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Videos Feature Experts Discussing Global Health Security Agenda

The Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health” blog features two videos discussing the recently launched Global Health Security Agenda. In one, Kavita Berger, associate director at the Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “explains how the science…

Researcher Examines How Mathematical Models Can Help Responses To Disease Outbreaks, Food Aid

Financial Times: Mathematical models and national security The newspaper interviews Lawrence Wein, a professor of management science at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business who teaches courses on operations, mathematical analysis, and inventory and queuing theory. “…Such theories form the backbone of business operations for companies like McDonald’s, so that…

CDC Global Health Security Projects In Uganda, Vietnam Boost Disease Response

Three news outlets report on findings published in the CDC’s journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, regarding global health security projects in Uganda and Vietnam. CBS News: CDC: Other countries’ health threats can affect U.S. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that just because there’s a disease outbreak…

Security Concerns Hindering Polio Immunizations In Pakistan, WHO Official Says

“Some 240,000 children have missed U.N.-backed vaccinations against polio because of security concerns in Pakistan’s tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, a top official with the World Health Organization said Friday,” the Associated Press/Huffington Post reports. “Nima Saeed Abid, the acting WHO chief in Pakistan, said health workers have not been able to immunize…

Secretary Of State Nominee Sen. Kerry Testifies At Senate Confirmation Hearing

“In a confirmation hearing unusual for its bipartisan comity, Secretary of State-designate [Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)] pledged Thursday to pursue a different brand of foreign policy — one rooted in greater cultural understanding of the developing world — while leading a global fight to combat climate change, which he described…

Yearlong Moratorium On H5N1 Research Soon Lifted, New Rules Implemented, Science Reports

“U.S. government officials say they expect to put the finishing touches this month on new rules designed to help funding agencies identify and regulate especially problematic H5N1 studies before they begin,” which would allow influenza researchers “to lift a year-old, self-imposed moratorium on certain kinds of potentially dangerous experiments,” Science reports. “The two developments would essentially end a long and bruising controversy over the risks and benefits of H5N1 research,” the magazine notes, adding the debate was initiated by two research teams that lab-engineered H5N1 strains to be transmissible among mammals. “The issue has been especially sensitive for the U.S. government, because its National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded the two studies and is one of the world’s biggest funders of H5N1 research,” Science writes. The magazine discusses the moratorium’s impact on research worldwide and summarizes differing views about its effects (Malakoff, 1/4).

New Issue Of Global Health Governance Available Online

A new issue of Global Health Governance is available online and features articles focused on human security and health. The issue includes articles on nodding syndrome in Northern Uganda and child nutrition in developing countries from a human security perspective, as well as commentaries on a new agenda for global human security and health and human security in the Americas, among other pieces (12/31).

Examining Military Sector’s Role In Global Health

In an article (.pdf) published in Global Health Governance, Derek Licina, an U.S. Army Medical Service Corps Officer, writes about the international military sector’s role in global health activities, which “has gained visibility in recent years.” He continues, “What is less clear is the overall contribution of the military sector to global health outcomes through direct and indirect investments.” He argues that focusing military global health efforts as outlined in international treaties, expanding existing multilateral military-related organizations, and establishing an international military global health financing mechanism will help “the military sector’s current role … become more efficient and effective in supporting the global good” (12/31).

Voluntary Moratorium On H5N1 Avian Flu Research Likely To End Soon

Following the conclusion of a two-day meeting at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) this week — meant “to gather feedback from flu researchers, others in the science community, and the public on its draft framework for funding H5N1 gain-of-function studies and to continue an international dialogue on issues related to benefits and risks of the research” — “experts anticipated that a voluntary moratorium on work with lab-modified strains that have increased transmissibility might end soon,” CIDRAP News reports (Schnirring, 12/18). “That’s because officials at the National Institutes of Health say they will be moving swiftly to finalize a new process for deciding whether or not to fund proposed experiments that could potentially create more dangerous forms of the bird flu virus H5N1,” NPR’s “Shots” blog notes.

Global Health As National Security

“Global health is not often thought of as a national security issue, but development professionals and military leaders have been coming together in the belief the two are ‘closely tied together,’” Zach Silberman, a policy associate with the U.S. Global Leadership Council (USGLC), writes in the organization’s blog. He discusses a recent report, “Global Health as a Bridge to Security,” by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Military leaders have been among the strongest voices in recognizing that global health has a positive impact on stability abroad,” but “[e]nhancing security through global health efforts … does not require a military solution,” Silberman writes, concluding, “Bringing together American compassion and security demonstrates the impact of smart power in development” (11/14).