KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

In Letter To Congress, State Department Lays Out Steps 'Northern Triangle' Nations Must Take For Resumption Of Aid

Devex: State Department lays out criteria for resumption of ‘Northern Triangle’ aid
“The State Department has determined steps that ‘Northern Triangle’ governments must take for resumption of full U.S. foreign assistance, but stated it has no timeline for determining if or when that may happen, according to a letter sent by the department to Congress last week. … ‘The governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras must improve their border security; combat migrant smuggling and human trafficking, especially related to children; receive and reintegrate returned citizens; and implement public messaging campaigns to dissuade illegal immigration from these countries,’ the letter said…” (Welsh, 1/13).

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Borgen Magazine Examines U.S. House Resolution Recognizing Success Of Food For Peace Act

Borgen Magazine: Recognizing the Continued Success of the Food for Peace Act
“…The United States provides many countries with food assistance through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Doing so aids the promotion of U.S. interests and the quality of life for people in developing nations. H.Res. 742: Recognizing the continued success of the Food for Peace Act acknowledges the progress made by the Food for Peace Act (FFP) in increasing food security around the world and saving lives…” (Frazer, 1/13).

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U.S. Deputy Chief Of Mission In Nigeria Expresses Concern Over Stigmatization Of People Living With HIV

The Nation: U.S raises concern over stigmatization of people living with HIV
“The United States of America (U.S) Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Ms. Kathleen FitzGibbon, has raised concerns over stigmatization of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in the country. According to her, stigmatization of PLHIV is responsible for the rate of new infections, adding that many persons living with HIV are afraid to seek medical care due to the effect of stigmatization…” (1/11).

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China Reports First Death From Newly Identified Coronavirus As Scientists, Officials Continue To Study Virus, Prevent Spread

New York Times: China Reports First Death From New Virus
“Chinese state media on Saturday reported the first known death from a new virus that has infected dozens of people in China and set off worries across Asia. The Xinhua news agency cited the health commission in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the illness first appeared, in reporting the death. The health commission said the patient, a 61-year-old man, died on Thursday night…” (Qin et al., 1/10).

Reuters: Chinese woman with mystery virus quarantined in Thailand
“A Chinese woman has been quarantined in Thailand with a mystery strain of coronavirus, authorities said on Monday, the first time it has been detected outside China…” (Thepgumpanat et al., 1/13).

Science: Mystery virus found in Wuhan resembles bat viruses but not SARS, Chinese scientist says
“…In an interview [Friday] with Science, Xu Jianguo, head of an evaluation committee advising the Chinese government, confirmed that scientists have a complete sequence of the novel virus’s genome. … Xu also said the novel coronavirus resembles known bat viruses, but not the coronaviruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)…” (Normile, 1/10).

Wall Street Journal: SARS Experience Guides China’s Effort to Contain New Virus
“…Dr. Kwok Yung Yuen, a physician and chair of infectious diseases at the University of Hong Kong, said that finding the new strain within a month of the first case on Dec. 12 was impressive. … The finding also drew praise from the World Health Organization, whose China office said the country now has strong public-health resources and a comprehensive system for monitoring illness outbreaks. Wuhan has China’s first Biosafety Level 4 laboratory, a specialized research laboratory that deals with potentially deadly infectious agents like Ebola…” (Wang/Yang, 1/10).

Wall Street Journal: Virus in China Is Part of a Growing Threat
“…Seven strains [of coronaviruses] are known to infect humans, including the virus in Wuhan, causing illnesses in the respiratory tract. Four of those strains cause common colds. Two others, by contrast, rank among the deadliest of human infections: severe acute respiratory syndrome, known as SARS, and Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS. Named for crown-like spikes on their surfaces, coronaviruses mutate rapidly, essentially making mistakes easily as they copy their genome to produce offspring…” (McKay, 1/10).

Additional coverage of the Wuhan outbreak is available from CIDRAP News, NBC, NPR, Reuters (2), ScienceNews, Science Speaks, Vox, and Xinhua.

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WHO Emergency Committee 'Gravely Concerned' Over Jump In Wild Poliovirus Cases In 2019

The Telegraph: Surge in polio cases has reversed progress to eradicate virus — and now risks global spread
“A surge in polio cases has reversed recent years’ progress eradicating the crippling virus and it is now at greater risk of spreading internationally than any time since 2014, the World Health Organization has warned. The WHO’s emergency committee on the spread of poliovirus said it was ‘gravely concerned’ about the jump in cases of the wild virus. Worldwide numbers have leapt from 33 in 2018, to 156 in 2019, with the great majority in Pakistan…” (Farmer, 1/10).

Additional coverage of the global polio situation is available from Forbes and PBS NewsHour.

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Lawmakers From India, Japan Work To Implement Sexual, Reproductive Health Suggestions, Educate Fellow Parliamentarians Following ICPD25

IPS: India and Japan’s MPs Act Quickly to Implement Sexual and Reproductive Health Plans after ICPD25
“Parliamentarians from India and Japan have hit the ground running by acting soon after the recent Nairobi Summit on International Conference on Population Development (ICPD25). … Members of the Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IAPPD) met in Delhi, India, on Dec. 5 to present their suggestions in implementing the ICPD program of action. Some of the MPs were participants at ICPD25 and they got an opportunity to share with their colleagues what they learnt at the summit which was attended by over 8,000 delegates. … Similarly, the Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) met on Dec. 4 in the capital, Tokyo, [to] follow up on the renewed effort to deliver on the ICPD agenda…” (Phakathi, 1/10).

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U.N. Committed To Helping Haiti Recover From 2010 Earthquake, Become More Resilient, Reports Success In Stanching Cholera Epidemic

U.N. News: U.N. committed to helping Haiti build better future, says Guterres, marking 10-year anniversary of devastating earthquake
“On 12 January 2010, a 7.0 magnitude quake struck Haiti, devastating its capital, Port-au-Prince. … Marking the 10-year anniversary of the tragedy, Secretary General António Guterres renewed the commitment of the United Nations to helping the country and its people build a better future…” (1/12).

Xinhua: U.N. reports winning battle on cholera in Haiti
“The international community is winning the battle against cholera in Haiti as new infection is rare, said a U.N. spokesman on Friday. By December 2019, when the latest numbers were available, no positive tests for cholera had been reported for nearly 11 consecutive months, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres…” (1/10).

Additional coverage of the 10-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake is available from PRI.

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U.N. Security Council Approves 2 Of 4 Humanitarian Aid Crossing Points In Syria, Allows 2 Humanitarian Aid Groups To Operate In North Korea

VOA: U.N. Security Council Authorizes Scaled-Back Cross-Border Aid into Syria
“The U.N. Security Council voted Friday to allow scaled-back cross-border humanitarian aid operations to continue into Syria, adopting a resolution just hours before the operations were due to expire. Russia won its push to cut back the number of crossing points from four to two, and to guarantee they continue only for an additional six months, instead of the one year several other council members sought…” (Besheer, 1/10).

Yonhap: U.N. sanctions panel approves humanitarian aid activities for two agencies
“The U.N. Security Council committee on sanctions against North Korea has approved the applications by two aid agencies for humanitarian activities in the communist state, its website showed Saturday, the first such approval this year. On Tuesday, the committee gave the green light to the Doctors Without Borders and Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit that have applied to bring items into the North that are required for emergency medical support and repairs to a drinking water supply system, respectively…” (1/11).

Additional coverage of the U.N. Security Council humanitarian outcomes is available from The Hill and U.N. News.

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More News In Global Health

The BMJ: WHO retracts opioid guidelines after accepting that industry had an influence (Dyer, 1/10).

Borgen Magazine: Empowering Women in Kenya with Reusable Pads (Kiessling, 1/11).

Borgen Magazine: Why World Hunger is Still a Problem? (Wanyonyi, 1/10).

Devex: As OPIC shuts its doors, former leaders reflect (Saldinger, 1/13).

Devex: Q&A: Why most nutrition programming is not scalable (Politzer, 1/13).

Devex: Kenyans love maize. But aflatoxins are making it dangerous (Jerving, 1/13).

Health Policy Watch: Mental Health — Among The ‘Most Neglected’ Of Neglected Tropical Disease Issues, Says DNDi Scientist (Ren, 1/10).

Health Policy Watch: Emergencies, Cervical Cancer, IP & Innovation Among Highlights Of Member State Consultations Ahead Of WHO Executive Board (1/9).

Reuters: Infant deaths, poor conditions at Indian hospital spark uproar (Roy, 1/10).

SciDev.Net: Climate change and conflict could fuel hunger in 2020 (da Silva, 1/10).

VICE: We Visited a Mass Female Circumcision Ceremony in Indonesia (Rinaldi et al., 1/13).

Washington Post: In Australia, the air poses a threat; people are rushing to hospitals in cities choked by smoke (Fears/Dennis, 1/12).

Xinhua: UNICEF official urges more support to Venezuelan migrant children (1/12).

Xinhua: Feature: Children in war-torn Yemen suffer from malnutrition (1/11).

Xinhua: Two more polio cases confirmed in Malaysia’s Sabah state (1/10).

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Editorials and Opinions

NYT Letters To Editor Discuss Antibiotic Research, Development

New York Times: Letters to the Editor: Making Sure Our Antibiotics Remain Potent
Jay Markowitz, senior vice president at Regeneron; Mark Kessel, chair of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics; and Curtis Morris, campaign associate at U.S. PIRG

In these letters to the editor, readers respond to the article, “Crisis Looms in Antibiotics as Drug Makers Go Bankrupt,” first published in the New York Times on December 26, 2019, and “suggest ways to encourage the development of new drugs and prolong the effectiveness of the ones we have” (1/12).

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Coordinated Strategy Needed To Ensure HIV-Exposed, HIV-Uninfected Children Can Reach Full Potential, Opinion Piece Says

The Conversation: New estimates show 14.8 million children globally are HIV-exposed but uninfected
Amy Slogrove, senior lecturer in pediatrics and child health at Stellenbosch University, and Kathleen M. Powis, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School

“…We found that in 2018 there were 14.8 million children who were HIV-exposed and uninfected around the world. … Ninety percent of all these children are from sub-Saharan Africa. Strikingly, half of all children who are HIV-exposed and uninfected come from just five countries — South Africa, Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Nigeria. … The substantial global population of children who are HIV-exposed and HIV-uninfected needs a coordinated strategy to reduce HIV exposure in children and to ensure their optimal health and well-being. Informed by these estimates, we propose a coordinated global strategy for improving their health outcomes. This strategy requires collaboration from governments and their partners, including multilateral organizations, researchers, and funders. It must be built on a strong foundation of dialogue with families and communities affected by HIV, who have seldom been consulted on the well-being of their children when they are HIV-uninfected…” (1/12).

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Opinion Piece Discusses 10th Anniversary Of Haiti Earthquake, Urges Continued Assistance

Los Angeles Times: Opinion: Helping one child at a time in Haiti 10 years after the devastation
Mitch Albom, author and operator of the Have Faith Haiti orphanage

“It’s been 10 years since Haiti suffered the magnitude 7.0 quake that killed over 300,000 of its people and left more than a million displaced. The scale of the destruction left the Haitian economy, its government, and daily life indelibly changed. …. Haiti’s poor, particularly the children, are greatly reliant on the aid of those willing to give their time and presence. … And help is needed more now than at any time since the earthquake itself. … There are questions, many of them fair, about what happened to the billions of dollars in aid that were sent after the earthquake. Worse, there seems to be a weariness in helping a nation that seems perpetually to need assistance. Let’s hope the earthquake photos rerun on this anniversary will rekindle our urge to help and remind us of the life-changing magnitude of that catastrophe. We may have the luxury of forgetting. Haiti and its children do not” (1/12).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

UNICEF Photo Essay Highlights 10th Anniversary Of Haiti Earthquake

UNICEF: The Haiti earthquake: 10 years later
On the 10th anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, Christine Nesbitt and Jason Miks of UNICEF discuss the organization’s work in Haiti with a photo essay, writing, “[A] decade later, Haiti continues to face multiple crises. Worsening food insecurity and malnutrition, water-borne disease epidemics and high vulnerability to natural disasters have placed added pressure on women and children. UNICEF is committed to the children of Haiti, working with the government and other partners to reach vulnerable children — giving them the support they need to recover and helping them along the path to a better future” (1/10).

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Emergency Health, Nutrition Project Aims To Provide Essential Health, Nutrition Services In Yemen

WHO: Emergency Health and Nutrition Project saves lives in Yemen
This post discusses the Emergency Health and Nutrition Project in Yemen. The project, implemented by WHO and UNICEF with the support of the World Bank, is “a cross-cutting initiative, providing essential health and nutrition services throughout the country” (12/29).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Blog Post Highlights Nepalese Girl's Experience Addressing Gender-Based Violence, Human Trafficking In Country

USAID/Medium: A Safer World for Girls
Pamala Horugavye, senior development outreach and communication specialist for USAID’s Mission in Nepal, discusses the experience of Laxmi Koirala of Surkhet, Western Nepal, and her involvement with USAID’s Stop Girl Trafficking Program. Laxmi and other educators continue to work to halt gender-based violence and human trafficking in the country even though USAID’s three-year Stop Girl’s Trafficking Program ended in July 2019 (1/10).

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