KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO Review Committee To Examine Adherence To, Enforcement Of International Health Regulations

Agence France-Presse: WHO to study use of sanctions as part of global epidemic response
“The World Health Organization said Tuesday it will study the idea of using sanctions to punish countries that do not comply with global health regulations, following widespread failures in the response to the Ebola outbreak. The WHO has created a committee to review the fiercely criticized global reaction to the Ebola epidemic, including why so many countries seemingly disregarded the International Health Regulations (IHR) agreed a decade ago by 194 member states…” (8/25).

CIDRAP News: WHO Ebola IHR review committee outlines next steps
“…Over the course of the meeting the group divided the [International Health Regulations] review among three working groups that will address three main issues: defining IHR principles and the flow of information between the WHO and individual countries, assessing IHR core capacities for countries (i.e., epidemiology, surveillance, and lab capabilities), and IHR compliance and governance…” (Schnirring, 8/25).

POLITICO: Global health rules need teeth: Ebola panel chief
“…The French surgery professor Didier Houssin, appointed on Monday as the chair of [the] WHO review committee, said that the [IHR] law needed an enforcement mechanism. He suggested a carrot-and-stick approach. Poor countries should be given financial incentives to implement the regulations. He also floated the idea of potential sanctions, such as those existing in international regulations on nuclear issues…” (Paun, 8/26).

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Number Of People Living With Dementia Worldwide Expected To Reach 131.5M In 2050, Report Says

Washington Post: Alzheimer’s grows on global scale as world societies age
“…The World Alzheimer’s Report — which was compiled by Alzheimer’s Disease International, a U.K.-based federation of national Alzheimer’s associations — estimates that 46.8 million people worldwide have dementia. That number — which is larger than the population of Spain — will almost double every 20 years, reaching 131.5 million in 2050, the report says…” (Kunkle, 8/24).

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Syrians' Water Availability Threatened, Sometimes Interrupted Deliberately, U.N. Report Says

New York Times: Water Is Called Casualty of Syrian War
“Water availability in Syria has been halved since the conflict there began nearly four and a half years ago, and millions of people around the country endure ‘long and sometimes deliberate interruptions to their water supplies,’ the United Nations said Tuesday [in a report]…” (Gladstone, 8/25).

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Climate Change Contributing To Political Instability, Refugee Crises, Expert Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Global insecurity and refugee crisis linked to climate change — expert
“Climate change is ‘adding fuel to the fire’ of worsening political instability and unrest around the world, an expert told a security forum. ‘We are experiencing a surprising uptick in global insecurity … partially due to our inability to manage climate stress,’ Columbia University professor Marc Levy, who conducts studies for U.S. government agencies, said on Tuesday at the Global Security Initiative, a research body in Arizona…” (Arsenault, 8/26).

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Kenya To Target 1.5M Children In Border-Area Polio Vaccination Campaign

Xinhua News: Kenya to conduct polio vaccination campaign at border regions
“Kenya plans to carry out its second round of [a] polio vaccination campaign targeting 1.5 million children under the age of five in the border counties at the end of August, officials said on Tuesday…” (8/25).

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1.5M Zimbabweans Expected To Be Food Insecure After Fall In Maize Production, WFP Warns

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Hunger hits 1.5 million in Zimbabwe as maize production halves: WFP
“…Some 16 percent of the population are expected to be ‘food insecure’ at the peak of the 2015-16 lean season, the period following harvest when food stocks run especially low — a 164 percent increase on the previous year, the [World Food Programme (WFP)] said…” (Clark, 8/25).

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Unsafe Drug Injections Associated With Higher HIV Rates Among Malaysian Fishermen, Study Shows

SciDev.Net: Drug culture behind HIV wave engulfing Malaysian fishermen
“…HIV infection rates in fishing communities in Africa and Asia are four to 14 times higher than those of the general population. While past studies associated this high prevalence with risky sexual behavior among fishermen, a paper published in the journal PLOS ONE this month (5 August) finds that unsafe drug injections are to blame…” (Law, 8/25).

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DW Profiles German Biotech CureVac's Work To Develop Vaccines, Funding From Philanthropic Investors

Deutsche Welle: Cash injection spurs vaccination hopes
“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested tens of millions in German biotech firm CureVac. The cash injection will help the company continue working on developing effective vaccines for diseases, including Ebola, HIV, and tuberculosis…” (Meyer, 8/25).

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Editorials and Opinions

Strategies To Encourage Vaccination Must Be Tailored To Local Communities

Devex: Why we should not hesitate to vaccinate
Philippe Duclos, executive secretary for the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization

“…There is no ‘magic bullet’ or single intervention strategy that works for all instances of vaccine hesitancy. We need tailored strategies to improve vaccine acceptance, using effective communication to dispel fears, address concerns, and promote acceptance of vaccination. Research on vaccine hesitancy is needed, including on how extensive the problem is and on what local measures we can take to encourage people to get immunized. … Communicating directly with people who are not being fully vaccinated is key. We must engage religious or other influential leaders to promote vaccination in the community, and improve convenience and access to vaccination. We also need partners to educate and train health workers in communications and help us increase knowledge and awareness about vaccination” (8/25).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Roll Back Malaria Partnership To Restructure, Disband Secretariat Hosted By WHO

WHO: WHO commends the Roll Back Malaria Partnership’s contribution to global progress as governing board disbands secretariat
“The Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership, established in 1998 as part of a global drive to galvanize stronger action to curb malaria, is to restructure to meet the new challenges posed in the post-2015 era whilst building on the success of the last 17 years. In light of this restructuring and continued financial difficulties, the governing board has recommended disbanding the current RBM secretariat hosted by WHO in Geneva,” this press release states (8/25).

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USAID Africa Ebola Unit Senior Coordinator Discusses Agency's Response To Epidemic

USAID’s “Impact”: Q&A: The Legacy of West Africa’s Ebola Crisis
Clara Wagner, a former intern for USAID’s Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs, interviews Denise Rollins, senior coordinator of the Africa Ebola Unit. Rollins discusses USAID’s role in response efforts during West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, noting, “We strive to rebuild and strengthen health systems [in West Africa] to enable societies to fend off future threats, while making sure those who’ve experienced setbacks can return to a path of prosperity” (8/25).

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Development Community Should Reframe Aid As Foreign Investment

Center for Global Development’s “Views from the Center”: Aid Should Be Seen as Foreign Public Investment, Not Just Charity
Jonathan Glennie, visiting fellow at the International Development Institute at King’s College London and director of policy and research at Save the Children U.K., and Andy Sumner, visiting fellow at CGD, write, “…[I]t is time the aid community started to talk about aid as investment not just charity. It could start by renaming aid ‘international public investment,'” and they suggest four reasons to reframe aid as foreign investment (8/25).

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