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EYE Strategy May Newsletter

 

Highlights from the 75th World Health Assembly

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October EYE Strategy Newsletter

Image: 75th World Health Assembly

 

May EYE Strategy Newsletter 

 
 

75th World Health Assembly 

This year's 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) focused on "Health for Peace, Peace for Health". In a world threatened by conflict, inequalities, a climate crisis and a pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) stressed the importance of building a healthy and peaceful planet by harnessing science, data, technology and innovation to achieve the health-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. To watch the sessions and for more information, click here

Key highlights

  • Supporting health and care workers. Delegates agreed to adopt the Working for Health Action Plan (2022-2030), which sets out policy priorities to rapidly progress workforce capacity across three dimensions: planning and finance, education and employment, and protection and performance. Read more. The success of the EYE Strategy hinges on health and care worker capacity, which is core to every field-level intervention.
      

  • Preparing cities and urban centres for emergencies. WHA delegates agreed on a resolution calling for more action and resources in these unique settings. Read more. The EYE Strategy guidelines for readiness, preparedness and response to yellow fever urban outbreaks will be published later this year, with a recording of the webinar held last month to follow.  
      

  • Improving the quality, efficiency and capacity of clinical trials. Delegates passed a resolution for improving clinical trial capabilities in all countries, as a central aspect of strengthening countries’ health systems. Read more. The EYE Strategy has developed a yellow fever clinical management landscape analysis with a look at existing data and evidence, learnings and recommendations. The next steps will include updating guidance and supporting training materials. 
      

  • Working group on international health regulations (IHR) amendments. Delegates welcomed the final report of the Working Group on strengthening WHO preparedness and response to health emergencies which, among other things, proposed a process for taking forward potential amendments to the IHR (2005). Read more. One of EYE’s three strategic objectives is to prevent the international spread of yellow fever, which has the potential to become a global epidemic. There is ongoing engagement towards improving adherence to yellow fever vaccination requirements as per IHR recommendations and protecting high-risk workers. 

 
 
 

Country Updates

Outbreaks

 

Image: Vaccination of pupils from CBC Primary School in Ngousso, Malentouen district, West Region, Cameroon, May 2022.

Cameroon

Cameroon has been classified as a high-risk country for yellow fever (YF) epidemics by the WHO with about 10 reported outbreaks between 1980 and 2020, affecting the northern (Adamaoua and Garoua Regions), southern (Central Region) and western (Littoral and South-West Regions) parts of the country. Routine immunization (RI) for YF was introduced in 2004, with an average coverage of <70% over the last 10 years, according to WHO-UNICEF estimates (WUENIC).  

There exist disparities in routine coverage for YF across districts. However, several reactive vaccination campaigns (RVCs) and preventive mass vaccination campaigns (PMVCs) have been carried out since 2009 to help boost population immunity. The last PMVC was organized in 2015 in 89 out of 191 districts, and in 7 out of 10 regions.  

Since 2021, there has been an increase in the reported number of suspected cases of YF. Year to date in 2022, there have been 3 confirmed cases in 3 districts including Ngaoundere Urbain-Adamawa Region, Malentouen and Fombot districts, West Region. This has led to the approval of an RVC by the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision (ICG) in all 3 districts targeting >614,000 people from 9 months of age and above. The vaccination campaign was conducted from 30th May to 6th June 2022. 

Preventive mass vaccination campaigns (PMVCs)

Congo  

The government of Congo is planning the integration of the YF PMVCs with a nation-wide measles and rubella immunization campaign. This integration was triggered by the measles situation in the country, and will be an opportunity to leverage the YF PMVC.

Activities that were due to commence at the end of May are subject to a short delay and are now expected to be initiated in July. These campaigns will cover all areas except Pointe Noire (since it was already protected in 2018). Further information will be provided in due course.  

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)  

The YF PMVCs in Maniema, Sankuru, and South Kivu (Bloc 3) are moving forward with micro-planning, with anticipated implementation in September, while provinces from Bloc 4 (Lomami, Kasai, East Kasai and Central Kasai) are planned for November 2022. Overall, the campaigns will aim to protect around 15 million people.   

Sudan 

The implementation of the YF catch-up campaigns in the remaining ten states of Sudan is pending. We are awaiting confirmation of the dates from the Sudan Ministry of Health. 

Uganda 

Uganda is progressing with plans to introduce YF vaccination into the RI programme. This is subject to a short delay and is due to commence in July, with a multi-year PMVC to follow later in 2022. This will mark a significant step towards protecting all children against YF. 

Nigeria 

Further YF vaccination campaigns were launched in Nigeria in the states of Ogun (combined with measles) and Gombe (combined with meningitis A and measles) in June 2022. These campaigns aim to protect 8.8 million people. Additional PMVCs will be implemented in the latter part of 2022 in the states of Kano, Adamawa, Borno, Bayelsa and Enugu. 

 
 

EYE on yellow fever: podcast 

 
 
EYE Strategy, Podcast Episode 12, Space: A New Frontier in Public Health

Episode 12

Space: A new frontier in public health 

We focus on a disease-monitoring system that is literally out of this world. Dr Charalampos Kontoes - Research Director of Greece's National Observatory of Athens - coordinates an early warning system that tracks mosquitoes' movement using satellites. He tells us about the technology and how it's recently been given European money to expand and scale up the operation. 

 
 
EYE Strategy, Podcast Episode 13, The Amazon, climate change, and yellow fever risk

Episode 13

The Amazon, climate change, and yellow fever risk

The Amazon rainforest is under increasing pressure from climate change, deforestation, extractive industries like mining, and a range of human-induced factors. This episode explores the public health impacts of pressures on the Amazon, including an increased risk of YF outbreaks. With Dr Anice Sallum, Professor or Medical Epidemiology and Entomology at Sao Paolo University’s School of Public Health, and Dr Amy Vittor, Assistant Professor in Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine at the University of Florida. 

 

You can listen to both episodes here or on your favourite podcast app here. 

 
 
 
 

Training and resources 

Yellow fever outbreak toolbox

Yellow Fever Outbreak Toolbox

We have launched a YF outbreak toolbox, bringing together training resources, surveillance standards, response tools and resources, and a wealth of other useful information for work on YF activities. Click here to access the toolbox. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further assistance or information. 

The Essential Programme on Immunization

The Essential Programme on Immunization aims to strengthen vaccine programmes, supply, and delivery, and ensure universal access to all relevant vaccines for all populations across the life course. 

Modules include: 

1. Understanding the drivers of immunization uptake 
2. Engage with communities 
3. Strengthen the quality of services 
4. Support health workers 

To access the full programme, click here.

 
 
 

New joiner 

Sidney Brown, Programme Manager, EYE Secretariat 

 

Sidney joins EYE after seven years on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Polio Eradication Team. At the foundation, Sidney managed complex contracts focused on data analytics & risk, digital innovation, and programme evaluation. Prior to the foundation, Sidney was Interim Country Director (Malawi) and Global Training Manager at Innovations for Poverty Action where she oversaw a country office and helped build resources for improving staff capacity & research quality. As a World Bank Consultant in Malawi, she managed an impact evaluation pilot in close coordination with the federal and local governments. She also worked as an Associate for Cascadia Consulting Group, providing research, analytics, and outreach expertise. 

Sidney Brown, Programme Manager, EYE Secretariat

Sidney holds dual Master's degrees in public policy and environmental management from the University of Michigan. 

 
 

Events

Gavi application deadlines for new vaccine support for 2022

Eligible countries can access detailed guidelines here. Read more about the Independent Review Committee that reviews the applications here.

Gavi application deadlines for 2022

Past

Go.Data toolkit webinar  

For those of you that weren’t able to attend our webinar on the Go.Data toolkit for yellow fever outbreak response last year or would like a refresher, please click here for the recording with subtitles in English and French. To contact the Go.Data team, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also post questions in the Go Data Community of Practice: community-godata.who.int

To access the webinar materials, click here.

 
 
 

Publications  

Article: Yellow fever, the returning epidemic, by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Overview: Since 1970, yellow fever has re-emerged as a public health threat in the Americas. The disease is endemic in territories and regions of 13 countries in Central and South America, causing outbreaks and deaths. To read more, click here.

Article: Evidence for serial founder events during the colonization of North America by the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti 

Authors: Jeffrey R. Powell, Krystal R. Seger, Brett Ellis, Andrea Gloria-Soria 

Overview: The Aedes aegypti mosquito first invaded the Americas about 500 years ago and today is a widely distributed invasive species and the primary vector for viruses causing dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever. Here, we test the hypothesis that the North American colonization by Ae. aegypti occurred via a series of founder events. We present findings on genetic diversity, structure, and demographic history using data from 70 Ae. aegypti populations in North America that were genotyped at 12 microsatellite loci and/or ~20,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms, the largest genetic study of the region to date. For the full article, click here.

 
 
 
 
 

Tell us your news!

We would love to showcase the work you are doing on protecting people from yellow fever. To submit your news, stories, photos and videos, please emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 
 
 

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