KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. House Energy And Commerce Committee Leaders Request CDC Briefing On DRC Ebola Outbreak

Homeland Preparedness News: House Energy and Health Committee leaders request briefing on African Ebola outbreak
“As an Ebola outbreak continues to affect the Democratic Republic of Congo, leaders from the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee are requesting a situation brief from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a joint statement issued last week, committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) requested a briefing on the CDC’s efforts to monitor and contain the outbreak…” (Galford, 1/22).

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Total Number Of Ebola Cases In DRC Hits 699, Authorities Report

CIDRAP News: DRC Ebola total hits 699 amid more resistance, insecurity
“The number of confirmed cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Ebola outbreak has jumped by 19 since Friday, most of them in Katwa, where responders face more community resistance. … The new illnesses lift the outbreak total to 699, which includes 650 confirmed and 49 probable cases. As of [Tuesday], authorities are still investigating 252 suspected cases…” (Schnirring, 1/22).

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Sen. Lee Of Utah Introduces Bill To Make Mexico City Policy Permanent

ABC4 News: Sen. Lee proposes making ‘Mexico City Policy’ permanent
“…[Senator Mike] Lee proposes making the Trump administration’s ‘Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance’ policy, formerly known as the ‘Mexico City policy,’ a permanent law…” (Valencia, 1/22).

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U.S. Cuts To Palestinian Assistance Could Harm Peace Process, Officials, Aid Groups Say

Associated Press: U.S. aid cuts hit Palestinians, further dimming hope for peace
“Tens of thousands of Palestinians are no longer getting food aid or basic health services from the United States as U.S.-funded infrastructure projects have been halted and an innovative peace-building program in Jerusalem is scaling back its activities. The Trump administration’s decision last year to cut more than $200 million in development aid to the Palestinians is forcing NGOs to slash programs and lay off staff as the effects ripple through a community that has spent more than two decades promoting peace in the Middle East. … President Donald Trump says the USAID cuts are aimed at pressuring the Palestinians to return to peace talks, but Palestinian officials say the move has further poisoned relations after the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year. The aid groups, many of which have little or no connection to the Palestinian Authority, say the cuts hurt the most vulnerable Palestinians and those most committed to peace with Israel…” (Krauss, 1/22).

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Devex Examines 3 Development Finance Trends, Private Sector's Role

Devex: 3 key development finance trends to watch
“…Development finance experts and stakeholders gathered at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, France, last week for its annual Private Finance for Sustainable Development Week to discuss emerging issues in the private sector’s role in development finance. Here are three key conversations to watch in the space this year. Is ‘billions to trillions’ the right narrative? … Evidence and transparency … Creating an impact standard…” (Saldinger, 1/23).

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News Outlets Continue Coverage Of WHO's Top 10 Health Threats In 2019

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The 10 biggest global health threats in 2019, according to the World Health Organization (Pirani, 1/22).

PRI: ‘Vaccine hesitancy’ is on the WHO’s list of 10 threats to global health in 2019 (1/22).

Weather Channel: Air Pollution, Climate Change Among WHO’s 10 Threats to Global Health in 2019 (Wright, 1/22).

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More News In Global Health

Bloomberg: Why China Is the Brave New World of Editing Human DNA (Lauerman/Chang, 1/22).

Devex: Global agendas set to fail unless something changes: Helen Clark (Root, 1/23).

The Guardian: Tired of dark fields and jeering men: the bride who led a ‘toilet revolution’ (Dhillon, 1/23).

Healio: The ‘broken’ antimicrobial market: A ‘looming cloud’ over medicine (Stulpin, January 2019).

Newsweek: Migrants and Refugees Do Not Bring ‘Exotic Communicable Diseases’ to Countries, World Health Organization Report States (Da Silva, 1/22).

Newsweek: How Japan Is Applying Its Knowledge and Experience To Ensure Health and Well-Being for All (1/22).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: In God’s name: Indian girls forced into sex work despite ritual ban (Nagaraj, 1/22).

U.N. News: Nigeria: Armed conflict continues to uproot thousands, driving up humanitarian need (1/22).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Vice President Pence Discusses Venezuela's Humanitarian Crisis, U.S. Stance In WSJ Opinion Piece

Wall Street Journal: Venezuela, America Stands With You
Mike Pence, vice president of the United States

“…Nine out of 10 citizens [in Venezuela] live in poverty. Millions lack access to drinking water and food, and the average Venezuelan reports losing significant weight in recent years, with the poorest dropping more than 20 pounds. Three out of four hospitals are abandoned, causing infectious diseases that were once eradicated in our hemisphere to re-emerge and spread. … This is a humanitarian crisis and also a matter of regional security. … Venezuela’s crisis will worsen until democracy is restored. … America stands with the Venezuelan people as they stand up to the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro…” (1/22).

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Encouraging Audiences To Pay Directly For Journalism Could Help Increase Coverage Of Under-Reported Humanitarian Crises

Inter Press Service: Why Are so Many Humanitarian Crises Under-reported?
Martin Scott, senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia

“…[I]nternational news coverage plays a key role in raising awareness of and drawing attention to humanitarian crises, in order to secure the funding needed to help. … The main reason why few news organizations, and particularly commercial news outlets, regularly produce original coverage of humanitarian affairs is the very high costs involved. It is very expensive to fund on-the-ground reporters and the kinds of time-consuming research and travel necessary to explain the complex causes of humanitarian crises. … Given the inherent costs and challenges associated with funding humanitarian news, there are no easy answers to the question of how to increase coverage of under-reported crises. However, there is also some cause for optimism. … Perhaps audiences are more interested in humanitarian journalism than many journalists think. Some may even be willing to pay for it. … Encouraging audiences to pay directly for journalism they trust and value may ultimately be the only sustainable solution to the crisis facing humanitarian news” (1/22).

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BMJ Launches Special Collection Focused On Innovation To End Neglected Diseases In South Asia

The BMJ: Innovation is vital for elimination of neglected diseases in South Asia
Suman Rijal, director at the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Bernard Pécoul, executive director at DNDi, and Balram Bhargava, secretary at the Department of Health Research for the Government of India and director general at the Indian Council of Medical Research

“The Sustainable Development Goals set a target to end epidemics of neglected tropical diseases by the year 2030. … This special collection of The BMJ highlights notable successes of public health programs in neglected diseases in South Asia and identifies areas where research and supportive policy is needed to advance plans for control or elimination. A unifying theme of this collection is innovation in diagnostics, treatment, and prevention of neglected diseases to create solutions that are effective, relevant, locally feasible, and sustainable. … South Asia has a unique role in combating these diseases globally as well as regionally, given the high disease burden and regional expertise in end-to-end solutions … Such ‘bench to bedside’ leadership could grow rapidly with supportive policy for research and development in neglected diseases. … We call on the diverse communities in the readership of The BMJ to reflect on the issues brought forth in this collection and push for greater action on neglected diseases in their respective fields” (1/22).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Highlights KFF Issue Brief On Ebola, Other Recent Pieces On Foreign Assistance, Zika

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: What we’re reading: Unprecedented Ebola challenges call for unprecedented responses, good investments and more
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer at “Science Speaks,” discusses several global health-related articles and releases addressing various topics, including a Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the international and U.S. response; an op-ed by Bill Gates on the value of foreign aid in global health; and a WHO article on the continuing threat of Zika (1/22).

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AEI Visiting Scholar Discusses Importance Of Foreign Assistance For Health, Learning From History

AEI’s “AEIdeas”: Health aid a good investment, but challenges must be overcome
Roger Bate, economist and visiting scholar at AEI, discusses Bill Gates’s recently published Wall Street Journal op-ed, in which Gates “provides a strong argument as to why foreign assistance for health is a good investment,” Bate writes. Bate continues, “Mr. Gates warns against withdrawing support and cites history as his guide. … Today we seem to be entering a similar end point on the efficacy of health aid as we were 50 years ago. I am currently investigating some of the challenges for malaria control and one thing is certain, ignoring reasons for past failures will ensure they are repeated” (1/22).

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Policy Cures Research Releases G-Finder 2018 Report On Investment In R&D For Neglected Diseases

Policy Cures Research: G-Finder 2018 Report: Neglected Disease Research and Development: Reaching New Heights
The 2018 G-Finder report, launched today, analyzes global investment in research and development (R&D) for neglected diseases. According to the G-Finder 2018 executive summary, the report “provides an up-to-date analysis of how R&D investments are being allocated across diseases and product types, funding trends over time, and where the potential gaps lie” (1/23).

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New Project Aims To Improve TB Prevention, Care Outcomes In Eastern Europe, Central Asia

WHO Regional Office for Europe: New project launched to consolidate sustainable tuberculosis care models in eastern Europe and central Asia
“A new Tuberculosis Regional Eastern European and Central Asian Project, referred to as TB-REP 2.0, has been launched. This project for 2019 to 2022, building on the previous TB-REP from 2016 to 2018, will consolidate past achievements and address new and remaining challenges while ensuring continuity. In particular, it will focus on improving tuberculosis (TB) prevention and care outcomes. … [TB-REP] aimed to prevent TB and drug-resistant TB, and to improve TB treatment outcomes through a health systems strengthening approach, by increasing political commitment and implementing people-centered models of care. … The achievements made through TB-REP are threatened by the decline of external donor support faced by most participating countries…” (1/22).

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From the U.S. Government

Dengue Immunity In Children May Protect Against Symptomatic Zika Infection, Study Shows

National Institutes of Health: Dengue immunity may be protective against symptomatic Zika, study finds
“Children with a history of prior dengue virus infection had a significantly lower risk of being symptomatic when infected by Zika virus, according to a study in Nicaragua of more than 3,000 children aged two to 14 years. … [T]he new findings, published in PLOS Medicine, indicate that prior dengue immunity in children may in fact be protective against symptomatic Zika disease…” (1/22).

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From KFF

KFF Updates Fact Sheet On Key U.S. Government Officials In Global Health

Kaiser Family Foundation: Key Global Health Positions and Officials in the U.S. Government
This updated fact sheet lists U.S. government positions and officials related to global health operations, including links to agencies and officials’ profiles, when available (1/18).

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