Task Force for Global Health

Decatur, GA, United States

Task Force for Global Health

Decatur, GA, United States
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Diop O.M.,World Health Organization | Kew O.M.,Task Force for Global Health | De Gourville E.M.,Pan American Health Organization | Pallansch M.A.,Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2017

The Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN) began building in the late 1980s on a 3-tiered structure of 146 laboratories with different and complementary technical and support capacities (poliovirus isolation, molecular strain characterization including sequencing, quality assurance, and research). The purpose of this network is to provide timely and accurate laboratory results to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Deeply integrated with field case-based surveillance, it ultimately provides molecular epidemiological data from polioviruses used to inform programmatic and immunization activities. This network of global coverage requires substantial investments in laboratory infrastructure, equipment, supplies, reagents, quality assurance, staffing and training, often in resource-limited settings. The GPLN has not only developed country capacities, but it also serves as a model to other global laboratory networks for vaccine-preventable diseases that will endure after the polio eradication goal is achieved. Leveraging lessons learned during past 27 years, the authors discuss options for transitioning GPLN assets to support control of other viral vaccine-preventable, emerging, and reemerging diseases. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.


News Article | November 12, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

The late Vasanthapuram Kumaraswami, MD, PhD (1950-2016), a pioneer in the fight against neglected tropical diseases, was awarded today the second annual Kyelem Prize at the annual meeting of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases, or COR-NTD. The award – received by Dr. Kumaraswami’s children Sameer and Manjusha Vasanthapuram – recognized a lifelong commitment to bringing innovative solutions to the fight against debilitating neglected tropical diseases. “It’s so fitting that Dr. Kumaraswami has been selected for this honor, which itself is given in memory of Dominique Kyelem,” said Julie Jacobson, MD, senior program officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who won the inaugural Kyelem Prize in 2015 and presented this year’s award. “Both men achieved amazing strides to prevent disease in the developing world, and both did so with a spirit of humility and optimism.” Dr. Kumaraswami worked for 40 years to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, which can cause a disfiguring condition called elephantiasis. He was the director-in-charge of the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (formerly the Tuberculosis Research Centre) and the National Institute of Epidemiology, both institutes of the Indian Council for Medical Research. In these roles, Kumaraswami pioneered research on the impact of a medicine called ivermectin on lymphatic filariasis. He also contributed to the founding of the Global Programme to Eliminate Filariasis, and propelled stakeholders to expand mass drug administration programs in India and the South-East Asia region to control the disease. After he retired, he joined the Atlanta-based Task Force for Global Health in Atlanta for two years as associate director of international programs. “Dr. Kumaraswami’s genius was not just his achievements – it was, rather, his ability to provide that spark, that environment, that opportunity for people to come together and work together to achieve great things, both at home in India and at home in the world,” said Eric Ottesen, MD, director of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center, a program of The Task Force for Global Health that serves as the COR-NTD Secretariat. The 2016 Kyelem Prize was announced at the close of the COR-NTD meeting in Atlanta. Nearly 400 researchers, program implementers, donors, and representatives of the World Health Organization convened for the meeting to identify key questions facing programs aimed at eliminating neglected tropical diseases such as lymphatic filariasis. “Dr. Kumaraswami dedicated his life to ensuring that as many people as possible received treatment for lymphatic filariasis,” said Dr. Jacobson. “He leaves a large hole, but our coalition is determined to march forward and carry out both his and Dr. Kyelem’s legacy.” About the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases: The Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD) is a group of researchers, program implementers and their supporters with the shared goal of optimizing NTD control and elimination. Supported by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development to the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center at the Task Force for Global Health – which serves as the Coalition Secretariat – the aim of COR-NTD is to create new synergies within the operational research community for NTDs and align that research with the program needs. Learn more at http://www.ntdsupport.org/cor-ntd. About The Task Force for Global Health: The Task Force for Global Health works to reduce the global burden of disease and build public health systems that serve all people. Founded in 1984 by global health pioneer Dr. Willliam Foege, The Task Force consists of eight programs focused on neglected tropical diseases, vaccines, and health systems strengthening. It is affiliated with Emory University, headquartered in Decatur, GA, and has regional offices in Guatemala and Ethiopia. The Task Force received the 2016 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize for its extraordinary contributions to alleviating human suffering. Learn more at http://www.taskforce.org.


Sullivan S.J.,Mayo Vaccine Research Group | Jacobson R.M.,Mayo Vaccine Research Group | Jacobson R.M.,Mayo Medical School | Dowdle W.R.,Task Force for Global Health | And 2 more authors.
Mayo Clinic Proceedings | Year: 2010

Within 2 months of its discovery last spring, a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, currently referred to as 2009 H1N1, caused the first influenza pandemic in decades. The virus has caused disproportionate disease among young people with early reports of virulence similar to that of seasonal influenza. This clinical review provides an update encompassing the virology, epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the 2009 H1N1 virus. Because information about this virus, its prevention, and treatment are rapidly evolving, readers are advised to seek additional information. We performed a literature search of PubMed using the following keywords: H1N1, influenza, vaccine, pregnancy, children, treatment, epidemiology, and review. Studies were selected for inclusion in this review on the basis of their relevance. Recent studies and articles were preferred. © 2010 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.


News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: marketersmedia.com

SAN DIEGO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / December 12, 2016 / Each year, 1.7 billion citizens of developing countries need treatment for neglected diseases, according to the World Health Organization's (WHO) 2016 World Health Statistics. In a dynamic global environment, pharmaceutical companies face myriad obstacles in supplying poverty stricken communities with necessary medicines and vaccines. Shareholders often question such pursuits, as the cost-benefit matrix of developing drugs for countries with political or economic instability provides limited financial gain, at best. Dr. Najib Babul, an accomplished pharmaceutical scientist, drug developer and biotech entrepreneur, explains a new model of partnership between the public and private sectors that can successfully advance global health initiatives. Public-private partnerships have already helped address some of the world's largest public health challenges, noted Dr. Babul. Following the declaration of smallpox’s eradication in 1980, Merck, the WHO, the World Bank, the United Nations Children's Fund, the National Ministries of Health, and the Task Force for Global Health joined forces to launch a global initiative to distribute and administer treatment for river blindness. This campaign demonstrated that companies could successfully collaborate with government and non-profit partners, providing critical expertise in the areas of R&D, manufacturing, and distribution. In another example, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative collectively developed malaria candidate vaccine RTS,S (Mosquirix™), with grant monies from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to PATH and support from a network of African research centers that performed the studies. Mosquirix recently received a positive scientific opinion from the European Medicines Agency for the prevention of malaria in young children in sub-Saharan Africa. The WHO has announced that the Mosquirix vaccine will first be rolled out in pilot projects in 3 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The pilot program will assess whether the vaccine’s protective effects in Phase 3 clinical trials can be replicated in real-life settings. Effective research remains the basis and most vital component of developing promising medicines, and again, it is partnership, rather than the competitive model, which has shown most promise in accelerating solutions. For example, Dr. Babul cites the Pool for Open Innovation Against Neglected Tropical Diseases, administered by the non-governmental organization Bio Ventures for Global Health, which is embracing data sharing by partnering with companies who agree to grant access to their compound "libraries", and creating a singular, comprehensive collection of molecular entities. The initiative began with GSK's efforts to create a "Patent Pool" for new therapeutics to treat neglected tropical diseases. Pharmaceutical companies, academia and non-governmental organizations are encouraged to donate drug compounds for neglected tropical diseases. GSK has donated over 800 patents and patent applications to the collaboration. The Patent Pool is targeting sixteen diseases that the U.S FDA has identified in its neglected tropical diseases initiative. To date, approximately 150,000 compounds have been screened for efficacy against diseases including African sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas disease, potentially allowing for results to be achieved efficiently and with greater accuracy. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, the State University of New York in Buffalo and the California Institute of Advanced Management, Dr. Najib Babul is presently a drug development consultant to pharmaceutical companies and investment banks with over two decades of experience in bringing new drugs to market. Dr. Babul is the author of over 170 abstracts and manuscripts published by leading medical journals and scientific proceedings, including the Lancet, the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer, Anesthesiology, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and Anesthesia & Analgesia. Najib Babul - Discusses the Benefits and Limitations of Opioids for Neuropathic Pain: https://www.yahoo.com/news/najib-babul-discusses-benefits-limitations-233500333.html Najib Babul - Explains Why Treatment Advances in Fibromyalgia Have Been Slow: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/najib-babul-explains-why-treatment-130500043.html SAN DIEGO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / December 12, 2016 / Each year, 1.7 billion citizens of developing countries need treatment for neglected diseases, according to the World Health Organization's (WHO) 2016 World Health Statistics. In a dynamic global environment, pharmaceutical companies face myriad obstacles in supplying poverty stricken communities with necessary medicines and vaccines. Shareholders often question such pursuits, as the cost-benefit matrix of developing drugs for countries with political or economic instability provides limited financial gain, at best. Dr. Najib Babul, an accomplished pharmaceutical scientist, drug developer and biotech entrepreneur, explains a new model of partnership between the public and private sectors that can successfully advance global health initiatives. Public-private partnerships have already helped address some of the world's largest public health challenges, noted Dr. Babul. Following the declaration of smallpox’s eradication in 1980, Merck, the WHO, the World Bank, the United Nations Children's Fund, the National Ministries of Health, and the Task Force for Global Health joined forces to launch a global initiative to distribute and administer treatment for river blindness. This campaign demonstrated that companies could successfully collaborate with government and non-profit partners, providing critical expertise in the areas of R&D, manufacturing, and distribution. In another example, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative collectively developed malaria candidate vaccine RTS,S (Mosquirix™), with grant monies from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to PATH and support from a network of African research centers that performed the studies. Mosquirix recently received a positive scientific opinion from the European Medicines Agency for the prevention of malaria in young children in sub-Saharan Africa. The WHO has announced that the Mosquirix vaccine will first be rolled out in pilot projects in 3 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The pilot program will assess whether the vaccine’s protective effects in Phase 3 clinical trials can be replicated in real-life settings. Effective research remains the basis and most vital component of developing promising medicines, and again, it is partnership, rather than the competitive model, which has shown most promise in accelerating solutions. For example, Dr. Babul cites the Pool for Open Innovation Against Neglected Tropical Diseases, administered by the non-governmental organization Bio Ventures for Global Health, which is embracing data sharing by partnering with companies who agree to grant access to their compound "libraries", and creating a singular, comprehensive collection of molecular entities. The initiative began with GSK's efforts to create a "Patent Pool" for new therapeutics to treat neglected tropical diseases. Pharmaceutical companies, academia and non-governmental organizations are encouraged to donate drug compounds for neglected tropical diseases. GSK has donated over 800 patents and patent applications to the collaboration. The Patent Pool is targeting sixteen diseases that the U.S FDA has identified in its neglected tropical diseases initiative. To date, approximately 150,000 compounds have been screened for efficacy against diseases including African sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas disease, potentially allowing for results to be achieved efficiently and with greater accuracy. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, the State University of New York in Buffalo and the California Institute of Advanced Management, Dr. Najib Babul is presently a drug development consultant to pharmaceutical companies and investment banks with over two decades of experience in bringing new drugs to market. Dr. Babul is the author of over 170 abstracts and manuscripts published by leading medical journals and scientific proceedings, including the Lancet, the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer, Anesthesiology, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and Anesthesia & Analgesia. Najib Babul - Discusses the Benefits and Limitations of Opioids for Neuropathic Pain: https://www.yahoo.com/news/najib-babul-discusses-benefits-limitations-233500333.html Najib Babul - Explains Why Treatment Advances in Fibromyalgia Have Been Slow: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/najib-babul-explains-why-treatment-130500043.html


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: marketersmedia.com

— According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2016 World Health Statistics, 1.7 billion citizens of developing countries need treatment for neglected diseases each year. In a dynamic global environment, pharmaceutical companies face myriad obstacles in supplying poverty stricken communities with necessary medicines and vaccines. Shareholders often question such pursuits, as the cost-benefit matrix of developing drugs for countries with political or economic instability provides limited financial gain, at best. Dr. Najib Babul, an accomplished pharmaceutical scientist, drug developer and biotech entrepreneur, explains a new model of partnership between the public and private sectors that can successfully advance global health initiatives. Public-private partnerships have already helped address some of the world’s largest public health challenges, noted Dr. Babul. Following the declaration of smallpox’s eradication in 1980, Merck, the WHO, the World Bank, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the National Ministries of Health, and the Task Force for Global Health joined forces to launch a global initiative to distribute and administer treatment for river blindness. This campaign demonstrated that companies could successfully collaborate with government and non-profit partners, providing critical expertise in the areas of R&D, manufacturing, and distribution. In another example, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative collectively developed malaria candidate vaccine RTS,S (Mosquirix™), with grant monies from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to PATH and support from a network of African research centers that performed the studies. Mosquirix recently received a positive scientific opinion from the European Medicines Agency for the prevention of malaria in young children in sub-Saharan Africa. The WHO has announced that the Mosquirix vaccine will first be rolled out in pilot projects in 3 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The pilot program will assess whether the vaccine’s protective effects in Phase 3 clinical trials can be replicated in real-life settings. Effective research remains the basis and most vital component of developing promising medicines, and again, it is partnership, rather than the competitive model, which has shown most promise in accelerating solutions. For example, Dr. Babul cites the Pool for Open Innovation Against Neglected Tropical Diseases, administered by the non-governmental organization Bio Ventures for Global Health, which is embracing data sharing by partnering with companies who agree to grant access to their compound “libraries”, and creating a singular, comprehensive collection of molecular entities. The initiative began with GSK's efforts to create a “Patent Pool” for new therapeutics to treat neglected tropical diseases. Pharmaceutical companies, academia and non-governmental organizations are encouraged to donate drug compounds for neglected tropical diseases. GSK has donated over 800 patents and patent applications to the collaboration. The Patent Pool is targeting sixteen diseases that the U.S FDA has identified in its neglected tropical diseases initiative. To date, approximately 150,000 compounds have been screened for efficacy against diseases including African sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas disease, potentially allowing for results to be achieved efficiently and with greater accuracy. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, the State University of New York in Buffalo and the California Institute of Advanced Management, Dr. Najib Babul is presently a drug development consultant to pharmaceutical companies and investment banks with over two decades of experience in bringing new drugs to market. Dr. Babul is the author of over 170 abstracts and manuscripts published by leading medical journals and scientific proceedings, including the Lancet, the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer, Anesthesiology, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and Anesthesia & Analgesia. Najib Babul - Discusses the Benefits and Limitations of Opioids for Neuropathic Pain: https://www.yahoo.com/news/najib-babul-discusses-benefits-limitations-233500333.html Najib Babul - Explains Why Treatment Advances in Fibromyalgia Have Been Slow: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/najib-babul-explains-why-treatment-130500043.html For more information, please visit http://www.NajibBabulNews.com


Hinman A.R.,Task Force for Global Health | Orenstein W.A.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation | Schuchat A.,National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2011

During 1946-2005, vaccine-preventable diseases were the topic of approximately 20% of all epidemic-assistance investigations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both in the United States and abroad, current and former Epidemic Intelligence Service officers have played a critical role in describing the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases, contributing to development of immunization policies, participating in the implementation of immunization programs, and establishing effective means for assessing adverse events following immunization. As newer vaccines are developed and introduced, they will continue to play similar roles and most likely will be involved increasingly in investigations of the factors that affect people's willingness to accept vaccination for themselves or their children. © 2011 The Author.


Breman J.G.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | de Quadros C.A.,Sabin Vaccine Institute | Dowdle W.R.,Task Force for Global Health | Foege W.H.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation | And 3 more authors.
PLoS Medicine | Year: 2011

By examining the role research has played in eradication or regional elimination initiatives for three viral diseases-smallpox, poliomyelitis, and measles-we derive nine cross-cutting lessons applicable to malaria eradication. In these initiatives, some types of research commenced as the programs began and proceeded in parallel. Basic laboratory, clinical, and field research all contributed notably to progress made in the viral programs. For each program, vaccine was the lynchpin intervention, but as the programs progressed, research was required to improve vaccine formulations, delivery methods, and immunization schedules. Surveillance was fundamental to all three programs, whilst polio eradication also required improved diagnostic methods to identify asymptomatic infections. Molecular characterization of pathogen isolates strengthened surveillance and allowed insights into the geographic source of infections and their spread. Anthropologic, sociologic, and behavioural research were needed to address cultural and religious beliefs to expand community acceptance. The last phases of elimination and eradication became increasingly difficult, as a nil incidence was approached. Any eradication initiative for malaria must incorporate flexible research agendas that can adapt to changing epidemiologic contingencies and allow planning for posteradication scenarios. © 2011 Breman et al.


Patel M.,Task Force for Global Health | Zipursky S.,World Health Organization | Orenstein W.,Emory University | Garon J.,Emory University | Zaffran M.,World Health Organization
Expert Review of Vaccines | Year: 2015

In 2013, the World Health Assembly endorsed a plan that calls for the ultimate withdrawal of oral polio vaccines (OPV) from all immunization programs globally. The withdrawal would begin in a phased manner with removal of the type 2 component of OPV in 2016 through a global switch from trivalent OPV to bivalent OPV (containing only types 1 and 3). To mitigate risks associated with immunity gaps after OPV type 2 withdrawal, the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts has recommended that all 126 OPV-only using countries introduce at least one dose of inactivated polio vaccine into routine immunization programs by end-2015, before the trivalent OPV-bivalent OPV switch. The introduction of inactivated polio vaccine would reduce risks of reintroduction of type 2 poliovirus by providing some level of seroprotection, facilitating interruption of transmission if outbreaks occur, and accelerating eradication by boosting immunity to types 1 and 3 polioviruses. © Informa UK, Ltd.


Liese B.,Georgetown University | Rosenberg M.,Task Force for Global Health | Schratz A.,Georgetown University
The Lancet | Year: 2010

Neglected tropical diseases represent one of the most serious burdens to public health. Many can be treated cost-effectively, yet they have been largely ignored on the global health policy agenda until recently. In this first paper in the Series we review the fragmented structure of elimination and control programmes for these diseases, starting with the ambiguous definition of a neglected tropical disease. We describe selected international control initiatives and present their effect, governance arrangements, and financing mechanisms, including substantial drug-donation programmes. We also discuss efforts to exploit shared features of these diseases by integration of selected control activities within countries, thus creating economies of scope. Finally we address the challenges, resulting from the diversity of disease control approaches and governance structures-both nationally and internationally-and provide some suggestions for the way forward. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Addiss D.G.,Task Force for Global Health
International Health | Year: 2015

Soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) affects more than one billion people worldwide. WHO aims to control STH as a public health problem by providing periodic anthelminthic treatment to ≥75% of all at-risk children. Tracking progress toward this 2020 goal relies on accurate reporting of drug coverage. For STH, this is difficult because an unknown-but substantial-proportion of deworming occurs outside nationally-administered STH control programs, so-called 'unprogrammed deworming.' Further, coordination of intersectoral efforts needed to administer drugs to different risk groups-and to report coverage toWHO-is inadequate. This paper describes these challenges and offers suggestions to overcome them. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved.

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