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Global health news briefs

September / October 2020 | Volume 19, Number 5

G-FINDER urges increased R&D investment

Funding for emerging infectious disease basic research and product development reached $886 million in 2018, up 14%, according to the new G-FINDER report issued by Policy Cures Research, a global health think tank. However, the report’s lead author says spending is “very reactive” and urged for more consistent investments to prepare for the next pandemic.

WHO: sepsis causes 20% of global deaths

Sepsis - the body’s potentially deadly response to infection - is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide, the WHO warns in a new report. While most sepsis research is conducted in high-income countries, the majority of cases occur in low-resource settings. Nearly half of the 49 million cases each year occur among children, causing 2.9 million deaths.

NCD agenda should be reframed

The global approach to noncommunicable diseases and injuries needs an “urgent upgrade” to meet the needs of the world’s poorest people, according to a recent Lancet Commission report. Potential solutions have placed an outsized focus on changing behavior, the authors maintain, instead of examining root causes of NCDs.

Report examines AI’s role in global health

A roadmap for applying Artificial Intelligence to global health problems was recently released by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development’s Digital Health Working Group. The report identifies high-leverage opportunities for AI to support global health projects for low- and middle-income settings and emphasizes the need to systematically integrate AI into healthcare infrastructures.

Child lead poisoning is global problem

A third of the world’s children have been poisoned by lead, according to a new analysis by UNICEF and Pure Earth. The report says that around 1 in 3 children - up to 800 million globally - have blood lead levels higher than is deemed safe. Informal and substandard recycling of lead-acid batteries is a leading contributor.

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