KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Asia-Pacific Must Make More Effort To End Hunger; Dairy Could Play Beneficial Role, FAO Report Says

Associated Press: U.N. says dairy a potential ally in Asia nutrition challenges
“…Milk and other dairy products have become an unexpected ally in the fight against Asia’s newest dietary challenges: obesity, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies, according to a report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization released Tuesday. ‘This report is an eye-opener and a wake-up call … we still have nearly half-a-billion hungry people in this region,’ said Kundhavi Kadiresan, FAO’s assistant director general. But ‘increased consumption of milk and dairy holds out excellent promise to improve nutrition,’ she said…” (Kang, 12/5).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Asia-Pacific loses steam in efforts to end hunger: study
“Even as malnutrition killed millions of children worldwide last year — with many deaths in Asia-Pacific, the region’s progress towards defeating hunger has slowed down, a new study has found. The study, published on Tuesday by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, said although Asia-Pacific halved the number of hungry mouths from 1990 to 2015, in many countries, progress has faltered in the last five years…” (Liu, 12/6).

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2016 African Yellow Fever Epidemic Revealed Weaknesses In Emergency Vaccine Supply Pipeline, Experts Say

New York Times: Yellow Fever Epidemic in Africa Shows Gaps in Vaccine Pipeline
“The yellow fever outbreak in Africa this year came closer to being a disaster than is widely recognized, public health experts recently disclosed. The epidemic also revealed glaring weaknesses in the emergency vaccine supply pipeline. … Ultimately, the yellow fever outbreak was halted only by a huge vaccination campaign that stretched supplies by diluting doses, and even that succeeded only because some unusual donors stepped in…” (McNeil, 12/5).

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Physicians Working To Bring Health Care To Remote, Rural Areas Of Thailand, Liberia

Global Health NOW: In Thailand, $3 a Month Could Boost Migrant Health
“…To bring better health — and dignity — to [migrants living in Thailand along the Thai-Burmese border,] a transient group trapped in the gaps between two health care systems along a porous border, … French-born, Thai-based physician [Nicolas Durier] has founded a nonprofit that aims to build health care access by providing low-cost insurance. Called Dreamlopments — a name that merges ‘dream’ and ‘developments’ — the Bangkok-based group will offer much-needed preventive screening and other services in partnership with a network of public and private health care providers on both sides of the border…” (Gately, 12/2).

Quartz: This doctor believes an experiment he tried in Liberia could bring health care to everyone in the world
“Raj Panjabi, a physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston[, recently] was awarded the 2017 TED Prize. In 2007, Panjabi co-founded what would later become Last Mile Health with a group of Liberian civil war survivors and American health workers. The team’s mission is to recruit, train, and provide resources to health care workers in far-flung communities in Liberia…” In this interview, Panjabi says, “Investing in the people in remote rural areas might have a lot to do with enabling us to be safer in the future. It was clear during the Ebola crisis that local community health workers were really critical in responding to the disease…” (Rathi, 12/4).

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With Experimental Zika Virus Vaccines In Human Clinical Trials, Scientists Wonder Whether Market Will Exist When Shots Approved

STAT: A Zika vaccine is being developed at warp speed, but will there be a market for it?
“…[D]espite funding delays from a fractious pre-election Congress, three experimental Zika vaccines are already being tested in people; another four or five should start human trials between now and next fall. … Let’s be clear: That is warp speed for vaccine development, especially in a case, such as this, where the race commenced from a standing start. But will there be a market for a Zika vaccine when the work is done? That question hangs over this work…” (Branswell, 12/5).

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Rohingya In Some Parts Of Asia Face Discrimination In Accessing Health Care, Report Says

New York Times: Rohingya Face Health Care Bias in Parts of Asia, Study Finds
“Members of the Rohingya ethnic group face chronic discrimination in access to medical care in Myanmar and other Asian countries, with severe consequences for health and mortality rates, a study has found. The report, published online by the British medical journal The Lancet on Dec. 1, said the Myanmar government’s role in the situation could arguably be characterized as genocide or ethnic cleansing…” (Ives, 12/5).

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Editorials and Opinions

Some Media Coverage Of WHO's Classification Of Zika Could Cause Misunderstanding Of Disease's Severity

Forbes: How The Zika Virus Outbreak Foretold Donald Trump’s Win
Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center; Lee H. Igel, clinical associate professor in the NYU Tisch Institute and associate of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center; and Kelly McBride Folkers, graduate research associate in the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center

“…[T]here is a huge misunderstanding about the spread of Zika and the WHO view of it. To see that, though, requires reading beyond the headlines and the crazed hashtags. … The big takeaway for many people who have picked up on the news coverage is that WHO no longer regards Zika as a public health emergency. But the big point that they are missing is the reason why: because the virus now fits the criteria for ‘a significant and enduring public health challenge.’ … Because human beings are prone to such selective attention, especially in today’s world of information overload, is why we see punchy, easy-to-understand language dominating thoughtful analysis of issues. … Although the media may not be intentionally distracting people from the real news — that Zika is here to stay — in short headlines, respectable outlets ought to know better. Zika and the victims whose lives it will devastate deserve more of our attention” (12/5).

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Global Community Must Integrate TB, HIV Efforts, Not Treat As Separate Diseases

Huffington Post: Why Tuberculosis And HIV Have To Be Combated Together
Rajesh Deshmukh, HIV-TB program officer with India’s National AIDS Control Organization

“India has the highest tuberculosis (TB) burden and [is] the third highest HIV burden country in the world. … National and international studies indicate that an integrated approach to TB and HIV services can be extremely effective in managing this dual menace. … The changing epidemiological scenario, drivers of the HIV epidemic, and the emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis all warrant attention for addressing the TB-HIV situation in India. … Intensive efforts are being made to engage various stakeholders and further strengthen ongoing efforts to reduce the incidence of TB, including among people living with HIV. These efforts include raising awareness about tuberculosis, intensifying TB case finding in high-risk groups, using rapid diagnostics for early diagnosis, and increasing the collective involvement of the private sector, NGOs, and community-based organizations in working for a TB-free India” (12/5).

Huffington Post: HIV, TB, And The Battle For Global Health
Shelley Garnham, TB officer at RESULTS Canada

“…[I]f the ‘Global Community’ is to meaningfully stop TB and HIV from their global assault, it must ensure that services are coordinated, that treatment is integrated when appropriate, and that governments implement the collaborative practices that effectively and collectively address the infectious villains. In other words, there must be a shift in practice, from operating as two distinct communities — TB and HIV — each battling their own foe, and instead work as one to end the villainous reign of the ‘Deadly Duo.’ … [W]e must work together, be collaborative and flexible, and most of all, keep in mind that this enemy attacks communities, families, and individuals. No one is fighting harder against TB and HIV than those who are most immediately affected, and we must ensure that they have the tools and systems in place to defeat the forces of evil…” (12/2).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.S. Military's HIV Prevention Program Responds To Disease In American Troops, Assists Other Militaries

Defense Video Imagery Distribution System: The U.S. Military’s Global Fight Against HIV/AIDS: Spreading Cooperation While Stopping the Spread of Disease
Rick Shaffer, director of the U.S. Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) at the Naval Health Research Center, discusses the U.S. military’s efforts to respond to HIV in U.S. troops and globally, describing the history of and progress made by DHAPP “to provide assistance to partner militaries around the world with their HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs” (Kowitz, 12/5).

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Global Philanthropic Funding For HIV/AIDS Reaches Highest Level Since 2008, FCAA Report Says

Funders Concerned About AIDS: New Funders Concerned About AIDS Report Shows Highest Philanthropic Funding Point Since 2008
“Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA), the leading voice on philanthropic resources for the global AIDS epidemic, [last week] released its 14th annual Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS report. This year’s findings indicate that global philanthropic funding to fight the epidemic increased 10 percent from 2014, reaching $663 million, the highest level of funding since 2008…” (12/1).

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Sub-Saharan African Political Leaders Must Commit To Effective, Constructive Communication Regarding HIV Prevention, Treatment, Blog Post Says

PLOS Blogs’ “Translational Global Health”: A Call for Courage in Uncertain Times: Curbing HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa through Political Leadership
Abraar Karan, an MPH candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a graduate of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, and Thomas J. Coates, director of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine Center for World Health and the director of the multi-campus University of California Global Health Institute, discuss “a dearth of information regarding the role of political leadership, and how it can successfully or detrimentally affect populations as it relates to the HIV epidemic, and other diseases more generally…” They write, “On World AIDS Day 2016, we are calling for a renewed commitment by political leaders in sub-Saharan Africa to commit to accurate and de-stigmatizing public communications that will greatly benefit HIV prevention, diagnosis, and treatment efforts…” (12/1).

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Progress On HIV Viral Load Testing In 7 Sub-Saharan African Nations; Challenges Persist, Require International Support

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: HIV viral load testing capacities progress, require global support, multiple partners to reach 90-90-90 goals
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses a report recently published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that examined the implementation of and challenges to the use of HIV viral load testing in seven sub-Saharan African nations. “[W]hile progress across the seven countries indicate what is possible, a breakdown of the numbers collected in each also illustrate the continuing cost, capacity, and resource challenges. … Filling the gaps, the researchers say, will require international collaborations to supply affordable tests, supplies, and training, and planning to make the tests — and timely results — universally accessible,” Barton writes (12/5).

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Special Issue Of Global Health Governance Available Online

Global Health Governance: Special Issue: Political Science in Global Health
This special issue of Global Health Governance features articles on various topics, including political science research in global health politics and policy, framing global health as a human rights issue, and international relations and the global politics of health (12/5).

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