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Bull World Health Organ ; 101(5): 326-330, 2023 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233985


Research and development leading to new and improved health products is essential for achieving healthier lives for populations worldwide. However, new products in development do not always match the global need for products for neglected diseases and populations. To promote research, provide an incentive for investment and align products with the needs of end-users, research needs to be better coordinated and prioritized. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed target product profiles that define the characteristics required in new health products to address the greatest public health needs. A WHO target product profile document presents a need and provides guidance on what to include to consider access and equity as part of the research and development plan from the outset. WHO has also set up the Target Product Profile Directory, a free-to-use online database of characteristics used to describe desired health products, including medicines, vaccines, diagnostic tools and medical equipment. Here we describe the process of developing a WHO target product profile, and the benefits of this type of guidance. We urge product developers to share product profiles addressing unmet needs in public health, to help in progress towards global targets for better health and well-being.

Promouvoir la santé des populations à travers le monde va de pair avec la recherche-développement responsable de la conception et de l'optimisation de produits sanitaires. Pourtant, les nouveaux produits à l'étude ne répondent pas toujours aux exigences mondiales des populations et maladies négligées. En vue de promouvoir la recherche, de favoriser les investissements et d'aligner les produits sur les besoins des utilisateurs finaux, les travaux doivent être mieux coordonnés et leurs priorités, mieux définies. L'Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS) a donc élaboré des profils de produits cibles qui déterminent les caractéristiques requises pour les nouveaux produits sanitaires, afin qu'ils correspondent davantage aux besoins les plus criants en matière de santé publique. Un profil de produit cible établi par l'OMS est un document qui met en évidence un besoin et fournit des indications sur les aspects à prendre en compte pour garantir l'accès et l'équité dès le départ dans le plan de recherche-développement. L'OMS a également publié un Répertoire des profils de produits cibles, une base de données en ligne consultable gratuitement qui reprend les caractéristiques employées pour décrire les produits sanitaires souhaités (médicaments, vaccins, outils diagnostiques et équipements médicaux). Dans le présent document, nous détaillons le processus de développement d'un profil de produit cible par l'OMS, mais aussi les avantages que comportent de telles indications. Nous encourageons vivement les laboratoires à partager les profils de produits qui répondent à des besoins non satisfaits en matière de santé publique, afin de contribuer à avancer vers les objectifs mondiaux de santé et de bien-être.

La investigación y el desarrollo de productos sanitarios nuevos y mejorados son esenciales para que las poblaciones de todo el mundo vivan más sanas. Sin embargo, los productos nuevos en desarrollo no siempre se ajustan a las necesidades mundiales de productos para enfermedades y poblaciones desatendidas. Para promover la investigación, incentivar la inversión y adaptar los productos a las necesidades de los usuarios finales, es necesario coordinar mejor la investigación y establecer prioridades. La Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) ha elaborado perfiles de productos específicos que definen las características que deben reunir los productos sanitarios nuevos para satisfacer las principales necesidades de salud pública. Un documento de perfil de producto específico de la OMS presenta una necesidad y ofrece orientación sobre lo que debe incluirse para tener en cuenta el acceso y la equidad como parte del plan de investigación y desarrollo desde el principio. La OMS también ha creado el Directorio de Perfiles de Productos Específicos, una base de datos en línea de uso gratuito con las características utilizadas para describir los productos sanitarios deseados, incluidos medicamentos, vacunas, herramientas de diagnóstico y equipos médicos. En el presente documento, describimos el proceso de elaboración de un perfil de producto específico de la OMS y las ventajas de este tipo de orientación. Instamos a los desarrolladores de productos a compartir perfiles de productos que aborden necesidades no cubiertas en salud pública para contribuir al avance hacia los objetivos mundiales de mejora de la salud y el bienestar.

Vaccines , Humans , World Health Organization , Research , Health Status
BMJ ; 381: 1190, 2023 06 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233808
BMJ Glob Health ; 8(6)2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232858


The WHO Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) COVID-19 Incident Management Support Team (IMST) was first established on 21 January 2020 to coordinate the response to the pandemic in line with the Emergency Response Framework and has undergone three modifications based on intra-action reviews (IAR). An IAR of the WHO AFRO COVID-19 IMST was conducted to document best practices, challenges, lessons learnt and areas for improvement from the start of 2021 to the end of the third wave in November 2021. In addition, it was designed to contribute to improving the response to COVID-19 in the Region. An IAR design as proposed by WHO, encompassing qualitative approaches to collecting critical data and information, was used. It employed mixed methods of data collection: document reviews, online surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. A thematic analysis of the data focused on four thematic areas, namely operations of IMST, data and information management, human resource management and institutional framework/governance. Areas of good practice identified, included the provision of guidelines, protocols and technical expertise, resource mobilisation, logistics management, provision of regular updates, timely situation reporting, timely deployment and good coordination. Some challenges identified included a communication gap; inadequate emergency personnel; lack of scientific updates; and inadequate coordination with partners. The identified strong points/components are the pivot for informed decisions and actions for reinvigorating the future response coordination mechanism.

COVID-19 , Humans , Africa , Communication , Focus Groups , World Health Organization
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0284643, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232072


BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus disease has emerged as the most pressing global health issue. In women with COVID-19 disease, pregnancy confers a substantial additional risk of morbidity and mortality. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess WHO-recommended COVID-19 prevention practices and determinant factors among pregnant women attending antenatal care during the third wave of COVID-19 in eastern Ethiopia. METHODS: An Institutional-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 422 pregnant women attending antenatal care in Harar, from October 10 to November 10, 2021. The sample size was proportionally allocated to all healthcare facilities, then the study participants were selected using systematic random sampling. Descriptive summary statistics were done. Logistic regression analyses were computed to identify associations between dependent and independent variables. Variables with a p-value < 0.05 were declared statistically significant. RESULT: Out of 422 pregnant women, 61.6% of them had good WHO Recommended COVID-19 Prevention Practices. Those with age 25-34 years (AOR: 9.7, 95%CI: 4.8, 19.3), age 35-44 years (AOR:4.8, 95%CI: 2.6, 9.03), monthly income > 10,000 ETB (AOR: 9.4, 95%CI: 2.1, 42.1), being a student (AOR: 10, 95%CI: 2.3, 47.1), having a good level of knowledge (AOR: 2.3, 95%CI:1.4, 3.8), and having ≥10 family members (AOR: 0.24, 95%CI: 0.06, 0.9) were found to have a significant association with WHO recommended prevention practice among pregnant women. CONCLUSION: Overall, the WHO-recommended COVID-19 prevention practice among pregnant women attending antenatal care was good, but it needs improvement. In order to improve prevention practices among pregnant women, Harari Regional Health Bureau and other stakeholders should provide repeated, targeted, and tailored information to pregnant women and the community at large through different media.

COVID-19 , Pregnant Women , Female , Pregnancy , Humans , Adult , Prenatal Care , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , World Health Organization
J Law Med Ethics ; 51(1): 217-220, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20231675


Equity is a foundational concept for the new World Health Organization (WHO) Pandemic Treaty. WHO Member States are currently negotiating to turn this undefined concept into tangible outcomes by borrowing a policy mechanism from international environmental law: "access and benefit-sharing" (ABS).

International Cooperation , Pandemics , Humans , International Law , Policy , World Health Organization
Clin Infect Dis ; 76(10): 1854-1859, 2023 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240001


This is an account that should be heard of an important struggle: the struggle of a large group of experts who came together at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to warn the world about the risk of airborne transmission and the consequences of ignoring it. We alerted the World Health Organization about the potential significance of the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and the urgent need to control it, but our concerns were dismissed. Here we describe how this happened and the consequences. We hope that by reporting this story we can raise awareness of the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and the need to be open to new evidence, and to prevent it from happening again. Acknowledgement of an issue, and the emergence of new evidence related to it, is the first necessary step towards finding effective mitigation solutions.

COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics/prevention & control , World Health Organization , Societies
Front Public Health ; 11: 1104669, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236694


This article is part of the Research Topic 'Health Systems Recovery in the Context of COVID-19 and Protracted Conflict'. As the world faces global health crises such as pandemics, epidemics, climate change and evolving disease burdens and population demographics, building strong and resilient public health systems is of critical importance. The need for an integrated approach to building health system resilience; the widening of inequalities; and fears of vulnerable populations being left behind are critical issues that require Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) enquiry as independent public oversight bodies. Each country has a Supreme Audit Institution with a remit to audit public funds as an effective, accountable, and inclusive institution. Government audits are key components of effective public financial management and Good Governance. SAIs contribute to the quality of government engagement and better state-society relations through their work. As SAIs provide independent external oversight and contribute to follow up and review of national targets linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their respective countries, they can play an important role in national recovery efforts. WHO and INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) have been collaborating in facilitating SAIs' audits of strong and resilient national public health systems linked to the national target of SDG 3.d in 40 countries across Africa, Americas, Asia and Oceania between 2021 and 2022. This paper aims to convey key lessons learned from the joint multisectoral collaboration for facilitating the 3.d audits that can contribute to building health systems resilience in ongoing recovery efforts. The collaboration included facilitation of the audits through professional education and audit support using a health systems resilience framework. The 3.d audits are performance audits and follow IDI's SDG Audit Model (ISAM). Following the ISAM implies that the SAI should focus on a whole-of-government approach, policy coherence and integration, and assess both government efforts at 'leaving no one behind' and multi-stakeholder engagement in implementing the chosen national SDG target linked to 3.d. WHO's Health Systems Resilience team has supported IDI and SAIs by delivering training sessions and reviewing working papers and draft reports of the SAIs from a health systems resilience perspective. IDI has provided the technical expertise on performance audits through its technical team and through in-kind contributions from mentors from many SAIs in the regions participating in the audit. In the 3.d audit, SAIs can ask how governments are acting to enhance capacity in some or all of the following, depending on their own national context and risk: forecasting, preventing and preparing for public health emergencies (PHEs) and threatsadapting, absorbing and responding to PHEs and threatsmaintaining essential health services in all contexts (including during emergencies/crises). The audits are expected to highlight current capacities of health systems resilience; the extent to which a whole-of-government approach and policy coherence have been utilised; and government efforts related to multistakeholder engagement and leaving no one behind in building health systems resilience related to progressing towards achieving the national target linked to 3.d by 2030. An overall positive achievement noted was that undertaking a complex health audit in the middle of a pandemic is possible and can contribute to building health systems resilience and recovery efforts. In their review of audit plans, draft summaries, and other work by the SAIs, both WHO and IDI have observed that SAIs have used the training and supplementary materials and applied various parts of it in their audits. This collaboration also demonstrates key considerations needed for successful partnership across multisectoral partners at global, regional and national levels. Such considerations can be applied in different contexts, including socioeconomic and health system recovery, to ensure whole-of-society and whole-of-government action in building health systems resilience and monitoring and evaluation to maintain and accelerate progress towards the national target linked to SDG3.d, health security and universal health coverage (UHC), as well as broader socioeconomic development.

COVID-19 , Sustainable Development , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Emergencies , World Health Organization , Global Health
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 9: e44970, 2023 06 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244462


BACKGROUND: Seasonal influenza activity showed a sharp decline in activity at the beginning of the emergence of COVID-19. Whether there is an epidemiological correlation between the dynamic of these 2 respiratory infectious diseases and their future trends needs to be explored. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to assess the correlation between COVID-19 and influenza activity and estimate later epidemiological trends. METHODS: We retrospectively described the dynamics of COVID-19 and influenza in 6 World Health Organization (WHO) regions from January 2020 to March 2023 and used the long short-term memory machine learning model to learn potential patterns in previously observed activity and predict trends for the following 16 weeks. Finally, we used Spearman correlation coefficients to assess the past and future epidemiological correlation between these 2 respiratory infectious diseases. RESULTS: With the emergence of the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 and other variants, influenza activity stayed below 10% for more than 1 year in the 6 WHO regions. Subsequently, it gradually rose as Delta activity dropped, but still peaked below Delta. During the Omicron pandemic and the following period, the activity of each disease increased as the other decreased, alternating in dominance more than once, with each alternation lasting for 3 to 4 months. Correlation analysis showed that COVID-19 and influenza activity presented a predominantly negative correlation, with coefficients above -0.3 in WHO regions, especially during the Omicron pandemic and the following estimated period. The diseases had a transient positive correlation in the European region of the WHO and the Western Pacific region of the WHO when multiple dominant strains created a mixed pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Influenza activity and past seasonal epidemiological patterns were shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic. The activity of these diseases was moderately or greater than moderately inversely correlated, and they suppressed and competed with each other, showing a seesaw effect. In the postpandemic era, this seesaw trend may be more prominent, suggesting the possibility of using one disease as an early warning signal for the other when making future estimates and conducting optimized annual vaccine campaigns.

COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , World Health Organization
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 19(1): 2194190, 2023 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234553


WHO-recommended vaccines substantially prevent and control vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs), but their inclusion differs among countries and regions. We reviewed the application for WHO-recommended vaccines in China and described the concerns and obstacles in driving the inclusion of more vaccines into China's NIP, including immunization strategies, financial barriers, vaccination services, and behavioral and social supply-side and demand-side factors. China has made significant efforts, however, they may not be sufficient until the inclusion of more WHO-recommended vaccines in the National Immunization Program (NIP), ensuring that the vaccination encompasses the whole life course of individuals, establishment of more trustworthy vaccination finance and procurement, increasing vaccine development, optimizing vaccine demand forecasts, improving the accessibility and equity of vaccination services, capturing the key points of behavioral and social drivers of vaccination on the demand side, and establishing holistic prevention and control from a public health perspective.

Vaccination , Vaccines , Humans , Immunization , Immunization Programs , China , World Health Organization
Bull World Health Organ ; 101(6): 362-362A, 2023 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234342
Copenhagen; World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe; 2023. (WHO/EURO:2023-7636-47403-69639).
in English | WHOIRIS | ID: gwh-369074
Lancet Respir Med ; 11(7): 588, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2327703
Stud Health Technol Inform ; 302: 893-894, 2023 May 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2327055


The COVID-19 infodemic is an overwhelming amount of information that has challenged pandemic communication and epidemic response. WHO has produced weekly infodemic insights reports to identify questions, concerns, information voids expressed and experienced by people online. Publicly available data was collected and categorized to a public health taxonomy to enable thematic analysis. Analysis showed three key periods of narrative volume peaks. Understanding how conversations change over time can help inform future infodemic preparedness and prevention planning.

COVID-19 , Social Media , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Infodemic , World Health Organization