KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Women Should Have At Least 8 Health Care Visits During Each Pregnancy, New WHO Guidelines Recommend

New York Times: While Pregnant, Women Should Get Health Care 8 Times, WHO Says
“Women should see a doctor, nurse, or trained midwife at least eight times during each pregnancy, with five of those visits in the last trimester, the World Health Organization said Monday as it issued 49 recommendations to prevent deaths in childbirth…” (McNeil, 11/7).

Reuters: WHO doubles recommended number of health visits during pregnancy
“…More antenatal contacts help to reduce the chance of stillbirths, with eight fewer perinatal deaths per 1,000 births, the WHO said in a statement. … The new WHO guidelines include 49 recommendations touching on diet, physical activity, tobacco, malaria, blood tests, tetanus vaccinations, and the use of ultrasound. There is also advice on problems such as nausea, back pain, and constipation…” (Miles, 11/7).

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Essential Medicines In Developing Countries Could Cost $1-2 Per Person Per Month, Lancet Commission Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Monthly cost of providing key drugs could be $1-2 per person: experts
“Essential medicines could be provided for as little as $1-$2 a month per person in developing countries, experts said on Monday as they called on governments to boost efforts to ensure everyone can access basic health care. Although global spending on medicines is about eight times this amount, one in five countries spends less than $1 per month per person, according to the first analysis of the cost of providing key drugs by The Lancet Commission on Essential Medicines…” (Mis, 11/7).

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Yemen's Ongoing War Takes Major Toll On Health Facilities' Ability To Function, WHO Survey Shows

Associated Press: U.N. agency: Yemen war has taken out half of health facilities
“The U.N.’s health agency says that half of Yemen’s medical facilities have either been shut down or are partially functioning because of the war and that nearly half of the country suffers from severe shortage of doctors…” (11/7).

Deutsche Welle: Yemen faces humanitarian disaster from crippled health infrastructure, says WHO
“…Only 45 percent of the country’s 3,500 health facilities surveyed by the U.N.’s international public health organization were fully functional and accessible, the WHO said…” (7/11).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Disease stalks Yemen as hospitals, clinics devastated by war — WHO
“…The 18-month-old conflict between a Saudi Arabia-led coalition and the Iran-aligned Houthi group which controls much of northern Yemen has destroyed much of Yemen’s infrastructure, killed more than 10,000 people, and displaced millions. UNICEF says the humanitarian disaster in the country has left 7.4 million children in need of medical help and 370,000 at risk of severe acute malnutrition…” (Mis, 11/7).

U.N. News Centre: New U.N. survey reveals extensive damage to health system in war-torn Yemen
“…After examining 16 out of 22 Yemen’s governorates, the WHO’s Health Resources Availability Mapping System (HeRAMS) found that out of total 3,507 surveyed health facilities, only 1,579 (45 percent) are fully functional and accessible, 1,343 (38 percent) are partially functional and 504 (17 percent) are non-functional. Findings also revealed that 274 health facilities were damaged as a result of the ongoing conflict…” (11/7).

United Press International: WHO: Half of Yemen’s hospitals not fully functional after 18-month war
“…Only 6.2 beds are available for every 10,000 people, which is below the international benchmark, according to WHO. The survey found 49 of the 276 districts — almost 18 percent — had no medical doctors…” (Cone, 11/7).

VICE News: On the brink
“…Eighty percent of Yemen is currently in need of humanitarian assistance, and 19 of the country’s 22 governorates have reached crisis levels of food insecurity, according to the [World] Food Programme…” (Liautaud, 11/4).

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Devex Examines Challenges To Meeting Global Goal To End TB By 2035

Devex: Overcoming challenges to a TB epidemic
“The World Health Organization’s 2016 Global Tuberculosis Report found the burden of the disease is greater than previously thought, calling into question ambitious global goals to end the epidemic by 2035. … TB research and development remains severely underfunded, according to the report. Additionally, investments in low- and middle-income countries for TB care and prevention fell almost $2 billion short this year of the $8.3 billion needed. It’s predicted this annual gap will widen to $6 billion in 2020 if funding levels don’t increase, the WHO report found…” (Cousins, 11/7).

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Aid Agencies Concerned Some CAR Refugees In Cameroon Forcing Young Daughters To Marry

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Child marriage threatens future of young Central African Republic refugees in Cameroon
“…While refugee camps provide free education, most of the refugees — two-thirds — live in villages where they struggle to afford [school] enrollment fees of up to 2,000 CFA francs ($3). Many end up sending their sons to work and forcing their daughters to marry. Dwindling humanitarian funding for Cameroon, and the prospect of huge waves of arrivals if Central African Republic plunges back into full-blown conflict, are stoking fears among aid agencies for the future of the country’s young refugees…” (Guilbert, 11/8).

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3.7M People Face Severe Food Shortages In South Sudan, Up From 1M This Time Last Year

U.N. News Centre: South Sudan will face escalating food crisis in 2017, U.N. agriculture agency warns
“As the conflict in South Sudan grinds on, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned [Monday] that 31 percent of the country’s population, or 3.7 million people, are facing a severe food security risk, despite the end of the lean food season and start of harvests — a major increase from the one million who were in a similar situation at this time last year…” (11/7).

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Al Jazeera's 'Rewind' Looks At Cholera In Haiti, Accountability For Outbreak

Al Jazeera: Rewind: Haiti in a Time of Cholera
“Ten years ago, in November 2006, Al Jazeera English was launched. To mark that anniversary, we’ve created REWIND, which updates some of the channel’s most memorable and award-winning documentaries of the past decade. We find out what happened to some of the characters in those films and ask how the stories have developed in the years since our cameras left. … Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines went from Haiti to the U.N. headquarters in New York City to ask who should be held accountable for the cholera epidemic that reached crisis levels…” (11/8).

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U.S. Researchers Begin Testing Of Another Experimental Zika Vaccine

NPR: Testing Begins On An Experimental Zika Vaccine With Inactivated Virus
“Federal scientists have launched another test in human volunteers of a Zika vaccine. This one uses a more traditional approach than an experiment that started in August. Federal officials are eager to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible, which is why they are pursuing multiple approaches…” (Harris, 11/7).

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Editorials and Opinions

USAID's Global Development Lab Uses Collaborative Approach, Innovation To Help End Extreme Poverty

Huffington Post: A Tiger Team to Cut Through Bureaucracy
Ann Mei Chang, executive director of USAID’s Global Development Lab

“…[T]here’s much more to innovation than cool new inventions that transform lives (though we love those too). That’s why USAID created the U.S. Global Development Lab. Part of our mission is to find the next generation of breakthrough innovations to reduce poverty. But we also test new ideas to change the way we do international development. You can’t hold these innovations in your hand, but they are just as important. … The Lab is a small innovation hub within a big organization with an even bigger mission — ending extreme poverty. … USAID has a long tradition of partnership, and the Lab is testing new ways to collaborate through highly interactive multi-stakeholder workshops and design sprints…” (11/7).

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Investing In Health Systems, Workforce Critical To Future Of Global Health

Devex: Opinion: The future of health financing
Pape Amadou Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth International

“…International donors and development partners must change the way we work and the value we provide as we move toward more [low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)] financing their own health sectors. How will we get there? First, we will have to advocate for stellar global and national governance, holding global agencies and countries accountable for developing, financing, and implementing evidence-based policies and programs. Secondly, we should liaise with the private sector to identify innovative solutions and investments that make health care more accessible and affordable to all. And thirdly, we must provide state-of-the-art technical assistance, helping countries translate academic research into sound, context-specific policy and practice. The global health of tomorrow relies on investments made today. If we start by collaborating to lay the groundwork for strong health systems and workforces around the world, we’ll be on our way to a future of better health and prosperity for all” (11/7).

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E.U.'s Midterm Budget Review Provides Opportunity To Exhibit Leadership In Global Health Innovation

Devex: Opinion: Global health innovation is a prescription for European leadership
Cécile Vernant, head of E.U. advocacy for Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)

“…In order to achieve [the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)], governments throughout the world need to urgently scale up their investment in global health innovation — developing new vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics that will be key to a 2030 that is free from diseases of poverty. … In 2017, the E.U. is undertaking a midterm review of its seven-year budget, identifying priorities for the next three years for the overall budget and the E.U.’s research program, Horizon2020. The E.U. will also launch discussions for the next multiyear budget cycle, to launch in 2020. These parallel processes provide a critical opportunity for the E.U. to assess what its funding for global health innovation has achieved, where it can be improved, and how much additional investment is needed. Here are three ways that Europe can grasp this opportunity. 1. Meet[ing] its funding targets. … 2. Improving synergies. … 3. Making investment more effective…” (11/7).

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India's Prime Minister Should Propose Stronger Standards, Funding For Clean Air

New York Times: Choking in New Delhi
Editorial Board

“It is no longer safe to breathe in New Delhi, one of the most polluted cities in the world. The problem has grown steadily worse, but little has been done beyond stopgap measures … Levels of the smallest particles, called PM 2.5, recently hit an astounding 688 micrograms per cubic meter of air in one New Delhi neighborhood, far surpassing the city’s average annual concentration of 153. … The solutions for seasonal smoke are obvious: Firecrackers should be banned — and those bans enforced. … India also needs to tackle the year-round pollution that stems from construction and road dust, from millions of vehicles and from factories and power plants. … India’s 1981 Air Act is far too lax and out of date to control the current crisis. Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to propose new legislation that sets stronger standards, with stiff penalties for polluters. He will also need to allocate funds for cleaning up the sources of pollution in cities where millions of people are breathing dirty air” (11/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.S., Cuba Look To Enhance Partnerships On Health Promotion, Protection, Research

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: The Promise of a Strong U.S.-Cuba Health Partnership
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, discusses the new health partnership between the U.S. and Cuba, writing, “While … still at an early stage, it’s clear the United States and Cuba have many shared goals — from ensuring that everyone can access quality care, to fighting cancer, to protecting people from health threats like Zika, and much more. But for our work together on these issues to reach its full impact, we need to keep finding new ways to advance U.S.-Cuba normalization” (11/7).

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Blog Post Discusses President Obama's Executive Order To Advance GHSA, Statements By U.S. Officials On Action

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: White House issues executive order formalizing agency roles in Global Health Security Agenda
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” highlights aspects of President Obama’s executive order to advance the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), as well as an opinion piece by CDC Director Tom Frieden and a statement by National Security Adviser Susan Rice on the importance of and U.S. role in global health security (11/7).

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