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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines Uncertainties Of Trump Administration's Soon-To-Be-Released Foreign Assistance Review

Devex: The next battle for U.S. aid is about to begin
“The United States global development community is bracing for the release of a Trump administration foreign assistance review … The classified review has been kept under close wraps by administration officials, even to the point that members of Congress who actually oversee development spending have received little to no information about it. … Given the lack of information from the White House about the foreign assistance review, members of the U.S. development community are left wondering what the final product will ultimately be…” (Igoe, 11/8).

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U.N. Vows To Improve Security In Congo's East, Where Ebola Outbreak Response Continues To Face Challenges

Associated Press: U.N. vows to tackle Congo rebels, contain Ebola
“The head of United Nations peacekeeping operations vowed Wednesday to do more with Congo’s government to help improve security in the country’s east, where frequent attacks by rebels are undermining efforts to contain an Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 150 people. Jean-Pierre Lacroix said the U.N. ‘will do our best to contain the Ebola outbreak despite the security environment that is being degraded by armed groups’…” (Maliro, 11/7).

U.N. News: Frontline workers vaccinated in Uganda over Ebola fears, as top U.N. officials visit outbreak epicenter in DR Congo
“The World Health Organization (WHO), and Ugandan Ministry of Health, have begun vaccinating frontline health workers in the country against Ebola, in a bid to stop an outbreak in the neighboring Democratic of Congo (DRC) from crossing the border…” (11/7).

Additional coverage of the ongoing DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from CIDRAP News, NBC News, and Xinhua News.

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U.N., Aid Groups Warn Of Worsening Humanitarian Crisis In Yemen, Call For Safe Passage For Those Trapped In Port City

VOA News: Aid Groups Plead Safe Passage for Yemenis Trapped in Hodeida
“International aid groups pled Wednesday for the residents of a Yemeni port city trapped between warring government forces and Iranian-backed rebels to be allowed safe passage out of the crossfire. The non-governmental organization Save the Children said one of its medical clinics had been damaged in the fighting in the densely populated Red Sea city of Hodeida, home to a population of about 600,000…” (11/7).

VOA News: U.N.: 400,000 Malnourished Children at Risk of Dying in War-Torn Yemen
“U.N. agencies warn hundreds of thousands of severely malnourished children in war-torn Yemen could die because of food shortages and lack of money to provide life-saving therapeutic treatment. … The U.N. children’s fund warns 400,000 children under age five are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and are at risk of dying…” (Schlein, 11/7).

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Low-Cost Strategies Could Prevent Many Projected Deaths Due To Antimicrobial Resistance, OECD Report Says

Forbes: Less Than A Penny A Day Keeps the Superbugs At Bay, Says OECD Report
“Just a couple of dollars a year per person could prevent three quarters of the projected deaths due to so-called superbugs — bacteria that have evolved to resist antibiotics, predicts the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). A new report from the OECD [Wednesday] estimates that antimicrobial resistant infection is on track to kill 30,000 Americans per year by 2050, almost as many as die in motor vehicle accidents. The financial cost to the 33 developed countries included in the study could also be as high as $3.5 billion a year…” (Laursen, 11/7).

Reuters: Just $2 per person a year could halt deadly superbugs, OECD says
“…[The report] proposed a ‘five-pronged assault’ on AMR, including promoting better hygiene, ending over-prescription of antibiotics, rapidly testing patients to ensure they get the right drug for infections, delaying antibiotic prescriptions, and delivering mass media campaigns. The report found some reasons for cautious optimism, with the average growth of drug resistance slowing down across the OECD, but added there were ‘serious causes for concern’…” (Kelland, 11/7).

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Malnutrition, Obesity Continue To Increase In Latin America, Caribbean, U.N. Report Shows

U.N. News: Hunger and obesity in Latin America and the Caribbean compounded by inequality: U.N. report
“For the third consecutive year, the number of those chronically hungry has increased in Latin America and the Caribbean, while 250 million — 60 percent of the regional population — are obese or overweight, representing the biggest threat to nutritional health, said the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Wednesday. Speaking at the launch of the 2018 Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security report in Santiago, Chile, FAO’s Regional Representative Julio Berdegue said it was an ‘appalling’ threat to health overall, affecting women and indigenous groups the most…” (11/7).

UPI: U.N. report: Obesity growing ‘uncontrollably’ in Latin America
“…About 3.9 million, or 7.3 percent of, Latin American and Caribbean children are affected by obesity, topping the global average of 5.6 percent, the report said. … Undernourishment also continues to be a problem, as well as access to water, schools, sanitation services, and health care, added Carissa Etienne, a World Health Organization representative. ‘We must advance access to universal health care,’ she said…” (Pipoli, 11/7).

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Poor Diets, Food Waste Threaten Health Worldwide, U.N. Report Says, Provides Policy Actions

U.N. News: Poor diets threaten health more than malaria, tuberculosis, measles — new U.N. report
“With one-in-five deaths associated with poor-quality diets, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a co-authored report on Wednesday, urging policymakers to reduce food loss and waste, to improve access to nutritious and healthy food. The report, titled ‘Preventing nutrient loss and waste across the food system: Policy actions for high-quality diets,’ concludes that regularly eating poor-quality food has become a greater public health threat than malaria, tuberculosis, or measles…” (11/7).

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U.N. Expert, Human Rights Groups Express Concern Over Bangladesh's Rohingya Repatriation Plan

IRIN: Fear and mistrust surround latest plan to return Rohingya
“Rights groups say a plan to return Rohingya to Myanmar from Bangladesh as early as next week is dangerously premature, while the refugees have been kept in the dark about their own immediate future. Roughly 730,000 Rohingya surged into Bangladesh starting in August 2017, fleeing a military purge that a U.N. rights investigation says amounts to genocide…” (Loy, 11/7).

VOA News: U.N. Myanmar Expert Urges Bangladesh to Halt Rohingya Repatriation Plan
“A United Nations’ expert on Myanmar urged Bangladesh on Tuesday to ‘shelve plans’ to begin repatriating Rohingya refugees to Myanmar’s Rakhine state this month to avoid persecution. … The two countries agreed on Oct. 30 to begin returning Rohingya refugees to Rakhine state by mid-November, but U.N. rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said the time is not right for their return…” (11/6).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: Delivery of aid to Syria’s Rukban camp completed (11/7).

HealthDay News: Female Genital Mutilation Decreasing in African Nations (Preidt, 11/7).

New York Times: The Nauru Experience: Zero-Tolerance Immigration and Suicidal Children (Amin/Kwai, 11/5).

Science: Indonesian ‘vaccine fatwa’ sends measles immunization rates plummeting (Rochmyaningsih, 11/7).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Thousands hiding in Central African Republic hospital risk attack: charity (Lazareva, 11/6).

Xinhua News: Tanzanian gov’t says it will not abandon family planning policy (11/7).

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Editorials and Opinions

Environmental, Food, Land Insecurity Critical Factors Leading To Migration

Foreign Policy: The Hungry Caravan
Helena Silva-Nichols, Stanford in Government fellow at Landesa

“In the United States, most discussions about the thousands of people who have fled their homes in Central America in recent months have focused on the violence that has forced them to flee. But there’s another reason people are leaving the region in droves: food insecurity. … The drought, which began in 2014, is the worst to hit Latin America’s dry corridor — a stretch of land that runs from southern Mexico down to Panama — in decades. … As a result, United Nations officials warned in September, more than two million people are at risk of going hungry. … Given the magnitude of poverty and hunger in the dry corridor … it is easy to understand why so many risk the treacherous journey across several conflict-ridden countries to escape. … If the environmental factors that push migrants to leave their homes are underreported, the solutions to this problem are even less discussed. … Without the security and stability that come with more equitable land distribution, smallholder farmers and communities will remain poor. … For now, those living there are left with two alternatives: stay and starve, or leave in hopes of starting over somewhere else. If Americans truly wish to confront the growing humanitarian crisis at their border, then Central America’s land problems can no longer be ignored” (11/6).

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Humanitarian Efforts In Yemen Struggle To Reach All In Need

IRIN: First person: Bringing aid to my neighbors in Hodeidah just got harder
Salem Jaffer Baobaid, Hodeidah project coordinator for Islamic Relief

“..The U.N. says Yemen is on the brink of famine, and I’ve seen what that looks like first-hand. As people grow increasingly desperate, my job has become harder, but it also feels more urgent. As Islamic Relief’s project coordinator for Hodeidah province, it’s my responsibility to make sure food gets to 110,000 households every month … We also deliver specialized nutritional support to malnourished new and expectant mothers, who might otherwise struggle to breastfeed their babies. … But there is much more to do besides the immediate food needs. I also make sure our sanitation projects, which are critical in the fight against cholera and other deadly diseases, keep operating … The days are long, the dangers many, and the obstacles to aid workers’ jobs in Hodeidah never seem to end. … People are relying on us to deliver aid effectively and on time. … But no matter what we do, aid organizations are not designed or equipped to feed an entire nation. Without an end to this war, many more innocent people will die — be it from hunger, … from disease, … or from the bombs and bullets…” (11/8).

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Lancet Commission On Child Health, Well-Being To Help Sustainably Improve Children's Lives Everywhere

The Lancet: Framing an agenda for children thriving in the SDG era: a Lancet Commission on Child Health and Well-Being
Awa Coll-Seck, minister of health and social action in Senegal, and colleagues

“…WHO and UNICEF have initiated a Lancet Commission on Child Health and Well-Being, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. … This Commission will take a whole of government approach, addressing health and development beyond mortality, and will encapsulate children’s perspectives and visions. … Solutions for child health and well-being will be viewed through the lens of protection, promotion, prevention, and treatment. We want to build the case for a coordinated response from government, business, and civil society that acknowledges the interdependent nature of the challenge to sustainably improve children’s lives in different settings. … Investment in our children is the first step towards cultivating a healthy, productive society, and should be central to any government’s policy and in line with the statutes of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We are confident that the experience and passion of our Commissioners for this topic can benefit generations of children to come” (11/2).

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African Nations, Global Community Should Devote More Resources To Preventing, Treating NCDs

Financial Times: Africa’s warp-speed health revolution has an old threat
David Pilling, Africa editor of the Financial Times

“The leading killers of human beings are no longer the viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that have lurked for millennia in our sewage, in our domesticated animals, and in the parasites that bite or burrow into us. For the first time in recorded history, non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke, are the leading cause of death in every region of the world. That includes Africa. … Many people in poor countries are contracting non-communicable diseases at younger ages than in rich countries. The risk of early death from heart disease, diabetes, and other afflictions commonly referred to as ‘diseases of affluence’ are, in reality, becoming diseases of poverty. … There are several implications. First, poor countries need to devote more resources to preventing and treating non-communicable diseases. … Urban planning … is essential. Foreign aid also needs recalibrating. … Poor countries also need to crack down on killers such as pollution and tobacco. … Tilting the emphasis towards the killers of today does not mean easing up on those of yesterday. Infectious diseases are here to stay. … Yet fighting viruses and parasites must not blind the world to the evolving challenge…” (11/7).

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New Technology Could Be Key To Developing Malaria Vaccine

Quartz Africa: African scientists are closer than ever to developing a malaria vaccine
Faith Osier, immunologist at the Wellcome Trust

“…As an immunologist, I dream that one day we will have an effective vaccine that will help eliminate malaria. … In experiments conducted over 50 years ago, researchers showed that blood could be taken from adults who had become immune and used to treat children admitted to hospital with malaria. Antibodies in the blood were responsible for this effect; in other words, antibodies could treat malaria. Researchers have been trying to isolate the exact antibodies that do this. … Developments in technology now mean that it’s possible to do this much more efficiently. And we’re really excited that we have been able to exploit these new innovations in Africa. … I believe the key to making a better malaria vaccine is right here with us. With patience, perseverance, and continued hard work, we will find the recipe required to make a really good malaria vaccine” (11/7).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Reports From 49th Union World Conference On Lung Health

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health: 90 percent of participants in short-course XDR-TB regimen cured after six months (Aziz, 11/2).

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health: Integrating HIV treatment and TB preventative therapy greatly improves IPT adherence (Aziz, 10/31).

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From the U.S. Government

GAO Report Examines How USAID's Global Development Lab Uses, Reports Its Funding

U.S. Government Accountability Office: Global Development Lab: USAID Leverages External Contributions but Needs to Ensure Timely Data and Transparent Reporting
“Since USAID’s Global Development Lab started in 2014, it has sought innovative solutions to international development problems such as hunger and illiteracy. The Lab has a goal of supporting some efforts with outside contributions from private and public partners. We examined how the Lab uses and reports its funding. We found: The Lab’s funds from USAID dropped from $170.7 million in 2015 to $77 million in 2017. Some of the Lab’s public reporting on outside contributions was outdated or incomplete. To improve transparency, we recommended the Lab revise internal guidance to ensure up-to-date and complete reporting on outside contributions…” (11/7).

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HHS Secretary Delivers Video Remarks To GHSA Ministerial Meeting

HHS: GHSA Ministerial Meeting: Secretary Alex Azar Plenary Video
In this video message, U.S. HHS Secretary Alex Azar offers remarks to the Global Health Security Agenda Ministerial Meeting taking place this week in Indonesia. Azar says, “As we launch GHSA 2024, we need to determine how, over the next five years, we can build a culture of preparedness in each of our nations, where strengthening and maintaining health security capacities becomes a core health investment by every country. … We look forward to working with all of you throughout the next chapter of GHSA to make health security not just a priority for every country, but also a reality…” (11/7).

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