KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Complacency, Lack Of Sufficient Resources Present 'Wake-Up Call' For HIV Prevention, Treatment Efforts, UNAIDS Says

Associated Press: UNAIDS chief says won’t quit over agency harassment claims
“The embattled UNAIDS chief said Wednesday he will not quit his post over criticism of his handling of sexual harassment allegations at the Geneva-based agency. ‘I need to deliver on my job,’ Michel Sidibé said in response to questions from the Associated Press during a Paris press conference amid calls for his resignation. He spoke while presenting a U.N. report that sounds the alarm that momentum in fighting HIV/AIDS might be insufficient to meet the target of ending the virus epidemic by 2030…” (Shaeffer/Adamson, 7/18).

U.N. News: ‘Prevention crisis’ is hampering global HIV response, warns head of UNAIDS
“Complacency over HIV and AIDS has created a ‘prevention crisis’ that risks destabilizing efforts to reach the key 2020 target of fewer than 500,000 new HIV infections per year, the head of the U.N. agency in charge of fighting the pandemic warned on Wednesday. Describing his appeal as a ‘wake-up call’ to the global community, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé explained that ‘partial successes’ in saving lives and stopping new infections — some 1.4 million since 2010 — had resulted in a lack of urgency among member states…” (7/18).

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U.S. Officials Examine Longer Term Response To Rohingya Refugee Crisis, Myanmar's Political Future

Devex: Shaken by Myanmar’s retreat from democracy, U.S. aid leaders ponder next steps
“…The USAID administrator [Mark Green] told Devex in June that he would be working to craft a longer term response to the Rohingya crisis — USAID has given roughly $300 million in humanitarian assistance … For U.S. officials who have worked to support an open, democratic Myanmar, the country’s descent into division stands as a frustrating — if not altogether unforeseeable — example of the fickle nature of democratic transitions, and the critical need to ensure that democratic participation is a long-term project undertaken by entire populations, not just a select few…” (Igoe, 7/18).

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U.N. SG Calls On Nations To Incorporate 2030 Agenda 'Into Everything'

U.N. News: ‘Embed the essence of 2030 Agenda into everything,’ U.N. chief urges at close of Global Goals forum
“As the eight-day High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) drew to a close on Wednesday, the United Nations chief called on everyone to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for ‘prosperity and peace on a healthy planet.’ ‘We need to embed the essence of the 2030 Agenda into everything that we do,’ said Secretary-General António Guterres…” (7/18).

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Some Nations Show Progress Against Antimicrobial Resistance But Gaps Remain, WHO-FAO-OIE Report Says

CIDRAP News: Report cites progress, gaps in global AMR efforts
“A report [Wednesday] indicates that while there has been sustained progress on developing national action plans to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR), major gaps remain. The report by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) evaluates countries’ responses to a self-assessment survey on their efforts to address AMR in humans, animals, and the environment…” (Dall, 7/18).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Countries accused of failing to meet pledge to tackle antibiotic misuse
“…The report said antimicrobial resistance is ‘a grave threat to human health and economic development’ that is predicted to worsen global inequality as economic costs are borne by poorer countries. It also said economists expect significant decreases in international trade of livestock and livestock products. The report used information from 154 countries that provided self-assessment surveys of their progress…” (Wulfhorst, 7/18).

Xinhua News: Roundup: U.N. agencies, int’l organization call for urgent action against antimicrobial resistance
“…More needs to be done to ensure national action plans against AMR are implemented, the tripartite (FAO, OIE, and WHO) warns, also underlining that especially many middle- and low-income countries may need long-term development assistance to implement their plans effectively and sustainably…” (7/19).

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Greater Attention To, Investment In Infectious Diseases Needed To Prevent Next Epidemic, Experts Say

HuffPost: More Dangerous Outbreaks Are Happening. Why Aren’t We Worried About The Next Epidemic?
“…[W]hile this year’s outbreaks [of Ebola, MERS, Zika, Nipah virus, Lassa fever, and Rift Valley fever] have been relatively contained, experts worry that the lack of investment in research and development as risk factors for outbreaks grow could lead to an outbreak they won’t be able to stop. That doesn’t just threaten lives, it could also threaten global security and stability — after all, outbreaks have no respect for borders. … Even Congress is asking for more regular updates. … The combination of massive widespread urbanization, explosive population growth, increased global travel, changing ecological factors, steady climate change, and the exploitation of environments is driving an era of converging risk for outbreaks, experts say…” (Weber, 7/18).

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Science Examines Use Of Experimental Ebola Vaccine In DRC Outbreak

Science: Congo’s Ebola outbreak is all but over. Did an experimental vaccine help?
“…The quick end to this outbreak — after 53 cases in Équateur province, 29 of which were fatal — is a striking contrast to the Ebola epidemic that devastated West Africa from 2014 to 2016 … [A] new factor played an unknown, and perhaps important, role: an experimental vaccine, used for the first time early in an outbreak. No one can say for sure that the vaccine … actually protected against infection. But DRC Minister of Health Oly Ilunga Kalenga calls the vaccination program a ‘game changer,’ as it clearly boosted morale and encouraged other public health efforts…” (Cohen, 7/18).

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Closing Gaps In Polio Vaccination Coverage Vital To Achieving Eradication, Experts Say

VOA News: Can Polio Workers Overcome Complacency, Donor Fatigue to End Virus?
“…Dr. John Vertefeuille from the CDC said, ‘This last mile is a complicated mile.’ It’s not just because of conflict or terrorism. ‘It’s extreme remoteness. It’s very fragile health systems.’ And in these remote conflict prone areas gaining access to children can be a major problem. If polio exists anywhere, it can once again spread everywhere. Vertefeuille and other experts discussed strategies to realize a polio-free world July 10 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington…” (Pearson, 7/18).

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U.N.-Supported Treaty On Illicit Tobacco Trade To Enter Into Force End Of September

U.N. News: U.N.-backed treaty against illicit tobacco trade set to take effect in September
“A United Nations-backed treaty aimed at stopping the illicit trading of tobacco products, is set to enter into force on 25 September, marking a diplomatic breakthrough in efforts to protect public health and strike back against the criminal organizations profiting from such deals…” (7/18).

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More News In Global Health

BBC News: Women fight back against Peru’s national sterilization scheme (Livingstone/Young, 7/19).

Deutsche Welle: World in Progress: Artemisia — new hope for malaria eradication in Africa? (Landais, 7/18).

Deutsche Welle: World in Progress: Disability and Disaster — making emergency plans inclusive (Rasper, 7/18).

Devex: How gut health might advance global health (Cheney, 7/19).

Devex: 3,000 Rohingya refugees train to tackle natural disasters (Rogers, 7/19).

New York Times: In India, Summer Heat May Soon Be Literally Unbearable (Sengupta, 7/17).

U.N. News: Funding shortfalls threaten health services for a million vulnerable Iraqis, says U.N. health agency (7/18).

Xinhua News: Sri Lanka to conduct HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns in tourist hotels (7/18).

Xinhua News: Bad weather hampers PNG’s polio vaccine deliveries (7/19).

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Editorials and Opinions

Renewed Research Efforts Needed To Understand Cardiovascular Disease In LMICs

The Lancet Global Health: Sustainable Development Goal 3 is unlikely to be achieved without renewed effort
Francesc Xavier Gómez-Olivé, field research manager at the University of the Witwatersrand, and Margaret Thorogood, honorary professor at the University of the Witwatersrand

“…Despite the social and economic burden of [cardiovascular disease deaths, including ischemic heart disease and stroke,] in [low- and middle-income] countries, research on the epidemiology, treatment, and risk markers for cardiovascular disease deaths has been scarce, preventing the development of essential evidence-based policies to address the burden. … Africa and India have a high prevalence of many cardiovascular risk factors associated with ischemic heart disease and stroke in high-income countries, such as tobacco use, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. … Establishment of risk factor scores for cardiovascular disease in low-income and middle-income countries would help to unravel this issue, but development of such scores requires large cohorts and long follow-up to have a sufficient number of cardiovascular disease deaths. … These deaths could increase unless a new effort is implemented to better understand the risk factors and improve the diagnosis, treatment, and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in low-income and middle-income countries” (August 2018).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Examines Findings From New UNAIDS Report

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: UNAIDS global HIV data shows “miles to go”
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses UNAIDS’ recently released report on global HIV/AIDS, noting variations in progress among regions and challenges, including funding (7/18).

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U.N. Dispatch Discusses High-Level Political Forum On SDGs

U.N. Dispatch: It’s been three years since the world agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals. So how are we doing?
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of U.N. Dispatch, discusses the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will include results from 47 voluntary national reviews and reviews of six goals. Goldberg notes, “The HLPF is a big deal in the U.N., and for the Sustainable Development community more broadly because it provides an annual moment of political urgency around goals which are not due for over a decade. That is ultimately why a meeting like this is so important: if we are to achieve the [SDGs] by 2030, it will be because of actions that are taken well before then” (7/17).

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IntraHealth Blog Post Examines How Attacks On Health Facilities, Workers Affect Women

IntraHealth International’s “VITAL”: How Do Attacks on Health Care Affect Women?
Elynn Kann, student and former advocacy intern at IntraHealth International, examines how attacks on health care facilities and workers affect women, writing, “[T]he issue of attacks on health care needs to be looked at through a gender lens. We need to improve data on attacks on health, including collecting gender disaggregated data. We need more research on the physical and mental impact of attacks on health for women. And we need to look deeper into the impact on female health workers. … [W]ithout women-focused interventions, we won’t be able to do everything possible to protect the lives of women and their families in conflict” (7/17).

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ODI Experts Offer Recommendations For Leaders, Policymakers Ahead Of 2018 Global Disability Summit

Overseas Development Institute: Disability Summit 2018: how to ensure people with disabilities are not left behind
Ahead of the 2018 Global Disability Summit, which takes place in London next week, ODI experts offer recommendations to leaders and policymakers on how to ensure people with disabilities are included in global health and development efforts. ODI experts contributing to this post include Fiona Samuels, senior research fellow; Martin Evans, senior research fellow; Nicola Jones, principal research fellow; John Twigg, principal research fellow; and Emma Samman, research associate (7/18).

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From the U.S. Government

PMI Releases July 2018 Newsletter

PMI: President’s Malaria Initiative Newsletter: July 2018
The newsletter contains announcements, news articles, and publications from or featured by PMI, including an announcement on the appointment of Kenneth Staley as the new U.S. global malaria coordinator, the release of PMI’s twelfth annual report to Congress, the release of PMI’s updated technical guidance, and an article on innovations in net distribution coordination in Uganda (July 2018).

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Antibodies In Ebola Survivors' Blood Are 'Promising Candidates' For Therapy Development, NIH-Supported Study Shows

NIH: Broadly acting antibodies found in plasma of Ebola survivors
This NIH news release discusses results from research supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) examining antibodies found in the blood of Ebola survivors. The news release states, “The researchers conclude that these broadly neutralizing antibodies are promising candidates for further development as therapeutic molecules against several ebolavirus species” (7/17).

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