KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Gates, Dangote Foundations Announce $100M Commitment To Address Malnutrition In Nigeria

Agence France-Presse: Gates and Dangote team up against malnutrition in Nigeria
“Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and tech billionaire Bill Gates on Thursday announced plans for a $100-million scheme to cut malnutrition in the continent’s most populous nation, Nigeria…” (1/21).

Daily Trust: Dangote, Gates foundations commit $100m to malnutrition in Nigeria
“…The commitment was announced by Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates [Thursday] at a press conference in Abuja…” (Leo/Agabi, 1/22).

Leadership: Dangote and Gates Foundation Pledge To Tackle Malnutrition In Nigeria
“…Programs will include community-based approaches and proven interventions linked to behavioral change, fortification of staple foods with essential micronutrients, the community management of acute malnutrition, and investments in the local production of nutritious foods…” (Anthony-Uko, 1/22).

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U.S. Moving Forward On Zika Virus Vaccine Research, NIAID Head Fauci Says In TIME Interview

TIME: U.S. Launches ‘Full-court Press’ for a Zika Vaccine
“The United States is pushing to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus, a top health official said Thursday, as doctors warn that the mosquito-borne disease, which causes birth defects in infants and is typically found abroad, has become a growing threat in the U.S. ‘I’ve made it clear that we want to put a full-court press,’ Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview…” (Sifferlin, 1/21).

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CDC Team In Brazil To Investigate Possible Link Between Zika Virus, Guillain-Barré Syndrome

New York Times: Zika Virus May be Linked to Surge in Rare Syndrome in Brazil
“A mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to severe brain damage in infants may be causing another serious health crisis as well, Brazilian officials and doctors warn: hundreds of cases of a rare syndrome in which patients can be almost completely paralyzed for weeks…” (Romero/McNeil, 1/21).

Washington Post: U.S., Brazilian officials probing possible link between Zika virus, rare paralysis condition
“…The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent a four-member team to Brazil to help the health ministry in its investigation of the growing number of cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome and a potential connection to the Zika outbreak there. Spokeswoman Christine Pearson said Thursday that the CDC team, dispatched at Brazil’s request, has been on the ground for less than a week. It includes a neuroepidemiologist and a medical epidemiologist…” (Sun, 1/21).

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El Salvador Health Officials Urge Women To Avoid Pregnancy Until 2018 Amid Zika Virus Spread

Reuters: El Salvador urges against pregnancies until 2018 as Zika virus spreads
“El Salvador on Thursday urged women in the Central American nation to avoid getting pregnant until 2018 to avoid their children developing birth defects from the mosquito-borne Zika virus which has rampaged through the Americas…” (Renteria/Stargardter, 1/21).

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U.N. SG Ban Convenes High-Level Emergency Panel To Discuss Political Responses To Decreasing Water Supplies

The Guardian: Ban Ki-moon gathers heads of state for political response to water scarcity
“The U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has convened an emergency panel of heads of state to prompt a political response to the world’s increasing scarcity of water. The high-level panel on water will find ways to coordinate the often piecemeal political decisions made by the plethora of regulators, governments, companies, and individuals who draw from dwindling water reserves. It will also raise a widely neglected problem to the highest level of political discourse…” (Mathiesen, 1/21).

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Rockefeller Foundation Aims To Reduce Food Waste, Loss By Half With New $130M Initiative

Thomson Reuters Foundation: New $130 million project aims to cut food waste from fields to tables
“More than a third of the world’s food goes uneaten, and many crops harvested in Africa are discarded rather than sold, according to an initiative announced on Thursday by the Rockefeller Foundation to cut food waste and loss by half. The seven-year, $130 million project aims to tackle food waste from crops in the fields to dinner tables in industrialized nations, the foundation said in its announcement at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland…” (Malo, 1/21).

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Annual Cost Of Global Pandemic Preparation Small Compared With Yearly Losses From Outbreaks, Report Says

The Lancet: Cost of protection against pandemics is small
“…The most recent [post-Ebola] report, launched on Jan. 13 in New York, NY, USA, was crafted by a 17-member Commission on Creating a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future (GHRF). … The GHRF report is the only report that puts a price tag on its recommendations. The world, it estimates, will have to fork out an additional $4.5 billion each year to protect against infectious diseases. This sum, the report points out, is only a fraction of the $60 billion that is being lost every year on average from pandemics and epidemics…” (Maurice, 1/23).

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Cuba's Health Worker Training Programs Could Help Lessen Shortages Worldwide

The Lancet: Cuba’s focus on preventive medicine pays off
“…There is currently a deficit of more than seven million doctors, nurses, and other skilled health professionals in the developing world, according to estimates from WHO. … So what is to be done? The answer, or at least a partial one, might be found in Cuba’s quiet revolution in one of the most fundamental interventions: training. While most countries provide financial aid to developing countries, the Cubans have been training both domestic and foreign doctors who are playing substantial roles overseas. With more doctors per head than almost anywhere else in the world, Cuba has created a new kind of soft power: so-called medical diplomacy…” (Loewenberg, 1/23).

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More Than 120 Aid Organizations, U.N. Agencies Appeal For Improved Access To Syrians, End To Conflict

U.N. News Centre: In appeal to end suffering in Syria, U.N. agencies and 120 humanitarian organizations call for action now
“Outlining a series of immediate, practical steps that can improve humanitarian access and the delivery of aid to those in need inside Syria, more than 120 humanitarian organizations and United Nations agencies issued a joint appeal [Thursday] urging the world to raise their voices and call for an end to the Syria crisis…” (1/21).

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Conflict In Mali Harming Children's Access To Health, Nutrition Aid, Education, Agencies Warn

The Guardian: Mali instability casts long shadow over children as aid efforts thwarted
“Aid agencies have warned that security issues are harming the health, education, and nutrition of children in Mali, where the unchecked spread of Islamist extremist violence has left many schools and health centers beyond the reach of humanitarian programs…” (Smith, 1/21).

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Russia Registers 1 Millionth HIV-Positive Patient; AIDS Head Says Country At Threshold Of Generalized Epidemic

Reuters: Russia at AIDS epidemic tipping point as HIV cases pass 1 million — official
“Russia’s AIDS epidemic is at a dangerous tipping point after the number of people registered HIV-positive passed the one million mark, the country’s top AIDS specialist said on Thursday, warning the rate of infection had reached record levels. Russia registered its millionth HIV-positive patient … on Wednesday, Vadim Pokrovsky, the head of the federal AIDS center, told Reuters in a phone interview…” (Osborn, 1/21).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S., World Must Prepare For Future Pandemics, Strengthen Public Health Systems

Washington Post: More pandemics are inevitable, and the U.S. is grossly underprepared
Editorial Board

“…As the world becomes more globalized with the movement of goods and people, as climate change disrupts the environment, and as pathogens move between humans and animals, cocktails of infectious disease will form, spread, and sicken. … The [Commission on Global Health Risk Framework for the Future] insists that pandemic risks must be treated not as distant, unavoidable possibilities but as real national security threats. Just as nations invest in military preparedness, the panel says, so should they confront disease. In fact, this has been long neglected in many places. The panel calls for measures to bolster public health systems in individual countries; creating a rapid-response capability; strengthening the World Health Organization; and funding research and development of new therapies, all for about $4.5 billion a year…” (1/21).

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Initiatives To Find Cancer Cures Must Use 'Integrative Approach'

The Lancet: Promising the moon
Editorial Board

“…[C]ampaigns such as [Cancer Moonshot 2020] present a substantial risk. At once they are both grandiose and overly simplistic, much like the ‘war on cancer.’ A 2013 Lancet Series called for a rethinking of the metaphor, pointing to the limitations of conceptualizing research efforts in such a way. In addition to looking for breakthroughs, there must also be a more comprehensive focus that considers all the factors that can boost cancer advances, including greater attention to prevention, strengthening health care systems, and addressing inequalities that contribute to poor outcomes. Without using an integrative approach to target cancer, the moonshot has the same limitations as the war on cancer — a strategy promising the moon with no way to deliver” (1/23).

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Next WHO Director General Must 'Take Global Health To A Higher Level'

The Lancet: The future leadership of WHO
Sally C. Davies, chief medical officer for England, and colleagues

“…It is essential that [WHO] Member States come together in 2017 to elect a director general who is able to lead a diverse, global, and unified organization which spends billions of dollars annually. … [T]his world has become more complex, and what made WHO succeed in the past might not in the future. Openness on partnerships and collaboration is essential, and diversity must be embraced and managed, not contained. For a leader to bring about coherence and unity in this environment will be challenging, but also vital. We hope that others will join us in reflecting on, and refining, these criteria so that when it comes to the election we appoint a superb candidate who will build on the legacy of reform of the present WHO director general and take global health to a higher level” (1/23).

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Global Fund's New E-Marketplace 'Presents An Innovative Solution' To Global Health Procurement

Devex: ‘Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution’
Deb Derrick, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

“…Current global health procurement practices are burdensome and require significant man-hours in every implementing country to gather data to compare product and pricing information. Additionally, the current process is subjected to delays, which can have devastating effects on a country’s efforts to mitigate disease burdens. The Global Fund’s e-marketplace will aim to address these issues — beginning with lifesaving supplies for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, but with the ultimate goal of making the process available for a broad range of commodities to benefit procurement and supply chain systems across public health. … The Global Fund’s e-marketplace presents an innovative solution that takes advantage of new technologies to streamline these lifesaving activities” (1/22).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Panelists At Kaiser Family Foundation Event Discuss Future Of U.S. Global Health Policy

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: The future of global health depends on the next President, panel says
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, reports on a Kaiser Family Foundation event held on Wednesday that examined the future of U.S. global health policy and programs. She summarizes remarks made by the panelists, including Ambassador Deborah Birx, the U.S. global AIDS coordinator; Helene Gayle, CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative; Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the Global Health Policy Center at CSIS; Gov. Tommy Thompson, former Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary; and Jen Kates, Kaiser Family Foundation vice president and director of global health and HIV policy, who moderated the discussion. Aziz notes that in conjunction with the event, the Kaiser Family Foundation also released an analysis of U.S. global health spending and new polling data on how Americans view the U.S. role in global health (1/21).

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Growing Partisan Split On U.S. Government Engagement In Global Health, New Kaiser Family Foundation Survey, Report Suggest

Publications discuss several new resources from the Kaiser Family Foundation examining the American public’s and experts’ views on U.S. global health engagement.

AJMC.com: Partisan Divide Over U.S. Global Health Spending Grows
“The partisan divide regarding the U.S. government’s approach to global health care has increased, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. As a whole, Americans tend to support U.S. involvement in world affairs, with 65 percent in favor of the nation taking a major global role. Opinions vary, however, on the extent to which the U.S. should be involved and how, especially in terms of health care…” (Diaz, 1/21).

Becker’s ASC Review: 5 key notes on Americans’ views on U.S. involvement in global health
“…1. Fifty-three percent of respondents said the U.S. government is doing enough to improve health for people in developing countries. 2. Almost half (46 percent) said the United States is doing ‘more than its fair share’ compared to other wealthy countries…” (Rechtoris, 1/20).

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Recent WHO HIV Treatment Guidelines Could End Confusion Over When To Begin Therapy, Help End AIDS

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting: Ending AIDS, Ending Confusion
As part of a collaborative project for Science, the PBS NewsHour, BuzzFeed, and UCTV, Jon Cohen, a reporter for Science and Pulitzer Center grantee, discusses confusion around HIV/AIDS diagnoses and antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, particularly in Zimbabwe. He notes the WHO’s recent recommendation to immediately treat people who are infected with HIV, instead of waiting for their CD4 cell counts to drop, could “usher in a level of clarity that can only fuel the ending AIDS push” (1/21).

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Global Health Governance Journal Publishes Special Issue Examining Framework Convention On Global Health

Global Health Governance: Spring-Fall 2015 Combined Issue
This special issue of the Global Health Governance journal features articles on the Framework Convention on Global Health. An introduction to the issue states, “Global health governance continues to be a complex and challenging undertaking. … This special issue of Global Health Governance examines in detail a proposal that seeks to address many of these global health governance shortcomings: a Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH). The FCGH is an international legal framework — grounded in the international human right to health — that would support health at the local, national, and global levels…” (1/21).

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PLOS NTDs Launches New Research Collection On Mycetoma

PLOS “Speaking of Medicine”: Mycetoma: The PLOS NTDs Collection
Peter Hotez and Serap Aksoy, co-editors-in-chief of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (PLOS NTDs), announce a new PLOS NTDs collection on mycetoma. They note, “These articles range from reporting basic science topics to epidemiological and clinical studies, and include an assessment of mycetoma’s global disease burden…” (1/21).

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