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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

DRC Ebola Outbreak Reaches 300 Confirmed, Suspected Cases; CDC Director Says Entrenchment Of Virus Possible Without Adequate Control

CIDRAP News: Ebola total reaches 300 as WHO, U.N. leaders travel to DRC
“Over the weekend and [Monday], 13 more cases and five more deaths from Ebola were reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) three-month long outbreak of the virus in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. … [On Monday,] leaders from the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations (U.N.) arrived in DRC to check in with outbreak response efforts…” (Soucheray, 11/5).

Washington Post: CDC director warns that Congo’s Ebola outbreak may not be containable
“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said Monday that the Ebola outbreak in conflict-ridden Congo has become so serious that international public health experts need to consider the possibility that it cannot be brought under control and instead will become entrenched. … If Ebola becomes endemic in substantial areas of North Kivu province, in northeastern Congo, ‘this will mean that we’ve lost the ability to trace contacts, stop transmission chains, and contain the outbreak,’ said Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, which hosted the briefing on Capitol Hill that featured the Ebola discussion with Redfield…” (Sun, 10/5).

Xinhua News: Uganda’s Ebola vaccination for high-risk health workers postponed to Wednesday
“Uganda on Monday said Ebola vaccinations for frontline health workers in high-risk districts bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been postponed to Wednesday due to training of vaccination staff…” (11/5).

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Bono Thanks U.S. Congress For Leadership On HIV/AIDS Funding

Associated Press: Bono to Congress: Thanks for ignoring Trump on AIDS funding
“…Trump has sought to [cut] U.S. funding for AIDS programs at home and abroad, but the U2 frontman says members of Congress ‘have so far turned down this president’s request to cut AIDS funding — right and left in lockstep together on this.’ His message to them? ‘Thank you for your leadership’…” (Lawless, 11/5).

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Gates Foundation To Commit Additional $200M To Global Financing Facility To Help Improve Maternal, Newborn, Child Health

Reuters: Melinda Gates urges backing for ‘human capital’ of mother and child health
“Millions of women and babies could avoid untimely deaths if international donors step up to replenish a global health fund so it can expand to 50 countries, the philanthropist Melinda Gates said on Tuesday. The co-chair of the multi-billion-dollar Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation told Reuters she and her husband see the Global Financing Facility (GFF), a fund aimed specifically at maternal, newborn, and child health, as an investment in ‘human capital’ that will swiftly show meaningful, measurable results. … [T]he Gates Foundation will this week commit another $200 million at a replenishment meeting in Norway ‘because we are seeing it work,’ Melinda Gates said…” (Kelland, 11/5).

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Bill Gates Opens Reinvented Toilet Expo With Call For New Technologies, Innovations In WASH

Associated Press: With poo on a pedestal, Bill Gates talks toilet technology
“Placing a jar of feces on a pedestal next to him, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates made a plea Tuesday for the safe disposal of human waste as he kicked off a ‘Reinvented Toilet’ Expo in China. … The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that Gates co-founded with his wife has spent more than $200 million since 2011 to stimulate research and development of safe sanitation technology…” (Schiefebein, 11/6).

Bloomberg: How Bill Gates Aims to Save $233 Billion by Reinventing the Toilet
“…[T]he Microsoft Corp. co-founder explained to a 400-strong crowd that new approaches for sterilizing human waste may help end almost 500,000 infant deaths and save $233 billion annually in costs linked to diarrhea, cholera, and other diseases caused by poor water, sanitation, and hygiene…” (Gale, 11/5).

Devex: At the Reinvented Toilet Expo, new commitments to bring innovation to sanitation
“…Development finance institutions including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank made the largest ever coordinated set of commitments exclusively for urban sanitation, announcing pledges that could unlock $2.5 billion in financing for sanitation projects in cities, according to a statement. The Agence Française de Développement committed to double its funding for sanitation globally by 2022, the United Nations Children’s Fund announced a new strategy to scale and deploy product and service innovations for sanitation and increase private sector engagement, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which hosted the event together with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, upped its own commitment to working with partners on solutions for sanitation…” (Cheney, 11/6).

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World Vision U.K. Report Says Britain Spends Too Little On Child Protection Aid In Dangerous Countries

The Guardian: U.K. accused of ‘abandoning children to their fate’ in world’s deadliest countries
“An international charity has accused Britain of abandoning children in the world’s most dangerous countries to their fate, with minimal aid spent on their protection. Only 2.5 percent of U.K. aid, £35m, was spent on projects that protect children from violence in 2017, according to research commissioned by World Vision U.K…” (Ratcliffe, 11/6).

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More News In Global Health

CNN: Global skin cancer deaths rising for men, but not women, study says (Avramova, 11/5).

Nature: Wellcome and Gates join bold European open-access plan (Van Noorden, 11/5).

Newsweek: ‘Prophet’ Who Claimed To Discover HIV and Cancer Cure Secures Government Support for Clinical Trial (Brennan, 11/5).

New York Times: Dogs Can Detect Malaria. How Useful Is That? (McNeil, 11/5).

Reuters: Yellow fever kills 10 in Ethiopia, WHO ships 1.45 million vaccines (Miles, 11/5).

SciDev.Net: One simple questionnaire could help spot autism in many countries (Extance, 11/5).

TIME: Gates Foundation Pulls Funding From Charity Chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Over Khashoggi Killing (Perrigo, 11/5).

U.N. News: ‘Rare but devastating’ tsunamis underscore need for better preparation, U.N. chief urges on World Day (11/5).

Washington Post: Worried about emerging infectious diseases outbreaks around the world? Listen to this (Blakemore, 11/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Must Demand End To War In Yemen, NYT Editorial Says

New York Times: End Yemen’s Agony
Editorial Board

“…The United States, Britain, and other enablers of the Saudi campaign can and must demand an immediate halt to the carnage [in Yemen]. … Trump administration officials finally seem to have understood the horror and pointlessness of the war, in which the United States is deeply entangled by the ordnance, targeting, and refueling it provides the Saudi-led coalition. … [A] continuing blood bath in Yemen serves neither American nor Saudi interests; on the contrary, the United States, according to Amnesty International, stands ‘at risk of making itself an accessory to war crimes.’ [By issuing statements against the war, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] have taken a first step. The next must be to demand an immediate halt to the bombing, combined with the start of negotiations and a large-scale, global relief effort led by the United States. And if [Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] hesitates, pull the plug on the arms” (11/5).

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Better Understanding Of Ebola, Improved WASH Needed To End Ebola Outbreak In Congo

The Guardian: We’re in constant fear of armed attack as we treat Ebola patients in Congo
Eric Mukama, health zone coordinator in the DRC with Care

“I have been responding to different disease outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for 18 years, yet I have never seen anything as challenging as containing Ebola in an armed-conflict zone. … Here, any aid worker, especially us locals, can be in imminent danger. … Despite [some] communities’ resistance, people are becoming aware of the disease and its danger. But even the most basic ways to counter it are almost impossible to implement in some inaccessible villages. … The basic health precautions we promote to eliminate Ebola are the same standards that should be applied all the time, with or without an epidemic. Sadly, this outbreak has revealed a gap there, which could be due to lack of awareness, or lack of tools and infrastructure. To be better able to protect communities from epidemics, some basic services need to be enhanced. Beni, for example, water networks do not reach everywhere, and schools do not have enough bathrooms. … If it is possible to prevent the infection of all the staff and volunteers responding to the epidemic, then it must be possible to eliminate Ebola completely” (11/6).

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Opinion Pieces Highlight International Actions Needed To Finance SDGs

Inter Press Service: Ambitious Agenda, Ambitious Financing? UNGA Shows a Long Way Still to Go for SDGs
John Garrett, senior policy analyst for development finance, and Kathryn Tobin, advocacy coordinator, both at WaterAid

“…[In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),] the U.N.’s 193 member states need to show stronger resolve and political will to break from today’s business-as-usual financing trajectories. … We suggest three vital areas for greater attention from the international community. First, curbing tax evasion and avoidance, and stopping illicit financial flows are essential steps to enable the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. … Second, achieving the 2030 Agenda requires a much stronger emphasis on international public assistance in grant form, both Official Development Assistance (ODA) and climate finance, targeted to the poorest countries. … Third, the international community needs to support institutional strengthening in [low-income developing countries (LIDCs)] on a much greater scale. … Between now and next year’s High-Level Political Forum for heads of state in September 2019, the international community must generate the political momentum required for equitable and ambitious financing, to reach the shared commitments of the SDGs” (11/5).

The Lancet: Financing the SDGs: mobilizing and using domestic resources for health and human capital
Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, president of Burkina Faso; Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway; Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group

“…On Nov 6, 2018, we are co-hosting [the Global Financing Facility for Every Woman and Every Child’s (GFF)] first replenishment event in Oslo, Norway, to expand GFF’s crucial work to improve maternal, child, and adolescent health and nutrition outcomes. We will also be co-hosting a linked conference a day earlier, on Domestic Resource Use and Mobilization for health (DRUM). … The Oslo DRUM conference will highlight emerging opportunities to solve four main challenges for domestic investment in health. First, social and political demand must be strengthened. … Second, resources must be used more effectively. … Third, leverage private-sector innovations. … Finally, re-energize development assistance for health. … The time to mobilize domestic resources for health is now. … The GFF replenishment and Oslo DRUM conference are platforms for countries to lead this change. We commit ourselves to sharing what we learn in Oslo in November so that these lessons contribute to a more concerted global response to health finance needs and the broader SDG financing challenge…” (11/3).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Oxfam America Blog Post Highlights 3 Things To Know About U.S. Foreign Aid

Oxfam America: Myths about foreign aid
This blog post discusses “three things you may not know about U.S. foreign aid: 1. Development aid is not just wasted by corrupt governments. … 2. Americans spend more on candy, sporting goods, and jewelry than the U.S. government spends on poverty-reducing foreign assistance. … 3. Foreign aid is proven to lift people out of poverty” (11/5).

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MFAN Welcomes USAID's Transformation Proposal, Calls For Adequate Funding To Achieve Agency's Mission

Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network: USAID’s Proposed Transformation: Highlights & Questions
“The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) welcomes the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Transformation proposal to strengthen the agency’s ability to deliver on its development and humanitarian mission. The Agency’s proposal meets four out of five of MFAN’s widely endorsed structural requirements for an effective aid agency. … However, the agency must request adequate funding to carry out its mission. MFAN recommends that USAID further partner with Congress, the development community, and developing country stakeholders on its proposed reforms, and ground them in the larger policy framework of a U.S. Global Development Strategy…” (11/5).

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FCAA Releases Report, Resource On Philanthropic Funding For Community-Based Action On HIV/AIDS

Funders Concerned About AIDS: New FCAA Report Highlights Challenges & Opportunities for Funding Community-Based Action on HIV/AIDS
“As it kicked off its Annual AIDS Philanthropy Summit [on Monday], Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) released a new report, Last mile funding: improving practice in philanthropic funding of community action on AIDS. The report highlights the ways in which funders can more effectively support community-based responses to HIV and AIDS. … In addition to the report, FCAA recently embarked upon a new data initiative to create a baseline against which to track the level of HIV philanthropy reaching local, national, and international civil society organizations (CSOs). … The objective for this year’s funder convening is identifying new tools and opportunities to increase investment in community-based approaches…” (11/5).

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ONE Campaign Blog Post Highlights South Africa's New Policies On Menstrual Products, Potential Impacts

ONE: Menstrual products will now be tax-free in South Africa
Sadof Alexander, digital content assistant at the ONE Campaign, discusses the potential impact of South Africa’s decision to no longer charge taxes for menstrual products and begin providing free sanitary pads to students, writing, “These two changes will make it significantly easier for women and girls to access the products they need. … Providing affordable menstrual products is one of many changes that need to happen for girls to unlock their full potential” (11/5).

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UNEP, WHO Host African Interministerial Conference On Health And Environment

U.N. Environment Programme: Health and environment: shaping a better future together in Africa
“Aiming to identify emerging environmental threats to people’s health and agree on a strategic action plan for the region, African ministers of health and environment will meet for the Third Interministerial Conference on Health and Environment from 6 to 9 November in Libreville, Gabon. The conference jointly organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.N. Environment will discuss how to turn health and environmental policies into action. In the African region, 23 percent of deaths are linked to the environment…” (11/5).

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PLOS Blog Post Features Interview Between Acting, Outgoing Heads Of GCM/NCD

PLOS Blogs’ “Global Health”: Moving forward together to accelerate action — all hands on deck!
This post highlights an interview between Guy Fones, acting head and senior adviser at the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (GCM/NCD), and Bente Mikkelsen, outgoing head of the GCM/NCD and newly appointed director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-Course (NDP) at WHO/Europe. They discuss the GCM/NCD’s first-ever General Meeting in Geneva on November 5-6, which “aims to support synergies and collaborations that foster appetite for … action [on NCDs] globally” (11/5).

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