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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.N. Appeals For Nearly $120M In Emergency Aid For Hurricane-Hit Haiti; WHO Sending 1M Cholera Vaccine Doses To Help Stem Rise In Cases

Associated Press: Nearly a week after hurricane hit Haiti, U.N. appeals for aid
“…The U.N. humanitarian agency in Geneva made an emergency appeal Monday for nearly $120 million in aid, saying about 750,000 people in southwest Haiti alone will need ‘life-saving assistance and protection’ in the next three months. U.N. officials said earlier that at least 1.4 million people across the region need assistance and that 2.1 million overall have been affected by the hurricane. Some 175,000 people remain in shelters…” (Fox/Keaton, 10/10).

Reuters: WHO sending 1 million cholera vaccine doses to Haiti
“The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that it was sending one million doses of cholera vaccine to Haiti, where cases of the killer disease have climbed in the wake of Hurricane Matthew…” (Nebehay, 10/11).

Reuters: Haiti needs ‘massive response’ after hurricane: U.N. chief
“A ‘massive response’ is needed to help Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and the United Nations is mobilizing on all fronts to help get the recovery under way, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday…” (Nichols, 10/11).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. appeals for $120 million to launch ‘massive response’ in storm-ravaged Haiti
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [Monday] announced the launch of a near $120 million appeal to fund United Nations aid activities in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, where the rising death toll coupled with the start of the rainy season has prompted the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to sound the alarm on the threat of waterborne diseases to children living in the worst-affected areas…” (10/10).

Wall Street Journal: Haiti’s Death Toll From Hurricane Matthew Climbs, More People in Shelters
“The death toll in Haiti from Hurricane Matthew continued to rise Monday, as an increasing number of people whose homes were damaged or destroyed took refuge in shelters, the government said…” (Harrup, 10/10).

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WHO Recommends Nations Use Tax Policy To Increase Prices Of Sugary Drinks To Improve Diet, Fight Noncommunicable Diseases

Associated Press: WHO urges countries to raise taxes on sugary drinks
“The U.N. health agency on Tuesday recommended that countries use tax policy to increase the price of sugary drinks like sodas, sport drinks, and even 100-percent fruit juices as a way to fight obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay…” (10/11).

Reuters: Tax sugary drinks to fight obesity and diabetes, World Health Organization says
“…If retail prices of sugar-sweetened drinks are increased by 20 percent through taxation, there is a proportional drop in consumption, it said in a report titled ‘Fiscal Policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases.’ Obesity more than doubled worldwide between 1980 and 2014, with 11 percent of men and 15 percent of women classified as obese — more than 500 million people, the WHO said…” (Nebehay, 10/11).

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Marking World Mental Health Day, U.N. Secretary General, WHO Call For Improved Psychological Care In Post-Crisis Support

U.N. News Centre: On World Mental Health Day, Ban cites need of immediate support for post-crisis psychological distress
“Marking World Mental Health Day 2016, the United Nations has highlighted the importance of making mental health care available to everyone who needs it — with a focus this year on providing immediate support to those in psychological distress after a crisis. According to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, psychological distress takes many forms. ‘Today, we are witnessing an unprecedented wave of humanitarian emergencies linked to conflict and natural disasters,’ Mr. Ban said in his message on the day…” (10/10).

VOA News: Psychological First Aid Helps People Affected by Crisis
“The World Health Organization reports psychological first aid can provide a mental health life-line to people affected by crises, including war, natural disasters, or an individual trauma like a car crash. On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, WHO is calling for first-line responders to emergencies, such as police and fire fighters, to be trained in this practical, helpful approach…” (Schlein, 10/10).

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U.N. Launches New Platform To Scale Up Innovative Financing To Achieve SDGs

U.N. News Centre: Ban announces launch of new partnership platform to support financing for Sustainable Development Goals
“Announcing the launch [Monday] of a new platform for scaling up innovative finance solutions to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the initiative can help in identifying and piloting innovative finance instruments that can drive investment and support well thought-out SDG interventions…” (10/10).

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The Guardian Hosts Panel Of Experts To Discuss Global AIDS Funding

The Guardian: Nine ways funding for the global HIV response could go further
“A serious funding shortfall threatens the prevention and treatment of HIV. Our panel of experts share their ideas on how to do more with less money…” (Purvis, 10/10).

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WHO Falls Short Of Dengue Targets As Number Of Cases Rises In Western Pacific Region, Official Says

Xinhua News: WHO falls short of target to fight dengue in Western Pacific: official
“The regional director for the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Western Pacific region said on Monday that the international organization has fallen short of its target to control the spread of dengue, saying the number of dengue cases has more than doubled in recent years…” (10/10).

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50 Nations Experiencing 'Serious,' 'Alarming' Hunger Levels; Overall Levels Down Since 2000, Report Shows

Newsweek: These Countries Have the World’s Highest Levels of Hunger
“…Published on Tuesday, the Global Hunger Index, a report from Welthungerhilfe, the International Food Policy Research Institute, and Concern Worldwide, looks at levels of hunger in developing countries. Fifty countries have ‘serious’ or ‘alarming’ levels of hunger, and most of the seven countries with ‘alarming’ scores are in sub-Saharan Africa…” (Westcott, 10/11).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Central African Republic, Chad, Zambia top global hunger index
“Hunger levels in developing countries have fallen 29 percent since 2000, but efforts to curb hunger must be accelerated in order to meet an international target to eradicate it by 2030, according to an annual index published on Tuesday. … The hunger index ranks countries based on undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting (low weight for height) and child stunting (low height for age). The 2016 report ranked 118 developing countries…” (Whiting, 10/11).

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1 Girl Under Age 15 Married Every 7 Seconds, Save The Children Report Says

BBC News: Girl under 15 married every seven seconds, says Save the Children
“One girl under the age of 15 is married every seven seconds, according to a new report by Save the Children. The study says girls as young as 10 are forced to marry much older men in countries including Afghanistan, Yemen, India, and Somalia…” (10/11).

Livemint: One girl under 15 married every seven seconds: Save the Children report
“…Early marriage not only deprives girls of education and opportunities but increases the risk of death or childbirth injuries if they have babies before their bodies are ready…” (Debesai, 10/11).

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Small-Scale Companies Aim To Produce Affordable, Accessible Menstrual Hygiene Products For African Women, Girls

Devex: Tackling menstrual health taboo in Uganda
“…Long taboo, menstrual hygiene management is entering the mainstream. … Small-scale production of washable pads is common in Africa, but their success varies. … AFRIpads’ as many as 200 NGO clients in 2016 range from church groups buying 50 packs at a time, to major international organizations, including Save the Children and the International Federation of the Red Cross. … Cracking the consumer market is the next challenge for AFRIpads…” (Patton, 10/10).

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Stigma, Anti-Gay Sentiment Hinder Indonesia's Efforts To End AIDS By 2030, Official Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Anti-gay sentiment seen threatening Indonesia’s goal to end AIDS by 2030
“Growing anti-gay sentiment in Indonesia could hamper efforts to combat fast-rising HIV infections among one of the most at-risk groups, threatening the country’s target to end an AIDS epidemic by 2030, a senior official has warned. … HIV prevalence among [men who have sex with men (MSM)] jumped to 25.8 percent in 2015 from 5.4 percent in 2007, according to Indonesia’s National AIDS Commission. ‘In terms of number, MSM is the fastest growing (group),’ the commission’s secretary Kemal Siregar told the Thomson Reuters Foundation…” (Yi, 10/11).

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Rift Valley Fever Outbreak Could Spread From Niger To Neighboring Countries, Health Experts Warn

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Niger Rift Valley Fever outbreak could spread across borders: health experts
“An outbreak of Rift Valley fever that has killed at least 28 people in western Niger in recent months could spread to neighboring Mali and Algeria, health officials warned on Monday…” (Guilbert, 10/10).

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Scientists Keep Vigilant Watch For 4 Viruses With Outbreak Potential

Scientific American: The Next Zika
“…Scientific papers are filled with illnesses to watch. Four particular viruses now stand out to virologists and epidemiologists, although it is not certain any of the ailments will become the next Zika or West Nile virus. But researchers give several reasons to keep a close eye on this quartet: Mayaro … Rift Valley Fever … Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever … Usutu…” (Zaraska, 10/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Community Must Act Urgently To Deliver Cholera Vaccine To Haiti

The Guardian: Hurricane Matthew: Haiti needs vaccines to stop deadly cholera spreading
Anita Zaidi, director of the enteric and diarrheal diseases program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Helen Matzger, senior program officer on the vaccine delivery team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…[T]hough six years have passed [since the Haiti earthquake] — with countless lessons learned and apologies granted — we stand on the precipice of repeating the same mistake when it comes to cholera: delayed use of the cholera vaccine, a lesser known tool to fight the disease. … A few years ago, a global vaccine stockpile was established to help countries experiencing outbreaks, or at high risk of cholera, easily access vaccines. … [I]f we don’t want to repeat past mistakes, we need to jump-start our cholera response today. Within two days the use of the stockpile could be approved and by next week the vaccine shipped to Haiti — if we act fast the vaccine could be used in Haiti’s hurricane-affected cholera hotspots in time to help prevent needless illness and death. We have an effective tool, and it is the responsibility of the global health community to do everything in our power to get cholera vaccines to Haiti immediately … We must act urgently so that we do not fail Haiti again” (10/7).

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Development Community Must Fully Engage Private Sector To Achieve SDG 3

Devex: Fully engaging the private sector in health systems development
Ron Ashkin, team leader on the Private Sector Innovation Programme for Health

“…How … do we get the commercial sector to embrace a pro-poor agenda? … The answer to sustainability is not in throwing more money into health care markets, directly intervening to create impact, or capitalizing flavor-of-the-day interventions; it is in discovering and implementing mainstream business models that actually demonstrate economic value to investors while delivering health care to the masses. … Future focus needs to be on developing better business models that meet investor expectations: a shift from trying to convince money to change its behavior and be more ‘social,’ to lower cost delivery models that enable economic viability and attract market capital. Development actors must get beyond corporate social responsibility and social enterprise and look to just plain ‘enterprise’ if we expect to fully engage the private sector and harness the markets to reach [Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, to ‘ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’]” (10/10).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.N. Needs Immediate Effective Strategy To Eliminate Cholera In Haiti

American Council on Science and Health: Haiti Needs A Plan To Eradicate Cholera — The U.N. Cannot Wait One. More. Day.
Julianna LeMieux, senior fellow in molecular biology at the American Council on Science and Health, discusses the immediate need for the U.N. to financially support and implement a strategy to eliminate cholera in Haiti. She discusses a draft of a strategy called “The National Plan for the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti,” which includes four main points: providing rapid response, effectively treating cholera patients, vaccinating Haiti’s population, and increasing and maintaining access to clean water (10/10).

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Global Community Should Step Up Efforts To Address NCD Burden

Asia & The Pacific Policy Society’s “Policy Forum”: The global health threat hiding in the shadows
Sam Byfield, senior honorary fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Nossal Institute for Global Health, discusses the lack of and need for global attention on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and writes, “The NCDs agenda needs to be understood as a prevention agenda, and not just as a matter of public health, but rather as a major global economic threat. … [T]ransforming the perception of the NCD epidemic into a matter of social justice — rather than an inevitable outcome of an aging, globalized world — has a central role to play in raising enough awareness and support to start making a dent in these diseases” (10/11).

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