KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID Administrator Mark Green Highlights India As Recipient-Donor Transition Model, China's Aid Approach In Speech

Daily Excelsior: Want to help countries emulate India model of transitioning from recipient to donor: U.S.
“Challenged by … Chinese overseas aid, the U.S. has said that it wants to help other countries follow the India model of transitioning from being an aid recipient to a partner and then to a donor. ‘Our goal is to help countries move from being recipients to partners, to fellow donors. That’s what we want. We want to build that coalition of the willing for the West, for the United States,’ USAID Administrator Mark Green said in his address to the Professional Services Council’s 7th Annual Development Conference. … Describing China as the most prominent authoritarian player in the developing world, he accused the Asian giant of predatory financing. On the other hand, U.S. tries to help countries become more self-reliant, he noted…” (12/5).

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More Pregnant Women, Children Protected From Malaria But Global Progress Remains Stalled, Needs More Funding, WHO Report Says

CIDRAP News: Malaria progress stall continues, but more pregnant women and kids protected
“Though progress against malaria continues to stall, mainly due to funding gaps, the World Health Organization (WHO) in its annual report [Wednesday] highlighted a promising development: more pregnant women and children were protected against the disease. In the report, based on 2018 data, the WHO estimates there were 228 million malaria cases, up from 219 million in 2017. Recent trends are concerning, because malaria levels had been dropping steadily between 2010 and 2014. The disease also killed about 405,000 people last year, with sub-Saharan African countries bearing most of the burden…” (Schnirring, 12/4).

Additional coverage of the WHO malaria report is available from Devex, SciDev.Net and U.N. News.

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U.N. Appeals For Nearly $30B For Humanitarian Aid Efforts In 2020, Noting Record Rise In Attacks On Health Workers

The Guardian: Record rise in attacks on healthcare workers leaves ‘millions at risk’ — U.N.
“Attacks on healthcare workers have reached a record high according to a U.N. report that predicts a ‘bleak outlook’ for the world’s poorest people due to intense armed conflict and the climate emergency. The number of highly violent conflicts has risen to 41, from 36 in 2018, causing deaths, injuries, significant displacement and hunger, the U.N.’s global humanitarian overview 2020 report found…” (McVeigh, 12/5).

New York Times: U.N. Asks for Record Funds for Aid Programs
“The United Nations appealed on Wednesday for nearly $30 billion for humanitarian relief operations in 2020 to aid people whose lives are disrupted by armed conflicts, economic desperation, and the effects of climate change. As many as 168 million people may require aid in 2020, Mark Lowcock, the United Nations aid coordinator said…” (Cumming-Bruce, 12/4).

U.N. News: A record number of people will need help worldwide during 2020: U.N. Humanitarian Overview
“…In terms of sheer scale, Yemen ‘is still going to be the world’s worst humanitarian crisis’ in 2020 after nearly five years of war, [Lowcock] maintained. … Detailed in the Global Humanitarian Overview 2020, the appeal for Yemen is $3.2 billion. … The U.N. Children’s Fund UNICEF released its US$ 4.2 billion 2020 emergency appeal on Wednesday to reach 59 million children with life-saving support in 64 countries across the globe. This represents the biggest ask of donors yet — more than triple the funds requested in 2010…” (12/4).

Additional coverage of the Global Humanitarian Overview 2020 is available from Devex, U.N. Dispatch and Xinhua.

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Violence Threatens Resurgence In DRC Ebola Outbreak As MSF Pulls Foreign Staff Out Of Eastern Region; Country's Measles Deaths Pass 5K

AFP/Al Jazeera: Doctors treating Ebola flee DR Congo’s east amid deadly violence
“The non-profit group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) pulled its foreign staff out of an eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo after an armed group tried to enter its compound…” (12/4).

Reuters: Measles toll in Congo exceeds 5,000, WHO says
“A measles epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 5,000 people this year, many of them young children, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday…” (Nebehay, 12/5).

Washington Post: Ebola was almost contained in Congo. A wave of violence threatens to bring it roaring back.
“…In the week before the attack on Nov. 28, that victory [of ending the DRC Ebola outbreak] seemed near: Tallies of new cases had dropped below 10, from a high of more than 100 per week earlier this year. But a sudden resurgence of violent incidents has dashed that optimism and cast a pall of fear over the response. More than 500 health workers have had to be moved away from the violence, and the World Health Organization now says there is a risk the outbreak could come roaring back…” (Bearak, 12/5).

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Syrian Government Criminalizes Medical Care To Insurgents, Persecutes Health Workers, Physicians For Human Rights Report Says

New York Times: In Syria, Health Workers Risk Becoming ‘Enemies of the State’
“…On Wednesday, Physicians for Human Rights, a group that has documented the collapse of Syria’s health care system, released a study asserting that over the course of the war, President Bashar al-Assad has successfully made medical assistance to his enemies a crime. Whether it is disinfecting a fighter’s wound or even supplying painkillers to clinics in an insurgent-held neighborhood, such acts are punishable under a counterterrorism law enacted by Mr. al-Assad’s government just over a year after the conflict began in March of 2011. A special court has tried tens of thousands under the law, including many medical workers…” (Gladstone et al., 12/4).

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Samoan Officials Ask Residents Unvaccinated For Measles To Fly Red Flags For Identification By Health Workers In Door-To-Door Campaign

Newsweek: Red Flags To Fly Above Homes Of Unvaccinated In Samoa As Government Shuts Down And Measles Death Toll Rises
“Officials in Samoa have asked families unvaccinated against measles to put a red flag outside their homes, as part of an immunization program to tackle an outbreak that has already claimed the lives of 60 people. A mass door-to-door vaccination campaign is due to take place throughout the Pacific island nation from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, the government said in a statement…” (Gander, 12/4).

Washington Post: As Samoa fights a deadly measles crisis, unvaccinated people are told to mark homes with red flags
“…Vaccination for all Samoans ages 6 months to 60 will be free, the government said, but the top priority is children under age 4 because they are most at risk of deadly complications and also have the lowest vaccination rates. Of the more than 4,000 cases reported, the government announced Tuesday, 171 were recorded in the past 24 hours, and 90 of those involved children 4 or younger. Most of the deaths to date are from that age group, too…” (Knowles, 12/4).

Additional coverage of the measles outbreak is available from AP, DW, and Reuters.

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Experimental Typhoid Vaccine Successful In First Field Trial In Nepal

Reuters Health: New typhoid fever vaccine protects young children
“The first field trial of a new typhoid vaccine that can be used in young children provides protection for 81.6% of recipients, opening the door to better control of a disease that affects 11 million people each year and kills roughly 117,000. … The new test, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved children as young as 9 months…” (Emery, 12/4).

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More News In Global Health

AP: Once-a-month birth control pill? Experiment works in animals (Neergaard, 12/4).

BBC: Air pollution in Nairobi leaves Kenyan children struggling to breathe (Serwanjja, 12/4).

Devex: In wake of safeguarding scandal, IPPF approves organizational overhaul (Edwards, 12/5).

Devex: Q&A: WASH business: A mixed business model in waste-to-value (Ravelo, 12/5).

Devex: Q&A: New PATH CEO on plans to become ‘the go-to health NGO’ (Cheney, 12/5).

The Guardian: ‘I feel constant pain’: drug resistance adds to misery of Gaza gun victims (McVeigh/Balousha, 12/5).

New York Times: Climate Change Is Accelerating, Bringing World ‘Dangerously Close’ to Irreversible Change (Fountain, 12/4).

New York Times: ‘He Showed Us Life’: Japanese Doctor Who Brought Water to Afghans Is Killed (Ghazi et al., 12/4).

Reuters: Fiji to postpone sports contests as it battles measles outbreak (Ransom, 12/4).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Deaths prompt Nepal to offer cash to women who shun ‘menstrual huts’ (Sharma, 12/3).

Xinhua: Australia develops tool to predict spread of dengue fever (12/5).

Xinhua: Laos to improve emergency medical response to natural disasters (12/4).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Piece Proposes New Model For Development Financing

Quartz: Here’s how countries might actually reach the U.N. sustainable development goals
Nancy Lee, senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development

“…We need to stretch the limits of what we can do to mobilize more finance for development. This is why we propose new model, which we’re calling ‘the stretch fund.’ … [W]e need a permanent, purpose-built fund whose investors are willing to accept below-market returns for high development impact, which my colleague Dan Preston and I call for in a new research paper. Think of the stretch fund solution as the missing gear we need to help get the rest of the SDG finance engine spinning. As a pooled investment vehicle, the fund’s capital would come from both public and private investors that prioritize development impact. … Donors — public and private — will most likely resist the notion of funding an entirely new development finance actor. But realistically, what’s the alternative? More funding for existing DFIs or for grantmaking will not bridge the gap — and likely won’t get us to where we need to be in the next 10 years. We don’t just need more development finance, we need to deploy it more catalytically. The stretch fund offers a new approach designed for leverage and impact” (12/4).

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Vigilance, Continued Efforts Required To Reach Polio Eradication, Opinion Piece Says

The Conversation: Complacency could delay the final push to eradicate polio
Villyen Motaze, epidemiologist and PhD fellow, and Melinda Suchard, head of the Centre for Vaccines and Immunology, both at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases

“…Reported cases of wild poliovirus have decreased by over 99% from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to 33 in 2018. … Today it’s easy to forget how common this disease once was and how it changed and ended lives. The danger in this is that complacency sets in and the strategies that were successful in fighting the disease — such as vaccination — are no longer followed. … [A]ny breakdown in control efforts will undermine all achievements over the previous decades by leaving open the chance that a small number of cases becomes a large number again. This catastrophic scenario should be avoided. … To achieve polio eradication, all countries must reinforce disease surveillance and strengthen their immunization programs. The vaccines used for polio control are safe and effective but no less than 95% of the population needs to be vaccinated…” (12/4).

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New York Times Columnist Features Photos, Captions Showing Humanitarian Situation In Venezuela

New York Times: Venezuelans’ Struggle to Survive, Told in Pictures
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times opinion columnist, and Fabiola Ferrero, photographer

“To visit Venezuela today is to see how misrule can shatter a country. Years of corrupt, incompetent, and autocratic rule have left Venezuelans hungry and children dying for want of basic medical care. … Words can’t capture the misery, so I’m giving my column space over to photos of people I met on a recent visit. People were willing to be photographed and share their stories so that the world could understand what their country is enduring…” (12/4).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID Counselor Highlights Agency's Transformation Initiative In Journal Article

American Foreign Service Association’s “Foreign Service Journal”: USAID Transforms
Chris Milligan, counselor to the U.S. Agency for International Development, discusses USAID’s Transformation initiative, highlighting structural changes and efforts to support its workforce, and how these efforts reflect USAID’s “Journey to Self Reliance” principle. Milligan also addresses the relationship between the State Department and USAID, writing, “The relationship between the Department of State and USAID is central to the United States achieving its foreign policy objectives. While diplomacy and development are distinct professions with distinct expertise, they must coordinate closely to achieve U.S. government goals. The spaces we operate in (e.g., humanitarian assistance, conflict prevention and stabilization, political transitions, countering violent extremism, fragile states) are increasingly interagency spaces. The Transformation initiative recognizes that our work requires far more coordination and engagement with the interagency than has been the case in the past” (December 2019).

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Expert Discusses Role Of Venture Capital In Achieving Global Health Goals

World Economic Forum: How venture capital can transform global health
Nina Rawal, founder and managing director of Emerging Health Ventures, discusses the financing needs to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the role of venture capital. Rawal concludes, “The venture capital model is far from perfect and is not proposed as a one-size-fits-all solution for the entire global health challenge, but the last decade in life science, as well as in consumer technology, has shown us how it can support the transformation of entire industries. So far, the concept of global health venture capital is in its infancy, spearheaded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In order to extract the full power of the venture capital minority ownership model, additional funds must enter the game. As the capital allocated to impact investing rapidly increases, this could be a great time to transform global health” (12/5).

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CFR Intern Discusses Recent, Historical Anti-LGBT Efforts In Uganda

Council on Foreign Relations: Uganda Renews Clampdown on the LGBT Community
In this guest blog post, Neil Edwards, volunteer intern for CFR’s Africa Program, discusses anti-LGBT activities in Uganda, including legislation and other forms of discrimination (12/4).

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Wilson Center Event Focuses On Impact Of NCDs On Maternal Health, Integrating Care

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: CODE BLUE: The Importance of Integrating Care for Maternal Health and Non-Communicable Disease
Deekshita Ramanarayanan, intern for the Wilson Center Maternal Health Initiative, summarizes the discussion at a recent Wilson Center event highlighting the impact of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on maternal health, as well as integrating care. The event was the first in the Maternal Health Initiative’s CODE BLUE series, which will address NCDs and maternal health (12/5).

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