Category Archives: Global Health

What the World Health Organization Executive Board resolution got wrong on humanitarian assistance

You may have seen the January 2015 WHO Executive Board resolution on Ebola, which calls for many important things, including a global health reserve workforce, a contingency fund, and human resource management reform. All could help develop a smarter global health system. But did you see this paragraph on humanitarian asssitance, which points decidedly in […]

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Posted in Global Health, Human Rights, WHO; Tagged: , , , , , , , .

Trade leaks and litigation funds: how the tobacco industry reels us into more pointless battles

A few weeks ago, I expressed my frustrations at the endless cycle of the tobacco industry demanding more and more evidence to justify simple tobacco control measures – and governments around the world giving in. Yesterday, parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP), a trade agreement currently being negotiated between 12 countries including the US, were […]

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Posted in Global Health, Tobacco, Trade; Tagged: , , .

The O’Neill Institute Summer Program Is Back!

It’s that time of year! Join us for our 2015 O’Neill Institute Summer Program on Infectious Diseases. Apply now at:

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Posted in Global Health;

Injecting Compassion into the Vaccine Debate

As a child I was surrounded by vaccine resisters. Nearly everyone I knew was vociferously opposed to the practice. We were particularly galled by the mandatory nature of vaccination—it seemed beyond the pale that such an invasive and traumatic procedure would be conducted without our consent. There was one ringleader in particular who spurred on […]

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Posted in Global Health; Tagged: , , , .

At the Intersection of Abortion, Advocacy & Pop Culture

Even in countries where abortion has been legalized, women face numerous barriers when attempting to access the procedure. These include provider, facility, commodity, procedural, economic, information and stigma barriers. Stigma barriers are arguably the hardest to tackle, since they reflect deep-seated cultural values and judgments. Pop culture, however, can serve as a powerful tool for […]

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Posted in Global Health, Human Rights; Tagged: , , , , , , .

Scheduling Ketamine under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971: WHO Veto Power?

Currently, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs is meeting in Vienna, Austria and one of the most debated issues is whether the Commission will vote to schedule the drug ketamine under the Convention of Psychotropic Substances of 1971. Regarding this issue, a critical legal interpretation question exists – does WHO have the power to veto the […]

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Posted in Global Health, Uncategorized, WHO;

WHO: A Spoon Full of Sugar? Well…But Don’t Overdo It

Prior to joining the O’Neill Institute, Disney’s Mary Poppins’ “A Spoon Full of Sugar” would never have triggered for me a single thought about obesity or diabetes. After all, the message is that keeping a positive attitude can make the most boring of tasks fun, or at the very least, bearable. However, the funny thing […]

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Posted in Global Health, WHO; Tagged: , , .

An “Epidemic Within an Outbreak:” The Mental Health Consequences of Infectious Disease Epidemics

  Most infectious disease epidemics target the body, and thus epidemic response focuses on preventing the spread of infection and attempting to heal those who have become ill. However, even where pathogenesis disregards the brain, an epidemic can still sicken the mind. A silent epidemic of mental illness often accompanies outbreaks of infectious disease. Here […]

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Posted in Global Health; Tagged: , , , , , , , .

Celebrating 10 years of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

This post was written by Sam Byfield, a Senior Policy Advisor (LiveLighter) at the National Heart Foundation of Australia (Western Australia), and an Associate of the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne. For questions regarding this post please contact On 27 February, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will celebrate […]

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Posted in Global Health, Tobacco;

How many scientists and lawyers does it take to regulate a cigarette package?

This week, we have seen yet another example of tobacco industry intimidation tactics being used to stop a government from enacting laws that will save lives and protect the public health. The Irish government announced that it is introducing plain packaging legislation, following through on its goal of becoming the first country in the European […]

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Posted in FDA, Global Health, Tobacco, Trade; Tagged: , , , , .

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