KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines Foreign Aid Priorities, Development Issues To Watch In U.S. Congress In 2020

Devex: Development issues to watch in the U.S. Congress in 2020
“While development legislation has seen success in recent years, including several bills making it across the finish line in the U.S. budget deal passed in late 2019, 2020 may be a more difficult year for foreign aid priorities in Congress. … While it may be hard to find bipartisan middle ground and the time to pass much legislation, there are a few bills and issues that the development community is advocating for or watching…” (Saldinger, 1/7).

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USAID, Sweden Make Contributions To WFP To Assist Drought-Affected Populations In Zambia

Devdiscourse: USAID donates $3.39mn to WFP for assisting drought-affected people in Zambia
“The United States Agency for International Development has made a contribution of USD 3.39 million to the United Nations World Food Programme. The objective of this contribution is to meet the immediate food requirements of drought-affected people in Zambia…” (1/6).

Devdiscourse: Sweden donates $2mn to WFP to help drought-affected people in Zambia
“A contribution of SEK 20 million (USD 2 million) has been made by the government of Sweden to the United Nations World Food Programme with an objective to help meet the food and nutrition needs of people affected by the drought in Zambia…” (1/6).

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Devex Reviews 2019 Development-Funding Data, Looks Ahead To 2020

Devex: 2020 funding preview: Looking at donors’ pipelines for the coming year
“…Devex takes a look at the development-funding data we have collected over the course of 2019 to understand the trends. We also look at donors’ current pipelines to better understand what we can expect from them in 2020 and explain how you can use Devex’s early funding intelligence tools to find out more…” (Wolf/Alcega, 12/20).

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WHO Confirms 29 New Ebola Cases In DRC Outbreak; STAT Examines Development History Of First Ebola Virus Vaccine

Homeland Preparedness News: WHO confirms 29 new cases of Ebola in Democratic Republic of the Congo
“In its last weekly report of the year, covering Dec. 18 to Dec. 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 29 new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease were logged in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)…” (Galford, 1/6).

STAT: ‘Against all odds’: The inside story of how scientists across three continents produced an Ebola vaccine
“…The story of the Ebola vaccine began, as scientific advances often do, with a good idea and a lucky break. … If two assets hadn’t come researchers’ way, it’s almost a certainty that Ervebo would have never come to fruition. One was money, the other was a rare talent…” (Branswell, 1/7).

STAT: An Ebola vaccine was more than two decades in the making. Here are some key people who made it happen
“Many people contributed to the development of Merck’s Ebola vaccine, the first licensed one for the disease based on data showing it works in humans…” (Branswell, 1/7).

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Chinese Health Authorities Work To Discover Cause Of Viral Pneumonia Outbreak; CDC Issues Travel Notice For Wuhan

New York Times: China Grapples With Mystery Pneumonia-Like Illness
“…59 people in the central city of Wuhan … have been sickened by a pneumonia-like illness, the cause of which is unclear. The cases have alarmed Chinese officials, who are racing to unravel the mystery behind them in a region where the memory of an outbreak of the dangerous respiratory disease known as SARS remains fresh. … On Sunday, the city government said they had ruled out as causes SARS, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), bird flu, and the adenovirus…” (Wee et al., 1/6).

Outbreak News Today: CDC issues travel notice for Wuhan, China due to pneumonia cluster
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice Monday for travelers to Wuhan, Hubei province, China due to the cluster of cases of pneumonia of an unknown etiology…” (1/7).

Wall Street Journal: Health Officials Work to Solve China’s Mystery Virus Outbreak
“Authorities are working to establish the source of the infection, as well as identify the virus and whether it is a previously unrecorded strain. Some infections are linked to vendors from a seafood market in Wuhan, and authorities have ordered the market closed. … The World Health Organization said Sunday that the illness could indicate an exposure link to animals, without elaborating. The agency said it was in close contact with the national authorities in China and was closely monitoring the situation, but didn’t recommend any specific measures for travelers…” (Wang et al., 1/6).

Additional coverage of the outbreak is available from The Hill, STAT, The Telegraph, and Vox.

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Some Infants Exposed To Zika In Womb Can Show Early Developmental Delays Despite Normal Head Circumference, Study Says

AFP: Delayed Zika effects seen in babies who appeared healthy at birth
“Infants in Colombia who were exposed to the Zika virus in the womb showed motor and cognitive development delays in their first 18 months of life, despite having a normal head circumference at birth, scientists reported Monday. Their study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, involved 70 babies born on Colombia’s Caribbean coast between August 2016 and November 2017, the height of an epidemic that spread across South America and led the World Health Organization to declare a global emergency…” (1/6).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Is the U.N. ready to face the future? (Lieberman, 1/7).

Devex: How to scale up biofortified crops (Ravelo, 1/7).

The Guardian: Surgery by candlelight: hospitals in Nigeria suffer losing power — and staff (Adeshokan, 1/7).

The Guardian: Doctors warn people may die as public health impact from Australian fire pollution bites (Gorman, 1/3).

IBT: Method existing since 1980’s can prevent maternal death from blood loss in future: Study (Biswas, 1/7).

Nature: Quest to use CRISPR against disease gains ground (Ledford, 1/6).

NPR: ‘Scary Moms’ Are Part Of The Citizen War Against Pollution In Pakistan (Hadid, 1/6).

Quartz India: The biggest, yet invisible, public health challenge in India (Iqbal, 1/7).

Reuters: U.N. resumes grain milling in starvation-threatened Yemen (Barrington, 1/6).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Pakistan to provide free healthcare for trans people (Ebrahim, 1/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

While Global Health Strives For Equity, Field Marked By 'Unequal Power Dynamics,' Opinion Piece Says

NPR: Opinion: It’s Time To End The Colonial Mindset In Global Health
Abraar Karan, internal medicine resident in the Hiatt Residency in Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

“…Today, the field of ‘global health’ strives to create equitable and just relationships between wealthy and impoverished regions, places, and peoples. But it is still a field with markedly unequal power dynamics … It is not a relationship in which Western visitors and local people are collaborating equally — or perhaps even more appropriately, where local leaders take the dominant role. … When we fail to recognize this harsh truth, we end up taking our power for granted. There is nothing more dangerous than that” (12/30).

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Eliminating Mother-To-Child Transmission Of HIV In South Africa Achievable, Experts Write In Opinion Piece

The Conversation: South Africa steps up its game to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV
Ute Feucht, associate professor in pediatrics, and Jeannette Wessels, researcher at the Centre for Maternal, Fetal, Newborn, and Child Health Care Strategies, both at the University of Pretoria

“…[R]ealizing [the] ambitious target [of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV in South Africa] will require innovative strategies and continuous quality improvement. … To achieve these outcomes the South African Department of Health has revised the guidelines for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. It now includes a strong focus on maternal viral suppression during antenatal care, at delivery, and in the period after birth. If implemented effectively, the approach set out in the guidelines would put South Africa within reach of eliminating mother-to-child transmission. … Creating an environment that enables rigorous implementation of this guideline will move South Africa closer to the goal of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and making an HIV-free generation a reality” (1/6).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

AMA Journal Of Ethics Releases Issue Focused On Responding To Global Public Health Crises

AMA Journal of Ethics: Culture, Context, and Epidemic Containment
“This issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics considers how health professions should respond to global public health emergencies. Professional engagement with governments, nongovernmental organizations, or individuals reluctant to support epidemic responses is critical resistance to isolationist stances that can undermine disease containment efforts. Advocacy is another important expression of clinicians’ obligations to promote and protect international and domestic communities of patients, especially during crises…” (January 2020).

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Lancet Infectious Diseases Commission Discusses Preparedness For Emerging Epidemic Threats

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Preparedness for emerging epidemic threats: a Lancet Infectious Diseases Commission
On behalf of the Lancet Infectious Diseases Commission, Vernon J. Lee, director of communicable diseases at Singapore’s Ministry of Health and adjunct associate professor at NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, and colleagues discuss factors that disrupt preparedness for emerging epidemic threats. The authors note, “The Commission aims to deliver the report by 2021 and will include key recommendations for countries and international stakeholders, and monitoring indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of preparedness initiatives over time” (January 2020).

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Achieving LGBT+ Equality In Aid, Development Requires Change, AidEx Public Relations Manager Writes In WEF Blog Post

World Economic Forum: ‘All too often LGBT+ people are invisible’: This is what must change
Anastasia Kyriacou, public relations manager at AidEx, discusses the role LGBT+ people play in designing aid and development policies and programs, writing, “For a sector focused on achieving global fairness, aid and development has a long way to go when it comes to LGBT+ equality. … Full inclusiveness requires an effort from the international community to be more innovative than its current approach and work with each population or group individually…” (1/6).

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ACSH Blog Post Examines Associations Between Infectious Diseases, Cancer Globally

American Council on Science and Health: Globally, 12% Of Cancers Are Due To Infectious Disease
Alex Berezow, vice president of scientific communications at ACSH, discusses several of the preventable and/or treatable infectious diseases responsible for causing about 12% of cancer cases worldwide. Berezow concludes, “If we could eliminate or severely curtail these infections — a very realistic goal — then the global cancer incidence rate would fall by roughly 10%. That would certainly constitute a major public health triumph” (1/7).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Administrator Green Discusses DRC Ebola Outbreak Response, Preparedness With WHO DG Tedros

USAID: USAID Administrator Mark Green’s Phone Call With The Director-General Of The World Health Organization, The Honorable Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ph.D.
“The following is attributable to Acting Spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green spoke with the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Friday to discuss efforts to respond to the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) amid increasing security concerns and how to best support the Government of DRC and its partners to control the disease…” (1/6).

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