KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.N. Issues Appeal For At Least $4.4B Over Next Month To Address Hunger Crises In 4 Nations

Devex: U.N. outlines ‘new way of working in crisis’ with $4.4B famine appeal for 4 countries
“The United Nations has announced a $4.4 billion appeal to respond to the escalating risk of famine in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen in a move defined by strengthened coordination between development and humanitarian agencies. United Nations Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark hailed the move as a ‘new way of working in crisis’ that deals with short-term emergency needs as well as planning for a more sustainable future that would help avoid other disasters…” (Lieberman, 2/22).

New York Times: Why 20 Million People Are on Brink of Famine in a ‘World of Plenty’
“In a world filled with excess food, 20 million people are on the brink of famine, including 1.4 million children at imminent risk of death. In the face of such grim numbers, a stark question confronts the world’s most powerful: Why in 2017 can’t they avert such a seemingly archaic and preventable catastrophe? Secretary-General António Guterres of the United Nations raised the alarm Wednesday afternoon about the risk of famine in northern Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. And this week, the United Nations declared famine in a patch of South Sudan…” (Sengupta, 2/22).

U.N. News Centre: Tackling hunger crises in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen requires $4.4 billion — U.N.
“Sounding the alarm on behalf of more than 20 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and north-east Nigeria facing devastating levels of food insecurity, Secretary-General António Guterres joined other top United Nations officials [Wednesday] calling for ‘strong and urgent’ action from the international community to help the already-fragile countries avert catastrophe. … Briefing the press at U.N. Headquarters in New York alongside the U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien, the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark, and by video conference, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) Ertharin Cousin, Mr. Guterres said the U.N. needs at least $4.4 billion by the end of March to avert a catastrophe…” (2/22).

U.N. News Centre: Humanitarian agencies seek $1 billion to provide life-saving aid to millions in northeast Nigeria — U.N.
“As relief organizations increase response to the humanitarian emergency in the north-east of Nigeria, timely donor support amounting to a little over $1 billion is required to sustain life-saving assistance to millions people devastated by Boko Haram-linked violence, the United Nations relief aid wing has said. ‘If the resources do not arrive in time, one in five children suffering severe acute malnutrition could die,’ said Peter Lundberg, the deputy humanitarian coordinator for Nigeria in a press release issued [Tuesday] by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)…” (2/22).

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In Letter, Members Of Congress Urge U.S. Army Not To Exclusively License Experimental Zika Vaccine To Sanofi Pasteur

STAT: Lawmakers urge U.S. Army not to issue exclusive license to Sanofi for a Zika vaccine
“Nearly a dozen members of Congress are urging the U.S. Army not to issue an exclusive license to Sanofi Pasteur to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus over concerns the product may be priced too high for many Americans, even though it was developed with taxpayer funds…” (Silverman, 2/22).

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Former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss Speaks With IPW About High-Level Panel On Access To Medicines Report

Intellectual Property Watch: Momentum-Building: An Interview With Ruth Dreifuss On High-Level Panel On Access To Medicines
“Former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, co-chair of the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, participated in a Geneva event on rare diseases earlier this month. She agreed to answer Intellectual Property Watch’s Catherine Saez about the High-Level Panel report, in particular how it was received by the international community, her take on criticisms that have been voiced, and the importance that the report be discussed at the international level such as the World Health Assembly…” (Saez, 2/22).

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The Lancet Infectious Diseases Interviews Finalists For WHO Director General Position

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: WHO Director General shortlist chosen
“On 25 January 2017, the WHO Executive Board announced the shortlisted candidates for the post of director general. Talha Burki speaks with the contenders…” (Burki, March 2017).

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African Business Magazine Examines How Product Development Partnerships Help Drive R&D, Markets For New Drugs, Vaccines, Diagnostics

African Business Magazine: Partnerships to fight disease
“…Investing in the discovery, development, and manufacture of drugs to combat tropical and poverty-related diseases in African countries with limited resources to fund research or pay for treatments was a commercial non-starter. … The product development partnership (PDP) model, which emerged in the late 90s, was a response to this market failure. … There are now 16 major PDPs operating globally, each with a specialized focus on vaccines, microbicides, preventative treatments, therapeutic products, or diagnostics…” (Fox, 2/23).

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Editorials and Opinions

Future Of Health, Development 'Hangs In The Balance' Under Trump Administration

JAMA: How Will President Trump’s Policies Affect Domestic and Global Health and Development?
Lawrence O. Gostin, professor and faculty director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and director of the WHO’s Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights

“There is still a great deal we don’t know about the policies of a Trump administration, and how those policies will unfold in a constitutional system of checks and balances. … Based on Trump’s earlier statements, what can we expect for 2017 and beyond? … Trump has not signaled diminished support for [PEPFAR or the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria], but international health assistance probably will be flat-lined, possibly reduced. This will maintain the U.S. support for antiretroviral treatment in Africa and elsewhere, but would do little to expand coverage. President Obama’s signature global health achievement is not likely to fair as well. His $1 billion Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) is strengthening health systems in lower-income countries. President Obama also advocated for U.S. leadership and funding during the Ebola and Zika outbreaks during his term. Trump would be less likely to push Congress to renew GHSA funding or allocate major resources to fight the next global health emergency. … The United States has historically exercised global health leadership, while sharply increasing health insurance coverage domestically under the Obama administration. As Trump takes office with the promise to ‘put America first,’ what will that mean for our commitments to global health and progress toward universal health coverage? The future of health, development, and the environment hangs in the balance” (2/21).

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Investing In Global Health Workforce Vital To Maintain U.S., Global Security

STAT: Global health is an investment we can’t afford to pass up
Vanessa Kerry, CEO and cofounder of Seed Global Health

“…The huge differences between health care in the developed world and the developing world are due, in part, to the particularly dire shortage of health care workers. … With health care challenges of our own, why should Americans worry about this global gap? Because it is also important for us here at home. Better health — and basic health care — in other countries is important for global security. Stopping an epidemic at its origin, while also the right thing to do, is the most cost-effective means to prevent disease here. … My organization, Seed Global Health, aims to improve global health by addressing the shortages in trained health care workers in sub-Saharan Africa. We bring in U.S. health professionals when a crisis hits, and also to have them deliver care as needed. A more important strategy is to have these U.S. health professionals help create a self-sustaining pipeline of doctors, midwives, and nurses in the countries that need them the most. … By growing and supporting a robust global health workforce through programs like ours and many others, we have the chance to build on our nation’s great legacy of improving the lives and livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people. … For the U.S., the returns on investing in global health are a bargain that cannot be ignored” (2/22).

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Africa CDC In 'Unique Position' To Promote African Public Health But Uncertainty Over Funding Remains

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: A new day for African public health
Editorial Board

“…The [Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)] is Africa’s first continent-wide public health agency … The aim of the Africa CDC will be to establish early warning and response surveillance systems, respond to emergencies, build capacity, and provide technical expertise to address health emergencies in a timely and effective manner. … Although at the moment there is optimism regarding Africa CDC, insufficient funding is the key element that could hamper implementation of any program in the field. Despite receiving funding from both the African Union and China, there is uncertainty regarding the impact that a change in the commitment of the new U.S. government to support the Global Health Security Agenda could have on Africa CDC. Moreover, issues with bureaucracy and limited capacity to recruit and retain experienced epidemiologists have already been identified for the new agency. Nevertheless, the intrinsic value of the new Africa CDC remains: as an African-owned institution, the agency will be in the unique position to promote programs that protect the health of Africans specifically. For that reason, we hope that a new day for African public health has finally come” (March 2017).

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South Sudan, U.S. Governments Must Do More To Alleviate Violence, 'Man-Made' Humanitarian, Hunger Crisis

Washington Post: South Sudan’s man-made famine demands a response
Editorial Board

“…By international standards, 42 percent of the population [of South Sudan] is now classified as ‘severely food insecure,’ an unprecedented level, and many are enduring the most severe trial of all, famine. By the peak of the lean season in July, nearly 5.5 million people could be in crisis. … South Sudan was already vulnerable to climate-related shocks to agriculture, but this crisis is largely man-made … Newly independent in 2011, South Sudan was split by a senseless and destructive civil war in 2013, and now the country is fragmenting into violence-racked shards that are impeding humanitarian aid, collapsing markets, disrupting traditional agriculture, and consigning millions to hunger and malnutrition. The United States, its allies, and the United Nations could have done more, and done it earlier, to stop the fighting, curtail the flow of weapons and bring about better conditions for humanitarian aid. … More [humanitarian aid] will be necessary, but just as important is stopping the violence that is driving more people into displacement and desperation and making it more difficult to help those who need it. The impetus rests on [South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir,] first of all. He has rebuffed many appeals from Washington and elsewhere in recent years, but the United States must not abandon efforts to curb the fighting that is the man-made core of this expanding misery” (2/22).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Fecal Sludge Management Critical To Effective Sanitation Solutions In India

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: How our cities’ sanitation problem is damaging health
Madhu Krishna, country lead for water, sanitation, and hygiene at BMGF, India, discusses the importance of fecal sludge management in India’s cities. She writes, “As states and cities start work on developing city-wide fecal sludge management systems, the ecosystem of stakeholders need to join this conversation. There is an urgent need for all of us to act now. We are losing an unacceptable number of children — by some accounts, approximately 1,000 a day — to poor sanitation. Effective fecal sludge management is a critical step in saving these lives” (2/22).

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From the U.S. Government

Public-Private Partnerships Vital To Jordan's Water Sector, Can Help Other Governments Achieve Development Goals

Millennium Challenge Corporation: Mobilizing Private-Sector Investment to Transform Jordan’s Water System
Alex Russin, MCC resident country director in Jordan, discusses the role of public-private partnerships in improving Jordan’s water sector, writing, “Public-private partnerships play an important role in helping MCC achieve its mission of reducing poverty through economic growth. With limited foreign assistance available, governments around the world are looking for opportunities to partner with the private sector to supply water, sanitation, transportation, power, public health, and other much-needed services” (2/22).

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