KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO's World Antibiotic Awareness Week Aims To Increase Best Practices Among Public, Health Workers, Policymakers

U.N. News Centre: Without urgent action, world heading towards ‘post-antibiotic era’ — U.N. health agency
“…[T]he United Nations health agency has kicked off a week-long campaign to make antibiotic resistance a globally recognized health issue and to raise awareness of the need to protect antibiotics through appropriate use. Launched by the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO), World Antibiotic Awareness Week (14-20 November) aims to increase awareness on global antibiotic resistance as well as to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers, and policymakers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance…” (11/14).

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The Lancet Infectious Diseases Examines Challenges To Treating, Preventing MDR-TB

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis: a continuing crisis
“The multidrug-resistant tuberculosis epidemic is a crisis. Despite promising new treatments, gaps in funding and political attention are hampering efforts to stem the disease…” (Burki, December 2016).

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Rwanda Seeks Ways To Compensate For Reductions In Foreign Health Aid

Nature: Rwanda feels the pinch as donors slash health aid
“Rwanda has made major public health strides since the country’s genocide against the Tutsi people ended in June 1994, but declines in foreign aid now threaten that progress. Donors such as the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have reduced assistance to Rwanda by 40 percent over the past three years, jeopardizing advances in a country seen as a development success story. The situation will be hotly discussed at the annual meeting of the World Academy of Sciences in Kigali on 14-17 November…” (Hayden, 11/14).

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Women In Zika-Affected Areas Need Access To Contraceptive Options, Experts Say

The Guardian: Global health leaders failing women in Zika-hit areas, experts warn
“Public health experts are warning that the failure of global health agencies to challenge political and religious resistance to contraception in Zika-affected countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is leading to a humanitarian crisis for women. … [F]amily planning experts say that women are merely being told to avoid pregnancy without being given the means to do so and that such advice is insufficient in the face of a global epidemic…” (Hodal, 11/14).

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Multiple Mosquito-Borne Diseases Can Be Simultaneously Transmitted To Humans, Studies Show

HealthDay News: Mosquitoes Can Deliver Zika/Chikungunya Double Whammy
“Mosquitoes can infect people with Zika and chikungunya viruses at the same time, new research suggests. And another study found that in addition to Zika virus, two other mosquito-borne viruses — chikungunya and dengue — can also cause severe neurological problems. … The studies were to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Atlanta…” (Preidt, 11/14).

Wall Street Journal: Zika Virus Mosquito Possibly Spreads Dengue in Same Bite
“…The findings add to evidence that people may commonly be infected simultaneously with more than one mosquito-borne virus. A study last year by other researchers found that the mosquitoes can transmit chikungunya and dengue at the same time. Another recent study in Nicaragua found that about one in five patients who tested positive for dengue, chikungunya, or Zika actually had two or three of the viruses…” (McKay, 11/14).

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Some People Infected With Ebola In West African Outbreak Showed No Symptoms, Research Shows

Wall Street Journal: Study Suggests Ebola Outbreak Was More Widespread
“More than two years after the explosive Ebola epidemic in West Africa, researchers have identified a number of people who were infected with the deadly virus but didn’t report being sick, suggesting the outbreak may have been more widespread than currently believed…” (McKay, 11/14).

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Number Of Suspected Cholera Cases Doubles To More Than 4K In November, WHO Says

Reuters: Yemen’s suspected cholera cases double to 4,000-plus: WHO
“Yemen is at risk of a significant cholera outbreak with the number of suspected cases doubling within 12 days to over 4,000, the World Health Organization said. The outbreak in a country ravaged by a 20-month war that has killed thousands was declared by Yemen’s Health Ministry on Oct. 6. By Nov. 1 there were 2,070 suspected cases, rising to 4,119 by Sunday…” (Miles, 11/14).

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Global Health NOW Series Highlights Efforts To Prevent Paralytic Disease Konzo

Global Health NOW: Konzo: Don’t Look Away
“…Science journalist Amy Maxmen’s konzo series in Global Health NOW makes two very clear points: konzo is a horror for the poorest of the poor; and action must be taken now…” (Simpson, 11/13).

Global Health NOW: Julie Cliff on Konzo, the Orphan Disease
“…In a Q&A with GHN’s Dayna Kerecman Myers, [physician Julie Cliff] explains her work to help identify konzo as the source of the mysterious paralysis cases she saw in Mozambique beginning in the early 1980s, how she watched as konzo affected communities through times of war and drought — and how the answers to curbing konzo, inextricably intertwined with fighting poverty, remain frustratingly elusive…” (Myers, 11/13).

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Editorials and Opinions

International Community Must Plan For Long-Term Global Health Security Issues

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Infectious disease emergencies: taking the long-term view
Editorial Board

“…Understandably, the attention of the public, politicians, and the media is dominated by the newest and scariest outbreak. But focusing on the disease du jour has its drawbacks. There is a danger of exaggerating risks, monopolizing resources, and attending to short-term goals while neglecting long-term aims. … We do not know what the next outbreak will be, but we know there will be one, and we must plan accordingly. … Supporting international development, continuing aid to low-income countries, avoiding complacency as epidemics subside, and sticking by previous commitments are all parts of the solution to limiting regular infectious epidemics. Attending to emergencies without addressing long-term health issues and global health security as a whole is short-sighted, and alone will never succeed in protecting us from devastating new infections” (December 2016).

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President-Elect Trump Can Take Steps To Make Progress In Cancer Moonshot, Other Health Initiatives

The Hill: How Trump can aim the ‘Cancer Moonshot’ toward the stars
Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen, and Eric T. Rosenthal, independent journalist, and both co-chairs of cancer forums for the Concordia Summit

“…[President-elect Donald Trump] should review carefully — and critically — … the future of President Obama’s ‘Cancer Moonshot’ initiative, which launched with highly political overtones at January’s State of the Union address and has been fraught with partisan overtones ever since … So, Mr. President-elect, here are a few of our suggestions regarding Moonshot: Weigh the value of important public health initiatives, which are not just limited to cancer. Take seriously the permanent appointment of a director of the National Cancer Institute who can help lead the nation’s cancer research program. Determine objectively, realistically, and meaningfully what can be done in the best interests of our country’s and the world’s health. Select the most qualified individuals regardless of their party affiliation or friends and allies, encourage collaborations, and hold everyone involved accountable … Show all those who have backed Moonshot … that your interests in health transcends those of politics. And, please, please, appeal to the good sense and responsible stewardship of members from both sides of the aisle in both houses of Congress to do the right thing, acting in the best interests of cancer care in this country and around the world” (11/14).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Petition Urges BRICS Health Ministers To Triple TB R&D Spending

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Petition asks BRICS to triple TB R&D funding
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses a petition asking the health ministers of BRICS nations to triple their funding for tuberculosis prevention and treatment research and development, work with other ministries to ensure these efforts are fully funded, and provide information on annual TB spending (11/14).

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Report Discusses Importance Of Inclusive Data Collection On Frontline Health Workers

Frontline Health Workers Coalition: Inclusive data collection on CHWs, all health workers required to meet new global compacts, new analysis finds
Vince Blaser and Michelle Korte of the Frontline Health Workers Coalition secretariat and IntraHealth International discuss efforts “to address the gaps in the global health workforce that prevent universal access to essential health services and stymie inclusive economic growth” and announce “a new policy analysis, Prioritizing Community Health Worker Data for Informed Decision-Making, aimed at highlighting [the] acute need for data on health workers on the frontlines of care.” They note the “report is a direct follow up to our September 2014 report A Commitment to Community Health Workers: Improving Data for Decision-Making” (11/14).

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Leaders Must Invest More In Health Workforce Training To Address NCDs, Report Says

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: To Tackle Noncommunicable Diseases, We Must Invest in Frontline Health Workers
The IntraHealth International editorial team discusses The Case for Frontline Health Workers in Addressing Noncommunicable Diseases Globally, a new policy report by IntraHealth International, in partnership with the Medtronic Foundation. The report “advocates for leaders to invest in health workforce strategies that enable countries to make the most of their frontline health workers, including giving health workers the tools and resources they need to reduce the burden of [non-communicable diseases (NCDs)]” (11/14).

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Open Society Foundations Explainer Examines Impact Of Drug Control Policies On Access To Medicines

Open Society Foundations: The Link Between Drug Policy and Access to Medicines
In this explainer, Open Society Foundations describes the effects of drug control policies on access to essential medicines worldwide. The backgrounder also discusses how drug control policies impact access to mental health treatments and pain relievers, research into new medicines, and other issues (November 2016).

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