities, near their livestock and crops, diseases have been emerging at the human-animal interface. Over 85% of Africans still rely on agriculture and livestock breeding. As a result, the conversation is still ongoing. Deforestation is becoming more widespread in emerging nations due to a growing population and a lack of agricultural land. As a result, people and wild creatures come into proximity.

According to information from the World Health Organization, 75% of newly discovered or developing infectious diseases are zoonotic, and 60% of all infectious diseases reported in humans have an animal origin. The COVID-19 pandemic, avian influenza, swine influenza, monkeypox, and antibiotic resistance are all excellent teaching tools for our society about the importance of collaborating across human, animal, and environmental health.

According to the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, COVID-19 would cost the US $16 trillion. What about in developing countries? Therefore we have to speak loud ONE HEALTH ONE WORLD.


By the same Author on PEAH

Social Innovation in Healthcare


The New Abnormal

…many people now go about their lives as if COVID was no longer with us and has been relegated to history. This “out of sight is out of mind” mentality is reflected in their day-to-day behaviour and when translated to a population level poses a real threat to any attempts to control the spread of the virus, reduce its transmission or prevent individuals from being needlessly infected…

By Dr. Brian Johnston

Senior Public Health Intelligence Manager

London, United Kingdom

The New Abnormal


In promoting a plan of Living with COVID, the UK government has made sweeping relaxations of COVID-19 restrictions. While this plan recognises that the COVID pandemic is not over and proposes a flexible approach to cope with an unpredictable future, the general population have largely resumed their lives in a way that is reminiscent of pre-pandemic times.

Although COVID has been responsible for over 200,000 deaths in the United Kingdom and currently kills several hundred people each week, according to official government statistics, there is currently very little media coverage of the pandemic. Other topics have attracted media attention away from the pandemic and COVID-19 no longer retains the exclusive and dominant place in the public’s imagination, that it once held. Consequently, many people now go about their lives as if COVID was no longer with us and has been relegated to history. This “out of sight is out of mind” mentality is reflected in their day-to-day behaviour and when translated to a population level poses a real threat to any attempts to control the spread of the virus, reduce its transmission or prevent individuals from being needlessly infected.

If you travel across London today, you could be forgiven for thinking that the COVID pandemic had not happened, or it is a figment of your imagination. People crowd into busy trains and buses, few wear face masks or attempt to socially distance and hand gel dispensers at stations are often empty. In many restaurants and pubs, customers squeeze into confined spaces, where adequate ventilation is often by chance, rather than design. Human beings often remember petty insults and insignificant nonsense for generations but can “forget” truly important things in days when it suits them, there are no consequences, or it is expedient.

From an alternative perspective, some COVID restrictions, such as lockdowns, social distancing and regulation of visiting to care homes, did place a considerable burden on the mental health of many people during the pandemic. Reports of excessive alcohol consumption, loneliness and social isolation were rife, and it is likely that the scars left by this period of our recent history, will remain for years to come. It is therefore understandable (to an extent) why survivors of this global tragedy should embrace life with a renewed fervour, when these restrictions have been relaxed.

However, the damage done by this virus continues to show itself in many other ways and its corrosive effect on the fabric of society keeps on evolving. The financial effects of the pandemic, whether through closure of businesses, redundancies or unemployment, will now be worsened by a cost-of-living crisis and impending recession, which will have major health and wellbeing implications across the world. As deprivation spreads, the development of health inequalities will be felt more strongly, whether they are expressed through reduced access to healthcare services, poor nutrition or the worsening of long-term conditions, exacerbated by patchy or inadequate monitoring.

For example, lockdowns and restrictions on social contact, during the pandemic, led to considerable growth in the number of fast-food outlets and food delivery services, in many areas of the UK. This increased access to fast foods, which are often high in refined sugars, preservatives and saturated fats, will have had a detrimental impact on the nation’s health in terms of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancers and a range of other conditions. In a similar way, the current economic crisis could easily have serious health implications, as people seek cheaper options (including fast food) to feed their families. In this way, COVID will continue to impact both mortality and morbidity, indirectly, and for years to come.

To quote Shakespeare; “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions,” so we should expect a tragedy on the scale of COVID to cause damage in many ways, at multiple levels and across time. For this reason, it is important for us to remain vigilant, monitor the emergence and spread of new viruses closely and act quickly and effectively, when a pandemic threatens to gain momentum. In this modern world, where a staggering variety of things compete for our attention, it would be easy to lose sight of the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19 and other pathogens. This would be dangerous and negligent, and likely to both worsen and prolong the damage caused by any resurgence of the current pandemic, or the blossoming of a new one.

A recent report by the British Medical Association (BMA) on The impact of the pandemic on population health and heath inequalities, recognises that the UK entered the COVID pandemic from a position of weakness due to many factors including cuts in public services, underfunding of public health and a lack of cross-governmental accountability for health.

Reducing health inequalities and improving population health would have lessened the impact of the pandemic. However, an “inverse care law” underlies many health inequalities, in which those people most in need of care are the least likely to receive it. Unfortunately, health inequalities were exacerbated by COVID, when reduced access to care was disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable people and groups most at risk.

This BMA report recommends that the UK ensures that it is better prepared to manage any future pandemic, by considering the impact on health inequalities through:

  • explicitly supporting and protecting those vulnerable and at-risk groups disproportionately affected by reduced access to care
  • promoting accessible and up-to-date public health communications and
  • investing in high quality, linked health data.

In the UK, whilst there has been a concerted effort to get life back to normal by reducing backlogs of delayed operations and continuing to administer the COVID vaccination and booster programmes, the emerging cost of living crisis seems very likely to exacerbate existing health inequalities.

Action must now be taken, if we are to avoid placing unnecessary stress on our health sector later this year, when a range of factors (such as cost of living, climate change and fuel poverty) could create a perfect breeding ground for COVID infections. Governments are best placed to introduce measures to address the cost-of-living crisis by mitigating the worse effects of rising food and fuel prices and the resultant health inequalities. However, the general public also bears some responsibility and can exert a major effect, through changes in behaviour. For example, people can resume the wearing of face masks on public transport and in crowded venues where possible. They can wash their hands properly, social distance appropriately and ventilate effectively, without the need for new guidance, laws or rules to coerce them into doing it. To avoid another catastrophe this winter, we will all need to invest time, effort and expense in helping to protect ourselves against the development of a potential tidal wave of new COVID infections.

Over half of the UK population has had COVID-19 and while figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) currently show downward trends for infections and hospitalisations, there has recently been a worrying increase in deaths. Against this background, if we are to prevent a tragedy, or at least ameliorate a possible resurgence of COVID cases, we must work harder as individuals and collectively, to create a “new normal” that is both safe and secure.

A recent article in Scientific American states that the main question when creating a new COVID narrative is whether or not the virus still poses a major threat to public health. This is a difficult question to answer, but it is certain that our collective behaviours and decisions will shape our relationship with COVID-19 and determine whether we have a palatable “new normal” or a catastrophic “new abnormal.”


By the same Author on PEAH

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Unleashing the True Potential of Data – COVID-19 and Beyond

Living with COVID in a Transformed World