KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S., Other Nations Release Joint Statement On ICPD25, Address Use Of SRHR Term, Abortion, Sex Education

The Guardian: Family planning schemes must offer options other than abortion, says U.S.
“The U.S. will only support family planning programs that offer alternatives to abortions, a senior policy adviser has told a conference in Nairobi. … Valerie Huber, the U.S. special representative for global women’s health, also told a summit on population and development that her country sought to combat gender-based violence by investing in programs that respected the rights of women and girls, but didn’t compromise ‘the inherent value of every human life — born and unborn’…” (Okiror/Ford, 11/14).

Quartz: The American anti-abortion movement is reverberating abroad
“…A quarter of a century later, many of the actors that met in Cairo are reconvening this week in Nairobi for ICPD25, but under very different circumstances. While they will be enthusiastically renewing the original commitments, they are also essentially acknowledging that those original goals were never met. The current U.S. president, Donald Trump, is not in attendance and, in fact, refuses to even fund the U.N. agency organizing it all. The big issue impeding progress? Abortion…” (Merelli, 11/14).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.S. raps global health summit over abortion, sex education
“Ten countries — including the United States, Brazil, and Egypt — criticized a global conference on sexual and reproductive health on Thursday, saying it promoted abortion and sex education. … [The] states said they did not support the International Conference on Population and Development’s (ICPD) use of the term ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights’ as it could be used to promote abortion. Valerie Huber, senior policy adviser with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said not all countries had been fully consulted ahead of the event, organized by the United Nations, Denmark, and Kenya. ‘There is no international right to abortion…’ said Huber. ‘We cannot support sex education that fails to adequately engage parents and which promotes abortion as a method of family planning,’ she said in a joint statement on behalf of the group…” (Bhalla, 11/14).

Xinhua: Global population summit endorses new roadmap for maternal health
“The Nairobi Summit of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) wrapped up in Nairobi on Thursday with more than 9,500 delegates from 170 countries, adopting 12 resolutions to promote reproductive health for women and girls. … [Natalia Kanem, executive director of UNFPA,] revealed that UNFPA will set up a high level commission to monitor and report on progress made in the implementation of commitments agreed at the Nairobi population summit” (11/14).

Additional coverage of issues addressed at the summit is available from Devex, The Telegraph, and Thomson Reuters Foundation (2). The U.S. Commitment Statement to the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 is available here.

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New Reports Warn Of Growing Threat Of Drug Resistance In Canada, U.S., Worldwide

BBC: Drug resistance a rising threat in Canada — report
“Drug resistance is an ‘existential threat’ that could have a wide-ranging impact on Canadian health, economy, and society, a new report says. The report, When Antibiotics Fail, says that in 2018, 26% of infections in Canada were resistant to drugs generally used to treat them. That could rise to 40% by 2050 and lead to over 13,000 deaths annually. Report chairman Brett Finlay compared drug resistance to global warming as a ‘threat to humanity’…” (11/12).

Vox: The post-antibiotic era is here
“Every 15 minutes, one person in the U.S. dies because of an infection that antibiotics can no longer treat effectively. That’s 35,000 deaths a year. This striking estimate comes from a major new report, released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on the urgent problem of antibiotic resistance. Although the report focuses on the U.S., this is a global crisis: 700,000 people around the world die of drug-resistant diseases each year. And if we don’t make a radical change now, that could rise to 10 million by 2050…” (Samuel, 11/14).

Additional coverage of the reports is available from CNN, CP/CBC, Reuters, STAT, Toronto Star, USA TODAY, and Washington Post.

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USAID Working With Partners In Sahel To Deliver Humanitarian Aid Amid Growing Instability, Officials Testify In Congressional Hearing

Devex: USAID expands presence in Sahel as instability grows
“Humanitarian and development assistance is more critical than ever in an unstable Sahel, but the deteriorating security situation is making access more challenging, according to U.S. government officials who testified at a congressional hearing on Thursday…” (Saldinger, 11/15).

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Germany Passes Law Mandating Measles Vaccine For All Children Attending School, Daycare

Associated Press: German lawmakers approve compulsory measles vaccine plan
“Germany’s parliament has passed a law requiring that children who attend school or daycare must be vaccinated for measles. Lawmakers approved the government’s bill Thursday with a majority of 459 in favor, 89 against, and 105 abstentions…” (11/14).

New York Times: Germany Mandates Measles Vaccine
“…The law, which is to take effect from March next year, will require all children seeking to attend preschool to prove that they have been immunized or risk losing their placement. Children aged 6 and older, who are required by law to attend school, must also show proof of having received a vaccine…” (Eddy, 11/14).

Additional coverage of Germany’s new law is available from CNN, DW, The Guardian, and POLITICO.

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Media Outlets Discuss Newly Approved Ebola Vaccine From Merck, Trial In DRC Outbreak Of Experimental Vaccine From J&J

DW: New Ebola vaccine enters real-world DRC test phase
“Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo started using a new vaccine to control the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, global health NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said on Thursday…” (11/14).

The Hill: Ebola vaccine approved
“…By prequalifying the [newly approved Merck Ebola] vaccine, the WHO hopes to accelerate its dissemination, allowing United Nations agencies and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to obtain and distribute the vaccine. Merck says that it will work with the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. as well as agencies across Africa to secure broader approval…” (Fox, 11/14).

Additional coverage is available from Al Jazeera.

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News Outlets Examine Efforts To Document, Investigate Attacks On Medical, Humanitarian Facilities In Yemen, Syria As War Crimes

Associated Press: Report: Over 130 attacks on medical facilities in Yemen war
“Over 130 attacks on medical facilities in Yemen’s civil war could constitute war crimes by all parties to the conflict, a database project said on Thursday. The Yemen Archive said that the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-aligned rebels was allegedly responsible for 72 attacks, while the rebels, known as Houthis, were blamed for at least 52 attacks…” (Magdy, 11/14).

New York Times: U.N. Query on Syria Hospital Bombings May Be Undermined by Russia Pressure, Limited Scope
“The aerial bombings of hospitals in rebel areas of Syria have long stood out as possible war crimes, so brazen that the leader of the United Nations ordered a special inquiry three months ago, raising hope of some accountability. But with evidence accumulating that the Syrian government’s Russian allies are responsible for some of those bombings, the opposite appears to be happening. The scope of the inquiry has so far been limited to just seven sites among the many targeted, according to an internal United Nations document seen by The New York Times. At the same time, diplomats say Russia has been pressing the global organization’s leader, Secretary-General António Guterres, not to release the conclusions of even this narrow inquiry…” (Hurst et al., 11/14).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: U.N. aid chief: Over 11 million Syrians need humanitarian aid (Lederer, 11/14).

Borgen Magazine: 6 Neglected Tropical Diseases the WHO has Under Control (Rasmussen, 11/14).

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

The Guardian: Rabies breakthrough offers fresh hope in battle against deadly virus (Ratcliffe, 11/15).

The Guardian: Indonesia’s food chain turns toxic as plastic waste exports flood in (Beaumont, 11/15).
New York Times: To Make This Tofu, Start by Burning Toxic Plastic (Paddock/Sijabat, 11/14).

The Guardian: Combating Ebola, Lassa fever outbreaks in Africa (Onyenucheya, 11/14).

IPS: Will Artificial Intelligence Help Resolve the Food Crisis? (Deen, 11/14).

Reuters: Pakistan deploys new vaccine against ‘superbug’ typhoid outbreak (Kelland, 11/15).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: High-tech mapping, apps fight deadly dengue outbreak in Honduras — medical charity (Moloney, 11/14).

U.N. News: U.N. mosquito sterilization technology set for global testing, in battle against malaria, dengue (11/14).
VOA: Sterilizing Mosquitos Could Save Thousands of Lives (Schlein, 11/14).

Xinhua: U.N. chief vows to fight for needs, well-being of diabetes patients (11/15).

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Editorials and Opinions

Africa's Economic Growth Depends Upon Healthy Women, Children, Opinion Piece Says

Devex: Opinion: A high birthrate alone will not lead to higher economic growth in Africa
Abisola Tolu-Odutola, founder and CEO of Mumspring

“…A high birthrate alone will not lead to higher economic growth on the continent. Rather, to transform their economies, African countries will need healthy children who can later turn into productive members of society. Ensuring this outcome starts at birth. … The World Health Organization suggests that adopting low-cost interventions such as providing sterilized birth kits and increasing access to trained birth attendants can significantly improve the survival and health of both mother and child. Healthier mothers and babies are the cornerstones of a more productive population. … The future of African countries is and will remain defined by its children. While birthrates in 91 out of 195 countries and territories are below replacement levels, population growth will likely continue to outstrip economic prospects. To ensure that children grow into productive adults, investments in health and early childhood education must be an urgent priority for African societies. Redirecting our attention to these efforts will put Africa on a path toward prosperity” (11/15).

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Global Community Must Step Up Efforts To Diagnose, Treat, Prevent TB, WHO DG Tedros Writes In Opinion Piece

The Guardian: Why is the world losing the fight against history’s most lethal disease?
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO

“…Why, despite all the progress in medicine and public health over the past 150 years, is TB still the most common and lethal of all infectious diseases? … We need much better detection. And better methods for diagnosing younger children who may have to suffer their stomach contents being collected to mine swallowed sputum. … Drug-resistant tuberculosis is one of our most urgent and difficult challenges. … We urgently need to develop new, better, and cheaper drugs. More than 20 are currently in clinical trials. … TB is a disease of the vulnerable, which may be why so little has been done to modernize the fight against it. It spreads most easily in conditions of poverty, with people crowded together in poorly ventilated places. It is symptomatic of a failure to ensure everyone has access to healthcare and is free from poverty and poor hygiene. … It is time to step up the effort. That requires better-targeted investment and greater attention to the conditions that breed TB. We need treatment strategies that support and empower patients to manage their own disease. … We need a holistic approach to address the social, physical, and clinical drivers. Strong healthcare is particularly important, as is protecting people from catastrophic health costs that destroy livelihoods, force patients off treatment, and accelerate drug resistance…” (11/14).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CSIS Releases November 2019 Issue Of Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Global Health Policy Center Monthly Update
In the November 2019 CSIS Global Health Policy Center Newsletter, J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president of CSIS and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center (GHPC), highlights recent publications, events, and podcasts from CSIS, as well as upcoming events. Topics addressed include epidemic preparedness and global health security, the U.S. role in reaching women and girls during humanitarian emergencies, global nutrition, malaria eradication, HIV prevention technology, and HIV/AIDS activism (11/14).

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New Report Shows Decline In New HIV Infections Across 28 Countries But Progress Needs To Accelerate To Meet Targets

UNAIDS: Pace of decline in new adult HIV infections remains short of ambition
“The co-conveners of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition, UNAIDS, and the United Nations Population Fund, have launched a new report on progress made in reducing new HIV infections across 28 countries that have been particularly affected by HIV. … The report, Implementation of the HIV prevention 2020 road map, shows that among the coalition countries new HIV infections among adults declined on average by 17% since 2010, slightly higher than the global decline of 13%, but far short of the 60% decline needed in 2018 to meet global HIV prevention targets. … To accelerate progress in stopping new HIV infections, momentum urgently needs to be stepped up by increasing investment, addressing HIV-related stigma and discrimination, addressing the legal, policy and structural barriers to HIV prevention, especially for adolescent girls and young women, key populations and their sexual partners, and taking measures to expand community-based responses…” (11/14).

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WHO Press Releases Detail Agency's Global Efforts To Combat Dengue, Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases

WHO: WHO scales up response to worldwide surge in dengue
“…Numerous other countries in Asia, the Americas and Africa are reporting a higher incidence of dengue than previous years. WHO is working with local health officials to strengthen dengue outbreak alert systems and improve vector control strategies to halt the spread of the virus…” (11/14).

WHO: Mosquito sterilization offers new opportunity to control chikungunya, dengue, and Zika
“A technique that sterilizes male mosquitoes using radiation will soon be tested as part of global health efforts to control diseases such as chikungunya, dengue, and Zika. The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is a form of insect birth control…” (11/14).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID, State Department Mark 3rd Anniversary Of Foreign Aid Transparency And Accountability Act

USAID: Third Anniversary of the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act
“In the three years since Congress passed the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016 (FATAA), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has made great strides in implementing the law’s provisions. The Act created guidelines related to monitoring and evaluation for U.S. Departments and Agencies that invest foreign-assistance resources, and required them to publish quarterly financial and descriptive data on their programs, to create transparency on where they are directing funds and if programs are meeting their goals…” (11/14).

U.S. Department of State: Three-Year Anniversary of the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act
“…The law requires U.S. agencies programming foreign assistance to closely monitor and evaluate the extent to which their projects are achieving U.S. policy objectives. Importantly, the law requires these agencies to publish their transactions on ForeignAssistance.gov, giving U.S. decision-makers the foreign assistance data they need to match resources to strategy. Before FATAA, 10 agencies were reporting roughly $115 billion in transactions across available years. Today, there are 21 agencies reporting four times that amount. That difference is important to the Department of State’s vision for U.S. diplomacy. In advancing aid transparency, ForeignAssistance.gov is helping build a data ecosystem to improve Department decision-making…” (11/14).

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CDC's MMWR Provides Updates On Vaccine-Derived Polio Outbreaks Worldwide, Polio Eradication Efforts In Pakistan

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Update on Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus Outbreaks — Worldwide, January 2018-June 2019 (11/15).

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication — Pakistan, January 2018-September 2019 (11/15).

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