KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

CDC Releases U.S., Global Tuberculosis Data, Analysis; Declines Seen But More Effort Needed To End Disease Worldwide

CIDRAP News: TB in U.S. at all-time low, but global decline small
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new numbers [Thursday] about tuberculosis (TB) in the United States in advance of World TB Day, which takes place on March 24, noting that cases have reached an all-time low. … The findings were published today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). … In a separate study on the global scope of TB, CDC authors said 2017 brought a slight decline to TB incidence and deaths worldwide, but the declines are not significant enough to meet U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and the World Health Organization (WHO) End TB Strategy targets for 2030 and 2035…” (Soucheray, 3/21).

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: CDC U.S., global TB data highlight worldwide needs for extended screening, preventive treatment, access to newest medicines
“Releasing the most recent domestic and global data on tuberculosis incidence in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized that while rates of new cases continue to drop, they are not declining swiftly enough to reach important and achievable goals. Those goals include ones agreed to by international health leaders and policymakers to end the most devastating public health impacts of the disease, and to eliminate the disease in the U.S. — a goal defined as one case or less per million people — by the end of this century…” (Barton, 3/21).

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WHO, Aid Agencies Begin Providing Health Assistance To Cyclone-Hit Southern African Nations To Ward Off Disease

Agence France-Presse: Toll from cyclone-hit southern Africa surges as U.N. launches health aid
“The death toll from a cyclone that ravaged three southern African countries last week headed Thursday towards 400, as officials estimated that more than 1.7 million people had been affected by the storm and 15,000 people were still stranded in floodwater. As the toll surged from the region’s biggest storm in years, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced plans to tackle an emerging threat to survivors from malaria and cholera…” (3/21).

Reuters: U.S. military may join Mozambique cyclone rescue, aid agencies told
“U.S. military teams could join the cyclone rescue effort in Mozambique, a representative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said, according to the minutes of a humanitarian meeting published on Thursday. ‘The Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) will be mobilized. A military aircraft is in Maputo. The U.S. Embassy is requesting approval to mobilize military teams to support rescue operations,’ the minutes of Wednesday’s meeting showed, citing a USAID representative…” (Miles, 3/21).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: African cyclone survivors risk ‘second wave’ of loss with disease threat
“At least half a million survivors of a powerful cyclone in southeast Africa are at risk of fatal diseases, from cholera and dysentery to malaria, aid workers warned on Thursday, as rescue teams struggled to reach flood-hit communities. … At least 360 people have died, and 2.6 million people have been affected, the United Nations said, as Idai’s winds ripped apart homes, schools, and medical centers. Accompanying heavy rains have triggered floods, inundating swathes of farmland…” (Bhalla, 3/21).

Additional coverage of rescue and humanitarian efforts is available from The Guardian, New York Times, NPR, Reuters, The Telegraph, and U.N. News.

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Water Access, Supply Important Factors In Food Production, National Security, Chicago Council Report Says

Devex: Water scarcity poses ‘fundamental risk to stability,’ new report finds
“Ensuring equal access to water is a key component to maintaining societal stability and preventing conflict in fragile states, according to a new report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Accessible, affordable water access is at the center of ensuring the world’s growing population — which, in 2019, includes approximately 821 million food-insecure people and 150 million malnourished children, according to the report — has enough to eat. The report … found that communities, where water access is disputed or becomes a point of tension, can be a dangerous multiplier for underlying conflict…” (Welsh, 3/21).

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More Children In Conflict Zones Killed By Unsafe Water Than War-Related Violence, UNICEF Report Says

The Guardian: Dirty water 20 times deadlier to children in conflict zones than bullets — UNICEF
“Children under five who live in conflict zones are 20 times more likely to die from diarrheal diseases linked to unsafe water than from direct violence as a result of war, UNICEF has found. … UNICEF’s executive director, Henrietta Fore, said the findings, published in a report published on Friday to mark World Water Day, underline the need for access to safe water and sanitation to be treated as a human right rather than a privilege…” (Hodal, 3/22).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: In war, dirty water more dangerous to children than violence, says UNICEF
“…Specifically, children die of diarrhea-related illness, such as cholera, when conflict restricts access to clean water, it said. The research looked at the health consequences of unsafe water and sanitation for children in 16 countries undergoing conflict, including Myanmar, Afghanistan, and Yemen…” (Ryan, 3/22).

U.N. News: More children killed by unsafe water, than bullets, says UNICEF chief
“…According to the report, every year, 85,700 children under-15 die from diarrhea linked to unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities (WASH), compared with 30,900 from conflict. Some 72,000 under-fives die annually from similar illnesses linked to WASH-access problems, compared to 3,400 from war-related violence…” (3/21).

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Number Of DRC Ebola Cases Nears 1,000

Agence France-Presse: Ebola death confirmed in eastern DR Congo provincial capital
“A six-month-old baby in the eastern DR Congo city of Bunia has died of Ebola, becoming the first fatality of the disease in a provincial capital, the heath ministry said Thursday…” (3/21).

CIDRAP News: Ebola total approaches 1,000 as cases reappear in Beni
“Continuing a recent surge in new Ebola cases, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) health ministry reported 11 more cases [Thursday], including two in Beni, an area that had been an epicenter earlier in the outbreak, bringing the outbreak total to 991 cases…” (Schnirring, 3/21).

The Economist: Why are Ebola clinics in Congo being attacked?
“…[Ebola’s] emergence in what is in effect a war zone makes it hard to contain. Health workers are often unable to isolate the infected, or to vaccinate everyone who has touched them. Some villages are deemed too dangerous for vaccinators to visit…” (3/21).

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'Urgent And Sustained Funding' Needed To Address Humanitarian Crisis In DRC, U.N. Officials Say

U.N. News: ‘Massive and protracted’ humanitarian crisis in DR Congo can be ‘beaten back’ if donors step up
“‘Urgent and sustained funding’ for a government-led response to what is now a ‘massive and protracted’ humanitarian crisis across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is required, said the head of the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the U.N. relief chief on Thursday…” (3/21).

VOA News: U.N. Calls for More Relief for Democratic Republic of Congo
“…UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore and Undersecretary for Humanitarian Relief Mark Lowcock returned from a trip to the DRC this week calling for ‘urgent and sustained funding’ to help some 4 million malnourished children, as well as vulnerable communities like the disabled. The U.N. representatives met with President Felix Tshisekedi and had what they called ‘constructive discussions’ with him on humanitarian aid…” (3/21).

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U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Warns Venezuela's Political Division Worsening Already Poor Human Rights, Humanitarian Situation

VOA News: U.N.’s Bachelet: Political Division Worsening Venezuela’s Rights Situation
“The U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, warns political divisions in Venezuela are worsening an already critical human rights and humanitarian situation in the country. In a report presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Bachelet urged the dissenting factions to resolve their political differences. … She noted more than 3 million people have fled to neighboring countries in search of food, health care, work, and protection…” (Schlein, 3/20).

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More News In Global Health

CIDRAP News: WHO reveals delayed pick for H3N2 flu vaccine strain (Schnirring, 3/21).

Devex: Q&A: Why the world needs science and partnerships to tackle TB (3/22).

EURACTIV.com: Public health activists say eradicating tobacco must be a human right (Michalopoulos, 3/22).

The Guardian: U.N. to explore wave of deaths linked to food aid porridge in Uganda (Okiror, 3/21).

The Lancet: Anthony Fauci: fighting HIV/AIDS from the beginning (Kirby, 3/23).

The Lancet: Madagascar’s battle for health (Makoni, 3/23).

The Lancet: Mali announces far-reaching health reform (Adepoju, 3/23).

SciDev.Net: Act fast to curb deaths from C-section in Africa (Rateng’, 3/21).

Xinhua News: Yemen’s new wave of cholera hits over 11,000: report (3/21).

Yahoo News Singapore: More than 90% of Singaporeans say HIV registry should stay: poll (Casandra, 3/22).

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Editorials and Opinions

Ending TB Possible With Renewed, Sustained Efforts, Comprehensive Strategy

The Lancet Global Health: Comprehensive care for all individuals with tuberculosis is needed now
Riitta A. Dlodlo, director of the Department of Tuberculosis and HIV at the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), and Einar Heldal, TB consultant at The Union

“…The way forward [to prevent health service gaps in caring for individuals with TB] should … be improving data for notifications and other indicators provided by the tuberculosis recording and reporting system. We need to move urgently from modelling to action, and strengthen quality and use of the data generated by national tuberculosis programs. … It is time to ensure that the health services we already have fully care for people with tuberculosis. We should ensure universally available and accessible high-quality services and address gaps and delays by actively using tuberculosis program data complemented by operational research and surveys” (3/20).

The Lancet: Picturing health: it’s time to act on tuberculosis
Alexander Kumar, doctor and photographer associated with the School of Population Health and Environmental Sciences at King’s College London, and Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

“…The theme of 2019 World Tuberculosis Day is ‘It’s Time.’ … Scaling up access to treatment, promoting an equitable person-centered response, ensuring sustainable financing, promoting an end to stigma and discrimination, and building accountability are among the priorities. … Poverty and deprivation create breeding grounds for tuberculosis to thrive. … Renewed and sustained efforts must be made by all, for all, to build a world free of tuberculosis, not only by tackling the disease itself but also by addressing the inequality and inequity that places those at risk” (3/20).

HuffPost: We Have A New Roadmap To A World Without Tuberculosis
Madhukar Pai, professor and director of global health at McGill University, and Catharina Boehme, CEO at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND)

“…How can we end TB within a generation? A bold goal needs a bold strategy. This week, “The Lancet Commission on TB: building a tuberculosis-free world” was released. … The commission provides a roadmap with five priority areas for tackling TB. The first priority calls for us to go where the patients are and offer them quality care. … The second priority calls for us to go where the missing patients are. … The third and fourth priorities focus on investment in TB. … The final priority calls for accountability…” (3/21).

The Conversation: A human-rights approach is essential to end the global TB epidemic
Madhukar Pai, professor and director of global health at McGill University

“…The Lancet Commission on TB … outlines an ambitious blueprint for ending TB within a generation. … It is possible to build a world free of TB. The Lancet Commission report offers countries a roadmap to achieve these goals and end their TB epidemics. With targeted, proven strategies, smart investments based on sound science, accelerated research and development, and a shared responsibility, we can defeat TB within a generation” (3/21).

Global Health NOW: A Roadmap for Ending the Moral Catastrophe of TB
Michael Reid, assistant professor of medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and faculty affiliate at the UCSF Institute for Global Health Diplomacy and Delivery, and Gavin Yamey, professor of global health and public policy at Duke University and director of the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health at the Duke Global Health Institute

“…[T]here is a growing momentum to address the lack of progress [to end TB]. … The Lancet Commission on Tuberculosis Report … provides that roadmap. … The report … highlights the critical importance of scaling up proven TB control strategies, … drug susceptibility testing …, and second-line drugs to treat drug-resistant TB. Improving the quality of TB care is also essential. … The report highlights that increased investment in TB control is likely to bring large economic returns. … [W]e also need new TB control technologies. … Finally, the report underscores the importance of accountability to ending the epidemic. … With bold leadership, shared responsibility, and smart investments based on sound science, we can end TB within a generation” (3/20).

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Authors Of New Lancet Article Highlight 5 Key Takeaways On Link Between Democracy, Health

Washington Post: Democracy matters for health care. Here’s how we measured this.
Tom Bollyky, director of the global health program at the Council on Foreign Relations; Tara Templin, health policy PhD student at Stanford University; and Simon Wigley, associate professor of philosophy and department chair at Bilkent University

“…[N]ew research suggests that elections and health are increasingly inseparable. [A] new article in The Lancet details the first comprehensive study to assess the link between democracy and disease-specific mortality in 170 countries between 1980 and 2016. Here are some key takeaways about democracy and health. 1. Democracy matters more for chronic diseases … 2. Where democracy matters on health, it will matter more in the future. … 3. The health effects of democracy are not just a by-product of increased wealth. … 4. Free and fair elections are the critical factor. … 5. The future of global health is political…” (3/22).

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Opinion Piece, Editorial Address Access To Clean Water, Hygiene, Sanitation On World Water Day

Devex: Opinion: Fixing water fixes gender parity
Amanda Gimble, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Safe Water Network, and Venkatesh “Venky” Raghavendra, vice president of advancement at Safe Water Network

“…Expanding safe water and women’s participation in its provision through small water enterprises — businesses that provide safe, reliable, affordable water to communities in need — increases economic opportunity for women, benefits communities, and contributes to the health and well-being of families. When affordable and safe water supply exists in a community, women and girls have more time to engage in other activities, including education and employment. It opens avenues for greater income generation and a better quality of life, including better health and nutrition. … Gender mainstreaming in the water sector could help to fix water issues and address the lack of gender parity. … We call on all stakeholders, and particularly policymakers, governments, multilaterals, and other funders to invest in women … by addressing the societal reforms needed — investing in training and capacity-building programs for women, providing equal access to resources, and supporting the continued building of an evidence base to look at water more directly and closely through the gender lens… (3/21).

The Lancet: On the question of water: a matter of life and death
Editorial Board

“The theme of this year’s World Water Day on March 22 — Leaving No One Behind — is a commitment to those who are disproportionately affected by insufficient access to safe water, such as women, children, refugees, and socioeconomically marginalized people. The urgency of this task is cemented in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 — to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water, the provision of adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene, and cessation of open defecation by 2030. … In India, the need to achieve SDG 6 is acute. … Although a national survey reported that 96.5 percent of those with access to toilets use them, an unacceptable number of Indian citizens do not have access to basic hygiene and sanitation — a human right to ensure health and dignity. … Innovative solutions in water and sanitation delivery are the way forward. In India, as in many other parts of the world, people will continue to be left behind unless these solutions are sustainable, culturally competent, safe, and convenient” (3/23).

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Coordinated International Response Critical To Restore Health In Venezuela

The Lancet: Venezuelans’ right to health crumbles amid political crisis
Editorial Board

“…[Venezuela] is submerged in a complex humanitarian emergency due to the politico-economic crisis that started in 2008, progressively destroying the health care system. … [Along the] Venezuelan borders with Colombia and Brazil, … the movement of Venezuelan migrants has already resulted in a strain on both countries’ health care systems. Another worrying implication of the movement of migrants into neighboring countries is the quick dissemination of infectious diseases, such as malaria and Chagas. … In 2018, 82 percent of people in Venezuela (about 28.5 million people) and 75 percent of health centers around the country did not have a continuous supply of water … To aggravate the situation, shortages of electricity have been recurrently reported … Poor nutrition between conception and two years of age is threatening the physical, mental, and social development of new generations. … [T]he urgent implementation of effective measures to facilitate the coordinated international response to the Venezuelans’ plight cannot come soon enough. The right to health and to food cannot be politicized and the international community is failing if these universal rights are not restored in Venezuela” (3/23).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Japan Pledges US$339.3 Million To Global Fund

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Japan Makes Significant Contribution to Global Fund
“The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria applauds Japan’s latest contribution of US$339.3 million to the Global Fund, signaling strong leadership in global health by Japan. … The contribution of US$339.3 million brings Japan close to fulfilling its Fifth Replenishment pledge of US$800 million, made in May 2016 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, before hosting the G7 Summit in Ise Shima, Japan. The pledge was an increase of 46 percent compared to Japan’s previous pledge, when measured in Japanese yen, and the largest percentage increase among the public donors…” (3/21).

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Working Paper Analyzes Impacts Of Global Fund Financing On Governance, Development

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Georgetown researchers find link between Global Fund support and better governance
“In a new working paper, researchers from Georgetown’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law analyzed the impact of Global Fund financing on governance and development in countries over the past decade and a half. They found that Global Fund support improves government accountability, control of corruption, political freedoms, regulatory quality, and rule of law. They also found Global Fund financing benefits overall adult mortality and human development…” (3/21).

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Organizations Highlight Importance Of Clean Water On Health, Peace-Building

Médecins Sans Frontières: Water: source of health and dignity
This post features photos, videos, stories, and an infographic on MSF’s efforts to provide clean water to ensure health and dignity in countries affected by humanitarian crises. The post notes, “Water is a vital resource on which the health and dignity of human beings depend. With such a challenging future, it is more important than ever that water and sanitation infrastructure meets the needs of people caught up in crises” (3/21).

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Water, Conflict, and Peacebuilding: A New Animated Short from the Wilson Center and USAID
This post highlights a new animated short film from the Wilson Center and USAID’s Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation on “how working together to ensure safe and sufficient water supplies not only increases the resilience of communities, but also helps build peace in war-torn nations” (3/22).

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Guttmacher Studies Examine Need For, Costs, Benefits Of Contraceptive Services, MNCH Care In Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Uganda

Guttmacher Institute: Meeting Contraceptive, Maternal, and Newborn Health Needs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal & Uganda: Adding It Up Estimates Costs and Benefits of Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Health Services
“The ability to achieve sexual and reproductive health and rights … is critical for the health and well-being of all women of reproductive age. New Adding It Up studies from the Guttmacher Institute examine the need for contraceptive services and maternal and newborn health care among adolescent women (aged 15-19) in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, and among all women of reproductive age (aged 15-49) in Ethiopia and Nepal. The studies also present estimates of the costs and benefits of meeting these health care needs, and make country-specific recommendations for improving women’s ability to achieve sexual and reproductive health…” (3/21).

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From the U.S. Government

CDC's MMWR Recognizes World TB Day

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: World TB Day — March 24, 2019
This article recognizes World TB Day, which takes place annually on March 24, and discusses TB in the U.S. and globally (3/22).

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From KFF

KFF Updates Fact Sheet On Key U.S. Government Officials In Global Health

Kaiser Family Foundation: Key Global Health Positions and Officials in the U.S. Government
This updated fact sheet lists U.S. government positions and officials related to global health operations, including links to agencies and officials’ profiles, when available (3/21).

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