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Field Notes, Update

Uzbekistan eliminates malaria, Vietnam launches nationwide PrEP, and Malawi expands a model phone program

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Survey says

How many Washington-based organizations work in global health? How many people do they employ? What countries do they work in? WGHA was curious about these questions, too. Our survey says: 268 organizations. 14,000+ people. And 195 countries. (Yep, that’s all of them!)

Read more about Washington’s global health ecosystem in the just-released Landscape NarrativeInfographic, and Study. Even Twitter and GeekWire got in on the buzz.


The silver medal

When it comes to eliminating malaria, coming in second is a pretty big win. Uzbekistan joins Paraguay as the second country to receive the World Health Organization’s malaria-free certification in 2018.

Twenty-six countries now have less than 100 indigenous cases of malaria—and it’s considered a strong marker that elimination is within reach. Which country will be next to claim its malaria-free status?


I am Groot

It’s our own “silent Guardians of the Galaxy.” That’s how Thomas Bumol, director of the new $125 million Allen Institute for Immunology, describes our immune system and its role in protecting us from invaders.

The new Allen Institute is diving into human samples to understand how healthy immune systems go awry in several diseases (think cancer, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease). And they’re partnering with some local heavy weights to get started, including Seattle-based Benaroya Research Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.


A decade of Possible

Ten years ago, Possible took over a clinic in a hilly region of Nepal with the vision of integrated care from hospital to home. That vision, and an abandoned facility more than a 30-hour drive from Kathmandu, was all they had. Today, the 350+ staff care for more than 200,000 people with more than 150,000 hospital visits. Cheers to the first decade of Possible!


Be PrEPared

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health brings the old Scout motto to life with its new nationwide program to expand pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention. Thanks to support from PATH and USAID, Vietnam joins Thailand as the second Asian country to launch this nationwide approach to preventing HIV.

Other countries got a preparedness boost for HIV/AIDS as President Trump signed the PEPFAR Extension Act into law this week. In an era of gridlock, the bill passed the Senate with unanimous consent.


On the move

  • Cindy Breilh takes a new leadership position leading domestic health programs for Medical Teams International. MTI’s Mobile Dental Programoperates 11 mobile clinics, serving primarily children and low-income residents of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Anjali Kaur joins the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as senior program officer on the Global Policy and Advocacy team for HIV and tuberculosis.

Operator, won’t you put me on through

More than 2,000 Malawi health calls are answered each month through Chipatala cha pa Foni (CCPF), or the “health center by phone” program. What started as a pilot in a single district is now a nationwide program—and a model for multisector partnerships. VillageReach and Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands won WGHA’s Pioneers Outstanding Collaboration award in October for their unique program. Now, CCPF is ringing in more buzz.


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There are 10,000 known diseases and there’s 500 of which are treatable. So it’s daunting to think about all the real estate to roam … a lot of times, that means bringing [companies] into a cluster location where they can focus and interact with others.” 

– Dan Ryan, sharing how proximity matters in our global health ecosystem in the Infectious Disease Research Institute’s Global Health Thought Leadership piece (which also features WGHA’s own Dena Morris) 



P.S. This is our last Field Notes for the year. Thank you for reading and for sharing with your friends and colleagues. As we sign off for 2018, we leave you with Bill Gates’s holiday reading list.

Happy holidays! We’ll see you in 2019.


Do you have a tip for Field Notes? Send it to Tiffany Cain, tcain@wghalliance.org

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