News Flash 413: 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

News Flash 413

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Aid policy trends to watch in 2021 


Mexico shares Biden focus on migration’s root causes, ministry says 

What Democratic control of the Senate could mean for US foreign aid  

Webinar registration: Series of public briefings and debates ahead of WHO EB 148 

WHO’s Attempt to Navigate Commercial Influence and Conflicts of Interest in Nutrition Programs While Engaging With Non-State Actors: Reflections on WHO Guidance for Nation States Comment on “Towards Preventing and Managing Conflict of Interest in Nutrition Policy? An Analysis of Submissions to a Consultation on a Draft WHO Tool” 

WHO Secretariat: report and proposal on EB agenda item 19.2, Involvement of non-State actors in WHO’s governing bodies 

148th Session of the WHO Executive Board: Another waste of time – or time to restore WHO as directing global health authority? Series of public briefings and debates hosted by G2H2, 11-15 January 2021 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Weekly Update 

G7: Make Plans to Share Excess Vaccine Now 

WHO Calls On Europe To Curb Spread of UK Virus Variant – Researchers Warn South African Mutations May Be More Vaccine Resistant 

South Africa to Start Vaccinating Health Workers As WHO Warns Against Bilateral Deals Outside COVAX 

European Commission authorises second safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 

Public stakeholder meeting on the approval and roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in the EU Date: 08/01/2021 Location: Virtual meeting, 13:00-15:15 CET 

Webinar registration: Learning Session: European Citizens’ Initiative & Access to Covid-19 Vaccines Jan 19, 2021 02:00 PM in Brussels 

Eyebrows raised over India’s COVID-19 vaccine approval 

ANTICOV Treatment Clinical Trial Crucial for Africa 

Covid: WHO team investigating virus origins denied entry to China  

Early High-Titer Plasma Therapy to Prevent Severe Covid-19 in Older Adults 

COVID-19 Outcomes for Patients on Immunosuppressive Drugs on Par with Non- Immunosuppressed Patients 

Decolonising global health in the time of COVID-19 Mariam O. Fofana in: Global Public Health, 28 Dec  2020 

Human Rights Reader 559 

Study: Warming already baked in will blow past climate goals  

Degradation of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest laid bare 







2020: a Year in Review through PEAH Contributors’ Takes

Authoritative insights by 2020 PEAH contributors added steam to debate on how to settle the conflicting issues that still impair equitable access to health by discriminated population settings worldwide

by  Daniele Dionisio*

PEAH – Policies for Equitable Access to Health

2020: a Year in Review through PEAH Contributors’ Takes


Now that ill-fated 2020 just went by – and all of us hope we can finally put its COVID nightmare on the back burner – let me express deep gratitude to the top thinkers, stakeholders and academics who generously contributed articles over the year. Their enthusiasm and commitment meant a lot to PEAH scope and aims, while adding steam to debate on how to settle the conflicting issues that still impair equitable access to health by discriminated population settings worldwide.

Find out below the relevant links:

Fair Research Contracting – Key to Promoting Solidarity for Science and Development in a post-COVID-19 World by Carel IJsselmuiden, Kirsty Kaiser, Abigail Wilkinson, Farirai Mutenherwa 

Covid-19 VIRAT and VRAF Country Assessment Tool: The Need of the Hour by Tanushree Mondal 

Rebuilding Trust and Compassion in a Covid-19 World by George Lueddeke

The Case for Relational Quality Improvement in Health by Maria Kordowicz

Access to Opioid Analgesics for Medical Purposes: a Global Unbalance by Raffaella Ravinetto 

Economic Growth, Accessibility, and COVID-19: a Policy Analysis Examining a Decade of Greater Alcohol Liberalization in Ontario by Yipeng Ge, Elspeth McTavish, Rohit Vijh, Lawrence Loh 

Whistling Past the Graveyard of Dreams: Hard Truths About the Likely Post-Pandemic World by Ted Schrecker 

The State of Oregon’s COVID-19 Response by Susan M. Severance 

Rapid Assessment on the Impact of COVID-19 among Female Sex Workers, Adolescent Girls and Young Women, and Women Living with HIV & AIDS in Uganda by AWAC-Alliance of Women Advocating for Change 

The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Health Service Delivery Systems in Uganda by Zziwa Joshua and Bukenya Denis Joseph 

Politics and the Myths Around COVID-19 Pandemic Affecting the Right to Health by Bukenya Denis Joseph and Zziwa Joshua 

Africa’s Innovative COVID-19 Response: The Africa Medical Supplies Platform by Chiamaka P. Ojiako 

Barriers For Migrants by Chamid Sulchan

Migrants in Need: COVID-19 and the Impact on Labor Migrants’ Health, Income, Food and Travel by Olga Shelevakho and Helena Arntz

Toto Care Box: Enhancing Maternal and Newborn Health in Kenya by Reagun Andera Odhiambo

Contribution of the COVID-19 Crisis to Teenage Pregnancy Upsurge: a Case of Mukuru Kayaba Slums, Nairobi Kenya by Reagun Andera Odhiambo 

Substantial Aspects of Health Equity During and After COVID-19 Pandemic: A Critical Review by Erfan Shamsoddin 

The Future Path of U.S. Clinical Research: Bridging Geographic Diversity by Nicole Jarosinski

How to Survive COVID-19: Now and the Future by Subhash Hira, Sudhanshu Malhotra, Santosh Gupta, Kaamila Patherya 

An Economic Prescription for U.S. Healthcare: On Combining Capitalism, Socialism and Sports Competition by Larry J. Pipes 

On Reforming U.S. Healthcare by Larry J. Pipes 

Health Care Reform in The United States: a Call to Action by Susan M. Severance

Labour Migrants in Russia and their Needs by Chamid Sulchan 

How Prepared is Africa for the COVID-19 Pandemic Response? The Case of Ethiopia by Garumma Tolu Feyissa, Lemi Belay Tolu, Alex Ezeh 

Financing Biologic Product in Canada by Malek Ayoub 

Diseases Are Neglected by the Pharmaceutical Industry by Luciana M.N. Lopes and Alan Rossi Silva 

Reflections on the COVID-19 Crisis: Smart Lockdown by Muhammad Usman Khan 

Back to Basics – Lessons Learnt from COVID-19 Pandemic by Meenakumari Natarajan 

Postscript – The World at Risk: Covid-19, Global Sustainability and 1 HOPE by George Lueddeke 

No Exit? The United Kingdom’s Probable Russian Future by Ted Schrecker 

COVID-19 Impact on the Pharmaceutical Industry: Major Challenges and the Way Forward by Aboli Mandurnekar 

Implications of Covid-19 Pandemic on Health Systems by Francisco Becerra-Posada 

Interventions to Curb Covid-19 Spread in a Low-Income Country: Feasibility Challenges by Gertrude Masembe 

Plague and Depression in the Just-In-Time World by Ted Schrecker 

Pharmaceutical Business in Somalia by Mohamed Said Alì 

The World at Risk: Covid-19, Global Sustainability and 1 HOPE by George Lueddeke 

Il Rischio ed i Danni dell’Amianto nella Società, nei Media e nella Letteratura di Francesco Carnevale 

Increasing Uptake of Vasectomy as a Family Planning Method in Uganda by Amon Mulyowa 

Ten Propositions for Global Sustainability by George Lueddeke 


Public Health or Poverty Alleviation? What are Mosquito Nets for? by Gertrude Masembe 

Assessment of Private Wing in Public Hospitals: The Case of St. Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by Fitsum Girma Habte, Yemisirach Abeje, Girmaye Tamrat Bogale 

Coronavirus – Early Responses by Rosemary Barber-Madden 

Development Cooperation: Concerns and Emerging Challenges by Michael Ssemakula 

HIV Is Not a Verdict: I Love Every Minute of My Life by Olga Shelevakho 

The University in the early Decades of the Third Millennium: Saving the World from itself? by George Lueddeke 

Mitigating and Adapting to the Effects of Climate Change on Health in the Suburbs Through Adaptations in the Built Environment by Debbie Brace, Vanessa Kishimoto, Michelle A. Quaye, Mike Benusic, Louise Aubin, Lawrence C. Loh 

Making Nutrition and Health More Equitable within Inequitable Societies by Claudio Schuftan 

The contributions highlighted above add to PEAH internal posts published throughout the year. Find the links below:

LA SANITA’ AI TEMPI DEL CORONAVIRUS di Marco Geddes da Filicaia review by Daniele Dionisio

Italy Experience with COVID-19 by Daniele Dionisio

Interview to Ms. Gloria Nirere, Menstrual Health Management Trainer in Uganda by Daniele Dionisio

Moreover, as part of PEAH scope and aims, the column titled Focus on: Uganda’s Health Issues continued to serve as an observatory of challenging health issues in Uganda from a comprehensive view encompassing the policies, strategies and practices of all involved actors. 

In the meantime, our weekly page PEAH News Flash has been serving as a one year-long point of reference for PEAH contents, while turning the spotlight on the latest challenges by trade and governments rules to the equitable access to health in resource-limited settings.

Eventually, a new  PEAH: In the Public Eye column was set up during the year  as a gathering place for PEAH quotations from everywhere.


*Daniele Dionisio is a member of the European Parliament Working Group on Innovation, Access to Medicines and Poverty-Related Diseases. Former director of the Infectious Disease Division at the Pistoia City Hospital (Italy), Dionisio is Head of the research project  PEAH – Policies for Equitable Access to Health. He may be reached at:


PEAH collaborates with a number of non-profit entities. These include, among others:


G2H2Geneva Global Health Hub 

CEHURD – Center for Human Rights and Development 

Center for the History of Global Development 

Viva Salud 

Asia Catalyst 



The 53rd Week Ltd 


Social Medicine Portal 

Health as if Everibody Counted 

COHRED’s Research Fairness Initiative (RFI) 

AFEW International 


Medicines and Ethics, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp

Alliance of Women Advocating for Change (AWAC) 


Contributions From APAN During Disasters

The most important aspect that gets affected during disasters is human connectivity. In this regard, APAN (Asia Pacific Advanced Network) has been very much instrumental in making the lives of the research community better and making it more comfortable

By Dr. Tanushree Mondal

Assistant Director of Medical Education, Government of West Bengal

Contributions From APAN During Disasters


First published 21 December 2020

"The General Manager of APAN, Dr Markus Buchhorn is very hopeful that with the passage of the time, APAN can contribute more and more in this uncharted domain and can make an important difference to the broader community and benefit society through that"


APAN (Asia Pacific Advanced Network) is a network that connects research and education networks of various economies to one another and this makes it possible to build appropriate networks.

Among the activities of APAN, some are to provide forums for network engineers to build new applications, operate a fellowship program in support of it, adoption of advanced network technologies and regular updating of links, thereby improving the global cooperation from countries like Europe, North and South America, Africa and Arabian countries as well.

In pretty much every country there are research networks that connect all the Teaching institutions, the college, the hospitals, the museums, the cultural institutions on a common platform, the National Research Education Networks (NREN), either deployed by the Ministries of the respective Governing body or through the Universities. What APAN does is partnering of all the NREN in 3 out of the top 5 leading economies of the world, spanning more than half of the world’s population, including many contributors and link owners in a loose and volunteer-based manner. It stretches from Pakistan in the west to Japan in the east and down to Australia, New Zealand in the south. So, it spans the least developing to the most developed countries, creating multiple freeways.  It hopes to extend its domain more in the pacific Islands one day. These networks are the need of the hour while harnessing resilience against disasters. These networks help in moving large data sets and stand unique in their approach for their Out -of-the -Box Thinking and promulgation of Best Practices wherever and whenever they can.

In the remote past, the Disaster Mitigation Working group of APAN collaborated with the UNESCO under the project Connect Asia and promoted gentle partnerships with economies all around and engaged in case studies, numerical simulations, simulation practices and collaboration models and tools. Their domain was far fletched ranging from floods to droughts, Earthquakes, Tsunami, Fires, Smoke, Typhoons, Dust etc. So, in the face of such a Disaster, APAN stands by establishing multiple paths as a way of robust reconstructive and mitigation activity. APAN has the capability of providing such pathways specially during disasters ex. downloading or else uploading terra byte of data on Climate data in Modelling typhoon in the event of a disaster rapidly, running models with artificial intelligence which is in fact a transformative step in restoring and saving lives in a matter of few minutes. It also means accessing Disaster Response Networks by deploying such networks in places which faced a disaster. For ex. An Ad hoc network or a mesh network in the Philippines to support the responders in the region that replaced the local mobile network. In such a way, these networks deliver information, computing capacity whenever required. Such has also been shown in the clinical context of Covid-19 in 2020 through sharing of data. These information help bring in the necessary resources to the places that require the most, thus building resilience of research and science and technology in the support community. So, when such events occur in the future, these resilient networks come to play forefront with their armamentarium.

APAN conducts two meetings in a year crossing the Asia Pacific regions, the last was the APAN 50 at Hongkong in the year 2020, and the next upcoming is the APAN 51 at Islamabad, where there is a whole lot of knowledge sharing and learning between the researchers, the end-user community, the educators, and with the involvement of all its working group ranging from Agriculture, Earth system and sensing, Astronomy, culture, Disaster Management, Medical wing etc.

Much remains undiscovered when it comes to the contribution that APAN has left on the lives of the educators all around the globe, especially during the time of natural disasters or man-made calamities. Though the objectives of APAN have always been to uplift the education and research globally taking it to the next dimension, but it has unknowingly contributed to the medical world time and again, such as during the SARS outbreak, Bird Flu and most recently during the covid-19 pandemic by building human knowledge networks. During the SARS outbreak, when hospitals were all locked down, NREN community built a video-conferencing and IPV6 infrastructure, for the patients, doctors, visitors, administrators to communicate within and outside their community, helping diagnose and provide utmost care and support to its beneficiaries. So, this is one such model that could be replicated in the recent times, as and when required. APAN over time through its collaborative approaches will scale up better for the welfare of communities.