KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- Coordinated Polio Immunization Campaign Underway In West, Central African Nations
Deutsche Welle: Fresh drive to rid Western Africa of polio
“Polio eradication teams are preparing to vaccinate 116 million children in Western and Central African nations, especially Nigeria. … The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) said Friday its teams were aiming to reach every child under five in 13 countries from Mauritania to the Democratic Republic of Congo…” (3/24).
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Polio vaccine campaign targets 100 mln African children to stop Nigeria outbreak spreading
“…Fighting between jihadist group Boko Haram and the Nigerian army has caused mass displacement, raising fears the polio outbreak could spread across borders and throughout the region. After two years in which polio appeared beaten in Africa, Nigeria reported four cases in August, casting a shadow over global eradication hopes, and driving the GPEI to launch one of the largest synchronized vaccination campaigns on the continent…” (Guilbert, 3/24).
U.N. News Centre: U.N. agencies, partners to launch polio vaccination campaign across Africa
“…Organizers said that more than 190,000 polio vaccinators will deliver bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) to every house across all cities, towns, and villages of the 13 countries…” (3/24).
- On World TB Day, Experts Mark Advancements In Treatment, Political Will; WHO Releases New Ethics Guidance
Huffington Post: The Big Moves This Past Year In The Fight Against the World’s Top Infectious Killer
“…[D]espite [some] grim statistics, the TB global health community says there are a few things to be thankful for. … From the release of new treatment regimens to combat drug-resistant strains to the rise in global political attention on the disease, here are some of the things experts in the field pointed to as wins for the year…” (Weber, 3/24).
U.N. News Centre: Marking World Tuberculosis Day, U.N. seeks to address stigma, protect patient rights
“To mark World Tuberculosis Day, the United Nations health agency has launched a new set of ethics guidance to protect the rights of all people affected by the infectious disease, which claims 5,000 lives each day. … ‘TB strikes some of the world’s poorest people hardest,’ said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan in a news release. ‘WHO is determined to overcome the stigma, discrimination, and other barriers that prevent so many of these people from obtaining the services they so badly need,’ she said…” (3/24).
- NPR Examines Fear, Stigma Surrounding Zika In Puerto Rico
NPR: Living With Zika In Puerto Rico Means Watching, Waiting, And Fearing Judgment
“…Since Zika appeared in Puerto Rico more than a year ago, doctors believe as many as a million people on the island have been infected. Some 40,000 cases of those cases have been confirmed, a number that includes some 3,200 pregnant women. Doctors in Puerto Rico are just beginning to assess the long-term consequences for children born to mothers with Zika. … [W]omen who have babies with birth defects have been reluctant to go public because, like HIV, Zika carries a stigma…” (Allen, 3/27).
Editorials and Opinions
- U.S. Funding For State, USAID 'Critical To U.S. National Security, Maintaining Our Global Leadership'
The Hill: The threat to U.S. global leadership
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas)
“Last week, the Trump administration proposed budget cuts that would reduce funding for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) … These cuts would be irresponsible, short-sighted, and harmful to the United States’ work overseas. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I believe our investments in diplomacy and development are critical to U.S. national security and maintaining our global leadership. … Our development experts work with foreign partners to address the root causes of insecurity, respond to global health and humanitarian crises, and help populations lift themselves out of poverty. … We project power through the strengths of our global alliances and our values. The United States must invest in diplomacy and development, now more than ever” (3/24).
- U.S. Humanitarian Aid Investments Prevent Global Destabilization
NJ.com: Trump cuts food aid while kids starve. And how do you bomb Ebola?
Star-Ledger Editorial Board
“Donald Trump seems to think that every problem has a military solution. But it was military and national security experts who gave the most full-throated defense of the foreign aid budget, which he’s now seeking to slash by more than a quarter. … [The U.S. has] a long bipartisan tradition of humanitarian aid. It’s a way to broadcast American values. … It’s how we contained Ebola, SARS, and Zika before they got to our shores. And slashing the funds that help poor countries build up their resiliency to emergencies and the effects of climate change will only worsen crises in the future. It’s not just about human suffering; it’s about preventing worldwide destabilization. … Those charged with protecting our country constantly defend the foreign aid budget — most recently in a letter by 120 retired three and four-star generals and admirals to Trump — because they know this is an investment that pays back. If only he would listen” (3/25).
- U.S. Should 'Assert Moral Leadership,' Contribute To Efforts To Address Cholera In Haiti
Boston Globe: Haiti is still waiting on promised U.N. help for cholera epidemic
“Late last year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered an apology for the U.N.’s role in bringing deadly cholera to Haiti … Ban’s long-awaited apology came with a promising plan to help victims of the savage epidemic, called ‘The New Approach,’ which envisions spending $400 million to support survivors and address the nation’s crumbling water and sanitation systems. But fund-raising — based thus far on voluntary contributions — has brought in only two percent of that total. As of last week, donors included South Korea, India, and Liechtenstein, among others, but not the United States. Without assessed contributions from member nations, the future looks grim indeed. Advocates and rescue workers estimate another 30,000 people in Haiti will get cholera this year. … Although it’s sometimes hard to discern who is in charge of foreign policy in Washington, there is still time for the U.S. State Department to assert moral leadership and contribute to the effort to break this cycle of failure in one of the poorest nations in the world” (3/27).
- Opinion Pieces Recognize World TB Day
Huffington Post: No Time To Lose
Mandeep Dhaliwal, director of UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Group at the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support
“…Since the release of the report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, UNDP — in collaboration with governments, civil society, [and] other U.N. partners has supported 88 countries to remove human rights and legal barriers to HIV services and increase rights-based programming. UNDP is committed to expanding this work to include a human rights and gender-based approach to TB. With support from the Global Fund, UNDP is working with leading African human rights civil society organizations … to address human rights barriers faced by vulnerable communities in Africa, and increase access to lifesaving HIV and TB services in 10 African countries. … If we want to end TB by 2030, investing in human rights and gender-based approaches to TB that put people living with and affected by TB at the center of the response is critical” (3/23).
New York Times: Paul Farmer: Humans Aren’t Winning the War on TB
Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health, professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard University, and chief of the division of global health equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
“…[H]umans aren’t winning the war against TB, which last year killed 1.8 million people, regaining its old title as the world’s leading infectious killer of adults. Happy World TB Day. … Only rigorous clinical trials will permit us to conclude that we humans have a better shot of winning the war against tuberculosis in all its varied forms. Such a trial was just announced by Médecins Sans Frontières and Partners In Health. … Although the humans have gained territory with new diagnostics that speed up the glacial pace of identifying mutant strains so that patients might benefit from the new drugs, these rapid tests are based on decades-old discoveries. As with the new drugs, their commercial development was delayed since the potential beneficiaries were too poor to treat. UNITAID supports this new trial as well as the necessary steps to bring its fruits to those previously disregarded. … The last front in the Partners In Health and Médecins Sans Frontières project is a joint operation with another NGO, Interactive Research and Development, ensuring that we remain on the frontlines against the wily bacterium. By finally countering TB’s cunning battle plan with a bold, multipronged approach that embeds science and care delivery and keeps the poorest people in mind, some year soon, World TB Day may be a day for celebration” (3/24).
Huffington Post: Let’s Imagine A TB-Free World
Eric Goosby, U.N. secretary general’s special envoy on tuberculosis
“For the first time since tuberculosis (TB) surfaced centuries ago, we can see the possibility of living in a TB-free world. Unlike other global health diseases, TB is curable. What TB lacks is the political will to provide resources to prevent and treat TB and support for research to find even more effective diagnostic tools. Living in a TB-free world would change the global health landscape. … Doctors and nurses would not have to put their own health on the line every time they treated a patient with TB. Hospitals could provide better care for their patients if they weren’t overwhelmed with managing patients with TB. Health systems could save millions of dollars and countless hours currently invested in screening health care workers. And once TB is contained, human, laboratory, procurement, and distribution resources would be available to treat people with non-communicable diseases. … With an infusion of resources, we can get on a path to create a TB-free world. … On this World TB Day, let’s imagine a world free from TB. Then, let’s make it so” (3/24).
Huffington Post: A pan-African effort is needed to lead the fight against tuberculosis
Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, chief executive officer of the secretariat of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
“…Today, the TB epidemic is particularly prevalent in Africa. But, beyond the huge challenges it poses to health and economic development on the continent, the hot spots found in Africa form pockets of resistance and hotbeds that could jeopardize the global control of tuberculosis and undermine global health. … The World TB Day commemoration on March 24 presents African governments with an opportunity to take stock of actions being taken and galvanize efforts towards ending TB by 2030. … [The U.N. high level meeting on TB in 2018] will allow the international community to define a global strategy that will also be the topic of a WHO global ministerial conference on the fight against TB to be convened in November 2017 in Moscow. … As the main victim of the disease, Africa certainly deserves international support, but it should also aim at proving it can lead the struggle for a world freed from TB” (3/24).
- WHO Should 'At All Times' Show How Its Work Directly Improves Health Of All People
Devex: Opinion: My vision for the WHO
David Nabarro, special adviser to the U.N. secretary general on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change and a candidate for WHO director general
“…[T]he World Health Organization is vitally important to all of us. … If elected as director general of the WHO, I will prioritize the building of capacity within countries: Poor countries will receive the support they need to protect their people and to keep them safe. I will ensure that the worldwide response system will function well, responding impartially to people’s needs, with dependable support systems in each region. I will upgrade its response to disease outbreaks, as a matter of urgency. … I want the WHO to be at the heart of efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda, supporting the many governments across our world who are working to put the plan into action: making people’s health and well-being a central objective. … I want the WHO to demonstrate results and show that it offers value for money. I want the WHO to be trusted by people, governments, and partners everywhere — contributing to improved standards of health and health care. … I want the WHO at all times to demonstrate how its work links directly to improving people’s health. … I know I am the best qualified person to be the director general of the WHO and ensure that it is a WHO that is fit for the future” (3/27).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- In CSIS Podcast, U.N. Special Envoy Eric Goosby Discusses Roles Of U.S. Leadership, International Diplomacy In Addressing Global TB
Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Take as Directed”: U.N. Special Envoy on Tuberculosis Eric Goosby on Global Fight against TB
Audrey Jackson, senior fellow with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, speaks with Eric Goosby, U.N. special envoy on TB, about the importance of continued U.S. leadership in addressing TB globally. They also discuss the upcoming U.N. High-level Meeting on TB in 2018 (3/24).
- PLOS Launches Tuberculosis Channel Featuring Research, News Articles For Various Stakeholders
PLOS Blogs’ “Speaking of Medicine”: Announcing the PLOS Tuberculosis Channel
Soumya Swaminathan, secretary of the Department of Health Research in India’s Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and Madhukar Pai, Canada research chair in epidemiology and global health at McGill University, Montreal, director of the McGill Global Health Programs, and associate director of the McGill International TB Centre, announce the launch of the PLOS Tuberculosis Channel, for which they serve as editors. “The Tuberculosis Channel features articles on all topics relevant to TB research” and aims “to showcase the most up-to-date research to assist various stakeholders in the fight against TB, including academics, health care workers, policymakers, implementers, patients, and civil society…” (3/24).
- 'Science Speaks' Posts Highlight World TB Day, NIH's TB Portals Program
Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: We’re reading about tuberculosis, and why one day a year is not enough
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” recognizes World Tuberculosis Day (March 24) and highlights several recently published pieces on the disease (3/24).
Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: The multi-national network of TB Portals advances tuberculosis research
In this guest post, Jessica Taaffe, a biomedical scientist with NIAID, discusses the TB Portals program, a research collaboration among NIH and five Eastern European nations (Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, and Azerbaijan) that aims “to collect and consolidate rich data from TB cases, including socioeconomic, clinical, radiological, and genomic information, as a resource for TB researchers and physicians” (Barton, 3/24).
- FT Health Features Interview With Stop TB Partnership Executive Director Lucica Ditiu
FT Health: Healthcare Trumped
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter features an interview with Lucica Ditiu, executive director of the Stop TB Partnership (Jack, 3/24).
- New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash features articles recognizing World TB Day, as well as a video on how community-based organizations in Senegal “are stepping up a campaign to find missing TB cases” (3/24).
From the U.S. Government
- NIH Releases Statement Recognizing World TB Day
National Institutes of Health: NIH Statement on World Tuberculosis Day
In this statement marking World TB Day, Anthony S. Fauci, director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID); Richard Hafner, chief of the TB Clinical Research Branch in the NIAID Division of AIDS; and Christine F. Sizemore, chief of the tuberculosis and other mycobacterial diseases section in the NIAID Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, write, “[T]he National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), reasserts its commitment to improving our understanding of TB and how to prevent, diagnose, and treat it. Around the globe, researchers and the public health community are united in working toward these goals. … Through ongoing and future research initiatives, and collaboration with other funding agencies and organizations, NIAID is dedicated to saving and improving the lives of people with TB” (3/24).
- USAID Supports Expansion Of Burma's TB Detection Capabilities
Medium: How Heroes are Fighting Tuberculosis in Burma – and Winning
Matt Grieger, deputy team leader for outreach and communications in USAID’s Asia Bureau, discusses USAID’s efforts to address TB in Burma, including how the agency is helping the country’s government expand its TB detection capabilities (3/21).