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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

DRC Announces New Ebola Cluster With 4 Confirmed Cases In Conflict-Hit North Kivu Province

CIDRAP News: DRC confirms new Ebola cluster days after outbreak declared over
“[Wednesday] the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) said four people in the Eastern part of the country tested positive for Ebola virus, one week after the country declared an 11-week outbreak in the Western region over. The DRC said there was no evidence to suggest the new outbreak was connected to the previous event, which resulted in 54 confirmed illnesses, 33 of them fatal…” (Soucheray, 8/1).

The Hill: Ebola hits Congo days after last outbreak ended
“…The Health Ministry said Wednesday that local officials in North Kivu Province had sounded warnings over the weekend when they discovered 26 cases of what appeared to be a hemorrhagic fever. Health officials flew six blood samples to the capital of Kinshasa, where four tested positive for the Ebola virus…” (Wilson, 8/1).

New York Times: Deadly Ebola Strikes Anew, a Week After Previous Outbreak Was Extinguished
“…The latest outbreak was the 10th time that Ebola, a contagious affliction that can quickly spread out of control, has menaced the Democratic Republic of Congo, a sprawling Central African country about twice the size of Texas. The virus, which causes fevers and fatal hemorrhaging, first appeared in the country in 1976…” (Gladstone et al., 8/1).

Reuters: Congo declares new Ebola outbreak in eastern province
“…A team of 12 experts from Congo’s health ministry will arrive in Beni on Thursday to set up a mobile lab, the ministry said. The World Health Organization has started moving staff and supplies to the area, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said…” (Mahamba et al., 8/1).

STAT: New Ebola outbreak declared in DRC a week after earlier one declared over
“… ‘This new cluster is occurring in an environment which is very different from where we were operating in the northwest,’ Dr. Peter Salama, deputy director general for emergency preparedness and response at the World Health Organization, said in a statement. ‘This is an active conflict zone. The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population’…” (Branswell, 8/1).

U.N. News: New cluster of Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — World Health Organization
“…North Kivu hosts over one million displaced people. The province shares borders with Rwanda and Uganda with a great deal of cross-border movement due to the trade activities, which could increase the risk of possible spread of the virus. WHO said it will ‘continue to work with neighboring countries to ensure health authorities are alerted and prepared to respond'” (8/1).

Additional coverage of this story is available from Agence France-Presse, Al Jazeera, Associated Press, CNN, HuffPost, and NBC News.

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Trump Administration's Withholding Of Palestinian Aid Impacting Humanitarian Food, Health Programs In Gaza, Aid Groups Say

NPR: U.S. Palestinian Aid Cuts Hit Programs Providing Food And Health For Gaza’s Poorest
“The United States has long boasted of giving more money to help the Palestinian people in recent decades, in development and humanitarian aid, than any other country has. But not this year. The Trump administration is withholding millions of dollars in aid for the Palestinians, even money that seeks to address a deepening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Food vouchers for needy families. Doctors sent to Gaza to perform complex surgeries. Money has run out for these projects and more, say U.S.-funded aid groups working in Gaza…” (Estrin, 8/1).

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News Outlets Report On Debate Over Calls To Move AIDS 2020 Conference Out Of U.S.

MedPage Today: Debate Continues Over 2020 AIDS Meeting in Bay Area
“The 2020 International AIDS Conference (IAC) in the Bay Area has already ignited a firestorm of controversy, with calls from U.S.-based advocacy groups to move the meeting to a different country entirely. But this isn’t the first time there have been calls for a boycott of an AIDS meeting in the U.S. In this exclusive MedPage Today video, Paul Volberding, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, and past president of the International AIDS Society, recalls the fallout of the 1990 IAC meeting in San Francisco. Volberding’s UCSF colleagues then weigh in on the pros and cons of holding the 2020 meeting in the Bay Area…” (Walker, 7/31).

Washington Blade: Trump policies prompt calls to move global AIDS conference out of U.S.
“…[M]ore than 200 HIV/AIDS service organizations and advocacy groups … have signed an open letter to the International AIDS Society and the committee that is organizing the conference. The letter specifically criticizes the Trump administration’s policies towards people with HIV/AIDS, the LGBTI community, immigrants, and other marginalized groups. It also notes the ‘prohibitively expensive’ registration fees that are as high as $1,200, the cost of travel, and the lack of affordable accommodations in the Bay Area make the conference ‘… unaffordable and inaccessible for the vast majority of U.S. advocates who most need to attend’…” (Lavers, 8/1).

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BRIGHT Magazine Examines Pay, Support Gaps Between Local, International NGO Staff

BRIGHT Magazine: The Shocking Inequity In Foreign Aid Nobody Talks About
“…On average, national staff are paid four times less than their expat counterparts, despite similar levels of experience and education. A growing number of studies document how local aid workers are more at risk than their international counterparts. A 2017 UNOCHA study found that international staff receive greater psychosocial support, training, and security provisions than their national counterparts. … Perhaps unsurprisingly, the increased exposure to risk, paired with poorer pay, has resulted in serious mental health problems for many local aid workers…” (Pauletto, 8/1).

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NGOs, U.N. Work To Incorporate Breastfeeding Practices Into Emergency Response Plans

Devex: Breast is best even in emergency situations, humanitarian orgs say
“…Save the Children began ‘investing heavily’ in breastfeeding during emergency responses following the Haiti earthquake, [Sarah Butler, director of emergency nutrition at Save the Children USA,] said, and now breastfeeding is incorporated into every response plan. … UNICEF is the global cluster lead for nutrition in emergency situations, and along with the Emergency Nutrition Network, co-led an update to the operational guidance of Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies, which was first developed by the Interagency Working Group on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies in 2001. After updates in 2006 and 2007, the most recent version was released in October 2017…” (Welsh, 8/1).

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Increased Global Temperatures To Cause 1.5M More Deaths Annually By 2099, Study Predicts

Wall Street Journal: Adding Up the Cost of Climate Change in Lost Lives
“Scorching heat waves have gripped the world in recent weeks from the Pacific Northwest to Northern Europe and, most tragically, Japan, where more than 100 mostly elderly people have died. … [A]n exhaustive new study focusing only on heat-related damage reaches a sobering conclusion: by the year 2099, even with economic growth and adaptation, 1.5 million more people will die each year around the world because of increased heat. By comparison, 1.25 million people died in 2013 in all traffic accidents worldwide. … Excessive heat can lead to brain and kidney damage and cardiovascular stress, especially for those over 64, which is why Japan’s recent experience is relevant. Japan is an aging society and the rest of the world will get steadily older over the coming century…” (Ip, 8/1).

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Rifampin Treatment For Latent TB Shorter, Safer Than Isoniazid, Studies In Adults, Children Show

The Guardian: New tuberculosis treatment could help tackle global epidemic
“A new shorter and safer drug regime for latent tuberculosis could help curb the global epidemic by increasing the numbers successfully treated and reducing the pool of infection, researchers believe. Two groundbreaking studies, one in adults and the other in children, have trialled a less toxic drug than the one in current use worldwide for latent TB and cut the treatment time from nine months to four…” (Boseley, 8/1).

STAT: ‘It’s very gratifying’: Pair of studies raise hopes for safer treatment of latent tuberculosis
“…The research was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. [The study among adults] was led by Dr. Dick Menzies, a respirologist and professor of medicine at Montreal’s McGill University, who has been studying rifampin since 2001. … Menzies said for years doctors knew rifampin — which is also used to treat active tuberculosis — was safer to use [than isoniazid] when trying to clear latent disease. … Menzies said the study showed virtually everything the scientists hoped it would. ‘It was safer. It was completed better. And the incidence of active TB was the same or even slightly lower. We honestly couldn’t ask for better,’ he told STAT…” (Branswell, 8/1).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: At AIDS 2018, a strong push for HIV self-testing. But is everyone on board? (Ravelo, 8/2).

Devex: Q&A: How mobile technology can help achieve the SDGs (Roby, 8/2).

Forbes: Icons of Impact: A Global Surgeon Who Invests In Impact (Doherty, 8/1).

The Guardian: Professor forced into hiding by death threats over Brazil abortion hearing (Phillips, 8/2).

IRIN: In Rohingya camps, traditional healers fill a gap in helping refugees overcome trauma (Chen, 7/30).

IRIN: As Iraq slips from the headlines, humanitarians worry that aid donors are beginning to lose interest (Slemrod, 8/2).

NBC News: Drug-resistant superbugs may have just learned a new trick (Fox, 8/1).

NPR: ‘Uber For Poop’ Aims To Break Up Senegal’s Toilet Cartel (Smith, 7/27).

Reuters: Ugandan hospitals hit by shortages of drugs, other supplies (Biryabarema, 8/1).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Amal Clooney Scholarship Winner Aims to Fight Child Marriage and Rape (Kanso, 7/31).

U.N. News: Yemen: Attacks on water facilities, civilian infrastructure, breach ‘basic laws of war’ says UNICEF (8/1).

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Editorials and Opinions

Continued Investment In Childhood Vaccinations, Health Infrastructures Critical To Reducing Vaccine-Preventable Disease

Scientific American: Winning the Infectious Disease Marathon
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…Each year the number of children in need of vaccination increases and is likely to continue to do so for some years. This means that even to just maintain a steady level of childhood immunization we need to reach more children each year … There is, however, too much focus on mass immunization campaigns, which are often expensive, take health workers away from routine services, and often come in response to outbreaks. This detracts from where the real focus should be, strengthening routine immunization services and building strong primary health care systems. So, at a point when we could expect to see fewer children missing out in non-fragile than in fragile states, instead we are finding that we are not even keeping up with population increases. We have to get this under control again. This will require [a] new level of commitment from countries towards strengthening primary health care systems and will need continued investment in vaccine supply chains and real-time data systems. As the number of children vaccinated increases, and as we introduce new vaccines to broaden the level of protection against other diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea as well as liver and cervical cancer, this will inevitably place greater pressure on existing infrastructure, such as transport and fridge capacity. … With the continued support of WHO, UNICEF, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, developing countries can continue to progress…” (8/1).

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Well-Planned Rollout Can Help Ensure Successful Uptake Of Vaccine Programs

Global Health NOW: Safeguard a Vaccine Program with a Well-Planned Rollout
Marian W. Wentworth, president and CEO of Management Sciences for Health

“…[I]ntroducing a vaccine into a country is full of pitfalls, from supply chain failures to public opinion backlash that can permanently derail a rollout. … A well-planned and executed rollout can help countries navigate this potentially perilous process and ensure the success of a vaccine’s uptake. … Based on my experience, here’s what needs to happen. First, good laws and policies help ensure that enough people get a vaccine to make it effective. … Second, political and medical leaders must engage the people that the vaccine is intended for. … Third, strong health systems are needed to ensure access to the new vaccine and to make sure it is safe, effective, and supported by disease detection and vaccine distribution. … Fourth, committed leadership is essential for successful rollouts. … Fifth, political leaders and health care providers need common, consistent messaging … All of these efforts take coordination and engaged leadership with an unwavering vision and a commitment to doing the right thing. Governments and NGOs … are ready to support leaders with management guidelines and the resources needed to create and sustain health systems and, in turn, provide lifesaving vaccines. … Government and health leaders, over to you. Please prepare well and stand tall to ensure that lifesaving vaccines reach the people who need them…” (7/31).

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'New Kind Of Politics' Required To Address Threat Of Climate Change

Project Syndicate: We Are All Climate Refugees Now
Jeffrey D. Sachs, professor of sustainable development and health policy and management at Columbia University, director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development, and director of the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network

“…We are all climate refugees now and must chart a path to safety. … So why does humanity keep plunging dumbly ahead, toward certain tragedy? The main reason is that our political institutions and giant corporations willfully ignore the rising dangers and damage [of climate change]. … We need a new kind of politics that starts with a clear global goal: environmental safety for the planet’s people, by fulfilling the Paris climate agreement, protecting biodiversity, and cutting pollution, which kills millions each year. The new politics will listen to scientific and technological experts, not self-interested business leaders and narcissistic politicians. … Such a politics is possible. … Yet, as long as a narrow and ignorant elite condemn Americans and the rest of humanity to wander aimlessly in the political desert, the more likely it is that we will all end up in a wasteland from which there will be no escape” (8/2).

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Sufficient Funding, Political Will Needed To End Global TB

The Hill: We have the technology to end tuberculosis, but do we have the will?
Faustine Wabwire, senior policy and advocacy manager at Management Sciences for Health

“…Although we have made much progress [against TB], gains are uneven: half of all new infections occur in just a handful of countries. Drug-resistant TB is a major and growing threat … Further, The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates a … gap between current funding and what’s needed to carry out necessary interventions. … This year, 2018, presents a unique opportunity to recommit to end TB. On September 26, heads of state, civil society, and business leaders will gather in New York at the United Nations General Assembly for the first-ever U.N. High-Level Meeting on TB. This meeting should result in an ambitious political declaration that will reinforce action and investments to end TB. As Congress considers the fiscal 2019 State and Foreign Operations appropriations, we urge Congress to support $302 million for the USAID TB program, as approved by the House Appropriations Committee. Sufficient funding, backed by leadership and effective interventions, may finally give us an edge over TB, and put countries on a path toward sustainability, shared prosperity, and self-reliance” (8/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Friends Of The Global Fight Highlights Key Issues From AIDS 2018

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: A look back at AIDS 2018
John McMannis, program research and impact manager at Friends of the Global Fight, discusses key issues from the 2018 International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, including financing efforts; a focus on youth, women, and girls; and a call for better TB/HIV integration (8/1).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 339 of the ‘Global Fund Observer.’ The newsletter includes articles on various topics, including an overview of the 2018 International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam; Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands’ call for implementing countries and the private sector to increase their contributions to the HIV response; and a joint report from the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS on donor government funding for HIV (8/1).

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CSIS Releases August 2018 Issue Of Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter: August 2018
In the August 2018 CSIS Global Health Policy Center Newsletter, J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, highlights publications, podcasts, and past and upcoming events hosted by CSIS. The newsletter includes links to an upcoming event co-hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation on the major outcomes of the 2018 International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) in Amsterdam; a digital tool that explores U.S. financial and technical support for polio eradication; and a two-part series podcast, hosted by Janet Fleischman, non-resident senior associate at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, who speaks with researcher Quarraisha Abdool Karim on the drivers of hyperepidemics of HIV in South Africa (August 2018).

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Brookings Report Examines Development Finance As Tool To Achieve SDGs

Brookings Institution: Development finance: Filling today’s funding gap
George Ingram, senior fellow for global economy and development at Brookings, and Robert A. Mosbacher, Jr., co-chair of the Consensus for Development Reform, discuss the role of development finance institutions (DFIs) and multilateral development banks (MDBs) in increasing foreign and domestic investment in low- and middle-income countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The authors write, “Ramping up the engagement of DFIs and MDBs to facilitate much more private capital investment in developing countries could result in dramatic progress towards inclusive economic growth and opportunity…” (7/31).

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August 2018 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The August 2018 WHO Bulletin features articles on various issues, including an editorial on increasing motorcycle helmet use to reduce road traffic deaths in Thailand; a research article on patient-led active tuberculosis case-finding in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and a perspective piece on global susceptibility and response to noncommunicable diseases (August 2018).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Outlines 7 Ways Agency Supports Breastfeeding Globally

USAID/Medium: 7 Ways USAID Supports Breastfeeding
Kate Consavage, nutrition communications and knowledge management adviser in USAID’s Global Health Bureau, recognizes World Breastfeeding Week and discusses ways in which USAID supports the practice globally, including “1. Teaching families the benefits of breastfeeding … 2. Partnering with governments for long-term economic growth … 3. Building strong support systems … 4. Improving breastfeeding in health facilities … 5. Crunching numbers to track progress … 6. Helping moms provide for their children even in times of crises … [and] 7. Helping [USAID’s own] staff achieve their breastfeeding goals” (8/1).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

KFF, CSIS To Host Joint Briefing To Assess Major Outcomes From AIDS 2018

Kaiser Family Foundation: August 10 Event — AIDS 2018: What Happened and What’s Next?
“At 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday, August 10, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will hold a briefing to assess the major outcomes of the 2018 International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018), held from July 23-27 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The discussion will touch on the latest scientific developments; the current funding climate for the AIDS response; and other major developments to the field emerging from the conference. In addition, panelists will look ahead toward the AIDS 2020 conference…” (7/27).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.