KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

News Outlets Examine Potential Impacts Of Trump Administration On Women's Health, Rights Worldwide

Cosmopolitan: Trump’s Presidency Could Be Life-Threatening to Women All Over the World
“…For women around the world, a Donald Trump/Mike Pence administration spells a policy of active hostility to reproductive rights and using U.S. dollars to hold other countries hostage to American abortion politics. For women who aren’t American and who had no say in this election, Trump and Pence are going to have an awful lot of influence over their futures — and it’s not going to be good. Some of them likely won’t live through it…” (Filipovic, 12/22).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Women’s rights face a daunting new year worldwide, campaigners warn
“Women’s rights face enormous challenges worldwide in 2017 with campaigners expecting fights to keep health clinics open, to save programs preventing unwanted pregnancies, and to enforce laws protecting women from violence. Globally, women’s rights are in the crosshairs of rising isolationism and right-wing politics in Western Europe and the United States, where President-elect Donald Trump has promised to unravel an array of beneficial policies…” (Wulfhorst, 12/30).

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Media Sources Examine Top Health, Development Stories Of 2016, Look Ahead To 2017

Devex: A year in review: Global development in 2016
“In development policy circles 2016 was branded a ‘year of action.’ With big global agreements in place, this was a year for implementation, for attention to the nuts and bolts of getting things done. There has been plenty of action — some of it the result of that deliberate effort to deliver development results, and some of it thrust upon the global development community by big, uncontrollable forces…” (12/23).

The Guardian: Zika, drought, conflict: what 2016 meant for the world’s poorest — podcast
“The global development team looks back at some of the issues that affected millions of people in developing countries in the past year, and considers the challenges for 2017…” (Lamble et al., 12/21).

IRIN: 10 humanitarian stories to look out for in 2017
“While 2016 taught us to expect the unexpected, IRIN’s eyes and ears on the ground have given us an idea of what to look out for in the new year. We can’t promise everyone else will be covering these stories, but here are 10 we’ll be watching…” (1/2).

NPR: Wins And Losses In Global Health In 2016
“‘This year there’s been one big home run and a lot of scratch singles.’ That’s how Red Sox fan and editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, sums up the year-that-was in public health…” (Beaubien, 12/23).

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PolitiFact Examines Global Development Efforts Of U.S. Congress

PolitiFact: Fact-checking global development efforts in Congress
“…An upbeat video from the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a network of hundreds of businesses and nonprofits, trumpets the bipartisan work of lawmakers on major pieces of legislation, from human trafficking and poaching to supporting power generation and small farmers. … We scrutinized several points in the video to see how the substance of the new laws stacked up against the officials’ claims…” (Qiu, 12/22).

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G20 To Discuss Global Health Security, Outbreak Preparedness At Upcoming Summit

Devex: Health is on G20’s agenda. Now what?
“Concerns over disease outbreaks — and the threat they pose to international security — will for the first time feature prominently on the agenda of the upcoming Group of 20 summit. A coalition of development and relief agencies is using the opportunity to push global leaders for stronger commitments to improve health systems in some of the world’s poorest countries…” (Green, 12/21).

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WHO Needs Additional Funding To Implement New Pandemic Preparedness Plan

Quartz: The WHO has a plan to save the world from the next pandemic — but it doesn’t have the money
“…As a new year begins, the WHO is beginning to implement a new pandemic preparedness plan, so that countries around the world are ready for the next Ebola or Zika. Step one in that plan is the creation of the Emerging Diseases Clinical Assessment and Response Network (EDCARN), intended to help caretakers during an outbreak. But for the WHO to implement its new health-emergencies program in 2016-17 — of which EDCARN is a part — the agency needs $485 million in funding…” (Rathi, 1/2).

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Zika Remains Threat To Pregnant Women, More Work Needed On Virus, CDC Director Says

Reuters: More work lies ahead to fight Zika, other threats: CDC chief
“A year ago, the mosquito-borne Zika virus was only beginning to reveal itself as a threat to pregnant women and their unborn babies. Since then, U.S. officials have issued 60 travel alerts along with guidance for athletes and tourists traveling to the Olympics in Rio. They have also deployed more than 1,000 experts to Puerto Rico and elsewhere, tested more than 147,000 lab specimens, initiated 25 major studies and issued more than 230 scientific publications. And the work is not done, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…” (Steenhuysen, 11/30).

STAT: Zika threat isn’t over, CDC director warns pregnant women thinking about beach vacations
“…CDC Director Tom Frieden admitted he is worried that people may think the worst of Zika is over and that they can let down their guard. … The public’s take on Zika has been mixed, with many people dismissing it as an overblown problem. That contributes to the CDC’s concern that the lure of the beaches of the Caribbean and Central America might entice some U.S. travelers this winter who ought to stay away…” (Branswell, 12/30).

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Experimental Ebola Vaccine Safe, Effective In West African Trials, Scientists Report

The Guardian: Ebola vaccine is safe and effective, scientists declare after trials
“A vaccine for Ebola which has completed successful trials in Guinea and Sierra Leone means the virus should never again be able to wreak the havoc it did during the recent epidemic in West Africa, say scientists…” (Boseley, 12/22).

NBC News: Ebola Vaccine Works, Study Shows
“…[Researchers] used the same strategy that was used to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. Called ring vaccination, it calls for vaccinating people who have been in contact with patients, and contacts of contacts…” (Fox, 12/23).

New York Times: New Ebola Vaccine Gives 100 Percent Protection
“…[A]n experimental Ebola vaccine tested on humans in the waning days of the West African epidemic has been shown to provide 100 percent protection against the lethal disease…” (McNeil, 12/22).

NPR: Scientists Announce Ebola Vaccine
“…[Researchers] don’t know yet how long the protection will last, but it will bring outbreaks to a screeching halt…” (Doucleff/Shapiro, 12/23).

PBS NewsHour: Ebola vaccine results are encouraging — but preliminary
“…The results of a two-year trial led by the World Health Organization were published in the journal ‘Lancet’ [on December 22]. They showed that of nearly 6,000 people vaccinated in Guinea last year, none had contracted Ebola after a 10-day period. While in the group not vaccinated, 23 cases developed…” (Sreenivasan, 12/23).

Reuters: Guinea trial shows ‘historic’ success for Ebola vaccine
“…The WHO said that if Ebola outbreaks occurred before the vaccine was given full regulatory approval, it could be made available though a compassionate use procedure after informed consent…” (Kelland, 12/22).

U.N. News Centre: Final trial results confirm Ebola vaccine provides ‘high protection’ — U.N. health agency
“…WHO said that an international vaccine-focused organization, Gavi, provided $5 million to Merck, one of the vaccine’s manufacturers, towards its future procurement once the vaccine is approved, prequalified, and recommended by WHO…” (12/23).

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More Cooperation Among Wealthy, Developing Nations Needed To Prevent, Stop Infectious Diseases Outbreaks, Bill Gates Says

CNBC: We are vulnerable right now to a flu epidemic: Bill Gates
“…Speaking to the BBC’s Today program, Bill Gates said that despite technological improvement, ‘we are a bit vulnerable right now’ to diseases that spread quickly. ‘There’s a lot of discussion right now about how we respond in an emergency, how we make sure that the regulatory and liability and organizational boundaries don’t slow us down there, so I cross my fingers all the time that some epidemic like a big flu doesn’t come along in the next 10 years,’ Bill Gates, whose foundation he runs with his wife Melinda invests in global health care, said…” (Amaro, 12/30).

The Guardian: Bill Gates: world faces decade at risk from antibiotic-resistant bugs
“…Gates said it was crucial for wealthier countries to step in to help the developing world fight disease, both for humanitarian reasons and for their own health security…” (Gayle, 12/30).

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Global Polio Eradication Campaign Expects Vaccine Supply Shortages

Newsweek: Critical Vaccine Shortage Threatens Polio Eradication Efforts
“The international campaign to eradicate polio, which has vaccinated 2.5 billion people since it began in 1988 — nearly all of them children — has faced one setback after another. … Now, however, the fight faces a new threat: a critical shortage of vaccine. The campaign … was expecting to receive 110 million doses of injectable polio vaccine (IPV) this year, but the two manufacturers have told the groups they can supply only about half that…” (McKenna, 12/29).

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Gavi, Education Above All Foundation Working Together To Reach SDGs In Cross-Sectoral Partnership

Devex: Education Above All, Gavi reach underserved communities with education and immunization
“…Two groups that have come together to set the pace in [a cross-sectoral] partnership are the Education Above All Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that works to increase educational opportunities for underserved communities and fragile states, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, an international organization improving access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Their partnership is taking an aim at the Sustainable Development Goals…” (Ehidiamen, 12/22).

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Additional Funding Needed To Address Cholera In Haiti, U.N. Official Says

Agence France-Presse: Fighting Haiti’s cholera outbreak requires more funds: U.N.
“…The U.N. says the situation has improved thanks to a three-fold increase in the deployment of emergency teams, the delivery of drinking water aid, and a vaccination campaign. But funding is critical to support the humanitarian needs of the poorest country in the Americas, said Mourad Wahba, the deputy special representative for the U.N.’s stabilization mission in Haiti. No funds have been set aside yet beyond the first quarter of 2017, which OCHA said could lead to a heightened risk of hospital mortality if none are ultimately allocated…” (12/30).

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Editorials and Opinions

Future U.N. Engagement In Global Health Across Sectors Vital To Improve Humanity's Well-Being

Washington Times: A ‘relentless’ promoter of health as a human right
Margaret Chan, director general of the WHO

“Over the past decade, health issues have attained an unprecedented prominence at the United Nations. … The focus on health in three U.N. high-level meetings illustrates the profound leadership and broad impact we have seen under … U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. … On Dec. 31, Ban Ki-moon will pass the baton to his successor, and with it many health challenges that WHO and other U.N. agencies are still working to address. Health workers are still a target in many conflict zones today. Disease outbreaks that pose a risk of spreading quickly through international trade and travel will continue to threaten global security. Noncommunicable diseases have overtaken infectious diseases as the No. 1 killers worldwide. These challenging health issues remain, but Ban Ki-moon has provided a way forward to address all of them. The Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in September 2015 give the international community an opportunity to work together across all sectors to improve the well-being of humanity. The current secretary general has set a new bar for U.N. engagement in health issues. It will be essential for years to come” (12/29).

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Next Generation Can Help Stop Future Pandemics

Medium: Talking with the Next Generation about the Next Pandemic
Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…The vast majority of people alive today have never experienced a serious pandemic. While Ebola and Zika have raised awareness of the risks we face, few of us have encountered a dangerous, fast-moving infectious disease. That’s why we at the Gates Foundation believe it’s essential to speak out  —  and speak often  —  about what the world must do to stop the next pandemic. … Pathogens have achieved unprecedented breakout potential, and if we look at recent respiratory illnesses such as SARS and H1N1, we know there are viruses at the edge of human society that could prove deadlier and more contagious than what we faced in 1918 [with the flu pandemic]. So is there anything the world can do to stop future pandemics? The good news is yes … 1. We need better and faster ways to produce vaccines. … 2. We need an effective global surveillance system that can track and respond to outbreaks as they emerge. … 3. We need to change the culture of knowledge management and data sharing. … [O]ur message can get through, and we count on the next generation to help us prepare the world for tomorrow’s challenges” (12/16).

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Opinion Piece, Editorial Discuss Availability, Development Of Zika, Ebola Vaccines

New York Times: A Zika Vaccine, but for Whom?
Patrick Adams, freelance journalist, and Cameron Nutt, student at Harvard Medical School

“The race for a Zika vaccine, one of the most pressing priorities in global health, is at full throttle. More than a dozen companies and government institutions are working to unlock the secrets of the virus, and a vaccine could be available as early as 2018. But available to whom? If history is any guide, impoverished communities in Africa are likely to be the last in line. And this despite a mounting body of evidence that, contrary to the prevailing wisdom, poor families in Africa might bear the greatest burden of the disease. … The paradox is that while the development of a Zika vaccine relies heavily on knowledge acquired from Africa, Zika vaccines are unlikely to be prioritized for use there — largely because we have been content to accept flimsy assumptions as scientific facts. Like other diseases before it, the data on Zika seems to matter only when it helps those of us in rich countries protect ourselves. Yet it’s this double standard that allows outbreaks to become pandemics, and that imperils public health — in Africa and everywhere” (12/28).

Wall Street Journal: The Burial of Ebola
Editorial Board

“…Last week researchers presented compelling evidence of the first, and 100 percent effective, Ebola vaccine. Writing in the journal The Lancet, an international consortium released the final results of an experiment in Guinea, which found that a drug called rVSV-Zebov triggers rapid Ebola immunity after a single dose. The vaccine is an achievement for science and even government, believe it or not. … Ebola is a complex and mutating pathogen, and no scientific triumph is ever final. But the public health bureaucracy demonstrated no such humility, and its overconfidence showed how unprepared the world is to respond to biological threats. Developing and deploying more vaccines like rVSV-Zebov may be the best defense” (12/26).

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WHO DG Candidate Flavia Bustreo Describes Vision For WHO's Future

Huffington Post: A vision for WHO for 2017 and beyond
Flavia Bustreo, assistant director general for family, women’s, and children’s health at the WHO, and vice chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“As I turn the calendar page to January 2017, I am keen to look ahead and examine our health challenges for the coming year and decade — challenges with goals and targets which have been well defined in our United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and especially, in the ‘health goal’ or SDG 3 — Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. For me, the greatest injustice of our time is that millions of adults, adolescents and children around the world die unnecessarily from preventable causes for which there are evidence-based interventions. … As Italy’s candidate in the upcoming election for director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), I aspire to bring leadership and solutions to this injustice. My vision for WHO’s work can be summarized in five words: Equity, Rights, Responsiveness, Evidence, and Partnership. Five words, but charged with so much meaning and power for global health. … I believe that my dynamic energy, knowledge, experience, expertise, and management record at WHO will lead the organization to the next step — to adapt to the challenges of the SDG-era, working towards achieving universal health coverage, and lead to realizing the right of every individual, everywhere, to the highest attainable standard of health…” (12/28).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts Look Back On 2016's Top Global Health, Development Stories, Predict Top Stories Of 2017

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: A year in review: The top stories in global health innovation that shaped 2016
“…As the year comes to an end, GHTC is reflecting on the top stories in global health innovation that made news in 2016. Here are seven of those top moments…” (Kelley, 12/20).

PLOS Blogs’ “Speaking of Medicine”: 2017 Global Infectious Diseases Threats to the United States
“PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases co-Editor-in Chief Peter Hotez predicts the major infections that will threaten the U.S. in the coming year…” (Hotez, 12/22).

U.N. Dispatch: 11 Stories that Will Drive the Global Agenda in 2017
“These are the trends, events, elections, and happenings that will drive the global conversation in 2017. Welcome to our annual year-end preview listicle for the discerning global set…” (Goldberg, 12/29).

World Bank’s “Voices”: Year in Review: 2016 in 12 Charts (and a video)
“Between the social, political, and economic upheavals affecting our lives, and the violence and forced displacement making headlines, you’d be forgiven for feeling gloomy about 2016. A look at the data reveals some of the challenges we face but also the progress we’ve made toward a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable future. Here are 12 charts that help tell the stories of the year…” (Khokhar/Barne, 12/22).

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CGD Blog Post Examines Possible Changes To U.S. Foreign Aid Under Incoming Administration, Congress

Center for Global Development’s “U.S. Development Policy/Views from the Center”: Foreign Aid in the Trump Administration: Probably Different, but Not Necessarily Smaller?
Nancy Birdsall, CGD founding president, and Alan Gelb, senior fellow and director of studies at CGD, discuss five possible changes to U.S. foreign aid under the incoming administration and Congress, making the case that “[i]t is likely to look different, but may not be smaller” (12/21).

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CGD Blog Post Discusses Considerations For Donor Funding For Family Planning

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog/U.S. Development Policy”: Global Family Planning Funding — What Should Funders Be Thinking About Now?
Rachel Silverman, senior policy analyst at CGD, discusses donor funding for family planning, examining how potential U.S. funding cuts could affect global family planning efforts and suggesting questions funders might consider to ensure that services are continued. Silverman also references a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis on donor funding for family planning (12/20).

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From the U.S. Government

CDC Scientists Identify 10 Public Health Achievements Surrounding Zika In 2016, Future Priorities

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Zika Virus — 10 Public Health Achievements in 2016 and Future Priorities
In a recently released MMWR report, Nadia L. Oussayef of the CDC and colleagues summarize “10 important contributions toward addressing the threat posed by Zika virus in 2016,” as well as future priorities regarding the virus (12/30).

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