KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

POLITICO Reports On Trump Administration Efforts To Prohibit Certain Sexual Health-Related Phrases

POLITICO: Trump’s State Department eyes ban on terms like ‘sexual health’
“U.S. diplomats may soon be prohibited from using the phrases ‘sexual and reproductive health’ and ‘comprehensive sexuality education’ under a proposal being floated to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, four people familiar with the issue said. The proposal is being pushed by a handful of conservative political appointees at the State Department and other agencies … It was not immediately clear what sort of direct policy changes, if any, could result from eliminating such terms, which have been used for years in domestic and international communications. … At the very least, abandoning the use of the word ‘sex’ would be a symbolic move that aligns with other Trump administration efforts to reduce funding for and focus on women’s reproductive issues — especially anything related to abortion…” (Toosi/Diamond, 10/31).

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Devex 'Long Story Short' Episode Examines Latin American Migrant Caravan, Implications Of Potential U.S. Aid Cuts

Devex: Long Story Short #34: What the ‘migrant caravan’ means for U.S. aid
“…In this episode, reporter Teresa Welsh and engagement editor Kate Midden explore why several thousand people across Central America have banded together for the journey, the differing U.S. government responses, and what [U.S.] cuts to aid could mean for the region” (11/1).

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U.S. Officials Seek Cease-Fire In Yemen, Spurred By Concerns Over Humanitarian Disaster, Cooling Relations With Saudi Arabia

New York Times: U.S. and Britain Seek Yemen Cease-Fire as Relations With Saudis Cool
“The United States and Britain, Saudi Arabia’s biggest arms suppliers, are stepping up their pressure for a cease-fire in the Yemen war, the world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster. The calls for a halt to the conflict — by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday night, his British counterpart, Jeremy Hunt, on Wednesday, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis starting last weekend — came as criticism of Saudi Arabia has surged over its bombing campaign in Yemen and the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a dissident Saudi writer…” (Harris et al., 10/31).

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Steps Up Bid to Halt War in Yemen
“The Trump administration is accelerating efforts to halt the war in Yemen, a move diplomats and U.S. officials said is fueled by concern over the humanitarian toll and by eroding support in Congress for Saudi Arabia heightened by the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued coordinated calls this week for a cease-fire in Yemen, where conflict between a Saudi-led coalition and Iran-allied Houthi militants has sparked the world’s worst humanitarian disaster…” (Strobel/Nissenbaum, 10/31).

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Venezuela's Economic Meltdown, Health System Collapse Causing Disease Resurgence Domestically, In Neighboring Nations

Wall Street Journal: Venezuela’s Health Crisis Is Crossing the Border
“Contagion from Venezuela’s economic meltdown is starting to spread to neighboring countries — not financially, but literally, in the form of potentially deadly diseases carried among millions of refugees. The collapse of Venezuela’s health system has turned what was once Latin America’s richest nation into an incubator for malaria, yellow fever, diphtheria, dengue, and tuberculosis, as well as the virus that causes AIDS, medical officials in Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela told the Wall Street Journal…” (Magalhaes et al., 10/31).

Washington Post: ‘Venezuela’s crisis has become our own’
“…Venezuela’s health care system has virtually broken down, allowing once-eradicated illnesses such as measles and diphtheria to reemerge in a population facing acute shortages of food and medicine. Now, a historic outflow of migrants is helping spread infections to other countries. … Hospitals in countries that border Venezuela, particularly Colombia and Brazil, are already overwhelmed by a surge of sick Venezuelans, seeking treatment for grave illnesses from cancer to HIV that their home nation is increasingly unable to treat. The [Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)] said in a statement that Venezuela’s health care system — including disease-prevention programs — had been continually deteriorating because of economic and political problems…” (Faiola et al., 10/31).

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Media Outlets Report On Results Of Various Ebola Treatment, Vaccine Studies Presented At ASTMH Meeting

Becker’s Hospital Review: 3 experimental Ebola vaccines prove promising, researchers find (Cook, 10/31).

CIDRAP News: U.N. calls down international law in DRC Ebola outbreak (Soucheray, 10/31).

Homeland Preparedness News: Durable immune response found under three experimental Ebola vaccines (Galford, 10/31).

New York Times: In Congo’s Ebola Outbreak, Experimental Treatments Are Proving Effective (McNeil, 10/31).

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WHO Confirms 'No Cure' For HIV After Zimbabwean Preacher Claims Herbal Remedy Cures

U.N. News: ‘No cure’ for HIV in Zimbabwe says U.N., following claims from local preacher
“The United Nations in Zimbabwe is reaffirming that people living with HIV and AIDS need to continue with antiretroviral (ARV) therapy to manage their infections, after a local preacher reportedly claimed that he had received divine revelation of an herbal cure…” (10/31).

VOA News: World Health Organization: No cure for HIV in Zimbabwe
“…In a statement, Dr. Alex Gasaira, U.N. in Zimbabwe WHO country representative, said people on ARVs should note that ‘there is no cure for HIV infection’…” (10/31).

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African Governments Must Invest In Youth To Promote Nutrition, Education, Graça Machel Says

The Guardian: Act now or a billion young Africans will be undone by 2050 — Mandela widow
“Nelson Mandela’s widow has warned Africa could become the continent of a billion ‘angry, underfed, under-educated, and under-employed’ young people by 2050, unless African governments act to invest in their children. In advance of the publication of a major report on child rights across Africa, Graça Machel has expressed concern that a ‘toxic combination’ of undernutrition, poor education, and the world’s fastest-growing youth populations pose a threat to the continent’s future…” (11/1).

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Too Many Vulnerable People Left Behind In Humanitarian Disaster Aid Efforts, IFRC Annual Report Warns

VOA News: Millions of Disaster Victims Miss Out on Humanitarian Aid
“The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has issued an annual report that focuses on the millions of elderly, disabled, and vulnerable victims of natural and man-made disasters who fall through the humanitarian cracks and don’t receive desperately needed aid. … The International Red Cross Federation says the world is in the middle of an unprecedented period of humanitarian needs because of the severity and frequency of shocks and hazards…” (Schlein, 10/30).

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More News In Global Health

Borgen Magazine: The Outlook for Sustainable Development (Wagner, 10/31).

Devex: New alliance aims to align global health activities in the Bay Area (Cheney, 10/31).

Devex: What can stock exchanges do for the SDGs? (Dupraz-Dobias, 10/31).

The Guardian: Thousands ‘living in fear’ after Tanzania calls on public to report gay people (Ratcliffe, 11/1).

The Guardian: Drones to deliver vaccines in Vanuatu in world-first trial (Ainge Roy, 10/31).

The Guardian: Housing quality ‘vital to tackling malnutrition and poor growth in children’ (Boseley, 10/31).

The Guardian: Rubella’s elimination from Australia ‘shows vaccinations work’ (Davey, 10/30).

New York Times: Rescue Workers Search for Missing After Typhoon Strikes Philippines (Gutierrez, 10/30).

Science: Are wild monkeys becoming a reservoir for Zika virus in the Americas? (Cohen, 10/31).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: A precarious haven: Africa’s LGBT+ refugees teeter on the brink in Kenya (Bhalla/Hayden, 11/1).

VOA News: Humanitarian Groups Seek Ways to Reduce Attacks on Aid Workers (Eagle, 10/30).

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Editorials and Opinions

Investing In Local Organizations Key To 'Leaving No One Behind' In Humanitarian Situations

IRIN: Millions of people in need are being left behind. Let’s fix that
Elhadj As Sy, secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

“…A report released [Wednesday] by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) … [states] that millions of people who need humanitarian assistance are being ‘left behind’ in their moments of greatest need. … What can we do? A first step is for the humanitarian sector to invest in confronting the challenge of ‘leaving no one behind.’ … [L]ocal organizations hold the keys to helping many of those millions whose needs are unmet by the wider humanitarian community. … If vulnerable and under-supported communities are to be identified, reached, understood, and supported, then we must commit to working with local groups. … They are already present in crisis settings — before, during, and after the crisis. They speak local languages, understand local customs, and are often best-placed to find and support the most isolated and vulnerable people in ways that are fast, culturally appropriate, and cost effective. … Let’s narrow the gap between our humanitarian ambition and the reality. Local groups are our best hope for ensuring that millions of people in need of our help are no longer left behind” (10/31).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

IntraHealth, Partners Train Health Workers To Provide Stigma-Free HIV-Related Health Services To Key Populations

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: Let’s Talk about Health Workers’ Feelings
Karah Pedersen, senior technical manager at IntraHealth International, discusses IntraHealth’s partnership with LINKAGES to train health workers “to improve their empathic, clinical, and interpersonal skills to enable them to provide high-quality, comprehensive services for key populations that are free of stigma and discrimination.” Pedersen writes, “[T]he powerful ripple effect of stigma and discrimination across the HIV cascade remains a major barrier to epidemic control. That is why LINKAGES is learning how to talk with health workers about their feelings in productive ways — and truly tackle how to support health workers to provide key populations with HIV-related services that are free of stigma and discrimination…” (10/30).

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Toys Inside Soap Could Increase Handwashing Among Children In Humanitarian Emergencies, Study Shows

FHI 360’s “R&E Search for Evidence”: Surprise (or not)! Toy-in-soap intervention increases handwashing among kids in emergency contexts
Corey White, managing editor at R&E Search for Evidence at FHI 360, discusses results from a study that provides “new evidence showing toys inside soap can increase handwashing among kids in emergency humanitarian contexts.” White notes, “As the number of global humanitarian emergencies continues to increase, new research … shows that simple, innovative solutions are increasingly important to test and evaluate” (10/25).

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ONE Blog Post Highlights GFF's Efforts To Improve Maternal, Child Health In DRC

ONE Blog: These mothers and babies are beating the odds in the DRC
Katie Ryan, research assistant at the ONE Campaign, discusses the Global Financing Facility’s (GFF) efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and highlights three main priorities: “1. Increase government financing to fight maternal, newborn, and child deaths. 2. Ensure governments and donors are advancing key priorities together. 3. Fund health facilities that are having a positive impact on women and children’s health” (10/30).

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