KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Efforts To 'End AIDS' By 2030 Off Track, International Conference Hears

Science: A campaign to end AIDS by 2030 is faltering worldwide
“The ambitious campaign to ‘end AIDS’ by 2030 is badly off track, officials said at the International AIDS Conference [in Amsterdam] last week. … [M]any countries, for a host of reasons, can’t or won’t mount aggressive responses. … The news is especially poignant given that other studies presented at the meeting underscored the power of testing and treating entire communities to dramatically slow HIV’s spread. The ‘incredible successes’ in a few countries ‘really show you what can be done with resources, focus, and partnership,’ said Chris Beyrer, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland…” (Cohen, 7/31).

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New Public-Private Partnership Aims To Increase Access To HIV, Viral Load Tests

NPR: Price Of HIV Test Falls, Raising Hopes In Global AIDS Fight
“…The Clinton Health Access Initiative, along with several other development agencies, has brokered an agreement to make routine HIV tests more accessible. They’re aiming to make HIV viral load tests available for $12 a piece, slashing the price in some markets by more than 50 percent. … Under this new deal, a private diagnostic company called Hologic instead will provide all the equipment and supplies needed to run these tests and get paid for each sample that’s analyzed. The hope is that this model will make viral load testing far more common in countries with some of the highest HIV rates in the world…” (Beaubien, 7/31).

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U.S. President Trump To Nominate Meteorologist As White House Science Adviser

Nature: The wait is over: Trump taps meteorologist as White House science adviser
“U.S. President Donald Trump will nominate meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier as his government’s top scientist. If confirmed by the Senate, Droegemeier would lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Trump, who took office 19 months ago, has gone longer without a top science adviser than any first-term president since at least 1976…” (Reardon/Witze, 7/31).

Additional coverage of this story is available from HuffPost, Science, and Washington Post.

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News Outlets Continue To Cover U.N. Report On Importance Of Early Breastfeeding For Newborns

Al Jazeera: UNICEF: 78 million newborns at risk when breastfeeding is delayed
“An estimated 78 million newborns have a higher risk of death each year from not drinking their mother’s milk within the first hours of being born, according to the United Nations…” (7/31).

Quartz: The simple post-birth step that dramatically increases babies’ chances of survival
“…The reasons can often be traced to outdated practices in hospitals or health facilities, as well as cultural factors in certain countries. Some hospitals give newborns infant formula instead of breast milk, for example, while other health workers separate mothers from their babies immediately after birth…” (Timsit, 7/31).

Washington Times: Breastfeeding within hour of birth vital for newborns
“…Breast milk is essential because it gives babies colostrum, an antibody-rich nutrient, and provides critical first contact with the mother, WHO said. The report follows news this month that the United States had tried to block a resolution at the World Health Assembly that supported breastfeeding over formula…” (Kelly, 7/31).

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Yemen Facing New Cholera Outbreak In Port City Of Hodeida, UNICEF Warns

Associated Press: U.N. agency warns of another cholera outbreak in Yemen
“The U.N. children’s agency is warning of another cholera outbreak in war-torn Yemen after airstrikes hit water facilities and other civilian infrastructure in the port city of Hodeida…” (8/1).

Xinhua News: UNICEF data show over 2,300 cholera-associated deaths across Yemen in over 13 months
“…According to the recent data released by UNICEF, there are over 2,300 cholera-associated deaths across Yemen in over 13 months amid ongoing conflict in the impoverished country…” (8/1).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Could we deliver aid before a disaster strikes? (Bollag, 8/1).

Devex: Q&A: Moving money around in HIV care (8/1).

The Guardian: Nine-year-old child bride reportedly killed by husband in Afghanistan (Beaumont, 7/31).

The Guardian: Dengue fever outbreak halted by release of special mosquitoes (Boseley, 8/1).

Newsweek: Scientists May Have Figured Out How to Use Genetically Modified Rice to Prevent HIV (Interrante, 7/31).

Reuters: U.N. struggling to deliver food aid in South Sudan as rains cut off vast areas (Dumo/Obulutsa, 7/30).

SciDev.Net: Cheap drugs not enough to fight hepatitis C in Asia (Vesper, 7/31).

Xinhua News: Saudi vows to ensure epidemic-free Hajj season (7/31).

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Editorials and Opinions

International Community Must Support National-Level Implementation Of FCTC To Address Tobacco-Related Cancer

Devex: Opinion: Action to tackle tobacco in LMICs a moral and strategic imperative
Laura Hucks, senior program manager with Cancer Research U.K.’s international tobacco control program

“…The apathy toward [non-communicable diseases (NCDs)] in [low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)] is not acceptable, and there is an urgent need for investment in prevention and control. … Not all cancers are preventable, but around four in 10 are, and there are clear actions we can take. Our starting point is tobacco — responsible for 22 percent of cancer deaths globally. … [S]hifts at the national level are critical. But we also need to see a shift in the wider international development narrative, because we know that — for good or for ill — it is this narrative that influences spending priorities in both developed and developing countries. Implementation of the [the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)] is one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent the growing cancer burden. Even so, it still requires some resources. … It is high time we came together and rallied around the tobacco control strategy — only a concerted effort will begin to stem the tide” (8/1).

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WHO Plays Central Role In Shaping R&D Agenda For Antimicrobial Resistance

The Lancet: The drugs don’t work: WHO’s role in advancing new antibiotics
Peter Beyer, senior adviser in the Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products at the WHO, and colleagues

“…With its research and development blueprint for action to prevent epidemics, WHO has set out how to identify priority pathogens, develop global roadmaps on research priorities, and support national research capacities. … WHO has an indispensable role in research and development in antimicrobial resistance where there is a compelling unmet public health need for new products. [WHO’s activities to shape the research and development agenda for antimicrobial resistance] will form part of the future Global Development and Stewardship Framework to combat antimicrobial resistance that WHO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) are developing in line with the mandate provided by the U.N. High-Level Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance. This work will also inform work of the Ad-Hoc Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance which will report back to the U.N. General Assembly in 2019 on how to ensure sustained effective global action to address antimicrobial resistance” (7/28).

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Accelerating Efforts To Address Climate Change Vital To Global Health

PLOS Medicine: Climate change and health: Moving from theory to practice
Jonathan A. Patz, director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Washington-Madison and professor and John P. Holton chair in health and the environment with appointments in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Population Health Sciences; and Madeleine C. Thomson, senior research scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, senior research scholar at the Mailman School of Public Health Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and director at the WHO Collaborating Centre on Early Warning Systems for Malaria and other Climate Sensitive Diseases

“…Risks from climate change are now mainstream in the health discourse. … [M]ultiple lines of evidence and research have shown climate change to be a threat to global health. At the same time, actions targeting the cause of climate change (reducing [greenhouse gas (GHG)] emissions) offer large health benefits, especially in the area of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The challenge is now to bring interventions to scale — practical action requires an informed health workforce, an engaged public, [a Health in all Policies (HiAP)] approach involving many related sectors, new resources and new technologies, and financing equal to the task at hand. … [T]he pace must be rapidly accelerated to assure the future health and well-being of populations across the globe, prioritizing the most vulnerable communities not only in high-income countries but also in low- and middle-income countries. To achieve this acceleration, tailored resources that can be used in teaching climate change and health must be developed and integrated into the core curricula of public health physicians, nurses, and other health workers as a priority” (7/31).

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Scientists Should Build Partnerships With Communities, Mobilize Political Support To Address Climate Change

Foreign Affairs: Climate Extremes and Global Health
Veerabhadran Ramanathan, professor of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego and council member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and colleagues

“…[T]oday there is an opportunity to shift the politics around climate change because scientists can now make a strong case that no one is exempt from the extreme and immediate risks posed by a warming world. … New research presents an opportunity for scientists to make the case for deep emissions cuts in a manner that is both politically persuasive and grounded in robust science. … To communicate these new findings, scientists … need to think about how they influence society. In particular, they should build new partnerships with groups that shape how societies frame justice and morality, including religious institutions. … Seeking alliance with faith leaders, health care providers, and other community leaders should be an integral part of the strategy on climate change. … It’s too late to quickly stop the consequences of the gases that are already building up. … The silver lining in all of this, if there is one, is that a recognition of the nasty and brutish new normal may yet mobilize the political support needed to make a dent in global emissions” (7/31).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Highlights Sessions, Presentations, Protest At AIDS 2018

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: AIDS 2018: Harm reduction, human rights, meaningful involvement of most affected get focus, raise questions of commitment
Reporting from last week’s 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer at “Science Speaks,” highlights AIDS 2018 events related to the “largely untapped resources of harm reduction, human rights, and on the meaningful inclusion of those most affected by the [HIV] pandemic” (7/31).

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U.N. Dispatch Discusses Findings From U.N. Report On Early Initiation Of Breastfeeding

U.N. Dispatch: U.N. Releases Alarming Data on Lack of Breastfeeding Worldwide
Joanne Lu, freelance journalist, discusses findings from a joint report released by the WHO and UNICEF on early initiation of breastfeeding. Lu notes that “inadequate quality of care to mothers and newborns, an increase in elective caesarean sections (‘C-sections’), and feeding newborns food or drinks” are reasons why “millions of newborns miss out on the benefits of early breastfeeding” (7/31).

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New Ebola Findings Highlight Opportunity To Improve Evidence, Research On Pregnant Women, CGD Policy Fellow Says

Center for Global Development: Time to Deliver: New Ebola Findings Highlight the Need to Improve Evidence and Interventions for Pregnant Women
Carleigh Krubiner, global health policy fellow at CGD and project director and co-principal investigator for the Pregnancy Research Ethics for Vaccines, Epidemics, and New Technologies (PREVENT) Project, discusses a recent report in The Lancet Infectious Diseases describing a female Ebola survivor who likely transmitted the virus to her family members one year post-recovery, noting this report raises questions about “how pregnancy may impact the presentation of Ebola virus disease (EVD), not just for women in the near term but across multiple pregnancies, and potentially as the source of new outbreaks.” Krubiner writes, “As the pace of research and development accelerates and investments are being made to develop vaccines and therapies for a range of dangerous pathogens — many of which have severe presentations in pregnancy — there is an opportunity, now, to forge a path for more inclusive preparedness, R&D, and response that will ensure pregnant women and their offspring fairly benefit from investments and scientific advancements in the fight against emerging infectious diseases” (7/31).

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ONE Youth Ambassador Discusses Highlights From 2018 European Development Days Conference

ONE Campaign: CEO of the World Bank says: “Yes, we can rid the world of poverty and sexism.”
Katerina Lovtchinova, ONE Belgium youth ambassador, discusses highlights from the 2018 European Development Days conference, including remarks made by Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank, on ONE’s commitment to gender equality (8/1).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Newsletter Focuses On Global Health R&D

USAID’s “Global Health News”: Global Health Research and Development
USAID’s July 2018 newsletter focuses on global health research and development. “Research, introduction, and scale-up of proven solutions are critical components of USAID’s work to overcome some of the world’s most challenging health and development problems. As a leader in the application of science and technology to achieve development objectives, the agency recognizes that a strong foundation in research is vital. … Through partnerships with our field missions, countries we work in, and the private sector, the Bureau for Global Health’s R&D agenda includes implementing high-impact solutions to prevent child and maternal deaths and control HIV and other infectious diseases…” (July 2018).

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FDA Commissioner Releases Statement On Agency's New Efforts To Expand Antimicrobial Stewardship

FDA: Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on FDA’s new efforts to advance antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary settings
“…[I]t’s critical that we implement good antimicrobial stewardship practices in human health care and veterinary settings. … [T]he FDA will soon implement a new, five-year blueprint for how the FDA plans to build on its current programs to advance antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary settings. We’ll expand on the FDA’s existing actions, and launch some new programs. Our aim is to reduce overuse of antimicrobial drugs and combat the rising threat of resistance…” (7/31).

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New Study Suggests Hepatitis B Vaccine Program Effective In Preventing Chronic Infection Among Children In Bangladesh

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Hepatitis B vaccines for children found effective in Bangladesh
“A new study suggests that the hepatitis B vaccine program in Bangladesh is highly effective in preventing chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among children. … On this World Hepatitis Day, the findings provide evidence that Bangladesh has achieved the Southeast Asia regional hepatitis B control target of [less than or equal to one percent] prevalence of chronic HBV infection among children aged five years by 2020. The findings also add momentum to the WHO’s aim of eliminating hepatitis B by 2030…” (7/31).

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