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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Mexico Becomes First Country To Grant Regulatory Approval To Sanofi's Dengue Vaccine

Agence France-Presse: World’s first dengue fever vaccine cleared by Mexico
“The world’s first dengue vaccine won regulatory approval in Mexico on Wednesday, raising hopes that it could prevent more than 100 deaths there a year and eventually perhaps millions around the world…” (Miselem, 12/9).

BBC News: Mexico to get world’s first dengue fever vaccine
“…French pharmaceutical company Sanofi said it developed the vaccine, Dengvaxia, over the past 20 years…” (12/9).

Bloomberg Business: World’s First Dengue Vaccine Approved After 20 Years of Research
“…Sanofi expects more approvals in ‘upcoming weeks’ for the product, called Dengvaxia, in Latin America and Asia, Olivier Charmeil, who heads the Paris-based company’s vaccines unit, said in a telephone interview…” (Kitamura, 12/9).

Financial Times: Sanofi to launch world’s first vaccine for dengue fever in Mexico
“…Mexico’s approval for Dengvaxia highlights the decision by Sanofi to bypass U.S. and European regulators and take the product directly to countries where dengue is endemic. This represents an unusual strategy for the pharma industry which almost always launches products first in the developed world…” (Ward, 12/9).

International Business Times: Sanofi’s Dengvaxia, World’s First Dengue Vaccine, Approved For Use In Mexico
“… ‘With this decision, Mexico moves ahead of all other countries, including France, to tackle the spread of this virus,’ the drug regulator said, in the statement. ‘This vaccine could potentially prevent more than 8,000 hospitalizations and 104 deaths annually and generate savings of up to 1,100 million pesos a year by the reduction in the costs associated with medical care’…” (Pandey, 12/10).

Mexico News Daily: Dengue vaccine in Mexico early next year
“…Called Dengvaxia, the vaccine has only been approved in Mexico for patients aged nine to 45 who live in areas where the disease is endemic, barring its use for younger children — considered to be more at risk — and tourists…” (12/9).

New York Times: First Dengue Fever Vaccine Approved by Mexico
“…But it is still uncertain how widely the vaccine will be deployed, both in Mexico and other countries, because of limits to its effectiveness and national budgets…” (Pollack, 12/9).

Reuters: Sanofi wins first dengue vaccine market approval in Mexico
“…[Guillaume Leroy, who leads the dengue team at Sanofi Pasteur,] said the vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalization by 80 percent and lowered the possibility of developing the severest, hemorrhagic form of the disease by 93 percent…” (Blamont/Manella, 12/9).

VICE News: Mexico Becomes the First Country to Greenlight a Vaccine for Dengue Fever
“…The Mexican authorities have yet to decide whether to include the vaccine in state-sponsored vaccination programs where people can get the shots for free…” (Gorbea/Janowitz, 12/9).

Wall Street Journal: Mexico Approves Sanofi’s Dengue Vaccine but Pricing Questions Remain
“…Olivier Charmeil, head of Sanofi’s vaccines business, said the company will have filed for approval of the vaccine in 20 of the countries where [dengue] is most widespread by the end of the year, and expected to get additional approvals in coming weeks. He added that Sanofi would file for approval in Europe in 2016, and in the U.S. in 2017. Sanofi has also been in talks with the World Health Organization, a company spokeswoman said…” (Roland/Bisserbe, 12/9).

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House Subcommittee Briefing On Drug-Resistant TB Draws Only 3 Congressmen

Huffington Post: Only 3 Congressmen Showed For A Hearing On The No. 1 Infectious Killer In The World
“Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was there. Dr. Eric Goosby, the United Nations envoy for tuberculosis, was there. Dr. Ariel Pablo-Mendez, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s assistant administrator for global health, was there. Missing? Congress. Just three lawmakers showed up Tuesday for a subcommittee briefing on the growing threat of drug-resistant tuberculosis. They were Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who chairs the panel, and Reps. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)…” (Weber, 12/9).

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Future Food Security Requires Better Data On Rural To Urban Migration, Solutions For Conflict Zones, U.S. Official Says In Devex Interview

Devex: To avoid playing catch-up in urban contexts, food security demands better data
“Ten years from now, we’re going to have a major problem in countries that are already food insecure if we don’t start looking at migration from rural to urban areas, according to Nancy Stetson, special representative for global food security for the U.S. Department of State. … Another [need] is determining long-term food security solutions for conflict areas — something no one entity can do by themselves, she noted…” (Rogers, 12/10).

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Trade Policies On Agriculture Key To Ending Hunger Only If Food Security Not Endangered, FAO Report Says

News outlets discuss findings from an FAO report released Wednesday, titled State of Agricultural Commodity Markets.

Agence France-Presse: Food trade key against world hunger, but keep it safe: FAO
“Expanding trade in agricultural products is key to alleviating world hunger, but only if open trade policies do not endanger food security, the U.N. food agency said in a report released Wednesday…” (12/9).

U.N. News Centre: National policies on trade and agriculture key to tackling food security — U.N. agency
“…International rules should further support national trade policies, especially in the four dimensions of food security — availability, access, utilization, and stability — said the report, commenting that such implementation will be an ‘enabler’ of sustainable development and hunger eradication…” (12/9).

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U.N. Launches Record $1.98B Humanitarian Appeal For Africa's Sahel Region, Hit By Poverty, Conflict, Climate Change

Reuters: U.N. seeks record $2 billion for Sahel as migration specter looms
“The United Nations sought on Wednesday a record $2 billion for the Sahel in what a senior U.N. official says is necessary to tackle a triple crisis of poverty, insecurity, and climate change that could lead to a new wave of migration…” (Farge, 12/9).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. agencies launch $1.98 billion humanitarian appeal for Africa’s crises-hit Sahel region
“… ‘We need the renewed support of the international community to ensure millions are afforded the most basic assistance and protection they deserve to survive and live a dignified life,’ said Toby Lanzer, assistant secretary general and regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel, in a news release issued by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)…” (12/9).

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Power Of Nutrition Becomes First Group To Use Large-Scale Matching Scheme To Fund Nutrition Interventions

Devex: Power of Nutrition: The $1 billion startup
“…[The Power of Nutrition] has already raised $200 million from the Swiss bank UBS — through its Optimus Foundation the bank is matching clients’ money over the next five years — and it’s using those funds to leverage much more from partners like CIFF, the World Bank, the U.K. Department for International Development, and UNICEF. As such, The Power of Nutrition represents the first-ever large-scale attempt to use a matching scheme for nutrition…” (Anders, 12/9).

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News Outlets Examine Origins, Lasting Effects Of Ebola Epidemic In Sierra Leone, Liberia

Foreign Policy: Ebola Is Now Killing People Who Aren’t Even Infected
“…[T]here are signs … that the ravaging toll Ebola has taken on Sierra Leone’s health care system may mean even more mothers and children will die in years to come. … [L]ocal doctors and international NGOs, including Care USA, estimate that for each person Ebola has killed through direct infection, more than one Sierra Leonean will perish from the secondary effects of the crisis…” (Hongoltz-Hetling, 12/7).

New York Times: Report Traces Ebola’s Spread in Liberia
“Ebola viruses that sickened many people during the height of the epidemic in Liberia can be traced back to a single case of the disease probably introduced from Sierra Leone, according to a report published Wednesday in the journal Cell Host and Microbe…” (Fink, 12/9).

Wall Street Journal: Fresh Ebola Cases Damp Liberia Hopes of Eliminating Deadly Disease
“…Twice this year, Liberia, the worst hit of all Ebola-affected nations with at least 4,800 deaths blamed on the disease, has been declared Ebola-free, only to see new cases appear. … [W]ith new instances of the disease in Liberia, doctors and public health officials in West Africa now face another prognosis. While another large Ebola outbreak is highly unlikely due to enormous progress in detecting and responding to the disease, patients infected with the virus may continue to walk through hospital doors for months, possibly years, to come…” (Hinshaw/McKay, 12/9).

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Global Health NOW Examines Efforts To Get Mycetoma On WHO's Neglected Disease List In Part 2 Of Series

Global Health NOW: First Step for a Dreadful Disease: Get on the List
“…[A] very neglected condition caused by flesh-eating microbes in equatorial countries is not on [the WHO’s list of 17 neglected diseases] — despite years of advocacy. At a meeting to be held in late January, board members at the WHO will decide whether to take the first steps in making this scourge, called mycetoma, number 18…” (Maxmen, 12/9).

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U.N. Agencies Work To Raise Awareness Of, Prevent Violence Against Women

U.N. News Centre: FEATURE: U.N. champions prevention as best hope for eliminating violence against women
“…This year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marked annually on 25 November, focused on ‘prevention.’ U.N. Women has been partnering with governments, other U.N. agencies, and civil society groups to educate and advocate for ending violence by increasing awareness about the root causes of the scourge and highlighting its consequences…” (12/9).

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African Men More Likely Than Women To Die From AIDS-Related Causes, Researchers Say, Calling For Efforts To Change Gender Norms

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Men’s self-image puts them in danger of dying from AIDS, research shows
“Men’s self-image as strong, sexually active risk-takers means they are more likely to die from HIV/AIDS than are women, experts said on Wednesday, calling for more HIV workplace testing to reach men and greater efforts to change gender norms. Although six out of 10 Africans with HIV are women, men are 25 percent more likely to die from the disease, according to research by the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies in South Africa…” (Migiro, 12/9).

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HIV/AIDS Leading Cause Of Death For Under-5 Children In Zimbabwe, Data Show

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Zimbabwe children still at great risk of HIV/AIDS, new data shows
“…[A]n estimated 170,000 children liv[e] with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, and figures released by the country’s statistics agency on Wednesday showed the virus is the leading cause of death among children under five. A Census Analysis Mortality Report from 1992-2012 revealed that despite progress in fighting the virus, HIV and AIDS had claimed the lives of thousands of Zimbabwean children under five…” (Phiri, 12/9).

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Editorials and Opinions

Congress Should Invest In Research To Discover New Diagnoses, Treatments For Drug-Resistant TB In Children

The Hill: Waking up to the realities of drug-resistant tuberculosis in children
Sanjay Jain, associate professor of pediatrics and assistant professor of radiology and radiological science at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and international health director at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Infection and Inflammation Imaging Research

“…TB causes almost 10 million new cases worldwide annually, with strains impervious to drug treatments rapidly spreading. Recent estimates suggest that a million of these new cases occur in children, but the real number may be higher. Research has not kept up, and there is a lack of reliable diagnostics for young children and treatments for drug-resistant TB. … We need to think outside the box and invest in research to develop novel diagnostics and treatment options. … Right now in Congress, [investment in TB research] is a tough case to make, but it is one that our representatives need to hear. For most young children, [extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB)] represents a death sentence, as do many other increasingly resistant diseases. As the world has become more and more interconnected, diseases some of us once thought as belonging to other worlds need to be recognized as domestic issues” (12/9).

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Improving Health Systems 'At Every Level' Critical To Mitigating Climate Change Effects

Devex: Global health and global warming: How COP21 can deliver
Michèle Rivasi, French member of the European Parliament, vice chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation to the ACP-E.U. Joint Parliamentary Assembly, and vice chair of Déi Gréng — Les Verts (Group of the European Greens/EFA); and Claude Turmes, member of the European Parliament from Luxembourg, representing Déi Gréng — Les Verts

“…A resurgence in diseases like malaria and dengue would turn back the clock on the unprecedented global health achievements of the last 15 years. … We need to accelerate the rollout of lifesaving medicines that we already have. We also need to invest heavily in the next generation of global health innovations — a vaccine for malaria that could become ever more necessary, for example. … If we are to mitigate the effects of climate change on health, we need to make sure that health systems at every level are able and equipped. … [I]f we can reach a binding and ambitious climate accord in Paris now, if we can move away from a carbon-intensive culture and consumption patterns, we have an opportunity to reap a huge health dividend — through more sustainable forms of transport, healthier eating, reduced air pollution, and a renewed fight against diseases of poverty” (12/9).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

WHO Examines Global Estimates Of STIs, Impacts On Sexual, Reproductive Health

WHO: Global estimates shed light on toll of sexually transmitted infections
This piece discusses global estimates that were published Tuesday in an article in PLOS ONE on the prevalence and incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). “A large proportion of new STIs occur among adolescents and young adults who may not be aware that they are infected — which can have a negative impact upon their future sexual and reproductive health…” (12/8).

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Blog Post Examines Global Burden Of Mental Health Issues Through Data Visualizations

Humanosphere: Visualizing the neglected burden of mental health problems
Katie Leach-Kemon, policy translation specialist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Humanosphere contributor, discusses the inclusion of mental health issues in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and examines their global burden using visualizations from IHME. “[T]he burden of mental disorders has only been worsening over time while significant progress has been made in other diseases,” Leach-Kemon writes (12/9).

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Many Beninese Women Have Unmet Need For Contraception, Study Shows

Guttmacher Institute: In Benin, Unmet Need for Modern Contraception Remains High Despite Having Been Identified as a National Priority
“Many Beninese women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using a modern contraceptive method, according to a new study released [Wednesday] by the Guttmacher Institute and the Association Béninoise pour le Marketing Social et la Communication pour la Santé … The researchers found that, as of 2012, one-third of married women and half of all sexually active unmarried women have an unmet need for contraception…” (12/9).

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Pulitzer Center Collaborative Project Examines Challenges Of Controlling HIV/AIDS Epidemic In U.S., Africa

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting: Ending AIDS
Jon Cohen, reporter for Science, launches a collaborative project for Science, the PBS NewsHour, BuzzFeed, and UCTV in which he “reports from Africa and the United States on the successes — and failures — in the struggle to bring the HIV/AIDS epidemic under control” (12/9).

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