KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines Facebook Data Scandal, Implications For Global 'Data For Good' Efforts

Devex: What the Facebook scandal means for ‘data for good’
“As Facebook responds to a public relations nightmare — the fallout from news that a political consulting firm violated its rules for third party apps — organizations that have worked with the social media giant to use its data for good are wondering what the implications may be for their partnerships. … As Facebook works to make changes internally, the question is not only what the impact will be on its data for good partnerships, but also whether this will drive a more serious conversation on responsible data sharing between the private and public sector…” (Cheney, 4/6).

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Increased Proportion Of U.K. Development Assistance Funneled Through Non-DFID Sources Raises Concern Among Some Aid Groups

Devex: U.K. aid figures spark renewed alarm over cross-government spending
“The United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics revealed Thursday a 9.2 percent increase in aid spent outside the Department for International Development in 2017, despite growing concerns about its cross-government strategy. The provisional U.K. aid statistics show that 72.5 percent of the U.K.’s official development assistance went through DFID, down from 73.8 percent in 2016. The rest of the funding went through other government departments, cross-government funds, and nondepartmental sources. … Aid groups in the U.K. expressed concern about the increase in cross-government aid spending, warning that non-DFID spending may be infringing on its other pledges, namely those around aid transparency and ensuring that all ODA contributes to poverty reduction…” (Anders, 4/6).

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Private Sector Involvement Critical To Achieving SDGs, U.N. Forum Hears

U.N. News: Business leaders at U.N. forum challenged to invest in a more sustainable future for all
“Three years into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations continues brokering new partnerships between governments, the private sector, and civil society to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), participants told a forum at U.N. Headquarters on Wednesday…” (4/4).

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U.N. Enhances Inspections Of Humanitarian Aid Ships Arriving In Yemen To Speed Distribution, Prevent Smuggling Of Military Items

Reuters: U.N. Quietly Steps up Inspection of Aid Ships to Yemen
“The United Nations is beefing up its inspections of ships bringing humanitarian aid to Yemen to ensure that no military items are being smuggled and to speed delivery of desperately needed relief supplies, U.N. and Saudi officials say…” (Nebehay, 4/5).

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International Team Of Experts Develops Set Of Recommendations For Actions To Prevent, Stem Antimicrobial Resistance

Homeland Preparedness News: International infection experts lay out antimicrobial stewardship programs to address antimicrobial resistance
“Focused on the growing threat of antimicrobial drug resistance among their targets, infection specialists have joined researchers from India and France in an antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) program meant to limit use of antimicrobial drug therapies in hospitals…” (Galford, 4/5).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: RCT evaluation points to value of targeting new fathers for gender equality (Edwards, 4/6).

Global Atlanta: The Carter Center Central to Liberia’s Mental Health Initiatives (Bolton, 4/5).

The Lancet: Progress in influenza surveillance in Africa (Green, 4/7).

The Lancet: Violence rife in Mexico, affecting medical community (Agren, 4/7).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Cholera kills 40 Congolese in overcrowded Uganda refugee camps (Peyton, 4/5).

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Editorials and Opinions

BARDA Committed To Developing, Stockpiling Vaccines, Therapeutics For Future Ebola, Other Filovirus Outbreaks

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Safeguarding against Ebola: Vaccines and therapeutics to be stockpiled for future outbreaks
Eric M. Espeland, chief of vaccine countermeasures at the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, and colleagues

“…The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is mandated to support advanced research and development (R&D) of medical countermeasures for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) agents — including Ebola … There are a number of challenges that must be overcome to ensure adequate preparedness for future Ebola outbreaks, including completing the remaining advanced development activities necessary for regulatory approval and subsequent stockpiling of these medical countermeasures for use during a public health emergency. BARDA remains committed to making available safe and effective, FDA-approved vaccines and therapeutics for Ebola public health emergencies. Despite the advancement of the aforementioned vaccines and therapeutics against Ebola, gaps remain in our overall preparedness posture against other filoviruses. … While we acknowledge that much work remains to prepare for future filovirus outbreaks, the recently announced BARDA awards for vaccines and therapeutics against Ebola represent an important milestone in our preparedness and ongoing commitment to counter this health security threat” (4/5).

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WHO 'Must Take Courageous Steps' To Achieve Founding Vision Of Health Cooperation

The Lancet: WHOse health agenda? 70 years of struggle over WHO’s mandate
Anne-Emanuelle Birn, faculty member at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto

“…WHO’s promising mandate for health cooperation, forged amid a short-lived post-war optimism, mapped out a world of possibilities. Yet its realization has been limited across distinct eras by complex geopolitical, economic, and institutional pressures … WHO retains its potential as a democratic and publicly accountable organization serving collective needs equitably and sustainably, but must take courageous steps to achieve this vision. … WHO’s 70th jubilee comes at a critical juncture. Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general since 2017, may either intensify WHO’s corporate embrace or stand in solidarity with the people’s health. Enabling WHO to heed its constitutional mandate would require: accountable governance and democratic priority-setting by member countries, thereby resisting undue power of private actors; adequate member dues; replacement of ‘multistakeholder’ profit-oriented partnerships with public-public (intersectoral) ones; decision making and regulation predicated on social need, human rights, and sound science; and success defined in terms of health equity, not tallying disease-control activities. Here’s hoping that WHO’s coming decades bring social justice oriented health for all people” (4/7).

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Polio Eradication Transition Presents Questions For WHO, Funding Challenges

The Lancet: Polio transition: overlooked challenges
Oliver Razum, professor at Bielefeld University School of Public Health, and Maike Voss, researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs

“…The transition phase of polio eradication brings other challenges that are less obvious but equally demanding. … Planning for the so-called polio transition needs to move beyond measures to avoid reintroduction of the virus. Strategies and funding mechanisms need to be developed to maintain WHO’s experienced employee basis in Africa and the east Mediterranean and to maintain the routine immunization services and disease surveillance systems that were co-funded by the polio eradication program. Here, two fundamental questions arise: is it a responsibility of WHO to keep routine national health systems functioning? Accepting this responsibility would be a paradigm shift. If so, should this responsibility be restricted only to countries that recently received polio funding, or to all countries with weak health systems? These two questions must be answered urgently; without clear answers, WHO might be forced to begin a program to eradicate another pathogen, not because of a well considered and evidence-based decision but to raise the funds needed to keep essential elements of weak health systems operating” (4/7).

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Venezuela Government Should Take Immediate Steps To Address Country's Health System Crisis

The Lancet: The collapse of the Venezuelan health system
Editorial Board

“…Venezuela’s health crisis is worse than anticipated. … Venezuela’s government has allowed the country’s infrastructure to crumble, with fatal consequences for ordinary Venezuelans. …[T]he Encuesta Nacional de Hospitales 2018 survey shows a shocking decline in health care performance and a failure of the system. Aware of this humanitarian crisis, as declared by the political opposition in 2017, worldwide humanitarian aid has been offered by multiple countries and the U.N. Yet Venezuela’s government has refused this humanitarian aid, denying the existence of a crisis. It is time to end the abuse of power by the Venezuelan government, and take immediate steps to address the heavy toll on the well-being of Venezuelans” (4/7).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Post Summarizes Takeaways From MFAN, Lugar Center Event Examining U.S. Foreign Assistance Evaluation

Social Impact: Optimism from MCC, USAID, & State on Evaluation & Learning
Jennifer Anderson, Social Impact’s director of communications, summarizes the main takeaways from a recent event hosted by the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) and the Lugar Center, which highlighted a recent MFAN and Lugar Center report on foreign assistance evaluation and provided commentary from U.S. agency representatives. Anderson writes, “Three key takeaways from the discussion stood out. 1) Real learning from evaluations is taking place. 2) There is a commitment to do more in the future. 3) The agencies have valuable advice to other agencies at the early stages of developing their evaluation policies…” (4/4).

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FHI 360 Podcast Discusses Evolving U.S. Role In Humanitarian Response With Andrew Natsios

FHI 360’s “A Deeper Look Podcast”: The evolution of the U.S. role in crisis response
In this podcast episode, Patrick Fine, chief executive officer at FHI 360, speaks with Andrew Natsios, executive professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Services and director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University, about the evolving U.S. role in the global humanitarian response. Fine writes, “Professor Natsios shares some of the concerning trends he sees in the United States today and outlines how these trends impact the U.S. role abroad. We also discuss U.S. leadership in crisis response, the connection between humanitarian response and U.S. foreign policy, and the ways that the United States has evolved in its approach to crisis response” (4/4).

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CGD To Highlight 3 Areas To Improve Financial Efficiencies In Efforts To Reach UHC

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: More Health for The Money: How to Make UHC a Reality for Everyone, Everywhere
Amanda Glassman, chief operating officer, senior fellow, and Board secretary at CGD, discusses the importance of reaching universal health coverage (UHC) goals and notes, “Over the coming months, we at CGD will be highlighting three areas in particular that will impact efficiency and achieve more health for the same amount of money, particularly in low- and middle-income countries: 1. Adoption of an explicit, evidence-based Health Benefits Package … 2. Better data and performance verification … 3. More systematic use of health technology assessment…” (4/5).

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Blog Post Highlights How Investments In Product Development Partnerships Can Boost Progress To End Malaria

Friends of the Global Fight: Defeating Malaria: Innovative Partnerships, Innovative Treatment
True Claycombe, senior policy manager at Friends of the Global Fight, and Silvia Ferazzi, advocacy director at Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), discuss the role of product development partnerships (PDPs) in efforts to address malaria. The authors conclude, “Continued investment in partnerships like the Global Fund and PDPs like MMV will help ensure the world makes the largest impact possible in the fight against malaria” (4/5).

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World Health Day 2018 Marks WHO's 70th Anniversary

World Health Organization: WHO at 70 — working for better health for everyone, everywhere
“On 7 April, World Health Day, the World Health Organization marks its 70th anniversary. Over the past seven decades, WHO has spearheaded efforts to rid the world of killer diseases like smallpox and to fight against deadly habits like tobacco use. This year, World Health Day is dedicated to one of WHO’s founding principles: ‘The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic, or social condition’…” (4/5).

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FHWC, IntraHealth Blogs Highlight Efforts Of Health Care Workers During World Health Worker Week

Frontline Health Workers Coalition: Meeting the women who are changing their world (Barwise, 4/4).

Frontline Health Workers Coalition: Health Workers: Living at the Intersection of Health, Climate, and Global Security (Langway, 4/4).

Frontline Health Workers Coalition: The Health Heroes of Uganda (Li, 4/4).

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: Community Liaisons are Resourceful and Persistent (Bishopp, 4/6).

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: One Health Worker’s Journey from the Poverty Line to the Front Lines of Care in Rural India (Jakhmola/Kumar, 4/4)

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: A Registered Nurse’s Dispatch from Uganda (4/3).

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: A Physician’s Dispatch from KwaZulu-Natal (4/2).

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