KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID Announces First-Round Winners In Combating Zika Grand Challenge

Science Speaks: From a human-scented mosquito trap to rapid diagnostics, USAID funds research and development against Zika
“A research center in Tanzania will develop inexpensive sandals treated to ward off mosquito bites. Investigators at Johns Hopkins will create a human-scented trap to lure mosquitoes. In Sao Paolo, Brazil, inventors will make an ‘intelligent trap’ for mosquitoes to improve Zika surveillance. A San Francisco company will build a citizen-led disease-risk mapping system. These are some of the answers to a challenge presented in April by the United States Agency for International Development inviting scientists, researchers, and inventors worldwide to come up with measures to fight the spread of Zika…” (Barton, 8/10).

Washington Post: The government asked innovators to combat Zika. Here are their ideas.
“…As USAID learned with the Ebola challenge, disease outbreaks don’t happen on an innovator’s timeline. The solutions are needed now, whether or not the technology is ready. This time around, however, the agency funded projects that are likely to come to market in the near term, as well as ideas that may not be ready until the next major health crisis. … The agency plans to announce more winners later this month. They will share $30 million in grant money…” (Overly, 8/11).

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PolitiFact Examines Bill Clinton's Statements On Hillary Clinton's Efforts To Increase Number Of People On HIV Treatment Under PEPFAR

PolitiFact: Bill Clinton: Hillary tripled AIDS treatment without spending more
“…Bill Clinton said [during his Democratic convention speech that] when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, she tripled the number of people with AIDS whose ‘lives are being saved,’ and it didn’t cost taxpayers any more money. Clinton took some liberties with the numbers. Treatment rose rapidly by about 250 percent. That’s not quite triple. But Clinton was right that those gains came without additional spending in inflation-adjusted dollars. And while Hillary Clinton can’t take full credit, outsiders said she did set the overall direction for how the program should move forward and intervened in specific ways to help it do more at a lower cost. We rate this claim Mostly True” (Greenberg, 8/10).

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The Guardian Profiles World Bank President Jim Yong Kim

The Guardian: How the World Bank’s biggest critic became its president
“…During his four years at the bank’s monumental headquarters on H Street in Washington, [World Bank President Jim Yong Kim] has reorganized the 15,000-strong workforce to reflect a shift from managing country portfolios to tackling regional and global crises. He has redirected large portions of the bank’s resources (it issued more than $61bn in loans and other forms of funding last year) toward goals that fall outside its traditional mandate of encouraging growth by financing infrastructure projects — stemming climate change, stopping Ebola, addressing the conditions driving the Syrian exodus. Yet many bank employees see Kim’s ambitions as presumptuous, even reckless, and changes undertaken to revitalize a sluggish bureaucracy have shaken it…” (Rice, 8/11).

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Nations Begin To Assess Capacity, Create Plans For Monitoring SDG Progress

Devex: What country governments need to better measure the SDGs
“Measuring progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals is a daunting task for all countries, with 230 distinct indicators to quantify. The specific challenges for low- and middle-income countries are starting to become clear as states assess their capacity, determine their needs, and create action plans. … Most countries have started by assessing what data exists and its quality. Almost all countries, including the most developed, lack at least some data needed to measure the SDG indicators…” (Saldinger, 8/10).

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Hypertension Prevalence Higher In Low-, Middle-Income Countries Than In High-Income Nations, Study Shows

Washington Post: Hypertension is now more common in poor and middle-income countries than rich ones
“Middle- and lower-income countries now have a higher rate of hypertension than high-income countries. Worldwide, the prevalence of hypertension is at a record high, according to a new study in the journal Circulation. From 2000 to 2010, the rate of hypertension in middle- and lower-income countries increased by nearly eight percentage points. For higher-income countries in that same time period, it decreased by nearly three percentage points…” (Beachum, 8/9).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Urge Congress To Reconvene, Pass Zika Funding Bill

CNBC: Hey Congress: We have the power to stop Zika, but we need your help
Judith Monroe, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation

“…There are three actions our country must undertake to beat back Zika. First, I urge our nation’s leaders to reconvene Congress and work together across the aisle to push through a funding package compromise sufficient to address the outbreak; the administration has sought $1.9 billion to fight Zika. Second, I urge the private sector to step forward with additional support. … Third, I believe it is time for our country to establish an ongoing public health disaster rapid response fund … Our public health officials at the national, state, and local levels know how to fight Zika and prevent birth defects. Now, let’s give them the tools they need to get the job done — including the funding required to end this outbreak” (8/9).

The Hill: Congress must act immediately on Zika funding bill
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)

“…[F]or a variety of reasons, not least of which is political gamesmanship in the height of election season, Republicans and Democrats in Washington have failed the fundamental task of keeping the American people safe. … I urge my congressional colleagues to recognize the seriousness of the situation in South Florida, and the heightened threat [Zika] now represents to their own communities. I am ready and willing to return to Washington immediately to fulfill my responsibility to my constituents and the nation. Congress must pass a Zika funding bill that fulfills the president’s $1.9 billion request and provides a critical infusion of much-needed resources to impacted states and communities” (8/10).

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Global Community Must Use Holistic, Integrated Approach To Achieve SDGs

The Guardian: Child marriage shows it takes a village to achieve a goal
Heather Saunders, policy and advocacy adviser at Plan International U.K.

“…[O]ur experience shows us that it’s not helpful to cherrypick certain issues, to separate human development from the environment, or good governance. Each goal and target in the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] framework cannot be isolated from the others. … Take child marriage — a form of violence against girls that means 15 million girls each year lose out on their childhood. … To end this practice by 2030, we need to recognize it is linked to a wide range of issues, including education, poverty, governance, other forms of violence against girls, and attitudes to girls’ rights. Child marriage will not end without communities and societies that support gender equality. … Girls and boys need to be healthy, educated, and politically and economically empowered with access to their rights to be active citizens, living in a safe and sustainable planet. Approaches that single out some goals over others, or act purely on the basis of value for money, risk failing to put human rights at the heart of development practice and leaving the most marginalized behind…” (8/11).

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Collaboration Among Public, Private, Non-Profit Partners Vital To Achieving SDGs

Inter Press Service: Kenya’s Health Sector Challenges Present the Ideal Setting for Creating Shared Value
Siddharth Chatterjee, UNFPA representative to Kenya, and Amit Thakker, chair of the Kenya Healthcare Federation

“…There has never been a better time for partnerships that harness the power of business to drive prosperity by tackling health challenges. … This is the approach that has brought together several public, private, and non-profit partners to reduce illness and deaths among mothers and children in six counties in Kenya. … The partnership seeks to significantly improve health outcomes in the counties, while also potentially creating shared value business opportunities, ensuring a sustained engagement that has a social as well as economic return on investment. … Shared value propositions will enable different sectors to leverage each other’s assets, connections, creativity, and expertise to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. We must continue finding new and creative ways to increase collaboration between government, the private sector, and non-profits if we hope to reach Sustainable Development Goals” (8/10).

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To Prevent Drug-Resistant HIV, World Needs To Strengthen Antiretroviral Drug Delivery Systems, Patient Adherence

The Guardian: How to combat the threat of HIV drug resistance
Steven Hong, assistant professor at Tufts University

“…Globally, HIV drug resistance is on the rise. … We must act now to help people adhere to their treatment plans, before it’s too late. … Drug resistance will rise when [antiretroviral treatment (ART)] is not delivered in a well thought-out way. That requires strong drug supply systems with zero tolerance for an interruption of ART drug supply, strong and locally appropriate counseling to promote adherence, support for patients who don’t have the resources to access care, re-engagement of patients who have stopped going to the clinics, alternative ways to deliver care such as community-based ART groups, and strong medical record systems. As we strive to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, greater attention must be focused on identifying and correcting gaps in the quality of ART service delivery. Many lives depend on it and the time to act is now. If we don’t, we may find ourselves with a new global pandemic of drug-resistant HIV and be faced with a deadlier enemy than we started with” (8/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Group Of Young Midwives From 31 Countries Publishes Declaration Of Commitment, Global Call For Action

The Lancet Global Health Blog: Young midwife leaders speak: a declaration of commitment and global call for action
“We are 32 midwives from 31 countries around the world who attended the Women Deliver 2016 meeting. … This declaration of commitment and global call for action was borne out of a series of questions put to us by the International Confederation of Midwives’ Young Midwifery Leaders program on our perceived abilities, empowerment, and challenges; what we saw as opportunities for improved access to high quality midwifery care in our communities and countries; and the challenges associated with seizing those opportunities. … We call for a unified voice and collaborative action on midwifery to ensure all women, newborns, and their families have access to the best possible quality of respectful midwifery care…” (8/10).

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Blog Post Examines Challenges Of Keeping Breastfeeding On Global Agenda

PLOS Blogs’ “Translational Global Health”: World Breastfeeding Week: Conflicts of interest in infant and young child feeding
“In the aftermath of World Breastfeeding Week, leading academics in infant nutrition from the Australian National University, Julie Smith, Libby Salmon, and Phillip Baker, examine the challenges that remain in keeping breastfeeding on the global agenda” (8/11).

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