Field Notes, Update

Dynamic duo, science squad, and mythbusters

The info hub for the hub of global health

Meet the dynamic duo

We have big news!

We welcome Maurizio Vecchione as WGHA’s new president and CEO. Maurizio is passionate about building global alliances, understands the power of our global health community, and wants to elevate WGHA’s role with more members and partners. Plus, he’s a handy guy to have around in our coastal city. Maurizio is a 3rd generation sailor and serves in the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

We also welcome K. R. Prabha as WGHA’s new board chair. Prabha has served as WGHA’s board treasurer for the past two years and, with her background shaking up health systems and experience living in three countries, she brings a unique perspective to WGHA’s mission and work.

Stay tuned for an opportunity to [virtually] meet Maurizio and Prabha soon!

Science squad, assemble!

Researchers from institutions around the world are coming together to find and combat emerging pandemic viruses in the newly formed United World Antiviral Research Network (UWARN). The University of Washington (UW) and Fred Hutch are in the mix to provide virus surveillance, develop diagnostics and therapeutics, and find out more about viral immune responses. Hopefully, this new super team can harness the power of their collaboration to help prevent the next pandemic.

Birth day balloons

Postpartum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality, responsible for up to 50% of maternal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. PATH and Sinapi Biomedical, South Africa, are working to change that with their lifesaving device. The team just got regulatory approval to distribute their Ellavi uterine balloon tamponade in Ghana and Kenya.

Made in Africa, the Ellavi is a preassembled device used to control severe postpartum hemorrhage and starts working within minutes. It costs a fraction of current alternatives, so it could make a big impact in low- and middle-income countries.

When it rains

Monsoon rains are bad enough on their own, and even worse in this pandemic. Severe flooding has caused over 44,000 residents to take shelter in 397 relief camps in India’s Assam State. COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the country, so Americares is working with a local partner to distribute 2,000 hygiene kits to displaced families and slow the spread in relief camps.

Grow old together

A new study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) shows the potential for a big shift in global age structure by 2100. With fertility rates dropping and life expectancy increasing, the number of people over 80 could be twice as high as the number of children under 5 years old. A lot can happen when the world’s population pyramid is flipped—like shifts in global power caused by fewer working-age adults to push the economy and the need for immigration to fill the gaps. Another IHME study to keep an eye on.


The COVID-19 pandemic does not stop girls from menstruating, but it can stop the ability to get supplies and health education through many schools in Nepal. Adara is working to dismantle taboos and distribute hygiene supplies to schoolgirls so the “Dignified Menstruation” program can keep going, even when in-person classes are on pause.

People on the move

  • Laura Lockard is the new director of public affairs and global media relations at the WSU Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health.
  • Sarah Rowen is the new senior project manager of The Ascend Fund at Panorama.

Want to be on the move with us? Check out WGHA’s communications manager position and apply to join our small but mighty team of connectors!

Around town

This is how we can emerge from the pandemic in all of its dimensions: by recognizing that women are not just victims of a broken world; they can be architects of a better one.”

Melinda Gates, in her recent Foreign Affairs article

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

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