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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Rate Of Newly Diagnosed HIV Cases Up 52% In Europe Since 2007, ECDC/WHO Report Shows

Reuters: Europe’s HIV epidemic growing at alarming rate, WHO warns
“The number of people newly diagnosed with HIV in Europe reached its highest level in 2016 since records began, showing the region’s epidemic growing ‘at an alarming pace,’ health officials said on Tuesday. … The ECDC/WHO report found that over the past 10 years, the rate of newly diagnosed HIV infections in this region has risen by 52 percent from 12 in every 100,000 of population in 2007 to 18.2 for every 100,000 in 2016…” (Kelland, 11/28).

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Industry Interfering With Southeast Asia's Efforts To Impose Tobacco Control Treaty Provisions, Report Says

AFP/The Guardian: Blow to tobacco control treaty as industry wins tax fight in southeast Asia
“A global treaty to fight the health impact of tobacco has suffered substantial setbacks in southeast Asia, home to some of the world’s highest concentrations of smokers, a watchdog group has said. The powerful tobacco lobby last year stopped proposed cigarette tax increases in Malaysia and Indonesia, while Vietnam waived all duties on dried tobacco imports from Cambodia, the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance said in a report released on Monday…” (11/27).

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WASH Progress Being Made But More Education Needed To End Open Defecation

Inter Press Service: “Ambition & Action” Needed to End Open Defecation
“What would life be like without access to a toilet? What if our waste was not properly disposed of? For those in the developed world, such questions are hard to fathom, but for 2.3 billion people around the world it’s a reality. … The … Sustainable Development Goal[s] (SDGs) include a pledge that aims to provide everyone with access to toilets and improved sanitation services by 2030. … ‘[M]eeting the target will require a step-change in our ambition and action,’ says WaterAid U.K.’s Tim Wainwright…” (Higginbotham, 11/27).

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IBSA Fund For Poverty, Hunger Alleviation In Global South Releases Annual Report

U.N. News Centre: Antalya: U.N.-backed fund combating poverty and hunger across Global South launches annual report
“Three countries at the forefront of South-South cooperation … launched [Monday] the latest report of the India, Brazil, and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation, known as the IBSA Fund, named after the lead partners, and which is a remarkable example of cooperation among developing countries for the benefit of other southern states in partnership with the U.N. system. … Its objectives range from promoting food security and addressing HIV/AIDS, to extending access to safe drinking water…” (11/27).

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High-Level Conference Addresses Access To Affordable Health Care

Intellectual Property Watch: Access To Affordable Health Care: A Global Wake-Up Call Fosters Coalition Of The Like-Minded
“Few topics in the global health agenda are as contentious as access to affordable medicines and medical care, and expectedly, divergent views permeated the discussions at a high-level conference in New Delhi, India, last week. But if there is one thing that the three-day meet made amply clear, it was this: access to affordable health care has emerged as a global problem…” (Chatterjee, 11/27).

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New Reaching The Last Mile Fund Aims To Eliminate River Blindness, Lymphatic Filariasis

Inside Philanthropy: The Deep-Pocketed Donors Behind the Latest Push Against Neglected Tropical Diseases
“…The most recent offensive by private funders on this front seeks to raise $100 million through a collective launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The 10-year fund aims to eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. … The fund was announced at the Reaching the Last Mile global health forum, which recently took place in Abu Dhabi. The forum was made possible with the help of strategic partners such as the Carter Center and the Gates Foundation…” (Moses, 11/27).

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Herbicide Glyphosate Wins 5-Year E.U. Approval Amid Debate Over Cancer-Causing Concerns

New York Times: Glyphosate, Top-Selling Weed Killer, Wins E.U. Approval for 5 Years
“The European Union voted on Monday to extend its authorization for the world’s best-selling herbicide for an abbreviated period of five years, with France and Germany splitting over the move. … The vote on Monday capped an unusually lengthy and combative European review process that unfolded amid claims and counterclaims about the cancer-causing risks of glyphosate…” (Hakim, 11/27).

Reuters: Germany swings E.U. vote in favor of weed-killer glyphosate
“…Europe has been wrestling for the past two years over what to do with the chemical, a key ingredient in Monsanto’s top-selling Roundup, whose license was set to expire on Dec. 15. The chemical has been used by farmers for more than 40 years, but its safety was cast into doubt when a World Health Organization agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), concluded in 2015 it probably causes cancer…” (Blenkinsop, 11/27).

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Madagascar Plague Outbreak Slowing, WHO Says, Urges Continued Vigilance

Washington Times: WHO: Plague outbreak in Madagascar is slowing
“Madagascar’s ‘unprecedented’ outbreak of plague is slowing, but responders cannot afford to ease off the fight until the risk of transmission dies down in the spring, the World Health Organization said Monday. WHO officials said the number of reported cases of bubonic and pneumonic plague has steadily decreased in recent weeks, though new infections are expected until plague season ends in April…” (Howell, 11/27).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: Group calls for Indonesian forces to stop virginity tests (11/22).

The Atlantic: The Decades-Long Quest to Make Virus-Proof Mosquitoes (Yong, 11/27).

Devex: 2 new organizations make GiveWell’s list of top charities (Cheney, 11/27).

Global Health NOW: Thailand’s Left-Behind Children (Arnold, 11/26).

Reuters: Exclusive: India pares back planned funding for crucial public health scheme (Kalra/Wilkes, 11/23).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Female circumcision in Sri Lanka is ‘just a nick,’ not mutilation: supporters (Bhalla, 11/27).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Australian doctors demand access to Manus Island asylum seekers (Suliman, 11/27).

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Editorials and Opinions

Better Data Needed To Improve Nutrition For Children Globally

Thomson Reuters Foundation: To ensure better nutrition for children and their mothers, we need the right data
Adelheid Onyango, adviser for nutrition at WHO Africa

“…Today, data can be captured on tablets, smart phones, or even through text messages on flip phones. Health ministries have a variety of systems they can tap to collect and process the raw data. These systems have been used in a wide variety of settings within and beyond public health. … WHO member states in 2012 agreed to six global nutrition targets to achieve by 2025. In agreeing to these targets, governments also agreed to report to the World Health Assembly and be held accountable — to their constituents, to their peers, and to the international community. Now is the time to fortify this political will and invest in the required data systems. If nearly one out of every three children is malnourished to the point where they are not growing properly, it really shouldn’t take complex technologies to locate them. But the right data can help ensure we implement policies that will to stop this tragedy in its tracks” (11/27).

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Initiative To End AIDS In Africa Can Serve As 'Catalyst To Trigger Discussions About HIV' In U.S. African-American, African Diaspora Communities

Black Press USA: Why Ending AIDS in Africa Matters to Black Americans
Djibril Diallo, UNAIDS director of the Regional Support Team for West and Central Africa

“World AIDS Day (December 1) is fast approaching and a recently launched initiative aimed at ending HIV/AIDS, as a public health crisis in Africa, could be a catalyst to trigger discussions about HIV in the African-American and African diaspora communities in the United States. … The Catch-Up Plan [for West and Central Africa] is an 18-month initiative that has been developed to accelerate the AIDS response and prevent a resurgence of the HIV epidemic in the 25-country region. Its focus is on testing, knowing one’s HIV status, treatment, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission … [A]t a time when the global response to HIV is accelerating, millions of people in Western and Central Africa are being left behind. There is a considerable gap when it comes to people knowing their HIV status, and for those who test positive to receive the necessary treatment. The same can be said for the populations most vulnerable to the disease in the United States, as well. … The Catch-Up Plan for West and Central Africa initiative can serve as the entry point for talking about HIV/AIDS and related health issues…” (11/27).

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To Increase Health Care Access In Developing Countries, Improve Local Capacities, Relationships, Create Support Networks

Devex: Opinion: The secret to increasing global access to health care
Susannah Schaefer, executive vice chair and CEO of Smile Train

“Nearly five billion people across the world lack access to safe and affordable surgical care. This burden is felt most acutely in low- and middle-income countries where — among many health emergencies and needs — untreated birth defects impact individuals’ abilities to pursue education or professional opportunities. … [H]ere are three key lessons Smile Train has learned about how to improve access to health care in developing countries, which we think could be applicable to any nongovernmental organization with a similar goal. 1. Bolster local health care capacities in developing countries. … 2. Balance between a laser-focus on one key vision, while also providing additional supplementary patient resources. … 3. Emphasize the importance of local relationships. … [W]ith Smile Train’s model, we work to empower communities to become less dependent on outside aid over time, creating a sustainable response not just to cleft lip and/or palate — but other pressing global health care issues as well” (11/27).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

UNAIDS, WHO Recognize World AIDS Day 2017

UNAIDS: World AIDS Day message from UNAIDS Executive Director
In his World AIDS Day statement, Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS and under secretary general of the U.N., writes, “The right to health is a fundamental human right — everybody has the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health … The world will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals — which include the target of ending AIDS by 2030 — without people attaining their right to health. The right to health is interrelated with a range of other rights, including the rights to sanitation, food, decent housing, healthy working conditions, and a clean environment” (12/1).

World Health Organization: World AIDS Day 2017: Everybody counts
“…To complement the global World AIDS Day 2017 campaign which promotes the theme ‘Right to health,’ the World Health Organization will highlight the need for all 36.7 million people living with HIV and those who are vulnerable and affected by the epidemic, to reach the goal of universal health coverage. Under the slogan ‘Everybody counts,’ WHO will advocate for access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable medicines, including medicines, diagnostics, and other health commodities as well as health care services for all people in need, while also ensuring that they are protected against financial risks…” (12/1).

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Global Dispatches Podcast Interviews IRC Head About New Book On Refugees

Global Dispatches Podcast: Episode 171: David Miliband
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of the U.N. Dispatch and host of the Global Dispatches Podcast, speaks with David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, about his new book, Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of Our Time, and “how growing up the child of refugees influenced and informed his own career in politics and now as an NGO leader” (11/27).

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WHO Delivers Medicine To Respond To Diphtheria Outbreak In Yemen

World Health Organization: WHO delivers medicines as diphtheria spreads in Yemen
“WHO has delivered medicines to tackle an outbreak of diphtheria in Yemen, warning that sustained humanitarian access is critical to stopping its spread. The shipment of 1,000 vials of life-saving anti-toxins and 17 tonnes of medical supplies arrived in Sanaa on Monday (November 27) after being stalled by the three-week closure of sea and air ports…” (11/27).

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IntraHealth Blog Post Outlines Why Global Health Concerns All People

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: Global Health Is a Cause We Can All Get Behind
Nola Paterni, development officer at IntraHealth International, writes that “global public health is actually everyone’s concern, or should be. None of us can afford to ignore the plights of other countries. … The world is so divisive right now, we’ve got to find causes to get behind — together. And one of them must be global health” (11/27).

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From the U.S. Government

Q&A Series Highlights Women Working In Development, Supported By USAID

USAID/Medium: Q&A Series: When Women Do Better, Countries Do Better
In the final installments of this series of blog posts, USAID highlights the innovative work of women the agency has supported. “They are having an outsized impact in the developing world  –  and beyond —  proving that when women do better, countries do better,” the blog notes. The fifth piece in the series profiles Muthoni Masinde, who created a drought early warning system that uses mobile technology to help small-scale farmers in Mozambique, South Africa, and Kenya monitor weather conditions; the sixth profiles Kanika Bahl, CEO of Evidence Action; and the seventh and final piece profiles Frei Sangil, president and tech director of LAYERTech Software Labs (11/27).

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