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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Scientific American Highlights 13 Science, Health Issues Next U.S. President Should Consider

Scientific American: 13 Urgent Science and Health Issues the Candidates Have Not Been Talking About
“…Scientific American corralled some of the key scientific issues that U.S. politicians should be paying attention to, but aren’t — from the threat of nuclear Armageddon to the ethics of medically assisted suicide. We spoke with top thinkers in each field — policy experts at universities, members of foundations and nonprofits, and the scientists themselves. What, our reporters asked, should government be doing to keep Americans healthy, safe, and productive?…” (Laber-Warren et al., 11/3).

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The Lancet Examines CDC's Past 70 Years, Future Prospects Under New Administration

The Lancet: U.S. CDC celebrates 70 years
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were established 70 years ago this year. Rita Rubin reviews some key moments in the agency’s history as well as its future outlook…” (11/5).

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U.S. HHS Adds 7 New Agents, Including HIV, To List Of Carcinogens

Reuters: Seven agents, including HIV, added to U.S. list of carcinogens
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Thursday it added seven new agents, including the HIV virus and an industrial solvent, to its list of carcinogens. The list identifies factors … known to be a human carcinogen and reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen…” (Grover, 11/3).

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In Final Push, WHO DG Chan Urges Member States To Increase Funding To Agency

Devex: Margaret Chan attempts one last WHO funding boost
“Margaret Chan isn’t backing down in her last few months in office. Early this week, she engaged member states in her fourth — and last — financing dialogue in hopes of convincing them to increase their contributions to the World Health Organization. The outgoing director general asked member states to support the health agency’s proposal for a 10 percent increase in assessed contributions, or the dues member states have agreed to shoulder for the continuous functioning of the U.N. agency…” (Ravelo, 11/3).

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Ebola Mutation Likely Helped Virus More Easily Infect Humans In West Africa, Studies Show

New York Times: Ebola Evolved Into Deadlier Enemy During the African Epidemic
“The Ebola epidemic that tore through West Africa in 2014 claimed 11,310 lives, far more than any previous outbreak. A combination of factors contributed to its savagery, among them a mobile population, crumbling public health systems, official neglect, and hazardous burial practices. But new research suggests another impetus: The virus may have evolved a new weapon against its human hosts…” (Zimmer, 11/3).

NPR: Mutant Ebola May Have Caused Explosive Outbreak
“…Two studies, published in the journal Cell, found that a single mutation arose early in the epidemic. It allows Ebola to infect human cells more easily than the original version of the virus — way more easily…” (Doucleff, 11/3).

Science: Has a new mutation in the Ebola virus made it deadlier?
“…The findings ‘raise the possibility that this mutation contributed directly to greater transmission and thus to the severity of the outbreak,’ the team writes. And they found an ‘association’ with increased mortality. ‘We should neither be alarmist nor complacent,’ [Harvard University’s Pardis Sabeti, an evolutionary geneticist who co-authored one of the papers,] says. ‘Any possibility that one of the mutations can have a serious impact should be interrogated’…” (Cohen, 11/3).

Scientific American: Ebola’s West African Rampage Was Likely Bolstered by a Mutation
“…The two research teams first examined more than a thousand viral genomes that were isolated and sequenced from Ebola patients across Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. One group also explored additional sequences from Mali. The two teams worked separately and were not aware of each other’s efforts until the papers were well underway, authors from both said…” (Maron, 11/3).

TIME: How Ebola Got So Deadly
“…The researchers argue that a form of the virus carrying the mutation emerged during the outbreak and may be responsible for close to 90 percent of the cases. … But the scientists have not confirmed how the mutation makes the Ebola virus more likely to get into human cells…” (Sifferlin, 11/3).

Washington Post: The Ebola virus mutated to better infect humans during the 2014 outbreak
“…It’s difficult to say whether knowing about the mutant sooner could have helped public officials respond to the virus. But … researchers think it’s essential to understand how viruses adapt as they spread from person to person…” (Kaplan, 11/3).

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Review Of Zika-Related Birth Defects Shows 5 Distinct Features Researchers Term 'Congenital Zika Syndrome'

CIDRAP News: Researchers detail features of Zika congenital syndrome
“Five features rarely seen with other congenital infections are distinct in babies born with Zika-related birth defects, according to a new review of almost three dozen reports in the medical literature…” (Schnirring, 11/3).

Wall Street Journal: The Effects of Zika on Babies’ Brains Go Beyond Microcephaly
“…Microcephaly, a neurological condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads, is perhaps the most well-known disorder associated with the virus. But other abnormalities, including a collapsed skull, eye scarring, severe muscle tension, and brain calcifications, can also ensue when an expectant mother is infected. These are collectively called congenital Zika syndrome…” (Hernandez, 11/3).

Washington Post: Zika causes a unique syndrome of devastating birth defects
“…Researchers at the CDC, along with colleagues elsewhere in the United States and Brazil, analyzed publicly available reports about defects among infants and fetuses whose mothers had either confirmed or presumed infection with Zika virus during pregnancy. Most of the clinical descriptions of Zika-affected infants are from Brazil, the heart of the epidemic…” (Sun, 11/3).

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Researchers Identify Gene Marker For Piperaquine-Resistant Malaria In Cambodia

BBC News: Malaria drugs’ complete failure tracked
“…Artemisinin resistance has been known about for years, but a recent rise in resistance to piperaquine as well means the main malaria treatment, taking both together, is starting to fail. International groups of researchers analyzed the DNA from hundreds of malaria parasites to find out how they learned to shrug off piperaquine. They uncovered genetic signatures unique to the parasites that were drug-resistant…” (Gallagher, 11/4).

Reuters: Study finds gene markers for drug-resistant malaria in Cambodia
“…[The researchers] say their work could help doctors and health officials monitor and limit the spread of such resistance. In research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, the team also said a simple test using blood taken from a finger pinprick could show whether a malaria patient has parasites with the genetic markers — allowing doctors to prescribe an alternative treatment…” (Kelland, 11/3).

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1 Month After Hurricane Matthew, Women Need Greater Protection, Access To Health Care, 800K Need Immediate Food Aid, U.N. Says

U.N. News Centre: U.N. agency working to address women’s health and protection needs in storm-hit Haiti
“With some 546,000 women of reproductive age in Haiti affected by Hurricane Matthew, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has urged greater attention to women’s vulnerability in the aftermath of the storm, which devastated not only people’s livelihoods but health facilities and other vital infrastructure…” (11/3).

Washington Post: A month after Hurricane Matthew, 800,000 Haitians urgently need food
“…A month after Hurricane Matthew blasted through southwestern Haiti, the region is a blighted, apocalyptic landscape of wrecked homes and growling hunger. At least 800,000 people need food urgently, according to the United Nations, including more than two-thirds of families in the worst-hit departments of Grand’Anse and Sud. Emergency help is arriving, but there is not enough of it, and it will take several more weeks to reach remote mountain communities where officials say the destruction was total…” (Miroff, 11/3).

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Eli Lilly Pledges $15M To Infectious Disease Research Institute To Continue Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative

GeekWire: Eli Lilly commits $15 million to fund TB drug discovery through Seattle-based initiative
“The Seattle-based Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), a product-focused nonprofit that fights infectious diseases around the world, announced [Thursday] that it will receive $15 million from pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly to continue its work in developing drugs to treat tuberculosis. … The newest commitment is a continuation of the Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative, a public-private partnership between the two organizations founded in 2007 and headquartered in Seattle…” (McGrane, 11/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

Concerted Global Effort Critical To Achieving FP2020 Goals

The Lancet: FP2020: accelerating progress in access to family planning
Editorial Board

“The Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) global partnership, launched at the London Summit on Family Planning in 2012, set a goal of enabling 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020, with a focus on 69 of the world’s poorest countries. On Nov. 1, FP2020 released the partnership’s annual report, FP2020 Momentum at the Midpoint 2015-2016, which details progress toward this ambitious goal, as well as barriers to meeting the target. … FP2020 remains off track to meet the 2020 goal, with 19 million fewer uses than hoped for in 2016. … [R]eaching the goal of 120 million additional women and girls will take concerted efforts from communities, health-care providers, and governments” (11/5).

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Community Collaboration, Partnerships Important To Improving Women's, Family Health

Devex: Opinion: It takes a community to keep a mother healthy
Cassie Chandler, global manager for microfinance and health protection at Freedom from Hunger

“How do you encourage women most in need — and often hardest to reach — to access appropriate pre and postnatal care? And how can you reach large numbers of women, both efficiently and cost-effectively? … Financial services institutions … are often trusted actors that live and work in the community. Why not use the scale and structure of a microfinance institution to reach more women [and their families] … with health interventions? … How can we collaborate, taking advantage of each partner’s — be it a health provider, financial services practitioner, international development specialist, or other community actor — core strengths to achieve common goals and avoid reinventing the wheel? Resources exist, including guides written for microfinance institutions or other field staff, with tangible steps to designing community partnerships…” (11/3).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Integrating Global Health, Development, Pandemic Preparedness Into U.S. Foreign Policy Critical To Achieving Goals

Council on Foreign Relations: Health and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Age of Miracles
Thomas J. Bollyky, senior fellow for global health, economics, and development at CFR, and Eric Goosby, U.N. special envoy on tuberculosis, discuss how the next U.S. president can build on recent global health efforts and progress through U.S. development policy and offer four recommendations: “First, further integrate global health into U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy. … Second, shift from disease-focused objectives to outcome-oriented measures. … Third, elevate global health, development, and pandemic preparedness. … Fourth, improve U.S. interagency coordination” (11/3).

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CSIS Panel Discusses New Lancet Series On Maternal Health, Implications For U.S. Policy

CSIS Task Force on Women’s & Family Health: Lancet Series On Maternal Health
Janet Fleischman, senior associate with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, presents highlights from a panel discussion at a CSIS event marking the launch of a new Lancet series on maternal health. “The featured speakers were Dr. Margaret Kruk, associate professor of global health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Dr. Elizabeth Fox, director of the office of infectious diseases and deputy coordinator for maternal and child survival at USAID; Dr. Mariam Claeson, director of the Global Financing Facility at the World Bank; and [Ryan Kaldahl, a foreign policy adviser to Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine)]. The panel discussion emphasized the importance of this moment in prioritizing maternal health, an area directly related to the work of the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health” (November 2016).

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CSIS Report Examines Ethiopian Government's Response To Political Unrest, Implications For Women's, Children's Health

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Imperiling Progress: How Ethiopia’s Response to Political Unrest Could Undermine Its Health Gains
In this report, Janet Fleischman, senior associate, and Katherine Peck, program manager and research associate, both with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, examine how political unrest and the Ethiopian government’s response “now threaten to derail its notable but fragile progress in women’s and children’s health. The current crisis also exposes the shortcomings of U.S. policy in Ethiopia; while providing substantial funding for health and development and maintaining close security ties, U.S. reluctance to hold its longtime ally accountable for its repressive tactics could put these investments at risk” (11/3).

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IDWeek 2016 Panel Discusses Impacts Of, Responses To Antibiotic Resistance In LMICs

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: IDWeek 2016: Low- and middle-income countries are most affected by antimicrobial resistance, have the least capacity to address it
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, reports from IDWeek 2016 on a panel discussion examining the impacts and challenges of antibiotic resistance in low- and middle-income countries. “While high-income countries are looking to develop innovative stewardship programs and new drugs to combat antimicrobial resistance, low- and middle-income countries often have limited capacity to address reducing antimicrobial resistance, and will be the most affected by it over the coming decades…” (11/3).

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