Friends and Colleagues,
As global leaders prepare to meet at the United Nations in New York next month, I’m writing to share brief updates about GHS and some issues we’ve been focusing on.
UNGA Guide: Your guide to the world’s most important meeting
GHS is excited to launch the second edition of UNGA Guide – a crowd-sourced digital directory of official and side events happening during one of the world’s most important international meetings. The UN General Assembly, commonly referred to as UNGA, will open in New York on 12 September with events continuing through the end of the month.
Please add your organization’s UNGA events and sign up for updates at ungaguide.com.
New WHO Director-General boosts UHC movement
Once dismissed as unrealistic and unaffordable, universal health coverage (UHC) is increasingly being embraced as the greatest opportunity for advancing health and development. The UHC movement received a big boost with the election of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). Throughout his campaign, Dr. Tedros pledged that helping countries expand universal health coverage will be his top priority.
The Government of Japan, WHO, The Rockefeller Foundation and others are organizing a high-level UHC event at the UN on 18 September. The Universal Health Coverage Coalition will be supporting the event and working with partners to strengthen political will and accountability around UHC. RSVP to attend the event here.
Donors recommit to end polio and expand family planning access
Despite a challenging funding environment, donors have committed more than US$1.3 billion to finish the job of eradicating polio. Just nine polio cases have been reported this year, the lowest number in history.
Donors and developing countries have also shown strong support for family planning. In July, US$2.5 billion was announced at the Family Planning Summit in London to give more women and girls access to modern contraceptives so they can plan their families and their futures.
Global progress on NTDs
In the five years since the 2012 London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), the world has made impressive progress in the fight against NTDs. In April, Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases convened a meeting of policy makers, pharmaceutical leaders, funders and ministers of health in Geneva to highlight five years of remarkable progress and new funding commitments. Guinness World Records recognized NTD partners for the largest drug donation in history: more than 200 million doses in 24 hours. In September, civil society leaders will meet in Dakar to strengthen efforts against NTDs.
India rolls out new vaccines
India continues to make tremendous progress on its commitment to expand access to immunization. The country has introduced four new childhood vaccines into their routine immunization schedule, and the government’s Mission Indradhanush initiative – which aims to achieve full immunization coverage for 90% of children under two years and pregnant women in India by 2018 – has reached approximately 25 million children since its launch in December 2014.
GHS global updates
Europe: We are excited that GHS’s newest office is now open in London, led by John Butler.
Africa: GHS offices in Johannesburg and Nairobi are focusing on building regional support for women’s and girls’ health, immunization and NTDs. Our Johannesburg contact is Bhanu Prabhakar, and our Nairobi contact is Narmeen Haider.
China: GHS-Beijing is working on a regulatory initiative to help Chinese firms become global suppliers of vaccines and medicines. GHS is also a partner in BRIDGE, a Beijing communications firm that supports high-profile clients on social media and is led by former GHSer Andre Shen.
India: We are pleased to welcome Naresh Ramaswamy to the GHS family. He joins as Senior Vice President, supporting the expansion of the India and Africa programs. He will help oversee our expanding India operation, now with four offices: Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow and Kolkata.
Brazil: In addition to its portfolio of health work, GHS-Rio is expanding into the environmental space by partnering with Brazilian civil society to strengthen the evidence base on air quality and its public health impact.
High-level GHS advisors: GHS is pleased to be working with three extraordinary senior advisors. Jill Sheffield, founder of Women Deliver and Family Care International, has joined GHS as a senior advisor on women’s and girls’ issues. Nina Schwalbe and her firm, Spark Street Consulting, are working with GHS on financing and policy issues. Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global, will also be serving as a senior advisor to GHS, specifically supporting the expansion of our work in Africa.
Looking for exceptional people: GHS is hiring worldwide
GHS is hiring smart, passionate individuals in all of our offices. See the careers page of our recently redesigned website for more information about opportunities at all levels – including our Fellows program for recent college graduates, now in its second year in New York and soon to launch in Delhi.
Thank you for your continued interest in GHS and your partnership on the issues we care about.
Chief Executive Officer
Global Health Strategies