Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

TIME Examines How U.S. HIV Prevention, Treatment Efforts In Namibia Informing Programs In Atlanta; Other Media Outlets Report On World AIDS Day

TIME: In Addressing HIV, the U.S. Has a Lot to Learn From Namibia
“…The U.S. has played a leading role in the global HIV/AIDS response; bipartisan political support has led to the funding of multinational efforts to detect, prevent and treat the disease and the U.S. works hand in hand with developing countries to bolster health care access. But the situation in Atlanta shows how the U.S. still struggles to control the epidemic at home, particularly in certain pockets of the country where stigma and poor access to health care impede prevention and treatment…” (Bhatia, 11/29).

AFP: World AIDS Day: Kenya struggles to stop spread of HIV, as 8,000 children infected in 2018 (12/1).

AFP: World AIDS Day: Venezuela humanitarian crises worsens HIV-related deaths (12/1).

DW: S.African town surpasses U.N. targets to drive down HIV (Khumalo, 11/30).

DW: World AIDS Day: HIV infections rise in Brazil (Milz, 12/1).

Forbes: An HIV Vaccine By 2021? Here Is What Needs To Happen (Lee, 12/3).

The Guardian: South Africa begins rollout of cutting-edge HIV drug (Hodal, 11/30).

New Humanitarian: How the neglected AIDS epidemic hits women and girls hardest (Craig, 12/2).

NPR: How The Catholic Church Aided Both The Sick And The Sickness As HIV Spread (Garcia-Navarro, 12/1).

Xinhua: Feature: HIV positive persons in Greece still fight for better life, against misinformation and stigma (Spiliopoulou/Anagnostopoulou, 12/1).

Xinhua: Ghana calls for united effort to fight HIV stigma (12/2).

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Increased Political Commitment Needed To Eliminate Mother-To-Child HIV Transmission In Africa, Maintain Global Gains On AIDS, WHO DG Says

Xinhua: Gains in AIDS fight under threat due to declining political commitment, funding: WHO
“Global gains made in AIDS fight are under threat due to declining political commitment and funding, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said here on Monday. At an international AIDS conference [in Kigali], the WHO chief said in 2018, 770,000 people died from HIV and 1.7 million people were newly infected and the vast majority of these cases and deaths occurred in Africa…” (12/3).

Xinhua: Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV achievable with political will: WHO
“Eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis is achievable once there is political will, head of World Health Organization (WHO) said here on Monday during an international AIDS conference. ‘Eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis is achievable and you can help provide the key ingredient: political will,’ Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO, told first ladies of African countries at a sideline session of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) which runs from Dec. 2-7…” (11/2).

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Ahead Of U.N. Climate Change Conference, Reports, Events Highlight Impacts Of Warming World On Health, Food Supply

New Humanitarian: Why COP25 matters to the emergency aid sector
“Climate change talks open in Madrid today with fresh warnings of worsening disaster impacts, but they also offer a rare opportunity for the aid sector and poorer countries to secure new funding to help those on the front lines of crises. Facing soaring humanitarian costs in a warming world, campaigners are pushing for the divisive issue of climate-linked ‘loss and damage’ to take centre stage at the annual U.N. Climate Change Conference, this year known as COP25…” (Loy, 12/2).

Reuters: Climate change hits health, yet funds lacking: WHO
“Climate change is harming human health as more people suffer from heat stress, extreme weather and mosquito-borne diseases including malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday…” (Nebehay, 12/3).

The Telegraph: Countries are ‘exposed and vulnerable’ to health impacts of climate change
“…A report by the World Health Organization (WHO), launched as world leaders convene in Madrid for the United Nations climate change summit, has assessed the readiness of 101 countries to cope with the health impacts of extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods, and droughts…” (Barber, 12/3).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Poor nations pay price as millions flee ‘climate chaos,’ Oxfam says
“Fiercer weather and worsening wildfires drove more than 20 million people a year from their homes over the last decade — a problem set to worsen unless leaders act swiftly to head off surging climate threats, anti-poverty charity Oxfam said on Monday…” (Goering, 12/2).

U.N. News: Plants, the ‘core basis for life on Earth,’ under increasing threat, warns U.N. food agency
“Plants, which make up 80 percent of the food we eat, and produce 98 percent of the oxygen we breathe, are ‘under constant and increasing threat from pests and diseases,’ the U.N. food agency, FAO, warned on Tuesday, at an event at the agency’s headquarters in Rome, to designate 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health…” (12/2).

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FT Health Special Report Examines Technical, Policy Developments Helping Work Toward UHC

Financial Times: FT Health: Innovation in Healthcare
“FT writers examine technical and policy developments that could have a real impact in the drive for universal health coverage, from drone initiatives in Malawi to new finance mechanisms that ‘de-risk’ deals for companies producing medical supplies for poorer countries” (Multiple authors, 11/28).

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6 Nations Report Additional Vaccine-Derived Polio Cases; Pakistan Records More Than 90 Wild Poliovirus Cases

CIDRAP News: Six nations report more polio cases; Pakistan tops 90
“Countries experiencing recent polio outbreaks saw no letup in activity, with Pakistan reporting five new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases and four African nations, Pakistan, and the Philippines reporting more circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases, according to the latest update from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)…” (Schnirring, 12/2).

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Samoa Shuts Down Government For 2 Days To Focus On Response To Deadly Measles Outbreak

Washington Post: Samoa government to close for two days amid measles outbreak that has killed dozens of children
“Samoa announced it would shut down its government for two days so that public officials can combat a dangerous measles outbreak that has killed 53 people and infected 3,728. The Pacific island nation has raced to vaccinate its children and other residents since an outbreak was declared on Oct. 16. Its youngest citizens are at the greatest risk, as 48 of the deaths so far have been children under the age of 4…” (Epstein, 12/2).

Additional coverage of the outbreak and response is available from The Hill, NPR, and The Telegraph.

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More News In Global Health

AP: Amnesty: Yemen’s disabled are neglected, and suffering (Debre, 12/3).

The Guardian: Mosquitoes bring ‘mystery illness’ to the mountain villages of Nepal (Pattisson/Sedha, 12/3).

The Guardian: ‘My dignity is destroyed’: the scourge of sexual violence in Cox’s Bazar (Marsh, 12/3).

Reuters: U.N. to deliver food aid to 4.1 mln in Zimbabwe, fears ‘major crisis’ (Nebehay, 12/3).

SciDev.Net: Countries ‘let off the hook’ by lack of disabilities data (Douglas, 12/2).

U.N. News: U.N. ‘determined to lead by example’ on disability rights: Guterres (12/2).

U.N. News: Political solution ‘long overdue’ to protect the children of eastern Ukraine (12/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

Communities Must Improve Access To New HIV Medicines, Include Youth In Prevention Efforts, Opinion Pieces Say

Devex: Opinion: Communities together — accelerating uptake of promising new HIV/AIDS medicines
Nagesh Borse, acting director for the HIV/AIDS task order on GHSC-PSM

“…Critical to the global HIV/AIDS community’s efforts is ensuring people living with HIV have access to the latest antiretroviral drugs that effectively suppress viral load. … We need to get better — and faster — at bringing new treatment regimens to the patients who need them. … To do so, health stakeholders must work together at the global, national, and health facility levels to prepare, coordinate, communicate, and achieve successful — yet complex — treatment transitions. Supply-chain stakeholders can help manage this process … It is only by being prepared and working together that we can hope to eradicate the AIDS epidemic and other diseases for good” (12/2).

Global Health NOW: We Can Beat AIDS with Youth in the Lead
Maureen Luba Milambe, Africa region advocacy adviser for the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC), a Women in Global Health LEAD fellow, and a visiting scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Charles Holmes, faculty co-director at the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact and professor of medicine at Georgetown University

“The future of global HIV response must be very different from today’s efforts. It must be youth focused and youth led. … Transformative, multisectoral change that takes HIV prevention out of isolation and incorporates youth into every layer of global and domestic decision-making is needed. … [W]e cannot be serious about fighting HIV in youth if our policies have the effect of restricting access to family planning. Creating transformative avenues to listen to youth at every level of government, breaking down barriers to win-win pathways to careers in community health care, and integrating HIV prevention with family planning and other services are the next steps in ending AIDS…” (12/1).

Devex: Opinion: We won’t meet the 2020 AIDS targets. Now what?
Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC

“…2020 is the deadline that UNAIDS set for reducing new HIV infections to fewer than 500,000 worldwide. However, in 2018 alone, 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV. It is time — in fact, well past time — to redouble efforts and investments in HIV prevention. The need is clear. … Without prevention that fits into the lives of young people living with and at risk of HIV, there will be no end to epidemic levels of new infections. The good news is there are energized, committed new leaders in this fight: 2020 is the year of diverse, brave activist leadership in HIV — from the grassroots to Geneva. … The appointment this year of UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima gives us significant hope. … We urge Ms. Byanyima to continue to stand strong as an activist leader — brave, clear, and unwavering in her commitment to the populations in greatest need of attention…” (12/3).

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World's Population Must Take Action To Prevent Climate Change Consequences, Columnist Writes

Washington Post: We’re losing our climate battle. We have no one but ourselves to blame.
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post columnist

“We are losing the battle to save our planet, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. As the United Nations opens its 25th climate change summit in Madrid, leaders are seeking to put a brave face on a dismal situation. ‘My message here today is one of hope, not of despair,’ U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres told journalists Sunday. Hope, unfortunately, is not a plan. … [T]here is essentially no scientific disagreement about the fact that climate change is occurring or the fact that humankind is the cause. … At the Madrid climate summit — where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is the highest-profile U.S. attendee — the assembled leaders will hear that prior assessments of climate change catastrophe were understated. Global warming is happening faster than predicted, with more dramatic consequences than previously imagined. … Our benighted leaders fail to give us meaningful action on climate change because we fail to demand it. We can’t look to the Madrid conference to save the planet. We must look within” (12/2).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Various Organizations Release Content Related To World AIDS Day

Center for Global Development: HIV Treatment in Rural South Africa Increases Employment among HIV-Negative Neighbors — Especially Women (Over/Kaufman, 12/2).

Center for Strategic & International Studies: World AIDS Day: Big Questions on the Eve of HIV’s Pivotal Year (Allinder, 11/26).

Friends of the Global Fight: Elton John and other leading public figures make statement in support of the Global Fund (12/2).

UNAIDS: HIV treatment numbers continue to rise (12/2).

UNAIDS: Ending AIDS is everyone’s business (12/2).

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New WHO Report Examines Country Plans For Addressing Health Risks Due To Climate Change

World Health Organization: Climate risks to health are growing but prioritized funding lacking to safeguard human health from climate change
“Safeguarding human health from climate change impacts is more urgent than ever, yet most countries are not acting fully on their own plans to achieve this, according to the first global snapshot of progress on climate change and health. The new report draws on data from 101 countries surveyed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and reported in the 2018 WHO Health and Climate Change Survey Report…” (12/3).

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Expert Addresses Importance Of Access To SRH Services, High Quality Care, Safe Childbirth To Achieving UHC

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Quality of Care and Universal Health Coverage Should Be Basic Human Rights
Sarah Barnes, project director for the Wilson Center’s Maternal Health Initiative, discusses the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 held in November and the importance of access to sexual and reproductive health services, high quality care, and safe pregnancy and childbirth to achieving universal health coverage (12/2).

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