KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

News Outlets Examine How U.S. Science Might Fare Under Trump Administration

The Atlantic: Who Will Advise Trump on Science?
“In 1976, President Gerald Ford appointed physicist H. Guyford Stever as the first Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). … His current counterpart John Holdren, formerly a professor of environmental policy at Harvard University, has performed the same service for Barack Obama since 2009, together with a 135-person team. And in a few short months, he will hand over his duties to someone else — a new appointee who will become President-elect Donald Trump’s scientific consigliere. Who will that person be? No one knows. … The appointment is crucial — as close to a cabinet-level position in science and technology as exists…” (Yong, 11/18).

Science: Scientists start to parse a Trump presidency
“The surprise election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States was no less confounding to scientists. And although many researchers were shocked by his public statements and professed policies, they are now scrambling to make the case that research contributes to the prosperity and security of the nation…” (Mervis, 11/18).

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On World Toilet Day, Many Continue To Lack Access To Safe, Private Sanitation Facilities

Devex: On World Toilet Day, what progress has been made on sanitation facilities?
“Sanitation is not sexy. But World Toilet Day is an annual reminder of just how vital it is for health, human rights, and even economic development. … Some 167 of 183 countries do not have universal coverage of sanitation facilities, according to 2015 statistics from the World Health Organization…” (Cornish, 11/18).

The Guardian: One in five people in cities worldwide live in areas with no safe toilet
“Close to one in five people living in towns, cities, and megacities across the world do not have access to a safe, basic toilet, according to WaterAid. … WaterAid’s Overflowing Cities report ranks developing countries, where the majority of current population growth is happening, according to how they are accommodating the basic needs of urban dwellers…” (McVeigh, 11/18).

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With Funding Secured, Malaria Vaccine Pilots Set To Begin In Africa In 2018, WHO Says

Reuters: WHO says funds secured for Africa pilots of world’s first malaria vaccine
“Funding for phase one of pilot deployments of the world’s first malaria vaccine in sub-Saharan Africa has been secured and immunization campaigns will begin in 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday…” (Kelland, 11/17).

U.N. News Centre: World’s first malaria vaccine set for 2018 rollout in Africa after U.N. health agency secures funding
“…The vaccine, known as RTS,S, acts globally against the most deadly malaria parasite P. falciparum, very common in Africa. Based on the results from clinical trials, the new vaccine will provide partial protection against malaria in young children. The vaccine was developed through a partnership between GlaxoSmithKline and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and from a network of African research centers…” (11/17).

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West African Countries Introduce Strategic Plans To Address Human, Animal, Environmental Health To Prevent Disease Outbreaks

The Guardian: West Africa to target human and animal health together to fight Ebola and Zika
“West African leaders have agreed a new approach to infectious diseases in an attempt to avert any repetition of the disastrous Ebola outbreak. Human, animal, and environmental health will all be considered together, and countries in the region will work collaboratively to catch outbreaks of diseases including avian flu, Zika, and Ebola in their early stages…” (Maclean, 11/17).

The Lancet: West African countries focus on post-Ebola recovery plans
“…Each [nation] has introduced strategic plans calling for not just health system fixes, but improvements to all of the conditions that facilitated Ebola’s explosion. There is also outside support, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) recently announced plan to strengthen viral research in the region…” (Green, 11/19).

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CDC Works To Prepare For, Detect Disease Outbreaks Worldwide

PRI: Are we ready for the next epidemic?
“Epidemics of new infectious diseases seem to be occurring regularly. First there was SARS in 2003, then swine flu in 2009, and Ebola in 2014. Now, there’s Zika. ‘The lesson of the last 10 years is that there’s always something else,’ says Dr. Stephen Redd, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Health Preparedness and Response. ‘We can’t predict what the next infectious disease epidemic will be or when and where it will occur.’ … One key preparation is CDC’s Emergency Operations Center, or EOC…” (Graitcer, 11/17).

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WHO Condemns Attacks On 5 Health Facilities In Syria

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency denounces attacks on health facilities in Syria
“The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) [Thursday] condemned attacks on five Syrian hospitals — including two trauma centers and an emergency obstetric center — as well as a mobile medical clinic, and demanded that all parties to the five-year conflict respect the neutrality of health workers, health facilities, and medical supplies…” (11/17).

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Puerto Rico Expects 1K Fewer Births In 2016 Due In Part To Zika Virus, Official Says

Wall Street Journal: Puerto Rico Births Projected to Decline
“Puerto Rico is expecting about 1,000 fewer babies to be born this year than originally forecast, due in part to the Zika virus, a government official said Thursday. … Birth data offer potential clues about how women of childbearing age across the Americas and beyond are responding to the threat of Zika, a mild virus that can nevertheless cause devastating birth defects in the fetuses of those who become infected while pregnant…” (McKay, 11/17).

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Editorials and Opinions

Nations Must Make Commitments To Improving Health, Reaching For Sustainable Development

Devex: Opinion: Leading from the top to promote health and sustainable development
Margaret Chan, WHO director general

“Next week, more than 1,000 global leaders in politics, health, and development will meet at the Global Conference on Health Promotion in Shanghai to underscore the links between health and sustainable development, and to chart a joint way to progress on both. … It comes at a moment when increasing evidence shows that reshaping unhealthy environments does more to promote health than campaigns that try to persuade changes using health messages alone. And when it is abundantly clear that leadership across government ministries is key to making that reshaping happen. … Time and again we see that, at national and municipal levels, legislative and fiscal measures are among the most effective interventions to promote health, even though they often face stiff and well-funded resistance from powerful industries. … In the same vein, governments must hold steadfast to their commitments to address climate change. … They must also, if they are to fulfill their commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals, take steps to reach the inclusion of a target for reaching universal health coverage. … None of this is easy. But the fact that so many high-level government representatives have accepted the invitation to the Shanghai conference encourages me that a growing number of countries are ready to take up the twin challenge…” (11/17).

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Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Possible Actions On Global Health, Africa Policy Under Trump Administration

The Lancet: President Trump
Editorial Board

“…The winners in Trump’s America were likely to be the defense industry, oil and energy, private prisons, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Not health. What should be the response of the public health community? Document and project the impact of Trump’s policies. Identify policy alternatives. And mobilize opposition. … [W]e must admit that we now have no idea what he has in mind for health care. … Advances for sexual and reproductive health and rights are likely to falter. … His skepticism about the value of U.S. leadership suggests that his nation’s commitment to global health and development could be at risk. … Now is not the time to rail against the election of Trump. Instead, the objective must be to organize, and to use evidence to promote a clear pro-health political agenda for the U.S., domestically and globally. The goal must be to hold President Trump accountable to that agenda. And we should also learn an important lesson — the health community needs to listen harder and more respectfully to the white working class of America. Their gradual but relentless social exclusion contributed to Trump’s election” (11/19).

AllAfrica: Africa: How Might Trump Change Africa Policy?
Herman J. Cohen, former assistant secretary of state for African affairs in the George H.W. Bush administration

“There is already much speculation as to President Donald J. Trump’s likely policy toward Africa. During the campaign, the Trump team did not speak very much about foreign policy in general, and said almost nothing about Africa. … The Trump call for ‘America first’ may mean less money spent to help Africa and more money devoted to rebuilding the United States. On the other hand, since many U.S.-based global companies have been making the case that foreign assistance helps build the infrastructure needed for expanding their markets into Africa, the Trump administration’s pro-business approach may mean continuing to provide this aid, which makes up less than one percent of our overall budget. … There is little doubt that PEPFAR will be sustained, but the Trump administration might decide to scrutinize MCC because of budgetary restrictions. … The Trump administration would do well to maintain [Power Africa and Feed the Future, because] these two excellent programs … are good for American national interests…” (11/17).

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Closing Gaps In Measles Vaccination Coverage Should Be Priority For Governments, Particularly In U.S.

The Lancet: Measles vaccination: global progress, local challenges
Editorial Board

“On Nov. 10, 2016, Progress Toward Regional Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000-2015, was published jointly by UNICEF, WHO, Gavi, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The publication reports on progress made towards achieving U.N. Millennium Development Goal 4, set in 2000, to reduce child mortality through measures including the elimination of measles in four of six WHO regions. … Overall deaths declined by 79 percent during this period, from an annual 651,000 to 134,200, but there remain gaps in the reach of the program, as well as risks caused by the anti-vaccination movement, that together leave no room for complacency. The anti-vaccination movement is particularly active in the USA. Proponents believe that vaccines are as dangerous as the diseases they are designed to protect against. Strangely, President-elect Trump seems to support their cause. He should declare vaccine confidence a priority for his government. … [A]s long as there are gaps in coverage, complete elimination of measles will remain elusive. Global and regional political and practical support are needed to build upon the impressive progress to date” (11/19).

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African Policymakers Must Prioritize Funding, Actions To Improve Nutrition

Project Syndicate: The Many Faces of Malnutrition
Adebimpe Adebiyi, director of family health at the Nigerian Ministry of Health

“…[O]ne in three people worldwide suffer from malnutrition, and it does not always look the way one might expect. From the two billion adults who carry too much weight to the 159 million children with stunted growth, malnutrition takes many forms. … West Africa is home to some of the world’s highest rates of malnutrition. … The imperative to tackle malnutrition could not be clearer. Yet progress has been mixed, particularly in West Africa. … According to the 2016 Global Nutrition Report, donor funds for nutrition-focused interventions are stagnating at $1 billion. Nine West African governments spend, on average, just over one percent of their budgets on nutrition. And yet nutrition is one of the best investments we can make, with every $1 invested in nutrition yielding $16 in returns. … Many African governments have set out ambitious goals relating to security, stability, and long-term economic prosperity. Nutrition is critical to achieving any of them. It is central to our continent’s development, and should thus be a high priority for our policymakers. Millions of lives depend on it” (11/17).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CDC Working With Partners To Evaluate, Improve Sanitation Access Worldwide

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Everyone Needs Somewhere to Go: World Toilet Day 2016
Recognizing World Toilet Day on November 19, Madison Walter, global health communications intern at CDC, discusses the CDC Emergency Response and Recovery Branch’s efforts to evaluate “the safety and acceptability of urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs)” and the CDC National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases’ (NCEZID) “efforts to improve sanitation by partnering with a start-up company, Sanivation, to turn human waste into fuel” (11/17).

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Blog Posts Discuss Foreign Policy, Global Health Implications Under Trump Presidency, Outline Future Actions

Center for Global Development’s “Rethinking U.S. Development Policy”: Foreign Assistance and the Trump Administration
Scott Morris, CGD senior fellow and director of Rethinking U.S. Development Policy, and Beth Schwanke, director of policy outreach at CGD, write, “It’s a time of fundamental uncertainty about the future direction of U.S. development policy, so let’s talk fundamentals. 1. Foreign assistance is not charity. It is in our direct national interest. … 2. Development works. … 3. U.S. leadership matters on global threats. … [Y]ou will be seeing a new series of briefs in the months ahead that address basic components of U.S. policy when it comes to development and identifying the core value of these things as we see them, informed by evidence and experience…” (11/17).

PLOS Blogs’ “Translational Global Health”: What a Trump Presidency Might Mean For Global Health
In this post, James Michiel, senior mHealth and informatics analyst at Emory University, examines how Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president might influence global health in the coming years. Michiel writes, “The common theme here is that we have very little evidence to predict what Donald Trump believes or how he will govern. He ran the most opaque campaign in modern history and has proven time and time again that he will say or do nearly anything to benefit himself. During the campaign, this resulted in some of the most vile and disgusting rhetoric in American history. Despite (or perhaps because of) this, I remain ever so cautiously optimistic that the next four years will see America continue to be a leader in global health” (11/17).

Washington Global Health Alliance: How we move forward
Lisa Cohen, WGHA executive director, discusses the U.S. presidential election results, outlines efforts by several of Washington’s congressional representatives to improve global health, and writes, “It is incumbent upon our global health community — our 168 global health organizations — to thoughtfully and compellingly educate and advocate for continued support on behalf of global health issues. We need to combine forces — universities and research institutions, NGOs, and faith-based organizations and companies — to develop some collective priorities to help our congressional delegation make a clear case for continued investment…” (11/16).

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Gates Foundation Awards $29M Grant To Malaria Elimination Initiative

University of California San Francisco: Global Push to Eradicate Malaria Boosted by $29M Grant to Malaria Elimination Initiative
Laura Kurtzman, senior public information representative at UCSF, writes, “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded UC San Francisco’s Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) a four-year grant of $29 million to accelerate malaria elimination in Asia Pacific and Southern Africa and advance malaria eradication globally…” (11/17).

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WHO, World Bank Agree To Funding Framework For Implementation Of National-Level Health Projects

WHO: WHO and the World Bank engage in new funding framework agreements
This note to the media describes new funding framework agreements established between the World Bank and WHO that set a legal framework for World Bank-funded projects implemented on a national level by WHO and partner governments. “WHO’s cooperation with the World Bank and the joint support to countries through these agreements will inevitably improve implementation of policies and projects in countries,” the note states (11/17).

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