KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Federal Funding For Some U.S. Humanitarian, Aid Organizations Uncertain Under Trump Administration, IRIN Reports

IRIN: Who’s afraid of Mr. Trump?
“Will billions of dollars in U.S. aid be slashed or redirected under President Trump? For aid agency planners, only one thing about the Trump presidency is certain right now: uncertainty. New financial figures obtained and analyzed by IRIN show that a number of key U.S. NGOs depend on Uncle Sam for more than half their budgets. Several aid officials confirmed that those that rely heavily on U.S. government funding are feeling particularly vulnerable right now…” (Parker/Siegfried, 11/14).

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Economist Jeffrey Sachs Speaks With Devex Regarding Development, Climate Actions Under Trump Presidency

Devex: Jeff Sachs on global development after Trump
“Economist Jeffrey Sachs is well known for his optimistic take on the possibilities of development progress. … But with development professionals uncertain about what a coming Donald Trump presidency will mean for their organizations and the goals they pursue — such as taking action on climate change — optimism has seemed in short supply. Devex spoke to Sachs on the sidelines of the Marrakech climate conference, to hear what he thinks the future holds for climate action, development progress, and U.S. cooperation in the fight against global warming…” (Igoe/Espinosa, 11/15).

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Quartz Examines Possible Consequences Of Restricting Access To Legal Abortion In U.S.

Quartz: Two case studies show what could happen in the U.S. if abortion were outlawed
“…U.S. President-elect Donald Trump indicated this week that he plans to roll back abortion rights. He chose the vehement anti-abortionist Mike Pence as his vice president, and the Republican party that nominated him has a long history of trying to restrict such rights. But a look at countries and states where abortion rights are heavily restricted shows that reducing access to legal abortions doesn’t stop women from having them. The Guttmacher Institute, a non-governmental organization that tracks global maternal health, reports that in places where abortion is restricted, roughly as many women have the procedure as in places where it’s legal — but abortions are likely to be more expensive and more dangerous…” (Werber, 11/15).

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Brazilian Scientists, Parents Of Children With Zika-Related Disabilities Go Without Federal Financial Support

NPR: 1 Year Later: Brazil’s Focus On Zika Wanes; Financial Promises Languish
“After a flurry of news and promises last year regarding the Zika virus in Brazil, both mothers of brain-damaged babies and researchers say money has dried up leaving scientists and parents struggling…” (Garcia-Navarro, 11/16).

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75K Children In Nigeria At Risk Of Death In 'A Few Months' As Food Security Situation Worsens, U.N. Official Says

Agence France-Presse: U.N. says 75,000 children in Nigeria risk dying in ‘months’
“The United Nations warned Tuesday that 75,000 Nigerian children risk dying in ‘a few months’ as hunger grips the country’s ravaged northeast in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency. … U.N. humanitarian coordinator Peter Lundberg said the crisis was unfolding at ‘high speed.’ ‘Currently our assessment is that 14 million people are identified as in need of humanitarian assistance’ by 2017, Lundberg told reporters in the Nigerian capital Abuja…” (Awoniyi, 11/15).

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Syria's Food Production At Record Low, Raising Concerns About Additional Migration, U.N. Food Agency Says

Agence France-Presse: Hunger risks sparking fresh exodus from Syria: U.N.
“A farming crisis in war-torn Syria has reduced food production to a record low and raised fears people in the conflict-hit country will be forced to flee famine, the U.N.’s food agency said on Tuesday…” (Ide, 11/15).

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About 600K People Face Food Shortages In Burundi; Number Expected To Rise, WFP Says

Reuters: Up to 600,000 people are short of food in Burundi: WFP
“Some 600,000 people are short of food in Burundi due to drought and flooding in the past year and the number could rise to 700,000 by next year, a World Food Programme official said…” (11/15).

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Number Of People Living With High Blood Pressure Worldwide Nearly Doubled Since 1975 To 1.13B, Large Study Shows

CNN: More than 1 billion people globally are living with high blood pressure
“In 2015, there were 1.13 billion people living with high blood pressure worldwide, with the majority of them in low- and middle-income countries. The findings come from a new study published Tuesday in The Lancet, which found that the number of people affected by high blood pressure has almost doubled over the past 40 years…” (11/15).

Reuters: Huge study finds a billion people suffer from high blood pressure
“…In the largest study of its kind analyzing blood pressure in every nation between 1975 and 2015, the scientists said that it has dropped sharply in wealthy countries — possibly due to healthier diets and lifestyles — but risen in poorer ones. The increases are especially significant in Africa and South Asia, the researchers said, and could be partly due to poor nutrition in childhood…” (Kelland, 11/15).

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Editorials and Opinions

Scientific, Journalistic Communities Must Partner To Promote Science's 'Self-Evident Truths' Under Trump Administration

Scientific American: Dan Rather: Now, More Than Ever, We Must Stand Up for Science
Dan Rather, journalist, former CBS News anchor and managing editor and correspondent for 60 Minutes

“…Make no mistake; science was on the ballot this fall. And almost nobody took notice. But they should now because the Trump administration is outlining an aggressive policy portfolio that not only puts our global response to climate change in deep jeopardy but that also threatens to radically change the fundamental direction of science in the United States. … The top priority must be for scientists to try to engage the incoming administration. While the early indications of how a President Trump may approach issues of science are concerning, we cannot afford not to try. … What we need is sustained and improved partnerships between the press and the scientific community. We need more cross-pollination and engagement. … An enterprise this core to our national future must enlist all who can help from the world of journalism and science. The public and the policymakers need to hear this message. Science creates self-evident truths that everyone can own. I believe the world is ready to listen if we can only find a better way to speak” (11/14).

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Health Systems Research, Political Will Necessary To Implement Innovations To Prevent, Treat NCDs In LMICs

Devex: Opinion: Health systems research is critical to tackle the global burden of disease
Adnan Hyder, director of the health systems program and associate chair of the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and board member of Health Systems Global

“…Strategic health systems research can help us anticipate and respond to the burden of all [non-communicable diseases (NCDs)] in [low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)], with interventions designed and delivered for maximum benefit in these settings. … Health systems can use innovative health technology to gather data in order to tackle NCDs, especially since early deaths from diabetes and other chronic conditions are preventable. Mobile health technology leverages digital health technology to target risk behaviors. … The daunting burden of NCDs and other global health challenges cannot be lightened by innovative technology. We need political will and commitment to implement and ensure equitable access to these innovations. There needs to be a deep understanding of the social factors that shape personal and public health to create sustainable, resilient, and community-oriented solutions. In essence, we need health systems research to do this” (11/15).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Post Discusses Conditional Cash Transfers' Impacts On Health-Seeking Behaviors, Health Outcomes

World Bank’s “Development Impact”: Cash transfers and health: It matters when you measure, and it matters how many health care workers are around to provide services
David Evans, senior economist in the Chief Economist’s Office for the Africa Region of the World Bank, and Katrina Kosec, senior research fellow in the Development Strategy and Governance Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), discuss conditional and unconditional cash transfers and their effects on health indicators across various populations. Evans and Kosec describe the results and lessons learned from a study “evaluat[ing] the impact of conditional cash transfers on health-seeking behaviors and health outcomes in Tanzania” (11/9).

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Internet Data Can Provide Information To Assist Disease Outbreak Preparedness, Response, Study Shows

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Can big data fill gaps in epidemic awareness, responses? Researchers say yes, with caveats
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses an article published this week in a Journal of Infectious Diseases supplement examining the use of “big data” in infectious disease surveillance. The article explores the potential of Internet reports to improve disease outbreak preparedness and response using the West African Ebola epidemic and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreak in South Korea as case studies (11/15).

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Morocco Eliminates Trachoma As Public Health Problem, WHO Announces

World Health Organization: Morocco eliminates trachoma — the leading infectious cause of blindness
On Tuesday, “the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in Morocco. … To date, eight countries have reported achieving elimination targets and most countries endemic for trachoma are now accelerating the implementation of the SAFE strategy to achieve their elimination targets supported by the WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 (GET2020). … It is estimated that funding of up to US$ 1 billion is required globally to expand and sustain activities to 2020 in order to eliminate the disease as a public health problem…” (11/15).

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Gates Foundation Announces Grand Challenges Explorations Awardees, Focused On Family Planning, Child Health

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: From Assessing Family Planning Needs to Accelerating Drug Development for Childhood Diarrhea — Big Ideas from Grand Challenges Explorations Latest Awardees
Steven Buchsbaum, deputy director, and Rebekah Neal, program officer, both with discovery and translational sciences in the Global Health Program of the Gates Foundation, “announce the new cohort of 56 Grand Challenges Explorations Phase I winners,” whose projects focus on family planning and child health (11/15).

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