KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

CSIS Commission On Strengthening America's Health Security Releases Final Set Of Recommendations For U.S. Action On Global Health Security

Devex: Commission aims to create roadmap for U.S. role in global health security
“A commission including global health and national security leaders, and members of Congress has released a set of recommendations it believes can serve as a blueprint for improved U.S. action on global health security. ‘We began the Commission’s work with a simple, powerful proposition: health security is national security, in a world that is increasingly dangerous and interdependent,’ Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, the co-chair of the Center for Strategic and International Studies Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security, said in her written testimony for a Senate Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee hearing Wednesday. … The commission’s final report, which was released this week, makes seven recommendations of actions that the administration and Congress can take to improve global health security and bolster the U.S. role in addressing critical issues facing the world…” (Saldinger, 11/22).

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Nations Should Invest More In Disease Outbreak Preparedness, Surveillance, WHO DG Tedros Says In Telegraph Interview

The Telegraph: ‘We should be afraid of it’: WHO chief’s warning over global flu pandemic threat
“Countries are investing heavily in defense but missing the real enemy — a deadly flu virus, the leader of the World Health Organization has warned. In an interview with the Telegraph Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO, said the one thing that worried him more than anything was the threat of a flu outbreak racing around the world. … [H]e said that countries were ‘investing in panic,’ for example spending billions of dollars on the 2014-15 West Africa outbreak, rather than investing in preparedness and disease surveillance. Dr. Tedros said it was not a matter of if but when a pandemic strikes and he added: ‘And it’s not just the health impact, it will have social, economic, and political impact’…” (Gulland, 11/21).

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SDGs Increasingly Mentioned During Impact Investing Conference

Devex: A deepening relationship between impact investing and the SDGs
“There may be a shift underway in the impact investing sector to increasingly link it to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, if the conversation at this week’s Global Steering Group for Impact Investment’s annual summit is any indication. From GSG chairman Ronald Cohen’s opening remarks, through many of the speeches, panels, and conversations, the SDGs kept getting mentioned — a marked difference from the summit a year ago…” (Saldinger, 11/21).

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4 In 5 Adolescents Worldwide Do Not Exercise Enough, Compromising Health Into Adulthood, WHO Study Says

U.N. News: Four in five adolescents failing to exercise for even 60 minutes a day, U.N. health agency warns
“An alarming lack of exercise among adolescents across the world risks seriously compromising their health into adulthood, the U.N. said on Thursday. In the first study of its kind on global and regional trends among 11- to 17-year-olds, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that around 80 percent of them do less than 60 minutes of activity per day — the minimum daily recommendation…” (11/21).

Additional coverage of the study is available from BBC, CNBC, The Guardian, Reuters, and VOA.

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Violence Threatens Ebola Prevention Efforts In DRC As Measles Outbreak Continues To Spread To All Country's Provinces

AP: U.N.: Spike in violence may jeopardize ending Ebola in Congo
“The World Health Organization on Friday noted ‘a very dangerous and alarming development’ in efforts to end the Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo, warning that the eruption of violence may re-ignite the epidemic…” (11/22).

BBC News: DR Congo measles: Nearly 5,000 dead in major outbreak
“Measles has killed nearly 5,000 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019, authorities said, after the disease spread to all the provinces in the country. Close to a quarter of a million people have been infected this year alone…” (11/21).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak is available from Big Picture Science and CIDRAP News.

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Wolbachia-Infected Mosquitoes, Bed Nets With Combination Chemical Treatments Help Reduce Dengue, Malaria, Separate Studies Presented At ASTMH Meeting Show

Devex: Malaria: New chemical formulation for bed nets shows promising results
“Long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets have been a lifesaving tool against malaria, but increased resistance against pyrethroids — the key chemical ingredient used — had researchers looking for alternatives or adjustments. Now, they may have found one. In a major trial in Uganda, researchers found that although traditional pyrethroid-treated bed nets continue to be effective, households given bed nets with a combination of pyrethroids and the chemical piperonyl butoxide experienced 27% fewer cases of malaria among children ages 2 to 10. These households also had 80% fewer malaria-carrying mosquitoes…” (Ravelo, 11/22).

STAT: Across several continents, infecting mosquitoes with bacteria results in dramatic drops in dengue illness, trials show
“The number of people infected by dengue and at least one related virus has plunged in places where mosquitoes bred to be infected with a bacterium called Wolbachia have been released and have established themselves, scientists reported Thursday. The results, from Australia, Indonesia, and Brazil, are dramatic, with a 76% drop in dengue infections in the part of Indonesia where the mosquitoes were released…” (Branswell, 11/21).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: How Mongolia is trying to curb antibiotic overuse (Ravelo, 11/22).

Devex: A solution to the cost of giving life in Kenya (11/21).

Devex: Innovative approaches to improving contraceptive access in Kenya (11/21).

The Guardian: Uganda bans thousands of charities in ‘chilling’ crackdown (Mwesigwa, 11/21).

HealthDay News: Infants May Not Be as Immune to Measles as Thought (Heubeck, 11/21).

PRI: Chinese medicine is getting WHO recognition. Some doctors are alarmed (Gordon, 11/21).

Reuters: Pakistan grapples with drug-resistant typhoid outbreak (Hassan/Pal, 11/22).

Reuters: Drone firm in talks in Uganda on medical supply delivery deal (Biryabarema, 11/22).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Slovaks rally against proposed abortion restrictions (Furneaux, 11/21).

VOA: U.N.: 2018 Deadliest Year for Syrian Children Since War Began (Schlein, 11/21).

Xinhua: U.N. population talks intensify push to end violence against women (11/22).

Xinhua: Kenya pledges to eliminate childhood malnutrition (11/21).

Xinhua: Kenyan scientist urges to boost fight against antimicrobial resistance (11/21).

Xinhua: WHO provides trauma kits to Libyan hospitals (11/21).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Leaders Must Address Health Equity To Prepare For Disease Outbreaks, Provide Quality Health Care, Opinion Piece Says

Financial Times: Global health equity is needed to prevent an Ebola pandemic
Charlotte Wagner, chief executive of the Wagner Foundation

“…Governments, policymakers, and donors must face facts. Piecemeal, reactive approaches to global health are expensive and ineffective. Disease knows no boundary. Actions based on the control of a single disease do not build the robust, long-term systems that are needed — not only to stop another outbreak but to address myriad other ailments that go untreated. … Well-intentioned philanthropic initiatives, such as those promoting vaccinations, bed nets, and oral rehydration, do help in the short term but they are not solutions. Without addressing the underlying question of health equity, our efforts are incomplete. An effective system requires greater co-operation, as well as substantive shared investment explicitly serving the goal of providing quality healthcare for all…” (11/21).

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AI Technology Could Help Create Equity In Health Care If Challenges To Implementing Applications Addressed, Opinion Piece Says

Science: Artificial intelligence for global health
Ahmed Hosny and Hugo J.W.L. Aerts, both with the Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (AIM) Program of Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School and Radiaton Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

“Artificial intelligence (AI) has demonstrated great progress in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. … Not surprisingly, most AI developments in health care cater to the needs of high-income countries (HICs), where the majority of research is conducted. Conversely, little is discussed about what AI can bring to medical practice in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where workforce shortages and limited resources constrain the access to and quality of care. AI could play an important role in addressing global health care inequities at the individual patient, health system, and population levels. However, challenges in developing and implementing AI applications must be addressed ahead of widespread adoption and measurable impact. … Uneven distribution of access to technologies has created a digital divide between the rich and poor, while contributing to existing global inequalities. AI could emerge as a socially responsible technology with inherent equity” (11/22).

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Mental Health, Well-Being Gaining More Ground In Global Health Work, Expert Writes In Opinion Piece

Devex: Opinion: Finding the place for mental health and well-being in global development
Julian Eaton, mental health director for CBM International and co-director of the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

“…Having been acknowledged in theory for many years, evidence-based practice aimed explicitly at improving mental health is now being more concretely integrated into programming, and the major bilateral and multilateral agencies, as well as funders and governments, are moving from an acceptance of the importance of this area to starting to plan and budget mental health into their work. … The Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development explores many of these questions and proposes a reframing of the field for the next decades, focusing not only on closing the care gap, but also on addressing the social determinants that drive poor mental health. As with all global health and development agendas, equity and justice are at the heart of what drives global mental health as a field…” (11/21).

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Kohler Co. Working With Partners To Drive, Implement Innovation In Sanitation, Opinion Piece Says

IPS: More Than just a Toilet: Fusing innovation & Partnerships for a Better World
Rotish Namboothiry, associate director of Innovation for Good at Kohler Co.

“Each year, World Toilet Day raises awareness of the crucial role that sanitation plays in reducing disease and creating healthier communities. At Kohler, we’re committed to finding solutions for universal sanitation access by leveraging our design & innovation competencies and partnering with like-minded organizations to bring meaningful innovations to those communities most in need. … Innovation for Good is Kohler’s internal incubator designed to find new business opportunities that have a social purpose aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). … If we’re going to put an end to the sanitation crisis, the time for real action and strong partnership is now… (11/21).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

New NASEM Report Urges Enhanced Cooperation Among Medicine Regulatory Authorities Worldwide To Improve Public Health

National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine: To Improve Public Health, Medicine Regulators Worldwide Should Collaborate, Remove Barriers to Sharing Information, Says New Report
“Medicine regulatory authorities — including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — should strengthen cooperation with other countries’ regulators to ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of medicines, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Regulating Medicines in a Globalized World: The Need for Increased Reliance Among Regulators contains recommendations to promote information sharing among RAs with the aim of protecting public health, ensuring faster access to critical medicines, and encouraging innovation in medicine and technology…” (11/21).

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Brookings Experts Examine Use Of Impact Bonds To Address Development Issues

Brookings Institution: From Colombia to Cameroon: The gradual growth of impact bonds in developing countries
Emily Gustafsson-Wright, fellow, Izzy Boggild-Jones, senior research analyst, and Onyeka Nwabunnia, project coordinator, all with the Brookings Center for Universal Education, examine the use of impact bonds to address development issues, including health (11/21).

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Study Examines River Blindness, African Eye Worm Co-infection Prevalence, Challenges To Treatment, Prevention

DNDi: Study shows that African eye worm threatens elimination of river blindness
This release discusses findings of a study examining the prevalence and challenges of onchocerciasis (also known as river blindness) and loiasis (also known as African eye worm) co-infection, which is complicating efforts to treat and, ultimately, eliminate onchocerciasis (11/20).

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From the U.S. Government

State Department's 'DipNote' Blog Discusses U.S., UNICEF Relationship

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Working with UNICEF to Advance the Welfare of Children Around the World
Brandon Jackson of the Bureau for International Organization Affairs at the U.S. Department of State discusses the U.S. government’s relationship with UNICEF and a recent trip by the U.S. Special Representative to the UNICEF Executive Board to observe UNICEF’s work in Mumbai, India (11/21).

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