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Global health news briefs - October 2021

September/October 2021 Volume 20 Number 5

HHS requests input on new strategic plan

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, of which NIH is a part, has released a new draft strategic plan open for comment until Nov. 7. One goal addresses global health and calls for improved capabilities to prevent and respond to threats, protect populations from disease, promote healthy behaviors and mitigate climate change. 

HHS establishes climate change office 

HHS has announced it is forming an Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE), tasked with the mission of protecting vulnerable communities that disproportionately bear the brunt of pollution and climate-driven disasters, at the expense of public health. OCCHE’s interim director is the NIH’s Dr. John Balbus.

NIH launches stigma research toolkit

NIH has developed a stigma and discrimination research toolkit that contains information about theories, models, frameworks, measures, methods and interventions that can be applied to reduce the impact of stigma and discrimination. Hosted by the National Institute of Mental Health, partners include the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Fogarty.

WHO recommends malaria vaccine for kids 

The WHO is calling for widespread use of a groundbreaking malaria vaccine for children in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions with moderate to high malaria transmission. The WHO said the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine should be provided in a schedule of 4 doses in children 5 months of age and older. 

PMI releases plan to end malaria faster

The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has announced its new five-year strategy to end malaria faster. PMI said it will work with partners to maximize program efficiency by addressing five focus areas: reach the unreached, strengthen community health systems, keep malaria services resilient, invest locally, and innovate and lead.

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