KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Impacts Of Climate Change Likely To Undermine Human Rights, Rule Of Law, U.N. Special Rapporteur Says

The Guardian: ‘Climate apartheid’: U.N. expert says human rights may not survive
“The world is increasingly at risk of ‘climate apartheid,’ where the rich pay to escape heat and hunger caused by the escalating climate crisis while the rest of the world suffers, a report from a U.N. human rights expert has said. Philip Alston, U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said the impacts of global heating are likely to undermine not only basic rights to life, water, food, and housing for hundreds of millions of people, but also democracy and the rule of law…” (Carrington, 6/25).

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Declaration From 5 National Academies Of Science, Medicine Calls On World To Adopt Measures To Address Air Pollution, Prevent Millions Of Deaths

SciDev.Net: Global pact to stop air pollution
“Five national academies of science and medicine have urged the world to adopt concrete measures to tackle air pollution and prevent the millions of deaths it causes each year. The declaration from the science academies of Germany, Brazil, and South Africa, and the science and medicine academies of the United States, was made at the U.N. headquarters in New York and calls for a global pact to adopt pollution-curbing policies and technologies…” (Andrade, 6/25).

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Devex Examines Efforts To Increase Funding, Political Leadership For Sexual, Reproductive Health, Rights

Devex: SRHR, UHC, and the search for increased domestic funding
“Increased financing, political leadership, and health systems strengthening are among the six political asks that UHC2030 — the global movement to build stronger health systems for universal health coverage — have created to feed into the United Nations High-Level Meeting on UHC in September. … In trying to overcome the financing barriers, increase domestic funding, and work to increase the access women and girls have to services such as contraception, safe abortion, and sexual health rights — and achieve UHC by 2030 — there are some actions those in the development sector can take: 1. Provide evidence and communicate it in the right way … 2. Take a multisectoral and stakeholder approach … 3. Engage civil society in initial budget conversations…” (Root, 6/24).

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New York Times Examines Evolution Of Pharmaceutical Companies' Approach To Access To Medicines Over Past 2 Decades

New York Times: Drug Companies Are Focusing on the Poor After Decades of Ignoring Them
“…Once demonized as immoral profiteers, many of the world’s biggest 20 pharmaceutical companies now boast about how they help poor countries and fight neglected diseases. They compete on the Access to Medicine Index, which scores their charitable efforts. Several of them even cooperate with the Indian generics companies they once dismissed as ‘pirates’ by sub-licensing patents so the generics makers can produce cheap drugs for Africa, Asia, and Latin America. But there is still opportunity for growth. … The Access to Medicine Foundation recently published a look back at what had changed since it was founded in 2005 by Wim Leereveld, a Dutch former information consultant to the industry…” (McNeil, 6/24).

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Large Trial Shows 'Test And Treat' Strategy Can Help Reduce HIV Transmission In Some African Communities

NPR: They Thought This HIV Strategy Couldn’t Work. But It Did
“…The study provided ‘test and treat’ to communities containing a total of about 1 million people in South Africa and Zambia from 2013 to 2018. The $130 million project is called PopART (Population Effects of Antiretroviral Therapy to Reduce HIV Transmission). The findings show that the practice could play a crucial role in controlling the AIDS epidemic. … Details of the new trial were revealed at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle this spring and will be published soon. The findings are likely to be a big source of discussion at the global AIDS and HIV conference in Mexico City in July…” (Silberner, 6/24).

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Ebola Team Driver Severely Injured In Attack; DRC Struggles With Security, Resistance In Efforts To Contain Outbreak

Associated Press: Driver with Ebola team severely injured by mob
“A driver working with an Ebola response team is in critical condition after angry crowds hurled rocks at him and set his vehicle on fire. Monday’s attack in Beni is the latest against health workers trying to combat the virus that has killed more than 1,500 people in eastern Congo since the outbreak began last August…” (6/24).

The Guardian: ‘Most complex health crisis in history’: Congo struggles to contain Ebola
“…Following two deaths across the border in Uganda two weeks ago, officials admit they are struggling to identify and track cases around the north-eastern city of Butembo, particularly in countryside dominated by the Mai Mai militia and where a highly mobile population mean cases continue to emerge. … Centered on three locations in North Kivu — Beni, Mangina, and Butembo — the response led by the World Health Organization and DRC’s ministry of health faces political security and cultural complexities. Among them is widespread resistance to the idea that Ebola exists, a conspiracy fueled by some political candidates in last year’s national elections…” (Beaumont, 6/25).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak is available from CIDRAP News and Healio.

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Chronic Illnesses Surpass Lung Infections, Neonatal Disorders As Leading Causes Of Death In China, Study Shows

Bloomberg: China’s Increasing Wealth Is Changing the Way People Die
“Chronic illnesses like stroke, heart problems, and lung cancer became the top causes of premature death in China over the last three decades, according to a new study showing health trends that increasingly resemble the U.S. and other advanced nations. The study, published this week in The Lancet, showed those conditions replacing lung infections and neonatal disorders as the lead killers in China. The analysis offers a bird’s eye view of the new pressures facing Asia’s largest economy. As China grapples with more complex and long-running diseases that are expensive to treat, the shift is increasingly likely to drive up its health care costs…” (Matsuyama, 6/24).

Bloomberg: China’s Health Has Reached a Tipping Point
“China has reached a health ‘tipping point,’ with chronic conditions replacing infectious diseases as the leading causes of early deaths in the nation of 1.4 billion people. … In other words, rapid urbanization, diets with more meat and salt, less physical activity, and increased air pollution are making people sick, while advances in health and medical care have cut the rates of death linked to pneumonia, flu, diarrhea, and childhood diseases…” (Miller/Lin, 6/24).

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India Supreme Court Orders Investigation Into Child Deaths From Encephalitis; 152 Dead In Outbreak

Deutsche Welle: India orders probe into ‘brain fever’ child deaths
“India’s Supreme Court ordered an investigation on Monday into an ongoing encephalitis outbreak in the eastern state of Bihar which has killed at least 152 children so far. Expressing concern over the deaths, the country’s top court ordered state and federal authorities to explain what measures they have taken to combat the spread of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, also known as ‘brain fever’…” (6/24).

Additional coverage of the encephalitis deaths and the court-ordered investigation is available from Associated Press, Reuters, and VOA News.

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: U.N. aid official: Yemeni rebels blocking food for thousands (Michael, 6/25).

Associated Press: Brazil says deaths from dengue up 163% in first half of year (6/24).

Axios: Trying to eradicate malaria around the world (O’Reilly, 6/24).

Devex: The impact of Mozambique’s cyclones on its HIV population (Jerving, 6/25).

Devex: Can the EAT-Lancet diet work for the global south? (Green, 6/25).

Financial Times: FT Health: Dementia Care (Multiple authors, 6/25).

The Guardian: ‘Impunity reigns’: six survivors of sexual violence speak out (Hodal, 6/24).

Japan Today: ‘Invisible pandemic’: WHO offers global plan to fight superbugs (Larson, 6/25).

Medium/elemental: Tickpocalypse (Multiple authors, 6/24).

New Humanitarian: How Ukraine is grappling with a rapid uptick in measles (Hyde, 6/24).

Science: Exclusive: North Korea claimed to be free of HIV. But infections appear to be surging (Stone, 6/24).

The Telegraph: Cricket powder: the unusual ingredient being added to school dinners in Madagascar (Filou, 6/24).

Xinhua News: Sierra Leonean Ebola survivor fears scourge may resurface without proper health care (6/24).

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Editorials and Opinions

Letter To Editor, Opinion Piece Discuss Importance Of Community Engagement, Building Trust In DRC's Ebola Response

Financial Times: Letter: Ebola response in DRC must engage communities
Tariq Riebl, Ebola response director at the International Rescue Committee

“…The main issue we are facing [in response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)] is with community engagement and addressing the mistrust the local population has for the Ebola response. … We must reevaluate everything we are doing to ensure we work with the local population to explain the disease and the reasons behind the behavioral changes we are requesting. This response truly needs a reset that requires security of Ebola responders to be based on a common area-based security framework with community policing that benefits all and building trust in the Ebola response and its messaging. The people most affected by this outbreak must have their voices heard. Real community engagement means going beyond dialogue and changing our activities based on feedback from the community. … As people cross the border to Uganda and other neighboring countries every day, whether to flee violence and seek shelter, to conduct business or receive health care, the only way to stop the Ebola virus from spreading further is to stop it first in the DRC” (6/25).

Washington Post: Here’s why Ebola has been so hard to contain in Eastern Congo
Kim Yi Dionne, senior editor at the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage and assistant professor in political science at U.C. Riverside, and Laura Seay, assistant professor of government at Colby College

“…Why has the current Congolese outbreak been so challenging for the government and other stakeholders to contain? Most reports focus on insecurity in eastern Congo. … But insecurity isn’t the only challenge hampering Ebola response. Recently published research drawing on data collected in the two deadliest outbreaks suggests one other major factor hampering response: citizen mistrust of government. … What would begin to build trust in this crisis situation? Research … suggests that working closely with local religious organizations is one potential avenue. Churches and mosques were the only institutions to survive the violence in many areas of eastern Congo, and most people have high levels of trust in community-based Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim leaders. Closely coordinating messaging with religious leaders about the symptoms, the need to go to health facilities for treatment, and changes to burial rituals may be the only avenue to build needed trust in the short time required to stem the outbreak” (6/25).

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Vietnam's Embrace Of Public-Private Partnerships Key In Making Progress Toward UHC

Project Syndicate: How Developing Countries Can Achieve Universal Health Coverage
Jörg Reinhardt, chair of the Board of Directors for Novartis

“Virtually every country worldwide has committed to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030, as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. But some countries are progressing much faster than others in delivering equitable access not only to health services, but also to affordable medicines and vaccines. Among those leading the pack is Vietnam. … The key to its success is not the scale of investment in health care, … but rather how the government uses its resources, including the country’s intellectual capital. … Vietnam’s progress toward UHC has been remarkable, thanks partly to the government’s embrace of strategic public-private partnerships. For countries that have struggled to move forward, this model — and approaches from other high performers in the race for UHC, such as Indonesia, Rwanda, and Thailand — may be worth embracing” (6/24).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Malaria No More Commends House Passage Of FY20 Appropriations

Malaria No More: Malaria No More Commends the U.S. House of Representatives for Strengthening Global Efforts to End Malaria
This statement commends the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 2740, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2020. The statement says, “The approved legislation provides $1.56 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, $210 million above the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 enacted level. Critically, the bill also requires that the full $1.56 billion be provided to the Global Fund as the first installment of the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment. The legislation maintains the FY 2019 enacted funding levels for the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), the U.S. government’s leading bilateral malaria program, at $755 million…” (6/20).

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CFR Expert Discusses Upcoming G20 Summit In Japan

World Politics Review: Setting the Scene — and the Expectations — for the G20 Summit in Japan
Stewart M. Patrick, James H. Binger senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses the upcoming G20 summit in Japan and examines its agenda, highlighting topics expected to be addressed at the meeting, including bolstering global growth, trade, and investment; harnessing technological innovation; combating climate change and pollution; preparing for the work ahead; empowering women; accelerating sustainable development; and improving global health (6/24).

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CGD Expert Highlights 2 Potential Areas For Discussion At Gavi Board Meeting

Center for Global Development: The Future of Gavi in a Changing Global Landscape: Our Recommendations for Gavi 5.0
Ahead of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s Board meeting, during which members will approve the 2021-2025 strategy, Amanda Glassman, executive vice president and senior fellow at CGD and CEO of CGD Europe, highlights two areas for the Board to discuss at the meeting: vaccination in middle-income countries and global health security and preparedness (6/24).

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