KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Actions To Weaken World Health Assembly Resolution On Breastfeeding Turned To Threats, Diplomats, Officials Say

New York Times: U.S. Opposition to Breastfeeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials
“A resolution to encourage breastfeeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly. … Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations. American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to ‘protect, promote, and support breastfeeding’ and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children. When that failed, they turned to threats, according to diplomats and government officials who took part in the discussions. Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs. The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced…” (Jacobs/Tomaselli, 7/8).

Additional coverage of the New York Times story is available from Axios, CNN, Forbes, The Hill, HuffPost, Newsweek, Slate, USA TODAY, and Vox.

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Open Letter To U.N., WHO Urges High-Level Meeting On NCDs To Address High Cost Of Treatments

Intellectual Property Watch: U.N. Urged To Emphasize Health Over Profit At Upcoming U.N. High-Level Meeting On NCDs
“An open letter sent by 242 organizations and individuals to key United Nations and World Health Organization representatives on 4 July demanded that high prices limiting access to medicines and effective treatment be addressed at the upcoming U.N. High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases…” (Branigan, 7/6).

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PBS NewsHour Examines Research Into, Natural History Of Zika Virus

PBS NewsHour: What happened to Zika?
“…Now that the weather is warm and mosquitoes are out, how much do we need to worry about Zika? Should we factor it into our summer travels? Here’s a guide to help you out. What will Zika do in the U.S. this year? … Why did Zika disappear? … Much is still unknown … What about a Zika vaccine? … Will Zika make a comeback? Definitely, [Dr. Roberta DeBiasi, chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and co-director of the Congenital Zika Program at Children’s National Health System,] said. The question is when…” (Grennell, 7/6).

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Inaugural Malaria World Congress Calls For Increased Global Action, Support To Prevent, Treat Disease

SciDev.Net: Call for global coalition against malaria
“The inaugural Malaria World Congress (2-5 July) in Melbourne has called on the global community to work unitedly to enhance political and financial support to combat the debilitating disease. … Areas identified by the congress for urgent action include promoting scientific, technical, and social innovation for developing new tools, and strategies for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment…” (Bhandari, 7/7).

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Paraguay Eliminates Malaria But Number Of Cases Worldwide Increasing

New York Times: In a Rare Success, Paraguay Conquers Malaria
“Paraguay has eliminated malaria, the first country in the Americas to do so in almost 50 years, according to the World Health Organization. But worldwide, momentum against the disease has stalled. Malaria cases increased by five million between 2015 and 2016, climbing to 216 million from 211 million…” (Baumgaertner, 7/6).

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More News In Global Health

SciDev.Net: Global science body promises to reach poor regions (Tatalović, 7/6).

STAT: A case study in the fast-rising threat of antibiotic resistance (Branswell, 7/6).

Xinhua News: More than 1,000 Filipinos infected with leptospirosis this year: health secretary (7/7).

Xinhua News: Kenya pledges new investments to eradicate micro-nutrients deficiency (7/6).

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Editorials and Opinions

Better Family Planning Policies Needed To Improve Global Child Welfare

The Hill: Could Trump’s family separation crisis break the taboo around family planning?
Carter Dillard, founder of Having Kids

“…[T]here’s something missing in the constellation of stories revolving around Trump’s child separations, a story and connection around which all the others seem to be revolving. … What’s missing in these larger discussions of child welfare is family planning. That is the policy area from which all child welfare conundrums originate. … Conservatives and liberals will find surprising but comforting common ground … We can reconcile these seemingly conflicting positions by ensuring that family planning is a cooperative endeavor, recognizing mutual obligations on the parents and community to ensure all kids a fair start in life, and gearing delays in childbearing and resource redistribution around maximizing outcomes in child welfare and early childhood development. … [W]e will be chasing symptoms rather than causes until we address the center of the child welfare universe: The need for better family planning” (7/8).

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National Health Authorities Should Prioritize Public Health Emergency Preparedness

The Hill: In times of disaster, patients expect government to step up to meet their needs
Nicolette Louissaint, executive director of Healthcare Ready

“…[W]e must continue to invest in plans and capabilities that will enable countries to mobilize an effective response in the face of disease threats. … A recent YouGov poll conducted for Healthcare Ready asked 15,201 adults in 13 countries across the world … how long they could go without necessary medicines and medical supplies if a disaster disrupted their ability to access health care services. … The poll … revealed that patients rely heavily on national and local governments to respond to disease outbreaks and natural disasters. … At the same time, the poll affirmed the majority of patients would rely on their health care providers for treatment. … Ensuring the world is ready to meet the next health emergency should be top of mind for national health authorities. Before the next disaster strikes, it is important that we focus on bolstering our ability to respond to public health emergencies. … I urge the global community to focus even more on addressing patient vulnerabilities before the next global disease outbreak, because if the data tells us anything, it’s only a matter of time” (7/9).

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Maintaining Public Health Assets Developed During Polio Eradication Efforts Critical To Reaching SDG 3

Devex: Opinion: Ensuring the end of polio means new milestones for public health
John Hewko, general secretary of Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation

“…The Global Polio Eradication Initiative hopes to make polio the second disease ever eradicated … GPEI is taking lessons from the aftermath of the smallpox eradication program to ensure that we get over the finish line, and the assets and knowledge accrued by the effort are not squandered once polio is finally defeated. … A total of 16 priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia have been identified — where the bulk of the polio eradication infrastructure is located. If the infrastructure, assets, and health workers acquired by the polio eradication effort are maintained, they will provide an unmatched platform for taking on the health and development goals of the 21st century. Once polio is wiped off the face of the earth, we will mark a major step forward in pursuit of the third Sustainable Development Goal, to ‘ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages'” (7/9).

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Bolstering, Maintaining Infrastructures, Supply Chains Key To Improving Health

Washington Post: If we really want to eradicate diseases such as Ebola, we need a new strategy
Heidi Morefield, Ph.D. candidate in the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins University

“…[T]he turn toward high-tech solutions for distribution of vaccines has overshadowed the more pressing issue: the need to solve the underlying infrastructure problems that make their use necessary. While scaling up systems such as affordable, reliable solar energy and clean drinking water may not attract long-term attention and investment from Western governments and nonprofit organizations, this is the most effective path to preventing future outbreaks and improving basic health care in Congo and other places. … Roads and power grids would greatly facilitate vaccine distribution at the correct temperature and enable people to more easily access clinics; clean water and sewage systems would prevent many diseases in the first place. … Directing [more philanthropic and multilateral aid] money toward bolstering and maintaining infrastructure and supply chains in developing countries would obviate many of the U.S. tech industry’s humanitarian innovations and build more sustainable, self-sufficient communities around the world. If we are serious about building capacity and self-reliance, we need to learn from history” (7/9).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Highlights CDC Report On HIV Testing In Lesotho

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: In Lesotho, where life expectancy is under 50, the last to test for HIV are the hardest to reach
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses a CDC report on HIV testing in health care facilities in Lesotho. Barton writes, “Clinics for men, adolescent-dedicated sections in existing clinics, and increased support for community-based services are all needed to expand the reach of HIV testing in Lesotho, and offer hope of controlling the epidemic in a country where the virus is responsible for one of the shortest life expectancies in the world…” (7/6).

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FT Health Discusses U.K.'s NHS, Features Interview With Gates Foundation's Chris Elias

FT Health: Thanksgiving or tough love for the U.K.’s NHS?
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter discusses the U.K.’s taxpayer-funded National Health Service (NHS) and features an interview with Chris Elias, president of the global development division at the Gates Foundation, in which he discusses the foundation’s current priorities, including support for family planning and health systems strengthening. The newsletter also provides a round-up of global health-related news stories (Neville/Jack, 7/6).

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Oxford Economist Highlights 3 Facts On Global Development 'Everyone Should Know'

Gates Notes: Memorizing these three statistics will help you understand the world
In a guest post, Max Roser, founder of OurWorldInData.org and economist at the University of Oxford, highlights three facts on global development “everyone should know,” according to Bill Gates: “Fact #1: Since 1960, child deaths have plummeted from 20 million a year to six million a year. … Fact #2: Since 1960, the fertility rate has fallen by half. … Fact #3: 137,000 people escaped extreme poverty every day between 1990 and 2015.” Roser writes, “The statistics on global change over time tell us that it is possible to work for a better world. … Let’s continue in this direction. Our past successes should encourage us to work for more progress” (6/26).

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