KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines Lessons On U.S. Aid Gleaned From Impeachment Hearings

Devex: 5 things we learned about U.S. aid from the impeachment hearings
“Washington has been consumed by the first public hearings of the impeachment inquiry related to President Donald Trump’s withholding security assistance to Ukraine. While the specific assistance in question was security assistance from the Department of Defense, the impeachment hearings have offered an unprecedented window into U.S. foreign policy on Ukraine…” (Igoe, 11/18).

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DRC President Says Ebola Outbreak Should Be Over By Year's End; A.U. Urges Partners To Increase Efforts To Stop Outbreak

Reuters: Congo president says Ebola outbreak should be over this year
“An outbreak of Ebola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo should be eradicated by the end of 2019, Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi said on Friday. … ‘There are still a few isolated cases in Ituri (province) but we think that by the end of the year we can completely stop that,’ Tshisekedi said at a news conference in Berlin alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel…” (Escritt et al, 11/16).

Xinhua: A.U. urges domestic, int’l partners to help tackle Ebola as death toll reaches 2,193
“The African Union (A.U.) has called on African and international partners to exert concerted efforts in the fight against the Ebola virus epidemic as the death toll from the ongoing Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had climbed to 2,193…” (11/16).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from Al Jazeera and Xinhua.

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News Outlets Continue Coverage Of New Report On Sanitation Workers' Health, Rights

NPR: Even Researchers Were Shocked By How Tough Life Is For Sanitation Workers
“…[A] new report jointly released by the World Health Organization, the World Bank Group, and the International Labour Organization … analyzes a range of national-level studies in nine countries and interviewed 19 workers to provide what its authors say is the first global picture of the challenges that sanitation workers face…” (Aizenman, 11/17).

VOA: Report Deplores Conditions for Sanitation Workers in Developing Countries
“…[The report] urges governments to enact laws and regulations that improve working conditions for sanitation workers and protect their safety and health. It says sanitation workers must be given the equipment and training necessary for the safe, proper disposal of waste” (Schlein, 11/16).

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China Announces New Case Of Plague Unrelated To Cases Reported Last Week In Beijing

Associated Press: China diagnoses 3rd case of bubonic plague
“China says a 55-year-old man has been diagnosed with bubonic plague after killing and eating a wild rabbit, adding to two plague cases already discovered in the capital Beijing. … On Nov. 12, two patients also from Xilingol League were diagnosed with pneumonic plague in Beijing. No epidemiological association has been found between the two cases…” (11/18).

Additional coverage of the plague cases is available from NPR and Reuters (2).

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Samoa Declares Emergency Over Measles Outbreak After Unvaccinated Children Die

Associated Press: Samoa shuts schools, declares emergency as measles kills 6
“Samoa has closed all its schools, banned children from public gatherings, and mandated that everybody get vaccinated after declaring an emergency due to a measles outbreak that has so far killed six people…” (Perry, 11/18).

Reuters: Samoa declares state of emergency as measles spreads across Pacific
“…As of the weekend, vaccination ‘for members of the public who have not yet received a vaccination injection, is now a mandatory legal requirement,’ the government said in a statement. Only about two-thirds of the population has been immunized, according to the health ministry…” (Kelly, 11/16).

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U.N. Migration Agency Provides Health Consultations In Yemen As WHO Warns Of Disease Outbreaks Amid Collapsing Health Care Systems

U.N. News: Over 1 million health consultations provided in Yemen in 2019: U.N. migration agency
“Since the beginning of the year, the U.N. Migration Agency has carried out over one million health consultations for displaced and conflict-affected Yemenis and migrants struggling to reach the help they need, the organization announced on Friday. Yemen’s public sector has been pushed to ‘a breaking point,’ as the country enters its fifth year of conflict, prompting the closure of half of the country’s health facilities…” (11/15).

VOA: With Collapse of Health System, Yemen Struggles to Contain Disease Outbreaks
“The World Health Organization warns disease outbreaks are flourishing in Yemen and many people are dying from a lack of health care and serious shortages in supplies and personnel. … Another ever-present and growing danger in this conflict-ridden country is attacks on health facilities. The WHO says there have been 156 recorded attacks on hospitals and other care centers since 2015, further jeopardizing the ability of health care workers to respond to emergencies and treat the sick…” (Schlein, 11/15).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: No training, no gloves: Zimbabwe’s desperate childbirths (Mutsaka, 11/18).

Devex: Beyond recognition: Certifying quality maternal care in India (Espinosa et al., 11/18).

DW: Children at risk of ‘new threats’ like climate change, warns UNICEF (11/18).

Emirates News Agency: Fake news and anti-vaccine propaganda threaten public health: Former New Zealand PM (Abdulkader, 11/18).

The Guardian: Wiping out the daughters: Burkina Faso’s controversial mosquito experiment (Boersma/Bastmeijer, 11/18).

LiveMint: My wish is for India to eliminate child malnutrition, says Bill Gates (Roche/Sharma, 11/18).

New York Times: Bogaletch Gebre, Foe of Female Genital Mutilation, Dies at 66 (Seelye, 11/17).

NPR: How The Oral Polio Vaccine Can Cause Polio (Beaubien, 11/16).

NPR: Polio Is Making A Comeback (Beaubien, 11/15).

NPR: Could ‘Hidden Hunger’ Be Conquered With A Particle The Size Of A Grain Of Salt? (McDonnell, 11/15).

U.N. News: WHO supports measles campaign targeting millions of children in northern Nigeria (11/17).

U.N. News: U.N. calls for action to tackle ‘ubiquitous but invisible’ global road safety crisis (11/17).

VOA: WHO Calls for Stricter Regulations on E-Cigarettes (Schlein, 11/17).

VOA: Botswana’s HIV Patients Relieved as Legal Battle Over Medicine Ends (Dube, 11/15).

Xinhua: Mongolia warns against traveling to cholera-affected countries (11/18).

Xinhua: South Sudan, U.N. to immunize 144,000 against cholera (11/17).

Xinhua: Spotlight: Public healthcare sector in Libya suffering due to armed conflict (11/17).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Piece Discusses Mandatory Vaccination Laws In European Nations

The Conversation: Mandatory vaccination is not the solution for measles in Europe
Vageesh Jain, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Public Health Medicine at UCL

“Global measles cases reached their highest levels since 2006 in the first six months of 2019. With countries around the world struggling to contain outbreaks, government policy on vaccination has come under fire. Germany has been the latest to succumb to the pressure. … Although measles cases are at a record high, more children in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region are being vaccinated than ever before. … So the question is: is mandatory vaccination the key to success? Nine out of 30 European countries have mandatory vaccination for measles … There is no clear difference in vaccine coverage between countries with mandatory vaccination compared with those without mandatory vaccination. … To deal with measles, E.U. policy must be consistent, fair, and effective. Well-understood and documented reasons underlying low rates of vaccination exist. It’s important that these are addressed to engage hard-to-reach groups, before leaping to radical measures with a weak evidence base, under the guise of action” (11/15).

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China's Response To Disease Outbreaks In Past Cause For Caution With Recent Plague Cases, Opinion Piece Says

Foreign Policy: The Real Reason to Panic About China’s Plague Outbreak
Laurie Garrett, former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and Pulitzer Prize winning science writer

“…In the absence of clarifying, calming information from their government, Chinese people have been venting fear and concern on Weibo and other social media platforms. Their fear may be fueled by the role played by Chaoyang Hospital, which Beijing residents remember well from the 2003 SARS epidemic, when the authorities hid victims of that epidemic in the hospital, denying for weeks that the virus had even reached Beijing. … Despite its devastating impact on human history, Yersinia pestis need not inspire fear or death in 2019. … China’s National Health Commission has assured WHO, according to an agency spokesperson, that a robust effort is underway to find and monitor all individuals who have been in contact with the Beijing couple, both in Inner Mongolia and during their travel to Beijing. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, modeled closely after the U.S. CDC, has indeed proved skilled in disease surveillance. But given the Chinese government’s public health history — covering up the 2003 SARS epidemic even as it traveled to 30 other nations, denying the spread of the dangerous H5N1 influenza in the country for years, and stifling social media accounts of outbreaks — a fair amount of caution and skepticism is merited” (11/16).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Final Version Of Nairobi Statement On ICPD25 Available Online

Nairobi Summit on ICPD25: Nairobi Statement on ICPD25: Accelerating the Promise
“This is the final version of the Nairobi Statement, formulated after six months of global consultations led by the International Steering Committee on ICPD25, with hundreds of organizations and thousands of people involved. The Nairobi Statement provides a global framework for the formulation of government and partner commitments. Since it is non-binding, countries and other stakeholders may choose to support the Nairobi Statement in its entirety, in part, or not at all. In no way does supporting the Nairobi Statement infringe upon national sovereignty” (November 2019).

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UNICEF Report Examines Achievements, Challenges In Child Rights, Health Since Adoption Of Convention On Rights Of The Child

UNICEF: 30 years of child rights: Historic gains and undeniable achievements, but little progress for the world’s poorest children
“There have been historic gains overall for the world’s children since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted 30 years ago. However, many of the poorest children are yet to feel the impact, according to The Convention on the Rights of the Child at a Crossroads, a new report released today. Part of commemorations marking the 30th anniversary of the CRC, the report looks at the undeniable achievements of the past three decades, proof that where there is political will and determination, children’s lives improve…” (11/18).

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New Roadmap Outlines Strategies To Address Antimicrobial Resistance For European Country Governments, E.U.

European Public Health Alliance: More E.U. leadership needed to tackle AMR crisis says new roadmap
Rosemary Hindle, communications officer with the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), announces a new roadmap for addressing antimicrobial resistance released by the AMR Stakeholder Network, a “pan-European civil-society led network, bringing together 80 organizations and individuals committed to tackling AMR at national, regional, and European level from a ‘One Health’ approach. The network is hosted within the European Commission’s Health Policy Platform and led by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).” Hindle writes, “The new Roadmap outlines 5 concrete strategies with corresponding targets for the E.U. and national decision-makers should take in order to step up their efforts in the fight against AMR” (11/18).

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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, has published Issue 368 of the ‘Global Fund Observer.’ The newsletter features articles on outcomes of the Global Fund’s 42nd Board Meeting and an interview with Dianne Stewart, head of the fund’s donor relations department (11/15).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID To Provide $2.5M To Support Global Research Partnerships

USAID: USAID Announces $2.5 Million In Global Research Partnerships
“The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced $2.5 million dollars to support global research partnerships that will promote advancements across the full spectrum of discovery, from building new knowledge to piloting and scaling game-changing breakthroughs. The Agency selected a total of 32 research projects for funding through the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) program managed by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. … By increasing international scientific cooperation, the United States can accelerate progress on the Journey to Self-Reliance…” (11/15).

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