KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Congress, Trump Administration Considering Launch Of New U.S. Development Finance Bank

Devex: Exclusive: Plans underway for new U.S. development finance bank
“The United States Congress and the Trump administration are considering plans for a new development finance corporation that could be announced before the end of the year, multiple people involved with the process told Devex. If and when it is announced, a new development bank would signal a remarkable turnaround for President Donald Trump’s administration, whose 2018 budget proposal had sought to gut the existing development finance agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation…” (Saldinger, 10/31).

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WHO, MSF Announce Improved Access To Hepatitis C Treatments Ahead Of World Summit

Devex: 8 things to know ahead of the World Hepatitis Summit
“The second World Hepatitis Summit opens November 1 in Sao Paolo, Brazil, to take stock of countries’ progress in developing national plans for hepatitis elimination. The number of countries with such plans has increased fivefold over the past half decade, from 17 to 82 to date. About one-third of these countries have started to allocate resources toward their agendas. Dr. Gottfried Hirnschall, director of the HIV/AIDS Department and the Global Hepatitis Program at the World Health Organization, sees that as encouraging progress, though more remains to be done. … Devex spoke with Hirnschall and Marc Bulterys, team leader of the Global Hepatitis Program at the WHO in Geneva, about the gaps, outstanding challenges, and ongoing work toward elimination…” (Ravelo, 11/1).

Reuters: MSF charity secures generic hepatitis C drugs for $1.40 a day
“Médecins Sans Frontières, the international nonprofit medical charity, said on Tuesday it had struck deals with generic manufacturers to buy hepatitis C drugs for as little as $1.40 a day, a dramatic reduction on original prices. … MSF said the deals with generic companies meant it was now able to provide a 12-week course of treatment for around $120, against $1,400 to $1,800 available through Gilead and [Bristol-Myers Squibb] access programs for poorer nations…” (Hirschler, 10/31).

U.N. News Centre: Ahead of Brazil Summit, U.N. reports three million people now have access to hepatitis C cure
“A record three million people obtained treatment for hepatitis C over the past two years, and 2.8 million more people embarked on lifelong treatment for hepatitis B in 2016, the United Nations health agency reported Tuesday, the eve of the World Hepatitis Summit in Brazil, highlighting increasing momentum in the global response to the viral disease…” (10/31).

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OECD's Development Assistance Committee Adopts New Guidance On Refugee Aid

Devex: OECD DAC clarifies rules on in-donor aid spending for refugees
“The committee that governs the rules on aid spending has adopted new guidance on when and how money spent on supporting refugees can count as aid at its high-level meeting in Paris, France. … However, another proposal that was expected to take a high-profile position at the meeting — the U.K. government’s plan to allow the spending of overseas aid on wealthier but climate-vulnerable island states, following hurricane damage to U.K. overseas territories in the Caribbean — was withdrawn hours after it was proposed, sources present at the meeting told Devex. Although the U.K. delegation recognized it could not achieve consensus, the proposal is said to have sparked a key debate over ODA eligibility and ‘reclassification’ after a crisis. The committee was also unable to reach a consensus on clarification of the rules around the use of private sector instruments in aid…” (Anders, 11/1).

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Chef José Andrés' Efforts To Feed Puerto Ricans Following Hurricane Maria Provides Model For Different Humanitarian Aid Approach

New York Times: José Andrés Fed Puerto Rico, and May Change How Aid Is Given
“…Mr. Andrés’s effort, by all accounts the largest emergency feeding program ever set up by a group of chefs, has started winding down. But it illustrates in dramatic fashion the rise of chefs as valuable players in a realm traditionally left to more-established aid organizations. With an ability to network quickly, organize kitchens in difficult circumstances, and marshal raw ingredients and equipment, chef-led groups are creating a model for a more agile, local response to catastrophes…” (Severson, 10/30).

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Gender Equality Common Thread Among 17 Sustainable Development Goals, U.N. Official Says

U.N. News Centre: All 17 Global Goals interrelated, with strong links to gender equality — senior U.N. official
“Addressing challenges faced by women in the world of work is a key theme for a United Nations forum on leveraging the power of partnerships to drive the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ‘The important point is that all 17 Goals are interrelated. They are interconnected,’ Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, the deputy director general of the U.N. Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), told U.N. News…” (10/31).

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China's President Xi Jinping Faces Challenges In Plan To Eliminate Rural Poverty By 2020

New York Times: Xi Jinping Vows No Poverty in China by 2020. That Could Be Hard.
“…Nearly seven decades after the Chinese Communist Party rose to power on a promise of prosperity for all, President Xi Jinping has vowed to fulfill the Communists’ original intent, staking his legacy on an ambitious plan to complete the eradication of rural poverty by 2020. The plan targets the more than 43 million people who still live on the equivalent of less than 95 cents a day, the poverty line set by the Chinese government. … But Mr. Xi’s lofty vision clashes with a harsh reality across much of rural China…” (Hernández/Zhao, 10/31).

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Global Survey Examines Attitudes Toward Sexual, Gender Minorities, Shows 1 In 4 People Believe Same-Sex Relationships Should Be Criminalized

The Guardian: One in four people say those in same-sex relationships ‘should be charged as criminals’
“More than one in four people across the world think people engaging in same-sex relationships should be charged as criminals, according to a new survey of 77 countries and territories. However, there were major divisions in attitudes towards the criminalization of those engaging in same-sex relationships when broken down across regions, the 2017 Ilga-Riwi global attitudes survey to sexual and gender minorities found…” (Duncan, 10/31).

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Food Aid, Medical Supplies Reach Rural Suburb Of Syrian Capital, U.N. Agencies Say

U.N. News Centre: Syria: U.N. agencies deliver critical food aid, medicines to families trapped in rural Damascus
“As part of a humanitarian aid convoy to besieged towns on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus, United Nations agencies have delivered desperately needed health supplies, hygiene kits, and food rations for tens of thousands of people. According to the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), on Monday night, a humanitarian convoy of 49 trucks, 41 of which carried food items, reached Eastern Ghouta in rural Damascus…” (10/31).

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CNN Profiles Young Mothers In Brazil Who Gave Birth To Zika-Affected Infants

CNN: The forgotten mothers and babies of Zika
“Barely more than children themselves when they give birth, many of the forgotten mothers of Zika-striken babies in the Brazilian state of Alagoas are shiny-new teenagers, just learning to navigate their developing bodies. Traversing the challenges of motherhood at that age is tricky at best; attempting to navigate them with a baby who carries the mark of the mosquito is almost unthinkable…” (LaMotte, 11/1).

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Editorials and Opinions

Every Breath Counts Coalition Aims To End Preventable Child Pneumonia Deaths By 2030

HuffPost: Partnering to Fight Pneumonia, the ‘Forgotten Killer’ of Children
Carolyn S. Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children, and colleagues

“…Thirty organizations are joining forces in a public-private partnership with an ambitious, measurable goal: to end preventable child pneumonia deaths by 2030. The Every Breath Counts Coalition will be announced at UNICEF headquarters in New York on November 3rd … in honor of World Pneumonia Day. … To stop children dying from pneumonia, the governments most affected will need to lead ambitious national efforts to mobilize attention and resources toward pneumonia prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, especially at [the] primary health care level. In addition to enhanced domestic resources, countries will also need to target a greater share of their foreign health aid to fighting pneumonia … Focused efforts in a sub-set of countries where children are most vulnerable are critical, as these countries will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals relating to child survival nor fulfill their obligations to the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health without a special push to reduce child pneumonia deaths. It’s time to bring together our collective efforts and support country government efforts to ensure that no child dies of a disease we know how to prevent, diagnose, and treat…” (10/31).

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Understanding Difference Between Pandemics, Epidemics Critical To Preparedness Efforts

CIDRAP: COMMENTARY: Pandemic preparedness and missed opportunities
Michael T. Osterholm, director of CIDRAP

“…[The PATH report released last week] … generates some confusion about preparing and responding to pandemics versus preparing and responding to epidemics. … It seems we’ve lost an understanding of the difference between a pandemic and an epidemic and what is required to prepare and respond to each. And that greatly hinders the public health, medical, and business communities — as well as governments and philanthropic organizations — from clearly articulating and acting on meaningful preparedness activities. … [T]here are only two infectious disease situations that can be considered inevitable, serious pandemic threats: influenza and antimicrobial resistance. … [Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA)] support, as essential as it is to addressing diseases of critical regional importance, will not begin to touch the most minimal of required preparedness activities for a pandemic. Confusing these two requirements … is a costly mistake for public health. … The influenza and antimicrobial pandemic clocks are ticking … Misunderstanding and misrepresenting what we need to do to be better prepared takes an understanding of what a pandemic is and what it isn’t…” (10/31).

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U.S. Should Address FGM, Prioritize Women, Girls' Rights

Forbes: Let’s Prioritize Protecting Girls
Carrie Lukas, managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum

“…We should call on American leaders to prioritize encouraging countries around the globe to recognize women’s human rights and make progress toward women’s full and equal participation in society. U.S. policy leaders should also double down on their commitment to ensuring that we don’t import some of the worst practices from overseas into our borders. … [T]here is evidence that some communities are seeking to continue their native-land’s tradition of [female genital mutilation (FGM)] here in America. … [T]he White House and Congress can further deter this practice by encouraging more attention to and study of this issue and developing best practices for prevention. The White House can take the lead by establishing a Task Force to Prevent FGM. … [This issue] demands our immediate attention so that we can make strides to encourage widespread recognition that women and girls deserve human rights and to be free from this kind of sexist violence…” (10/31).

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Agricultural Development Initiatives Should Focus On Empowering Women For Best Outcomes

Inter Press Service: Women and Malnutrition in Africa
Raghav Gaiha, professorial research fellow at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester, and Vani S. Kulkarni, lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania

“…[A]gricultural development has enormous potential to make significant contribution in reducing malnutrition and the associated ill health. … The resources and income flows that women control often have positive impacts on household health and nutrition. … Agricultural programs and policies that empower and enable women and that involve them in decisions and activities throughout the life of the program achieve greater nutritional impacts. … [T]here are improved impacts on nutrition if agricultural interventions are targeted to women and when specific work is done around women’s empowerment …, mediated through women’s time use, women’s own health and nutrition status, and women’s access to and control over resources as well as intrahousehold decision-making power. That this may be dismissed out of hand is not unlikely either, given the persistence of male dominance” (10/31).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Devex 'From Healthy To Secure' Collection Features Columns, Interviews From Experts, Insights From Report

Devex: From Healthy to Secure: The Power of Global Health to Drive Safety and Stability Worldwide
In this collection, “Devex, in partnership with PATH, gained insights from global health and security leaders.” The page features guest columns from security and health experts, video interviews, and an in-depth look inside a recent special report. Archived articles and interviews are available here (October 2017).

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Gates Foundation Official Highlights Research Efforts To Address Onchocerciasis

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Innovation: Taking the Neglect out of Neglected Diseases, Part II
Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses innovative research for onchocerciasis treatments and references a blog post he wrote last year on the topic. In his more recent post, Mundel discusses the research of Sara Lustigman, which is focused on understanding the parasite that causes onchocerciasis (10/31).

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Blog Post Highlights Global Abortion Policies Database, Potential Role In Abortion Law

BMJ Opinion: Joanna Erdman: The global abortion policies database — legal knowledge as a health intervention
Joanna Erdman, MacBain chair in health and policy law at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, discusses the Global Abortion Policies Database and its potential role in abortion law. Erdman writes, “[The database is] an open-access repository of abortion laws, policies, standards, and guidelines for 197 countries. Designed to strengthen efforts to eliminate unsafe abortion, the database acknowledges and engages law and policy as a social determinant of safe abortion. … [T]he database endeavors to make accessible clear and accurate information on abortion law and policy, and thereby suggests that knowledge is perhaps the more critical determinant of safe abortion” (11/1).

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'Science Speaks' Highlights Recent Pieces On Mexico City Policy, TB, HIV Prevention

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: What we’re reading: The global gag rule gets a check-up, TB in India, and reconsidering HIV prevention
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses several recent pieces on global health including a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson regarding the reinstatement of the Mexico City policy and its impact on reproductive health services in Uganda and Kenya; a statement by AIDS-Free World Co-Director Stephen Lewis on TB prevention and care in India; and a report from the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) and several other international organizations on the future of HIV prevention efforts (10/31).

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