KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Report, Interviews Examine Change In Global Health, Development Sectors

Devex: Opportunity driving change in global development sectors
“…According to a recent Devex Next Generation Professional report, produced in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development and DAI, the health and energy sectors — along with technology for development, agriculture and food security, and climate change — will experience the greatest shift in skills required by global development professionals. Devex spoke to experts from USAID and international development firm Management Systems International to ask about their predictions for the future global development workforce…” (Smith, 7/17).

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Governments Must Commit More Funding To Provide Clean Water, Sanitation, WaterAid Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Clean water for all is still centuries away, aid group warns
“Supplying clean water and toilets for all could take hundreds of years in countries like Eritrea and Namibia unless governments step up funding to tackle the problem and its harmful effects on health, an international development agency warned on Monday. WaterAid — which says nearly 850 million people lack clean water — predicted the world will miss a global goal to provide drinking water and adequate sanitation for everyone by 2030. Meeting it will cost $28 billion per year, the non-profit said…” (Hares, 7/15).

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Record 90% Of Infants Received At Least One Dose Of Vaccine In 2017, U.N. Figures Show

U.N. News: Record 123 million infants received at least one vaccine in 2017, says U.N.
“A record-breaking total of around 123 million, or nine out of 10, infants, received at least one dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine in 2017, protecting them from deadly infectious diseases, according to United Nations figures released on Monday. An additional 4.6 million infants were vaccinated globally in 2017, compared to 2010, due to the pace of global population growth…” (7/16).

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U.N. Officials Call For Quicker Global Action To Reach SDGs At High-Level Political Forum

U.N. News: Progress has been made, but ‘not at a sufficient speed to realize the SDGs’: U.N. ECOSOC President
“…Speaking at the opening of the major ministerial meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) as well as the high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC President Marie Chatardová cited progress that, at first glimpse, looked positive. … ‘There is progress, but generally not at a sufficient speed to realize the SDGs by 2030,’ Ms. Chatardová said…” (7/16).

Xinhua News: UNGA president urges int’l community to move faster to achieve SDGs
“President of the U.N. General Assembly Misrolav Lajcak on Monday urged the international community to move faster in order to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ‘I want to start my address with a simple message: we do not have any time to waste,’ Lajcak said in his opening remarks at the ministerial meeting of the 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development under the theme: ‘Transformation towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies’…” (7/17).

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More News In Global Health

Los Angeles Times: Health emergency declared in northern Brazil after measles outbreak (Langlois, 7/16).

New York Times: Now in Sight: Success Against an Infection That Blinds (McNeil, 7/16).

Reuters: Mass radio campaign saves thousands of child lives in Africa (Kelland, 7/16).

Science: ‘Frightening’ drug-resistant strain of typhoid spreads in Pakistan (Cohen, 7/16).

STAT: No more ‘sledgehammer’: As gonorrhea grows resistant to antibiotics, researchers look to bespoke treatments (Branswell, 7/17).

U.N. News: Sand and dust storms, a ‘human well-being’ issue, says high-level panel (7/16).

VOA News: Maternity Homes Provide Essential Care to Pregnant Women in Rural Ethiopia (Taboh, 7/15).

Xinhua News: Non-communicable diseases leading causes of death in Asia-Pacific region: ADB (7/16).

Xinhua News: Sudan launches anti-polio campaign to vaccinate 3 million children (7/17).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Health Will Suffer If Trust Breaks Down Further Between, Within Nations

Foreign Policy: Trump’s Battle Against Breastfeeding Is a Small Part of a Wider War
Laurie Garrett, former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…If the people lose faith in government, science, and each other, the entire public health house of cards can quickly collapse. … This is nowhere more visible than in the United States under the influence of President Donald Trump, whose nationalist agenda has amounted to a multifront war on global public health. … No one nation operating in isolation can stop a pandemic, reverse carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere, put a halt to the spread of drug-resistant microbes, finally conquer HIV, or create a nonpolluting energy source for all of humanity. … As trust breaks down further between nations, and within them, every facet of public health will be sorely challenged. The global institutions created to stop epidemics and promote health will, in the near term, try to regain public trust and find alternative sources of funding to stay alive. But their longer-term missions of universal health cannot possibly be realized in the previously trustful world that Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping are now unraveling” (7/16).

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Trump Administration Promotes Business Interests Over Child Health By Countering Original WHA Breastfeeding Resolution

The Hill: U.S. puts business ahead of children’s health
Michael Rosenbaum, professor at Columbia University Medical Center and pediatrician

“…The U.S. efforts to curb promotion of breastfeeding are especially surprising since the United States has consistently recognized the potential benefits of breastfeeding and been increasingly supportive of women who choose to do so. … The concern here … is an administration promoting industry at the expense of children and ignoring the potentially ‘huge’ financial and health benefits of legislating to create better options to breastfeed, especially in third world nations. … We aren’t the country that treats promotion of good health practices by foreign governments as aggressive economic assaults demanding retaliation. It is a shame that we had to take a lesson in common sense and humanity from Russia to curb our devaluation of the lives of children. We should have known better” (7/16).

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Achieving SDGs Requires Policy Evaluations, Systems-Level Thinking

The Guardian: Buzzwords and tortuous impact studies won’t fix a broken aid system
Sabina Alkire, director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, and 14 other economists

“Development efforts over the past few decades have not been as effective as promised. … Donors increasingly want to see more impact for their money, practitioners are searching for ways to make their projects more effective, and politicians want more financial accountability behind aid budgets. One popular option has been to audit projects for results. The argument is that assessing ‘aid effectiveness’ — a buzzword now ubiquitous in the U.K.’s Department for International Development — will help decide what to focus on. … [T]he real problem with the ‘aid effectiveness’ craze is that it narrows our focus down to micro-interventions at a local level that yield results that can be observed in the short term. … [I]t tends to ignore the broader macroeconomic, political, and institutional drivers of impoverishment and underdevelopment. … What we need instead is to tackle the real root causes of poverty, inequality, and climate change. … If we are concerned about effectiveness, then instead of assessing the short-term impacts of micro-projects, we should evaluate whole public policies. … In the face of the sheer scale of the overlapping crises we face, we need systems-level thinking. … It’s time that we devise interventions — and accountability tools — appropriate to this new frontier” (7/16).

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New Book Offers Framework For Global HIV/AIDS Efforts, Other 'Complex, Multilevel' Interventions

Washington Post: This is why global AIDS interventions fail
Rachel Beatty Riedl, director of the Program of African Studies, fellow at the Institute for Policy Research, and associate professor of political science at Northwestern University

“…[W]hy does Africa still have such high rates of HIV infection and AIDS morbidity? That’s the question Kim Yi Dionne tackles in her … new book … Here’s her compelling argument: Yes, the global response to AIDS is one of the most heavily financed interventions aimed at improving the human condition ever seen. But interventions as they have been carried out to date are doomed — because it’s so hard to coordinate delivery when relying on so many actors. … The book shows the disconnect in the global supply chain but does not leave us without hope. Rather, her framework should provide new perspectives and approaches for making such interventions work. Those would include identifying the policy priorities of both the international actors and their intended beneficiaries, building global chains not just of supply but of accountability, and treating local village leaders as key interlocutors. This model study of an important public policy phenomenon suggests vast implications for complex, multilevel interventions of all kinds” (7/14).

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Paraguay's Elimination Of Malaria Shows Success Possible Elsewhere With Continued Global Health Investments

Dallas News: It is possible to eradicate malaria, if we remain engaged in global health initiatives
Editorial Board

“…The lesson we draw from Paraguay’s success [eliminating malaria] is that it may seem hopeless at times, but it is actually possible to make headway against diseases that have long vexed vulnerable populations. And that lesson is particularly import to ingrain in our thinking because as the world shrinks with increased global travel, diseases can more easily jump borders and even regions. … Diseases are getting more mobile, and our best protection remains the enormous efforts undertaken by agencies like the CDC, our nation’s research universities and, yes, international partners who engage these diseases in remote locales. It’s valuable, if expensive and often painstakingly slow, work. But in the end, it can also be successful. Thank you, Paraguay, for reminding us that it is possible to imagine a world free of some of the most deadly diseases” (7/16).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

ACSH Senior Fellow Discusses Global Health Security, Importance Of U.S. Investments

American Council on Science and Health: Deadly Infectious Disease Outbreaks Are Occurring All Over The World
Alex Berezow, senior fellow of biomedical science at the American Council on Science and Health, highlights findings from the WHO’s Weekly Bulletin on Outbreaks and Other Emergencies, writing, “There are lessons to be drawn. First, infectious disease remains a national and global security threat. … Second, war and natural disasters exacerbate infectious disease. … Finally, the best cure for infectious disease is prevention. That means it is within the U.S.’s national interest to extinguish outbreaks abroad before they cause disruption globally. As it turns out, a humanitarian act of kindness in a foreign country allows us to reap public health and national security rewards at home” (7/16).

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Palladium Group Experts Discuss How Family Planning Can Help Achieve Other SDGs, Highlight FP-SDGs Model

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Family Planning Can Mean Big Progress for the Sustainable Development Goals — And Here’s How
Kaja Jurczynska, demographer and technical adviser for family planning; Suzy Sacher, manager in health practice and technical adviser on the Health Policy Plus (HP+) project; and Scott Moreland, senior health economist, all with Palladium Group, discuss the role of family planning in making progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and highlight a model developed by the HP+ project and funded by USAID. The authors write, “[T]he Family Planning-Sustainable Development Goals (FP-SDGs) Model projects how different levels of family planning use — directly and indirectly through their impact on demographics — can affect a country’s ability to make progress toward the SDGs by 2030 and 2050” (7/16).

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Global Fund Signs Multi-Year Framework Agreements With HIV Drug Suppliers To Save $324M By End Of 2021

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: New Agreements with HIV Drug Suppliers to Save $324 Million
“The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has signed multi-year framework agreements with suppliers of HIV medication that will save US$324 million by the end of 2021 and secure the supply of lifesaving drugs for over four million people. The framework agreements, engaging 14 pharmaceutical companies, build an enlarged base of suppliers and deliver cost competitiveness and supply security, essential elements in expanding HIV treatment in the most reliable and cost-effective way. Projected contracts for antiretroviral drugs total US$1.2 billion over the coming four years…” (7/16).

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WHO Report, Commentary Highlight Successes, Challenges Of U.N. Immunization Efforts

WHO: Explorations of inequality: Childhood immunization
“Explorations of inequality: Childhood immunization, a WHO report launched in July 2018, describes how a child’s likelihood of being vaccinated is affected by socioeconomic, demographic, and geographic factors. The report is based on international household health surveys conducted in 10 countries — Afghanistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Uganda — between 2012 and 2016. These countries face the most severe immunization challenges, and together account for more than 70 percent of children who do not get a full course of basic vaccines. We found that the countries face distinct patterns of inequality … [and] some common findings prevailed…” (July 2018).

WHO: Working together to unlock the lifesaving power of data
In this commentary, Princess Nothemba Simelela, assistant director general for family, women, children and adolescents at WHO, and Robin Nandy, principal adviser and chief of immunizations at UNICEF, discuss “20 years of immunization data collaboration between WHO and UNICEF,” writing, “Immunization has achieved great progress in the past 20 years. … This progress is due in no small part to the existence of reliable, accurate data on immunization coverage. Armed with this data, WHO, UNICEF, and partners can identify where children are not being reached; where the greatest risks of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks exist; where outbreaks are already taking place; and where efforts need to be expanded and concentrated…” (7/16).

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ISGlobal Study Examines Discrepancies Between WHO, IHME Estimates Of Global TB Deaths

ISGlobal: How Many People Die From Tuberculosis Every Year?
“The discrepancies between the estimates for global tuberculosis deaths by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is due to different methodologies and data sources used by each institution. These differences are considerable in terms of absolute numbers for a dozen countries, according to a study led by ISGlobal — an institution supported by ‘la Caixa’ Foundation. The results highlight the need to improve the modeling approaches in these countries in order to understand the true burden of the disease and design adequate health policies…” (7/16).

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BMJ Series Explores How Research Can Strengthen Health Systems Across Americas

The BMJ: Strengthening research for health in the Americas
“High quality research — and the evidence that it yields — is essential for improving global health and health equity, as well as economic development. In 2009, member states of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) approved a regional policy on research for health in the Americas, the first such WHO regional policy. … This collection explores how this research can drive effective and efficient health systems across the Americas, and offer insights and perspectives on developments and challenges following the implementation of these policies” (July 2018).

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WaterAid Regional Manager Examines Actions Needed To Prevent Water Crisis In South Asia

Oxfam’s “From Poverty To Power”: 5 ways to fix South Asia’s Water Crisis, by Vanita Suneja
In this guest post, Vanita Suneja, regional advocacy manager at WaterAid, discusses efforts to address groundwater stress and rapidly falling water tables in South Asia. Suneja outlines “[f]ive key challenges across South Asia [that] need to be tackled by governments to create a robust groundwater management regime” (Green, 7/17).

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CFR Senior Fellow, Researcher Discuss Importance Of Official IDs In Preventing Child Marriage Among Syrian Refugees

Council on Foreign Relations’ “Women Around the World”: Sixteen and Married: Why Identity Matters for Syrian Girls
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Rebecca Hughes, research associate with CFR’s women and foreign policy program, discuss child marriage’s “devastating effects on girls’ health, education, and economic potential.” The authors specifically address child marriage among displaced Syrian families, writing, “Host countries and humanitarian organizations can reduce child marriage among Syrian refugees by identifying and addressing the barriers that prevent girls and women from obtaining official identification, and by prioritizing efforts to register them” (7/16).

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