Welcome to the Global Health Strategic Group newsletter,

Your bi-monthly peek at what is happening behind the scenes in the field of global health, with trending news, upcoming events, funding opportunities and more! Read on to find out what researchers across all disciplines of global health research have been up to in recent months. We look forward to staying connected with you!

One of the RRSPQ's objectives is to promote the exchange and usage of knowledge among and by the various actors in the population health network. To this end, we would like to invite all members of the RRSPQ to share their publications or activities (conferences, webinars, etc). These will be advertised on the RRSPQ website and the network’s social media accounts, insofar as they are relevant to population health research and ideally relating to the specific themes of the strategic groupings.
Global Health News

One of the greatest inequities in global health, an astounding 99% of preventable maternal and antenatal deaths occur in developing countries. A new publication by the WHO provides 49 recommendations regarding antenatal care in an effort to combat this dearth. The Wellbeing Africa Foundation has reviewed these recommendations and identified 5 with particular importance and transformative potential in improving maternal health outcomes in developing countries. Among these, nutrition education and antenatal care models with a minimum of eight contacts are emphasized. The Foundation calls for a greater focus on antenatal care in the global community as well as mechanisms to support the implementations of the WHO’s comprehensive prescriptions in the countries that are most in need.  

Amidst the global phenomenon of rising obesity, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have been increasingly and severely impacted by this epidemic in recent years. In Brazil, for instance, the booming of the economy and the growing lower-middle class have been accompanied by an explosion in the number of overweight individuals, now accounting for 57% of the country’s population. This has been linked to escalating levels of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, placing an enormous burden on Brazil’s public health system. This phenomenon is attributed to a growing consumption of junk food and processed food and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle due to urbanization and the rising purchasing power of the lower classes. To combat this problem, the government has launched campaigns encouraging a healthier diet and financed exercise spaces in Brazilian towns.
Young African Women are Especially Vulnerable to HIV/AIDS

According to the new UNAIDS world AIDS Day report, young women between the ages of 15 to 24 in sub-Saharan Africa are living through a “particularly dangerous time” with regard to a heightened vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Although the factors contributing to this increased risk are complex and interweaving, these tend to include a lack of risk awareness, challenging environments with poor access to food and education, and involvement in relationships with older men. “Young women are in an age group that is the least likely to have taken an HIV test and know their status,” explains UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. This new update, delivered on World AIDS Day (December 1st 2016), comes with the annual report’s examination of the disease in different age brackets collectively referred to as “the life-cycle approach to HIV” to develop a clearer view of the epidemic and its associated complexities.
WHO recommends 29 ways to stop surgical infections and avoid superbugs

Surgical site infections threaten the lives of millions of patients on an annual basis and have been shown to contribute to the increasingly threatening spread of antibiotic resistance. This problem is most prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, where 11% of patients who undergo surgery and 20% of women who receive a caesarean section contract a wound infection. In response to this, the WHO has released new guidelines entitled the “Global Guidelines for the Prevention of Surgical Site Infection”, which include 13 recommendations for the period before surgery and 16 recommendations for preventing infections during and after surgery. These range from simple precautions such as bathing or showering before surgery to guidance on which antibiotics, disinfectants and sutures to use. These are the first international evidence-based guidelines on surgical infections to be used by surgical teams as a way to reduce harm and improve quality of life. 
Upcoming Events & Conferences
When: January 28-29, 2017
Where: Your computer!

The Beyond Sciences Initiatives is proud to present an accessible conference covering a range of topics with an international scope, allowing for scholars to expand their knowledgebase and network with one another to further their research. Global health topics covered will include Mental Health, Infectious Diseases, Medical Practice and Women's Health. BSI is also willing to provide funds to support the establishment of Internet and webinar connections in order to facilitate real-time access to the conference if needed.
World Health Summit 2017
When: May 8-9, 2017
Where: Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec

The Université de Montréal and the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal will be hosting this year's M8 Alliance World Health Summit in Montreal. The theme,  “Health and Healthcare Delivery in Pluralistic Societies,” will focus on the question of human diversity in the practice, education, research and public policy pertaining to health. Online registration has now opened! 
When: June 13-23, 2017
Where: McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

McGill’s Summer Institute in Infectious Diseases and Global Health is returning for Summer 2017! Hosted by McGill Global Health Programs, the Summer Institute short courses feature internationally known faculty, a focus on highly applicable new knowledge, and an opportunity to network with fellow global health professionals from around the world. The courses offered during this two-week program will include TB Research Methods, Global Health Diagnostics, Advanced TB Diagnostics, Introduction to Genomic Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, and the two newly-introduced courses on Bioinformatics for Parasitic Diseases and Qualitative Methods In Global Infectious Diseases Research. Spots are filling up rapidly, so apply now!
When: June 28-30, 2017
Where: Delta Montreal, Montreal, Quebec
Convening in Montreal in the upcoming year, this conference will gather researchers, practitioners, policy makers and child advocates from across the world to share and discuss the latest research on child indicators and implications for policy and interventions, with subthemes including Physical and mental health, Poverty, deprivation, material well-being, and inequality, and Early childhood and adolescent development and education.
WADEM Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine
When: April 25-28, 2017
Where: Toronto, Canada

The World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine is hosting its 20th biennial meeting of global experts together with the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the CBRNE Collaborative in Toronto. This congress is designed to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practices on pre-hospital and in-hospital emergency medical care, disaster health and response, and emergency public health and safety. Various keynote speakers have been confirmed, including Dr. Julie Hall, Director of Health and Care for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Healthy People, Healthy Ecosystems: The 8th Annual CUGH Conference
When: April 7-9, 2017
Where: Washington, DC

John Hopkins University and Makerere University are proud to present the 8th Annual Consortium of Universities for Global Health conference on implementation, leadership and sustainability in global health. This conference aims to promote interdisciplinary, cross jurisdictional conversations across the globe to tackle challenging and complex problems in a variety of global health areas.

GHIC 2017: Global Health & Innovation Conference
When: April 22-23, 2017
Where: New Haven, CT

The Global Health & Innovation Conference hosts more than 2,200 professionals and students from more than 55 countries and is recognized as one of the leading global health conferences. The 2-day conference, presented by the non-profit global health delivery organization Unite for Sight, is set to take place at Yale University. Topics discussed will touch on both the current state of global health as well as social entrepreneurship and innovation for development.  
Funding Opportunities
See funding opportunities for students in the Student's Corner below!

The Global Health Strategic Group of the RRSPQ is pleased to announce a competition to support researchers in encouraging new collaborations among researchers from different domains interfacing with global health. The goal of this competition is to catalyze new avenues of interdisciplinary research in global health. Consult the event announcement above for all the requirements and access the application form here!

The CIHR-IPP Trailblazer Award is a career achievement award that recognizes the exceptional contributions of researchers at different career stages in the area of population and public health research and its use in policy and/or in practice on a national or international scale. Population and public health research focuses on the interactions between the biological, social, cultural and environmental factors that determine health, disease and disability at a population level and largely account for the widening health inequities between and within countries in our day.

Funded by The CIHR Institutes of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health (IAPH) and Cancer Research (ICR), this Catalyst Grant aims to provide seed money to support research activities related to Indigenous approaches to wellness as a first step towards the pursuit of more comprehensive funding opportunities. To be considered relevant to this funding opportunity, the research projects must consider the development and/or implementation of interventions such as land-based healing approaches that result in improved wellness for First Nations, Inuit or Métis People in collaboration with the Indigenous community.
The CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network provides funding to candidates who wish to write a trial protocol, research program, and develop and run their own trial in the realm of HIV and related health conditions. MDs who have completed their medical residency program, PhDs who have completed their PhD and Biostatisticians with a PhD and working in an HIV or related health condition group are eligible to apply. In addition to this, an International Fellowship will be offered to train a scientist involved in HIV treatment or prevention research studies in a resource-limited country. 
APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 31st, 2017

This CIHR-IAVI research partnership supports the development of safe, effective, globally-available HIV vaccines through enhancement of a leading replicating viral-vector based candidate: VSV-HIV. Relevant research areas include identifying vaccine process development technologies that support efficient scale-up and purification of the VSV-vectored HIV vaccines and enhancing understanding of immune responses to support the evaluation of HIV VSV vector vaccines. Through this opportunity, Canadian researchers and trainees are linked to the global HIV vaccine effort.
Recent Publications
Kelsey Dancause et al.
Building on a previous study which identified daily time spent using television and radio as a protective factor for obesity in the rapidly modernizing Republic of Vanuatu, this research seeks to explore associations between ownership of consumer electronics and measures of adiposity in Vanuatu. The participants from more developed islands of the region were found to own more types of consumer electronics and presented higher measures of adiposity. These results seem to indicate a possible role of consumer electronics in the rising prevalence of obesity and the shift to a sedentary lifestyle in Vanuatu and other countries experiencing industrialization at a rapid pace, highlighting the need for prevention efforts and education on the use of electronics.
Sam Harper et al.

An analysis of Demographic and Health Survey data on tobacco use in 54 LMICs is conducted with the aim of describing sex-wise educational and wealth-related inequalities in low- and middle-income countries. This is done through the comparison of current tobacco use in each country for 4 educational groups and 4 wealth groups, accompanied by calculations of absolute and relative measures of inequality. The results confirm that socioeconomic inequalities in tobacco use exist in LMICs and are increasingly pronounced in the lowest income countries. Studies to support health policies and place monitoring systems to tackle socioeconomic inequalities will be required moving forward.
Roger Prichard et al.

The worldwide scale-up in anthelmintic drug donations which has occurred over the last decade calls for strong monitoring systems to detect any changes in anthelmintic drug efficacy.  This review reports on the outcome of the WHO Global Working Group on Monitoring of Neglected Tropical Diseases Drug Efficacy, presenting the progress of ongoing work, challenges and research needs for each of the four main drugs used in helminthic preventive chemotherapy. The authors call for the development of combination and co-administration of NTD drugs to be pursued in parallel to this initiative.
Anete Trajman et al.

This paper assesses the cost-effectiveness of a hypothetical shortened four-month regimen for first-line treatment of TB, estimating the economic impact of this initiative on both health systems and patients of regimen shortening in South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, and Tanzania. It is found that from a societal perspective, a shortened regimen priced at USD1 per day could be a cost-saving option in South Africa, Brazil, and Tanzania, but not in Bangladesh. From a health service perspective, the increased drug cost that would be incurred would need to be balanced against a decrease in delivery costs in order for the initiative to remain cost-effective.
Michel Alary et al.

This paper examines issues concerning the implementation of tenfonir-based pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in Africa. Throughout the countries where HIV/AIDS is most prevalent, individuals in sero-discordant relationships as well as members of key populations have the potential to greatly benefit from the availability of PrEP. However, in order to reach all these individuals, intensive implementation research is required.  Overarching obstacles are identified as being: (i) a lack of demand for PrEP, (ii) supply-side issues, and (iii) inadequate adherence support. In order to combat these issues, the authors call for community-level interventions, empowerment interventions for stigmatized populations, integrated services addressing other public health priorities, national policies for training, quality assurance and supply chain issues, and the normalization of HIV prevention efforts.
Students' Corner
Funding Opportunity: Support for Results Dissemination Activities Abroad
The Global Health Strategic Group of the RRSPQ is pleased to announce a competition designed to support Québec graduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows in the dissemination of their global health research results. The goal of this competition is to provide students with funding to allow them to return to their study sites in order to disseminate the results of their research at these locations. Consult the event announcement above for all the requirements and access the application form here
Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement

This program supports high-caliber Canadian graduate students in building global linkages and international networks through the pursuit of research experiences abroad while contributing to strengthening the potential for collaboration between Canadian institutions and other research institutions outside of Canada. CGS awards are distributed across the disciplines of the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health-related disciplines. To be eligible for this funding, students must hold a Joseph-Armand Bombardier, Alexander Graham Bell or Frederick Banting and Charles Best CGS at the master’s or doctoral level, or a Vanier CGS at the doctoral level.
Our Latest Activities
Ethical Challenges and Issues in Global Health Research
On November 11, the Global Health and Ethics Strategic Groupings of the RRSPQ jointly organized a workshop entitled “Ethical Challenges and Issues in Global Health Research” at the New Chancellor Day Hall of McGill University. The full-day event was attended by 48 people, of whom half were students and a third were researchers involved in fields ranging from bioethics and public health ethics to global health promotion and international development studies. Captivating keynote speeches were delivered by our guest speakers: Dr. Geneviève Dubois-Flynn of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Mr. Renaud Boulanger of McGill University; and Dr. Lisa Eckenwiler of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. This was followed by a dynamic poster presentation session and an interactive panel discussion regarding real-life ethical dilemmas encountered by global health researchers in the field. If you were unable to attend, stay tuned for a recording of the event to be posted on the RRSPQ website in the following weeks!
(Pictured: Dr Orudo Oppong-Nkrumah presents a vignette entitled "When Ethical Approval Does Not Suffice: A Case Study of the Ebola Vaccine Trial in Ghana" during the panel discussion session)
That's all for now.
Happy holidays!

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