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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

China's New Family Planning Policy Awaits Approval From Parliament

Reuters/Huffington Post: China On New Two-Child Policy: Not So Fast
“China must continue to enforce its one-child policy until new rules allowing all couples to have two children go into effect, the top family planning body said. … The plan for the change must be approved by the rubber-stamp parliament during its annual session in March…” (11/2).

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Researchers Treat Pigs With Ivermectin As Potential Strategy To Protect Humans Against Malaria

New York Times: To Prevent Malaria in Humans, Scientists Try Protecting Pigs
“For years , scientists have known of a sneaky way to kill mosquitoes: Give humans a deworming pill. … But villagers with worms normally receive only one or two pills a year. Researchers aren’t certain it is possible — or safe — to boost blood levels of ivermectin high enough to wipe out generations of mosquitoes during the biting season, which can last for months. Scientists at the medical school of the University of Barcelona have come up with a novel alternative: Use livestock…” (11/2).

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Ethiopia Working To Prevent Famine Caused By Drought; U.N. Calls For Food Aid

Deutsche Welle: Faced with climate change, Ethiopia rediscovers an ancient staple crop
“Often dubbed the false banana, the giant enset is a staple crop in certain parts of Ethiopia. As climate change brings increasingly frequent droughts, the plant’s versatility and resilience could help fight hunger…” (Stern, 11/3).

The Economist: Ethiopia tries to avert another famine
“…Ethiopian officials say that this failed harvest is as bad as the catastrophic droughts that befell Ethiopia in 1965-66, 1972-73 and 1984-85, killing more than 1m people in all. But a sophisticated food-security system means that poor Ethiopians these days can cope much better with drought than before…” (11/2).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Worrying aid shortages as malnutrition hits record high in Ethiopia
“Donors are not responding fast enough to urgent calls for more aid to drought-stricken Ethiopia where record-breaking numbers of children are suffering malnutrition, the United Nations said on Monday…” (Migiro, 11/2).

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Media Outlets Report On Cholera Outbreaks, Immunization Campaign In Iraq

Foreign Policy: Cholera Is Coming
“…[T]oday’s [cholera] outbreak, which is unfolding in the Middle East and East Africa, is growing during an El Niño climate event that is shifting the planet’s normal rain and drought patterns, spreading the waterborne cholera bacteria. But this year’s outbreak has dangerous added dimensions: Its spread is fueled by war throughout the Middle East, the existence of vast ungoverned and poorly governed tracts of the region, and an enormous refugee crisis…” (Garrett, 11/2).

World Health Organization: WHO mobilizes 510,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine to help control the cholera outbreak in Iraq
“An estimated 250,000 displaced persons will be targeted during the oral cholera vaccine (OCV) campaign to help control cholera outbreak in Iraq. The World Health Organization has mobilized 510,000 doses of OCV, and the 2-dose campaign is part of a strategy to prevent cholera transmission in high-risk areas and avert a potentially large-scale cholera outbreak in the 62 camps for refugees and internally displaced people…” (11/1).

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News Outlets Examine Ebola's Impact In West Africa; Sierra Leone Expected To Be Declared Ebola-Free

CIDRAP News: Analysis suggests Liberia Ebola cases higher than thought
“Ebola cases in one of Liberia’s hot spots last summer were likely triple that reported by official sources, according to an international group of researchers, part of ongoing analyses on the outbreak that also revealed new findings on disease severity and nosocomial transmission…” (Schnirring, 11/2).

The Guardian: Sierra Leone set for Ebola all clear as it approaches 42 days without a fresh case
“Sierra Leone is expected to be declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation on Saturday, when it will have gone 42 days without any fresh case of the virus…” (O’Carroll, 11/3).

Vaccine News Daily: Ebola clinics take on new roles in West Africa
“The role of Ebola treatment clinics in West Africa has a radical shift now that the crisis has passed many of the areas where it was prevalent…” (11/2).

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Tanzania Working To Address HIV Among Gay Men, Reduce Stigma

Al Jazeera: Tanzania: Fighting social stigma to prevent HIV spread
“…Tanzania has the fourth-highest number of deaths from AIDS in the world, and the HIV infection rate among gay men is more than four times the national average – numbers even the most homophobic of governments have been hard-pressed to ignore. … While gay men are rarely, if ever, prosecuted under the law in Tanzania, the social stigma it perpetuates can be deadly. … The government had no comprehensive plan for addressing the fact that groups most at risk for contracting HIV, including gay men, were often the least likely to receive services. … Tanzania’s efforts [to address HIV/AIDS among gay men] are beginning to bear fruit. In 2013, TACAIDS, the government organization that coordinates Tanzania’s HIV/AIDS response, included men who have sex with men in its national HIV strategy…” (Higgins, 11/1).

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Review Of HIV Clinical Trials Finds Women Underrepresented

SciDev.Net: HIV studies overlook women
“Women are underrepresented in clinical trials of HIV treatments, although the virus affects men and women almost equally. A systematic review published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes found that women made up about 19 per cent of patients taking part in clinical studies of antiretroviral treatments, 38 per cent of those involved in vaccine trials and 11 per cent of those in HIV cure studies…” (Carmona, 11/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

Family Planning Efforts Can Influence Progress On All SDGs, Other Health Areas Need Greater Emphasis To Achieve Goals

Devex: What works and what’s missing in the new global goals
Pape Amadou Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth International

“…[W]e’re approaching the International Conference on Family Planning in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, where the global community will gather next week to share best practices, celebrate successes, and plan the future of global family planning. This field happens to affect each of the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] in one way or another. So as we prepare for this, let’s consider what works and what’s missing in the SDGs: … We must make health workers and access to them integral to our plan for 2030. … The private sector’s resources are vast, but we must forge meaningful partnerships and maintain a strong sense of social accountability if we’re to work together effectively. … We have the will. Let’s focus on the how. And what better place to start than with family planning, an area of health care whose far-reaching effects will influence our progress toward each of the SDGs?…” (11/3).

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Misconceptions, Stigma Among Young People Discourage Access To Sexual, Reproductive Health Services In Nigeria

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Stigma deters young people from accessing contraception in Nigeria
Nnamdi Eseme, member of the Key Correspondents network, which is supported by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance

“…Young people have unique experiences of stigma and discrimination and youth friendly services are essential to tackling issues around unwanted pregnancies and risk of HIV. … In Nigeria, as well as across Africa, poor knowledge of modern contraceptive methods, sociocultural practices, lack of relevant health policies and youth-friendly services are factors that continue to limit young people accessing sexual and reproductive health services. … It remains to be seen how Nigeria, and all the other member states of the U.N., will truly embrace the new [Sustainable Development Goals] and ensure that young people are not left behind when it comes to ensuring healthy lives for all” (11/2).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Conference Addresses Status, Progress, Challenges Of Global Polio Eradication Efforts

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health Blog”: Meeting the Challenges of Global Polio Eradication
Chris Millard, program manager and research associate for the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, highlights topics discussed during a CSIS conference on global polio eradication, including “the strategic transition of polio assets to address other global health priorities once poliovirus transmission has been interrupted and national immunization systems strengthened;” the phasing out of the trivalent oral polio vaccine (tOPV) for the bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) and the addition of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) to routine immunization programs; the “eventual global withdraw of all OPVs and their replacement with IPV;” and challenges of polio vaccine delivery in conflict settings, particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan (11/2).

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Blog Examines Potential Of Multipurpose Prevention Technologies To Simultaneously Prevent HIV, STIs, Unplanned Pregnancies

Health Affairs Blog: MPTs Combine Contraception With HIV And Other STI Prevention
Bethany Young Holt, director of the Initiative for MPTs (IMPT) and executive director of CAMI Health, and Helen Rees, executive director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute of the University of the Witwatersrand, discuss the role of Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (MPTs), which “are a new class of product in development that deliver varying method combinations to simultaneously prevent HIV, STIs, and unplanned pregnancies” (11/2).

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Portable Tool Can Diagnose TB, Other Diseases 'Quickly, Accurately'

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: TB diagnostic offers hope, while disease detection in highest burden country lags
Antigone Barton, senior writer and editor of “Science Speaks,” discusses the GenXpert Omni, a portable device that can be used to diagnose TB and 23 other diseases (11/2).

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Blog Post Provides Roundup Of Recent Global Health Research News

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Research Roundup: repurposing ivermectin to fight malaria, LED lights against dengue fever, rapid diagnostics to slow antimicrobial resistance, and more
Kat Kelley, GHTC’s senior program assistant, highlights recent news in global health research, including results from a study that suggest ivermectin could be used in mass drug administration programs to address malaria; the development of LED street lights that could be used as a tool to address dengue fever; a new cervical cancer diagnostic tool; and a recent report from the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance that “calls for the research and development of rapid, point-of-care diagnostics to reduce the overuse of antibiotics” (11/2).

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Humanosphere Examines Potential Famine In South Sudan

Humanosphere: Restricted aid access pushes parts of South Sudan back to the brink of famine
Humanosphere reporter Tom Murphy discusses the humanitarian situation in South Sudan. He writes, “… the fighting forces are limiting the ability for aid to reach some of South Sudan’s most vulnerable people. The situation is similar to last year when aid groups warned of a potential famine. … The dire predictions were not realized last year, but faced with the same outlook again, famine is a real possibility for some parts of South Sudan” (11/2).

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