KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation Launch Delayed Due To Ongoing FY20 Congressional Budget Negotiations

Devex: Failure to launch: Why congressional budget drama delayed U.S. DFC
“The new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation will not officially launch as planned on Oct. 1, a result of congressional delays in approving annual funding. Congress failed, as it has done regularly in recent years, to pass a budget bill for foreign aid before the start of the new fiscal year. Instead, lawmakers approved a continuing resolution to fund the government through Nov. 21, giving itself more time to come to a budget agreement. The result is that the new DFC does not have funding to begin its operations…” (Saldinger, 10/1).

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Trump Administration's Cuts To Funding For Northern Triangle Impacting U.S.-Funded Agricultural Program Aimed At Bolstering Food Security In Guatemala

NPR: In Guatemala, A Bad Year For Corn — And For U.S. Aid
“…Quilinco sits deep in Guatemala’s western highlands, in an overwhelmingly agrarian region where poverty is high and child malnutrition rates hover around 70%. The region also boasts some of Guatemala’s highest migration rates to the United States. Local farmers say climate change is making it increasingly difficult to get by and is one of the factors pushing people to head north. But Quilinco has also benefited from a U.S.-funded program to help farmers adapt and improve their food security. It’s a place where one agricultural aid project’s impact — and the stakes of cutting such aid, as the Trump administration did this past spring — can be seen firsthand…” (Escarce, 9/30).

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U.S. Denies Visa To Cuban Health Minister To Attend PAHO Meeting In Washington

Reuters: U.S. denies Cuba health minister visa to attend health meeting in Washington
“Cuba said on Monday the Trump administration denied its health minister a visa to attend a Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) meeting in Washington and accused the United States of repeatedly violating its obligations as the host of an international organization. The Cuban Embassy in Washington wrote an email on Monday to those who had been invited to attend an event with Health Minister Jose Angel Portal Miranda while he was in the U.S. capital for the PAHO meeting this week, saying it was canceled because he and his delegation had not been given visas…” (Marsh, 9/30).

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U.S. Supreme Court To Decide Whether To Hear Case Regarding U.N. Accountability For 2010 Haiti Cholera Outbreak

The Guardian: Haitians urge judges to find U.N. culpable for cholera outbreak that killed thousands
“Victims of the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti, which killed at least 10,000 people and infected hundreds of thousands more, are petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to hold the U.N. accountable for having brought the disease to the stricken country. The nine Supreme Court justices will meet in conference to discuss whether to hear Laventure v U.N. as one of their cases of the new term. The petition goes to the heart of the question: should the world body be answerable in domestic courts for the harm it causes people it is there to serve?…” (Pilkington, 10/1).

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DRC Ebola Cases Continue At Slow Rate; Research Examines Community Resistance To Prevention Efforts

CIDRAP News: Trickle of Ebola cases continues; survey probes public mistrust
“Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) outbreak continued at a slow rate over the weekend and through [Monday], and on the research front, new survey findings from people living in one of the outbreak’s former epicenters shed new light on reasons behind community resistance…” (Schnirring, 9/30).

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Devex Examines Health Sector Corruption As Obstacle To UHC

Devex: Corruption: A neglected obstacle to achieving UHC
“When stakeholders discuss the biggest obstacles to universal health coverage, conversations often linger on well-known challenges such as increasing access to last-mile populations, or how to achieve sustainable financing. While finding solutions to these hurdles is vital for achieving UHC, there is another critical obstacle that receives far less attention: corruption in the health sector…” (Politzer, 9/30).

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U.N. WHO Pushes Back Target Date For Guinea Worm Eradication From 2020 To 2030

Nature: Exclusive: Battle to wipe out debilitating Guinea worm parasite hits 10 year delay
“A few years ago, it looked like humanity was about to wipe a debilitating parasitic disease off the face of the Earth. But the long road to eradicating Guinea worm just got a whole lot longer. Faced with evidence of previously unknown routes of transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) has quietly pushed back the target date for stamping out the disease from 2020 to 2030…” (Roberts, 9/30).

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More News In Global Health

BBC: Nigeria police raid Lagos ‘baby factory’ (9/30).

DAWN: Battling misinformation remains biggest challenge in Pakistan’s fight to end polio (Masood, 10/1).

Devex: Are water ATMs dispensing a viable solution to clean water? (Root, 10/1).

DW: Russian alcohol consumption plunges 40%: WHO (10/1).

Pulitzer Center: Uganda: De-Normalizing Sexual Violence (Foecke, 9/30).

SciDev.Net: Poverty blamed for malaria bed net misuse in Malawi (Mkoka, 10/1).

SciDev.Net: U.N. seeks to plug data gap in developing countries (Makri, 9/30).

Xinhua: U.N. official urges Kenya to increase funding for family planning (9/30).

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Editorials and Opinions

TB Expert Highlights End Tuberculosis Now Act Of 2019 Recently Introduced In U.S. Senate

Medium: Bipartisan Cooperation to End a Killer Disease
David Bryden, TB advocacy officer at RESULTS

“One year ago today, Heads of State and Government from across the globe made a promise at the United Nations to a launch a comprehensive effort to end the global epidemic of tuberculosis, now the biggest infectious disease killer. … In the U.S., two U.S. Senators have boldly taken up the call to action. On August 1st, Senators Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Todd Young, R-Ind., introduced the End Tuberculosis Now Act of 2019, S. 2438. The bill represents a revolution in the approach to tuberculosis, by mandating a comprehensive response, including prevention, and addressing the human rights of affected communities…” (9/26).

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Opinion Piece Discusses PEPFAR's Strategy To Transition Funding To Local Partners

Devex: Opinion: How can the development community best support PEPFAR’s transition to local partnerships?
Brian Rettmann, HIV technical director, and Emma Dominguez, HIV technical manager and health practice manager, both in Chemonics’ global health division

“…One year from now, PEPFAR will require other U.S. government agencies that receive PEPFAR funding for their programs — including the U.S. Agency for International Development — to allocate 70% of its $6.78 billion annual budget directly to local partners to provide HIV services. … The success of this funding transition ⁠– while ensuring countries reach and sustain epidemic control targets ⁠– rests on the ability of local governments and organizations to have the data, capacity, and tools needed to effectively manage and monitor HIV programming. … During this much needed transition, we encourage donors and the development community at large to continue to work closely with host country governments and local organizations to ensure they have the right tools and knowledge they need to effectively manage PEPFAR funding, while also not losing sight of the primary goal: maintaining high-quality services for HIV prevention and treatment to end the epidemic for good” (10/1).

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Opinion Piece Examines Challenges Of DRC Ebola Outbreak, U.S. Response

Washington Post: The Ebola epidemic is in full swing. Where is the Trump administration?
Ronald A. Klain, White House Ebola response coordinator from 2014 to 2015

“It was five years ago this month, with the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in full swing and panic swelling in the United States, that President Barack Obama named me the first U.S. ‘Ebola czar.’ In five months, we largely extinguished that epidemic, won bipartisan congressional approval of massive investments in fighting epidemics at home and abroad, and launched clinical trials of the first vaccine for Ebola. Why was progress possible then, but lacking now? The answer lies in a tragic combination of new threats emerging and U.S. leadership receding. … It would be a mistake to view Congo as a fluke scenario; instead, it is probably the new normal. It is a warning that fighting future epidemics is going to be as much about security concerns, building confidence in communities and working diplomatic channels to enable disease fighters as it is about medical know-how. … And there’s another problem: a lack of U.S. leadership…” (10/1).

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International Community Must Come Together To Improve WASH Infrastructure In Health Care Facilities

Global Health NOW: Safe Surgery — and UHC — Hinge on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
James C. Cobey, orthopedic surgeon, epidemiologist, and founding board member of The G4 Alliance

“…While performing surgery in many developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia, I have often had to boil water first. I’ve seen enough broken water pumps littering healthcare facilities, and empty water tanks for lack of pipes and safe water sources, to last a lifetime. … It is in all our interests to cure this obvious barrier to delivering basic safe care. … Cooperative partnerships between health, development, water, and finance people must be formed at all levels — from high up among multilateral institutions and government ministries, down to the local health clinic and village administrators — to fill the gaps in budgets, compliance, training, and especially important, installing, repairing, and maintaining missing and crumbling WASH infrastructure” (9/23).

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Governments Should Use Lessons Of Tobacco Use Prevention To Regulate Fossil Fuels, Prevent Air Pollution, Opinion Piece Says

STAT: Governments should fight air pollution from fossil fuels like they fight tobacco use
Lourdes Sanchez, policy adviser at the Global Subsidies Initiative of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and Nina Renshaw, policy and advocacy director of the NCD Alliance

“…Information about the hazardous health effects of air pollution from fossil fuels has not been widely disseminated to the public, and normally isn’t high on public health agendas. … There is an urgent need to step up the pace. One way to do it would be to come at the issue from a public health perspective, just as many countries have done in the fight against smoking. … So let’s draw lessons from the action against tobacco smoking to regulate fossil fuels. … First, we need to name and address burning fossil fuels as the root cause of the issue, just as was done with tobacco. … Second, governments should regulate and implement measures to curb the production and use of fossil fuels. … Finally, governments need to define adequate transition plans away from unhealthy commodities that would be just for all…” (10/1).

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Opinion Piece Argues Political Leadership, Flexibility Of Implementation Behind Success Of India's Sanitation Mission

Quartz India: Clean India Mission shows that flexibility is key to even poo healthy
Cristina Bicchieri, SJP Harvie professor and director of Master of Behavioral & Decision Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania

“…Complementing infrastructure-led investments with sustained behavioral change interventions, India has had unprecedented progress towards eliminating open defecation. … It all began with prime minister Narendra Modi launching a campaign called the Swachh Bharat Mission or the ‘Clean India Mission.’ … Swachh Bharat Mission is a great example of the impact of political will, and how it can get the entire leadership chain, down to the district and block level, to own up an agenda. … Swachh Bharat Mission has shown us that there is no unique path to change people’s behavior. It is critical to empower state governments, local bodies, and leadership at grassroots, such that they own the sanitation agenda for their regions, and innovate to shift attitudes towards using toilets. Lastly, it must be recognized that the prime minister of India has been the linchpin of this campaign, driving, urging, and inspiring the country towards the realization of ‘Clean India'” (10/1).

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Providing Access To Reproductive Health Services Critical For Migrant Women, Opinion Piece Argues

Thomson Reuters Foundation: OPINION: What the lack of access to safe abortion means for migrant women
Viviana Waisman, president and CEO of Women’s Link Worldwide

“…In order for governments to live up to their obligations to respect and protect the rights of women, it is crucial that they view abortion as a healthcare service that women and girls may need at any point in their lives, and that when they do, it is urgent. Not providing the reproductive healthcare services that women need throughout their lives, including prenatal care and access to safe abortions when necessary, constitutes discrimination. At the same time, if a government fails to extend these services to migrant women, they are blatantly disregarding the needs of an entire population. … Even in countries where abortion is legal, there are still barriers that disproportionately affect migrant women. In order for access to abortion to be meaningful, it must be legal, safe, free, and accessible for all women. Without exception” (9/28).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

October 2019 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The October 2019 WHO Bulletin features articles on hearing care services, including an editorial on hearing loss prevalence and impact, a news article on reducing occupational exposure to harmful noise, and research articles on hearing screening among newborns and preschool children (October 2019).

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Johns Hopkins Center For Health Security Launches Disease Prediction Policy Dashboard

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security: Disease Prediction Policy Dashboard
“The Center for Health Security is excited to launch its Disease Prediction Policy Dashboard, a resource to enable decision makers to harness the impact of collective intelligence. The Policy Dashboard features forecasters’ predictions about ongoing public health challenges with insights and policy implications to provide actionable information to guide response policies and interventions” (9/30).

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CGD Fellow Discusses Special Journal Issue On Common Goods For Health

Center for Global Development: Common Goods for Health: We Need Them. So How Do We Get Them?
CGD Senior Fellow William Savedoff discusses a WHO-supported “special issue of Health Systems & Reform about ‘Common Goods for Health’ — services which have an enormous impact on health and a clear economic rationale for being financed if not provided collectively … things like environmental regulation, epidemiological surveillance, disaster preparedness, slowing the emergence of anti-microbial resistant diseases, safe roads, and sanitation. The issue analyzes this underinvestment in Common Goods for Health, exposing factors like collective agency problems, externalities, and free-riding, as well as short-term thinking and underestimating risks…” (9/30).

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Health Systems Strengthening In African Nations Important To Prevent, Stop Future Ebola Outbreaks, Expert Says

BMJ Opinion: Luke Kane: Ebola is a symptom of dysfunctional healthcare systems
Luke Kane, NHS GP who worked in an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone during the 2013-16 Ebola epidemic and a volunteer for Virtual Doctors, discusses the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, lessons learned, and recommendations for addressing future outbreaks. Kane writes, “To prevent future outbreaks, and to support the health of local communities in the poorest parts of the world, we need to invest in strengthening primary care and medical education. Otherwise, we will be here again in another five years, once again having failed to learn from our mistakes” (9/30).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Updates Fact Sheet On Agency's Role In USG HIV/AIDS Efforts

This updated fact sheet outlines USAID’s role in the U.S. government’s HIV/AIDS efforts. According to the fact sheet, “Together with civil society and non-governmental organizations, USAID helps to achieve epidemic control by delivering prevention, care and treatment services, and advocating for policies that will improve sustainability, improve access to quality of HIV/AIDS services, and strengthen the overall health system. USAID also works with the private sector interest in providing HIV goods and services to contribute to the national HIV response. Under PEPFAR, USAID works closely with other U.S. Government agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense” (9/30).

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From KFF

KFF Updates Analysis Of Global Health Aspects Of SFOPs Appropriations Bill With Latest Funding Amounts

Kaiser Family Foundation: Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2020 State and Foreign Operations (SFOPs) Appropriations Bill
KFF updated its analysis of the FY 2020 State and Foreign Operations (SFOPs) Appropriations bill with the latest funding amounts after the bill was passed out of committee on Friday (9/27).

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