KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- Marie Stopes International Says Mexico City Policy Will Impact Efforts To Reduce Maternal Mortality Rate In Nigeria
Devex: Global gag rule expected to hit safe abortion, contraceptive use in Nigeria
“Marie Stopes International in Nigeria is bracing for a dramatic drop in funding, following United States President Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate the Mexico City policy, or ‘global gag rule.’ MSI declined to sign onto the policy, which would require them to cut all services and information relating to abortion, and will therefore forfeit all funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development. The loss of U.S. support stands to jeopardize recent progress in reducing Nigeria’s maternal death rate, the organization told Devex…” (Roby, 6/9).
- 'No More Excuses' On Achieving UHC, WHO DG-Elect Tedros Says
Devex: New WHO chief Tedros says ‘no more excuses’ on delivering universal health coverage
“Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the new director general of the World Health Organization, has called on governments to stop dragging their heels and making excuses, and to ‘walk the walk’ when it comes to achieving global universal health coverage. Tedros, who was elected to the top WHO position in May, said that achieving ‘health for all’ should be put front and center in all development efforts since ‘if there is no health, there is nothing.’ His remarks came during the final session of the European Development Days summit in Brussels…” (Edwards, 6/8).
- Vaccine-Derived Polio Outbreak Confirmed In Syria, WHO Reports
Reuters: Syrian polio outbreak hits global effort to eradicate virus
“A polio outbreak has been confirmed in an area of Syria partly held by Islamic State, the first re-emergence of the virus in Syria since 2014, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the World Health Organization said on Thursday…” (Miles, 6/8).
STAT: Polio outbreak is reported in Syria, WHO says
“…Detailed planning is already underway for emergency vaccination programs to reach about 200,000 children in the region, Michel Zaffran, head of the WHO’s polio program, told STAT. The government of Syria has made a formal request for the emergency vaccination effort, he said. … The new cases are vaccine-derived polioviruses — viruses from the oral polio vaccine used in some developing countries — and not an indication that the viruses are spreading as they are in Afghanistan and Pakistan…” (Branswell, 6/8).
- Children In War-Torn Yemen Face 'Extremely Dire' Situation Amid Cholera Outbreak, Widespread Malnutrition, U.N. Agencies Say
The Atlantic: Yemen’s ‘Unprecedented’ Cholera Epidemic
“The number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has surpassed 100,000 people, the World Health Organization said Thursday, marking an outbreak that the United Nations has dubbed ‘unprecedented’ in scale…” (Serhan, 6/8).
U.N. News Centre: Yemen’s children ‘have suffered enough’; UNICEF official warns of cholera rise, malnutrition
“The situation facing children in Yemen is ‘extremely dire,’ a senior United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) official warned [Thursday], citing a dramatic increase in cases of malnutrition and a massive outbreak of cholera across the war-torn country. Speaking to the press at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, highlighted a dramatic increase in the number of children with malnutrition…” (6/8).
VICE News: “The forgotten war”
“Yemen’s war has spawned the largest single-nation humanitarian crisis in the world, according to the U.N.’s humanitarian aid chief, Stephen O’Brien. Yet Yemen’s conflict receives little media coverage and it’s increasingly difficult to get critical information on the country’s multiple crises, which include a rising civilian death toll, a surging cholera outbreak, and an entire nation on the brink of famine…” (Liautaud, 6/8).
- The Lancet Examines U.N. Role In, Lack Of Funding For Cholera Epidemic In Haiti
The Lancet: Cholera outbreak in Haiti — from 2010 to today
“Numerous calls from the U.N. chief, António Guterres, and his predecessor Ban Ki-moon — stating that the world has a ‘moral responsibility’ to assist Haiti to get rid of cholera — have failed to spur a generous spike in donor funds. The cholera outbreak in Haiti started in October, 2010. Since then, Haiti’s Health Ministry reports that over 809,000 people have been infected and 9,670 have died…” (Zarocostas, 6/10).
- Rise In Temperature Over 50 Years Significantly Increased Probability Of Mass Heat-Related Deaths In India, Study Shows
New York Times: In India, Slight Rise in Temperatures Is Tied to Heat Wave Deaths
“A temperature increase of less than one degree Fahrenheit over half a century raised the probability of mass heat-related deaths in India by two and a half times, a new study has found, in the latest sign that even a slight rise can have a grave effect on health. The study, published on Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, found that as the mean summer temperature and the annual number of heat-wave days increased in India from 1960 to 2009, there was a ‘substantial increase’ in related mortality rates…” (Ives, 6/8).
- Giving Birth In Medical Facilities With Trained Health Care Workers Could Reduce Neonatal Mortality In Africa, Study Says
VOA News: Study Examines Factors Associated With High African Newborn Mortality Rate
“…A U.N. study of neonatal mortality around the world found that Africa has the highest rate, at 28 deaths for every 1,000 live births. In a study pertaining to 14 sub-Saharan African countries, [Michigan State University medical geographer Sue] Grady and her student investigators found that neonatal mortality was significantly associated with, among other factors, home births, where babies are delivered without the supervision of a trained professional. … Grady said newborn deaths in East and West Africa could be dramatically reduced if babies were delivered in medical facilities with trained personnel standing by…” (Berman, 6/7).
- Government-Supported Incentives Could Prompt More Research Into New Antibacterial Drugs, Report Says
CIDRAP News: Market-entry rewards seen as good option for getting new antibiotics
“A system in which drug companies would win sizable government payments for bringing new antibacterial drugs to market may be the best of various possible ways to encourage the development of such products by boosting their profitability, according to a new report from the Transatlantic Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR). The report, published [Wednesday] in Clinical Infectious Diseases, looks at six ‘pull’ incentives for promoting the development of new antibacterial drugs in the face of rising antimicrobial resistance worldwide…” (Roos, 6/8).
Editorials and Opinions
- U.S. Congress Should Maintain Commitment To Global Fund, Global Health Programs
The Hill: In global health, modest cuts do major damage
Chris Collins, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
“…The White House’s proposed budget cuts would derail efforts to end the biggest infectious disease killers of our time: AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. … Will we forge ahead, invest strategically, and change the trajectory of disease, or step back and risk major resurgence of epidemics, potentially made worse by drug resistance? … How Congress responds to these proposals will affect the lives of millions, and every dollar matters. … Even modest cuts to global health would have real and immediate human consequences. … This budget season, Congress must recommit to American leadership in ending AIDS, TB, and malaria by maintaining contributions to the Global Fund and bilateral health programs, at least at current levels. Slicing funding to these vital programs — which are among our greatest and most effective foreign policy successes — will take us off the path of progress against epidemic threats, risk disease resurgence, and sacrifice economic and diplomatic benefits. There is no area of the budget where every dollar matters more” (6/8).
- U.S. President Trump's Proposed Budget Could Act As 'Wake-Up Call' For Development Community To Rely Less Heavily On Foreign Aid
Devex: Opinion: Hearing the true message of Trump’s proposed budget
Karl Hofmann, president and CEO of Population Services International
“…Even when foreign aid is robustly funded, policy shifts can spell big problems for recipients and millions living in resource-poor settings. … Instead of relying so heavily on aid, we need to focus on addressing and fixing market failures in developing countries, designing programs for better cost recovery and financial sustainability from the start, unlocking national government health budgets, and delivering basic health care at an affordable price. … Improving health markets and thoughtfully reducing the need for government donor subsidy actually puts accessible health for those living in developing countries on more stable footing. And the needy are no longer negatively impacted by policy vagaries and budgetary fantasies of this or any future U.S. administration. … Trump’s budget may be just the wake-up call the development community needs. Charting a path away from reliance on donor subsidy for our work is a healthy move…” (6/6).
- Investment In Global Health Science, Research 'Reduces Health Risks To Americans, Saves Money'
Science: Fund global health: Save lives and money
Alison P. Galvani, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis at the Yale School of Public Health; Meagan C. Fitzpatrick of the University of Maryland School of Medicine; Sten H. Vermund of the Yale School of Public Health; and Burton H. Singer of the University of Florida
“The White House budget … calls for substantial cuts to sciences and research. The Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health is one of the many programs on the chopping block. Closing Fogarty, which has served as the cornerstone of the American strategy to promote global health, would be a mistake. Fogarty supports global health research training and scientific capacity building in more than 100 countries. … U.S. scientists are also trained in selected Fogarty programs, expanding the U.S. national health infrastructure. … Fogarty programs bolster capacity training and pandemic preparedness across the globe. … Currently, Fogarty is tackling problems that transcend national boundaries, such as the spread of drug resistance, rising rates of cervical cancer, and amelioration of trauma. … The unpredictability of disease emergence poses a threat to every country across the globe. Investment in sustainable global health reduces health risks to Americans and saves money” (6/9).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- Guttmacher Analysis Examines Potential Impacts Of Expanded Mexico City Policy On Global Health, Ethics, Democracy
Guttmacher Policy Review: When Antiabortion Ideology Turns into Foreign Policy: How the Global Gag Rule Erodes Health, Ethics, and Democracy
Sneha Barot, senior policy manager at Guttmacher Institute, discusses the potential impacts of the Trump administration’s expanded Mexico City policy on global health, medical ethics, and democracy, writing, “The global gag rule threatens the provision of health services in developing countries … increases the risk of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions … violates fundamental principles of medical ethics … repudiates and undermines democratic values…” (6/8).
- Chicago Council Blog Post Examines Agricultural Development's Role In U.S. Foreign Aid Strategy
Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ “Global Food for Thought”: 21st Century Diplomacy: Advancing U.S. Foreign Policy and Humanitarian Goals Through Agricultural Development
Zach Wehrli, an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago and intern with the Council’s Global Food and Agriculture Program, discusses agricultural development as a foreign aid strategy; explains the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), a branch of the USDA that works in partnership with USAID and the State Department; highlights examples of agricultural development initiatives; and concludes, “Development diplomacy is a vital asset in the foreign policy arsenal of the United States; if wielded effectively, it could be crucial in helping the U.S. overcome the greatest diplomatic challenges of the 21st century” (6/8).
- CFR Blog Post Examines Relationship Among Taiwan, China, WHO, Impact On Global Health Cooperation
Council on Foreign Relations’ “Asia Unbound”: Tedros, Taiwan, and Trump: What They Tell Us About China’s Growing Clout in Global Health
Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses the relationship between Taiwan, China, and the WHO, and examines how it could affect global health. Huang writes, “With China’s rapid advancement in global health and U.S. retreat from this area, we will see a WHO increasingly looking toward China for leadership” (6/7).
- WHO Releases Full Report On Evolution Of Global Public Health Since 2007
WHO: Ten years in public health 2007-2017
“‘Ten years in public health 2007-2017’ chronicles the evolution of global public health during the tenure of Dr. [Margaret] Chan, WHO director general. This series of chapters evaluates successes, setbacks, and enduring challenges during her administration. They show what needs to be done when progress stalls or new threats emerge. The chapters show how WHO technical leadership can get multiple partners working together in tandem under coherent strategies. The importance of country leadership and community engagement is stressed repeatedly throughout the chapters” (June 2017).