KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Haley's Resignation Could Strain U.S.-U.N. Relationship, Impact U.S. Support For Foreign Aid, Some Experts Say

Devex: Nikki Haley departure could challenge U.S.-U.N. relationship, experts say
“…[U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki] Haley … announced Tuesday that she would be leaving her post at the end of the year, nearly two years after President Donald Trump first appointed her to the job. Her resignation has reportedly come as a shock to some U.N. colleagues and foreign counterparts, who have, by and large, regarded her work highly. While speculation swirls around the reasons and timing behind Haley’s departure, some experts say that the turnover could lead to further strain in U.S.-U.N. relations and U.S. support for foreign aid…” (Lieberman, 10/11).

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Washington Post Examines Global Impacts Of Trump Administration's Expanded Mexico City Policy

Washington Post: How a change in U.S. abortion policy reverberated around the globe
“…On Jan. 23, 2017, [President Trump] signed an executive order that denied U.S. [global health] assistance to any foreign-based [non-governmental] organization that performs, promotes, or offers information on abortion. A similar plan, known as the Mexico City policy, was in effect under past Republican presidents. But Trump expanded it exponentially … It will take years to gauge the full impact of the policy … But the change has resulted in tens of millions of dollars in funding cuts to two of the developing world’s biggest providers of women’s health care … More broadly, the policy has created a wave of uncertainty in aid-dependent countries. For the first time, groups that treat HIV, malaria, and other illnesses will also have to pledge to have no role in promoting abortion — or forgo American aid. Many organizations will face a dilemma, advocates say, since abortion-related services are often integrated into general health care in poor nations…” (Bearak et al., 10/10).

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CSIS Commission Aims To Develop 10-Year Global Health Security Plan, Outline U.S. Leadership

Homeland Preparedness News: Commission targets global health security
“The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is working to determine the best method of crafting a 10-year global health security vision to protect national interests, according to a recent CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security meeting…” (Clark, 10/10).

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U.N. Leaders Call For More Efforts To Break Down Barriers For Girls To Realize Full Potential On International Day

U.N. News: ‘Concerted effort’ must be made to help 600 million-plus adolescent girls realize full potential: U.N. chief
“There are ‘multiple barriers’ including ‘systemic discrimination’ bias and lack of training, which are keeping the largest generation of girls in human history from reaching their full potential, said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement on Thursday, marking International Day of the Girl Child. … ‘Child marriage and adolescent pregnancy force millions of girls to drop out of school. Harmful laws and social norms curtail girls’ knowledge of and autonomy over their own bodies,’ [U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Natalia Kanem] said, adding that ‘entrenched gender discrimination can lay the foundation for a lifetime of missed opportunities’…” (10/10).

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World Bank Hopes Human Capital Index Will Help Spur Investment In Health, Education

Financial Times: World Bank hopes to spur investment in people
“The World Bank wants to trigger a flurry in investments in health and education after releasing a ranking of countries based on measures of ‘human capital’ — including childhood mortality and years in schooling — that showed Singapore at the top of the table and Chad at the bottom…” (Politi, 10/10).

Financial Times: Playing catchup: funding for education still lags behind health
“While global rankings may help highlight which countries are getting better returns from their spending on health and education, many others will be unable to improve without additional money. For a long time, the education world has eyed with some jealousy the transformation of health funding…” (Jack, 10/10). This article is part of a Financial Times special report titled “Investing in Human Capital.”

Washington Post: U.S. ranks 25th for men and 32nd for women when it comes to helping residents reach their potential
“…Part of the World Bank’s goal in releasing this index is to improve measurement of human capital. At present, figures on education and health are difficult to come by, especially in the developing world. Only an estimated 38 percent of the world’s deaths are officially registered, as well as just 65 percent of its births. The bank is working to improve measurement, but at present, it’s difficult to compare human health around the world. Researchers attacked the problem by examining death rates at different ages and measuring stunting…” (Van Dam/Whalen, 10/10).

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Lancet Commission Launches Report Calling For Improved Support For Mental Health

Quartz: Experts say there are six ways to tackle the world’s ‘monumental’ mental health crisis
“The world is failing to tackle a mental health crisis that has resulted in a ‘monumental loss of human capabilities and avoidable suffering,’ according to a new report. The review, by a team of 28 global experts, was published in The Lancet medical journal [Tuesday], and estimates the cost of the crisis will hit $16 trillion by 2030. More than 13 million lives could be saved every year if mental illness was treated properly — or at all, the report concludes. The research was launched at the Global Summit on Mental Health Culture Change, a high-level meeting in London…” (Timsit, 10/10).

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Pope Francis Equates Abortion To 'Hiring A Hit Man' In Weekly Address

Reuters: Pope compares having an abortion to ‘hiring a hit man’
“Pope Francis on Wednesday compared having an abortion to ‘hiring a hit man’ to eliminate a problematic person, in comments sure to be welcomed by conservative Catholics who have accused the pontiff of not speaking out enough on ‘cultural war’ issues. Abortion is a raging political battle in a number of countries, including the United States, where many conservatives hope the Supreme Court will eventually overturn the landmark 1973 ruling known as Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion…” (Pullella, 10/10).

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Devex Examines Global Efforts To Prevent Avoidable Blindness

Devex: A bolder vision for eye care
“In 1999, a group of organizations working on eye health had a vision: To rid the world of avoidable blindness in two decades. But as the initiative approaches its final year, advocates indicate the goal is unlikely to be met. In hindsight, they admit they could have framed the target better…” (Ravelo, 10/11). This article is part of a new Devex focus area on vision.

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Spike In Ebola Cases In DRC Prompts Health Ministry To Implement New Prevention Measures

Associated Press: Rate of new Ebola cases has doubled since September
“The rate of new Ebola cases has more than doubled since September after rebel violence in northeastern Congo caused response efforts to be briefly suspended, health officials said Thursday. In a statement, the International Rescue Committee said it was ‘alarmed’ that there were 33 new cases between Oct. 1 and Tuesday, versus 41 cases during all of September…” (10/11).

Reuters: Ebola response tightens in eastern Congo as seven new cases confirmed: health ministry
“Congolese authorities announced a ban on Wednesday on harboring suspected Ebola patients and promised police protection for health workers at burials, in a bid to fight back against local resistance to efforts to combat the disease…” (Paravicini/Mahamba, 10/10).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response efforts is available from Al Jazeera, CNBC Africa, Daily Beast, The Hill, UPI, and Vanguard.

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More News In Global Health

Agence France-Presse: UNICEF urges health care access for trapped Syrians (10/10).

Associated Press: Doctors say refugees banished to Nauru are suicidal (10/11).

Bloomberg: Gates Foundation Backs Self-Checkup App’s Africa Expansion (Lauerman/Kahn, 10/10).

Business Insider: The startup behind a tool designed to save you a doctor’s visit has partnered with Bill and Melinda Gates (Brodwin, 10/10).

Devex: New fund taps $100B U.S. wedding industry to help end child marriage (Rogers, 10/11).

Devex: A new public-private partnership drug stirs hope to curb maternal mortality (Cousins, 10/10).

Foreign Policy: Starvation and Child Soldiers: On the Ground in Yemen (Seligman, 10/9).

GeekWire: New HIV vaccine study will test first-of-its-kind tech, with backing from the Gates Foundation (McGrane, 10/9).

The Guardian: Fighting for LGBT rights in a country where lesbians are caned — podcast (Lamble/Barnard, 10/10).

IRIN: New health threats emerge for Sulawesi survivors (Morse, 10/9).

Reuters: Death toll from Nigeria floods reaches 199 (Carson, 10/11).

Science: Why is a remote Colombian town a hot spot of an inherited intellectual disability? (Furfaro, 10/10).

VOA News: Indonesia Orders Foreign Aid Workers Out in Wake of Tsunami (10/9).

VOA News: Researchers Say Human Toll of South Sudan War ‘as Bad as Iraq or Syria’ (Ridgwell, 10/10).

Washington Post: How will 9 billion or 10 billion people eat without destroying the environment? (Achenbach, 10/10).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Community Must Hold Governments Accountable To TB Commitments Made At UNHLM

Inter Press Service: TB Remains World’s Single Largest Infectious Killer, says WHO
Mandy Slutsker, policy and advocacy manager for ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership’s Secretariat

“…On September 26, heads of state met in New York for the first-ever United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB and committed to finding all people with TB, including those who are ‘missing.’ … To reach the missing millions, each government first needs to understand who is being missed and why. … Once a government knows who the system has missed, it should implement public health policies that focus on finding and treating those people. … Each government needs to improve the effectiveness of its TB program overall by adopting best practices and tools. … Finally, when it comes to TB, the more you look, the more you find. … Every government, as well as philanthropy and the private sector, has a role to play in reaching the UNHLM goal of finding and treating 40 million people with TB by 2022. … We in civil society and affected communities are ready to take the next steps with our governments. I am hopeful TB will soon be in the history books, on the list of deadly conditions eradicated from the human experience” (10/10).

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Global Community Must Address Bullying To Ensure Health, Well-Being Of Adolescents

Devex: Opinion: Bullying needs to be addressed at every level of our communities. Here’s how.
Christina Juan, researcher with the Demographic and Health Surveys Program, and Chisina Kapungu, senior gender and youth specialist for YouthPower Learning at the International Center for Research on Women

“…Sadly, according to the World Health Organization, suicide and accidental death from self-harm consistently rank among the leading causes of death for adolescent girls and boys worldwide. … We simply cannot underestimate the damage bullying does to a person’s academic, social, physical, and emotional health, and well-being. … Based on our research, the YouthPower Learning team identified four ways to address bullying: 1. Understand the social context. … 2. Engage the whole community to address it. … 3. Integrate gender and mental health into school curricula. … 4. Take a holistic approach to bullying and violence prevention. … [I]t is critical to integrate different research, and programmatic and policy recommendations into a comprehensive and multi-tiered approach. … USAID’s investments, which include the Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls, the Youth In Development Policy, and the Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy, provide a window of opportunity for tackling the barriers that keep adolescent girls and boys from achieving their full potential. It’s time to seize opportunities like these and … be ‘upstanders’ when they need us the most” (10/10).

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Scientific Innovation Vital To Ensuring African Farmers Can Produce Crops, Conserve Environment Simultaneously

Inter Press Service: Conserving Africa’s Precious Resource Base While Fighting Hunger
Kalongo Chitengi, Zambia country director at Self Help Africa

“…African farmers need scientific innovation — from low to high tech — to face [the challenges that are keeping crop yields low]. Yet preserving Africa’s environment, its most precious resources after its people, is also a high priority. This is one of the fundamental concerns of agroecology — ensuring farmers can produce food and earn a good living, while keeping the natural resource base intact. With the right approaches that blend traditional knowledge with scientific innovation, this can be achieved. At Self Help Africa, we are working with farmers to achieve this through the implementation of conservation agriculture. … African farmers are most at risk from rising temperatures and persistent hunger. We must ensure they have access to all the tools and technologies necessary to thrive in the face of these threats” (10/10).

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Digital Technology Can Help Improve Health Care Access, Quality For All

Project Syndicate: The Global Promise of Digital Health
Ann Aerts, head of the Novartis Foundation, and Harald Nusser, head of Novartis Social Business

“…[T]he ongoing digital revolution will allow us to improve health care in ways that were hard to imagine just a few years ago. … We need only seize the opportunities offered by the internet, mobile devices, and other digital technologies, which are already expanding health care access and improving quality of care in hard-to-reach communities. … Still, digital technology is not a panacea, so we must choose our priorities wisely. The first priority should be on outcomes. … A second priority is to improve data literacy. … A final priority is to bear in mind that digital technology is valuable only if it is being used to improve how systems function. … It has been three years since the world ratified the SDGs, including near-term objectives to achieve universal health coverage and universal, affordable internet access. Recent progress shows that we should be optimistic about achieving these targets. But success will depend on whether we can harness the digital revolution for the benefit of all” (10/10).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Joe Biden Calls For Greater Collaboration To Defeat Cancer, Discusses Work Of Biden Cancer Initiative At Event

BMJ Opinion: Joe Biden, 47th vice president of the U.S., calls for global cooperation to defeat cancer
Richard Smith, adjunct professor at the Imperial College Institute for Global Health Innovation, discusses remarks made by Joe Biden, 47th vice president of the United States and co-chair of the Biden Cancer Initiative, at an event at Imperial College. During his remarks, Biden called for “greater collaboration to defeat cancer” and discussed the work of the Biden Cancer Initiative (10/10).

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Johns Hopkins Center For Health Security Report Identifies 15 Technologies That Could Help Address Global Catastrophic Biological Risks

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s “Center for Health Security”: Center for Health Security Report Highlights 15 Emerging Technologies with Potential to Reduce Global Catastrophic Biological Risks
Nick Alexopulos, director of communications at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, discusses results from a new report examining “15 promising technologies [that] could help make the world better prepared and equipped to prevent future infectious disease outbreaks from becoming catastrophic events” (10/9).

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'Science Speaks' Reports On News, Developments From IDWeek 2018

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: IDWeek 2018: Global health security is primary mission of CDC, Director Redfield says (Aziz, 10/10).

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: IDWeek 2018: Strengthen role of pharmacists in combating AMR, researchers say (Sennaar, 10/8).

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: IDWeek 2018: Stronger political will needed to end TB, says infectious diseases expert (Aziz, 10/6).

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: IDWeek 2018: Astronaut discusses effects of space travel on human health (Aziz, 10/5).

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MEASURE Evaluation Experts Discuss Importance Of Reliable Data To End TB

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Fighting TB starts with data
In a guest post, Stephanie Mullen and Jim Thomas, both of MEASURE Evaluation, discuss the importance of reliable data in efforts to prevent and treat tuberculosis, highlighting a USAID project that “focuses on assessing existing TB data, building capacity for countries to be self-reliant in using data to improve planning and solutions to address TB, and building a global repository of state-of-the-art TB data and resources as a lasting global good” (10/10).

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From the U.S. Government

HHS Expands Partnership With Johnson & Johnson To Improve Protection Against Health Security Threats

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: HHS expands corporate partnership to protect against health security threats
“A strategic partnership will expand between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Johnson & Johnson of New Brunswick, New Jersey. The expansion will focus on the development of innovative products to combat the potentially deadly health effects of chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear threats, emerging infectious diseases, and antimicrobial resistant infections…” (10/10).

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From KFF

KFF Releases Brief Examining PEPFAR's Existing, Proposed Legislation

Kaiser Family Foundation: PEPFAR Reauthorization: Side-by-Side of Existing and Proposed Legislation
This brief identifies the PEPFAR authorities that expired at the end of FY 2018 and notes how they are addressed by the proposed reauthorization bills H.R. 6651 and S. 3476. It also provides a detailed side-by-side comparison of PEPFAR’s authorizing legislation over time (10/10).

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