Global health briefs - July 2016

July / August 2016 | Volume 15, Number 4

Bringing mental health out of the shadows

To draw attention to the issue of global mental health, the WHO and World Bank recently convened experts, advocates, government officials and others for a two-day meeting. The proceedings have been published in a report, “Out of the Shadows: Making Mental Health a Global Development Priority.”

Global data commons established by NIH

The NIH has launched the Genomic Data Commons, a unified system that promotes sharing of genomic and clinical data among researchers worldwide. A National Cancer Institute project, the GDC will centralize, standardize and make data accessible from several of NCI’s large-scale programs.

NIH expands diabetes data portal

The NIH has upgraded its Type 2 Diabetes Knowledge Portal, expanding its data and search capabilities. The resource includes aggregated data from more than 100,000 DNA samples from research supported by NIH and other institutions globally. Scientists can search for information by gene, genetic variant and region; access summaries of genetic variants; and run customized genetic analyses using versatile tools.

Global nutrition study reviews progress

The latest edition of the independent Global Nutrition Report has been published. The study reviews the state of the world’s nutrition - globally, regionally and by country - and assesses progress in meeting targets set by the World Health Assembly.

WHO updates air pollution database

The world’s highest urban air pollution levels exist in low- and middle-income countries, with readings often exceeding 5-10 times the WHO limits. These findings and others are included in the updated urban air quality database, which includes information from 3,000 cities in 103 countries.

World Health Assembly takes action

During the recent 69th World Health Assembly, the organization approved resolutions on WHO’s Framework for Engagement with Non-State Actors and the Sustainable Development Goals, among other actions.

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