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Field Notes, Update

2 billion nets, old dogs, and Billie Eilish

The info hub for the hub of global health


From zero to 2 billion

In Uganda’s Katakwi District, a light trap can catch more than 300 mosquitoes in one small home in a single night. But no one in the district has died from malaria in the 3 years since the Katakwi Rotary Malaria Project began. Zero deaths. Rotarian Malaria PartnersPilgrim Africa, and the Gates Foundation are supporting trained village health team volunteers who are making this success possible.

2020 will also see a global malaria milestone: distribution of the 2 billionth mosquito net. Two billion. The milestone is possible thanks to a global partnership that has already saved more than seven million lives and includes the district team mentioned above, Malaria No MoreTableau Foundation, PATH, and many others. Can we #endmalaria in the next generation?


Accelerating access in Africa

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of a cross-industry partnership committed to equipping 2,500 community health workers with technology and training by 2022. The new partnership will give 1.7 million people in Africa access to health care thanks to heavy hitters Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, GSK, Last Mile Health, Living Goods, and The Audacious Project.


Investing in innovation

Thanks to our friends at the Global Health Technologies Coalition for tracking federal dollars invested in global health R&D. The latest analysis (2007–2015) shows $784 million federal dollars supporting Washington’s global health innovation sector, which ranks us #5 in the country.


Old dogs, new science

The US Senate named January 2020 “National One Health Awareness Month” to promote collaboration between public, animal, and environmental health scientists. You can contribute by nominating your fur baby for a long-term study of dogs to learn about their aging process. The study is led by the University of Washington and Texas A&M University.


New virus, old partners

The latest animal-to-human health threat is a novel coronavirus, and the first case in the US has been reported here in Washington. With concerns about this virus spreading human-to-human, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with local partners Washington State Department of Health, the Snohomish Health District, and Public Health – Seattle & King County to track and contain the virus, thought to have emerged from an animal marketplace in Wuhan, China.


SPEEDy disaster response

Few things are worse than systems moving at turtle-pace after a disaster. Project SPEED is a new program by Health Alliance International and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to fill in gaps in Mozambique’s disaster preparedness, informed by the post-disaster response to Cyclone Idai. Tracking diseases and equipping facilities could go a long way in speeding up response efforts.


America’s Finest City

San Diego’s 266 sunny days a year weren’t enough to keep Jayanna Thompson from joining the Washington Global Health Alliance team as its communications manager. She’s coordinating Field Notes, WGHA’s website, and its social media channels, so followlike, and friend WGHA to keep up.


City of Destiny

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Amy Carter and VillageReach‘s Melissa West both spent their high school years in the City of Destiny and now move in global health circles in the Emerald City. Thank you, Tacoma!


Then & now

Billie Eilish … not a bad guy

  • In 2017, we told you in the September 15 edition of Field Notes to look out for Billie Eilish and bragged about our connection to her aunt, Rachel Nugent of RTI International.
  • In 2020Billie Eilish is topping the music charts, with six Grammy nominations. She’s one of the most influential people to watch, alongside Greta Thunberg, not only for her music but also for her climate change activism and new sustainable clothing line.

Kariuki Njenga … also not a bad guy

  • In 2019, Washington State University’s (WSU) Dr. Kariuki Njenga came from Kenya to share progress and advice for WGHA members working in Kenya.
  • In 2020The EastAfrican gave him props for his earlier work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on infectious disease and WSU’s current research with dromedary camels and human health.

People on the move

  • Amplio is growing its team, welcoming Rabiya Abdul as product manager, Lindsay Dakan as business development coordinator, and Danielle Henry as communications assistant.
  • Dr. Thomas Lynch Jr. is the next, and sixth, president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
  • Sara Anderson is the new, and first, executive director of the Bay Area Global Health Alliance.

Around town

And all year long

The new year is here, and WGHA has assembled a few dozen opportunities for you to expand your knowledge and your relationships with others in Washington’s global health community. Check out WGHA’s 2020 events and start saving dates!


“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death.”

—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the Medical Committee for Human Rights, 1966


Do you have a tip for Field Notes? Send it to Jayanna Thompson, jayanna.thompson@wghalliance.org

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