KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO Outlines Decade's Most 'Urgent' Global Health Challenges, Including Climate Change, Drug Resistance, Infectious Diseases

CNN: Climate crisis, epidemics and drug resistance among next decade’s urgent health challenges, WHO says
“Climate change, infectious diseases, anti-vaxxers, and antimicrobial resistance all made their way onto the World Health Organization’s list of health challenges facing the next decade. The list, published on Monday, was developed with input from experts around the world and presented ‘urgent, global health challenges,’ according to WHO, the United Nations’ public health agency…” (Howard, 1/14).

Additional coverage of WHO’s priorities is available from Becker’s Hospital Review, The Guardian, and Medscape.

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Gender Gaps In Health Care, Political Participation, Other Areas Persist Globally, PassBlue Reports Ahead Of U.N. Meeting

PassBlue: Despite Years of Pledges and Plans, Gender Gaps Persist on a Global Scale
“In health care, political participation, economic advancement, personal safety, and justice, women across the world may be advancing on some fronts in various places. At the start of a new decade, however, the realities on a global scale are far from meeting promises made in past years. On March 9, when delegations from United Nations member governments assemble for the 64th annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women, there will be 11 days of reckoning on the agenda. The focus will be on how much the lives of women have advanced — or not — in the 25 years since the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. … Here are four snapshots from new research…” (Crossette, 1/14).

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Mexico Becomes First Latin American Nation To Publish Feminist Foreign Policy

Devex: Mexico releases Latin America’s first feminist foreign policy
“Mexico is the first country in the Latin America to release a feminist foreign policy, with the government last week publishing a road map for how it will put gender at the center of its international engagement. The policy aims ‘to reduce and eliminate structural differences, gender gaps and inequalities, in order to build a more just and prosperous society.’ The document said Mexico intends to set an example with its progressive policy for gender equality efforts around the world and be recognized as a promoter of the global human rights agenda…” (Welsh, 1/15).

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7 Of 10 U.K. Government Departments Not Meeting Aid Transparency Targets, Publish What You Fund Research Shows

Devex: 7 out of 10 U.K. government departments failing to meet aid transparency targets
“Research commissioned by the U.K. government has found that seven out of 10 departments are not spending aid transparently enough to meet its own targets. Of the government departments spending aid, just two — the Department for International Development and the Department of Health and Social Care — achieved transparency ratings of ‘very good,’ according to research by campaign group Publish What You Fund, while the Department for Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy was rated ‘good’…” (Worley, 1/15).

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Possible Newly Identified Coronavirus Could Be Transmitted Between Humans, Health Officials Warn

AP: China: Possible that new virus could spread between humans
“The possibility that a new virus in central China could spread between humans cannot be ruled out, though the risk of transmission at the moment appears to be low, Chinese officials said Wednesday. Forty-one people in the city of Wuhan have received a preliminary diagnosis of a novel coronavirus, a family of viruses that can cause both the common cold and more serious diseases. A 61-year-old man with severe underlying conditions died from the coronavirus on Saturday…” (Wang, 1/15).

Additional coverage of the outbreak is available from CNN, Financial Times, and Science.

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African Nations Work To Stem Flows Of Fake, Substandard Medicines

AFP: Africa struggles to stem deadly flood of fake medicine
“…The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that every year some 100,000 people across Africa die from taking ‘falsified or substandard’ medication. The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene estimated in 2015 that 122,000 children under five died due to taking poor quality anti-malaria drugs in sub-Saharan Africa. Weak legislation, poor health care systems, and widespread poverty have encouraged the growth of this parallel — and deadly — market. Since 2013, Africa has made up 42 percent of the fake medicine seized worldwide. The two drugs most likely to be out-of-date or poor, ineffective copies are antibiotics and antimalarials, say experts. … In a bid to tackle the scourge, presidents from seven countries — the Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Niger, Senegal, Togo, and Uganda — meet Friday in Lome to sign an agreement for criminalizing trafficking in fake drugs…” (1/15).

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More News In Global Health

AP: Australian wildfire smoke stokes health fears in cities (McGuirk, 1/15).

Devex: Leprosy lives on in Nigeria, 20 years after its ‘elimination’ as a public health problem (Unah, 1/15).

DW: Using smartphone tech to improve maternal health in Uganda (Yiga, 1/14).

Forbes: Children Are Disappearing In Bangladesh (Ferguson, 1/14).

Global Health NOW: Power to the People: How to Democratize Global Health (Simpson, 1/15).

New York Times: Where Surgeons Don’t Bother With Checklists (McNeil, 1/15).

NPR: Calling The Shots In The Year Of The Nurse And Midwife (1/14).

OZY: She’s Tackling Nigeria’s Period Poverty With Reusable Pads (Iwenwanne, 1/13).

Pulitzer Center: An Elusive Threat: Experts Strategize Ways to Modernize Leprosy Detection and Tracking in Brazil (Delgado, 1/14).

Straits Times: Singapore faces dengue threat from emergence of little-seen strain (Khalik, 1/15).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Ivory Coast pledges trafficking crackdown as 137 child victims are rescued (Peyton, 1/13).

U.N. News: U.N. moves to tackle ‘hidden abuse’ and violence against Europe’s children (1/14).

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Editorials and Opinions

Systems Thinking Approach Critical To Addressing Global Hunger, Nutrition, Nature Editorial Says

Nature: Imagine a world without hunger, then make it happen with systems thinking
Editorial Board

“…Systems thinking is crucial to achieving targets such as zero hunger and better nutrition because it requires considering the way in which food is produced, processed, delivered, and consumed, and looking at how those things intersect with human health, the environment, economics, and society. … According to systems thinking, changing the food system — or any other network — requires three things to happen. First, researchers need to identify all the players in that system; second, they must work out how they relate to each other; and third, they need to understand and quantify the impact of those relationships on each other and on those outside the system. … More researchers, policymakers, and representatives from the food industry must learn to look beyond their direct lines of responsibility and embrace a systems approach…” (1/14).

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African Leaders, World Must Support Efforts To End Trade, Use Of Substandard, Fake Medicines, Opinion Piece Says

Project Syndicate: The Real Consequences of Fake Medicines
David Richmond, chief executive of the Brazzaville Foundation

“…Fortunately, seven African countries — The Gambia, Ghana, Niger, the Republic of Congo, Senegal, Togo, and Uganda — are set to take action to address the scourge of fake medicine. This month, the Brazzaville Foundation … will bring together the heads of these states in Lomé, Togo, to sign a political declaration and a legally binding agreement committing them to introduce legislation to this end. … The Lomé Initiative represents an historic opportunity to step up the fight against the trade in substandard and fake medicines. But to subdue this deadly business, … more of the continent’s leaders must join the fight. And the international community must support them. … To minimize the risks that fake medicines pose to us all, the world must offer its support” (1/15).

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Opinion Piece Offers 3 Ways To Improve Child Development In Nigeria

The Guardian: Nigeria’s child development crisis is a tragedy. Here’s how we can end it
Kevin Watkins, chief executive of Save the Children U.K.

“…Unfortunately, Nigeria is either treading water or sinking like a stone on all the key 2030 indicators for child development. … So what can be done to break the malaise? First, Nigeria urgently needs to convert economic wealth into human capital, starting with investment in children. … Second, a national emergency response is needed to get all children into quality schooling. … That won’t be possible without a third component for change — a concerted drive to combat the deep inequalities facing girls and women. It is surely time for Nigeria’s politicians, as well religious and traditional leaders, to push for an end to child marriage — a practice that violates human rights, destroys opportunity, and perpetuates poverty” (1/15).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

IAVI Launches Online Data Portal On Early HIV Infection In Sub-Saharan Africa

IAVI: IAVI Makes Available Unique Dataset and Samples from Pioneering HIV/AIDS Study in Africa to Researchers
“[On Tuesday,] IAVI, a nonprofit scientific research organization dedicated to addressing urgent, unmet global health challenges, announce[d] the launch of IAVI DataSpace, an open-access, online portal to a one-of-a-kind dataset from a study of early HIV infection in a unique sub-Saharan African cohort. Researchers from across the world are invited to interact with the data through powerful visualization tools that help them understand the interplay between HIV and the human immune system and the complex dynamics of HIV transmission. IAVI DataSpace, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is backed by an extensive sample library also available to researchers…” (1/14).

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WHO AFRO Releases 2018 Emergency Operations Annual Report

WHO AFRO: Emergency Operations Annual Report
This report details WHO’s 2018 emergency response operations in the Africa region, including its response to infectious disease outbreaks, conflicts, natural disasters, chemical or radio-nuclear spills, and food contamination (January 2020).

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Brookings Blog Post Discusses Future Of Development, Life Expectancy

Brookings Institution: Future Development: Living into the 22nd century
In the second part of a four-part blog series on the future of development, Wolfgang Fengler, lead economist for finance, competitiveness, and innovation at the World Bank, discusses life expectancy projections for infants born in 2020 and writes, “We need a better and more dynamic model for predicting at a granular level the risks that individuals will be exposed to most at each stage of their lives, wherever they are” (1/14).

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From the U.S. Government

Fogarty Center for Global Health Studies Provides Highlights Of Work From 2019, Previews For 2020

NIH Fogarty International Center: 2020 updates from the Center for Global Health Studies
In this update, Nalini Anand, director of the FIC’s Center for Global Health Studies, provides highlights of the center’s 2019 work and previews projects for 2020 (1/15).

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