KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Governments, Philanthropies Pledge $1B To Global Financing Facility To Improve Maternal, Child Health

Devex: Donors put up $1B for Global Financing Facility, with notable absences
“Donors have agreed to put an additional $1 billion into the Global Financing Facility to improve health and nutrition for women, children, and adolescent girls in low-income countries. However, the sum raised at a replenishment conference in Norway on Tuesday fell far short of the $2 billion target. There were also concerns that the facility could fragment the crowded international health space and push some countries further into debt distress…” (Edwards, 11/7).

Reuters: Donors pledge $1 bln for maternal and child health fund
“…Tuesday’s pledges included $360 million from Norway, $65 million from Britain, and $58 million from Germany. They were ‘an important milestone’ towards raising $2 billion for the GFF to be able to expand to 50 countries from the current 27, the fund said in a statement. It said it was expecting additional pledges from new and existing investors who may make multi-year commitments. ‘Healthy women, children, and adolescents contribute to a virtuous cycle,’ said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the philanthropic Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which committed $200 million to the GFF replenishment…” (Kelland, 11/6).

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Uganda Begins Administering Experimental Ebola Vaccine To Health Workers As Outbreak Continues In Neighboring DRC

Associated Press: Uganda, at high risk for Ebola, starts vaccinating medics
“Uganda has started vaccinating health workers against Ebola in a border district near the outbreak in Congo, where the highly infectious viral disease has killed 189 people. … Several studies have shown that the vaccine is safe and protects against the Ebola virus, the World Health Organization said in a statement…” (Muhumuza, 11/7).

The Guardian: Uganda vaccinates at-risk health workers as Ebola spreads in Congo
“…The vaccination program launches on Wednesday with support from the World Health Organization, targeting 2,000 frontline workers in districts close to DRC’s North Kivu province, which is currently experiencing an outbreak of the deadly virus. Uganda is the first country in the world to give the vaccine without an active outbreak of the disease, but is judged to be at very high risk…” (Okiror, 11/6).

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East Africa Shows Significant Decline In FGM Among Young Girls Since 1995, Study Shows

The Guardian: FGM rates in East Africa drop from 71% to 8% in 20 years, study shows
“The number of girls undergoing female genital mutilation has fallen dramatically in East Africa over the past two decades, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. The study, which looked at rates of FGM among girls aged 14 and under, suggests that prevalence in East Africa has dropped from 71.4 percent in 1995, to eight percent in 2016. The reported falls in the rates of FGM are far greater than previous studies have suggested, though some in the development community have advised caution over the figures…” (Ratcliffe, 11/7).

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Human Rights Groups, U.N. Express Concern Over LGBT Rights In Tanzania

Washington Post: Tanzania walked back a claim that it was going after LGBT people. Now Amnesty says 10 men have already been arrested.
“…[I]n late October, Paul Makonda, the regional commissioner of Dar es Salaam, announced he planned to form a team that would seek out and identify gay people to prosecute them. … The suggestion prompted near-immediate backlash from human rights groups, and the Foreign Ministry later backtracked on Makonda’s suggestion, saying it didn’t reflect the official government position. But Amnesty International announced Tuesday that 10 men had been arrested on the island of Zanzibar during the weekend, after police were tipped off about a possible same-sex marriage ceremony. … It was not immediately clear whether the men’s arrests were directly related to the threat from Makonda in Dar es Salaam, on Tanzania’s mainland, but Amnesty said the arrests show ‘the danger of inflammatory and discriminatory rhetoric at senior levels of government’…” (O’Grady, 11/6).

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CNN Examines Drug-Resistant Infections In Afghanistan, U.S. Military's Role In Controlling Infections In Military Facilities In Country

CNN/Bureau of Investigative Journalism: The U.S. defeated Kabul superbugs in its military, but locals still struggle
“…Military doctors started noticing an influx of patients with multidrug-resistant infections from 2003, two years after the Afghanistan war started, but it was years before the Army identified the scope of the problem. … Targeted control programs were introduced in 2009 and included guidelines on antibiotic use, better surveillance of drug resistance, improved record-keeping, and better infection control. Resistance was reduced to pre-war levels within six years. … But the gains made in military hospitals were not transferred to public facilities, which still struggle with drug-resistant infections…” (Davies, 11/6).

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Fighting In Yemen Escalates, Worsening Humanitarian Crisis

New York Times: As Famine Looms in Yemen, Saudi-Led Coalition Redoubles Attacks
“The fight in Yemen has escalated drastically over the past week, exacerbating a dire humanitarian crisis that the United Nations says could spiral into famine — despite, or even because of, a diplomatic push by the United States to get both sides to the peace table. The Saudi-led coalition, which the United States has armed and supported, has launched a punishing wave of airstrikes against the rebel Houthis. The warplanes have hit targets in the capital, Sana; in the mountainous northern provinces; and in the Red Sea port of Hudaydah where, aid workers warn, the country’s main humanitarian lifeline hangs by a thread…” (Kalfood/Walsh, 11/6).

Additional coverage of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is available from NPR and U.N. News.

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Some Global Health Organizations Taking Steps To Address Gender Structure, Policies, Report Shows

Devex: Health organizations make some progress on gender
“…[Several] global health organizations … have made new commitments and taken steps to become more gender responsive in their organizations’ gender structure and policies, according to Celebrating Change, a report released on Wednesday by the same gender health champions behind the Global Health 50/50 report. Kent Buse and Sarah Hawkes, co-founders of Global Health 50/50, told Devex that the latest initiatives taken by several of the 140 global health organizations the report analyzed in March, suggest some sort of ‘sea change’ is taking place…” (Ravelo, 11/6).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Why almost no one in Nigeria is using HIV prevention drugs (Adepoju, 11/7).

Devex: With less than 6 months to go, what are the plans for Bloomberg’s Data for Health? (Cornish, 11/7).

The Guardian: Taxing red meat would save many lives, research shows (Carrington, 11/6).

New York Times: In China, Bill Gates Encourages the World to Build a Better Toilet (Wee, 11/6).

Texas Standard: A Tale Of Two Diseases: How The Malaria Parasite Could Help Protect Against Ebola (Petrie, 11/6).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Indonesian startup uses road safety to drive women’s empowerment (Taylor, 11/5).

The Wire: TB Patients on Bedaquiline Have Half the Mortality of Those Not on the Drug: WHO Chief (Bhuyan, 11/6).

Xinhua News: Namibia winning the war on malaria: report (11/6).

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Editorials and Opinions

Innovators Should Actively Engage, Partner With Government To Improve Health

Forbes: The Future Of Healthcare Innovation And Why Government Matters
Bill Frist, former U.S. Senate majority leader and chair of Hope Through Healing Hands

“Why do politics matter to health? Because government, when focused, can do incredible things to move our health forward. … [For example, the] global impact of the bipartisan PEPFAR program in terms of health, safety, and security, is nothing short of miraculous. And it would not have happened without the leadership of those we elect to go to Washington. … [L]et’s not forget how our federal government — and whom we choose to lead us — can radically improve our health and well-being by providing the framework and resources, and exercising the leadership, to spur innovation. … I will always believe that our most innovative, creative, groundbreaking solutions to the health system’s needs and challenges will come from the private sector, but government more often than not provides the enabling framework. Thus we as innovators should continue to actively engage those who lead our government. Let’s work with government as an ally and partner in improving the health and well-being of Americans” (11/6).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

IDSA Urges Strengthened U.S. Support Of GHSA In Letter To HHS Secretary

Infectious Disease Society of America: IDSA Urges Strengthened U.S. Leadership of Global Health Security Agenda
“As Global Health Security Agenda partners meet in Indonesia this week to commit to their next steps in improving epidemic readiness worldwide, the Infectious Diseases Society of America is asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to strengthen its leadership of efforts through the partnership. In a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, IDSA is urging increased support of the Global Health Security Agenda to combat antimicrobial resistance, increase immunization access, build health care workforces, and enhance capacities for medical countermeasures and personnel deployment in response to outbreaks…” (11/6).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 345 of the ‘Global Fund Observer.’ The newsletter includes pieces on various topics, including an article on the Global Fund Board approval of another $28 million in grants from the 2017-2019 allocations; an interview with the Global Fund’s former director of external relations on the history of the Fund’s resource mobilization efforts, its successes and challenges, and the establishment of the Global Fund replenishment; and a press release highlighting a letter written by a bipartisan group of 18 U.S. senators to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the administration to increase the U.S. pledge to the Global Fund for 2020-2022 (11/7).

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Friends Of The Global Fight Interviews Global Fund’s Ade Fakoya About HIV/AIDS Efforts, Opportunities

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: An HIV/AIDS Q&A with the Global Fund’s Dr. Ade Fakoya
“This is the third in a series of interviews with the senior disease coordinators at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In this Q&A, Friends spoke with Dr. Ade Fakoya, the senior disease coordinator specializing in HIV/AIDS, about the opportunities to fight AIDS covered in our report, ‘At the Tipping Point: U.S. Leadership to End AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria'” (11/6).

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CSIS Releases November 2018 Issue Of Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter: November 2018
In the November 2018 CSIS Global Health Policy Center Newsletter, J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president of CSIS and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, highlights publications, podcasts, and past and upcoming events hosted by CSIS. The newsletter includes links to a roundtable discussion on health security and North Korea and a podcast episode hosted by Sara Allinder, deputy director and senior fellow at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, who speaks with Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands about “his first seven months in that post, takeaways from the UNGA high-level meeting on tuberculosis, as well as his expectations for the lead-up to the 2019 Global Fund replenishment conference, set to take place in France” (November 2018).

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New Report Shows Relationship Between Conflict, Food Insecurity In Africa

Council on Foreign Relations’ “Africa in Transition”: Conflict at the Root of Food Insecurity in Africa
John Campbell, the Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at CFR, discusses a new report from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, titled “Africa’s Unresolved Conflicts Key Driver of Food Insecurity.” Campbell writes, “Among other things, the report shows that the majority of Africans experiencing high levels of food insecurity … live in countries experiencing or affected by conflict. … That there is a link between conflict in Africa, which is virtually all internal, and food insecurity is intuitively obvious. But the link is sometimes overlooked by commentators and policymakers. The Africa Center has done a service by showing explicitly the link in a user-friendly way…” (11/6).

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GH5050 Co-Founders Discuss Progress Toward Gender Equality In Global Health Organizations, New Report

BMJ Opinion: Kent Buse and Sarah Hawkes: Are health organizations leaders or laggards on gender equality?
Kent Buse, chief of strategic policy directions at UNAIDS and co-founder of Global Health 50/50 (GH5050), and Sarah Hawkes, co-founder and director of GH5050 and professor at the University College London, write “there are signs that organizations working [in] global health are … embracing gender equality as a way to improve health outcomes.” The authors write, “GH5050 is more than an academic exercise. We contacted the leaders of those 140 organizations [included in the inaugural Global Health 50/50 report] and asked them to make one public commitment to improve gender equality in the coming year. This ‘GH5050 Challenge’ has triggered solid commitment from some 20 organizations to date. This week, to coincide with the Women Leaders in Global Health conference in London, GH5050 launched a report with a snapshot of the commitments and changes…” (11/7).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Releases October 2018 Issue Of Innovation And Impact Newsletter

USAID: Innovation and Impact Newsletter — October 2018
The latest issue of USAID’s Innovation and Impact Newsletter features the USAID co-drafted Principles of Donor Alignment for Digital Health, a “call to action for donors investing in digital technologies to support country health systems”; the announcement of a new human-centered design partnership for health; and a round up of blog posts and articles on various development and global health innovations (October 2018).

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USAID’s October 2018 Global Health Newsletter Focuses On Digital Health

USAID’s “Global Health News”: Digital Health
USAID’s October 2018 newsletter focuses on digital health. “…[W]ith just over 10 years remaining to attain the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, how do we harness data and technology to deliver on the promise of ‘Health for All?’ Digital health continues to be transformative in supporting the health system, allowing health care workers to share data instantaneously and dispense essential, life-saving medicines where they’re needed most. It also helps us understand which interventions work best, and ensures that children are vaccinated on time. USAID and the broader donor community are working to leverage our collective strength and bring to scale digital health tools aiming to improve health for vulnerable populations around the world…” (October 2018).

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