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Malaria no más, preparation station, and staring down vision discrimination

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Malaria no más

El Salvador made history as the first Central American country to earn the malaria-free badge from the World Health Organization (WHO), joining 20 other countries since 2000 who have recorded three consecutive years of no indigenous malaria cases. Going from malaria hotspot to ground zero (zero transmission, that is) is a huge achievement on its own, but the Malaria No More team is also celebrating the fact that El Salvador achieved this milestone during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cheers to that!


Preparation station

Health officials in Guinea confirmed the return of Ebola. In response, Partners in Health (PIH) is proactively supporting preparedness efforts—including contract tracing and thorough screenings at checkpoints—throughout neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia. PIH has worked in both countries since the peak of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, collaboratively building stronger health systems to provide comprehensive care in the long term. These systems may be put to the test before anyone would have wanted, but PIH is cautiously optimistic the community is better prepared this time around.


Staring down gender vision discrimination

More than a third of adults over the age of 50 have some difficulty seeing, but women are more likely to suffer from vision loss than men. IHME scientists unpacked the causes for this disparity around the world—from health system inequities in Sweden, to lack of access to primary eye care in Rwanda—and shared their vision for gender equitable health systems and policies to close the gender vision gap. Clear eyes, strong health systems, can’t lose.

On the flip side

A study from Fred Hutch researchers highlights a decade’s worth of disparities, including that women have been overrepresented in US-based vaccine clinical trials, while racial and ethnic minorities, along with adults over the age of 65, are underrepresented. The team also found missing or incomplete demographic data in many clinical trials, despite guidelines from the NIH and FDA. Drs. Michele Andrasik and Steve Pergam—scientists at Fred Hutch and study co-authors—are calling for improved enrollment diversity to build trust and combat vaccine hesitancy in underrepresented communities.


Off the sidelines

Almost three full months after the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the US, Ghana received its first delivery of vaccines from the COVAX initiative. With more than 20 additional African countries preparing for vaccine shipments over the next month, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Africa Regional Director, noted that this is a “much-awaited leap forward for African nations that have spent months preparing from the sidelines while wealthier countries raced ahead with vaccination.” Still, those working at the final mile know that this is just the starting line for reaching every community and village in need of the vaccine.


People in the news

  • Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason hired Annie Shultz as the director of marketing and communications.
  • Cambia Grove hired former intern Nolan Jekich as an admin and content creator, and Laura Sconyers as a program manager.
  • Global Health Council’s former executive director, Loyce Pace, was tapped by the Biden Administration to lead global affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • UW Dept. of Global Health adjunct professor Franke Kalume was among seven UW scientists named in Cell Mentor’s list of 1,000 Inspiring Black Scientists.
  • Washington Research Foundation hired Dr. Meher Antia—formerly of UW’s Population Health Initiative—as the new director of grant programs.

Zoomin’ around town

Anytime: 


I believe in the power of human potential and our ability to change the world, because no human is limited.” 

—Eliud Kipchoge, Kenyan athlete and Olympic gold medalist,
Draw the Line Against Malaria campaign.

 

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