Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Administration Files Paperwork To Officially Withdraw U.S. From Paris Climate Agreement

The Guardian: Trump begins year-long process to formally exit Paris climate agreement
“Donald Trump is moving to formally exit the Paris climate agreement, making the United States the only country in the world that will not participate in the pact, as global temperatures are set to rise 3C and worsening extreme weather will drive millions into poverty. The paperwork sent by the U.S. government to withdraw begins a one-year process for exiting the deal agreed to at the U.N. climate change conference in Paris in 2015. The Trump administration will not be able to finalize its exit until a day after the presidential election in November 2020…” (Holden, 11/4).

Washington Post: Trump makes it official: U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate accord
“…Should a Democrat win the White House, the nation could reenter the agreement after a short absence — as numerous candidates have pledged. But if Trump prevails, his reelection would probably cement the long-term withdrawal of the United States, which was a key force in helping forge the global effort under President Barack Obama. Monday’s move comes as scientists say that the world must take ‘unprecedented’ action to cut its carbon emissions over the next decade, slashing them in half by 2030 to avoid irreversible and potentially catastrophic effects of climate change…” (Dennis/Morello, 11/4).

Additional coverage of the Trump administration’s intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is available from CNN, New York Times, POLITICO, and Vox.

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U.S.-, World Bank-Supported Microfinance Programs Enable Guatemalans To Migrate North Using Illegal Smugglers, Washington Post Reports

Washington Post: The migrant debt cycle
“…U.S. officials have long touted the power of finance to lift people out of poverty — and backed loans to farmers and small-business owners across the developing world. But here in the Guatemala Highlands, the epicenter of the country’s migrant exodus, those loans often fund a different activity, the region’s most profitable: smuggling migrants north to the United States. … What enables those payments is a vast system of credit that includes financial institutions set up and supported by the United States and the World Bank, part of the global boom in microfinance over the past two decades. The U.S. government and the World Bank have each extended tens of millions of dollars in funding and loan guarantees, money that helped create what is now Guatemala’s biggest microfinance organization, Fundación Génesis Empresarial, and backed one of its largest banks, Banrural…” (Sieff, 11/4).

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Australia's New Financing Facility For Pacific Remains Work In Progress Despite July 1 Official Start Date

Devex: Fears over debt vulnerability as AIFFP remains delayed
“Despite the official start date for the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific being July 1 of this year, it has been revealed that it is still a work in progress with no clear timeframe for when financing will be made available under the scheme…” (Cornish, 11/5).

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Attacks On Frontline Ebola Workers In DRC Reach At Least 300, Report Says; U.N. Emergencies Head Calls For Improved Security Measures

AFP: 300 attacks on Ebola health workers in DR Congo this year: report
“Health workers battling an Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo have been attacked 300 times, leaving six dead and 70 wounded since the start of the year in three provinces, authorities said on Monday. … The latest attack occurred in the early hours of Sunday after a Congolese radio host, who helped spread information in the fight against Ebola, was stabbed to death at his home in the Ituri region. … A report from the Congolese health ministry said since January 1, 2019 there had been ‘more than 300 attacks on health workers’ which had killed six people and injured 70 others, among them health care workers and patients…” (11/4).

U.N. News: Ebola emergency chief decries new attacks on frontline staff, after DR Congo worker death
“Security measures for staff helping to fight health emergencies need to be stepped up urgently, a U.N. health agency top official said on Monday, after a frontline Ebola epidemic community worker was reportedly stabbed to death at his home in northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Speaking at a public event in Geneva, Dr. Mike Ryan from the World Health Organization (WHO), said that in his 25-year humanitarian career, violence carried out deliberately against health workers and hospitals had never been so bad…” (11/4).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak, violence against health workers, vaccine use, and the Congolese discoverer of Ebola, Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe, is available from ABC News, CIDRAP News, Homeland Preparedness News, and NPR.

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Researchers Test Drones For Spraying Rice Fields In Zanzibar With Silicone-Based Liquid To Inhibit Mosquito Reproduction, Prevent Malaria

Associated Press: Zanzibar tests drones spraying rice fields to fight malaria
“For the first time drones are being tested to help fight malaria on the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania. The drones will spray a silicone-based liquid on rice paddies, where there are large expanses of stagnant water where malaria-carrying mosquitoes lay their eggs…” (Sultan, 11/5).

Reuters: Researchers use drones to pilot a new tool to fight malaria
“…The researchers, led by Bart Knols from Radboud University in The Netherlands, plan to sample the larvae and the mosquitoes in the fields before, during, and after spraying it with the silicone-based liquid, Aquatain AMF, to test its impact. … Malawi has used drones to map mosquito breeding sites but the researchers in Zanzibar say preventing pupae and larvae from attaching themselves to the surface of the water takes the malaria fight to the next level…” (Waita/Mohammed, 11/5).

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More News In Global Health

AFP: Garbage crisis brings cholera to Yemen’s historic Taez (11/5).

Al Jazeera: In Zimbabwe, power outages force women to deliver by candlelight (Matiashe, 11/5).

BBC: UAE prisoners denied HIV treatment — Human Rights Watch (11/4).

BBC: Violence against women: ‘Day of the dead women’ protest in Mexico City (11/4).

Devex: Insects: From exotic to essential food against malnutrition? (Ravelo, 11/4).

The Guardian: ‘Our only aim is to go home’: Rohingya refugees face stark choice (Marsh/Ahmed, 11/4).

Inside Philanthropy: The Biggest Fundraising Push Ever for Global Health Shows No Signs of Slowing (Longley, 11/4).

SciDev.Net: Latin American budget cuts deal massive blow to science (11/4).

Wall Street Journal: Hazardous Smog in New Delhi Forces Government to Take Emergency Steps (Agarwal, 11/4).

The Wire: Is the Gates Foundation Funding Junk Food in the Name of Nutrition in Nepal? (Acharya, 11/5).

Xinhua: WHO requires 1.7 mln USD to combat growing tuberculosis in Libya (11/5).

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Editorials and Opinions

2020 U.S. Presidential Candidates Should Commit To Improving Pandemic Preparedness, Response, Expert Writes

The Hill: It’s time to protect U.S. and the world against global pandemics
Charles B. Holmes, faculty co-director at the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact and professor of medicine at Georgetown University

“The current administration is undermining efforts to follow the science and prepare for threats of the future at a time when a new study finds that not one country is prepared for a pandemic. … Unless our political leaders act soon, the post-mortem conducted after the next big pandemic will provide a damning portrait of failed leadership, misguided priorities, and an insufficient belief in the power of science to protect humanity. The good news is that upcoming elections provide an excellent opportunity for our political leaders to commit to bold U.S. leadership to protect humanity. The 2020 U.S. presidential candidates should commit to: 1. Doubling-down on America’s scientific leadership and investing in a ‘Manhattan project’ for the next generation of technologies to detect, prevent, and treat pathogens most likely to cause large outbreaks or pandemics that spread around the world. … 2. Committing to ending existing pandemics of HIV, TB, and malaria while increasing investments in pandemic preparedness and response. … 3. Re-engaging in multi-lateral partnerships…” (11/4).

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In Opinion Piece, Senior U.S. Health Officials Discuss Trump Administration's Commitment To Ebola Outbreak Response In DRC

Foreign Policy: On the Front Lines of the Trump Administration’s Ebola Response
Alex M. Azar, U.S. secretary of health and human services; Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; and Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health

“As three of the United States’ senior public health officials, we have helped lead the U.S. response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since it began over a year ago. From the first reports of illness, the outbreak has been a top global health priority for the Trump administration. … A total of 317 CDC staff have completed 492 deployments, and the United States is the single largest national donor of financial assistance to combat the crisis, with nearly $158 million in contributions via USAID. … The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has spent more than $176 million on supporting the development and acquisition of [an investigational] vaccine. USAID contributed $20 million toward an advance purchase agreement for the vaccine so that, once it becomes licensed, doses can be purchased at much lower cost by Ebola-affected counties and WHO. … Through the work of the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, USAID, and others, the United States was present in the region to help fight infectious diseases and support health long before this outbreak began, we will be there through its duration, and we will remain after it ends. … Doing so will save lives around the world and keep Americans safe” (11/4).

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World Bank, U.N. Should Take Lead In Advancing Multisectoral Response To Promote Clean Cooking Practices, Expert Says

Project Syndicate: Death by Dirty Cooking
Kandeh K. Yumkella, member of Sierra Leone’s Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament, and former United Nations under-secretary-general and chair of U.N.-Energy

“Each year, exposure to household air pollution (HAP) kills 4.3 million people — more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. … Failure to address the problem does not reflect inadequate technology or even insufficient resources, but a lack of political will. … Efforts to promote clean cooking have been largely uncoordinated, narrow, and piecemeal, with limited consumer buy-in. A new initiative aims to change this. The World Bank’s Clean Cooking Fund, launched at September’s United Nations climate action summit in New York, will mobilize $500 million to help ensure universal access to clean cooking by 2030. … But, as promising as the CCF is, achieving its goals will require coherent policy strategies, underpinned by a strong and sustained commitment at the national, regional, and global levels. India is one country that has shown such a commitment. … [T]he U.N. should lead the way in advancing a multi-stakeholder approach driven by strong public-private partnerships…” (11/4).

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Improving WASH Services In Health Care Facilities Necessary To Achieve Health-Related SDGs, Zambia Health Minister Writes In Opinion Piece

Devex: Opinion: From resolution to revolution in health care
Chitalu Chilufya, Zambia’s minister of health and member of the National Assembly of Zambia

“…[I]t’s time for the WASH revolution — and if recent events are indicative of commitments, we have good news. National governments recognize that the health and well-being of our people is a prerequisite to socio-economic development. Getting there will require a paradigm shift — from raising awareness to tangible and sustainable action so that WASH services are available in all types of health care facilities and in diverse environments. … The Zambian government is resolved to use an integrated and multisectoral approach to engage various stakeholders within the country and beyond to improve the status quo. We are focused on strengthening key health systems to sustainably improve service delivery that includes WASH services. … We believe it has become an imperative for all WHO member states, partners, NGOs, civil society, leaders — at all levels, academia, research institutions, the media, and other stakeholders to prioritize investment in WASH services in health care facilities if we are to significantly improve the health and well-being of our people and accelerate progress toward the attainment of the multiple health-related SDGs…” (11/5).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

UNEP Expert Discusses Need To Diversify Global Food Systems To Face Challenges Of Nutrition, Climate Change

U.N. Environment Programme: Why food systems need to change
This post features an interview with the U.N. Environment Programme’s (UNEP) food systems expert, James Lomax. Lomax discusses undernourishment, obesity, agricultural subsidies, and the need to diversify diets and food systems, as well as UNEP’s role in bringing about change (11/4).

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Clean Cooking Alliance, Partners Announce New Campaign To Raise Awareness, Urge Global Action On Issue

Clean Cooking Alliance: Champions, Partners Launch Global Advocacy Campaign “Clean Cooking Is…”
According to a release, “The Clean Cooking Alliance (Alliance) and partners from around the world launched ‘Clean Cooking Is…,’ a first-of-its-kind campaign and digital activation strategy built to drive greater awareness, engagement, and support for clean cooking. … Globally, three billion people rely on polluting, open fires and inefficient stoves to cook their meals. Despite being a leading source of air pollution and causing four million deaths every year — more than malaria and tuberculosis combined — cooking is too often overlooked as a development priority. It is one of the most underfunded — and furthest behind — indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), receiving less than one percent of the estimated resources needed to address it…” (11/5).

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Majority Of New HIV Infections Among Key Populations, Sexual Partners, UNAIDS Release Says

UNAIDS: Worldwide, more than half of new HIV infections now among key populations and their sexual partners
“In 2018, the global distribution of new HIV infections in 2018 crossed a threshold: the majority of global new infections were among key populations and their sexual partners. This change is a result of the strong progress in settings with high HIV prevalence in eastern and southern Africa, combined with a mixture of progress and setbacks in lower prevalence regions. Key populations make up a small proportion of the general population, but they are at extremely high risk of acquiring HIV infection…” (11/5).

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Global Dispatches Podcast Interviews LSHTM Director Peter Piot

U.N. Dispatch’s “Global Dispatches Podcast”: Peter Piot: How Prepared are We for the Next Big Global Epidemic?
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of U.N. Dispatch and host of the Global Dispatches Podcast, speaks with Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, “about epidemics and what can be done to avert and contain them. This includes the ongoing Ebola epidemic in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is now the second worst Ebola outbreak in history. And we also discuss what the world has gotten right (and wrong) about both fighting HIV and AIDS. Peter Piot argues that we need to re-define what we mean by ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic…” (11/4).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

KFF Updates Fact Sheet On Key U.S. Government Officials In Global Health

KFF: Key Global Health Positions and Officials in the U.S. Government
This updated fact sheet lists U.S. government positions and officials related to global health, including links to agencies and officials’ profiles, when available (11/4).

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KFF Updates Fact Sheet On Global TB, U.S. Government Efforts

KFF: The U.S. Government and Global Tuberculosis Efforts
This updated fact sheet explains the U.S. government’s role in addressing the global tuberculosis (TB) epidemic, including the history of U.S. involvement and funding trends (11/5).

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