KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

New Report Examines Relationship Between Coca-Cola, CDC, Company's Attempts To Influence Nutrition, Exercise Policies

CNN: Old emails hold new clues to Coca-Cola and CDC’s controversial relationship
“Private emails between employees at the Coca-Cola Co. and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been exposed in a new research paper, raising questions about just how extensive of a relationship the soda company has had with the nation’s public health agency. The paper, published Tuesday in the journal The Milbank Quarterly includes excerpts from emails and suggests that current and former Coca-Cola staff tried to influence the CDC by attempting to frame the debate around whether sugar-sweetened beverages play a role in America’s obesity epidemic, as well as trying to lobby decision-makers…” (Howard, 1/29).

Washington Post: The Health 202: Coca-Cola emails reveal how soda industry tries to influence health officials
“…Emails sent between Coca-Cola employees and top CDC officials from 2011 to 2015 show the corporation tried to use its influence with the agency to push the World Health Organization to emphasize exercise over diet as the solution to the obesity epidemic, per a report published today in the health policy journal Milbank Quarterly. It’s not the first time public health advocates have drawn attention to ties between Coca-Cola and public health agencies … But the exchanges provide fresh evidence of the ways the food industry — in this case, the world’s leading producer of sugar-sweetened beverages — seeks to direct public policy in its favor, often in ways that run contrary to science…” (Cunningham, 1/29).

Additional coverage of the report, produced by researchers from U.S. Right to Know and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, is available from the Associated Press and POLITICO.

Link to individual story

Devex Examines Successes, Promises, Challenges Of Development Discussions At WEF

Devex: Taking stock of global development: What’s working and what’s stuck
“…The kind of profound change that is needed requires a new development model, one that Sustainable Development Goal 17 describes as including country ownership, domestic resource mobilization, private sector partnerships, and innovative financing mechanisms. In conversations with business and global development leaders attending WEF’s annual meetings, it is clear there are areas of significant progress when it comes to the new era envisioned by the SDGs, and others where [communities’ and individuals’ stories] are not yet breaking through. … The new era in global development — a time defined by both the SDGs and the rising nationalism that rejects their importance — will ultimately require another ingredient: urgency…” (Kumar, 1/30).

Link to individual story

UNICEF Appeals For $3.9B To Help 41M Children, Mostly In Conflict Zones

Deutsche Welle: UNICEF appeals for billions in donations for children affected by war
“UNICEF on Tuesday launched its 2019 donation appeal, calling for an extra €3.4 billion ($3.9 billion) to support its programs around the world. The aid would be for 41 million children, over 80 percent of whom are believed to be living in conflict zones without protection…” (1/29).

U.N. News: Nearly $4 billion needed to protect 41 million children from conflict and disaster
“…Speaking in Geneva, the agency’s director of emergency operations, Manuel Fontaine, warned that conflict is at a 30-year high: ‘There’s never been as much conflict in the world in the past 30 years as this year, so it is obviously a particular threat,’ he said. Amid countless reports of deadly attacks on civilians and places of shelter — both of which are prohibited under international law — Mr. Fontaine insisted that the long-held notion that children should be protected above all others is also being undermined…” (1/29).

VOA News: UNICEF Needs Nearly $4 Billion to Help 73 Million People
“…[Fontaine] says the single biggest operation is to help Syrian refugees, the largest displacement crisis in the world, and the host communities in five neighboring countries of asylum. ‘The 2nd largest appeal is for Yemen, which over the past year has seen conditions, unfortunately, that were already catastrophic for children get even worse, if that is possible,’ Fontaine said…” (Schlein, 1/29).

Link to individual story

Significant Investments In Hepatitis C Prevention, Screening, Treatment Could Reduce Global Burden, Study Says

HealthDay News: Big Gains Against Hep C Possible With Big Investment
“Millions of hepatitis C cases and related deaths could be prevented, but it will require a significant investment, researchers say. In the first study to model such measures worldwide, the authors concluded that sweeping prevention, screening, and treatment efforts could prevent 15.1 million new hepatitis C infections and 1.5 million cirrhosis and liver cancer deaths by 2030. Compared to 2015, that would be an 80 percent drop in hepatitis C cases and a 60 percent reduction in deaths, according to the study published Jan. 28 in The Lancet journal…” (Preidt, 1/29).

Link to individual story

DRC Ebola Outbreak Reaches 743 Total Cases, Including At Least 2 Soldiers

CIDRAP News: Katwa remains outbreak hot spot as Ebola cases reach 743
“[Tuesday] the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) recorded seven new Ebola cases, raising the outbreak total to 743, including 461 deaths. As of today, 174 cases remain under investigation, which is up from 161 yesterday. Four of the new cases were reported in Katwa, the latest hot spot in the outbreak that has swept across North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the DRC during the past six months…” (Soucheray, 1/29).

Xinhua News: 2 soldiers die of Ebola in DRC
“Two Congolese Regular Forces (FARDC) soldiers have died of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to military and health sources. Mak Hazukay, an army spokesman in the Beni area, east of North Kivu province, said three other soldiers were being observed in a center for the fight against the epidemic at the Ministry of Health in Beni. He also stressed that all measures are being taken to stop the infection among soldiers…” (1/30).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak, research into new treatments and vaccines, and violence in the region is available from Healio, Infectious Disease Advisor, and New York Times.

Link to individual story

Nigeria, Gates Foundation Agree To $75M In Incentive Financing To Help Fund Routine Immunizations, Primary Health Care Services

Leadership: Routine Immunization: Nigeria To Receive $75m Incentive From Gates Foundation
“The federal government, represented jointly by the ministers of Budget and National Planning, Finance, and Health, [on Tuesday], announced a new innovative financing agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This, the ministers said, was aimed at strengthening both routine immunization (RI) and broader primary health care (PHC) services in the country…” (Ihejirika, 1/30).

The Nation: FG, Gates Foundation agree on new health financing
“…Under the agreement, Nigeria will receive incentive financing of up to US$75 million over five years from the Gates Foundation as the government meets existing commitments to increase domestic funding of its RI program…” (Chiejina, 1/29).

This Day: Immunization: FG, Bill Gates Foundation Sign $75m Financing Agreement
“…Coming at a time when the nation’s revenue generation is constrained, the deal will direct new funds to Nigeria’s broader health sector even as more domestic resources are dedicated to critical childhood vaccines specifically creating a win-win opportunity for essential PHC services to grow in tandem…” (Francis, 1/30).

Link to individual story

Takeda Pharmaceutical Reports Experimental Dengue Vaccine Safe, Effective In Late-Stage Trial

Reuters: Takeda dengue vaccine meets main goal of trial; detailed results to come
“Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. said on Tuesday that its experimental dengue vaccine appears to be safe and effective at preventing all four types of the mosquito-borne disease, meeting the main goal of the Japanese drugmaker’s late-stage clinical trial…” (Steenhuysen, 1/29).

Wall Street Journal: Takeda’s Dengue Vaccine Works Safely, Company Says
“…An estimated 390 million people are infected with the mosquito-borne dengue virus in tropical regions around the world each year. But only one licensed vaccine, Dengvaxia from Sanofi SA, has been available so far to offer protection, and it has safety problems. … Takeda said its vaccine, called TAK-003, protected children for at least one year against dengue infection caused by four different types of the virus in the late-stage trial. No safety problems were observed with the vaccine, Takeda said…” (Hopkins/McKay, 1/29).

Additional coverage of the experimental vaccine trial results is available from Bloomberg and Reuters.

Link to individual story

More News In Global Health

Agence France-Presse: Life after leprosy in Vietnam (Vaughan, 1/25).

Associated Press: AP Exclusive: U.S. Nobelist was told of gene-edited babies (Choi/Marchione, 1/28).

Devex: EIB chief says Europe falling short on development finance (Chadwick, 1/30).

Los Angeles Times: Obesity, climate change and hunger must be fought as one, health experts declare (Healy, 1/28).

Reuters: UNICEF boss urges Myanmar to enact Kofi Annan’s recommendations on Rohingya crisis (McPherson, 1/28).

SciDev.Net: Up to 43 percent of malaria costs due to fake drugs (Nakkazi, 1/28).

Spirits Business: Fever-Tree pledges £1m for malaria charity (Kiely, 1/28).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: LGBT+ people in Singapore ‘more fearful’ after HIV data leak (Yi, 1/29).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Afghan men oppose more women’s rights; elders less hardline (Elks, 1/29).

Link to individual story

Editorials and Opinions

Multi-Sectoral, Multi-Organizational Partnership Could Help Advance Global Mental Health Efforts

The Lancet Psychiatry: A partnership for transforming mental health globally
Daniel V. Vigo, assistant professor for the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, and colleagues

“The large and increasing burden of mental and substance use disorders, its association with social disadvantage and decreased economic output, and the substantial treatment gaps across country-income levels, are propelling mental health into the global spotlight. Drawing on the organizational and financial architecture of two successful global health scale-up efforts (the fight against HIV/AIDS and the improvement of maternal and child health) and the organizational models that have emerged to finance these and other global health initiatives, we propose a multi-sectoral and multi-organizational Partnership for Global Mental Health to serve two main functions. First is the mobilization of funds … Second is stewardship … Such a partnership would necessarily involve stakeholders from the mental health field, civil society, donors, development agencies, and country-level stakeholders, organized into hubs responsible for financing, scale-up, and accountability. … We believe that the time is right for this approach to harness and catalyze the growing momentum towards applying the large body of scientific evidence to achieve a global scale-up of effective mental health interventions…” (1/28).

Link to individual story

Effective Ebola Response Requires Building Trust With Affected Communities

New York Times: Why Couldn’t My Ebola Treatment Center Save This Baby?
Karin Huster, clinical instructor in the department of global health at the University of Washington and field coordinator with Doctors Without Borders

“…[T]here is more we can — and must — do [to respond to Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)]. … While promising vaccines and experimental treatments are rapidly being added to our arsenal, this technology is not a panacea. … We must engage better with communities. We have to recognize where people are coming from and what their fears and expectations are in order to build trust. We also need to reconsider some of our approaches to care. We could, for example, stop building huge testing and treatment centers in favor of small, more welcoming local structures. We could initially isolate and care for some patients in their own homes while their test results are pending. We could train members of the community, survivors especially, to help with that work. And we could consider new ways to safely allow select family members to be with loved ones during their time in isolation…” (1/30).

Link to individual story

Chinese Government Must Improve Its Vaccine Delivery Performance

New York Times: If a Government Can’t Deliver Safe Vaccines for Children, Is It Fit to Rule?
Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and professor at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations

“Earlier this month, hundreds of aggrieved parents gathered outside the government office in Jinhu County, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, demanding an explanation for why 145 infants had been administered expired doses of the polio vaccine. It was China’s fifth vaccine scandal in less than seven years, and yet another blow to the country’s drug industry, its national immunization program, its regulatory authorities — and to the very legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party (C.C.P.). … So how can the Chinese government get out of its legitimacy bind? To limit the chances of being perceived as under-delivering public goods, it should stop over-promising them, and concentrate on the ones that the people think are of the utmost importance to their well-being, such as food and vaccine safety. To improve its performance in delivering those, the government should allow economic and social forces to play a bigger role. … [T]he party-state is generally unwilling to pursue widely unpopular policies and risk triggering mass discontent. In this sense … lies some reason for optimism about the future of vaccine safety in China, more rational and more effective policy-making overall, and maybe even some measure of decentralization within the party itself” (1/30).

Link to individual story

From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Profiles New Leadership, Members Of 116th Congress's House Energy And Commerce Health Subcommittee

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: 116th Congress: House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee gets new leader, four new Democrats, one new Republican
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer at “Science Speaks,” discusses new leadership and members in the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, including Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), who is the new subcommittee chair, and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.), and Gred Gianforte (R-Mont.), who are all new members of the subcommittee. The subcommittee oversees the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1/29).

Link to individual story

CGD Podcast Examines Role Of Development Banks In Innovation

Center for Global Development: National Development Banks with Stephany Griffith-Jones — CGD Podcast
In this podcast, Holly Shulman, director of communications at CGD, highlights a conversation in which CGD President Masood Ahmed speaks with Stephany Griffith-Jones, economist and author of the recent book “The Future of National Development Banks,” “about the role that development banks can play in innovation, how they should interact with private actors and governments, and what new institutions can learn from their predecessors” (1/29).

Link to individual story

ODI Acting Executive Director Outlines 4 Key Highlights From Davos

Overseas Development Institute: Davos 2019: four reasons for optimism despite the gloom
Sara Pantuliano, acting executive director at ODI, discusses four key highlights from the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos last week: “1. Everyone was talking sustainable development … 2. Digitization dominated the agenda … 3. Momentum is growing around humanitarian financing … 4. Migration should be seen as a manageable issue, not a crisis” (1/29).

Link to individual story

Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 349 of the ‘Global Fund Observer.’ The newsletter includes articles on various topics, including the Global Fund’s sixth replenishment; a commentary on whether African countries are ready to push toward greater domestic financing to end HIV, TB, and malaria; and a Technical Review Panel report identifying gaps in human resources for health interventions in funding requests to the Global Fund (1/30).

Link to individual story

AEI Visiting Scholar Examines Drug Resistance In India, Government's Denial Of Problem

AEI’s “AEIdeas”: Superbugs exacerbated by political correctness
Roger Bate, visiting scholar at AEI, discusses a recent Wall Street Journal article reporting on evidence that the gene NDM-1, which can render bacteria resistant to certain antibiotics and originally found in India, had spread to Norway. Bate writes, “India is increasingly becoming ground zero for drug resistance due to its appalling health infrastructure and incredibly cheap medicines … Denying any part of the problem, including massive overuse of sometimes substandard antibiotics, will only lead to more drug-resistant deaths and perhaps even untreatable diseases for all of us” (1/28).

Link to individual story

Open Letter To WHO Urges Organization To Reject Foundation For A Smoke Free World's Partnership Proposal

Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control: An Open Letter to the Director General and Executive Board of the World Health Organization
“We write to you, as members of the global public health community, to express our grave concern at the attempt by the Philip Morris International-funded entity, Foundation for a Smoke Free World (FSFW), to pave the road for partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO). Giving any consideration to an organization that is entirely funded by the tobacco industry would fundamentally undermine the significant health and policy gains made to date on the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)…” (1/28).

Link to individual story

From the U.S. Government

U.S. Intelligence Worldwide Threat Assessment Includes Section On Global Human Security Challenges

Office of the Director of National Intelligence: Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community
Delivered by Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday, the report outlines global threats to U.S. national security, including “global human security challenges, such as threats to public health, historic levels of human displacement, assaults on religious freedom, and the negative effects of environmental degradation and climate change…” (1/29).

Link to individual story

From KFF

KFF Updates Explainer On UNFPA Funding, Kemp-Kasten Amendment

Kaiser Family Foundation: UNFPA Funding & Kemp-Kasten: An Explainer
On March 8, the Trump administration invoked the “Kemp-Kasten amendment” in order to withhold
FY 2018 funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA, the lead U.N. agency focused on global population and reproductive health), the second year it has made this determination. This updated explainer provides an overview of the history of Kemp-Kasten and its current application (1/29).

Link to individual story

KFF Updates Resources Examining PEPFAR Reauthorization, Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Kaiser Family Foundation: PEPFAR Reauthorization: Side-by-Side of Legislation Over Time
This updated brief provides a detailed comparison of PEPFAR’s authorizing legislation over time and highlights those authorities that are time-bound (Moss/Kates, 1/29).

Kaiser Family Foundation: The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic
This updated fact sheet provides information on current HIV prevalence and incidence, prevention and treatment strategies, and the global and U.S. responses to the epidemic (1/28).

Link to individual story

KFF Updates Resources On PMI, U.S. Efforts On Global Malaria, NCDs, NTDs

Kaiser Family Foundation: The President’s Malaria Initiative and Other U.S. Government Global Malaria Efforts
This updated fact sheet examines the U.S. government’s role in global malaria efforts and includes an overview of the global situation, the President’s Malaria Initiative, multi- and bilateral funding, malaria interventions, and global goals for control and eradication (1/29).

Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. Government and Global Non-Communicable Disease Efforts
This updated fact sheet discusses U.S. government efforts on and funding for global non-communicable diseases (NCDs), global statistics related to NCDs, and international goals for NCDs (1/29).

Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. Government and Global Neglected Tropical Disease Efforts
This updated fact sheet discusses the U.S. government’s efforts to address neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) around the world and presents information on NTDs, including statistics, interventions, and international control goals (1/29).

Link to individual story

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KFF | twitter.com/kff

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.