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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

PRI Examines U.S. Provision Of Gender Equality-Linked Foreign Aid

PRI: When it comes to gender-equality aid, the U.S. lags behind its peers
“…Many believe [a Hillary Clinton] presidency would be a boost for women’s rights movements in the U.S. and worldwide. As secretary of state, she championed advancing gender equality through U.S. foreign policy. But, in looking at the numbers, the dollars don’t always match the rhetoric. The U.S. has been far behind other high-income developed nations in terms of providing foreign aid that supports gender equality and women’s empowerment to developing nations…” (Ser, 11/1).

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Global Tobacco Treaty Leaders Could Decide At Conference To Eject Delegates With Industry Ties; India Reaffirms Commitment To Treaty

Reuters: Exclusive: Global tobacco treaty leaders propose ejecting delegates with ties to industry
“The leadership of a World Health Organization (WHO) treaty aimed at controlling tobacco could be about to get tougher with the global tobacco industry. Delegates at a conference next week on controlling tobacco with ties to the business could be refused credentials and ejected, according to an internal document seen by Reuters. The proposal, if adopted by the full Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) at the conference in India, could affect delegates sent by countries like China and Vietnam, where governments own cigarette companies or promote tobacco growing and have in the past sent representatives linked to the industry…” (Wilson/Kalra, 11/3).

Reuters: India says it is committed to global tobacco-control treaty
“India reaffirmed on Tuesday its commitment to a World Health Organization (WHO) tobacco-control treaty, despite lobbying from its $11 billion industry that opposes some measures in the treaty that will be discussed at a conference next week. Delegates from about 180 countries will attend the Nov. 7-12 conference near New Delhi on the only global anti-tobacco treaty, called the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)…” (Kalra, 11/1).

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New WHO Guidelines Present Recommendations To Prevent Surgical-, Hospital-Related Infections

Reuters: WHO advises proper washing, no shaving in fight against hospital superbugs
“Patients going for surgery should bathe or shower beforehand but their surgical site should not be shaved, and antibiotics should be used to prevent infections before and during surgery, but not afterwards, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. In new guidelines aimed at halting the spread of potentially deadly superbug infections in hospitals and clinics worldwide, the WHO said obsessive dedication to cleanliness and hygiene was crucial, as was the careful use of anti-infectives…” (Kelland, 11/2).

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Only 17 Recorded Guinea Worm Cases This Year, But Conflict, Infections Among Dogs Hampering Elimination Efforts, WHO Official Says

Reuters: Wars and dogs complicate WHO’s bid to kill off Guinea worm
“The World Health Organization’s battle to eradicate Guinea worm is being hampered by conflict and infections in dogs but cases have fallen to just 17 so far in 2016, the doctor leading the fight told Reuters on Wednesday. The debilitating parasite afflicted 3.5 million people 30 years ago but is now endemic in only four countries: South Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, and Mali…” (Miles, 11/2).

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6% Of New TB Infections In West Africa Resistant To Drugs, New Research Shows

The Guardian: Multidrug-resistant TB rates soaring in West Africa, WHO warns
“…Until now, the World Health Organization has had to rely on estimates for MDR-TB in West Africa because the data has not been collected or reliable. But a new surveillance network across eight countries in the region has found that drug resistance is a much greater threat than had been assumed. The WHO had estimated that up to two percent of new TB infections in West Africa were resistant to drugs, but the researchers found the true rate was six percent…” (Boseley, 11/2).

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U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund Warns Of Funding Shortfall For Quick Reactions To Crises

U.N. News Centre: Funding shortfall for U.N. emergency response fund could have ‘devastating impact’
“The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has warned that an imminent funding shortfall could severely impact its response to sudden onset or rapidly deteriorating emergencies as well as forgotten crises during the end of 2016 and early 2017 and ultimately have a devastating impact on the lives of people in need…” (11/2).

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Without Proper Donor Support, Food Shortages Threaten Western Saharan Refugees, U.N. Agencies Warn

U.N. News Centre: Western Saharan refugees face looming food shortage, U.N. agencies warn in appeal for donor support
“Three United Nations agencies operating in Algeria appealed [Wednesday] for continued donor support for refugees from Western Sahara, warning that insufficient funding makes imminent a cut in basic food rations…” (11/2).

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1 In 50 People In Russia's 4th-Largest City Living With HIV, Health Official Says

Associated Press: Official: Fourth-largest city in Russia has HIV epidemic
“Russian health officials say one in 50 people in the country’s fourth-largest city is carrying [HIV] as Russia struggles to deal with a rapidly rising number of infections. The central Russian city of Yekaterinburg suffers from an HIV epidemic, regional Deputy Health Minister Tatiana Savinova said, according to a statement widely reported Wednesday by Russian media. The city of 1.5 million people has 27,000 residents, or 1.8 percent of the population, carrying the virus, she said…” (Amos, 11/2).

RT News: HIV ‘epidemic’: Official says nearly every 50th resident of Russian Urals city infected
“…On the other hand, the Sverdlovsk region also has more people tested for HIV — over 23 percent of the population — while in other regions only 15 people are generally tested, according to Savinova. The infection is ‘getting older,’ with many people infected now 30-49 years old…” (11/2).

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Jim O'Neill Discusses Efforts To Address Antimicrobial Resistance In Project Syndicate Interview

Project Syndicate: PS On Air: The Super Germ Threat
“In the latest edition of PS On Air, Jim O’Neill discusses how to beat antimicrobial resistance, which threatens millions of lives, with Gavekal Dragonomics’ Anatole Kaletsky and Leonardo Maisano of Il Sole 24 Ore…” (11/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

PEPFAR Sets 'High Bar' For 'American Greatness'

The Hill: Ask George W. Bush how to set a high bar for American greatness
Bridget Johnson, senior fellow with the news and public policy group at Haym Salomon Center and D.C. bureau chief for PJ Media

“…In his [2003] State of the Union address, [President George W.] Bush called the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) ‘a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of Africa.’ … Bush … said in 2015 that he found it ‘morally unacceptable for the United States to stand aside while millions of people died from a disease we could treat.’ In that single quote, with his legacy of action on the crisis, Bush illuminated what makes America great. America is greatest and strongest when it extends a hand to those who, by political conventional wisdom, it should care about the least. … Bush rightly pointed out that healthy, whole societies make stable economic and security partners, while those crumbling under crises are prone to become ‘exporters of danger.’ An America on the right path embraces righteousness and doesn’t rank other lives as less worthy of protection. PEPFAR sets that high bar, and challenges us to accurately define and share even more American greatness” (11/2).

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Quality Data, Innovation Critical For Achieving Gender Equality In Africa

Medium: What do we really know about Africa?
Ayo Ajayi, Africa director for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…The place where we most need innovative approaches to data is in the realm of women and girls. Even the little data that is available on Africa is not sufficient to measure women’s contributions and opportunities because surveys tend to focus on male-dominated activities. We need to get women and girls on the map if we’re going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving gender equality by 2030. That’s why the Gates Foundation is so eager to find new ways to figure out where women are flourishing and what they still need in order to reach their full potential. Data and innovation are like the proverbial chicken and egg  –  one cannot exist without the other and each produces a new iteration of the former. In Africa right now, the fact of the matter is we have the innovation but not the data. It’s time to leverage that tool for its best purpose” (10/28).

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Investments In 'Prevention And Anticipatory Action' Vital To Timely Humanitarian Responses In Emergencies

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Money to burn? The cost of late response to humanitarian crises
Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, and Courtenay Cabot Venton, an international development economist

“The international humanitarian community is trapped in a state of perpetual crisis management. … [A]n upsurge in funding towards peaks of crises is holding humanitarian action in a cycle of escalating costs and late response. … [O]ur dollars could help many more people, and actually avert suffering, if we invested more in prevention and anticipatory action. … In the face of conflict, timely humanitarian response is vital to protect those most vulnerable and caught in the cross-fire, and can mean the difference between life and death. When assistance levels don’t meet the needs of those who need it most, children are less likely to go to school, and people begin to migrate to find a better life, putting themselves and their families at risk. The primary objective of humanitarian aid is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity. We can better fulfill this mandate, but it requires a shift in the way that we all respond to crises” (11/3).

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Increasing Oral Cholera Vaccine Supply, Improved Strategies For Use Will Help Reduce Disease's Incidence

Global Health NOW: Shrinking the Cholera Map
David A. Sack, professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

“…[Oral cholera vaccine (OCV)] is an essential component of cholera prevention and control … But OCV’s limited availability has curtailed its usefulness. … So it was great news in January when the WHO announced the addition of a new manufacturer with enough doses to boost the number available to six million a year … The increased supply will greatly improve the ability to effectively respond to cholera outbreaks. … We … know that cholera control is best when OCV is integrated with improvements in water and sanitation, but researchers still need to develop the exact ways in which these interventions should be integrated for best effect. We need to challenge ourselves to consider how to improve the vaccine and improve strategies for its use. … I’m incredibly optimistic about the direction cholera control is taking. While we cannot add cholera to the list of eradicable diseases, it is certainly one that can be significantly reduced to a level where it is no longer a major public health problem as it is today” (11/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

In Blog Post, Bill Gates Calls For More Investment In TB R&D, New Treatment, Prevention Innovations

Gates Notes: Let’s Make TB History
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses the global tuberculosis (TB) epidemic, the importance of proper therapy, and the story of Simbongile, a young mother in Cape Town who survived drug-resistant TB. Gates writes, “TB is still an active threat and the world is in dire need for new innovations to prevent and treat it. By investing more in research and development, I know it will be possible to create a new generation of TB drugs and develop a new and effective TB vaccine. TB is not a disease of the past, but if the world works together to fight it, I have no doubt it can be” (11/1).

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U.S. Global Water Strategy Should Include 5 Critical Focal Points

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: 5 Focal Points for U.S. Global Water Strategy (And Submit Your Own Too)
In response to the U.S. Department of State’s public call for comment on its global water strategy, Ken Conca, fellow at the Wilson Center and professor of international relations at American University’s School of International Service, discusses five critical focal points for consideration: “1. Support [Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on water] and ensure that U.S. efforts are consistent with its principles … 2. Strengthen the human right to water and rights-based approaches to water governance, management, law, and policy … 3. Strengthen international water law … 4. Make international water law more adaptable and ‘climate-smart’ … 5. Do no harm” (11/3).

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International Conference On NTDs Presents Collaborative Opportunities For Church Leaders, Researchers, Policymakers

Global Network of Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End the Neglect”: All Roads Lead to Rome: the Path to the Vatican Conference on NTDs
“The Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers is hosting an international conference on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and rare diseases November 10-12, 2016 at the Vatican, ‘Towards a Culture of Health that is Welcoming and Supportive at the Service of People with Rare and Neglected Pathologies.’ … The international conference is expected to attract more than 500 participants from around the world, including many senior Catholic officials as well as leading NTD researchers and policymakers, to discuss both treatment and research issues related to NTDs and rare diseases…” The blog post describes the work between the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers leading up to the conference (11/2).

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Better Access To Cancer Prevention Education, Screening Needed In Americas, Expert Says

Humanosphere: Cancer prevention in the Americas is ‘social justice’ issue, experts say
Humanosphere journalist Lisa Nikolau discusses cancer prevention and treatment challenges in the Americas. She quotes Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, professor in preventive medicine and founder of the Center for Health Equity in the Americas (CenHealth), who urged “education, early screening, and better access to language- and culture-specific information” to improve cancer prevention and called these efforts “an issue of social justice” (11/2).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 299 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter features articles on various topics including a commentary on how the Global Fund can improve its response to TB and an article on the problem of expired medicines and testing supplies in Uganda (11/2).

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