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28 minutes | Jul 29, 2022
Ann Keeling: Female healthcare workers need to be seen as “assets and not volunteers”
Katherine is joined by Ann Keeling, Senior Fellow with Women in Global Health and lead author of WGH’s new policy brief, Subsidizing Global Health: Women’s Unpaid Work in Health Systems. Neglecting to pay women appropriately for their contributions to the global health workforce is not new. In 2015, the Lancet Commission on Women and Health estimated that women contribute $3 trillion to global health activities every year but that at least half of that labor is unpaid, with negative implications for women’s professional opportunities in the long term. Katherine and Ann discuss why women take on more underpaid or unpaid positions than men; how the stresses of the pandemic have created even greater challenges for this cadre of unpaid workers; and how making greater investments in female health workers could positively impact the quality of care they are able to provide. What happens when women in the global health workforce aren’t paid or supported appropriately? And what key indicators can be used to ensure progress is being made in making the global health workforce more gender equitable? Ann Keeling, WGH Senior Fellow, is a British citizen whose 40-year career in global health and social development has included posts in Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Caribbean, Belgium, the USA, and her home country, the UK. She held the post of Head of Gender Equality Policy with the UK Government and is currently the Chair of the NGO Age International.
33 minutes | Jul 22, 2022
Ted Chaiban: “Progress is Possible” in Addressing Global Covid-19 Vaccine Inequities
Ted Chaiban, Global Lead Coordinator for UNICEF’s Covid-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership (CoVDP), joins Katherine to discuss the state of Covid-19 vaccine coverage across the world; why some countries continue to struggle with low coverage, even as vaccine supplies have improved; and what steps need to be taken to ensure vaccines reach the most vulnerable. Out of the 34 countries that in January 2022 had Covid-19 vaccination coverage of below 10%, 23 have now surpassed 10% and 8 now have coverage above 20%. But while there has been impressive progress, continuing to support countries’ efforts to deliver the shots remains vital. How does CoVDP support in country Covid-19 vaccination programs and tailor approaches to their specific needs? What strategies work best to reach populations living in conflict-affected areas? And how can reaching people with Covid-19 vaccines help provide them with access to a broader suite of health and social services, as well? Ted Chaiban is the Global Lead Coordinator for COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery at UNICEF’s COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership. Most recently he served as the Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at UNICEF.
38 minutes | Jul 15, 2022
John-Arne Røttingen: Investing in Pandemic Preparedness to Insure Against Future Threats
In this episode, Katherine speaks with John-Arne Røttingen, Ambassador for Global Health at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway. Whether it’s continuing to fight against Covid-19 through increasing equitable access to vaccines and therapies; understanding how the Financial Intermediary Fund fits into the global health funding framework; what the global response to Monkeypox tells us about the state of international cooperation on health; or addressing the threat of AMR, Ambassador Røttingen reminds us that investing in health security and pandemic preparedness is investing in a global public good. But what do global health public goods look like exactly? And what lessons can we draw from our experiences in managing Covid-19 that can inform the response to emerging challenges such as Monkeypox and AMR? John-Arne Røttingen is Ambassador for Global Health at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway. He is Adjunct Scientific Director at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Visiting Fellow of Practice at Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University, and was the founding interim Chief Executive Officer of CEPI – Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
30 minutes | May 17, 2022
Douglas Mercado: “Doing good ain’t easy"
Katherine is joined by Doug Mercado, head of the area office with the World Food Program in Romania, which is managing the delivery and distribution of food supplies to vulnerable communities in neighboring Ukraine. The impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are felt internally, regionally, and globally, with agricultural production disrupted and access to food supplies limited because of damage to infrastructure and markets. At the same time, both Ukraine and Russia produce wheat and corn for the global market, but the conflict, along with sanctions on Russia, are limiting the distribution of grain globally and driving up prices. Doug's mission day to day? Bring food assistance to 6 million people inside Ukraine. This requires an expanding presence within Ukraine, establishing critical relationships with key institutions, ongoing support from donors, and negotiating with armed forces on the ground. Douglas Mercado is the Head of the Area Office with the World Food Program in Romania, and a guest lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
33 minutes | Mar 15, 2022
Live From Munich: Dr. Richard Hatchett: “Pandemic Preparedness Needs to Be Viewed as a Security Challenge”
Two years later, Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations rejoins Steve for the second iteration of our Live From Munich mini-series. Dr. Hatchett reminds us that having just had a pandemic does not prevent outbreak from another, and that pandemic preparedness needs to be “viewed as a security challenge, not as a health challenge, not as a development challenge”. He points to lessons in vaccine manufacturing and financing arrangements that incentivize disease surveillance that can better prepare us for the next pandemic. “Many of the high-income countries see the value from a geopolitical and security perspective in making these investments. The challenge for the long term, obviously, will be whether these facilities can be successful, sustainable and be sustained.” Richard J. Hatchett, MD, is Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
27 minutes | Mar 11, 2022
Dr. Heidi Larson: "The nature of the security threat has changed"
Dr. Heidi Larson, founder of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Vaccine Confidence Project™ and co-chair of the CSIS-LSHTM High-Level Panel on Vaccine Confidence and Misinformation, joins Katherine for this episode. The national security threats associated with low confidence in vaccines have changed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we’ve seen growing polarization on regarding vaccine mandates, increased aggression towards scientists, the circulation of rumors and disinformation about vaccines on social media, and social instability. Groups that oppose vaccination requirements invoke terms such as “freedom” and “liberty” to emphasize the importance of individual choice when it comes to being vaccinated. But what happens when one person’s freedom harms the larger community? Larson explains that trust in vaccines is tied to trust in government and that a low level of trust in government is one of the greatest obstacles to improving the uptake of Covid-19 vaccines worldwide. Dr. Heidi Larson is a Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science and is the Founding Director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She is the author of STUCK: How Vaccine Rumors Start – and Why They Don’t Go Away.
39 minutes | Mar 10, 2022
Live from Munich: Tom Bollyky: “We can't do this on our own.”
In the fourth episode of our Live From Munich Mini-Series, Steve is joined by Tom Bollyky, the Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development and Director of the Global Health Program at the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Bollyky attended the Munich Security Conference “to keep the conversation about the response to the COVID crisis still on the national security agenda”. National security and global health have been historically linked, as exemplified with the birth of PEPFAR. Could the war in Ukraine lead to a similar program for Covid-19? And what are the major obstacles in creating pandemic preparedness policy? Tom Bollyky is the Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development and Director of the Global Health Program at the Council on Foreign Relations.
15 minutes | Mar 8, 2022
Live From Munich: Dr. Jeremy Farrar: “We Must Not Be Caught Vulnerable Again”
Two years ago, Dr. Jeremy Farrar joined Steve for the first iteration of Live From Munich, when the Covid-19 Pandemic was just emerging. Today, for the third installment of this Live From Munich mini-series, he returns to discuss this murky transition into the next stage of the pandemic. Dr. Farrar predicts that “political interest will wane from the pandemic because other events take over.” Politics are turning towards an exhausted, frustrated, even sometimes violent public. “We all feel fed up with this pandemic. But our emotional state doesn't determine the outcome of the pandemic.” We must be prepared for all scenarios, not just the ones we prefer. Dr. Farrar takes a lesson from the Munich Security Conference: “The truth is that the security community does this all the time. They think of a central scenario that is the most likely and they put most of their planning around it, but they do not ignore the other scenarios.” Dr. Jeremy Farrar is the Director of Wellcome Trust.
28 minutes | Mar 4, 2022
Live From Munich: Dr. Seth Berkley: “It is a Security Issue”
In episode #124, the second episode of our Live From Munich mini-series, Steve is joined by Seth Berkely, CEO of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, “the largest purchaser of vaccines in the world”. He speaks on strengthening health security: “Do we prepare for our hopeful future? Or do we prepare for reality?” “The right thing to do is to continue to prepare for worsening variants, worsening disease. And the best way to do that is to make sure high-risk people all over the world are as protected as they can be.” We are only as safe as our neighbors. Longterm, "it hurts the world if new variants appear, get the chance to circulate, and then jump out again, as we’ve seen.” Different vaccines have different advantages for various levels of infrastructure, and “we want to get countries to a place where they can say we have the right vaccine, in the right place, at the right time to meet the needs of our population.” “We’re fools if we don’t keep in mind that we have to protect everyone in the world.” Seth Berkely is the CEO of GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance.
33 minutes | Mar 4, 2022
Live From Munich: Dr. John Nkengasong: “The Concepts are Global, But the Practice is Local”
Dr. Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC and soon to be head of PEPFAR joined us for this 123rd episode, and the first episode of our Live From Munich mini-series, a collection of episodes recorded at the Munich Security Conference. He is a leader in the initiative to incorporate global health in security discussions like the Munich Security Conference. “We have seen how an outbreak of a disease can truly be a health security matter, and also human security, as well as even going as far as a national security threat.” The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us “the need for us to look at the security from a human perspective”, that “we are more connected as humanity”, and “the inequalities that we thought existed are more profound within countries between countries and between region than we thought”. As North America and Europe begin this murky transition to the next stage of the pandemic, Dr. Nkengasong is concerned that we will “begin to refer to COVID as a disease that will soon be over in the US. And then of course, because of that, it becomes one of the neglected tropical diseases where we now have to rely on foundations or charity to take care of.” He recently called for a pause in vaccine donations: “we're saying that we have a lot of vaccines in the country. Now our problem is vaccination”. “I'm a big believer in that we should always pause to evaluate where we are in respond, and then make corrective actions”. How will Africa overcome its major challenge of vaccine hesitancy? “I think every good public health practice as you and I know is local. The concepts are global, but in practice is local, which means Africa must take his own socio-cultural context and deal with it and then find the touch points” Dr. John Nkengasong is the Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and has been nominated by President Biden to be the next head of the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator in charge of PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
34 minutes | Feb 4, 2022
“It’s going to hit the most vulnerable hardest, like everything does.”
In this episode Katherine speaks with Daniela Ligiero, executive director and CEO of Together for Girls, a partnership focused on collecting data to raise awareness about the problem of violence towards children and adolescents, with a special focus on preventing sexual violence against girls. During the Covid-19 pandemic young children, particularly girls, have become especially vulnerable to violence, including sexual violence, spending long, unsupervised hours online or alone at home while adults in the household are away working. With health resources in many places diverted to outbreak response, Together for Girls has worked to sustain and improve services to prevent the abuse of children, support survivors of violence, and advocate for young people’s needs during the crisis. Daniela describes recent efforts such as the Brave Movement and Keep Kids Safe, which create networks of sexual violence survivors in the United States and around the world who share their experiences publicly to galvanize political will to develop policies to address these challenges during the pandemic and beyond it.
36 minutes | Dec 15, 2021
The Global Fund’s Peter Sands on Fighting Multiple Pandemics at the Same Time
In this episode Katherine speaks with Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, about the ways in which the Fund has expanded its grant-making activities to support lower and lower-middle income countries in responding to Covid-19. Noting the importance of ensuring continuity of HIV, TB, and malaria services while addressing the Covid-19 outbreak, he insists that health emergency preparedness cannot be funded at the expense of ongoing infectious disease programs. Rather, HIV, TB and malaria efforts must be viewed as essential elements of strong health systems and can serve as platforms for pandemic planning and activities designed to protect society from new infectious pathogens.
29 minutes | Dec 7, 2021
COP26 and the Health Impacts of Climate Change
In this episode Keith Martin, executive director of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), talks with Katherine about the outcomes of the recent UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland; why it’s important to integrate a focus on health into global discussions about climate; how people who carry out research on global health and climate issues can frame their findings for policymakers and audiences beyond academia for greater impact; and the reasons the climate crisis, the loss of biodiversity, and the pandemic should be seen not as competing priorities but rather as related challenges that can be managed together to improve the social determinants of health, protect ecosystems, and enhance global stability in the long run.
45 minutes | Dec 1, 2021
Seth Berkley on COVAX’s Past, Present and Future
In this episode, an edited version of a live event on November 15, Katherine talks with Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, about the first year and a half of COVAX, the global collaboration focused on ensuring globally equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines. One year after the first vaccines were made available, their distribution remains highly unequal, with an overwhelming majority of doses so far delivered to populations in high-income countries. Even as vaccine production has expanded, inequities have worsened, especially among lower-income countries. What difficult lessons have been learned over COVAX’s first year and a half? How likely is it that populations in lower-income countries will have access to Covid-19 vaccines in 2022? And how can countries that have surplus vaccines best support COVAX and the distribution of vaccines globally?
38 minutes | Nov 19, 2021
Ambassador Stephanie Williams on Australia’s health security diplomacy during Covid-19
In this episode, Dr. Stephanie Williams, Australia’s ambassador for regional health security, talks with Katherine E. Bliss about the Australian government’s efforts to strengthen countries’ capacities to deliver health care, including Covid-19 vaccines. She describes what it was like to assume the role of regional health ambassador just as the Covid-19 pandemic was getting underway and discusses the work of the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security’s focus on health issues in the Indo-Pacific region. As Australia relaxes pandemic lockdown policies and travel requirements, she also considers the ways in which the current focus on Covid-19 offers opportunities to re-invest in primary health care and what countries should be doing now to plan for future pandemics.
42 minutes | Oct 26, 2021
The Case for Routine Immunizations within Health Emergency Response
During the Covid-19 pandemic, countries around the world have seen coverage levels for routine immunizations drop as resources and health workers have been diverted to pandemic response, including the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines. In this episode, Julia Spencer, Associate Vice President for Global Vaccines, Public Policy Partnerships, and Government Affairs at Merck & Company, and Margaret Cornelius, Deputy Director of Private Sector Programs at ThinkWell, join Katherine Bliss to discuss why it’s important to adequately fund routine immunization programs within pandemic preparedness initiatives, both to maintain continuity of services during health crises and to ensure a capacity to delivery pandemic vaccines as they become available. On the eve of the G20 meetings on health and finance in Rome, they share arguments for making the case to finance ministers that sustainably funding routine immunization programs is worth the investment in the long term.
38 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
Building a Resilient Health System: Costa Rica’s 80 Year Experiment
Román Macaya Hayes, executive president of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, joined Katherine E. Bliss for a conversation on how Costa Rica has prioritized the equitable delivery of primary health care services to reduce infant and maternal mortality, achieve a high level of vaccine coverage, increase life expectancy, and build trust in the health system. He explained how the country’s network of locally-based health workers develop personal connections with the people and communities they serve, even as they use digital technologies to gather household data, assess trends, and allocate resources. He also described how ensuring the population’s access to affordable and high-quality care has helped Costa Rica weather the pandemic and effectively deliver Covid-19 vaccines and shared what he sees as opportunities for the Fund to grow and evolve its delivery of services to the Costa Rican people in the years ahead. You can watch the event here.
40 minutes | Sep 17, 2021
Trends in Societal Division and Popular Opinion During the Pandemic
In this episode, J. Stephen Morrison speaks with Jacob Poushter, an expert in international survey research at Pew Research Center, about Pew’s recent report “People in Advanced Economies Say Their Society Is More Divided Than Before Pandemic.” Jacob explains the main findings of the report and discusses how public perceptions of societal division within advanced economies have changed over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. How are publics in Japan, Sweden, the UK, and other countries perceiving and reacting to their governments’ responses to the pandemic? How do attitudes about the pandemic’s impact break down along generational and demographic lines? What does the new research show about global support for U.S. leadership in international affairs and engagement with the World Health Organization (WHO)? Jacob Poushter is Associate Director of Global Attitudes Research at Pew Research Center. You can also find a follow on live conversation hosted by GHPC’s Katherine E. Bliss with Jacob here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz4pkn9lcWU
28 minutes | Aug 19, 2021
Insuring Quality Vaccines During a Global Pandemic
In this episode, Katherine E. Bliss is joined by Ben Hubbard, co-founder, and CEO of Parsyl Inc. As the global race to access Covid-19 vaccines heats up, keeping products cold and ensuring their safe delivery to populations that need them becomes ever more important. Assessing the risks to vaccines during critical periods of transit, storage, and distribution, particularly in lower and middle-income countries that may have limited refrigeration infrastructure, involves real-time data analysis and the use of sensors to detect and transmit information about vaccine temperatures. Ben describes the insurance market for vaccines, the public-private partnerships that are forming around Covid-19 vaccine distribution, and the work Parsyl is doing to solve the quality challenges of moving billions of dollars of life-saving products to every corner of the globe. Ben is the co-founder and CEO of Parsyl Inc. and formerly served as Chief of Staff at USAID and as the director of USAID’s credit financing division, the Development Credit Authority.
37 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
Covid-19 in Fragile & Conflict-Affected Areas: A Dynamic Problem
In this episode, Katherine E. Bliss is joined by two CSIS colleagues, Jacob Kurtzer, director and senior fellow with the Humanitarian Agenda, and Erol Yayboke, senior fellow with the International Security Program and director of the Project on Fragility and Mobility. They talk about how Covid-19 has impacted migrant, displaced, and refugee communities worldwide and the enormous challenge of reaching these vulnerable populations with health and other services. How has the humanitarian sector pivoted to manage the pandemic? How have migration patterns changed as borders close? How can we deliver novel Covid-19 vaccines to populations already outside of regular health services? And what are Erol and Jake watching as the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines scales up?
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