KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO DG Tedros Urges More Political Leadership, Investment To Improve Africa's Health Care Systems

Deutsche Welle: World Health Organization blames Africa’s health care inequality on lack of political will
“…A recent study by the World Health Organization found that a lack of political will and little financial allocation to the health sector were to blame for health inequalities in Africa. Now [WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] is on a mission to mobilize African leaders to improve health systems if universal health care is to become a reality. … 47 African health ministers are attending the 67th annual session of the World Health Regional Committee this week…” (Musvanhiri, 8/30).

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U.K. Pledges Additional £200M Over 5 Years To Prevent Famine, Restore Infrastructure, Fight Boko Haram In Northeast Nigeria

CNN: U.K. government doubles Nigerian aid package to help fight Boko Haram
“The United Kingdom reinforced its commitment to Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram on Wednesday, through continued counterterrorism training, military support, and an expanded humanitarian aid package…” (Robertson, 8/31).

The Guardian: U.K. government unveils £200m in aid to help fight Boko Haram in Nigeria
“…On Wednesday, [U.K. International Development Secretary Priti] Patel announced an extended five-year package of help, costing an extra £200m, to prevent 1.5 million people lapsing into famine and help keep a 100,000 boys and girls in education. The development secretary’s package also includes the restoration of key infrastructure and services in the northeast of the country…” (Wintour, 8/30).

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UNFPA Trains Health Workers In Northeast Nigeria, Says Additional Skilled Health Personnel Needed In Region

U.N. News Centre: In conflict-affected Nigeria, U.N. agency teams with health workers to help the displaced
“Skilled health personnel are desperately needed in northeastern Nigeria, the United Nations population agency [Wednesday] said, after training hundreds of health providers in Borno State on the basics of reproductive health needs…” (8/30).

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Russian Government's Actions On AIDS Fall Short, Doctors, People Living With HIV Say

PRI: While the Russian government looks away, AIDS spreads quickly
“…AIDS has plagued Russians for decades, but stigma around the disease has been heightened by a government that prefers to pretend it doesn’t exist, activists say. [Dr. Yelena Orlova-Morozova, one of Moscow’s leading HIV doctors for the region’s state clinic,] opened AIDS.Center as a way to fight the disease. … Also, the Kremlin proposed doubling the budget for all state AIDS clinics in 2015, but that hasn’t happened yet…” (Nemtsova, 8/30).

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Rapid Malaria Tests Improve Treatment But Unexpectedly Increase Improper Use Of Antibiotics, Study Shows

New York Times: Rapid Malaria Tests Work, but With Unexpected Drawbacks
“Rapid diagnostic tests have greatly improved malaria treatment in the last decade, but they also had some unexpected bad consequences, a large new study has found. As hoped, the tests … substantially decreased how many patients with fever were incorrectly given or sold malaria drugs when they did not have malaria. But the number of patients who got antibiotics instead shot up, even if they were not tested for bacterial infections — a practice that encourages the emergence of drug-resistant germs…” (McNeil, 8/7).

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Most People Living With Chagas In U.S. Do Not Access Treatment Because Of Stigma, Lack Of Health Care Access

HuffPost: While America Ignores A Disease Bigger Than Zika, Its Victims Remain Invisible
“…Chagas is a deeply misunderstood disease that affects about eight million people around the world, primarily in Latin America, and is responsible for 10,000 deaths a year, according to the World Health Organization. It is estimated that 300,000 people in the United States have it, per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. … A majority of people with Chagas in the U.S. likely acquired it in one of 21 Latin-American countries … Research suggests many of the most at-risk people probably won’t get care for the disease in America…” (Smith, 8/29).

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Egypt Implements Strategy To Promote Birth Control, Reduce Birth Rates

Reuters: Egypt promotes birth control to fight rapid population growth
“Egypt is pushing to educate people in rural areas on birth control and family planning in a bid to slow a population growth rate that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said poses a threat to national development…” (Awadalla, 8/30).

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BCG Vaccine For TB Offers Some People Protection For At Least 20 Years, Longer Than Previously Thought, Study Shows

The Guardian: TB vaccine BCG effective for twice as long as previously thought — study
“…The vaccination was thought to work for only 10 to 15 years, but a new study shows that the protective effect of the BCG has been underestimated. Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine say they have found that it protects half of those given it at the age of 12 or 13 for at least 20 years and then the effects wane…” (Boseley, 8/31).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Congress, State Department Must Invest In Data Collection, Evaluation To Improve Foreign Assistance Effectiveness

The Hill: Amen to accountability in foreign aid
Tessie San Martin, president and CEO of Plan International USA and co-chair of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network

“In his first address to State Department staff, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told those assembled: ‘First, I believe that any organization runs best when all of its members embrace accountability.’ And I say, Amen to that. … The U.S. government must encourage publicly available, high-quality, useable data from all aid stakeholders, including itself. … The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) … recognizes the importance of continued progress on accountability, transparency, evaluation, and learning — for improving aid effectiveness and advancing our values alongside our security and economic interests. That belief is reflected in our widely endorsed Guiding Principles for Effective Foreign Assistance. … Cutting this capacity to monitor, evaluate, and learn in our aid agencies is penny-wise and pound foolish. Congress and the administration should follow MFAN’s Guiding Principles and make smart investments to increase the information and impact of our aid. Only then can we achieve Secretary Tillerson’s vision of across the board accountability for results” (8/30).

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Surgery Essential To Primary Health Care, Sustainable Health Systems

The Guardian: Surgery must be a core part of health care — even in the poorest countries
David Barash, executive director of the global health portfolio and chief medical officer for the GE Foundation

“The world has made tremendous progress in dealing with many of the health challenges that have global impact … But there is one area that the global health community has overlooked — surgery. … Surgery must be seen as an essential element of primary care and a necessary component of sustainable health systems. … While some may argue that we should continue the focus exclusively on reducing the burden of communicable diseases worldwide, this is actually a myopic perspective. A more cross-cutting approach to improving health delivery in low- and middle-income countries will include surgery. This is necessary as surgery is essential to drive improvements in a number of critical health outcomes. … [I]t is better to act sooner rather than later to address a patient’s health issues. The same is true of national level health systems” (8/11).

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India's Central Government Should Invest In Strengthening Public Health Service Delivery

Livemint: A jobs scheme to improve public health
Monica Das Gupta, research professor at the University of Maryland, College Park

“…Health services in India have prioritized medical services, neglecting public health services that seek to reduce the population’s exposure to disease. … Reducing exposure to communicable diseases is of the highest priority in public health services, as their spread causes severe negative spillovers. … The central government can do much to strengthen public health service delivery in India. … [It] could link its fiscal support to states with phased progress in (1) the establishment within the state health departments of separate public health directorates with their own budgets and staff, managed by medical doctors trained in public health administration; (2) the enactment of public health acts to provide the basic legislative underpinning for public health action; and (3) the revitalization of public health cadres. These measures can help use public funds more effectively for protecting people’s health…” (8/31).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Friends Of Global Fight Blog Post Explores Impact Of Gender Inequality On Treatment For HIV, TB, Malaria

Friends of the Global Fight: Gender Inequalities Impact Treatment for Disease
In this blog post, the fourth in a series by Friends of the Global Fight addressing gender equality, Sydney Spencer, research intern at Friends of the Global Fight, discusses how gender inequality affects HIV, TB, and malaria treatment efforts, writing, “There is much that needs to be done for women both in regard to gender equality and equitable access to disease treatment. These two issues are strongly associated; one cannot be eradicated without addressing the other. Responsible disease management must incorporate gender-based needs to be successful” (8/30).

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Measuring, Focusing On Diet Quality, Understanding People's Experiences Essential To Achieving Food, Nutrition Security

Chicago Council on Global Affair’s “Global Food For Thought”: Guest Commentary — Vox Populi: Looking At Malnutrition Through The Eyes Of The Malnourished
Olamide Bisi-Amosun, PhD candidate for youth development & agricultural education at Purdue University and 2017 Next Generation Delegate, discusses the importance of diet quality, measuring appropriate diet quality indicators, and understanding the perspective of those who are malnourished to achieving food and nutrition security (8/30).

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IntraHealth International Releases Results From 2016 Annual Report

IntraHealth International: IntraHealth Improves Health Care in 37 Countries, Reaches 221,000 Health Workers in 2016
IntraHealth International released results from its 2016 Annual Report. “In a step toward making high-quality health care available to more people around the world, 221,226 health workers in 37 countries gained training or other support through IntraHealth International’s programs in 2016. These health workers are now improving the quality of health care in their communities and making services available to more people, including in the hardest-to-reach areas” (8/30).

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From the U.S. Government

CDC Blog Post Profiles Humanitarian Health Expert

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Parasitologist for the People
Adrienne Lefevre, ‎health communications ORISE fellow at CDC, profiles CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer Lieutenant Alaine K. Knipes, a parasitologist by training, and discusses her work as a WASH expert and photographer (8/14).

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