KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

53M More Women, Girls Using Modern Contraceptives In Low-Income Countries, Family Planning 2020 Report Shows

Devex: Family Planning 2020 looks toward next chapter
“An additional 53 million women and girls are using modern contraceptives over the past seven years in 69 of the world’s lowest-income countries, according to a report launched Monday by Family Planning 2020, a global partnership focused on family planning. With these additional users, a total of 314 million women and girls are now using contraception. This figure falls flat of the goal set in 2012 of reaching an additional 120 million women and girls — a goal the report notes was ‘extremely ambitious’ and that despite not reaching these goals, gains are still nearly 30% above the progress that was historically projected had the partnership not existed…” (Jerving, 11/11).

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Media Outlets Examine Trump Administration's Lawsuit Over Gilead's Alleged Infringements Of Government Patents On HIV Prevention Drug

New York Times: Who Owns HIV-Prevention Drugs? The Taxpayers, U.S. Says
“It is very rare for the government to take on a drug maker over patents. But the medications made by Gilead are necessary to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, which the Trump administration has set as a goal. That cannot be accomplished if the drugs are not made more affordable. Still, exactly what effect the lawsuit will have in the fight against AIDS remains unclear…” (McNeil/Mandavilli, 11/8).

Science: Untangling the Trump administration’s lawsuit over an HIV prevention drug
“…If the government wins the case, which could take years to wind through the courts, it’s unclear what would happen to any monetary damages collected from the company — but the litigation itself might pressure Gilead to cut the price of the drug. Reducing drug prices in general has become a high priority for both the Trump administration and Democrats in Congress. And Gilead has drawn widespread criticism from HIV/AIDS advocacy groups for its steep pricing of Truvada, which, using list pricing, has an annual cost of $21,388 per patient in the United States…” (Cohen, 11/8).

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Number Of New Ebola Cases In DRC Outbreak Remains Low, Consistent, But Violence Challenges Response; SADC Health Ministers Form Joint Ebola Task Force

Al Jazeera: More Ebola patients being treated in DR Congo
“Violence and mistrust are contributing to the spread of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But health workers say despite the challenges, fewer people are getting sick and many are now being treated…” (11/11).

Health Policy Watch: Violence Against Ebola Responders Plagues Outbreak Response As Case Counts Plateau
“The number of Ebola cases per week has plateaued at a low, but consistent, count of 19 per week in the past 21 days, but the violent death of a radio journalist who had won acclaim for his Ebola outreach work has responders remaining vigilant. One Ebola case was also detected this week at a newly opened point-of-entry between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, highlighting a continued risk of regional spread…” (Ren, 11/8).

Xinhua: Southern African health ministers form joint task force over Ebola response
“Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers for health have agreed to form a joint task force to deal with Ebola response and preparedness, an official said on Friday…” (11/9).

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Devex Examines World Bank President Malpass's Approach To Working With Countries On Economic Growth, Development

Devex: Malpass shifts the World Bank from conferences to countries
“David Malpass, who has been the president of the World Bank for seven months, is not a big fan of international development conferences. He has said so on several occasions, including again last week. … ‘What I’ve been doing a lot of is trying to work with specific country programs on the policy changes that they could make and also the programs that the bank can do, the projects in countries that directly reduce poverty,’ Malpass said. ‘I don’t want to dominate, so I wonder if — can we go to each of the countries and see what their thoughts are on what works as far as creating faster growth in your countries,’ Malpass said. … For some observers, the return to ground level is a positive signal. … At the same time, while Malpass is not alone in questioning the return on investment from international conferences with unclear objectives, there is some concern that if the bank’s president focuses too narrowly on individual countries, the institution might lose its influence on issues that transcend borders and require global cooperation…” (Igoe, 11/11).

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More News In Global Health

Al Jazeera: Nigeria urged to ban chaining people with mental health issues (11/11).

Borgen Magazine: Bill Gates on Decreasing Global Poverty (Dobson, 11/9).

Deutsche Welle: Drug addiction in Russia: Draconian laws instead of help (Kauschanski, 11/11).

Devex: A remote Congolese island offers a test case for improving the country’s health care (Lieberman, 11/8).

Devex: Q&A: OECD development director on how to prepare for ‘another Africa’ (Lieberman, 11/8).

The Guardian: ‘Geography is a problem’: slowing the silent spread of HIV in the Amazon (Collyns, 11/11).

Health Policy Watch: Italian Health Minister Moves To Replace Key Architect of WHA Resolution On Drug Price Transparency (Fletcher, 11/7).

Homeland Preparedness News: Johns Hopkins named WHO Collaborating Center for health security (Kovaleski, 11/8).

New York Times: The Hidden Cost of Gold: Birth Defects and Brain Damage (Paddock, 11/9).

NPR: The Controversy Around Virginity Testing (Martin, 11/10).

The Telegraph: As malaria sweeps Burundi, a refugee camp in Rwanda has slashed cases by 80 percent. How? (Andresen, 11/6).

Xinhua: WHO calls for inclusive platforms to global health targets (11/11)

Xinhua: Interview: China’s progress in maternal health crucial lesson for Africa: Board Chair of PMNCH (11/10).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Investments In Development, Diplomacy Help Support America's Military, Opinion Piece Says

The Hill: Support America’s veterans every day by investing in development and diplomacy
Tim Farrell, CEO of the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations (NAVSO)

“…As Americans, it is important we honor the sacrifices of servicemembers not just on Veterans Day, but every day, by continuing to invest in the diplomatic and development efforts bringing stability, security — and ideally peace — to more corners of our world. Most veterans I meet agree: American’s investment in diplomacy and development pays significant dividends for our troops and our nation. … While America’s military force gets most of the attention — and deservedly so — the dedicated civilians serving our State Department and managing American aid programs truly serve as a largely unsung first line of defense: keeping deadly diseases from reaching our shores, tackling the drivers of migration, and supporting efforts to resolve conflict and instability without military intervention. These efforts, which include renowned successes like our PEPFAR program in Africa and the Marshall plan that rebuilt Europe, represent a tremendous cost savings over military deployment. … That’s why fostering stability and security around the globe must remain a bipartisan priority, if only to create the continued environment for improved national and economic security here at home. … The only way to do that is to keep funding the diplomatic and development capabilities that rely on our international affairs budget…” (11/10).

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Global Health Experts Propose Global Action Plan To Combat Low Immunization Rates In Lancet ID Opinion Piece

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: The public health crisis of underimmunization: a global plan of action
Lawrence O. Gostin of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center and colleagues

“…Reasons for falling vaccination rates globally include low public trust in vaccines, constraints on affordability or access, and insufficient governmental vaccine investments. Consequently, an emerging crisis in vaccine hesitancy ranges from hyperlocal to national and worldwide. Outbreaks often originate in small, insular communities with low immunization rates. … Resurging childhood diseases and fragile global vaccination campaigns necessitate concerted action. Our action plan focuses on the prime causes of underimmunization: vaccine availability, public distrust, and lax immunization laws. Immunization is a potent public health tool. Finding the political will and holding governments accountable are essential. Countless lives can be saved if the international community sustainably funds vaccination systems, assures reliable information, and safeguards the common good through meaningful law reform” (11/6).

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Global Health Research Journals Should Make Changes To Encourage Diversity, Inclusion In Authorship, Opinion Piece Says

Forbes: Global Health Research Needs More Than A Makeover
Madhukar Pai, Canada Research Chair of Epidemiology & Global Health at McGill University and director of the McGill International Tuberculosis Centre

“…Research shows that global health is still struggling to shed its colonial past. This is reflected in who drives the research agenda, who dominates authorship, and who edits the research. … [E]ven when research is done collaboratively, there are issues with authorship and inclusion. … Since editors act as gatekeepers, who edits research matters a lot. In a recent study, we examined the composition of editors and editorial board members of 12 major global health journals to examine diversity and inclusion. Across all journals, only a third of editors were female, and a third were based in LMICs. … Given these findings, it is easy to understand why research papers from LMICs, written entirely by local experts, rarely get published in high-impact journals. … Some of the concerns (e.g. editorial board diversity) can be addressed quickly. Indeed, some journals (e.g. Lancet Global Health, BMJ Global Health) have already pledged to achieve parity in gender and representation of LMIC expertise. I hope other global health journals will follow suit…” (11/10).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Tanzania, WHO, Partners Launch Nationwide Campaign To Administer Measles Rubella, Inactivated Polio Virus Vaccines

WHO Regional Office for Africa: Reaching more than 8 million children with the Measles Rubella vaccines
“…This month, Tanzania with the support from WHO and partners launched a nation-wide campaign in more than 8,000 vaccination centers. In this campaign two vaccines — measles rubella and IPV vaccines — were administered at once. This is the first time the country has implemented a vaccination campaign in this approach — giving two injectable vaccines at once…” (11/8).

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European Health Forum Fellows Explore Role Of 'Disruption' In Improving Health Systems

BMJ Opinion: Disruption in healthcare: how can it improve population health?
Kendall Jamieson Gilmore, a HealthPros fellow based in Italy; Véronique Bos, a Health Pros fellow based in the Netherlands; and Margot Neveux, policy and projects coordinator at the World Obesity Federation, and all European Health Forum Young Gastein Scholars, explore the meaning of and need for “disruption” in health care systems. They conclude, “So what disruption would help with this? Building a hierarchy which better reflects the workforce and populations they serve would be a good start, and listening to a wider range of voices than the typical … sages. We often hear the leaders of innovation in healthcare criticize those who resist innovation in order to protect their jobs, but how often do we apply that critical eye to our own roles and responsibilities within the system?” (11/8).

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WHO/PAHO Name Johns Hopkins Center For Health Security As Collaborating Centre For Global Health Security

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security: WHO Names JHU Center for Health Security a Collaborating Centre
“The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has been officially designated as a ‘Collaborating Centre for Global Health Security’ by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The Center for Health Security is part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Collaborating Centres are institutions designated by the WHO Director-General as part of an international network to carry out activities and research to support WHO programs…” (11/6).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Provides Nearly $56M In Additional Humanitarian Assistance To Address DRC Ebola Outbreak

USAID: USAID Announces Nearly $56 Million In Additional Humanitarian Assistance To Contain Ebola In The Democratic Republic Of Congo
“The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing nearly $56 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help end the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the second-largest outbreak of the disease on record. This brings the total USAID funding for the efforts to respond to Ebola to more than $266 million since the beginning of the outbreak in August 2018. This funding also includes support for regional preparedness activities in the DRC and neighboring countries and is in addition to contributions from other U.S. Federal Departments and Agencies and the U.S. private sector…” (11/8).

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From KFF

KFF Releases Annual Analysis Of Donor Government Funding For Family Planning

KFF: Donor Government Funding for Family Planning in 2018
KFF today released its annual analysis of donor government funding for family planning. The report finds that donor government bilateral funding for family planning reached its highest level since tracking efforts began in 2012, rising from $1.26 billion in 2017 to $1.50 billion (an increase of $237.3 million or 19%, as measured in current terms) in 2018. Additionally, most donors increased bilateral funding for family planning in 2018, and the U.S. continues to be the largest donor. More findings are available in the report (Wexler/Kates/Lief, 11/11).

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