KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Tens Of Thousands Of Syrians Displaced, Risk Death In Aleppo Fighting, Aid Groups Say

Devex: Last hours of Aleppo battle turn city into humanitarian catastrophe, aid groups say
“One square-mile is the only territory that remains at stake in the battle for Aleppo, but for that prize, the Syrian government and its allies are displacing tens of thousands of civilians, who now risk abduction, assault, or even death after months of living under a brutal siege, aid groups say. … Médecins Sans Frontières described the humanitarian catastrophe as almost unprecedented in recent years…” (Dickinson, 12/15).

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War-Torn Yemen At Risk Of Famine, U.N. Official Says

Reuters: INTERVIEW — Yemen edging nearer famine as war, ‘shredded economy’ take toll — U.N. official
“Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe is set to worsen as the war has ruined the economy and is stopping food supplies getting through, driving the country to the brink of famine, the top U.N. aid official in the country told Reuters. ‘Throughout the whole of this country kids are dying,’ said Jamie McGoldrick, U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Yemen…” (Miles, 12/16).

Reuters: Exclusive: Yemen traders halt new wheat imports as famine approaches
“Yemen’s biggest traders have stopped new wheat imports due to a crisis at the central bank, documents seen by Reuters show, another blow to the war-torn country where millions are suffering acute malnutrition. Nearly two years of war between a Saudi-led Arab coalition and the Iran-allied Houthi movement has left more than half of Yemen’s 28 million people ‘food insecure,’ with seven million of them enduring hunger, according to the United Nations…” (Saul/El Dahan, 12/16).

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Tanzania Unveils Digital Health Road Map To Improve 5 System Areas, From Performance To Data

Devex: Tanzania’s new digital health road map has the government ‘in the driver’s seat’
“Tanzania’s new digital health road map offers a pioneering example of ‘putting national government in the driver’s seat’ and of systems based approaches to e-health, experts say. … The plan is the culmination of an 18-month project implemented by international NGO PATH with $2 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. … The road map calls for an overall investment of approximately $74 million and aims to deliver improvements across five main areas — enhancing health service delivery, strengthening health systems performance, optimizing resource allocation, improving data supply and demand, and connecting and harmonizing data systems…” (Edwards, 12/16).

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WSJ Examines Emerging DNA Vaccine Technologies For Zika, Other Infectious Diseases

Wall Street Journal: America’s Next Defense Against Zika and Other Foreign Invaders
“…The Zika epidemic is accelerating work on … experimental DNA vaccines, which could turn out to be America’s best defense against infectious disease outbreaks that now spread around the world with alarming speed, fueled by rising populations and global travel. These vaccines, made with synthetic DNA, can be developed and manufactured quickly. … While there are significant hurdles, some researchers believe DNA vaccines could provide faster, more effective ways to combat Zika, as well as Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and other deadly viruses and bacteria that have sickened millions…” (McKay/Loftus, 12/15).

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World's 48 Least Developed Countries Need More Action To Fulfill Development Goals, UNCTAD Report Says

U.N. News Centre: Caught in ‘poverty trap,’ least developed countries being left behind — U.N. report
“Even as the international community pledged to ‘leave no one behind’ with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has warned that without stronger global support, 48 of the world’s most vulnerable countries will lose ground in economic development and face increasing levels of poverty. UNCTAD’s The Least Developed Countries Report 2016: The Path to Graduation and Beyond — Making the Most of the Process, released earlier this week, underscores the need for more action from the international community to help these countries progress…” (12/15).

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Malawi, UNICEF Open Drone-Testing Corridor For Delivering Health Care, Disaster Relief

Agence France-Presse: Malawi drone test center to help with health care, disasters
“Malawi on Thursday launched Africa’s first drone-testing corridor as developing countries explore how drones could be used during humanitarian crises such as floods, or to deliver blood for HIV tests…” (12/15).

U.N. News Centre: UNICEF partners with the Government of Malawi to test first humanitarian drone in Africa
“In cooperation with the government of Malawi, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will establish an air corridor and use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), known as drones, for humanitarian purposes, the agency announced [Thursday]…” (12/15).

VOA News: Malawi Announces Africa’s 1st Humanitarian Drone Testing Corridor
“…In March, UNICEF-Malawi successfully completed its first test flight of the 10-kilometer route from a community health center to the Kamuzu Central Hospital in the capital, Lilongwe. Currently, Malawi uses motorcycles or locally run ambulances to transport blood samples. But health authorities say high fuel costs and the poor state of roads mean long delays in deliveries…” (Masina, 12/15).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Health Community Should Reflect On 'Unifying Power Of Health' In 2017

The Lancet: 2017: The unifying power of health
Editorial Board

“…2016 has … seen some striking successes in health: polio eradication has come tantalizingly close … and 30 million people were successfully vaccinated against a raging yellow fever outbreak in DR Congo and Angola … At its best, the health community can offer hope at moments of despair. In 2017, we will discover what a U.S. presidency led by Donald Trump actually means. Will it be as apocalyptic as some predict? Or will he be a model of business-like pragmatism? As 2016 draws to a close, it is perhaps worth reflecting on the unifying power of health. 2017 is likely to need that kind of optimism more than ever” (12/17).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.N. General Assembly Adopts Draft Resolution On Global Health In Foreign Policy, Decides To Hold High-Level Meeting On TB

U.N. General Assembly: Adopting Text on Global Health Challenges, General Assembly Urges Cross-sector Engagement in Tackling Ebola, Zika, Other Viruses
“…By the terms of the draft resolution ‘Global health and foreign policy: health employment and economic growth,’ adopted without a vote, the Assembly urged Member States to continue to consider health issues in the formulation of their foreign policy. It also called on Member States to strengthen their dialogue with civil society, academia, and the private sector to maximize engagement to solve global health challenges, while safeguarding public health interests from undue influence or potential conflict of interest. … The Assembly also decided to hold a high-level meeting in 2017 on the fight against tuberculosis and requested the Secretary-General to propose modalities for the conduct of such a meeting…” (12/15).

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Blog Post Highlights Resources On Changing U.N., U.S. Government Leadership Positions

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: With new leaders, the global health landscape faces shifts … we’re reading about changes
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” highlights a New York Times article profiling incoming U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres; a paper from Impact 2016 on President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, the chair and CEO of ExxonMobil; and a special report from The Lancet on the candidates for WHO director general (12/15).

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CGD Event Highlights Partnership Aimed At Improving Coordination, Productivity Of Global AIDS Response

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Bridging the Gap Between Health and Finance: How Can Finance Ministries Support a Sustainable HIV Response?
Rebecca Forman, program coordinator for the Global Health Policy team at CGD, highlights an event hosted by CGD to discuss a PEPFAR-U.S. Department of Treasury partnership that “aims to improve the coordination and productivity of resources devoted to combating HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries.” In light of this partnership, Forman also discusses a policy brief in which Mead Over, senior fellow at CGD, and Amanda Glassman, chief operating officer and senior fellow at CGD, make policy recommendations to increase HIV prevention and adherence to treatment (12/15).

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NIH Fogarty International Center Lists Top Global Health Research Stories Of 2106

NIH Fogarty International Center: What are the top global health research stories of 2016?
“Each year we look back to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of the global health research community. These articles in our collection topped the list for readers and editors of Fogarty’s Global Health Matters newsletter: 1. African Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) enters next phase; 2. PEPFAR’s Dr. Deborah Birx visits NIH to urge sharper focus to halt HIV globally; 3. Global research funders launch World Report interactive mapping tool to aid funding analysis; 4. We have much to learn from research in Haiti, says Fogarty Director Dr. Roger Glass; 5. Fogarty awards $3M to support emerging research leaders in developing countries; 6. Dr. Chris Murray discusses findings and future of Global Burden of Disease study at NIH…” (12/15).

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Gates Foundation Works With DKT International To Advance Family Planning Mission

Inside Philanthropy: What Has Gates Done Lately on Global Family Planning? Big Things, With a Big Partner
Sue-Lynn Moses, global editor of Inside Philanthropy, discusses the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s support of DKT International to help the organization “provide contraceptives to at least 11 new countries designated as critical to the FP2020 initiative…” (12/15).

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