KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Science, Development, Foreign Policy Communities Express Uncertainty Over Impact Of U.S. Presidential Election Results

Devex: Trump win sends shockwaves through development world
“The election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president is sure to send shockwaves throughout the global development community as worries rise about his aid policy and stated position on climate change. Little is known about exactly what a Trump presidency means for foreign aid, in part because in this election development issues have been largely overshadowed by debates over national security, immigration, and a myriad of highly personalized attacks…” (Saldinger, 11/9).

Nature: How scientists reacted to the U.S. election results
“Nature rounds up reaction from researchers to Donald Trump’s election as the next U.S. president. Trump, a Republican, had trailed his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, in polls leading up to the 8 November election day, but pulled out a surprising victory…” (Morello, 11/9).

Reuters: Outlines of Trump foreign policy are largely uncharted territory
“U.S. President-elect Donald Trump may try to improve ties with Russia, tear up trade deals with Mexico and Pacific nations, and abandon U.S. allies in Europe and Asia if they don’t spend more on their own defense — or, he may not. Foreign governments are uncertain how much of Trump’s rhetoric will be translated into policy because he has frequently made contradictory statements and provided few details of how he would deal with the world or who he would appoint to key posts…” (Mohammed/Landay, 11/9).

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Haiti, U.N. Begin Cholera Vaccination Effort To Reach 800K People Impacted By Hurricane Matthew

NPR: Haiti Launches Largest-Ever Cholera Vaccination Campaign
“Haiti on Tuesday launched the largest emergency cholera vaccination campaign ever attempted. The plan is to try to vaccinate 800,000 people in parts of the country devastated by Hurricane Matthew…” (Beaubien, 11/8).

U.N. News Centre: U.N.-backed cholera vaccination campaign kicks off [Tuesday] in Haiti
“…According to a news release from PAHO/WHO, the decision of WHO and other members of the Global Task Force for Cholera Control to approve the request of the Haitian Ministry of Health (MSPP) to bring one million doses of oral vaccine against cholera is based on the goal of reducing the burden of cholera cases on health care facilities, and of reducing deaths in the departments of the Sud and Grand’Anse…” (11/8).

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Nearly 3K Cholera Cases Recorded In War-Torn South Sudan Since July, WHO Reports

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Cholera cases in S. Sudan spike, outbreak spreads to Unity state — U.N.
“Nearly 3,000 people in war-torn South Sudan have contracted cholera since July, the World Health Organization reported on Tuesday, warning that the outbreak had now spread to a region where conflict is hampering efforts to tackle the deadly disease…” (Mis, 11/8).

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STAT Examines Cuba's Successful Efforts To Prevent Zika, Other Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

STAT: Cuba is waging an organized, intrusive war on Zika. It’s working
“…In Cuba, the fight against mosquito-borne diseases is hyper-organized, intrusive, and remarkably effective. On disease trackers’ epidemic maps, Cuba is an island in a sea of Zika: Virtually the entire Caribbean has experienced widespread transmission of the virus, but global health officers say there has been only ‘sporadic’ spread in Cuba. The Obama administration’s top health official praised Cuba’s efforts to prevent transmission of Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses during a scientific meeting here last month…” (Waters, 11/8).

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New Tobacco Control Funding To Be Available For LMICs Through WHO Framework Collaboration

U.N. News Centre: New direct funding available for low- and middle-income countries to regulate tobacco — U.N.
“New funding is now available to support tobacco control implementation for low- and middle-income countries through the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), currently the strongest global instrument to control tobacco. … The new project will be delivered by the WHO FCTC through a collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other partners…” (11/8).

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U.N. General Assembly President Shares SDG Implementation Strategy With Member States

U.N. News Centre: General Assembly President outlines strategy for stepped-up implementing U.N. 2030 Agenda
“General Assembly President Peter Thomson briefed United Nations Member States [Tuesday] on the … strategy for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the transformative 17-point framework for ensuring peace and prosperity for all on a healthy planet…” (11/8).

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Guardian Podcast Examines Efforts To Reach SDGs

The Guardian: The development plan for the 21st century — podcast
“The world has come up with a plan for how to improve everyone’s lives — the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals — but how are we actually going to do it? September’s event, Maintaining the Momentum for the SDGs, discussed how to accelerate progress towards the global goals…” (Leach/Callin, 11/8).

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Sierra Leone's Moment Of Silence Marks Ebola Outbreak's End, Remembers Lives Lost

IRIN: Silence marks Ebola milestone, but scars remain
“It was an unusual day in Freetown, a West African city that loves to be loud. For three long minutes [Monday], it was eerily quiet. … The reason was a commemoration. A year ago, on 7 November, Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free. The virus had killed 3,580 people and terrorized the nation for 18 months. The three-minute silence was organized by the government to remember those who lost their lives…” (Gercama, 11/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

Congressional Approval Of PATH Act Would Show U.S. Commitment To Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance

The Hill: World leaders take notice, clock is ticking on antibiotics
William G. Powderly, president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America

“Earlier this fall, the United Nations General Assembly met to declare a commitment to addressing the public health crisis of antimicrobial resistance. World leaders recognized that nations must act quickly and aggressively to combat drug-resistance and spur antibiotic research and development. The U.S. Senate can make an immediate and important contribution to this effort by passing the bipartisan Promise for Antibiotics and Therapeutics for Health (PATH) Act. … The PATH Act … would establish a new limited population approval pathway at the FDA for antibiotics that treat often life-threatening infections for which there exists an unmet medical need. … [A]ntimicrobial resistance must be treated with a sense of urgency. … Congressional approval of the PATH Act prior to adjourning for the year would demonstrate recognition that lives are on the line and that our nation is capable of exercising leadership to address the crisis” (11/8).

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As President, Donald Trump Should Embrace Science On Climate Change

Nature: Science under President Trump
Editorial Board

“…During his campaign, [Donald Trump] advocated energy independence for the United States … But he has railed against subsidies for solar and wind power, and has promised to tear up regulations that aim to trim the expansion and continuation of fossil-fuel use. He has also threatened to take the United States out of the newly enforced Paris agreement to tackle carbon emissions. … The world has made its decision on climate change. … The businessman soon to take over the White House must realize that the logical response is not to cry hoax and turn his back. The politician in Trump should do what he promised in his campaign: reject political orthodoxy and listen to the U.S. people. His Republican Party’s position on climate change is rooted in the past. … He should leave the solar panels on the [White House] roof. He should leave the Paris agreement alone. He should leave behind his damaging and unpopular attitudes and embrace reality, rationality, and evidence” (11/9).

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Climate, Environmental Changes Impact Diseases' Ability To Adapt, Spread

Financial Times: A 19th century plague revived in an age of climate change
Emma Glennon, Gates-Cambridge scholar and Ph.D student at Cambridge University

“…The persistence of [cholera] in Haiti is a tragedy but it is not random. It is part of a larger global pattern of cholera re-emergence. Hurricane Matthew reveals the impact severe weather can have. … [T]ies among water, weather, and cholera are powerful, and … climate change may revive diseases assumed conquered. Cholera is not the only potential infectious consequence of climate change. Although some diseases may have difficulty adapting, many of those that flourish in the warmest parts of the world are likely to spread. … Haiti is in crisis, and it needs targeted attention in addition to long-term investment in health systems. But we cannot afford to treat cholera in Haiti as an isolated incident. Diseases are living, evolving beings in delicate balance with both humans and with our shared environment. As we alter our environment in unprecedented ways, we must seek to understand how that balance may shift” (11/8).

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Investments In Global Health Financing Data Necessary For Sustainable, Evidence-Based Health Systems

Devex: The future of health financing: Investing in data
Annie Haakenstad, Ph.D. candidate in the global health and population department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Joseph Dieleman, assistant professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington

“…The future of health financing … requires investments in health financing data. These data are vital to effective, evidence-based policymaking. Spending indicators represent the realization of priorities across the health sector, but also advance our knowledge of the provision of health services, inequality, and other core characteristics of health systems. Information about financing gaps and the investment landscape more generally can help development assistance partners take timely action to avoid programmatic shortfalls or seize short-lived opportunities for impact. … Evidence-based health systems demand comparable, granular, and timely health financing data. New constraints on funding and novel challenges in a new era of global health make building sustainable health financing data systems vital. Now, more than ever, a health financing data revolution is sorely needed” (11/8).

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Knowledge Sharing, Technology Transfer Critical To Overcoming Disparities In Global Health

Project Syndicate: The Developing World’s Health Innovators
Mohammod Jobayer Chisti, scientist and head of clinical research, hospitals, and clinical lead in the ICU of Dhaka Hospital at icddr,b

“…[T]he focus of global public health strategies and investments should shift toward reducing the structural disparities between rich and poor countries, in terms of their capacity for medical research and public health implementation. … With adequate support from local and international financing mechanisms, more innovation hubs like icddr,b could emerge and flourish in poor countries. By advancing knowledge sharing and technology transfer, these hubs would enhance cooperation among developing countries, and help us finally overcome the persistent and tragic disparities that plague global health. Health innovations developed in the world’s poor countries have passed the test of scalability and applicability in the places that need them most. With the majority of the world’s population living in resource-challenged settings, we must recognize — and invest in — the efforts of those who are pushing the frontiers of medical science in the developing world” (11/8).

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WHO's Framework Convention On Tobacco Control Meeting Must Carefully Consider Action On E-Cigarettes

STAT: Could changes to a global tobacco treaty harm health?
Clive Bates, public heath commentator and former head of Action on Smoking and Health in the United Kingdom, and Sally Satel, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

“…This week, India is hosting a major meeting focusing on the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a landmark 2003 global treaty on tobacco control. The most controversial issue under discussion will be the treatment of electronic cigarettes. The debate could not be more polarized. … Faced with … dueling reports [on the potential risks and benefits of electronic cigarettes], what should delegates at the FCTC meeting actually do? … Regulations that make electronic cigarettes less accessible, less palatable, more expensive, less consumer friendly, and less satisfying, or that slow down innovation, will tilt the market back in favor of tobacco cigarettes. If that happens, the result will be more cancer, heart, and lung disease, and premature deaths. … [W]e urge [delegates] to carefully consider all the options, because lives are at stake. Making unwise and premature decisions about e-cigarettes could add to the burden of ill health instead of reducing it” (11/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Grand Challenges Annual Meeting Allows Attendees To Work Toward Creating 'Better Life' For Poor People Worldwide, Gates Foundation Official Says

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: My Three Days at the Epicenter of Global Health Ingenuity and Transformation
Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Gates Foundation, discusses the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting, which took place last week in London. Mundel writes, “The beauty of this conference is that it really is building a community that wouldn’t exist without it. With the geographical and disciplinary diversity of the attendees — say, environmental engineers from Mauritius and developmental economists from China — many of them would never run into each other in the normal course of their lives, even though they’re chasing the same goal: a better life for the poorest people in the world…” (11/8).

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