KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.K.'s DfID, Military Develop Ebola 'Hospital In A Box' For Deployment In Sierra Leone

The Guardian: Sierra Leone beds in against Ebola repeat with U.K. military’s ‘hospital in a box’
“…The success of this teamwork between [the U.K. Department for International Development (DfID)] and the military was in part due to the defense ministry’s long-term presence in the country, training army and police. This meant they were already trusted. The MoD’s mandate was strictly one of logistical support, but recently their involvement has become project-led with the creation of a 36-bed ‘field hospital in a box.’ … [T]he hospital is a highly unusual project in that it is DfID funded but was conceived and led by the military…” (Ghouri, 11/5).

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Guinea Reports 1 New Ebola Case In Infant; Officials Tracking Contacts Of Involved Family

CIDRAP News: Newborn’s Ebola infection adds to Guinea’s total
“A newborn baby whose mother recently died from Ebola was the only new Ebola patient reported in Guinea last week, though the World Health Organization (WHO) said responders are monitoring a number of high-risk contacts related to the illness cluster…” (Schnirring, 11/4).

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Hawaii Records 15 Locally Acquired Dengue Cases, Works To Prevent Further Spread

News outlets report on 15 dengue cases recorded in a local outbreak in Hawaii.

ABC News: YouTube Star’s Dengue Fever Infection in Hawaii Highlights Dangers of Tropical Disease
“A pair of YouTube stars unintentionally became the face of an outbreak of a dangerous tropical disease after one of them was diagnosed with dengue fever. Hawaii health officials announced that at least 10 people have been infected with the tropical disease, also called ‘bone break fever’ for the painful symptoms…” (Mohney, 11/3).

Big Island News: Dengue Fever Count Rises to 15
“As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, a total of 15 ‘locally acquired’ cases of dengue fever have been reported on the Big Island, according to reports from the State of Hawai’i Department of Health. The Wednesday case count rose by four since Tuesday afternoon…” (Epping, 11/4).

Quartz: Why 10 cases of dengue fever in Hawaii are much scarier than the rest
“…There’s something especially worrisome about these new 10 cases, though: They came from the bites of local mosquitoes. This ups the risk of an epidemic — an ominous prospect for a state that earns nearly a fifth of its GDP from tourism…” (Guilford, 11/3).

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U.N. Study Examines Potential Profitability Of Turning Human Waste Into Energy Resource

TIME: How Poop Can Be Worth $9.5 Billion
“…[A]ccording to a smart study by a United Nations think tank on water, environment and health, there may be a simple — and profitable — solution: turn human waste from a disposal problem to an energy resource. … The U.N. report estimates that globally, human waste converted to fuel could have a value of about $9.5 billion…” (Kluger, 11/3).

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Gates Foundation Invests In Efforts To Increase Yellow Fever Vaccine Supplies

Quartz: The world is running short of yellow fever vaccines — and millions are at risk
“…The resurgence of yellow fever in Africa is a classic tale of complacency: not only the routine immunizations aren’t kept up with the required levels, but the vaccine supply doesn’t match the world’s requirements. … The good news, however, is we’re still in time to fix this — and with a relatively small investment [from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation]…” (Merelli, 11/4).

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In Devex Video, Advocates, Journalists, Others Discuss Importance Of Partnerships In Polio Eradication

Devex: Big lesson from polio eradication: Partnerships work
“With an end to polio on the horizon, advocates discuss [in this Devex video] how efforts to contain the disease can be learned from and applied to other global health challenges. John Hewko, Rotary International general secretary, told Devex that partnerships are key…” (Jimeno, 11/4).

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Tanzania, Partners Implement Sex Education Programs To Reduce Teen Pregnancy Rate

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Tanzania rolls out sex education to curb teenage pregnancies
“…In a push to curb teenage pregnancies, Tanzania’s government and non-profit organizations have embarked on several sex education initiatives aimed at schoolgirls and boys, who traditionally have been taught nothing about the facts of life…” (Makoye, 11/4).

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Editorials and Opinions

Vasectomy Should Be Routinely Available, Accessible In Low-Income Countries

The Lancet: The kindest cut: global need to increase vasectomy availability
Roy Jacobstein, senior medical adviser at IntraHealth International

“…Although vasectomy is simpler to perform, less invasive, safer, and more cost effective than female sterilization, less than one in 11 users of permanent methods in developing regions relies on vasectomy. … What … needs to be done for vasectomy to become a routinely available, readily accessible method option in low-income countries? First, policymakers, donors, and program leaders, and implementers must appreciate the current and likely future extent of demand for preventing future pregnancies. Second, they need to understand that quality vasectomy services can feasibly be introduced, scaled up, and, ultimately, sustained. … Third, they need to appreciate that vasectomy unavailability is a gender issue as well as a program issue. … From a woman’s perspective in low-income countries, after having borne her desired number of children, and, typically, the lion’s share of contraceptive responsibility, vasectomy can indeed be the kindest cut…” (11/3).

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Global Leaders Should Commit To Addressing Sexual, Reproductive Health Needs For Youth

The Guardian: ‘I didn’t know I could become pregnant after having sex for the first time’
Mary Wanjiku Mwangi, youth mentor for U-Tena

“…In many countries, contraception is only available to married couples and information about sexual health does not reach the young people who need it most. Often, social stigma, a lack of privacy, complicated logistics, and unfriendly government policies also present major barriers to accessing contraceptives. This is unacceptable. … We need government officials and international stakeholders to recognize that young people have a right to lead healthy and productive lives. We need leaders to prioritize access to youth-friendly programs that educate young people about the risks of pregnancy, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections. And we need to stop talking about contraception as a tool to plan families and start talking about what it really is: one of the most important future-planning tools young people have…” (11/5).

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China Should Use Resources To Provide 'Proper' Sex Education, Expand Access To Family Planning Services

Bloomberg View: China Needs to Talk About Sex
Adam Minter, writer and author

“…The need [to provide family planning services in China] is dire. Over 70 percent of Chinese say they’ve had premarital sex. Yet almost none receive proper sex education or access to family planning services and counseling. HIV infections among students aged 15 and above are growing rapidly, and abortion has become the contraceptive of first resort for many Chinese couples. … China’s family planning issues are hardly exclusive to traditional couples, and universally available services would have broad, positive public health consequences. Long derided for interfering in its citizens’ reproductive lives, the regime at least has the resources and personnel available to provide such services. It’s time to try” (11/4).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Joint Statement Urges Protection Of Health Care Workers, Services In Conflict, Emergency Situations

WHO: Stop the violence. Protect health care
A joint statement from members of Health Care in Danger, a project of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, provides recommendations to states, armed forces, non-state actors, and international and national humanitarian and health organizations to protect health care personnel and “give urgent attention to the recommendations resulting from the Health Care in Danger initiative … that, if implemented by all those concerned, would increase the protection of health care services in armed conflict or other emergencies” (11/4).

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Wellcome Trust, GHIT Fund Announce Support For 2 Projects Aimed At Finding Malaria, TB Treatments

Wellcome Trust: New drug discovery projects funded in partnership with Japanese Global Health Fund
As part of a new funding partnership with the Tokyo-based Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), the Wellcome Trust announces funding and support for two new research projects aimed at identifying and refining new drug candidates to treat malaria and tuberculosis (11/5).

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Study Examines Increase In Nigeria's Abortion Incidence

Guttmacher Institute: The Incidence of Abortion in Nigeria
This study, published in the December issue of the journal International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and conducted by researchers at the Guttmacher Institute and the University of Ibadan, “finds that 1.25 million abortions were performed in the country in 2012, compared with the 610,000 abortions estimated to have occurred in Nigeria in 1996. This increase is due not only to greater population size, but also to an apparent rise in the abortion rate…” (Bankole et al., December 2015).

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