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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

More Women Using Modern Contraception, But Number Not On Track To Meet 2020 Goal, FP2020 Report Shows

Associated Press: More women in poor countries use contraception, says report
“More women and girls in poor countries are using modern contraception, signifying progress in efforts to involve women in family planning, according to a report released Monday. The number of women and girls using contraceptives in 69 of the world’s poorest countries surpassed 317 million in 2018, representing 46 million more users than in 2012, said the report by Family Planning 2020, a U.N.-backed global advocacy group working to promote rights-based family planning…” (Ssuuna/Muhumuza, 11/12).

Devex: Progress on family planning way off target, FP2020 update reveals
“…International funding for family planning has also increased, albeit slightly, from $1.2 billion in 2016 to $1.27 billion in 2017. This remains below the 2014 peak of $1.43 billion. For the first time, FP2020 also reports on domestic government spending on family planning in 31 countries, showing that India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia had the highest allocations in 2016…” (Edwards, 11/13).

Global Health NOW: Summoning up Superheroes
“…[S]ince 2012, when the world pledged to expand voluntary family planning access to an additional 120 [million] women and girls by 2020, 46 million new women and girls have gained access — meaning that the world is not on track to reach the original 120 by 2020 goal…” (Myers, 11/13).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: World set to miss contraception goal leaving millions of women behind
“…[T]o reach the goal of an additional 120 million by 2020, another 74 million women would have to start the practice in the next two years, said the report issued by FP2020, a global partnership of governments, donors, advocacy groups, and others. ‘We’re not on track to achieve that goal,’ Jason Bremner, director of data and performance management at FP2020, the group that set the target for the world’s 69 poorest countries…” (Wulfhorst, 11/12).

Xinhua News: More women, adolescent girls in lowest-income countries use modern contraceptives: report
“…According to the report, access to modern contraception helped prevent 119 million unintended pregnancies, 20 million unsafe abortions, and 137,000 maternal deaths from July 2017 to July 2018…” (11/13).

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DRC Ebola Epidemic Worst In Country, With More Than 330 Confirmed, Probable Cases

CIDRAP News: DRC Ebola cases climb to 334 amid fresh violence in Beni
“Over the weekend and through [Monday], the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) noted 15 new Ebola cases, amid a report of another violent attack in Beni, the outbreak’s epicenter. In other developments, plans are taking shape to test experimental Ebola treatments in clinical trials, and the United Kingdom is sending teams to assist with lab analysis and clinical trials. … The total [Monday] stands at 334 cases, which includes 296 confirmed and 38 probable cases. Eight more deaths were reported over the past three days, lifting the fatality count to 206…” (Schnirring, 11/12).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from CNN, The Hill, and WIRED.

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Media Outlets Examine Humanitarian Situation In Yemen, As Fighting Intensifies Following Calls For Ceasefire

IRIN: Deaths before data
“What is happening in Yemen looks like ‘famine’ as it is commonly understood — children, for instance, are dying of starvation. Yet the difficulty of collecting data means that an official famine, which has a technical definition and a high threshold, may still not be declared…” (Oakford, 11/12).

Reuters: Street battles rage in Yemen’s Hodeidah, civilians caught in crossfire
“Street battles raged on Sunday in residential areas of Yemen’s main port city of Hodeidah, forcing medical staff to flee the largest hospital, as Houthi insurgents tried to repel forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition. … The coalition has renewed its offensive on Hodeidah as Western allies, including the United States, called for a ceasefire to support U.N.-led efforts to end the nearly four-year war that has killed more than 10,000 and pushed the country to the brink of starvation…” (Ghobari, 11/11).

Washington Post: Is this the turning point for the war in Yemen?
“…The killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has focused international anger on Riyadh and seemingly led the kingdom’s Western allies to reexamine their backing of the intervention [in Yemen], which has killed at least 10,000 people and now has about half the country’s population on the brink of famine, according to the United Nations…” (Tharoor, 11/13).

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Global Burden Of Disease 2017 Shows Worrying Trends In Health

The Guardian: Poor diet a factor in one-fifth of global deaths in 2017 — study
“Almost 20 percent of deaths worldwide are attributable to an unhealthy diet, with high blood pressure and smoking completing the top three risk factors for reaching the grave, according to a new report on the state of the world’s health. The study, which focuses on 2017, has revealed that non-communicable diseases such as cancer and diabetes now account for nearly three-quarters of the 55.9m deaths worldwide, with experts stressing a large proportion of these are unnecessarily early…” (Davis, 11/8).

New Atlas: Massive global health study reveals “disturbing” trends
“Running for over a decade now, the annual Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study is a giant peer-reviewed assessment of global health trends. The results this year, published across a series of articles in the prestigious journal The Lancet, present some concerning trends, from a worrying plateau in global mortality rates to a decline in global fertility rates. Coordinated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle, the GBD study offers a fantastically detailed snapshot of the current state of the world’s health, involving over 3,500 researchers from 140 countries around the globe…” (Haridy, 11/11).

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U.N. Agencies Kick Off World Antibiotic Awareness Week With Call For More Responsible Use Of Medicines

U.N. News: Antimicrobial resistance a ‘global health emergency,’ U.N., ahead of awareness week
“By 2050, some five million people could die each year in Asia alone due to resistance to antibiotic medicines or antimicrobials, according to U.N. agencies. … The U.N. agencies, which include the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization, and the U.N. Environment Programme, called for the more responsible use of antibiotics in humans, animals, and agriculture at the opening of World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) in Asia and the Pacific on Monday, 12 November…” (11/12).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: In Asia-Pacific, urbanization will dictate future nutrition solutions (Rogers, 11/13).

Devex: Q&A: Scaling Up Nutrition head Gerda Verburg (Welsh, 11/13).

Global Health NOW: Courting Health (Myers, 11/12).

PBS NewsHour: In Liberia, survivors of Ebola and civil war now struggle with mental illness (Raskin, 11/12).

SciDev.Net: Keeping animals out of home key to improved nutrition (Owings, 11/12).

U.N. News: U.N. forum to bring ‘big space data’ benefits to disaster response in Africa (11/12).

Xinhua News: Rwanda seeks to increase contraceptive prevalence to 60 percent by 2024 (11/13).

Xinhua News: U.N. calls for eradication of polio presence in Africa (11/13).

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Editorials and Opinions

DAC Members Should Untie Development Aid To Maximize Impact Of ODA

Public Finance International: After new commitments on untying aid, now it’s time for action
Polly Meeks, senior policy and advocacy officer at Eurodad

“…Tied [official development assistance (ODA)] — ODA given on the condition that it be used to buy goods or services from companies in the donor country — puts the interests of a handful of firms in rich countries ahead of the priorities of people living in poverty. This comes at a heavy cost. … [T]ied ODA holds back the long-term development of communities in the global south, depriving crucial local supply chains of important investment, and missing the opportunity to redistribute procurement spending towards local people who are experiencing inequalities. … This is why the outcome of the [Development Assistance Committee’s (DAC)] recent negotiations is so important. At the end of October, DAC members agreed to expand the coverage of the DAC recommendation on untying beyond least-developed countries, to include other low-income countries and countries eligible to receive the most concessional financing from the World Bank. … Until DAC members take simple steps like these, many of the costs of tying will continue to be felt by people in poverty…” (11/9).

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Opinion Piece Calls For Decriminalization Of Abortion, Evolution Of Laws As Medical Technology Develops

Rewire: Self-managed Abortion Highlights Need to Decriminalize Abortion Worldwide
Patty Skuster, senior legal adviser for technical innovation and evidence at Ipas; Kinga Jelinska, co-founder and executive director of Women Help Women; and Susan Yanow, co-founder of Women Help Women

“…Laws change slowly, and abortion laws are no exception. … Abortion pills provide a perfect example of a technology that has outpaced current legal restrictions — which may have been originally intended to promote health and safety, but now impede progress. … The practice of self-managing an abortion challenges the classic legal definitions of ‘provider’ and creates new possibilities for expanding access to safe abortion care. Current laws keeping health professionals as the only legal providers of care, thus criminalizing self-management, do not guarantee safe abortions but stand in the way of it. Lawmakers and health systems must recognize the realities of those engaging in user-initiated care practices and/or providing care outside of the traditional health system channels and find ways to support this practice. It is time to take abortion out of the criminal codes in every country. … It is time to decriminalize abortion” (11/12).

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Providing Access To Proper Sanitation Facilities Vital To Addressing Cholera In Northeast Nigeria

Inter Press Service: Northeast Nigeria: Urgent Need to Combat Deadly Cholera Outbreaks
Janet Cherono, program manager at the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Maiduguri

“The number of people who have been affected by cholera in northeast Nigeria has increased to 10,000. The disease is spreading quickly in congested displacement camps with limited access to proper sanitation facilities. One of the major causes of the outbreak is the congestion in the camps that makes it difficult to provide adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene services. … NRC is calling on the local governments in Nigeria’s northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe to end the cycle of yearly cholera outbreaks. If more land is not urgently provided for camp decongestion and construction of health and sanitation facilities, Nigeria is steering towards yet another cholera outbreak in 2019. … We are calling on the authorities to provide more space in camps and host communities for the construction of new water and sanitation facilities, and for the international community to provide the necessary funding. Only this way can we prevent new cholera outbreaks…” (11/12).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

FP2020 Releases Partnership's Annual Report

FP2020: Catalyzing Collaboration 2017-2018
FP2020 released the partnership’s annual report, Catalyzing Collaboration 2017-2018, which details progress toward the goal of enabling 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020. The report highlights the partnership’s collaborative approach toward its goals and notes, “Now we’re taking that model to the next level. We’re working closely with other sectors to identify overlapping goals and align our energies, leveraging the benefits that emerge when we pool our strengths” (November 2018).

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Millions Of Adolescents Have Unmet Need For Modern Contraception, New Guttmacher Data Show

Guttmacher Institute: In Developing Regions, Greater Investment Is Needed to Help Adolescents Prevent Unintended Pregnancy
“Ensuring that adolescent women are able to choose whether and when to have children is crucial to their sexual and reproductive health, yet new data published [last week] by the Guttmacher Institute show that contraceptive services in developing regions fall short of meeting adolescents’ needs. The new data, published in a series of fact sheets, indicate that as of 2017, an estimated 36 million young women aged 15-19 in developing regions are married or sexually active and want to avoid becoming pregnant in the next two years. Yet the majority of this group — 20 million adolescents — are not using a modern contraceptive method and thus have an unmet need for modern contraception…” (11/9).

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Special Youth Issue of PSI's Impact Magazine Available Online

PSI: Impact Magazine No. 24
“While the global health community focuses on the demographic dividend, we at Impact magazine decided it was time to stop speaking about young people and instead hear directly from them. This issue of Impact magazine, jointly produced by PSI and the [International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP)] organizing committee, sees a youth takeover with no fewer than 10 youth editors from around the world, breathing fresh energy into the magazine and exemplifying the magic young people can bring when adults make room for them to take the lead…” (November 2018).

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11M Children Globally Could Die From Pneumonia By 2030, Johns Hopkins, Save The Children Analysis Predicts

Save the Children: Pneumonia to Kill Nearly 11 Million Children by 2030
“Pneumonia is on course to kill nearly 11 million children by 2030, new analysis conducted by Johns Hopkins University and Save the Children reveals. The in-depth modelling, released on World Pneumonia Day, also shows that more than four million of these deaths — more than a third — could be easily averted with concerted action to improve rates of vaccination, treatment, and nutrition. Without action, the aid organization’s forecasts show Nigeria, India, Pakistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are likely to bear the highest burden of deaths…” (11/12).

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