KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Long-Acting Injectable HIV Treatment Shows Promise In Clinical Trials

Associated Press: J&J, ViiV: 2 injections every month or 2 could control HIV
“Preliminary testing of two long-acting injectable drugs indicates it might be possible to keep HIV at bay indefinitely with injections every month or two. Johnson & Johnson and partner ViiV Healthcare, which specializes in HIV drugs, on Tuesday announced results from the first 32 weeks of the planned 96-week study, which combines one drug from each company…” (Johnson, 11/3).

Reuters: Bi-monthly injection blocks HIV in study from J&J and GSK
“…Paul Stoffels, J&J’s head of pharmaceuticals, said the finding offered a potentially ‘transformational’ way to fight HIV, if the result is confirmed in larger final-stage trials. He believes the combination could be on the market by 2020…” (11/3).

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Ivermectin Shows Promise As Strategy To Reduce Malaria Transmission

SciDev.Net: Proven parasite drug hailed as malaria weapon
“A drug used for decades against river blindness and elephantiasis in Africa, is being hailed as the newest weapon against malaria. A study shows that, when given periodically to people in high-transmission areas, the drug ivermectin can reduce malaria transmission by killing mosquitoes that carry the disease…” (Axt, 11/4).

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U.N. Publication Warns Of Deepening Conflicts, Potential Natural Disasters Likely To Require Billions In Aid

Reuters/Thomson Reuters Foundation: From Libya to El Nino, U.N. experts warn: there’s worse to come
“A group of U.N. experts tasked with forecasting the next disasters likely to require billions of dollars in humanitarian aid has warned of deepening crises in global hotspots from Burundi to Afghanistan over the next six months. … The political risks the report lists are likely to increase the number of people globally needing humanitarian aid by as much as 1.9 million, it said. But that is still far fewer than those likely to need help coping with natural disasters, especially the El Nino weather phenomenon, the report added…” (11/3).

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Climate Change Threatens Food Security, 'Major' Shifts In Agriculture Needed, U.N. Expert Says

Associated Press: U.N. food security expert warns about impact of climate change
“A U.N. expert is warning that more extreme weather, higher temperatures, floods, droughts and rising sea levels linked to climate change are threatening people’s access to food over the long term. Hilal Elver, the U.N. special rapporteur on ‘the right to food,’predicts the negative impact from climate change on agriculture could subject another 600 million people to malnutrition by 2080…” (11/3).

U.N. News Centre: Climate change poses ‘major threat’ to food security, warns U.N. expert
“…Ms. Elver also underlined that there is a need for a major shift from industrial agriculture to transformative systems such as agro-ecology that support the local food movement, protect small holder farmers, respect human rights, food democracy and cultural traditions, and at the same time maintain environmental sustainability and facilitate a healthy diet. … The Special Rapporteur made her recommendations in advance of the U.N. climate change conference, known as COP 21 due to take place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December. The aim of the summit is to achieve a universally applicable legal instrument under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…” (11/3).

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FAO, WTO Agree To Strengthen Cooperation On Food Trade And Safety

U.N. News Centre: Food safety and trade should improve nutrition and boost development – U.N. agencies
“The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed [Monday] to strengthen their cooperation to promote international food trade and safety in ways that improve nutrition and allow small-scale producers to have better access to international agricultural markets…” (11/2).

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Implementing New HIV Treatment Guidelines In Kenya Hampered By Stigma, Other Challenges

VOA News: Updated HIV Treatment Guidelines Pose Some Challenges for Kenya
“Kenya faces some challenges in implementing new guideline standards for HIV treatment recently announced by the World Health Organization. But HIV patients and others suggest there are still stigmas attached to the disease — both in getting tested for the virus and in taking antiretroviral (ARV) drugs as part of the treatment. … In September, the WHO revised its HIV guidelines to recommend that anyone who tests positive for the virus be given antiretroviral drugs immediately — a significant departure from the U.N. agency’s current recommendation that doctors wait to treat some people with HIV until their immune systems suggested they were getting sick. The National Aids Control Council said there are approximately 1.6 million people confirmed to be living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya, but only about half are on ARV therapy…”(Ruvaga, 11/3).

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Guardian Examines Family Planning In Afghanistan, Role of Imams In Promoting Contraception

The Guardian: Condoms and conflict: imams defy Taliban to spread contraception
“In culturally conservative Afghanistan, it is often left to local imams to deal with delicate social issues such as family planning. It is not, however, that simple. Those who advocate what are seen as modern ideas, including contraception, can fall foul of the Taliban…” (Bambuck, 11/4).

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One In Three North Korean Children Stunted Due To Malnutrition; WFP Extends Timeline Of Food Aid Program To Country

UPI: World Food Program: 1 in 3 North Korean children suffer from stunted growth
“One in three North Korean children under age 5 suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition, and one-third of North Korean women are afflicted by anemia, according to the World Food Program…” (Shim, 11/3).

VOA News: U.N. to Extend Aid to North Korea
“The United Nations’ food agency plans to extend aid to North Korea amid reports that the communist country is facing food shortages next year…” (Hyunjin, 11/3).

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Guardian Examines Impact of Ebola On Burial Practices In Sierra Leone

The Guardian: As Sierra Leone counts the days to Ebola all clear, safe burial teams press on
“…As Sierra Leone counts down to 7 November in the hope it will be declared Ebola-free – the date marks 42 days since the last recorded case – families must continue to bear the strict public safety procedures that have helped to contain the disease. No shaking hands, washing hands when entering or leaving buildings, and safe burials for all, whatever the cause of death. … As yet there is no fixed timeline for phasing out the safe burials…” (Ghouri, 11/4).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Family Planning Efforts, Other Actions Needed To Achieve SDGs

Huffington Post: What Do We Need to Turn the Sustainable Development Goals’ Idealism Into Reality?
Tewodros Melesse, director general of the International Planned Parenthood Federation

“…[I]t will take an unprecedented, global joint effort if the ambition of the new [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] is to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people … [The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)] is lending some weight to that collective push — in the form of an ambitious target to reach 45 million new users of contraception by 2020. This builds on the 15 million new users we reached in the years 2012-2014. Together this is a total contribution of 60 million new users, and a major step towards the global goal of enabling 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020, as set out by Family Planning 2020 [(FP2020)] … Our pledge to reach a further 45 million new users will help to bring the lofty ambitions set out in the SDGs and FP2020 a little closer to reality” (11/3).

The Guardian: When will Britain’s grand ambitions on the global goals be put into action?
Helen Dennis and Ruth Fuller, co-chairs of Beyond 2015 U.K., and Kate Munro, policy and public affairs adviser at Bond

“…Leadership on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) … is about much more than aid. … [T]he SDGs also require … government departments to be pulling in the same direction and delivering positive global impact … The risk is that after more than three years’ hard negotiation of the SDGs, governments lose momentum and fail on delivery. … [The U.K.] government has not yet made any commitment to produce an SDG implementation plan to guide the U.K. This is why the NGO umbrella organization Bond alongside Beyond 2015 U.K. have produced our report, Bringing the Goals Home: Implementing the SDGs in the U.K. We want to keep the conversation alive and the ambition high — and hope this will encourage people to start putting proposals on the table. … [W]e need SDG champions at the highest level and the right mechanisms to translate the strategy into departmental plans and budgets. … If the goals are to be delivered, fundamental changes are needed…” (11/3).

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China's One-Child Policy Had 'Harsh' Consequences, Two-Child Policy Limits Citizens' Reproductive Choices

Project Syndicate: China’s One-Child Calamity
Minxin Pei, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and non-resident senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States

“…[I]t is reasonable to estimate that as many as half of China’s abortions — some 6.5 million registered surgical abortions, plus untold numbers of drug-induced or unregistered abortions, per year — are attributable to the one-child policy. This implies that there were upwards of 200 million abortions over the policy’s 35 years. But forced abortions are only the beginning. Indeed, these figures — however shocking — do not capture the human suffering or the harsh economic consequences brought about by the one-child policy. … Now is the time to recognize [the consequences of China’s one-child policy], particularly given that China’s leaders are not done limiting their citizens’ reproductive choices. On the contrary, they are simply moving from a one-child policy to a two-child policy. Outsiders and Chinese alike must emphasize the senseless cruelty that such measures imply and work to ensure that they are never seen again — in China or anywhere else” (11/4).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Physicians, Scientists Call On President Obama To Release Plan For Drug-Resistant TB

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Wanted: A plan for drug-resistant TB, and funds to make it work
Antigone Barton, senior writer and editor of “Science Speaks,” discusses a letter written by 600 physicians and scientists, which called on President Obama to release a plan and budget proposal for drug-resistant TB efforts in the U.S. and abroad. A statement accompanying the release of the letter states, “‘As physicians and researchers … we are concerned that the end of the year is approaching with no announcement of a plan, or of a commitment to fund the work and resources necessary to reverse the tide of [the] multidrug-resistant disease. The costs of delay will far outweigh the costs of taking the necessary steps now to align research, programming, and surveillance to end the scourge of tuberculosis once and for all'” (11/4).

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Early Results Of Long-Acting Injectable HIV Treatment Study Show Promise Of Simplified Treatment For Patients In Resource-Limited Settings

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Long-acting injectable HIV treatment shows promise in early study results
Antigone Barton, senior writer and editor of “Science Speaks,” discusses results from a study that “show an injected combination of two antiretroviral medicines given monthly or every two months [is] effective in controlling HIV among people whose virus was already suppressed. … [The study findings] potentially offer the hope of simplified treatment for patients worldwide in resource-limited settings where obstacles to daily treatment remain greatest…” (11/3).

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Blog Post Examines State Of Health System In Sierra Leone Post-Ebola, Role Of Foreign Aid

Humanosphere: Sierra Leone officials say flawed aid strategies hamper Ebola recovery efforts
Cooper Inveen, a freelance reporter living in Sierra Leone, discusses the state of the health system in Sierra Leone, including the impact of the Ebola epidemic and related efforts. Inveen also examines the role of foreign donors in Ebola efforts, the challenges of coordination between donors and the government, aid transparency in the country, and the importance of community engagement in Ebola and other health efforts (11/2).

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Malawi Connects Health Workers With Rural Communities To Treat Childhood Diseases

WHO: Bringing child health services closer to rural communities in Malawi
This WHO Feature discusses efforts in Malawi to connect rural communities with health workers to address children’s health and mortality. According to the piece, “Malawi’s Ministry of Health has been working with WHO to train community health workers to treat common childhood diseases under the Rapid Access Expansion (RAcE) program – funded by the Government of Canada and launched in 2013” (November 2015).

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Program Trains Youth To Prevent Violence Against Women, Girls

U.N. Women: Through education, youth act to prevent violence against women
This blog post, which was cross-posted on Huffington Post, highlights the work of participants trained in the Voices against Violence project, an education curriculum co-developed by U.N. Women and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) with the support of Zonta International that trains youth on “how to deliver a unique non-formal education curriculum that aims to prevent violence against women and girls” (10/29).

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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 274 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter features articles on various topics, including a piece on the Fund’s views of the new malaria vaccine (11/4).

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