KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO Calls On Nations To Protect Health Of Current, Future Generations In Paris Climate Conference Negotiations

News outlets report on a WHO statement calling on nations to “protect the health of current and future generations” at the upcoming U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP-21) in Paris.

Agence France-Presse: Don’t forget public health at Paris Climate talks: WHO
“…The World Health Organization estimates that climate change is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths globally per year through various factors including shifts in disease patterns and deteriorating air quality…” (11/17).

CIDRAP News: WHO says health impacts of climate change overlooked
“In a statement, the WHO said now is the time for health voices to speak up, and it issued the first 12 country climate-change-and-health profiles to assist policymakers in considering the effects on health, such as increased transmission of malaria and cholera from flooding…” (Schnirring, 11/17).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. calls on countries to protect health from impacts of climate change
“…In 2012, the agency estimated seven million people died from air pollution-related diseases, making it the world’s largest single environmental health risk. It is predicted that climate change will cause an additional 25,000 deaths per year from malaria, diarrhea, heat stress, and under-nutrition between 2030 and 2050. Children, women, and the poor in lower income countries will reportedly be the most vulnerable and most affected, widening health gaps…” (11/17).

VOA News: WHO: Climate Treaty Must Include Health Protection
“…WHO’s public health and environment director, Maria Neira, says it is wrong to think of the climate change treaty as only about the environment or sustainable development. ‘Of course, it is about that, but it is very much as well about health. For us, the treaty that will be signed in Paris is a public health treaty and, if it is a good one, it will probably be the most important public health treaty of this century,’ said Neira…” (Schlein, 11/17).

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World Must Invest More Than $1.4T Annually Into Low-, Lower Middle-Income Nations To Meet SDGs, Report Shows

The Guardian: $1.4tn a year needed to reach global goals for world’s poorest
“…To meet [the Sustainable Development Goals], more than $1.4tn must be poured into low- and lower middle-income countries. Investment will be required in health, education, agriculture and food security, social protection systems, energy, infrastructure, and ecosystem management, according to a report by the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)…” (Anderson, 11/18).

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World Risk Report 2015 Author Discusses Links Between Food Insecurity, Natural Disasters In DW Interview

Deutsche Welle: U.N. details ‘downward spiral’ of hunger and natural disasters
“Food insecurity and vulnerability to natural disasters are becoming increasingly linked, according to the U.N.’s latest World Risk Report. DW talks to one of the authors, Matthias Garschagen, about who is most at risk…” (Rasper, 11/17).

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Global Spending On Medicines Predicted To Reach $1.4T In 2020, Report Shows

Reuters: Global drug spending to hit $1.4 trillion in 2020: IMS
“Global spending on medicines will reach $1.4 trillion in 2020, driven by increased health care access in emerging markets and high-priced new drugs for cancer and other diseases, according to a forecast by IMS Health released on Wednesday. That is up from about $1.07 trillion this year, representing a compound annual growth rate of four to seven percent over the next five years, the ‘Global Medicines Use in 2020’ report compiled by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found…” (Berkrot, 11/18).

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Meningitis Vaccine Project Partnership Acts As 'Virtual Pharmaceutical Company,' IRIN Reports

IRIN: Africa’s meningitis A vaccine: how partnership replaced ‘Big Pharma’
“…[I]n response to the appeal from African governments, the WHO and PATH set up the Meningitis Vaccine Project with the objective of getting a vaccine approved and into production. With $70 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to oil the wheels, they began by approaching the big pharmaceutical companies. … They describe what they did as setting up a kind of virtual pharmaceutical company…” (Blunt, 11/17).

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Latin American, Caribbean Nations Pledge To Work Together To Pass Food Security Laws

Inter Press Service: Latin America to Push for Food Security Laws as a Bloc
“Lawmakers in the Parliamentary Front Against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean decided at a regional meeting to work as a bloc for the passage of laws on food security — an area in which countries in the region have show uneven progress…” (Salazar/Castro, 11/17).

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Pakistani Health Officials Use Cellphone Tracking, Other Tactics To Make Progress In Polio Vaccination Campaigns

Washington Post: By tracing cellphones, Pakistan makes inroads in war against polio
“In a surprising turnaround, Pakistan appears to be finally getting a handle on its polio epidemic, thanks to unorthodox tactics such as tracking residents’ cellphones. … The controversial strategy was combined with outreach to religious leaders, the creation of community health centers, and a renewed push to put women — not men — on the front lines of the country’s campaign to eradicate polio…” (Craig, 11/18).

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African Nations Register Fewer Than Half Of Births, Inhibiting Children's Access To Education, Health Care, Experts Say

VOA News: Less Than Half of African Births Properly Registered
“African birth registration officials meeting in Cameroon say more than half of births in Africa are not registered, which can make it hard for children to enroll in school or access health care. Experts say legal reforms and education for parents and registration authorities are key…” (Kindzeka, 11/17).

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After Nearly 2 Years, Guinea Begins Countdown To End Of Ebola Epidemic

News outlets continue to report on the release of Guinea’s last Ebola patient and the start of a 42-day countdown to the end of Ebola transmission.

Associated Press: Guinea begins countdown to end of Ebola after nearly 2 years (Diallo, 11/17).

BBC News: Guinea’s last Ebola patient recovers in Conakry (11/17).

CIDRAP News: Guinea begins countdown to end of Ebola transmission (Schnirring, 11/17).

Deutsche Welle: Guinea reports last known Ebola patient recovers (11/17).

New York Times: Guinea, Last Nation With Ebola, May Soon Be Declared Free of Virus (Searcey, 11/17).

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Syrian Government Forces' Attacks On Aleppo's Health Facilities, Workers Violates International Law, Report Says

New York Times: Syria Accused of Attacks on Medical Facilities and Personnel
“A New York-based human rights organization is accusing the Syrian government of flouting international law by killing health workers, bombing hospitals, and blocking lifesaving aid from entering a strategic city in northern Syria that was held by the opposition groups. In a report released Wednesday, the group, Physicians for Human Rights, chronicled 45 attacks on medical facilities in Aleppo since 2012, mostly by Syrian government forces…”

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Blockades At Nepal's Border With India Harming Children, 'Threatens' Country's Future, UNICEF Director Says

The Guardian: Nepal border blockade ‘threatens the future of the country itself,’ says U.N.
“UNICEF has cautioned that the blockade of Nepal’s border posts with India ‘threatens the future of the country itself.’ … ‘First, there was a devastating act of nature — the earthquakes that took and damaged so many lives,’ said Anthony Lake, the executive director of UNICEF, during a recent visit to the country. ‘Now, political differences among human beings are dealing new blows to the children of Nepal’…” (Pattisson, 11/18).

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Overweight, Obesity Rates Rising In Some African Nations

The Guardian: Africa faces up to obesity epidemic
“Some parts of Africa are best known for charity appeals to combat famine, but the continent is now facing the opposite problem: an obesity epidemic. … Although statistics are scarce, the World Health Organization estimates that 12.7 percent of African children will be overweight or obese by 2020, compared with 8.5 percent in 2010. Obesity is linked to increased risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions…” (Allison, 11/17).

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Editorials and Opinions

Ending Malaria Requires Coordinated, Sustained Efforts, Partnerships

Huffington Post: Accelerating the Elimination of Malaria in Southern Africa
Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and Richard Kamwi, Elimination 8 ambassador and former minister of health of Namibia

“…[A]s we chart a course to save more lives and eliminate [malaria], our response needs to stretch across national boundaries in order to reach people at risk of malaria with the most effective prevention and treatment strategies. … [C]ross-border and coordinated regional efforts can be a game-changer in the fight against malaria. Aligning policies and strengthening regional surveillance, analysis, and diagnostics will spur progress towards elimination. … The Elimination 8 effort is an example of how a regional collaboration can accelerate progress towards a malaria-free world within a generation. … [T]hrough committed, regional partnerships, the world has an opportunity to end a disease that slows human development and prosperity. These coordinated efforts require sustainable investment in order to maintain the gains” (11/17).

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International Community Should Prioritize Efforts To End Preventable Preterm Deaths

Devex: The missing LINC in the newborn survival agenda: Prevention
Leith Greenslade, vice chair at the MDG Health Alliance

“…[The Public Private Partnership to Prevent Preterm Birth] aims to demonstrate that preterm birth rates can be significantly reduced by addressing four ‘LINC’ risk factors — lifestyle, infection, nutrition, and contraception among populations of women where preterm birth rates and deaths are extremely high. … The recent progress in newborn survival is undeniable. … But we have a long way to go to build wide recognition that reducing the burden of preterm deaths to the levels required for [reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] requires prevention, not just treatment. … Ultimately this message needs to be heard by the donor governments, country governments, and foundations whose funding influences others. We need their commitment to experiment with ways to drive down preterm birth rates…” (11/17).

Huffington Post: No Life Too Small: World Prematurity Day 2015
Ariel Pablos-Mendez, assistant administrator for global health and child and maternal survival coordinator at USAID

“…If we are to achieve the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the global community in September and end preventable child and maternal mortality within a generation, now is the time to act. … Worldwide, momentum is building to dramatically reduce newborn deaths, as catalyzed by the Born Too Soon and the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirths (GAPPS) reports and the Every Newborn Action Plan. These and other initiatives … are aligning efforts to save lives across the globe using evidence-driven strategies and proven interventions. … We have the experience and the expertise; we have the tools and the technology. Now, it is time for us to align our actions and global efforts — and in doing so, demonstrate our conviction that every newborn is worth saving, no matter when, where, or how they are born” (11/16).

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Humanitarian Aid With Added Agendas Could Fuel Terrorism, Conflict

Daily Beast: You Can’t Kill Terrorism With Kindness or Aid That Comes With An Agenda
Alex Perry, author and foreign correspondent

“…Today many NGOs have all but totally surrendered their impartiality in favor of working with governments rather than outside them while also expanding their mission from narrowly defined assistance into policy areas more normally reserved for nation states. … [A]id’s power has come at the price of its independence. And once aid is political, once it is no longer a neutral, unequivocal good but an opinion or a strategy or even the means to execute a military campaign, it will find opponents. … Assistance tainted by a perception that it is something else entirely is no help in putting out the fires of terrorism. It can even fuel them…” (11/18).

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Addressing Men's Health Essential For Improving Global Health Overall

Global Health NOW: Men: A New Global Health Challenge
Peter Baker, director of Global Action on Men’s Health (GAMH)

“…The state of men’s health around the world has been overlooked by most national governments and international health organizations for far too long. Policymakers talk about gender mainstreaming but, in reality, this rarely includes men. … There is an increasing body of research showing that ‘gender sensitive’ and outreach health interventions aimed at men can improve outcomes. … Governments and other health organizations must now act to address the health and well-being needs of men and boys — alongside women and girls — in all relevant policies and practices. If better health for all is to be achieved, the problems facing men can no longer be left to hide in plain sight” (11/17).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID-Funded 'Every Preemie - SCALE' Partnership Aims To Prevent Preterm Birth, Low Birthweight In 23 Countries

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Scaling up solutions to save every preemie
Kat Kelley, GHTC’s senior program assistant, speaks with Jim Litch, director of the Perinatal Interventions Program at the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirths (GAPPS), about the USAID-funded Every Preemie–SCALE partnership, which aims “to identify lifesaving interventions for the prevention and treatment of preterm birth and low birthweight and to support the scale-up of these interventions in 23 countries across Asia and Africa” (11/17).

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Report Provides Recommendations For Global Fund To Responsibly Manage Country Transitions, Continue Support For Key Populations

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Key Populations and the Next Global Fund Strategy
In this report, Todd Summers, a senior adviser with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, and Cathryn Streifel, a program manager and research associate for the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, provide recommendations on “how the Global Fund can responsibly manage country transitions to ensure key populations are not left without access to services as the Global Fund reduces its financial support. Four interconnected themes emerged: increasing political engagement; supporting local nongovernmental organizations; strengthening national strategies; and increasing access to proven technologies…” (11/17).

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Blog Post Summarizes Recent Articles On Hepatitis C Treatments, Access To Medicines Under TPP, Other Issues

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: The cost of treating hepatitis C, and the cost of neglect … We’re reading about lost and found global health opportunities
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses several recently published pieces on the cost of and access to hepatitis C treatments, access to medicines under the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the fate of the pact, and a Lancet commentary on the need for a global health ethic (11/17).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 275 of the “Global Fund Observer.” “This issue is devoted exclusively to articles on issues discussed at the Global Fund Board meeting held in Geneva on 16-17 November…” (11/18).

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