KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines Years-Long Bipartisan Effort To Develop, Pass BUILD Act, Create New U.S. Development Finance Corporation

Devex: How policy wonks, politicos, and a conservative Republican remade U.S. aid
“A United States conservative House Freedom Caucus Republican, a pair of think tank researchers, and a dedicated Democratic senator, along with President Donald Trump’s administration, came together to achieve what in today’s political climate many thought would be impossible. They passed a bipartisan piece of development legislation, transforming a government agency that had long struggled to find support into a new entity twice the size, which development experts believe will better equip the U.S. to finance development objectives. … But how did the Overseas Private Investment Corporation … become a rallying point for potentially the most significant change in U.S. development policy in 15 years? Through a lot of research, a host of meetings, and a little luck…” (Saldinger, 12/5).

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Cameroon Inaugurates U.S.-Supported Yaounde Public Health Emergency Operations Center As Part Of GHSA Efforts

VOA News: Cameroon Inaugurates U.S.-Funded Center for Disease Control
“Cameroon is the recipient of a new public health emergency center constructed with the support of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The facility, which provides training for hospital staff and helps to detect disease outbreaks, was inaugurated Monday by Cameroon’s prime minister, with the U.S. ambassador on hand. Prime Minister Philemon Yang said the Yaounde Public Health Emergency Operations Center will enable Cameroon to meet the objectives of the Global Health Security Agenda, launched in 2014 with the goal of making the world safe and secure from infectious disease threats…” (Kindzeka, 12/4).

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More Women Infected With Ebola In DRC Outbreak

VOA News: Congo’s Worst Ebola Outbreak Hits Women Especially Hard
“The Democratic Republic of Congo is in the throes of its worst-ever Ebola outbreak, with more than 420 cases in the country’s volatile east, and a mortality rate of just under 60 percent. But this outbreak — the nation’s tenth known Ebola epidemic — is unusual because more than 60 percent of patients are women…” (Powell, 12/4).

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Nature Examines Global Hepatitis B Burden, Death Toll

Nature: The silent epidemic killing more people than HIV, malaria or TB
“…The hepatitis B virus (HBV), which spreads through blood and bodily fluids and invades liver cells, is thought to kill just under one million people every year around the world, mostly from cancer or scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver. HBV is less likely to be fatal than HIV, and many people who carry the virus don’t have symptoms. But because more than 250 million people live with chronic HBV infections, more than seven times the number with HIV, its global death toll now rivals that of the more-feared virus…” (Graber-Stiehl, 12/5).

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Media Outlets Continue Coverage On Gene-Edited Infants, Establishment Of WHO Working Group

CNN: WHO panel to address complex issues around gene editing
“The World Health Organization is creating a working group to study gene editing and the complex ethical, social, and safety issues the procedure raises. The panel will help develop ‘agreed norms and standards for the governance of human gene editing,’ the organization told CNN. The announcement comes one week after a Chinese scientist claimed to have created the world’s first gene-edited babies…” (Senthilingam, 12/4).

Additional coverage of this story is available from The Guardian, Science, and USA TODAY.

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More News In Global Health

Borgen Magazine: HIV/AIDS Prevention in China and Africa Ensures Brighter Future (Frett, 12/4).

Devex: AfDB launches Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Action Plan (Roby, 12/5).

Inter Press Service: ‘Antimicrobial Resistance Knows No Boundaries’ (Holt, 12/4).

IRIN: U.N. appeals for record $4 billion to help the people of Yemen (Parker, 12/4).

IRIN: Aid deliveries to Syria at risk in U.N. Security Council vote (Lund, 12/4).

MedPage Today: $2 Test Could Transform Sickle Cell Dx in Africa (Ingram, 12/4).

Premium Times: Why Nigeria must prioritize investment in family planning — Osinbajo (Owoseye, 12/5).

Reuters: Pakistan’s aid group clampdown could hit 11 mln people, diplomats say (Sayeed, 12/4).

Reuters: Zimbabwe doctors strike again for better pay as economy struggles (Dzirutwe, 12/3).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Elton John: We must break HIV/AIDS stigma (Savage, 12/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

New Legislation, Congressional Action Needed On FGM To Protect Women, Girls

USA TODAY: With female genital mutilation ban gone, we need new legislation to protect at-risk girls
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations

“…Last month, during a trial of a Michigan doctor accused of performing [female genital mutilation (FGM)] on nine minor girls, [Federal Judge Bernard Friedman] ruled that the [federal] law banning FGM is unconstitutional. Now, Congress and the states must act immediately to re-enact FGM protections. … The Trump administration should appeal this decision immediately. This law has protected girls from FGM for 22 years. To accept this ruling without contention would be a dereliction of our duty to protect our young girls from this abuse. Without a federal ban in place, FGM is now legal in 23 states. Unless these states act swiftly to ban the practice, more of America’s young girls remain at risk. … For my part, I intend to introduce legislation early next year to reinstitute a federal ban on this practice. The message should be clear to the women and girls of America — they are protected from this barbaric practice” (12/4).

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Conducting Multi-Outbreak, Multi-Country Trials Essential To Efforts To Develop Ebola Treatments, Vaccines

STAT: It isn’t crazy to conduct an Ebola clinical trial in a war zone — it’s necessary
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust

“…There is no question that the current Ebola outbreak in the DRC would be far, far worse if there were no vaccine available. That vaccine exists only because of a trial in the devastating multiyear epidemic in West Africa — a trial that many at the time said was just too difficult to do. … It’s time to stop reacting to these outbreaks as discrete episodes and instead work together with a coordinated, nationally led, and internationally supported approach that learns from each outbreak so we can better prepare for the next. Multi-outbreak, multi-country trials are essential if we’re to find the best treatments for patients and the best vaccines. … We won’t ever get rid of Ebola, but we can stop outbreaks of it from turning into major regional and national epidemics. This trial of treatments [that is ongoing in the Democratic Republic of Congo], and the vaccines we now have available, offer hope that we can turn this terrifying disease into a preventable and treatable one, ensuring the loss of as few lives as possible” (12/4).

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Global Fund For Education Could Help Countries Achieve Universal Education By 2030, Improve Global Health, Development

New York Times: Throwing Open the Schoolhouse Doors, Once and For All
Gordon Brown, former prime minister of Britain and U.N. special envoy for global education

“…The fourth Sustainable Development Goal — equitable and inclusive quality education for all — commits us to make our generation, by 2030, the first in history to send every child to school. Today, the shameful reality is that 260 million children aren’t going to class. … A recent World Bank study shows that child marriage could become a thing of the past if all girls attended school. … And female illiteracy has a devastating effect on a community’s health, with infant mortality in Africa far higher among uneducated mothers. … [W]hile global health and educational institutions in developed countries are blessed with outstanding private philanthropists, global education has yet to discover its latter-day Andrew Carnegie. Business investments in global education have been a fraction of the investments in global health or the environment. … The $10 billion International Finance Facility for Education can break through the aid stalemate. Proposed by the Education Commission, … the fund is focused on the more than 700 million children living in the world’s lower-middle-income countries … A global fund for education on a scale that matches the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria would help honor our long-delayed promise of education for all and bring one of the worst-funded Sustainable Development Goals within reach. It would also send a timely message to the world: that even in the most insular and protectionist of environments, we can advance international cooperation and prove that globalization can still work for those who have been left behind” (12/4).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Columbia University Expert Discusses Global HIV/AIDS Response, Future Of Global Health Coordination

Project Syndicate Podcast: The Future of Global Health Coordination
In this podcast, Project Syndicate Editor Greg Bruno interviews Elizabeth Radin, lecturer and technical director of the PHIA Project at ICAP at Columbia University, who discusses the HIV/AIDS epidemic and her research in more than a dozen African countries. The summary states, “For global health professionals, the successful war on HIV/AIDS is a model to emulate when targeting other hard-to-contain pandemics. But as [Radin] notes, the biggest obstacles to overcoming public health crises are usually political, not scientific…” (12/4).

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Johns Hopkins Report Recommends Better Epidemic Preparedness, Response To Cholera In Yemen, Other Humanitarian Emergencies

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Lack of Preparedness and Insecurity Hampered Response to Cholera Epidemic in Yemen
“…The new report [from the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health], ‘Cholera in Yemen: a case study of epidemic preparedness and response,’ calls for better anticipation of and preparedness for epidemics in complex humanitarian emergencies with weakened public health systems. Recommendations include technical components, such as boosting the presence of peripheral laboratories to confirm cholera cases combined with improved surveillance in order to better monitor the outbreaks, to the humanitarian, such as improving coordination and requesting the U.N. to adopt a stronger stance on the protection of both health facilities as well as water and sanitation infrastructure from airstrikes…” (12/4).

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6 WHO Member States In Mediterranean, African Regions Sign Declaration To Strengthen Public Health Preparedness, Enhance Global Health Security

WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean: WHO Member States sign Khartoum Declaration on Sudan and Bordering Countries: Cross-Border Health Security
“Six countries in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean and African Regions have signed a declaration committing themselves to strengthening preparedness and response to public health threats and events across borders in an effort to further the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) and enhance global health security. The Khartoum Declaration on Sudan and Bordering Countries: Cross-Border Health Security was signed by Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, South Sudan, and Sudan on 22 November 2018 in Khartoum, Sudan…” (12/4).

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Zambia Pilot Demonstrates Potential Of Whole-Community Approach In Malaria Case Management

IntraHealth International’s “VITAL”: Zambia Pilot Demonstrates How to Save Lives, Scale Relief for Children Suffering from Malaria
Cathy Green, senior technical adviser for community engagement at MAMaZ Against Malaria, and Paula Quigley, technical lead at DAI Global Health, discuss a successful pilot intervention that trained community health volunteers in Zambia to recognize severe malaria among children, “identify danger signs, provide pre-referral treatment to children with [rectal artesunate (RAS)], and refer them to health facilities without delay.” The authors also discuss the potential scale-up of the approach and note, “A whole-community approach improves how individuals recognize stricken children, report the illness, and seek treatment” (12/4).

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From KFF

KFF Updates Fact Sheet Examining President's Malaria Initiative, Other U.S. Government Global Malaria Efforts

Kaiser Family Foundation: The President’s Malaria Initiative and Other U.S. Government Global Malaria Efforts
This updated fact sheet examines the U.S. government’s role in global malaria efforts and includes an overview of the global situation, the President’s Malaria Initiative, multi- and bilateral funding, malaria interventions, and global goals for control and eradication (12/4).

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