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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Employees Of Kenyan NGO Affected By Mexico City Policy Meet With U.S. Congress Members To Lobby For Maintaining Funding

STAT: Foreign health groups cutting services after a White House decision on abortion funding
“…Last week, [nurse Melvine Ouyo] traveled from Kenya to the United States to make an appeal to lawmakers in Washington and Americans across the country: Don’t cut off our funding. Ouyo works for Family Health Options Kenya, which provides health services to Kenya’s most vulnerable — and which lost over half a million dollars this year because of a memorandum President Trump signed at the end of January prohibiting foreign organizations that provide or promote abortion from receiving health funding from the United States government, representatives from the organization said…” (Swetlitz, 11/8).

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WHO Guidelines Call For Limiting Antibiotic Use Among Food-Producing Animals Due To Risk To Human Health

CIDRAP News: WHO calls for an end to antibiotic use in healthy animals
“Citing the benefits to public health, the World Health Organization (WHO) [Tuesday] called for an overall reduction in the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, recommending that farmers stop using antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention in healthy animals…” (Dall, 11/7).

The Guardian: Farmers must stop antibiotics use in animals due to human health risk, warns WHO
“…Using antimicrobial medicines on farm animals is one of the leading causes of the rise of superbugs, resistant to all but the strongest antibiotics. Medical authorities warn that the antibiotics available to treat even relatively minor human diseases are running out because of the rapid rise of such resistance…” (Harvey, 11/7).

HuffPost: WHO Urges End To Routine Antibiotic Use In Farm Animals To Stem Rise Of Superbugs
“…Limiting the antibiotics given to food-producing animals — such as chickens, cows, and pigs — can reduce antibiotic-resistant bacteria in those animals by up to 39 percent, according to a report published in The Lancet on Monday…” (Weber, 11/7).

Intellectual Property Watch: WHO Issues Guidelines Against Antibiotic Overuse In Farms And Food Industry
“…The U.N. health agency issued a set of recommendations to remedy this problem and ‘strongly recommends an overall reduction in the use of all classes of medically important antibiotics in food producing animals, including complete restriction of these antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention without diagnosis’…” (Saez, 11/7).

Reuters: Stop using antibiotics in healthy animals, WHO urges farmers
“Describing a lack of effective antibiotics for humans as ‘a security threat’ on a par with ‘a sudden and deadly disease outbreak,’ WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said ‘strong and sustained action across all sectors’ was vital to turn back the tide of resistance and ‘keep the world safe’…” (Kelland/Polansek, 11/7).

Scientific American: WHO Moves to Contain Superbugs on the Farm
“…But these recommendations are not law. … [T]he CODEX Alimentarius’s task force on antimicrobial resistance — an intergovernmental group that reviews these recommendations and other data — will consider them in a meeting later this month. The body could eventually decide to codify them into international standards that could be used to regulate global trade…” (Maron, 11/7).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency recommends farmers stop using antibiotics in healthy animals
“…Many countries have already taken action to reduce the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. For example, since 2006, the European Union has banned the use of antibiotics for growth promotion. Consumers are also driving the demand for meat raised without routine use of antibiotics, with some major food chains adopting ‘antibiotic-free’ policies for their meat supplies…” (11/7).

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U.N., Red Cross Urge Reopening Of Yemen's Borders To Allow Humanitarian, Medical Aid Deliveries

The Guardian: Closure of Yemen’s borders to aid deliveries is ‘catastrophic,’ U.N. warns
“Humanitarian groups and the U.N. have urged the Saudi-led coalition to reopen aid channels into Yemen, after a decision to seal the stricken country’s air, sea, and land borders…” (McVeigh, 11/7).

Reuters: U.N., Red Cross urge Saudi-led coalition to re-open aid lifeline to Yemen
“…It is estimatd that seven million people are facing famine there. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi movement in Yemen said on Monday it would close all air, land, and sea ports to the Arabian Peninsula country to stem the flow of arms from Iran…” (Nebehay, 11/7).

U.N. News Centre: ‘Catastrophic’ humanitarian blockade in Yemen putting millions at risk, U.N. warns
“… ‘Humanitarian operations are being blocked as a result of the closure ordered by the Saudi-led coalition,’ Jens Laerke, a spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told reporters … He [said] the current situation in Yemen is ‘catastrophic’…” (11/7).

Washington Post: A new Saudi blockade could worsen Yemen’s cholera crisis
“The International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday it was unable to get clearance to ship chlorine tablets used to prevent cholera from Saudi Arabia into Yemen, where a massive outbreak of the disease has affected more than 900,000 people. … A spokeswoman for the Red Cross, Iolanda Jaquemet, said the shipment of chlorine tablets, while not huge, ‘was critical,’ given the scale of the cholera outbreak. She also expressed concern about a shipment of 50,000 vials of insulin for treating diabetes that were being shipped to the southern Yemeni port of Aden and due to arrive next week…” (Fahim/Loveluck, 11/7).

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Conference Spotlights Technology's Role In Advancing Global Health, Achieving SDGs

Devex: Insights from Techonomy: What can technology bring to global health?
“…Techonomy, a conference and media company that organizes events on how technological advances are transforming industries and addressing global challenges, announced that its 2018 focus will be on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. At its conference in Half Moon Bay, California, this week, sessions covered autonomous mobility, the blockchain economy, and urban innovation, among other topics. One session — ‘Advancing Global Health With Tech’ — narrowed in on the SDGs, capturing how technology is one part of the path to achieving SDG 3 on good health and well-being…” (Cheney, 11/7).

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Female Refugees Lack Access To Menstrual Supplies, Safe Toilets, Study Shows

Reuters Health: Refugees lack menstrual supplies and private, safe toilets
“Girls and women forced to flee their homes in Myanmar and Syria lack menstruation supplies and safe, private toilets, a new study finds. … ‘It has been an overlooked issue,’ [Marni Sommer, a professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health,] said in a phone interview. ‘People say this is not life or death, so why should we pay attention to this?’ She is paying attention because girls skip school and other activities when they lack menstruation supplies and facilities in which to change…” (Cohen, 11/6).

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New Delhi Government Urged To Declare Public Health Emergency As Heavy Pollution Worsens

Al Jazeera: Health emergency declared, pollution soars in New Delhi
“The Indian capital was enveloped by a shroud of toxic smog on Tuesday, forcing the Indian Medical Association to declare a public health emergency and advised schools to be shut…” (Saberin, 11/7).

CNN: Delhi urged to declare emergency after third day of heavy pollution
“The Delhi government is being urged to declare a city-wide health emergency, as residents endured a third straight day of heavy pollution. Air quality readings in India’s capital have soared since Tuesday, with one monitor showing levels in the city were 969 — the World Health Organization considers anything above 25 to be unsafe…” (Wu, 11/8).

Reuters: Schools shut in India’s Delhi for the week as toxic smog thickens
“…Delhi’s government on Wednesday ordered schools shut for the rest of the week as air pollution worsened and criticism mounted over the failure of Indian authorities to tackle the public health crisis…” (Kalra, 11/8).

Washington Post: New Delhi is a ‘gas chamber’: Schools close and people stay home as pollution chokes India’s capital
“…The chief minister of Delhi called the city a ‘gas chamber.’ The dip in air quality happens regularly around this time of year. In previous years, it was linked to fireworks burned during the festival of Diwali, and crop burning in surrounding states. This year, an expert said, the cause was ‘local dust’ meaning pollution from inside the city…” (Doshi, 11/7).

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Thawing Permafrost In Arctic Region Could Release Old, Unknown Pathogens

The Atlantic: The Zombie Diseases of Climate Change
“…[Permafrost], long protected from decomposition by the cold, is finally rotting, and releasing gases into the atmosphere that could quicken the rate of global warming. This matter is also full of pathogens: bacteria and viruses long immobilized by the frost. Many of these pathogens may be able to survive a gentle thaw — and if they do, researchers warn, they could reinfect humanity. Climate change, in other words, could awaken Earth’s forgotten pathogens. It is one of the most bizarre symptoms of global warming. And it has already begun to happen…” (Meyer, 11/6).

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Editorials and Opinions

All Countries Should Strive For Balance In Pollution Control Policies

Washington Post: The killer responsible for more yearly deaths than AIDS, malaria, and TB combined
Editorial Board

“A major study published last month in The Lancet, a British medical journal, found that there is a global killer responsible for more yearly deaths than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined: pollution. … Harmful particulates, toxic chemicals, and smog-forming gases result from fuel burning, from primitive dung-fired cooking stoves to massive coal-burning power plants. These and other forms of pollution promote asthma, heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and other maladies. Premature death is only one problem. Long-term impairment before death also results in human misery and material impoverishment. … [M]andating relatively cheap pollution controls or, when possible, simply taxing polluters for the damage they do can result in a good value proposition for developing and developed nations alike. … The Lancet study should remind leaders in the United States and elsewhere that, though there are costs associated with restricting pollution, countries also incur costs by failing to do so. Finding the right balance requires acknowledging both sides and weighing them carefully” (11/7).

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Ebola Data Platform Should Be African-Based, Led Effort

Nature: Build the Ebola database in Africa
Brian Conton, clinical director of the Physio-Fitness Rehabilitation Centre in Sierra Leone

“…This September, the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO), a research network based at the University of Oxford, U.K., held a meeting in Guinea to discuss plans for an information platform to share data obtained during the latest outbreaks, in hopes of improving responses in the future. … The platform has yet to be established, and these preparatory efforts are well-intentioned. But in my opinion, having African scientists work on an information platform in another part of the world and at the behest of and under the jurisdiction of others does not confer the same benefits as working with local researchers to build our own tools on the ground. … [I]t would be more useful, and more equitable, to base the project in West Africa, at the front line of the battle against the virus. … Whatever data platform is built, … researchers in Africa can and should be building and curating it. A credible African-led initiative could convince people that the outputs of the data platform would be relevant to and usable by them. This could ease collaborations. … An African-led initiative has a legitimacy that a third party does not … It would also give us researchers in Africa a better chance of establishing true collaborations that build on and acknowledge the scientific capacity we have” (11/7).

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Malawi's First National Community Health Strategy Provides Lessons For Other Nations

HuffPost: What can we learn from Malawi’s first National Community Health Strategy?
Jeffrey Walker, chair of New Profit and vice chair of the Office of the U.N. Secretary General’s Envoy for Health; Matthew Rameriz, management partner at Aspen Management Partnership for Health; Nikki Tyler, market access adviser for USAID’s Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact; Precious Phiri, national primary health care coordinator at the Malawi Federal Ministry of Health; and Reuben Ligowe of USAID/Malawi

“…[The Aspen Management Partnership for Health (AMP Health)] looks to address the root causes of sub-optimal health services at the community level by providing a menu of support to Ministries of Health to strengthen management and leadership capacity. … AMP Health’s model is already working — as evidenced through its support to the Malawi Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) in creating the country’s first-ever National Community Health Strategy (NCHS). … Key insights and lessons learned [from the development of the NCHS are] outlined below. Developing a strategy requires a strong focus and detailed planning up front … Include people across all levels during strategic development … Have a diverse core working team … Align — and co-create — with other national policies … Prioritize … Ensure there are early, achievable wins in the strategy … Clearly define community health and how it fits within the overall health sector … Set ambitious, but achievable, targets to support resource mobilization … Community health systems can be costed in many ways … Importance of flexible, quickly accessible funding…” (11/7).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Improved Service Delivery, Differentiated Care, Prevention Efforts Critical To Achieving Global HIV/AIDS Goals

PLOS Medicine: Reaching global HIV/AIDS goals: What got us here, won’t get us there
Wafaa M. El-Sadr, director of ICAP at Columbia University and director of the Global Health Initiative at the Mailman School of Public Health; Katherine Harripersaud, senior project officer at ICAP; and Miriam Rabkin, associate professor at the Mailman School of Public Health and director for health systems strengthening at ICAP, discuss progress in addressing the global HIV epidemic through improved service delivery and differentiated care, as well as new approaches to prevention. The authors write, “Attaining epidemic control will require continued rapid expansion of the number of [people living with HIV] on treatment, engaging populations at risk for HIV infection, improvement of the quality of HIV services, and new approaches to program design and implementation…” (11/7).

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Podcast Episode Examines Global Impact Of Costs Of Malnourished, Stunted Children

Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ “Global Food For Thought”: Outrage And Inspire With Roger Thurow — A Poem Not Written, A Curse Not Discovered
“With this podcast series, we open a new front in our storytelling, adding the magic of audio narratives to our writing, photos, and videos. We’re calling this series: Outrage and Inspire, storytelling from the Real Hunger Games Trilogy of author and Chicago Council Senior Fellow Roger Thurow. … In this episode, we hear about how the costs of a malnourished, stunted child ripple around the world. For a stunted child anywhere becomes a stunted child everywhere, and a lost chance at greatness for one child becomes a lost chance for us all” (11/8).

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Report Highlights Lack Of Access To Health Care For Vulnerable People In Europe

BMJ Opinion: Doctors of the World: Vulnerable people should not fear arrest when seeking health care
Rob Aldridge, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development fellow at the Institute of Health Informatics; Delan Devakumar, NIHR clinical lecturer at the Institute for Global Health at the University College London (UCL); and Ibrahim Abubakar, professor at and director of the UCL Institute for Global Health, discuss findings from a report recently published by Doctors of the World. The report “provides evidence of the systemic failure of European health systems for many people currently living within the region. … The only conclusion that can be made from the data is that European health care systems do not serve these individuals well, that their rights are not being met, and that health care coverage remains far from universal” (11/8).

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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 323 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter includes articles on various topics, including an announcement of a new fund to support the engagement of adolescent girls and young women in Global Fund-related and national processes; a commentary on the Global Fund and PEPFAR’s complementary approaches and collaborations; and a primer on transitioning from Global Fund support (11/8).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Updated Fact Sheet On U.S. Government, Global TB Efforts

Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. Government and Global Tuberculosis Efforts
This updated fact sheet explains the U.S. government’s role in addressing global tuberculosis (TB), including the history of U.S. involvement and funding trends (11/7).

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