KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Sierra Leone Marks 1 Year Since WHO First Declared Country Ebola-Free; Affected Children Continue To Face Food Shortages

Al Jazeera: The lingering shadow of Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone
“…One year ago, President Ernest Bai Koroma solemnly took to the airwaves to announce the end of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, as confirmed by the World Health Organization. The disease, which killed more than 3,580 people in 18 months, left behind a legacy of psychological suffering which is little discussed and under-supported…” (Acland, 11/7).

BBC News: Still counting the cost of Ebola
“A three-minute silence is being held across Sierra Leone to remember the victims of the Ebola outbreak of 2014. It’s one year since the country was first declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization although new cases were discovered, and it wasn’t until March this year that the all-clear was finally declared…” (Fofanu, 11/7).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Ebola-hit children in Sierra Leone go hungry amid food shortages — charity
“Thousands of Ebola orphans, teenage mothers, and children in charge of households in Sierra Leone are struggling to feed themselves and their families amid widespread food shortages in the West African nation, a British charity said on Monday…” (11/7).

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Haiti Continues To Face Serious Recovery Challenges Following Hurricane Matthew; Nearly 600K Children Need Aid, U.N. Says

U.N. News Centre: One month after Hurricane Matthew, needs in Haiti remain ‘vast,’ U.N. reports
“As Haiti struggles to recover from the massive destruction wrought by Hurricane Matthew, which pummeled the tiny island one month ago [Friday], the United Nations warned that while its seems as if ‘the world has moved on,’ Haiti’s needs are vast, exemplified by the nearly 600,000 children being stalked by disease, hunger, and malnutrition and in need of assistance…” (11/4).

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Nearly 21K People Displaced During Mosul Offensive, Including Almost 10K Children Needing Urgent Assistance, UNICEF Says

U.N. News Centre: Displaced amid Mosul offensive, close to 10,000 children in urgent need of aid, says UNICEF
“Some 20,700 people have been displaced since the operation to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from terrorists started on 17 October, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said [Thursday], estimating that 9,700 of them are children in urgent need of assistance…” (11/3).

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Myanmar Approves Food Aid For Embattled Rakhine State But More Access Needed, U.N. Says

Reuters: Myanmar allows food aid delivery to conflict-torn region
“Myanmar is allowing the first food deliveries for more than four weeks to the troubled north of Rakhine state, the U.N. humanitarian agency announced on Monday, amid an ongoing military lockdown of the area. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement that the World Food Programme had been granted permission to deliver aid to four villages, but repeated a call for full access to the area where tens of thousands remain cut off from assistance…” (Lewis, 11/7).

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Patients Worldwide Turning To Online Buyers Clubs To Access Generic Antiviral Medicines For Hepatitis C Treatment, HIV Prevention

Reuters: Buyers clubs for cheaper drugs help fight hepatitis and HIV
“Frustrated by the high price of antiviral drugs, thousands of patients from London to Moscow to Sydney are turning to a new wave of online ‘buyers clubs’ to get cheap generic medicines to cure hepatitis C and protect against HIV infection. While regulators warn that buying drugs online is risky, scientific data presented at a recent medical conference suggest that treatment arranged through buyers club can be just as effective as through conventional channels…” (Hirschler, 11/6).

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Johns Hopkins-Pulitzer Center Symposium Examines Access To Surgery In LMICs

Global Health NOW: Sutures for the Future
“It might seem a bit incongruous at first: Isn’t surgery more about medicine than public health — helping one patient at a time rather than intervening at the population level? A panel of surgeons and a journalist, however, used data on the staggering unmet need and stories about individuals to argue for surgery’s centrality to public health during the Johns Hopkins-Pulitzer Center Symposium on Wednesday. … Across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the story is familiar: At least two billion people globally do not have access to safe surgery…” (Myers, 11/4).

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NPR Examines Challenges To Cholera Treatment, Prevention In Haiti, Other Areas

NPR: Cholera 101: Why An Ancient Disease Keeps On Haunting Us
“…The water-borne disease has been around for centuries, and it remains a global health risk. According to the World Health Organization there are roughly three million cases a year and 90,000 deaths. The worst epidemic is now in Haiti, linked to cholera brought by U.N. peacekeepers and surging anew in parts of the country hard hit last month by Hurricane Matthew. There’s another outbreak flaring in South Sudan. In countries that have long been grappling with cholera, such as Bangladesh, India, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, tens of thousands of people are sickened every year…” (Beaubien, 11/4).

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Editorials and Opinions

President Obama's Executive Order Prioritizes Global Health Security Agenda As Long-Term U.S. Commitment

Huffington Post: President Obama Cements Global Health Security Agenda As A National Priority
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

“…[On Friday], President Obama signed an executive order which cements the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) as a national, presidential-level priority and establishes the United States as a committed, long-term catalyst for achieving the promise and protections that GHSA holds. This is good news. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, distance no longer protects us from disease. The president’s action ensures U.S. leadership and supports strengthening the ability of all countries to detect outbreaks at the earliest possible moment, to respond to them quickly and decisively, and prevent outbreaks wherever possible. … ‘Promoting global health security,’ the executive order says, ‘is a core tenet of our national strategy for countering biological threats. No single nation can be prepared if other nations remain unprepared to counter biological threats.’ All of us deserve to be healthy and safe and secure from disease outbreaks. [The executive order signed] by the president moves us closer to that goal” (11/4).

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Next U.S. President Should Commit To Increasing Investments In Global Nutrition

The Hill: It’s time for the U.S. to lead on combating global malnutrition
Bill Frist, former U.S. senator from Tennessee and chair of Hope Through Healing Hands

“…[Malnutrition] is not a complex disease where we need to develop new treatments, build new clinics and health infrastructure, or educate patients on prevention and medication adherence. But it is a health challenge that requires bold leadership and the commitment of greater resources from developing and developed countries. The United States should lead the way, and our next president has a unique opportunity to mobilize the global community around this critical issue. … If we don’t turn the tide against global malnutrition, we will suffer the consequences of millions of lives lost unnecessarily and a generation of mothers and children in the developing world that never achieve their God-given potential. The next U.S. president has a unique opportunity to make global nutrition a top priority for the U.S. and for our international partners, perhaps with the first big moment coming at the G7 in Italy next May. Increasing U.S. investments in global nutrition by $350 million per year over the next decade would be one of the smartest and most cost-effective decisions that our next president could make upon assuming office” (11/4).

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On USAID's 55th Anniversary, Agency Continues To Exhibit Leadership In Global Development

Medium: Our greatest quest yet: 5 reasons we’re hopeful for the future on USAID’s 55th anniversary
Gayle Smith, administrator of USAID

“…In the 55 years that followed [the establishment of USAID, the agency] has represented core American values like equality, freedom, optimism, and progress all across the globe, and worked to realize a world where every man, woman, and child can live with dignity and reach their full potential. … Innovations in science, medicine, and technology over the past half-century have made it possible to live longer and better. USAID and our global partners have helped expand the reach of such tools, ensuring they can benefit even the most vulnerable people. And we have been at the forefront of global progress in health, food security, energy, water, education, and more. That’s why today, on USAID’s 55th anniversary, I’m more hopeful than ever for the future, despite the long list of challenges we face…” (11/4).

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Global Leaders Should Renew Commitment To WHO Framework Convention On Tobacco Control

The Guardian: Every tobacco death is an avoidable tragedy. The epidemic must stop here
Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization

“…By raising tax on tobacco products, requiring graphic warning labels, conducting hard-hitting mass media campaigns, and banning tobacco industry advertising and marketing, countries can improve the health of their citizens, reduce health care costs, and prevent the tobacco industry from addicting another generation of children. … We need to work together, as allies in global health, to fight to protect people from the dangers of tobacco. … I urge global leaders convening in India [for the 7th Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control] to see this moment as an opportunity to bend the course of public health history and commit to returning home with a renewed dedication to fully implement the WHO Framework Convention. To make the event effective, it is vital that governments recognize the inherent conflict between public health and the interests of the tobacco industry. Representatives from the latter should be completely excluded from government delegations. Every death from tobacco is an avoidable tragedy. It is our task to reverse the tide, effecting an irreversible decline in the number of such deaths…” (11/6).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

President Obama's Executive Order Launches Comprehensive Framework For Global Health Security Agenda

White House: Statement by National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice on the Executive Order on Advancing the Global Health Security Agenda
National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice provides a statement on the U.S. commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and says, “The executive order signed [Friday] builds on [the progress of the GHSA] by establishing long-term policy objectives and memorializing a comprehensive framework for the United States to continue, strengthen, and institutionalize our achievements and use common targets to measure progress. The executive order will save lives by further leveraging the full power and leadership of the United States Government and is an important step toward a safer, more resilient future” (11/4).

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: Executive Order Prioritizes Our Shared Global Health Security
Ariel Pablos-Mendez, assistant administrator for global health at USAID, discusses President Obama’s executive order to advance the Global Health Security Agenda, writing, “The comprehensive framework the Obama administration is launching … will have a far-reaching impact on our ability to partner with new sectors to prevent, detect, and respond to epidemic threats; leverage the full power and leadership of the U.S. government for this effort; and move us closer to achieving the vision of a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats” (11/4).

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African Health Leaders, Policymakers Gather At One Health Conference To Discuss Convergence Of Human, Animal Health

WHO: African leaders recognize importance of preventing and managing health emergencies on inaugural One Health Day
“…[This] week (8-11 November), the WHO Africa Region, in collaboration with global and regional partners, will convene the West African Regional Conference on One Health in Dakar, Senegal. More than 200 policymakers, experts, and civil society advocates will discuss the importance of designing health systems and programs that incorporate the One Health approach in order to contain diseases in animals and the environment before they spread to humans and become global crises…” (11/3).

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Blog Post Examines Negative Effects Of Armed Conflict On Maternal Health Care

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: No Mother Left Behind: How Conflict Exacerbates the Global Maternal Health Challenge
Nancy Chong, an intern for the Wilson Center’s Maternal Health Initiative and an undergraduate student at American University, discusses the challenges of providing maternal health care in areas of civil conflict. Chong writes, “From the destruction of health facilities to magnifying existing social inequalities, low-level armed conflict affects maternal fatality, utilization of maternal health services, and women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution in many ways. … [T]he effect of conflict cannot be ignored on aspirations for a ‘grand convergence’ of health services between rich and poor countries. And it just may be that providing better care is a part of producing more durable peace” (11/7).

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