News Flash 507: 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

Rabbitfishes (Siganus Rivulatus)

News Flash 507

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Webinar registration: How to use participatory consensus building for successful collaboration on tackling medical deserts Friday January 27, 2023

G2H2: What’s on, and what is to be done: Civil society perspectives ahead of the 152nd Session of the WHO Executive Board

Political economy analysis at the 7th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR 2022) in Bogotá, Colombia

The Need for Transformation to a Post-Growth Health and Economic System

Wrapping up 2022 with some noteworthy medicines, law and policy events

The year in humanitarian news: A timeline of significant events in 2022

From war to hunger: 2022 in review



Hetero’s ‘NIRMACOM’ is world’s first generic version of COVID-19 oral drug ‘PAXLOVID’ to receive WHO Prequalification

Chinese hospitals ‘extremely busy’ as COVID spreads unchecked

Covid-19 Cases in Africa

How wastewater surveillance is helping the COVID-19 fight

Why the world isn’t ready for the next pandemic

Exclusive: Vaccine Trial Against Sudan Ebolavirus – With No Recent Infections in Uganda, What’s Plan B?

Randomized Trial of Vaccines for Zaire Ebola Virus Disease

WHO Recommends One HPV Vaccine Dose Instead of Two; Move Should Help Expand Coverage

TB-PRACTECAL: Groundbreaking MSF trial finds better treatment for people with drug-resistant tuberculosis

Assessing PEPFAR’s Impact: Analysis of Economic and Educational Spillover Effects in PEPFAR Countries

Use of new European registry mandatory for drug trials from February 2023

UN refugee agency welcomes Indonesia’s ‘act of humanity’ in rescuing migrants adrift at sea

Afghanistan: End destructive, destabilizing policies against women, Türk urges

Statement by Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on Afghanistan, Women’s participation in aid delivery must continue

Global Childcare in 2022: Taking Stock & What’s Next


Humanitarian exceptions: A turning point in UN sanctions

MMS Bulletin #164 December 2022 Decolonizing health cooperation – Reflections on an upcoming transformation process


Gene editing, CAP, pesticides: What does 2023 hold for the EU agrifood sector?

Mandatory Reporting of Emissions to Achieve Net-Zero Health Care










News Flash 506: 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

male Parrotfish (Sparisoma Cretense)

News Flash 506

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Thoughts for 2023: Promoting Innovation & New Technologies


Public Health in 2022: A Year of Adversities and Accomplishments

2022: key takeaways for international Geneva

’Tis the season: How to celebrate the holidays waste free


From health systems to systems for health: much more than semantics

US Summit Boosts Africa’s Health Sector, Food Resilience and Climate Response

The US-Africa Leaders Summit hits ‘reset.’ Now what?

The road to equitable access – an end of year message from MPP Director Charles Gore

Three innovative ideas for the right to health

TDR December 2022 Newsletter

Watch our AHEAD video: tackling and preventing medical deserts with the Medical Deserts Diagnostic Tool

The Pandemic Fund

Divided World Trade Organization Presses to Delay Decision on IP Waiver for COVID Treatments

WHO Urges ‘Under-Vaccinated’ China to Include mRNA Vaccines as it Battles Omicron Surge

COVID-19 in 2022: A Year-End Wrap-Up

Indonesia to produce Merck’s HPV vaccines to combat cervical cancer

Big Pharma’s big push into Africa’s cancer market

‘Strong evidence’ thousands of severe malaria cases are misdiagnosed

Smartphone operated tool uses light beam to detect malaria

MSF responds to groundbreaking updated WHO guidelines for drug-resistant tuberculosis

Building a social movement for oral health

People’s Health Dispatch: Bulletin #40: Right to health remains elusive as world marks Human Rights Day

La salute disuguale figlia della guerra


Afghanistan: Taliban ban women from universities amid condemnation

Gender inequalities and discrimination in rare diseases: a double threat to women’s health and wellbeing

Taking the Pulse: Tracking Cancer Inequalities in Europe

Is Organ Transplant equal for everyone?


UN Human Rights report urges re-think of temporary labour migration programmes

“We must do more to protect minorities”

Seeking justice for survivors of sexual violence in Ukraine

Learn more about your country’s commitments to UHC: UHC Data Portal

The world has a new plan to save nature. Here’s how it works — and how it could fail

Cop15 strikes historic deal to protect 30 per cent of Earth – at whose expense?

Sweeping New Global Biodiversity Deal Sets Out Plan for Sharing Gene Sequences

China’s return to wildlife farming ‘a risk to global health and biodiversity’

Mandatory Reporting of Emissions to Achieve Net-Zero Health Care












News Flash 505: 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

Elegans Sea Slug (Hypselodoris Elegans)

News Flash 505

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Attacco al SSN. Svegliamoci!

Health Should Remain a Priority in the US-Africa Relationship

Meeting registration: EB TODAY

12.12.22 • International Universal Health Coverage Day – Build the World We Want: A Healthy Future for All

Building global prosperity: Proposals for sustainable growth

Report signals increasing resistance to antibiotics in bacterial infections in humans and need for better data

As Drug Resistance Surges, Experts Call for Antibiotics for Newborns to be Prioritised

Is It Safe to Take a Fourth COVID-19 Vaccine Shot?

A Bleak Winter? Modeling the Next Six Months of COVID, Flu, and RSV

Ebola trial candidate vaccines arrive in Uganda in record 79 days after outbreak declared

Global Progress on AIDS Fight in Danger, UNAIDs Warns

Going tent to tent to stop cholera in Syria

WHO: Substandard and falsified medical products: Advice to patients and consumers

DNDi 2022 Year in Review

Renewed malaria push needed after COVID-19 setback

Why Big Tobacco’s attempts to rehabilitate its image are so dangerous

Healthy lifestyle and life expectancy at age 30 years in the Chinese population: an observational study

Volker Türk: ‘It’s my duty to be the voice of human rights

International Rescue Commission lists emergency hotspots

Her Story: Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment of Women Health Workers

Racism poses public health threat to millions worldwide, finds report

UN anti-racism forum holds first ‘milestone’ meeting

Time to Denounce Antisemitism Worldwide

It’s a banner year for malnutrition funding. But challenges remain

Accelerated action needed to ensure safe drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene for all

UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2022 report

United Nations Biodiversity Conference COP15 / CP-MOP10 / NP-MOP4

Africa Fights Back Against Wildlife Poachers, but Drought is Devastating

Experts Seek Appropriate Circular Solutions to Plastic Pollution


G7 establishes climate club to fight global warming

The 2022 China report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: leveraging climate actions for healthy ageing








News Flash 504: 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

Hermit Crab (Dardanus Calidus)

News Flash 504

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Meeting registration: Building a Vision for Global Solidarity [Kampala Initiative] Dec 14, 2022 12:00 PM in London

What is the role of Northern organisations in global justice advocacy?

History RePPPeated II -Why Public-Private Partnerships are not the solution

Kofi Annan Global Health Leadership Programme: How to Apply

WHO Member States agree to develop zero draft of legally binding pandemic accord in early 2023

Keep Momentum on Pandemic ‘Treaty’, Urges Tedros

US Wants WTO to Delay Decision on TRIPS Waiver Extension for COVID-19 Tests and Treatment

WHO: Public health round up

ETF concludes that bivalent original/Omicron BA.4-5 mRNA vaccines may be used for primary vaccination

Saliva-based methods for SARS-CoV-2 testing in low- and middle-income countries

CIOMS Special Newsletter “Fighting antimicrobial resistance”, November 2022

Join The Fight the Fakes Week 5-11 December 2022

Homicide Charges for Those Making Harmful Fake Medicine?

Tuberculosis care models for children and adolescents: a scoping review

Africa’s advances in maternal, infant mortality face setbacks: WHO

Antibiotics needed to treat multidrug-resistant infections in neonates

Drugs companies must address ‘chronic neglect’ of women

The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology: An open letter to Gavi: hepatitis B birth dose vaccine can’t wait

The Global Status of Iodine Deficiency Disorders  by Jan Schultink

More than 1 in 5 worldwide suffering from violence at work: ILO

UN warns of social unrest after ‘striking’ drop in global wages

World Bank warns of ‘intensifying’ debt crisis for poorest nations

UNPRPD: Situational analysis of the rights of persons with disabilities

Five migration solutions for Europe for 2023

Global research priorities for urban health

Planet Sustainability: The Choice Is Ours!

Biodiversity summit: countries gear up for a last chance to protect nature

COP15: Shift in Societal Values Needed to Address Biodiversity Loss

Europe enters global biodiversity conference with big ambitions

Island nation Vanuatu sends climate resolution to UN for court opinion






The Global Status of Iodine Deficiency Disorders

A piece here on global efforts to sustainably address iodine deficiency, looking at the shift in focus from more extreme clinical impact to the large scale efforts to prevent brain damage and loss of school performance in children. The article looks at the history of the public health success and what we need to do now to sustain it

By Jan Werner Schultink

Executive Director, Iodine Global Network


The Global Status of Iodine Deficiency Disorders


A public health success story…

The fortification of salt with iodine across the world has led to a remarkable and unique public health and economic success story which is little recognized. It is estimated that some 720 million clinical cases of iodine deficiency have been cured and prevented. Annually some 20.5 million neonates are prevented from having iodine deficiency. From an economic perspective the biggest impact is through the prevention of brain damage and IQ loss in children (8-15 points) potentially preventing a loss of tens of billions of dollars worldwide due to lost learning ability and thus earning potential.

This achievement came about through a series of steps involving the building of a solid scientific case for action, followed by several United Nations resolutions leading to global recognition of the need to iodize salt. Donor governments supported the United Nations’ work to implement programmes in deficient countries.  A crucial part of the success story was the active involvement and commitment of the salt industry, as well advocacy, engagement and financial support provided by civil society organizations such as Kiwanis International.

The result of this work was a significant drop in the number of countries with insufficient iodine intake, from 110 countries in 1993, to 54 in 2003, to 47 in 2007, 32 in 2012, 25 in 2015, and to 19 countries in 2017.

 …not to be taken for granted

However, WHO reported that in 2020, the number of deficient countries rose to 21.  Furthermore, just 23 countries with recent data had coverage of 90% or higher, and WHO noted that status among other population groups, such as pregnant women, is uncertain, with implications for the brain development of their children during pregnancy and early childhood. And while in many countries salt iodization is well regulated, and salt producers continue to provide adequately iodized salt, there are also countries where production is slipping or where it never reached the desired level. In some countries monitoring systems are not functioning, and data are lacking to take informed action, or resources to support national programs are insufficient.

But it’s clear that the rise in the number of deficient countries, as well as the lack of data, mean we must continue to be watchful and not forget about the problem.

A changed environment

The reasons for the global success were clear – as are the causes of the decline.  Nutrition programs have a broader focus – the issue of stunting, the problems with food systems, the rise of non-communicable diseases.  Changing dietary patterns such as the increased global consumption of processed food, and the push to reduce salt consumption affect iodine consumption.  Government management systems for the control of salt iodization are often outdated and ineffective.

So while the approach has been successful, some 20 countries – or perhaps even more – are still deficient.  Some 80 countries have no recent data, and often no data at all on disparity; national iodine surveys are costly and there are other health priorities.

What do we do?

The illustration above shows how looking at a programme since its inception can help us to track down the bottleneck areas hampering national availability of iodized salt.  These include problems relating to programme management structures and monitoring; differences in product quality and supply chain issues; the importance of cross-border trade; and the need for government and public awareness as well as resource allocation.

Our focus of attention and action should include support for the 21 countries where iodine intake is insufficient, identifying and removing obstacles to salt iodization. Broadly, we must improve data availability on iodine status as well on key components of national salt iodization efforts (e.g., management, import and production control) so that countries can take appropriate action with a focus on continuity. And we must strengthen advocacy and communication efforts to increase and maintain awareness among policymakers, salt producers and traders, and the general population.

More specifically, we need to Improve national salt iodization efforts using systematic analysis and approach while strengthening national ownership; adapt regional trade networks and regulations to facilitate trade of iodized salt; provide realistic regulations for salt producers and support them where required; monitor and enforce to ensure iodization, and recognize change in consumption patterns, efforts to reduce salt consumption and adapt accordingly.

Where are the world’s deficient countries?

  • Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan
  • Cambodia, DPRK, Samoa, Vanuatu, Vietnam
  • Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine
  • Haiti, Nicaragua
  • Iraq, Israel, Lebanon

News Flash 503: 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

Sea Slug (Aplysia Dactylomela)

News Flash 503

Weekly Snapshot of Public Health Challenges


Webinar registration: Make pooling work to end pandemics: reactions on the C-TAP report Dec 2, 2022 03:00 PM in Amsterdam

WHO: World AIDS Day 2022


Why Don’t We Have an HIV Vaccine?

HIV Prevention: New Injection Could Boost the Fight, But Some Hurdles Remain

Pharmaceutical corporation ViiV must make ground-breaking HIV prevention injection affordable and available

Y+ Global | Work With Us – Call for applications: Young Emerging Leaders (YEL)

The Pandemic Accord: A pivotal opportunity to build resilient health systems and realise children’s right to health

The Pandemic Fund: a blueprint for success

Available therapeutics may be ineffective against new COVID sub-variants

Lifting Universal Masking in Schools — Covid-19 Incidence among Students and Staff

Audio Interview: Five Disease Outbreaks beyond Covid-19

Building Africa’s capacity for vaccine production

Monkeypox: Single dose of smallpox vaccine offers 78% protection, UKHSA reports

WHO recommends new name for monkeypox disease

Quadripartite welcomes new political commitments in fight against antimicrobial resistance

The value of international pharmacovigilance databases to help contain antibiotic resistance from a ‘One Health’ perspective

Rapid diagnostics in the fight against antimicrobial resistance: ERS and VALUE-Dx project event roundup

Uganda Extends Lockdowns in Bid to End Ebola Outbreak

Malawi starts landmark malaria vaccination drive

Africa’s New Approach to Public Health


State of Big Tech 2022: Dismantling Digital Enclosures

UN warns 500,000 more people will need aid in South Sudan


Push Forward – Act Now to End Violence Against Women and Girls

Is no space safe? Working to end gender-based violence in the public sphere

Key features of an uplifting global health collaboration and work environment: From two mid-career African health experts

CIWF Italia Guida al Consumo Consapevole: come fare scelte più giuste per gli animali e l’ambiente

Curbing the aid carbon footprint: how an Africa-based NGO is leading the charge

Plastic vs fuel? Experts warn of biomass limits

Mediterranean region aims to lead the way in circular economy push

Africa: New Fund to Help African Cities Build Water Resilience #AfricaClimateHope

Effective Reduction of Antibiotic Use in Dairy Farming through Ethnovet Medicine as Part of an Integrated Livestock Health Approach  by Katrien van’t Hooft