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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Reaching The Last Mile Summit To Highlight UAE's Growing Role In Global Health, Partnership With Gates Foundation

Devex: Exclusive: Abu Dhabi, Gates officials offer new details of partnership
“Senior officials from the United Arab Emirates and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have offered new details about an upcoming gathering in Abu Dhabi aimed at ending deaths from preventable disease. The Reaching the Last Mile summit, first reported by Devex last month, will mark the growing role that Abu Dhabi aims to play in global public health. The outlines of Abu Dhabi’s role include the emirate’s ability to convene philanthropic, private sector, and government partners; advocate politically for the cause; link local relationships with international expertise; and mobilize significant resources. The forum and subsequent work will prioritize boosting the capacities of local ministries of health to respond to infectious diseases…” (Dickinson, 10/9).

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U.N.'s Central Emergency Response Fund Reaches $450M Annual Goal, But More Needed To Address Multiple Humanitarian Crises

U.N. News Centre: U.N. emergency response fund reaches annual goal of $450 million, but more needed
“The United Nations global emergency response fund has reached its 2017 funding target of $450 million, but much more is required given that the number of people in need of assistance is at a record high. … Recognizing that a larger and more robust fund is critical, the U.N. General Assembly last year endorsed the expansion of [the Central Emergency Response Fund’s (CERF)] annual funding target from the current $450 million to $1 billion in 2018…” (10/9).

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Australia Launches Indo-Pacific Health Security Initiative At WHO Regional Committee Meeting

Devex: New initiatives put regional health security at the forefront of Australian aid priorities
“It has been 20 years since Australia last hosted the World Health Organization Regional Committee for the Western Pacific. This year, as host of the 68th session in Brisbane from October 9 to 13, Australia marked the occasion with major announcements committing the government to support detection, preparation, and response on issues impacting the health security of the region…” (Cornish, 10/10).

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Yemen Cholera Epidemic Set To Become Largest-Ever Outbreak; Disease, War More Seriously Affecting Children

Foreign Policy: Yemen’s Man-Made Cholera Outbreak Is About to Break a Record
“…At last count on Oct. 1, Yemen had 777,229 suspected cases of cholera, with the death toll at 2,134 people, according to the World Health Organization. Soon, Yemen will surpass Haiti, which has documented about 815,000 cholera cases. In Haiti, however, the outbreak began in 2010 and has taken seven years to reach that figure. In Yemen, it has taken only about six months to reach those alarmingly high numbers…” (De Luce, 10/9).

New York Times: 2 Paths for Yemen’s War-Scarred Children: Combat, or Marriage
“…Yemen is a country in crisis. After more than two years of war, its infrastructure has been badly damaged and its people impoverished, with hundreds of thousands sickened with cholera. But hidden among the numbing statistics of death and destruction is another insidious scourge: Desperate families are increasingly selling their daughters off as child brides or letting their boys be recruited as child soldiers…” (Youssef/Hubbard, 10/9).

Reuters: Cholera claims unborn children as epidemic spreads Yemen misery
“…Two and a half years of war have sapped Yemen of the money and medical facilities it needs to battle [cholera], to which aid agencies and medics say the poor, the starving, the pregnant, and the young are most vulnerable. The cholera ward is full of children — some writhing in agony, others eerily still…” (Zeyad, 10/9).

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U.N., Bangladesh Health Ministry Begin Cholera Immunization Campaign Among Rohingya Refugees; Aid Agencies Face Nutrition, WASH Challenges In Camps

Associated Press: U.N. starts cholera vaccinations in Bangladesh among Rohingya
“U.N. agencies and Bangladesh’s health ministry began a massive cholera immunization campaign Tuesday to stem a possible outbreak of the water-borne disease among more than a half million Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh. No cases of the potentially life-threatening diarrheal disease have yet appeared in makeshift camps in Bangladesh…” (Jain, 10/10).

IRIN: Malnutrition stalks Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
“…As the crisis pushes into a seventh week, refugees are facing another challenge: the risks of malnutrition. Many Rohingya refugees are going hungry as aid groups and the government struggle to reach the sprawling camps with consistent food supplies. One in five children in the camps is malnourished, according to Action Against Hunger, or ACF, which has been screening young children for malnutrition at a feeding center in Kutupalong camp…” (d’Unienville/Trenchard, 10/9).

VOA News: Lack of Toilets, Clean Drinking Water Pose Cholera Threat in Rohingya Camps
“…To help combat a potential health emergency, aid groups are hurriedly installing thousands of tube wells for clean drinking water and as many latrines as they can. Asif Saleh, a senior director with the Bangladeshi relief organization BRAC, said it was targeting installation of 15,000 latrines by Oct. 15…” (Freeman, 10/10).

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Nearly 400 Suspected Plague Cases Detected In Madagascar, WHO Reports

CIDRAP News: Plague outbreak in Madagascar spikes to almost 400 cases
“Over the past five days, 230 new suspected plague cases were reported in Madagascar, with the disease spreading to seven more of the country’s districts, the World Health Organization (WHO) said [Monday] in an update…” (Schnirring, 10/9).

Newsweek: Deadly Madagascar plague outbreak could also happen in the U.S., infectious disease expert warns
“…Although U.S. public health officials have not expressed concern about the Madagascar outbreak spreading to other countries, [Peter Small, an infectious disease-trained clinician and founding director of the Global Health Institute at Stony Brook University,] says we should not be too smug about the situation. … ‘The only reason we have [plague] cases and not epidemics [in the U.S.] is because we invest in a public health system. However, if we continue to underinvest in public health, those cases could become epidemics here in the U.S.’…” (Dovey, 10/9).

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165K Children In Mali Face Severe Acute Malnutrition In 2018, UNICEF Warns

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Rising number of children prey to deadly malnutrition in conflict-hit Mali: U.N.
“Tens of thousands of children in Mali are prey to life-threatening malnutrition as violence and displacement fuel a deepening nutrition crisis in the West African nation, the United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF) said on Monday…” (Guilbert, 9/9).

U.N. News Centre: UNICEF warns of nutrition crisis affecting 165,000 children in Mali
“…A report published [Monday] shows that an estimated 165,000 children are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition across the country in 2018. ‘Behind these figures are the lives of the most vulnerable and forgotten girls and boys in Mali,’ said UNICEF Representative Lucia Elmi in a press release…” (9/9).

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ICRC Significantly Reduces Health Care Presence In Afghanistan After Attacks On Staff

New York Times: Red Cross Reduces Presence in Afghanistan After Staff Is Attacked
“After 30 years of medical work during some of Afghanistan’s bloodiest times, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Monday that it was drastically reducing its presence in the country after a series of attacks on its staff. … Heavy fighting has considerably limited access to health care across Afghanistan, with the southern province of Uruzgan already losing almost all its health facilities…” (Abed/Rahim, 10/9).

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MSF's Middle East Mental Health Specialist Discusses Access To Emergency Care In Devex Interview

Devex: Q&A: How humanitarian crises are reshaping emergency mental health care
“The Middle East is facing a mental health emergency as Iraqis, Syrians, Yemenis, and others cope with years of war, violence, and loss. … Ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10, Devex sat down with [Dr. Gregory Keane, mental health referent in the Middle East at Médecins Sans Frontières,] to discuss how the humanitarian sector is coping with this mental health emergency, and what needs to be done better…” (Dickinson, 10/10).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Community Should Prioritize Prevention, Peacebuilding To Avert Further Humanitarian Crises

The Lancet Global Health: Disaster prevention should be equal
Editorial Board

“…Humanitarian action’s primary goal is responding to life-threatening situations, not preventing or ending conflict. It cannot offer a solution to the plight of the Rohingya and other vulnerable people, just alleviate their suffering. And the demand is becoming too great for the humanitarian community … So as the work being done to reduce the world’s communities’ exposure to natural disasters is celebrated this month, consideration must be given to how to do the same for conflict-related disasters. The international community must make a better use of peacebuilding capacities and development efforts to address the root causes of violence and prioritize prevention and sustainable peace, not just react to crises. No man, woman, or child should have to stand in the rubbles of their lives, whether brought down by a hurricane or by an army” (November 2017).

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Pharmaceutical Industry, Governments Should Work Together To Achieve UHC By 2030

Devex: Opinion: Adversity is the mother of invention
Thomas B. Cueni, director general of IFPMA

“…The innovative pharmaceutical industry, through both new medicines and partnerships, is helping to move the compass needle [toward achieving universal health coverage by 2030]. … Our core business is innovation. … To boost research, we are collaborating more and more. … [WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] was right to insist that improving health is a political choice. We need a ‘social contract’ whereby rich countries pay more than poor countries and a new sense of urgency in setting the right priorities … Pharmaceutical companies are ready and willing to help governments meet these challenges, making people healthier and more prosperous at the same time. … [W]e are now surely and firmly set on course to change the world for the better. Only our lack of imagination and ideological posturing — which puts barriers in the way, rather than creating trust and a shared agenda for change — will stop us now” (10/9).

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Investing In Girls', Women's Health, Rights Is 'Prerequisite' For Achieving UHC

Devex: Opinion: Want to deliver on the promises of UHC? Invest in girls’ and women’s health and rights
Katja Iversen, president and CEO of Women Deliver, and Michael Myers, managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation

“…[W]ithout an intentional, relentless commitment to gender equality, even well-meaning plans to advance [universal health coverage (UHC)] — the goal of reaching everyone with quality, affordable health services — can leave girls and women behind. … Every step of the way, leaders’ choices should reflect how girls and women seek, experience, and pay for health care. 1. Invest in primary health care … 2. Cut out-of-pocket health care costs, especially for sexual and reproductive health services … 3. Ensure gender parity in political participation … 4. Collect, analyze, and use gender and age disaggregated data. … With their health and rights intact, especially from a young age, girls and women will unleash a tidal wave of progress, resulting in healthier families, stronger economies, and nations that lift up all of their citizens. … [G]irls’ and women’s health and rights are more than a measure for progress on UHC. They are a prerequisite” (10/9).

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Global Health Community, Governments Must Exclude Tobacco Industry, Other 'Powerful Corporations' From Policy Discussions

Project Syndicate: Smoking Out Big Tobacco
Kelle Louaillier, president of Corporate Accountability International

“…[G]iven the fundamental conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health objectives, health practitioners and governments around the world must do more to prevent Big Tobacco from interfering in official policy. Indeed, they must erect an unbreachable firewall between policymaking and the industry at the national and international levels. … [W]ithout Big Tobacco at the table, [governments] are more likely to succeed in implementing measures for reducing smoking rates, whether tried-and-true policies like prohibiting cigarette marketing, or newer measures, such as eliminating branding from cigarette packages. Taken together, these actions are saving millions of lives. … Today, there are powerful corporations — from the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries to those engaged in water privatization and climate change — bent on reaping profit at the expense of people’s lives and the environment. … The only way to prevent them from doing so is to kick them out of the room. We have the tools to do it. We just need to use them” (10/9).

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African Declaration To Accelerate Implementation Of International Health Regulations Serves As Opportunity For 'Renewed Engagement' From Global Community

The Lancet Global Health: A new public health order for Africa’s health security
John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; Benjamin Djoudalbaye, senior health officer at the African Union; and Olawale Maiyegun, director of the Department of Social Affairs at the African Union Commission

“On July 3, 2017, African heads of state and government issued a declaration and committed to accelerating implementation of the 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR) and tasked the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the African Union Commission (AUC), and WHO with supporting the venture. The IHR is a global legal agreement that aims to prevent and respond to the spread of diseases to avoid their becoming international crises. … The declaration is not only a reaffirmation of Africa’s determination to scrupulously implement the IHR but should also serve as a new African public health order in addressing health security and inequities on the continent. Here we argue that a new public health order should address two broad categories of barrier that have challenged the implementation of IHR (2005) in Africa: health systems and systems for health…” (November 2017).

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U.S. Should Look To El Salvador To Understand How Criminalizing Abortion Impacts Women

CNN: What women’s lives are like when abortion is a crime
Alice Driver, freelance journalist, translator, and author

“…If Americans want to know what the lives of women are like in a country where abortion and even miscarriage have criminal penalties, they should listen to women in El Salvador … In El Salvador, abortion is illegal, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother. Often, women who are poor are charged with aggravated homicide even in cases of miscarriage. … As women in the U.S. face a reality in which they have fewer and fewer reproductive choices, in which teen pregnancy prevention programs are cut, birth control is not covered by insurance, and abortion is technically legal but not available in many areas due to the closure of clinics — the situation in El Salvador provides an example of what we could look forward to if Republicans achieve their long-held goal of reversing Roe v. Wade…” (10/5).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Highlights ID Week Lecture On 'One Health'

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Emerging infections build One Health urgency
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses a lecture delivered by James Hughes of Emory University at ID Week in San Diego on how “recognizing links between human health, animal health, and ecosystems is critical to preventing, detecting, and controlling increasingly consequential emerging infectious diseases” (10/9).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash includes an article discussing the work of “TB hunters” in Tanzania, a blog post on the urgency of finding missing TB and drug-resistant TB cases, and the latest “Focus On” series on drug-resistant TB (10/10).

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K4Health, CUGH Launch GHJournalSearch Tool To Discover Peer-Reviewed Global Health Journals

Health Care Information for All: GHJournalSearch — Finding the right journal to publish your global public health research has never been so easy!
“We are pleased to announce GHJournalSearch, a free resource developed by the Johns Hopkins Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project in collaboration with the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH). Our goal for GHJournalSearch is to present the major core peer-reviewed global health journals in one place, providing authors a simple tool to discover and choose the ‘best fits’ for their intended publication, and ultimately enhancing quality and the probability that important evidence will make its way into the literature…” (10/5).

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