Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

74 Medical, Public Health Groups Call For Increased U.S. Commitments To Address Climate Change As 'Health Emergency'

Associated Press: Medical groups warn climate change is a ‘health emergency’
“As Democratic presidential hopefuls prepare for their first 2020 primary debate this week, 74 medical and public health groups aligned on Monday to push for a series of consensus commitments to combat climate change, bluntly defined by the organizations as ‘a health emergency.’ … Among other things, the groups are pressing elected officials and presidential candidates to ‘meet and strengthen U.S. commitments’ under the 2015 United Nations climate agreement from which Trump has vowed to withdraw…” (Schor, 6/24).

The Hill: Medical groups: Climate change is ‘greatest public health challenge of the 21st century’
“… ‘The health, safety, and well-being of millions of people in the U.S. have already been harmed by human-caused climate change, and health risks in the future are dire without urgent action to fight climate change,’ the 74 groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association, said in a letter Monday…” (Rodrigo, 6/24).

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Global Peace Index Suggests USAID Provide Better Support To Local Groups For Peacebuilding

Devex: As peace gap widens, USAID must fix its ‘procurement problem’
“The gap between the most and least peaceful countries in the world continues to grow wider, according to the 2019 global peace index. A robust civil society can help address underlying causes of conflict — and U.S. foreign assistance can do a better job of funding local groups that support peacebuilding, officials said at the launch of the index in Washington on Thursday…” (Welsh, 6/21).

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U.N. FAO Members Elect Chinese Vice Minister Of Agriculture, Rural Affairs Qu Dongyu As New Director General Amid U.S. Concerns

Associated Press: U.N. food agency members vote to elect new director general
“…The 194 member countries, convened at the FAO’s headquarters in Rome for the agency’s 41st conference, [elected] the new director general on Sunday among three candidates from China, France, and Georgia who all have extensive experience in the sector. The candidates for the first time include[d] a woman…” (Zampano, 6/23).

Devex: Chinese candidate takes FAO top job amid U.S. concerns
“Qu Dongyu, China’s vice minister of agriculture and rural affairs, was elected director general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Sunday, overcoming two other candidates backed by the European Union and the United States. In the lead-up to the vote at the U.N. agency’s conference in Rome, Italy, the U.S. circulated a nonpaper to FAO members, obtained by Devex, in which it stated that ‘our primary objective is to beat the Chinese candidate,’ citing ‘strong concerns about Chinese leadership at multinational organizations.’ It encouraged members to vote for Qu’s competitors — the Georgian and French entrants — ‘whomever is best placed to succeed in any given round of voting’…” (Chadwick, 6/24).

Xinhua News: Spotlight: China’s agriculture vice minister elected new head of U.N. food agency FAO
“…[Qu] is the first Chinese official to be chosen as the head of the FAO, in the over 70-year-long history of the U.N. food agency. … Qu received 108 votes out of 191 totally cast, obtaining the majority in one single round of voting. He won over other two candidates, namely French agronomist Catherine Geslain-Laneelle, a former executive director of the European Food Safety Authority, and Georgia’s ex-minister of agriculture Davit Kirvalidze…” (Cardone, 6/23).

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French President Macron Awards Elton John With Legion Of Honor For Work On HIV/AIDS, Calls For International Community To Fully Support Global Fund

Agence France-Presse: Hand-in-hand, Macron and Elton John join forces on AIDS
“French President Emmanuel Macron presented rock legend Elton John with France’s highest civilian honor on Friday, and urged international mobilization for one of the showman’s dearest causes: combating AIDS. … Macron called for a mass mobilization so that the next meeting of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Lyon, France, in October, will be able to raise [$14] billion for its next three years of work to tackle the three diseases that still fell millions…” (6/21).

Reuters: France’s Macron honors Elton John
“Elton John thanked France for its contribution to the combat against HIV and AIDS, as the legendary British musician met on Friday with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris…” (6/22).

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More Than 1,500 Dead In DRC Ebola Outbreak, Health Officials Say

Medical Xpress: Ebola death toll breaks 1,500 mark in DRC
“More than 1,500 people have died in a nearly 10-month-old outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the health ministry said Monday. As of Sunday, 1,506 people have died out of 2,239 recorded cases, it said…” (6/24).

Additional coverage of the Ebola outbreak and response in DRC, as well as past outbreaks, experimental therapies, and funding, is available from Associated Press, CNN, The Economist, Nature, NPR, Ottawa Citizen, and Quartz Africa.

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Article Examines Poor Access To Postpartum Hemorrhage Drug Tranexamic Acid In Low-, Middle-Income Countries

Qrius: This drug can stop mothers bleeding to death in childbirth — so why can’t more women get it?
“…While around 6 percent of women giving birth all over the world — in rich and poor countries alike — develop postpartum hemorrhage, 99 percent of deaths from it occur in low- and middle-income countries. … The WHO updated its recommendation on using tranexamic acid for postpartum hemorrhage in light of the WOMAN trial. But almost two years after the results came out, the drug isn’t always easily available in the countries that need it most. Tranexamic acid is cheap, heat-resistant, easy to store and to produce, and it is proven to save lives. Why aren’t we using it everywhere?…” This article was originally published on Mosaic Science (Shackle, 6/23).

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Portable, Rapid Diagnostic Test For Yaws Could Reignite Eradication Efforts

The Telegraph: ‘A forgotten disease’: the diagnostic test which could revive the battle to eradicate yaws
“A rapid diagnostic test to identify yaws, a debilitating skin disease which affects thousands of the world’s poorest children, could reinvigorate efforts to eradicate the illness, experts say…” (Newey, 6/21).

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Impasse Over Use Of Biometric Data Leads WFP To Partially Suspend Food Aid Delivery In Yemen

Devex: Biometrics disagreement leads to food aid suspension in Yemen
“An impasse over use of biometric data led the World Food Programme to partially suspend its delivery of food aid in warn-torn Yemen last week, raising questions about the use of such technology in humanitarian contexts. The Houthis, who control the capital of Sanaa where WFP had to suspend its operations, were opposed to using biometric data from food aid recipients, claiming it was against Yemeni law for the United Nations food aid organization to control the data. WFP, which seeks to provide 12 million people — nearly half of the total Yemeni population — with food aid this year, said it had negotiated but was unable to reach an agreement over the issue with the Houthis…” (Welsh, 6/24).

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More News In Global Health

Bloomberg: India’s Decaying Health System Sees 140 Children Die in Outbreak (Pradhan/Kumaresan, 6/21).

Bloomberg: The Lipstick That Raised $500 Million to Fight AIDS (Bhasin, 6/21).

Deutsche Welle: Pakistan struggling to eradicate malnutrition in children (Janjua, 6/21).

Devex: WHO leaders on epidemic preparedness, organization diversity, sustainable funding (Cornish, 6/24).

Financial Review: Why an ex-bank boss is raising $20b to tackle three diseases (Seo, 6/24).

Homeland Preparedness News: Researchers turn to high-resolution images to map success, failure of malaria fight (Galford, 6/21).

Inter Press Service: World’s Poorest Nations Weighed Down by Fastest Growing Populations (Deen, 6/24).

SciDev.Net: Humanitarians turn sights on climate risk (Devri, 6/24).

STAT: Alarmed by new ‘CRISPR babies’ plan, top science figures say they’re powerless to stop it (Berke, 6/24).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Interview — Mandela’s widow warns leaders failing pledge to end world hunger (Win, 6/22).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Struggle for water intensifies as taps run dry in India (Srivastava, 6/21).

VOA News: Central African Republic Facing Acute Food Shortages (Schlein, 6/22).

Xinhua News: Somalia, U.N. begin cholera vaccination drive targeting 650,000 people (Wu, 6/22).

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Editorials and Opinions

International Community Should Invest More In Women's, Girls' Reproductive Health, Rights To Help Address Challenges Of Population Growth

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Want to ward off the apocalypse? Invest in women’s health and rights
Kathleen Mogelgaard, consultant on climate change, population dynamics, and reproductive health and rights, and Robert Engelman, former president of the Worldwatch Institute; both senior fellows with the Population Institute

“…The latest U.N. projections, released [last] week, indicate that we will add another 2 billion people to the planet by 2050 and 3 billion by the end of the century. … In releasing the projections, U.N. demographers point out that such rapid growth can pose challenges for efforts to eradicate poverty, end hunger, provide health care and education to all, and arrest environmental degradation. … Small, unanticipated changes in fertility could radically alter the projections. … Certainly, a world of 9.4 billion offers greater chances of addressing the many challenges humanity faces than a world of 12.7 billion. And greater investment in the health and rights of women around the world can help get us there. We know that socioeconomic improvements — such as reductions in child mortality and increased urbanization — can lead to declines in fertility, but the empowerment of women is key. Investing more in the education of girls and improving job prospects for women is crucial. Equally important is access to contraception and reproductive health care, without which even empowered women experience high levels of unintended pregnancy. … Far from controlling women’s reproduction, we need to promote their reproductive freedom. … When we invest in [women’s and girls’] well-being, health, and capacity to make their own choices about childbearing, a brighter future is possible for all” (6/21).

Los Angeles Times: Foreign aid for family planning works. So why don’t we do more of it?
Malcolm Potts and Alisha Graves, co-founders of OASIS (Organizing to Advance Solutions in the Sahel) at U.C. Berkeley

“…The report also points out that if families the world over had, on average, one-half fewer children going forward, the population by century’s end would have begun to decline, to about 7.3 billion. Conversely, if families have, on average, one-half child more, the population would reach 15.6 billion by the end of 2099. The huge difference that a half-child average makes could well determine whether our children and grandchildren live in a sustainable world, or one that is in danger of collapse as population pressure destroys the complex biosphere on which all life depends. … [O]nly 1% of all overseas development aid is spent on family planning, although it is one of the most cost-effective forms of foreign aid. A drop in family size facilitates better education, reduces maternal and infant mortality, facilitates economic development, and sets the stage for more democratic government. Family planning is an investment: It pays for itself by reducing the cost of education and health services in a poor country with rapid population growth. … An important first step would be for the international community to move from investing 1% of foreign aid in family planning to investing 2% in it. … [W]e believe that increasing aid in international family planning could make that half-child difference” (6/23).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Fund Praises Japan For Increased Pledge For Sixth Replenishment

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund Welcomes Japan’s Commitment to Save One Million Lives
“The Global Fund praised the great leadership by the Government of Japan for its renewed, strong commitment against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria with funding that will contribute to saving one million lives in the coming three-year period. … Japan’s commitment will be achieved through a contribution of US$840 million to the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment. The pledge represents a 5 percent increase when compared with the previous three-year period. Japan’s pledge comes just days before Japan’s hosting of the G20 Summit in Osaka, on 28-29 June, where the first joint G20 finance and health ministers meeting will be held to discuss sustainable health financing to achieve universal health coverage…” (6/24).

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'Science Speaks' Continues Coverage Of Global Health Security Conference

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Global Health Security 2019: Panel highlights communities’ value in global health security
Rabita Aziz, senior global health policy specialist at the Infectious Diseases Society of America, who covered the Global Health Security conference in Sydney, Australia, which took place from June 18-20, highlights remarks from a panel discussion on the value of community engagement in global health security. Aziz writes, “Putting communities at the center of the development of global health security interventions not only builds trust, it also results in stronger programs, panelists said” (6/21).

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U.K. Announces Efforts To Address AMR; Dame Sally Davies To Become U.K. Special Envoy On Issue

U.K. Department of Heath and Social Care: New commitments in the fight against antimicrobial resistance
“Public Health Minister Seema Kennedy has confirmed the government will be retaining the world-leading expertise of outgoing Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies, as U.K. special envoy on [Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)]. Dame Sally will be working across all sectors to deliver a ‘One Health’ response to AMR, which includes health, agriculture, and the environment. … Last year the government committed £32 million funding to accelerate the U.K.’s work in the global fight against AMR. Ten leading research centers across the country will now use the funding to explore new ways to inform prescribing and identify patterns of resistance…” (6/23).

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BMJ Series Examines 10-Year Progress Of China's Health System Reform

The BMJ: China’s health system reforms: review of 10 years of progress
“China’s rapid economic growth over the past 40 years was accompanied by emerging health problems such as non-communicable diseases, an aging population, and rising expectations about health. Difficulties with health financing, health care delivery, and public health made health service reform urgent. This BMJ collection with Peking University analyses the achievements and challenges of the 2009 health system reforms and outlines next steps in improving China’s health…” (June 2019).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Administrator Mark Green Meets With Business, Government Leaders In Mozambique, Discusses Country's 'Journey To Self-Reliance'

USAID: USAID Administrator Mark Green’s Meetings in the Republic of Mozambique
This readout provides a summary of USAID Administrator Mark Green’s visit to Mozambique, during which he participated in the U.S.-Africa Business Summit, meeting with business leaders and government officials to discuss challenges and opportunities as the country works toward self-reliance; visited areas damaged by Cyclone Idai; and “appealed to the President [of Mozambique] to redouble his government’s efforts to retain HIV-positive patients on life-saving antiretroviral treatment in collaboration with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)” (6/22).

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