KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Warming Climate Will Damage Children's Health Most, Have Life-Long Impacts, Lancet Countdown Report Says

CNBC: Climate change is damaging the lifelong health of children across the world, medical officials warn
“Climate change is already damaging the health of children, and its impacts will harm the entire generation with serious health problems throughout their lives, according to a new report from the medical journal The Lancet. Scientists and health experts from 35 academic institutions and United Nations agencies said that children will suffer from a rise in infectious diseases, malnutrition, and air pollution if global warming continues on the current trajectory…” (Newburger, 11/13).

Reuters: Climate change exposes future generations to life-long health harm
“… ‘Children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks of a changing climate. Their bodies and immune systems are still developing, leaving them more susceptible to disease and environmental pollutants,’ said Nick Watts, who co-led The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change study. He warned that health damage in early childhood is ‘persistent and pervasive,’ and carries lifelong consequences…” (Kelland, 11/13).

TIME: How Climate Change is Clobbering Kids’ Health
“…Finally, there are the diseases that thrive in a warming world. The most troubling explored in the Lancet study are malaria and dengue fever — which, again, take particular aim at children. The investigators found that both diseases are on the rise, more or less in lockstep with climate. The incidence of dengue fever in particular is already as much as 9.8% above pre-2012 baselines…” (Kluger, 11/13).

Additional coverage of the report is available from AP, ABC, Financial Times, The Guardian, IBT, NPR, and SciDev.Net.

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More Than 200 Organizations Endorse Call To Action On SRHR; Funding Shortfalls Challenge Efforts To Reduce Maternal Mortality, Meet Family Planning Needs, End Gender-Based Violence, Report Says

Devex: Q&A: Putting feminism back into reproductive and sexual health
“On Wednesday over 200 feminist organizations from over 50 countries released a call to action focused on advancing sexual and reproductive rights and gender justice that calls for a bolder approach to tackling these issues. It coincided with a major global United Nations conference on reproductive and sexual health held this week in Kenya. … Devex sat down with Françoise Girard, president of the International Women’s Health Coalition, on the need to re-integrate feminist organizations into global efforts to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and women…” (Jerving, 11/14).

The Guardian: Cost of ending maternal deaths laid bare as $115bn funding shortfall revealed
“The global push to stop mothers dying unnecessarily in childbirth, meet family planning needs, and end violence against women could be undermined by a massive funding shortfall, researchers have found. World leaders have pledged to redouble efforts to end preventable maternal death, satisfy family planning demand, and stop violence and harmful practices against women and girls by 2030. … The figures were released at a summit in Nairobi this week to mark the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), where 179 ministers pledged to implement a program of action that called for women’s reproductive health and rights to be central in all national and international development efforts…” (Okiror, 11/13).

Additional coverage of news related to the ICPD25 Summit in Nairobi is available from allAfrica, IPS, Kenya News Agency, and The Telegraph.

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WHO Prequalifies First Approved Ebola Vaccine As Rollout Of Experimental Vaccine Begins In DRC; Security Issues Continue To Challenge Response, WHO Says

ABC News: Ervebo approved as 1st Ebola vaccine
“The world’s first Ebola vaccine is finally approved, a critical move that opens the door for its use in countries at high risk for the infectious disease. Just 48 hours after the European Commission granted marketing authorization for the vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday that it had also pre-qualified the vaccine, meaning it meets the WHO’s quality, safety, and efficacy standards…” (Schumaker, 11/13).

Reuters: Rollout of Johnson & Johnson Ebola vaccine begins in Congo
“Health authorities in eastern Congo have introduced a new Ebola vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson, aid group MSF said on Thursday, to help combat the world’s second-worst outbreak of the virus on record. … The new vaccine, which has passed clinical trials but has never been tested in a real-world setting, will be administered to 50,000 people in Goma, a city of two million on the Rwandan border, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said in a statement…” (Mahamba/Holland, 11/14).

VOA: Security Stymies Effort to End Ebola in Congo
“The World Health Organization says that dangers posed by armed groups in two eastern Democratic Republic of Congo provinces are impeding progress in the battle to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. Latest reports put the number of confirmed Ebola cases at 3,287, including 2,193 deaths…” (Schlein, 11/13).

Additional coverage of the Ebola outbreak and response is available from Al Jazeera, BBC, CIDRAP News, Homeland Preparedness News, UPI, and Xinhua.

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WHO Launches Prequalification Program For Insulin In Effort To Drive Down Prices, Expand Access

New York Times: To Drive Down Insulin Prices, WHO Will Certify Generic Versions
“With insulin prices skyrocketing and substantial shortages developing in poorer countries, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday that it would begin testing and approving generic versions of the drug. … The approval process, which the WHO calls ‘prequalification,’ will permit United Nations agencies and medical charities like Doctors Without Borders to buy approved generic versions of insulin. The process also will reassure countries without strong regulatory agencies that the approved drugs are safe for their health ministries to purchase. The WHO aims to duplicate its success in widening global access to HIV drugs…” (McNeil, 11/13).

Additional coverage of the WHO’s plan is available from U.N. News, VOA and Xinhua.

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Sanitation Workers' Jobs Endanger Their Health, Rights, WHO Report Says

The Telegraph: ‘People are dying every day’: the perilous job of sanitation workers
“Sanitation workers — people whose job brings them into direct contact with human waste — are risking their lives through accident and disease because of poor workplace protection, a report has warned…” (Gulland, 11/14).

U.N. News: Revealed: danger and squalor for cleaners who remove human waste by hand
“…Highlighting the dangers for the millions of people who clean toilets, sewers, and septic tanks, ahead of World Toilet Day next Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) insisted that while the workforce performs an essential public service, their own health is compromised and they are often shunned…” (11/13).

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More News In Global Health

The BMJ: Polio outbreak: officials deny reports of cover-up in Pakistan (Yusufzai, 11/13).

DW: German minister hails Bangladesh over birth control (Islam, 11/13).

Devex: African scientists weigh in on the biggest obstacles to malaria control (Adepoju, 11/14).

Devex: Q&A: How to overhaul community health for improved global outcomes (11/14).

The Guardian: Majority of anti-vaxx ads on Facebook are funded by just two organizations (Glenza, 11/14).

New Humanitarian: Breaking the chains — Sierra Leone’s uphill struggle to reform mental health (Werner, 11/13).

NPR: A New Solution For Snakebites (Aronczyk, 11/14).

Outbreak News Today: Dengue in the Americas 2019 sees the highest cases recorded (11/12).

Reuters: China says plague outbreak risk minimal after two new cases in Beijing (Stanway, 11/13).

Science: New polymer-coated vitamins and minerals could fight malnutrition in low-income countries (Service, 11/13).

Xinhua: Dengue fever cases rise, claiming 74 lives in Laos (11/14).

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Editorials and Opinions

Collaborative Effort, Holistic Approach Can Help Agricultural Sector Confront Water Scarcity Issues, FAO Experts Write

Thomson Reuters Foundation: OPINION: Coping with water scarcity requires holistic approaches
Eduardo Mansur, director of the U.N. FAO’s Land and Water Division, and Olcay Unver, senior water adviser at the FAO

“…In past times, when natural resources, like water, land, and soils were more plentiful and demands were fewer, a commodity focus made sense and fragmentation did not create too many problems. It offered a somehow sensible way of managing specialized support and marketing services to farmers, growing more food, reducing hunger, and driving economic growth. … The nexus approach, and particularly the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus, offer good options for optimizing sustainable resource use and management. Successful examples of holistic approaches can encourage others [to] overcome silos. … Such broad collaborative efforts provide opportunities to bring Sustainable Development Goals and climate change objectives together to maximize overall benefits and resource efficiencies and tap into broader funding opportunities. Collaboration, not fragmentation must be the way forward” (11/14).

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Mexico's President Must Review Funding Cuts To Maintain Country's Leading Example Of HIV Treatment, Opinion Piece Says

Foreign Policy: Mexico Is Setting a Global Example on HIV Treatment
Ann Deslandes, freelance writer and researcher

“…’HIV in Mexico is once again a time bomb that will explode.’ That’s how Aram Barra described the current trajectory of the immunodeficiency virus in the country at the International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science in Mexico City in July. The public health activist and program officer at Open Society Foundations was specifically referring to February’s deep funding cuts to civil society organizations. … In February, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that government funding for social programs would cease. … López Obrador’s commitment to pulling certain financial levers to stamp out corruption is laudable and needed for Mexico, as is the prospect of fine-tuning social policy to ensure greater benefit flows to those who need it. But the consistent provision of important health and social services for the Mexican people, along with the many migrants who continue to pass through Mexico on their way to the United States, could be the cost. … If the president does not want a ticking ‘time bomb’ to explode under his administration, he must make sure that these community organizations are not disadvantaged by the recent changes in policy and find a way to return the government resources these groups had been relying on. Other parts of Mexico’s HIV response … are still leading the world — it is not too late to reverse course to keep key populations supported and keep the rate of HIV infections down” (11/13).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Study Estimates $264B Needed To Achieve Key Women's Health Goals By 2030

UNFPA: This is how much it will cost to realize the world we want
This article from UNFPA outlines the findings from a study presented on November 12 at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 assessing the costs of achieving key women’s health goals. According to the article, “It is possible to end preventable maternal deaths, cover all unmet needs for family planning, and put a stop to gender-based violence, all within a decade. But it will cost the world a total of $264 billion, according to a joint study by UNFPA and Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with Victoria University, the University of Washington and Avenir Health. … The price tag represents the amount required to achieve these ambitious goals by 2030, the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals. … The $264 billion price tag is less than the amount of money charged in misconduct fines to the world’s top 20 banks. Out of this total, the current resource gap — meaning investments needed, whether in the form of foreign investment, domestic spending or private spending — is $222 billion over the coming 10 years” (11/13).

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Results for Development Report Examines Efforts In Tanzania To Address Childhood Pneumonia

Results for Development: Ensuring children have the treatment they need to fight pneumonia
This report from Results for Development examines childhood pneumonia and efforts by the government of Tanzania to address the disease in the country (November 2019).

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PAHO Reports Dengue Cases In Americas Reach New High, Recommends Strengthened Surveillance, Mosquito Control Efforts

Pan American Health Organization: Dengue in the Americas reaches highest number of cases recorded
“Dengue in the Americas has reached the highest number of cases recorded so far, with more than 2.7 million cases, including 22,127 severe cases and 1,206 deaths reported at the end of October 2019, according to a new epidemiological update from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). … Given the increase in cases of dengue and severe dengue in several countries in the Americas, PAHO is recommending that countries strengthen their disease surveillance as well as their surveillance and control of mosquito vectors of dengue, involving communities in prevention and control activities” (11/13).

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