KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Women, Girls In Crisis-Hit Areas Need More Reproductive, Sexual Health Assistance, UNFPA Report Says

News outlets discuss findings from the UNFPA’s State of the World’s Population 2015 report.

The Guardian: Humanitarian response treats women’s health ‘as an afterthought,’ says the U.N.
“The health needs of women and girls must not be treated as an afterthought in times of crises, but placed at the center of any humanitarian response, according to the U.N.’s State of the World Population report. … Sixty percent of all preventable maternal deaths are estimated to occur in humanitarian and conflict settings, the UNFPA says, which equates to nearly 500 deaths each day…” (Ford, 12/2).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Conflict-hit women need more reproductive, sexual health aid: U.N. agency head
“Around a quarter of the 100 million people globally who need humanitarian aid are women or teenage girls of childbearing age, but sexual and reproductive health services are underfunded, a United Nations agency said on Thursday…” (D’Urso, 12/3).

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420K Deaths Attributable To Food Borne Illnesses Annually, WHO Says In First-Ever Report On Issue

Reuters: WHO calls for fighting food borne diseases that can be deadly
“At least 600 million people, or one in 10 worldwide, fall ill from contaminated food each year and 420,000 die, many of them young children, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. Giving its first global estimates of preventable food borne diseases, a WHO report called on governments and industry to improve inspections and control of the food chain from the fields and farmyard to the factory and the plate…” (Nebehay, 12/3).

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Extreme Weather Impacting Food Security Worldwide; Ending Hunger By 2030 Requires Climate Protection, WFP Head Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: INTERVIEW — Zero hunger ‘impossible’ without climate protection — WFP
“Ending hunger by 2030, one of 17 global goals adopted in September, can only happen if more money and effort are invested in helping people cope with climate change impacts, the head of the U.N.’s food aid agency said. Extreme weather that is worsening as the planet warms — including stronger storms and longer droughts — [is] having a growing impact on the poorest and most vulnerable people, said World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin…” (Rowling, 12/2).

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WHO Urges Ukraine To Declare State Of Emergency For Polio Outbreak

Associated Press: U.N.: Polio outbreak in Ukraine is a state of emergency
“The World Health Organization is urging Ukraine’s health ministry to declare a state of emergency due to a polio outbreak, a move meant to prompt more action from the government in Kiev. In September, Ukraine announced two polio cases — the first in Europe since 2010…” (12/1).

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Newly Announced Chan Zuckerberg Initiative To Include 'Curing Disease' As Initial Focus Area

Huffington Post: How Zuckerberg’s LLC Could Be More Effective Than Charity
“…When [Facebook CEO Mark] Zuckerberg introduced his daughter, Max, on Tuesday, he also revealed his, and his wife’s plan to launch the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The couple plans on eventually donating 99 percent of their Facebook shares, valued at $45 billion, to the effort, but the initiative is a little different than what Zuckerberg’s mentors have heralded…” (Goldberg, 12/2).

New York Times: Mark Zuckerberg Vows to Donate 99% of His Facebook Shares for Charity
“…Mr. Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, said they were forming a new organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, to manage the money, through an unusual limited liability corporate structure. ‘Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people, and building strong communities,’ they wrote…” (Goel/Wingfield, 12/1).

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New York Times Examines U.S. Quarantine Policies For Returning Ebola Workers

New York Times: Ebola Crisis Passes, but Questions on Quarantines Persist
“…The Ebola epidemic has subsided, but in the United States the fallout over how health care workers and their families were treated during the crisis continues…” (Fink, 12/2).

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NPR Highlights Dangers For, Hardships Of Physicians Practicing In, Around Syrian War Zones

NPR: In Syria, Health Care Workers Are The Heroes — And The Targets
“…Since the conflict in Syria began in 2011, nearly 700 medical workers have been killed and more than 300 facilities have been hit with missile strikes and bombs, according to the advocacy group Physicians for Human Rights. In an article last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, American doctors said that their counterparts in Syria need help: The disruption of health services has become a weapon of war that the Syrian government is using against those opposed to President Bashar Assad…” (Singh, 12/1).

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Large Funding Gap Contributing To Lack Of Health Care, WASH Access For 15.2M In Yemen, WHO Says

U.N. News Centre: Yemen faces dire health crisis with major funding gap and 15.2 million lacking care, U.N. warns
“More than 15.2 million Yemenis now lack access to health care services, well over half the war-torn country’s total population, yet there is a 55 percent gap in requested international funding to address the crisis, according to the United Nations health agency. … The WHO needs $83 million to address Yemen’s health care crisis but has so far received only $37 million…” (12/2).

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Haitian Pilot Program To Screen Women For Cervical Cancer, Vaccinate Against HPV

Associated Press: Program launched to reduce deadly cervical cancer in Haiti
“…Expectations are that the two-year initiative launched by Zanmi Lasante, the Haitian program of the Boston-based nonprofit Partners in Health, will screen 20,000 women for cervical cancer and vaccinate some 6,000 girls against the strains of human papillomavirus that most commonly cause the illness. Prevention activities will also reach roughly 60,000…” (McFadden, 12/2).

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Unlicensed Cambodian Doctor Found Guilty Of Infecting Hundreds With HIV, Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison

Agence France-Presse: Cambodian doctor guilty of infecting patients with HIV
“An unlicensed Cambodian doctor was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday after he was found guilty of infecting more than 200 people with HIV, including some who later died…” (12/3).

CNN: Unlicensed Cambodian doctor jailed for mass HIV outbreak
“…The case has highlighted a problem in many parts of rural Cambodia, where illegal doctors are often the only option for medical care. According to the Ministry of Health, almost 4,000 illegal health service providers are still operating in the country…” (Hunt/Wright, 12/3).

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Coal Emissions Pollution Increases Risk Of Heart Disease-Related Mortality More Than Other Air Pollutants, Study Shows

News outlets report on findings from a study published online Wednesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

HealthDay News: Pollution From Coal Burning Most Damaging to Health, Study Finds
“Air pollution particles from the burning of coal are far more dangerous to your health than those from other sources, a new study indicates…” (Preidt, 12/2).

Washington Post: Coal is king among pollution that causes heart disease, study says
“…The risk of death from heart disease, including heart attacks, was five times higher for people who breathed pollution from coal emissions over 20 years than for those who were exposed to other types of air pollution, according to the study’s findings. … Air pollution has been identified by the World Health Organization as a major health threat linked to heart disease across the globe…” (Fears, 12/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

Commitments Made At COP21 Should Bring About Gains In Health, Food Security

Huffington Post: COP21: A Defining Moment for Human Health
Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General

“…Existing strategies that work well to combat climate change also bring important health gains. Investments in low-carbon development, clean renewable energy, and greater climate resilience are investments in better health. … If the right commitments are made [at the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris], efforts to combat climate change will produce an environment with cleaner air, more abundant and safer freshwater and food, and more effective and fair systems for social protection. Healthier people — arguably the world’s most important resource — will be the bonus. … The tremendous progress made since the start of this century in reducing deaths among children and during childbirth, and turning the epidemics of AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis around is likewise at stake. All these hard-won gains can easily be swept away by the tidal wave of health threats unleashed by climate change…” (12/2).

The Hill: In Paris, the stakes could not be higher
Chris Coleman, mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota; Dave Kleis, mayor of St. Cloud, Minnesota; Roy Buol, mayor of Dubuque, Iowa; and Larry Brown, mayor of Natchez, Mississippi

“…As mayors from towns and cities along the world’s top food-producing river basin, we need to be leaders in protecting the planet’s river basins from climate disruption. … While in Paris, we will host talks with representatives from food-producing river basins to assemble the beginning of an international river sustainability agreement among food-producing basins that works to protect both the water and food security of the world. These talks will help determine the challenges of implementing integrated water management and sustainable agricultural practices as well as develop solutions on how food and drinking water security may be achieved at an international level. … [W]e look forward to partnering with Congress and the administration as we push forward with developing a multinational agreement on river basin sustainability…” (12/2).

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Maternal Health Challenges Must Be Addressed In U.S., Other Countries

CNN: Christy Turlington Burns: Make childbirth safe for every mother
Christy Turlington Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts and director/producer of the 2010 documentary “No Woman, No Cry”

“…[I]n some countries, women have no access to basic or emergency maternal health care, while in the United States, many women get medical interventions that put their health at risk — sometimes by choice, but far too many because they lack adequate information or options. … Today, [Every Mother Counts (EMC)] is addressing some of the conditions American women faced in the 1930s: poor access to health care, overuse of medical interventions, lack of education and lack of skilled providers. We also face new health challenges like obesity and higher maternal age plus financial, racial, cultural, and systemic impediments that leave women of color and low-income women with lower quality care or no care at all. We face medical-legal, hospital, and insurance barriers that are out of sync with women’s needs … At the root of it all every mother deserves the highest standard of compassionate health care to ensure safe outcomes for herself and her baby. That work starts by raising awareness that the United States has a maternal health problem and must make a commitment to reverse statistics. We think it’s 100% doable…” (12/2).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts Highlight TB Report, Plan Released At Union World Conference On Lung Health

PLOS “Speaking of Medicine”: Step up to Stop TB
Grania Brigden, TB adviser to the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, discusses findings from a report on gaps in TB policies produced by MSF and the Stop TB Partnership and released this week at the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health, in Cape Town, South Africa. The report “shows policy gaps in diagnosis and treatment of all forms of TB, models of care, and the drug regulatory environment. More positively, it also reveals where countries have updated their policies to reflect current best practice,” Brigden writes (12/2).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Union World Conference on Lung Health: World leaders call for immediate investments to end TB
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses the Stop TB Partnership’s new plan to end the TB epidemic by 2035. Attendees of the Union World Conference on Lung Health this week endorsed the plan, which “calls for diagnosing and treating at least 90 percent of all people infected with tuberculosis, including 90 percent of people infected with TB from key populations, and ensuring at least 90 percent of people successfully complete treatment. … The plan also emphasizes the need to invest in tuberculosis research and development…” (12/2).

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'Science Speaks' Highlights Events, Reports Related To World AIDS Day

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: While ‘Time to Act is Now,’ boundaries, barriers and delineations that marginalize still stand between HIV service provision and need
Antigone Barton, senior writer and editor of “Science Speaks,” discusses a White House event to commemorate World AIDS Day; a new report from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) describing gaps in HIV drug supply chains; complaints from activists attending the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe; and a report from Health GAP and partners about on-demand HIV treatment for all people (12/2).

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Gavi Board Chair Dagfinn Høybråten Reflects On 5 Years At Vaccine Alliance

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: ‘Deliver, Deliver, Deliver’ — Dagfinn Høybråten Reflects on Five Years as Gavi Board Chair
“Dagfinn Høybråten will this week chair a Gavi Board meeting for the last time before stepping down at the end of 2015. Here he reflects on five years at the helm of the Vaccine Alliance, steering Gavi through pivotal moments in its 15-year history…” (12/2).

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