This Week in Global Health With IIGH

The USC IIGH team is excited to present “This Week in Global Health With IIGH.”

This series offers the perspectives of a diverse collection of leaders, highlighting what they are witnessing and the work they’re engaged in during the current moment. Our goal is to help facilitate a conversation from local to global, learning from policy experts, researchers, activists and academics from communities the world over, while sharing their perspectives, highlighting new developments and emphasizing best practices. 

Hosted by Sofia Gruskin, Director of USC IIGH, featured topics include the economic, social, political, legal, and community impacts of the pandemic, and global health and human rights discussions more generally.  

Week of June 15 , 2020

Pascale Allotey – Director of the United Nations – University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) 

“There is an opportunity through this crises. What would have been ideal, and this had been pushed from the Secretary-Generals level – ideally it would have been an amazing opportunity for the global community to come together, for leadership to come together. Because in some ways there’s the paradox of the intervention that was chosen, which was to lock everybody up and lock countries up, but at the same time it’s one that required solidarity and working together to get rid of a global problem.” – Pascale Allotey (Based in Kuala Lumpur) 

For the full video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

IMF urges swift action to protect women from Covid-19 economic hit, link, source: The Guardian

The Global Leaders Who Have Been Effective During The Coronavirus, link, source: NPR

Week of June 22 , 2020

Parveen Parmar – Chief, Division of Global Emergency Medicine, Keck School of Medicine USC

“It’s pretty well known now that nationally if you are person of color, if you’re black, if you are poorer – you have worse health outcomes with COVID.  And that is certainly something we are seeing play out in Los Angeles county. The hospital and county officials have really done their best to try to support all LA citizens, but the reality is there are still people who are forced to work and people who don’t have legal status in the United States remain more afraid of seeking care.” – Parveen Premar (Based in Los Angeles) 

For the full video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

No insurance, no savings, no support: what happens when LA’s least privileged get Covid, link, source: The Guardian

Week of July 6, 2020

Rajat Khosla – Human Rights Advisor, World Health Organization

“Business as usual will not work, and I think at a level must not work. We need to identify new ways of working, new ways to connect to communities which are very vulnerable and increasingly more marginalized than they were before COVID. How do we bring in that sense of community engagement into our work, is extremely important. But this where we need to identify new techniques” – Rajat Khosla (Based in Geneva) 

For the full video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

It’s 2022. What Does Life Look Like?, link, source: NY Times

The Covid-19 Pandemic Has Escalated Domestic Violence Worldwide. link, source: Forbes

Week of: July 14, 2020

Vera Paiva –  Professor of Social Psychology, University of São Paulo

“Somehow it (COVID-19) got spread to the poor territories on the peripheries of the city. It’s a very very difficult situation. I was talking to them last week it’s like every street in the favelas has someone who died, or family that was affected. Because of other things, because of the social economic situation. They are much more vulnerable.” – Vera Paiva (Based in São Paulo) 

For the full video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

Brazil Is Repeating The United States’ Worst Coronavirus Mistakes, link, source: HuffPost

Week of: July 21, 2020

Ajeng Larasati – Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Masyarakat (LBHM) – Community Legal Aid Institute

“The denial from the government since the beginning has kind of affected the way people think about Corona itself. Many people still don’t think that COVID is a serious thing and they don’t follow the governments regulations or government policy to stay at home even if they can. And the government is not powerful enough, in my opinion, to enforce the policy of staying at home.” – Ajeng Larasati (Based in Jakarta) 

For the full video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

Why a ‘new normal’ might fail in Indonesia and how to fix it, link, source: The Conversation

Week of: August 25, 2020

Sharon Fonn – Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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“In the early days there was almost a sense of excitement and hope, because right in the beginning there were two things we saw. Really bold, and confident and competent leadership from the president. He got up, he spoke with authority, he spoke in an informed manner. And he spoke in a way that made you feel the decisions being made were based on science…in theory, and I supposed this is always the tragedy of South Africa, our policies are great. The talk was fantastic. The walk was not.” – Sharon Fonn 

For the full video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

How inequality and poverty undermined South Africa’s COVID response, link, source: Reuters

Coronavirus in South Africa: Why the vuvuzelas fell silent, link, source: BBC

Week of: September 3, 2020

Allan Maleche – Executive Director of the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN)

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“With the restrictive measures that have been introduced & the fact that the Ministry of Health has opted to take a punitive approach to enforcing public health measures, we have actually seen increased cases of human rights violations” – Allan Maleche

For the full Part 1 video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

Coronavirus in Kenya: How it turned classrooms into chicken coops, link, source: BBC

Kenyan Police Used COVID-19 Laws to Arrest Protesters, Then Put Them in the Same Cell, link, source: VICE World News

Week of: September 10, 2020

Susana Soto Tirado – Recent Medical School Graduate, University of Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia, Former Visiting Scholar, USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health

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“Sometimes we take more time trying to explain to the family what is happening than treating the patient, because the family doesn’t understand that the patient needs to be isolated, that they need to be isolated. That they can’t go dancing on the weekends, that they can’t go visit grandma on the weekends.” – Susana Soto Tirado 

For the full video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

Colombia Struggles to Get Past Months-long Quarantine, link, source: VOA News

COVID-19 all but collapses healthcare in Colombia’s largest cities, link, source: Colombia Reports

Week of: September 21, 2020

Mauro Cabral Grinspan – Executive Director, GATE

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“I hope to see that all the different solidarity networks that we have seen emerging in different parts of the world, that they will survive COVID. We shouldn’t need to start from zero again but to expand them and make them stronger.” – Mauro Cabral Grinspan

For the full video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

Coronavirus: Transgender people ‘extremely vulnerable’ during lockdown, link, source: BBC News

Argentina’s coronavirus patients, medical workers harassed, link, source: Al Jazeera

Week of: October 13, 2020

Allan Maleche – Executive Director of the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN)

“The second take away for me and which is still a struggle in many contexts, is around the  lack of appreciation of transparency, accountability and anti corruption measures in the health system. ” – Allan Maleche

For the full Part 2 video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

Why some Kenyans still deny coronavirus exists, link, source: BBC

What Happens When A Pandemic And An Epidemic Collide, link, source: NPR

Week of: October 21, 2020

Gregg Gonsalves – Assistant Professor of Epidemiology  at the Yale School of Medicine, Adjunct Associate Professor at Yale Law School

“You can tell that COVID in many places follows the fault lines of inequality in the U.S. and I would say around the world as well, but it’s pretty clear it’s exacerbating and praying on the inequities that were here long before COVID.” – Gregg Gonsalves

For the full video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

‘They Know What A Pandemic Is’: HIV Survivors See Similarities To AIDS Epidemic, link, source: NPR

Mapping the Disparities That Bred an Unequal Pandemic, link, source: Bloomberg

Relevant published commentaries authored by Dr. Gonsalves:

Protest and Survive!, link, source: The Nation

When Police and Public Health Collide in the Age of Covid-19, link, source: The Nation

Week of: November 6, 2020

Faysal El Kak –  Senior Lecturer of Health Behavior, Sexuality & Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut

“Issues for example like abortion, post abortion care, emergency contraception, family planning, detecting violence, abusive violence against women, sexual violence, all of these things are affected in a negative way and they’re falling behind. ” – Faysal El Kak

For the full video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

New U.N. Tracker Looks At How Countries’ COVID-19 Responses Are Helping Women, link, source: NPR

‘A matter of survival’: Lebanon’s hospitals on the brink as COVID cases surge, link, source: Reuters

Week of: January 18, 2020

Nancy Krieger – Professor of Social Epidemiology in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

“The economic devastation as well as health devastation is enormous and it’s going to be continuing, and it’s making some of the economic inequities that are racialized in this country even worse than they were before” – Nancy Krieger

For the full video click here

Select Relevant Publications:

New U.N. Tracker Looks At How Countries’ COVID-19 Responses Are Helping Women, link, source: NPR

‘A matter of survival’: Lebanon’s hospitals on the brink as COVID cases surge, link, source: Reuters


This Week in Global Health With IIGH: Resources Section 

Global Health Updates

Impacts of COVID-19 on Global Health

Polio and Measles Could Surge After Disruption of Vaccine Programs, link, source: NY Times

‘The Biggest Monster’ Is Spreading. And It’s Not the Coronavirus, link, source: NY Times

Human Rights updates

The efficacy of lockdowns for COVID-19: humanising the law of derogation, link, source: OpenGlobalRights

Covid led to ‘brutal crackdown’ on garment workers’ rights, says report, link, source: The Guardian

Malawi human rights groups warn of Covid deaths in packed prisons, link, source: The Guardian

COVID 19 Developments

Countries once praised for their handling of coronavirus are struggling to deal with new outbreaks, link, source: CNN

On the hunt for its own supply of Covid-19 vaccines, Canada champions access for poorer countries, link, source: Politico

Sustainability, and the Sustainable Development Goals

Combating COVID-19 Without Sacrificing Sustainable Development Goals, link, source: Think Global Health

Family Affair: Coronavirus and the Climate Crisis, link, source: Think Global Health

Gender, gender identity, gender expression updates

Violence in Times of Coronavirus—The Ugly Truth, link, source: Think Global Health

Coronavirus: Transgender people ‘extremely vulnerable’ during lockdown, link, source: BBC News

Reproductive rights, Sexual Rights Updates

Covid-19 threatens access to abortions and contraceptives, experts warn, link, source: The Guardian

The Sexual-Health Supply Chain Is Broken, link, source: The Atlantic

Health Technology and Innovation

A High-Tech Array of Travel Tools: ‘Smart’ Health Cards, Temperature-Reading Glasses and More, link, source: NY Times

How AI can accelerate the search for treatments for emerging and intractable diseases, link, source: World Economic Forum

Recent IIGH Publications

Twenty five years after the Beijing Declaration we need to reaffirm that women’s rights are human rights, link, source: IIGH

Expanding the Role of Paralegals: Supporting Realization of the Right to Health for Vulnerable Communities, link, source: IIGH

Student Engagement and Outreach

Global Health Opportunities, link, source: IIGH

Student Global Health Organizations, link, source: IIGH

Civil Society engagement, actions and response

Civil society groups that mobilised around COVID-19 face important choices, link, source: The Conversation

As NGOs negotiate access, dual crises unfold in Venezuela, link, source: Devex

Government Engagement, Actions and Responses (national, subnational and local)

The UK’s troubled coronavirus response becomes more complicated, link, source: CNN

Kenya’s Unusual Solution to the School Problem: Cancel the Year and Start Over, link, source: NY Times

UN (Multilateral) engagement actions and responses

UN Reports Sharp Increase in Cybercrime During Pandemic, link, source: NY Times

UN: Pandemic could push tens of millions into chronic hunger, link, source: The Associated Press


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