KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

World Meets MDG 6 Targets For Malaria Reduction, Can Eliminate Disease Through Continued Partnerships, U.N. Says

Inter Press Service: U.N. Marks Achievement in Global Malaria Reduction
“…With just six weeks left for the MDGs deadline, the U.N. has announced that the MDG six targets to reverse the incidence of malaria by 2015 have been met and surpassed. Since 2000, malaria interventions have contributed to a 60 percent decline in malaria mortality rates around the world, averting approximately 6.2 million deaths primarily in young children…” (Yakupitiyage, 11/19).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. Millennium Development Goal target to reduce malaria burden achieved
“… ‘The world’s success in rolling back malaria shows just what can be achieved with the right kind of determination and partnerships,’ said Mogens Lykketoft, the president of the U.N. General Assembly. ‘It provides bold inspiration to all nations that seek to create a healthy environment for their children and adults. We can and we must eliminate malaria by 2030,’ he added, noting that this will require full implementation of the new strategy developed by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and the World Health Organization (WHO)…” (11/19).

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Liberia Confirms New Ebola Case In 10-Year-Old Boy

Agence France-Presse: New Ebola case confirmed in Liberia: WHO
“The World Health Organization on Friday confirmed that a new case of the deadly Ebola virus has surfaced in Liberia, which was declared Ebola free in September…” (11/20).

Associated Press: Health authorities: 1 confirmed Ebola case in Liberia
“…Chief Medical Officer and acting head of the Ebola Case Management System, Dr. Francis Kateh, told the Associated Press on Friday the boy, a resident of the eastern Paynesville district of Monrovia, was taken to the Ebola treatment unit late Thursday…” (11/20).

Reuters: New case of Ebola found in Liberia: U.N. official
“…The case represents a setback for Liberia, which has seen more than 10,600 cases and 4,808 Ebola deaths since it was first announced in March, 2014, according to U.N. World Health Organization figures…” (Bigg, 11/20).

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Science Examines Waning Congressional Support For NIH's HIV/AIDS Research Budget Set-Aside

Science: What does a disease deserve?
“In the early 1990s, as the deadly HIV/AIDS epidemic marched across the United States and the world, lawmakers in Congress and top officials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reached an unusual understanding: Roughly 10 percent of the NIH budget would be dedicated to fighting the devastating disease. … That special arrangement is now under fire. Health policy experts, lawmakers, and even NIH officials have wondered why, two decades after AIDS death rates began dropping dramatically in the United States, the disease still gets a lion’s share of NIH resources…” (Kaiser, 11/20).

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PRI Outlines Philippines' Reproductive Health, Family Planning Laws As Part Of #WhatObamaShouldKnow Campaign

PRI: What Obama should know about women in the Philippines
“…[O]ne critical issue in Philippines is missing from Obama’s agenda: Filipino women’s rights. As part of PRI’s Across Women’s Lives coverage, we want to help brief Obama on the problems and challenges faced by women in Philippines. … Although Filipino women have enjoyed a relatively high degree of equality in education and life expectancy compared to other Southeast Asian countries, their struggle for reproductive rights has been long and arduous…” (Ser, 11/19).

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Unregulated Antibiotic Sales Drive Drug Resistance Development, U.K. Review Panel Says

Reuters: Unregulated antibiotic sales may increase risk of “superbugs”: U.K. review
“Global growth of unregulated over-the-counter and Internet sales of precious antibiotic medicines is further fueling the rise of deadly, drug-resistant ‘superbug’ bacteria, according to a U.K. government-commissioned review. … In a report published on Friday …, former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill said the threat is exacerbated by patients self-medicating with drugs from online pharmacies…” (Kelland, 11/20).

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News Outlets Report On World Toilet Day, Improving Global Sanitation

News outlets continue to report on World Toilet Day, recognized annually on November 19.

Christian Science Monitor: It’s World Toilet Day: How can we achieve adequate sanitation for all? (Torphy, 11/19).

Deutsche Welle: Strong public health message on U.N. World Toilet Day (Caldwell, 11/19).

Devex: How sanitation and hygiene strategies can promote women’s rights (Cousins, 11/19).

The Guardian: Reading, writing and sanitation: how kids are key to ending toilet taboos (Mathiesen, 11/19).

Huffington Post: Poop Emojis Highlight Fact People Worldwide Lack Access To Sanitation (Goldberg, 11/19).

U.N. News Centre: Marking World Toilet Day, U.N. urges ‘open, frank’ discussion on importance of hygiene and sanitation (11/19).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Foreign Aid Investment Helps Attract Other Funding For Global Health, Humanitarian Programs

The Hill: The Safe Motherhood Project
Bruce Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB)

“…Successful and sustainable foreign aid requires private-public partnerships, locally and internationally. … Without [the U.S.] government’s leadership in South Sudan, the ability to attract other funders into a broad portfolio of assistance where humanitarian values are lived out, and smart investments in proven health inventions save the lives of mothers and children, would be impossible. … The U.S. currently spends less than one percent of the federal budget on foreign assistance but American influence does what no other nation or nonprofit can do. Think about how even a modest increase in federal allocations to global health and development could impact the success of scores of American NGOs who live out America’s compassion around the world. … In the next few weeks, Congress will decide how to allocate the federal budget for the coming fiscal year. We want our members of Congress to know that Americans support U.S. foreign aid” (11/19).

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Food For Peace Reform Act Would Boost Efficiency, Cost-Effectiveness Of U.S. Food Aid

The Hill: This Thanksgiving, what traditions do we value?
Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children

“…One size does not fit all when it comes to emergency response, and the Food for Peace Reform Act would increase space for innovation to ensure that we can get assistance to the people who need it. … U.S. agriculture will always play a role in U.S. food aid, but bags of American food commodities are but one tool among many in the toolbox. The U.S. government must also be allowed to purchase food in or near the region where assistance is needed, or provide electronic food and cash vouchers … These both have the added benefit of strengthening local markets and supporting local farmers, building long-term food security to speed the day that U.S. assistance is no longer needed. Beyond issues of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, U.S. food aid should also be an instrument of hope for people…” (11/19).

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Sen. Graham, Other Presidential Candidates Must Support Additional PEPFAR Funding To Reach AIDS-Free Generation

New Hampshire Union Leader: Lindsey Graham’s Other Race
Kate Bailey, health advocacy student at Sarah Lawrence College

“…A potential government shutdown is looming on the horizon, and the real-world impacts of sequestration continue to severely threaten our abilities to reach an AIDS-free generation. … Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has not done its part to protect or promote PEPFAR’s achievements. … Sen. Lindsey Graham, who chairs the appropriations subcommittee that oversees global health budgets, has the power to get us back on the right track… In addition, action is needed from all of the sitting senators running for office to ensure a healthier, more peaceful, and prosperous future by committing to restoring funding now and supporting robust funding for AIDS programming as president…” (11/19).

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WHO Calls For Careful Use Of Antibiotics, Collaborative Research To Develop New Drugs

The Guardian: How to stop antibiotic resistance? Here’s a World Health Organization prescription
Marc Sprenger, director of the WHO’s secretariat for antimicrobial resistance

“…[W]e are speeding up the process [of drug resistance] dramatically by using antibiotics too much and often in the wrong contexts. We need to slow down the development and spread of resistance so that the antibiotics we have continue to work for as long as possible. We also urgently need to devote more resources to the research and development of new antibiotics. … [I]t is clear that a new, more global approach is needed. The WHO global action plan on antimicrobial resistance calls for the creation of new partnerships to foster the development of antibiotics. The WHO and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative are working on the creation of a global antibiotic research and development facility that will collaborate closely with the pharmaceutical industry, universities, civil society, and health authorities worldwide. The partnership will also ensure that new drugs are affordable for all and embed the need for conservation of new antibiotics in the development process…” (11/20).

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International Community Should Increase Efforts To Address Violence Against Women, Girls

The Lancet: Violence against women and girls: how far have we come?
Editorial Board

“…[A]lthough good examples of progress [addressing gender-based violence] exist, much more can be done. Addressing missed opportunities will be crucial moving forward. … As the problem of violence against women and girls is elevated in global policy circles, the activists who put the issue on the map are increasingly being left out of the discussions. But these are the people who will identify emerging issues and ensure that the development of policies and services remain responsive to the needs of women and girls. They echo the concerns of women and girls. Their voices are critical for future progress” (11/21).

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Cholera Outbreaks Represent 'Shame On Our Society'; More Investment Needed To Stop Disease's Spread In Haiti

Boston Globe: Ignoring the plight of the poor in Haiti
Louise C. Ivers, infectious disease physician, senior health and policy adviser for Partners In Health, and associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

“…Colleagues in the Haitian government, nongovernmental organizations, and bilateral and multilateral agencies have the knowledge and the technical know-how to eliminate transmission of cholera in Haiti, and in doing so could save thousands of lives. However, they lack the funds and the vaccine needed to implement solutions. A 10-year plan to eliminate cholera from Haiti includes a call for major investments in water and sanitation, as well as in health care, hygiene education, and vaccination. Yet, the plan is still largely underfunded. The United Nations remains officially silent on the fact that members of its peacekeeping force inadvertently started the outbreak, and has not provided the kind of financial input toward solving the problem that is commensurate with the organization’s culpability. … That cholera continues ravaging poor communities in Haiti and around the world is a shame on our society — one that we can and must do something about”

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Investments In Nutrition Essential To Achieve Health, Education SDGs

The Guardian: We can’t achieve the Global Goals without a focus on child nutrition
Saul Morris, nutrition director at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

“…[I]t is absolutely impossible that the world could achieve the third Global Goal of ensuring healthy lives for all at all ages without a major focus on nutrition. The same is true for the fourth Global Goal on quality education. … Without early investments in nutrition, hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in education will be wasted, as undernourished children’s brains will be unprepared to learn. Nutrition’s impacts on education also have predictable impacts on poverty. … [G]overnments and development partners will need to invest in better food, better feeding practices, and protection from illness. With this combination of interventions in place, today’s children will all be able to reach for the stars” (11/20).

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Polio Eradication Possible With Sustained Surveillance, Vaccine Coverage

Devex: How to make a virus disappear
Jay Wenger, director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s polio eradication efforts within the Global Development Program

“…Polio’s shrinking geographic territory and genetic diversity show that eradication — one of the most ambitious public health goals ever pursued — is not only achievable but, with continued high quality immunization campaigns, success is right around the corner. We’ve already gotten rid of two of the three types of polio virus. To turn polio from endangered to extinct, we need to stay focused. … We know our process works: track the virus, immunize children, and the virus dies. If governments, donors, and millions of health workers keep it up, we will put polio in the history books” (11/19).

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Opinion Pieces Recognize World Toilet Day, Links With Women's, Girls' Rights

NPR: Happy #WorldToiletDay! Here’s What It’s Like To Live Without One
Jane Otai, senior program adviser at Jhpiego

“…Many of the Sustainable Development Goals endorsed by the U.N. this year hinge on girls gaining an education. We need to recognize that in many regions of the world, that hinges on creating facilities such as toilets and hand-washing stations and providing a supply of sanitary pads for students. This would go a long way in ensuring that girls feel confident at school and look forward to attending classes. As we celebrate World Toilet Day, let us focus on sensitizing communities and schools about this issue. Let’s acknowledge that it is a big challenge for children living in informal settlements and do what we can — including building pit latrines near households and constructing clean toilets at schools…” (11/19).

CNN: Time to talk about toilets
Isha Sesay, anchor and correspondent for CNN International and Global Citizen Ambassador and founder of W.E. Can Lead

“…[T]he issue of inadequate sanitation takes on another dimension when it comes to women and girls. They are among the ones who suffer the most, and yet their plight is too readily overlooked as part of the water and sanitation crisis. … As the founder of the not-for-profit organization W.E. Can Lead, which aims to educate and empower Africa’s teenage girls, I feel compelled to lend my voice to efforts to right this wrong. Think about it this way — millions of girls are unable to fulfill their potential simply because they don’t have access to toilets and running water! … On this World Toilet Day, speak up and demand that more is done…” (11/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID Fact Sheet Outlines U.S. Government Support For TB Programs In India

USAID: Ending TB in India: U.S.-India Partnership
“…Working with the government of India and Indian partners, the U.S. government has invested close to $100 million to prevent and control TB in India, and has helped to treat over 15 million people over the last 18 years. The progress is real. Millions of lives have been saved, and we have seen dramatic improvements in diagnosis and care. But the challenge to end TB in India remains. Despite a strong national TB control program, TB continues to be a leading cause of death in India. The U.S. will remain a sustained, committed partner, supporting India along the path toward ending TB…” (11/18).

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Health Policy Project Report Examines Civil Society Engagement With PEPFAR

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Thanks for listening, PEPFAR, but could you come a little closer? Civil society members answer questions on HIV response planning
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses PEPFAR’s guidance for country and regional planning, released in February 2015, and a follow-up report, titled “PEPFAR 2015 COP Civil Society Engagement Analysis” and produced by the Health Policy Project. This report, released in September, “is the result of surveys administered to civil society representatives in 29 countries as well as follow-up interviews. The answers, collected in July and August, indicate that participants welcomed the chance to strengthen local HIV program planning with their input, but frequently met frustrations in doing so…” (11/19).

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Blog Post Examines TPP's Potential Impact On Global Health, Pact's Approval Process

Center for Global Health Technologies’ “Breakthroughs”: TPP: What does it mean for global health and what’s next?
Courtney Carson, GHTC’s senior policy and advocacy associate, writes, “Below I break down [intellectual property (IP)] protections in [the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)], describe their potential impact on health technologies, and discuss how these provisions compare to the changes speculated.” Carson also describes the process necessary to approve the pact (11/19).

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Global Community Must Prioritize Polio Eradication Efforts In Areas Experiencing Human Migration, Conflict

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: Unsettled World Creates New Challenges for Polio Eradication — IMB
Nellie Bristol, senior fellow with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, discusses recommendations from an October 2015 report of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio Eradication initiative, including those regarding security concerns for polio immunization campaigns among refugees and in conflict zones. “…The global community, including the United States, has a key role to play in helping countries stay focused on eradication despite multiple competing and urgent priorities. It should provide sufficient support for security operations in addition to vaccination resources and also help countries grapple with daunting cross-border and regional issues…” (11/19).

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Blog Post Recaps First-Ever Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: Rights On the Alameda
Katherine E. Bliss, senior associate (non-resident) with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, discusses sessions held at the first Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference, which ran from October 18 to 21 in Mexico City, as well as the history of maternal health in Mexico. “…By the close of the conference, I found myself inspired by the many achievements in improving the quality of maternal and newborn care that were reported and hopeful that the lessons gleaned from diverse fields and country contexts will be effectively shared and applied in new settings…” (11/18).

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Blog Posts Recognize World Toilet Day, Discuss Link Between WASH, Nutrition

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Bringing Clean, Safe, and Innovative Sanitation Services to East Africa
Eric Mintz, team lead for the Global Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Epidemiology Team at the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), writes about the CDC’s collaborative partnership with Sanivation, which “provide[s] toilets in households in need and use[s] the human waste to make fuel briquettes” (11/19).

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End the Neglect”: Eight Million Toilets and Counting
This blog post discusses Swachh Bharat Abhiyan — the Clean India Mission — [which] is a sanitation campaign run by the Indian government (Carter, 11/19).

World Bank’s “Water Blog”: Better together: Toilets and nutrition
Martin Gambrill, lead water and sanitation specialist, and Meera Shekar, global lead for nutrition and lead HNP specialist with the World Bank’s Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice, discuss the links between access to toilets and sanitation facilities and child nutrition (11/19).

WHO/UNICEF/USAID: Improving Nutrition Outcomes With Better Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: Practical Solutions for Policies and Programs
This joint report summarizes the benefits of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions to improve nutrition (11/19).

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