KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Donors Pledge $2.6B For Polio Eradication Efforts At Abu Dhabi Summit But Fall Short Of GPEI's Needs Of $3.27B Through 2023

Devex: Donors give polio eradication a $2.6B boost during Abu Dhabi conference
“Global efforts to accelerate polio eradication received a $2.6 billion push from a range of donors during a conference in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. The contribution is significant, experts say, but still not enough to fully implement the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s strategy to eliminate all forms of poliovirus, which requires $3.27 billion through 2023…” (Ravelo/Lieberman, 11/20).

The National: Reaching the Last Mile: First world tropical diseases day to highlight plight of millions suffering
“The first World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day will take place in January, it was announced on Tuesday. Reem Al Hashimi, Minister for State for International Cooperation, said the initiative was designed to galvanize efforts to tackle such conditions, which include river blindness, Guinea worm, and trachoma, and predominantly affect the world’s poorest communities. World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day will occur on January 30 next year, Ms. Al Hashimi announced, at the Reaching the Last Mile event at Louvre Abu Dhabi…” (Sanderson, 11/19).

Additional coverage of the Reaching the Last Mile forum is available from The National (2).

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World Toilet Day Focuses On Goal Of Ending Open Defecation

DW: World Toilet Day draws attention to the global sanitation crisis
“…According to the United Nations, 4.2 billion people live without safe sanitation and 893 million people do their business outdoors: this is a full-blown global sanitation crisis, says the U.N. Without proper facilities, diseases spread more easily and drinking water can become polluted, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. To highlight the problem, the United Nations declared November 19 World Toilet Day…” (Baumann, 11/19).

The Economist: World Toilet Day this week is not a joke, but deadly serious
“…[O]ne of the U.N.’s ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) adopted by the world’s leaders in 2015 reads: ‘By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.’ An ‘interim’ target brings forward to 2025 the date for ending open defecation…” (11/17).

Additional coverage of issues related to World Toilet Day is available from BBC, Scientific American, and NPR.

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Media Outlets Report On DRC Ebola Outbreak, Study Examining Persistence Of Virus In Bodily Fluids

Healio: Ebola RNA persists for months in breast milk, semen of survivors (Stulpin, 11/19).

World Politics Review: ‘Ebola Business’: How Mistrust Is Fueling Attacks on Health Workers in Eastern Congo (Freudenthal, 11/19).

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Religious Extremist Violence In Africa's Sahel Worsening Humanitarian Crises, Challenging WFP's Delivery Of Food Aid

Reuters: Jihadist violence putting “generation at risk” in Africa’s Sahel — WFP
“Jihadist violence in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso has forced nearly 1 million people to flee their homes, destroyed fragile agricultural economies, and hobbled humanitarian aid efforts, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday. … In all, 860,000 people have been displaced across the three countries and 2.4 million are in need of urgent food assistance, the WFP said. But a lack of security stops most of the aid reaching those in need…” (Farge/Jabkhiro, 11/19).

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Fluctuations In Somalia's Rainy Seasons Sign Of Climate Change; Flooding Displaces 370K, Threatens Famine

The Guardian: ‘We have nothing’: Somalia floods raise specter of famine
“…About 370,000 people have been displaced so far due to flooding, according to the latest U.N. figures. Authorities have not yet said how many people died in the flooding, Somalia’s worst in recent history. … The Somali president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who visited the town and waded through submerged areas, called the devastation ‘beyond our capacity’ and pleaded for more help from aid groups…” (Mumin/Burke, 11/19).

New Humanitarian: Weather and war: How climate shocks are compounding Somalia’s problems
“…Somalia’s two rainy seasons — the Gu’ from April to June, and the Deyr from October to December — have dictated the lives of farmers and pastoralists for centuries. But extremes, like the failure of the Gu’ and the exceptionally heavy Deyr, no longer seem so abnormal, and point to the growing impact of climate change in a country that, due to almost three decades of conflict, is already one of the world’s most vulnerable…” (Santur, 11/19).

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Some Homemade, Traditional Soups Have Antimalarial Properties, Research Shows

AFP: Mum knows best: Homemade soup may fight malaria
“…A new study suggests that certain homemade broths — made from chicken, beef, or even just vegetables — might have properties that can help fight malaria. Researcher Jake Baum of Imperial College London asked children from diverse cultural backgrounds at state-funded Eden Primary School to bring in homemade clear soup broth from recipes that had been passed down across generations to treat fever. The samples were filtered and incubated with cultures of Plasmodium falciparum, a parasite that accounts for an estimated 99.7 percent of malaria cases in Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Of 56 soup samples tested, five were more than 50 percent effective in curbing growth of the parasite, two with similar success as one drug currently used to treat malaria, Baum and his team reported Tuesday in the Archives of Disease in Childhood…” (11/19).

Additional coverage of the study is available from CNN and The Telegraph.

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More News In Global Health

AP: Aid group reopens hospital hit during Houthi attack in Yemen (11/19).

BBC: A million faulty condoms recalled in Uganda (11/19).

Bloomberg: Global Infrastructure Partners Seeks $5 Billion for Debut Emerging-Markets Fund (Tan, 11/18).

CIDRAP News: Skipping measles vaccine tied to triple risk of disease spread (Schnirring, 11/18).

SciDev.Net: Pakistan rolls out new typhoid vaccine to fight resistant strain (Shaikh, 11/19).

Vox: The global crackdown on parents who refuse vaccines for their kids is on (Belluz, 11/15).

Xinhua: LDCs should assign more external aid to development priorities: UNCTAD report (11/19).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Should Move Toward Holistic Budget For National Security, Experts Write In Opinion Piece

Foreign Affairs: The Case for a National Security Budget
Brett Rosenberg, associate director of policy at National Security Action, and Jake Sullivan, co-chair of National Security Action

“…It has become ordinary, even orthodoxy, for national security professionals to lament how the underfunding of civilian tools has fueled an overmilitarized foreign policy that is ill-equipped to take on today’s most pressing challenges. … Unfortunately, this rhetorical consensus has not produced the necessary rebalance in resources. … The current budget process apportions dollars along rigid departmental lines, and focusing on a single department — even if it is the largest — will always prevent other instruments of U.S. power from getting the attention and funding they need. To rectify this imbalance and integrate national security considerations across bureaucratic lines, Washington needs to fundamentally rethink the way it approaches the funding of its foreign policy. The United States should move toward a unified national security budget, which directly links funding decisions to a comprehensive National Security Strategy (NSS) and distributes resources to whichever department or agency can best get the job done. This national security budget will better match the means and ends of U.S. foreign policy and ensure that the country approaches a new international environment with both the military and the civilian tools it needs. … What is more, a unified national security budget will have to avoid the unintended effect of further ‘securitizing’ foreign policy. Labeling disparate efforts as security related can help procure funding but also risks twisting the purposes of those efforts. The United States should, for example, provide disaster assistance and fight disease because it’s the right thing to do, not only because doing so enhances national security…” (11/19).

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High-Level Commitments, Funding For Grassroots Actions Needed To Make Progress On Women Health, Rights, Opinion Piece Says

Ms. Magazine: What Have We Delivered for the World’s Women and Girls Since 1994?
Latanya Mapp Frett, president and CEO of Global Fund for Women

“…We’ve come far since 1994 — but not nearly far enough. … In some ways, in fact, we are further from consensus on gender equality than we were 25 years ago. Global opposition and backlash to feminist progress — from Trump’s expanded global gag rule, to anti-gender ideology, to national regressive policies — remains stringent and real. To truly make good on the promise of ICPD, we need to support, fuel, and listen to grassroots women and girl-led movements disrupting the status quo, leading the change that we need to see, and helping actualize health, rights, and justice in their communities, nations, and globally. … What governments and civil society commit to, and fund, has the power to save lives and transform generations…” (11/19).

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Opinion Pieces Propose Steps To Address Visual Impairment Globally

BBC: Why do billions of people still not have glasses?
Tim Harford, presenter for 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

“…Nowadays we take glasses for granted — in the developed world, at least. … In less developed countries, however, the picture is very different — and only recently did we get a clearer view of it. … [A]round the world, some two and a half billion people need glasses and don’t have them. That’s an eye-popping figure but serious people think it’s credible. And many of those people may have no idea glasses could help them. … [E]ven conservative estimates put the economic losses from poor eyesight into the hundreds of billions of dollars — and that’s before you think about people’s quality of life or children struggling at school. … What would it take to correct the world’s vision? Clearly, more eye doctors would help — the number varies widely from country to country. … But while serious eye problems demand skilled professionals, people whose needs are more easily fixable could be reached by other workers…” (11/20).

Devex: Opinion: A vision crisis is looming — unless we act now
Caroline Harper, chief executive of Sightsavers; John “Bob” Ranck of Orbis International; Ian Wishart, CEO of the Fred Hollows Foundation; and Rainer Brockhaus, CEO of Christoffel-Blindenmission Germany to lead Programmes, Fundraising and Communications

“…[A]s the world’s population grows and ages, global blindness and visual impairment are expected to triple over the next three decades. A crisis is on the horizon that, if left unaddressed, could lead blindness to increase to 115 million people globally, with another 588 million suffering from moderate or severe vision impairment. These are alarming statistics. But the good news is that 75% of all blindness and visual impairment is treatable or preventable. If we are to avoid a looming crisis, we must be strategic in how we target and scale up our efforts — and we must start now. … First, we must upskill local eye health teams to provide consistent care for their communities over the long term. … Second, it will be essential to utilize innovative teaching tools and technology to take programs to scale and further our reach. … Finally, we must join forces. Now is the time to act by collaborating to create sustainable eye health resources…” (11/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

World Bank Blog Post Discusses Global Reductions In Open Defecation, Notes 670M Continue Practice

World Bank’s “Data Blog”: Open defecation nearly halved since 2000 but is still practiced by 670 million
Haruna Kashiwase, consultant at the Development Data Group’s Socio-Demographic Data team, discusses global progress toward eliminating open defecation since 2000 and presents an interactive graph detailing the reductions by region. Kashiwase notes, “Between 2000 and 2017, the world nearly halved the number of people practicing open defecation from 1.3 billion to around 670 million (9% of the global population)” (11/19).

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PLOS Medicine Research Article Examines China's Progress Toward Health-Related SDGs

PLOS Medicine: Current situation and progress toward the 2030 health-related Sustainable Development Goals in China: A systematic analysis
In this article, researchers examine China’s progress toward the health-related Sustainable Development Goals, concluding in their abstract, “The study found that China has made good progress in improving population health, but challenges lie ahead. China has substantially improved the health of children and women and will continue to make good progress, although geographic disparities remain a great challenge. Meanwhile, China faced challenges in [noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)], mental health, and some infectious diseases. Poor control of health risk factors and worsening environmental threats have posed difficulties in further health improvement. Meanwhile, an inefficient health system is a barrier to tackling these challenges among such a rapidly aging population. … In order to make good progress, China must take a series of concerted actions, including more investments in public goods and services for health and redressing the intracountry inequities” (11/19).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Administrator, Sierra Leone Vice President Meet To Discuss Health, Development Issues

USAID: USAID Administrator Mark Green’s Meeting With The Honourable Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Ph.D., Vice President Of The Republic Of Sierra Leone
According to Acting Spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala, “On November 19, 2019, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green met in Washington, D.C., with The Honourable Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Ph.D., Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Administrator Green and Vice President Jalloh spoke about Sierra Leone’s strong leadership in the health sector, particularly in preventing further outbreaks of Ebola. … The Administrator emphasized that the Sierra Leonian authorities must work with civil society to increase efforts to combat human trafficking…” (11/19).

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