KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO Confirms New Coronavirus Can Be Transmitted Through Human-To-Human Contact; 6 People Dead, Nearly 300 Infected As Nations Take Steps To Screen Travelers From China

AP: Countries around world gear up response to new coronavirus
“Countries in Asia and elsewhere have begun body temperature checks at airports, railway stations and along highways in hopes of catching people carrying a new coronavirus that is believed to have spread from Wuhan in central China and sickened more than 290 people in that country. The recent confirmation that the disease can spread between humans has heightened fears as millions of Chinese travel during the annual Lunar New Year holiday…” (Moussa et al., 1/21).

CNN: 6 people dead, almost 300 infected as China confirms Wuhan virus can be spread by humans
“Officials in China are racing to contain the spread of a new virus that has left at least six people dead and sickened almost 300, after it was confirmed the infection can spread between humans. Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected, announced a series of new measures Tuesday, including the cancellation of upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations, expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people…” (Griffiths/Gan, 1/21).

New York Times: Deadly Mystery Virus Reported in 2 New Chinese Cities and South Korea
“…The virus already appears to have spread outside China, with the authorities in South Korea reporting on Monday that a Chinese woman who arrived at the Incheon International Airport on Sunday from Wuhan had tested positive for the illness. Last week, three cases were reported in Thailand and Japan involving people who had traveled through Wuhan…” (Hernández et al., 1/20).

Reuters: WHO expects further spread of new coronavirus in China
“The World Health Organisation said on Tuesday that the new coronavirus was likely to spread to other parts of China and possibly other countries in coming days. ‘More cases should be expected in other parts of China and possibly other countries in the coming days,’ said WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic…” (Farge, 1/21).

STAT: WHO calls for emergency meeting on new virus in China, as cases spread to health care workers
“The World Health Organization announced Monday that it would convene an expert panel to determine whether a fast-developing outbreak caused by a new virus in China should be declared a global health emergency. … The committee will [meet on Wednesday] to decide whether it constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, or a PHEIC…” (Branswell, 1/20).

Washington Post: Travelers at 3 U.S. airports to be screened for new, potentially deadly Chinese virus
“Federal health officials said Friday they will begin screening airline passengers arriving at three U.S. airports for a new virus from central China … Starting immediately, the screenings will be conducted at specially designated areas of three international airports — Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York’s John F. Kennedy…” (Sun, 1/17).

Additional coverage of the outbreak is available from BBC, CBS, Devex, The Guardian, The Hill, Quartz, Reuters (2), STAT, UPI, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

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Trump Administration To Release Plans Soon For Implementing U.S. Strategy On Women, Peace, Security

Devex: Delayed Trump administration WPS implementation plans to be released soon
“The U.S. State Department’s plans for implementation of the Trump administration’s U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security, more than 100 days overdue, are finished and ready to be submitted, the department told Devex. … The bipartisan WPS Act is the first legislation in the world of its kind, mandating U.S. support for political participation of women in fragile environments and in conflict prevention and resolution. It codified into law prior efforts of the U.S. government to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, a roadmap for the global WPS agenda that passed in 2000…” (Welsh, 1/21).

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Trump Administration Urging U.S. Allies To End Health Worker Cooperation Agreements With Cuba

Washington Post: The U.S. is pushing Latin American allies to send their Cuban doctors packing — and several have
“…[T]he Trump administration is targeting the [Cuban] government’s signature medical brigades, urging U.S. allies to cancel their health cooperation agreements and send their Cuban doctors packing. At least four Latin American countries have done so — another blow to the island as it struggles under tightening U.S. sanctions…” (Krygier, 1/21).

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European Union Establishes $998M Budget For Humanitarian Crises; Bulk Of Funding To Help African Nations

AP: E.U. sets up $998 million budget for humanitarian aid
“The European Union has set up a 900 million euro ($998 million) budget to help countries hit by humanitarian crises, with Africa getting the largest share of the money. … The E.U. said the bulk of the 2020 E.U. aid will support people suffering from the long-term conflict in Congo and malnutrition in the Sahel region, as well as those displaced by violence in South Sudan, Central African Republic, and the Lake Chad basin…” (1/20).

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U.K.'s Development Finance Institute Pledges $2.6B By 2022 For African Businesses At Investment Summit

Devex: All the news from the U.K.-Africa Investment Summit
“The U.K.-Africa Investment Summit saw £2 billion ($2.6 billion) worth of investments committed to African businesses over the next two years from the United Kingdom government’s development finance institution. Infrastructure development was also a key theme of the event, with international development secretary Alok Sharma announcing a new mechanism for financing projects in five countries…” (Worley, 1/21).

Additional coverage of the summit and U.K. investment in Africa is available from Devex, Reuters, and The Telegraph.

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African Leaders Sign Agreement To Improve Efforts To Stop Trafficking Of Fake, Substandard Medicines

Washington Post: Fake drugs kill people and fund terror. African leaders hope to do something about it.
“… ‘You are poor, and you are spending your money on something that is going to kill you,’ Faure Gnassingbé, the president of Togo, told the Washington Post in the country’s presidential palace. ‘Yet, it is not treated as a crime.’ The Togolese leader hosted his counterparts from Senegal and Uganda on Saturday in the capital city, Lomé, where the presidents proposed laws to strengthen a collective crackdown on trafficking. Representatives from Ghana, Congo, Niger, and Gambia also signed a pact to ramp up intelligence sharing and security at the borders, among other efforts. Peddling fake drugs is illegal in most countries, but enforcement is shaky…” (Paquette, 1/18).

Additional coverage of the meeting is available from Africa Times, Al Jazeera, and BBC.

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Public-Private Cooperation Critical To Fill Gaps In Pandemic Preparedness, Johns Hopkins, WEF, Gates Foundation Experts Say

Homeland Preparedness News: Public-private cooperation must improve to fill gaps in pandemic preparation, response
“Pandemic preparedness collaboration among private businesses with the public sector is critically important at this time, say experts at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the World Economic Forum, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. … Last week, the World Economic Forum joined with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the John Hopkins Center for Health Security to release a Call to Action document that proposes seven recommendations toward improving responses to such pandemics…” (Riley, 1/20).

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Declining Private Investment, Lack Of Innovation In New Antibiotic Research Threaten Efforts To Prevent Drug-Resistant Infections, WHO Says

U.N. News: Urgent need for ‘immediate’ solutions to combat drug-resistant infections, warns WHO
“Drug-resistant infections are on the rise as private investment in new antibiotic development declines, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. Two new WHO reports reveal that while some 50 new antibiotics and 10 biologics are under development, only 32 of the total target WHO-priority pathogens and the majority have very limited benefits when compared to existing antibiotics…” (1/17).

Additional coverage of the reports is available from Axios, DW, New York Times, and VOA.

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More News In Global Health

AFP: Climate change to take centre stage at Davos (1/21).

Devex: Q&A: New MSF President Christos Christou sets out his leadership priorities (Root, 1/20).

Devex: Cash transfers disrupted in Zimbabwe, NGOs warn of food shortages (Jerving, 1/20).

Financial Times: Scientists in race to protect humanity from future pandemics (Cookson, 1/21).

The Guardian: World’s 22 richest men wealthier than all the women in Africa, study finds (Hodal, 1/20).

Health Policy Watch: The World On Fire: Five Global Health Stories To Watch In 2020 (Fletcher, 1/17).

NPR: His Dad Died In A Venezuelan Hospital. What He Saw In The Morgue Still Haunts Him (Alex, 1/19).

Reuters: Paraguay braces for deadly dengue fever outbreak (Desantis/Jourdan, 1/17).

STAT: A Q&A with Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann (1/21).

U.N. News: Major humanitarian hub in north-east Nigeria burned in attack (1/20).

U.N. News: Haiti earthquake victims honored at U.N., with pledge to safeguard the nation’s future (1/17).

Zimbabwe Chronicle: United States supplies new HIV drug to Zimbabwe (Zvanyanya, 1/21).

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Editorials and Opinions

Violence, Insecurity Hamper Disease Outbreak Responses In DRC, Where Measles, Ebola Continue To Spread, Editorial Says

Washington Post: The lessons we can learn from Congo’s measles outbreak
Editorial Board

“Spreading faster than Ebola, and with a higher death toll, measles has ravaged all 26 provinces of Congo in a year. … Both outbreaks offer important lessons about fighting infectious disease that should resonate everywhere. … In addition to lack of access to basic health care and suspicions borne of cultural beliefs, the effort is hampered by violence and insecurity. … Millions of people were displaced by violence and thus are without any health care at all. The lesson is that disease and bullets are not separate problems but closely intertwined” (1/20).

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3-Pronged Approach Needed To Increase Access To Antibiotics, AMR Industry Alliance Board Member Writes In Opinion Piece

Devex: Opinion: How to oppose the menace of antimicrobial resistance
Serufusa Sekidde, board member of the AMR Industry Alliance

“…5.7 million people, including 1 million children, are dying annually from antibiotic-treatable conditions because they cannot access the necessary antibiotics in time. … To increase access to antibiotics …, we need a three-pronged approach: … First, to increase availability, we need to ensure that any novel antibiotics we research and develop are registered in more countries. … Secondly, we need to ensure that all antibiotics available on the market are of high quality and appropriately used. … Lastly, no single entity can tackle the lack of access to antibiotics on its own, so we must focus on building and strengthening new and existing partnerships. … That’s why it is significant that a diverse coalition of biotechnology, diagnostics, generics, and large research-based biopharmaceutical companies and associations — the AMR Industry Alliance — has come together to add their expertise and resources to the fight against AMR…” (1/20).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Georgetown Global Health Security Experts Comment On CDC's Decision To Screen Air Passengers From Central China For New Virus

Georgetown University: Global Health Security Experts See Challenges With Screening Airline Passengers from China for Virus
“Georgetown University global health experts say the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) decision to screen airline passengers arriving from central China for a new virus creates many challenges. Georgetown University global health security experts Rebecca Katz, PhD, MPH, and global health legal and policy expert Alexandra Phelan, SJD, LLM, LLB, share their perspectives…” (1/17).

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CFR Launches 'Think Global Health' Multi-Contributor Website Examining How Changes In Health Impact Global Trends

Council on Foreign Relations: New Website Explores How Changes in Health Shape Global Trends
“The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) introduces Think Global Health, a multi-contributor website that examines how changes in health are reshaping economies, societies, and the everyday lives of people around the world. The new site offers a unique venue for CFR experts and outside contributors to discuss critical global health issues — including infectious as well as noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes — and engage readers in debates and efforts to improve health worldwide…” (1/17).

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Experts Summarize Paper Examining Transition From Aid, Impact On Reaching UHC In Blog Post

Options: Transitioning Away from Aid: The Pressure is On to Kickstart Meaningful Global Dialogue
Alice Sabino, technical specialist in health financing and system strengthening with Options Consultancy Services, Olivia Tulloch, CEO of Anthrologica, and Kalipso Chalkidou, director of global health policy and senior fellow at CGD, write, “As developing countries transition away from aid, coordinated action is critical to ensure it does not hinder progress made or undermine the vision of Universal Healthcare Coverage. Our new paper provides a framework for discussions on transition of donors to lower levels of financial support.” The full paper is available online (1/17).

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Canadian Minister For International Development, WHO Africa Leader Discuss Strengthening Collaboration, Ongoing Health Emergencies

WHO Regional Office for Africa: Canada, WHO Africa seek stronger collaboration
“Canada’s Minister for International Development, Honourable Karina Gould, held talks with World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, on ways to strengthen collaboration in the area of health while on a visit this week to the regional office in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. During the courtesy call, Minister Gould toured the Strategic Health Operations Centre — the nerve centre of emergency operations at WHO Africa Office — and discussed with senior WHO leadership about health emergencies and the ongoing Ebola and measles outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This week, Canada announced Can$ 56 million to help partners in the DRC fight Ebola, strengthen health systems and provide humanitarian assistance…” (1/17).

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World Economic Forum Blog Posts Discuss Business, Government Roles In Achieving SDGs

World Economic Forum: Charting the course for SDG financing in the decade of delivery (Gornitzka/Wilson, 1/21).

World Economic Forum: 3 actions business leaders can take to help solve our water crisis (Stinson/Nelson, 1/20).

World Economic Forum: Four ways governments can leverage 4IR to achieve the SDGs (Pantuliano, 1/20).

World Economic Forum: The company of the future must do well by doing good (Sijbesma, 1/20).

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Brookings Blog Posts Examine Efforts To Achieve SDGs In Africa

Brookings: Strategies for delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals: Some lessons from Rwanda (Ndagijimana, 1/20).

Brookings: Approaches for better resource mobilization to finance Africa’s Sustainable Development Goals (Coulibaly, 1/17).

Brookings: Charts of the Week: The Sustainable Development Goals (Dews, 1/17).

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MSF Urges Gavi To Help Increase Access To Pneumonia Vaccine

Médecins Sans Frontières: Gavi must ensure more children get new, more affordable pneumonia vaccine
“As Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, starts to commemorate its 20th year and launches a new fundraising appeal, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) stressed that more must be done to make sure the 55 million children who do not have access to the pneumonia vaccine are protected against this worst global childhood killer, now that a new, more affordable vaccine is at long last available…” (1/21).

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