KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

795M People Face Hunger Worldwide; Conflict Major Contributing Factor, Report Says

News outlets highlight findings from the Global Hunger Index 2015.

Deutsche Welle: Nearly 800 million people suffering from hunger worldwide: report
“A new report on global hunger says that despite advances, some 795 million people are going hungry or suffering from malnutrition. It says more than one in four children is chronically malnourished. The Global Hunger Index released on Monday in Berlin by German charity Welthungerhilfe, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the aid organization Concern Worldwide said that armed conflicts were now the main reason for food shortages…” (10/12).

The Guardian: Conflict drives ‘unacceptable’ figure of 795 million people facing hunger
“…There are 27 percent fewer hungry people in the world today than at the turn of the century, according to the 2015 index, which was released on Monday by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide. But despite this progress, ‘the level of hunger in the world remains unacceptably high, with 795 million people still going hungry, more than one in four children affected by stunting, and nine percent of children affected by wasting,’ the index said…” (Anderson, 10/12).

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British Nurse Who Survived Ebola Readmitted To Isolation Ward In 'Serious Condition,' Raising Questions About Body's Ability To Eliminate Disease

Agence France-Presse: British Ebola survivor nurse back in ‘serious condition’
“A British nurse who was successfully treated in January after contracting Ebola in Sierra Leone was in a serious condition in hospital Friday due to rare late complications with the virus…” (10/9).

BBC News: What are the risks of Ebola recurring?
“With British nurse Pauline Cafferkey’s readmission to an isolation unit in London after the Ebola virus was found in her body, we look at what we know about the complications of the virus and the implications for survivors…” (10/9).

Financial Times: Scots nurse ‘serious’ with Ebola after-effects as epidemic fades
“…[Cafferkey’s] readmittance comes as West Africa has recorded its first week without a new case since the epidemic began in March 2014, and demonstrates how Ebola can remain a threat to survivors — and potentially those close to them — months after their apparent recovery…” (Ward, 10/9).

Reuters: Ebola’s persistence in survivors fuels concerns over future risks
“A growing awareness of how the Ebola virus can hide in parts of the body such as eyes, breasts, and testicles long after leaving the bloodstream raises questions about whether the disease can ever be beaten. Virologists said Friday’s case of a Scottish nurse, Pauline Cafferkey, who had recovered from Ebola but is now suffering complications adds to signs that the virus is a long-term health risk and can lead to a ‘post-Ebola syndrome’…” (Kelland, 10/9).

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World Health Summit Opens In Berlin; Effects Of Refugee Crisis On Health Care To Be Discussed

Deutsche Welle: German health minister opens World Health Summit in Berlin
“German Health Minister Hermann Gröhe (CDU) has opened the seventh World Health Summit in Berlin. The effects of the refugee crisis on health services is at the top of this year’s agenda. Around 1,400 scientists, politicians, representatives of civil society and business will gather in the German capital during the three day conference to discuss global health issues…” (10/11).

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U.N. Secretary General, WHO Call For Protection Of Mentally Ill On World Mental Health Day

U.N. News Centre: Everyone is entitled to a life of dignity, Ban says on World Mental Health Day
“Everyone has the right to respect and dignity, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has declared in his message on World Mental Health Day, highlighting that people who have mental health and psychosocial disabilities deserve to live with the dignity that is integral to a healthy and fulfilling life…” (10/10).

VOA News: Mentally Ill Victims of Stigma, Discrimination, Abuse
“To mark World Mental Health Day Saturday, the World Health Organization urges governments to protect the human rights and dignity of people with mental health disorders who suffer from stigma, discrimination, and wide-ranging abuse…” (Schlein, 10/10).

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New York Times Examines Mental Health Care In West Africa

New York Times: The Chains of Mental Illness in West Africa
“…Every society struggles to care for people with mental illness. In parts of West Africa, where psychiatry is virtually unknown, the chain is often a last resort for desperate families who cannot control a loved one in the grip of psychosis. … According to the World Health Organization, most countries in Africa, if they have a dedicated budget for mental health care at all, devote an average of less than one percent of their health spending to the problem, compared with six to 12 percent in the wealthy countries of the West…” (Carey, 10/11).

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WHO, UNICEF Call On Ukraine To Begin Polio Vaccination Campaign After 2 Confirmed Cases In August

Agence France-Presse: Health groups slam Ukraine for slow polio response
“Global health groups accused Ukraine on Friday of being critically late and ineffective in responding to Europe’s first polio outbreak since 2010. The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed in late August that two Ukrainian children had been crippled by the virus in the former Soviet state’s southwestern Zakarpattya region…” (10/9).

U.N. News Centre: Unvaccinated children in Ukraine at heightened risk of polio, U.N. agencies warn
“With Ukraine’s Ministry of Health recently confirming two cases of polio in the country, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are calling for an immediate polio vaccine campaign in the country…” (10/9).

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El Niño Weather Pattern Threatens Food, Water Security Of 4M People Across Pacific Region

The Guardian: El Niño could leave 4 million people in Pacific without food or drinking water
“Two dozen people have already died from hunger and drinking contaminated water in drought-stricken Papua New Guinea, but the looming El Niño crisis could leave more than four million people across the Pacific without enough food or clean water…” (Doherty, 10/11).

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Worst Dengue Outbreak In Years Stresses Delhi's Public, Private Health Services

New York Times: Desperate Families in Delhi as Dengue Overwhelms Hospitals
“…The dengue outbreak in Delhi appears to be the worst in years — as of Thursday, more than 9,000 registered cases and 30 deaths, the highest numbers since 2006. The stories [of those infected] have a depressing sameness, describing families looking for lifesaving treatment left on their own to navigate a dizzying array of public and private providers…” (Najar/Raj, 10/9).

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Under-Reported Deaths Of TB Hospital Staff Members Highlight India's Struggle To Contain Drug-Resistant Strains

Reuters: Staff deaths at leading hospital put India’s TB battle in spotlight
“Campaigners and a former official overseeing Asia’s largest tuberculosis hospital in Mumbai say staff deaths there are being under-reported, highlighting India’s growing struggle to contain multi-drug resistant forms of the contagious, airborne disease…” (Siddiqui, 10/11).

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Mismanagement Of India's HIV Prevention Program Could Cause Increase In New Cases, U.N. Envoy Says

Reuters: Interview: India risks backsliding on success against HIV — U.N. envoy
“New HIV infections in India could rise for the first time in more than a decade because states are mismanaging a prevention program by delaying payments to health workers, the United Nations envoy for AIDS in Asia and the Pacific said. … In an interview with Reuters, the U.N. Secretary General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in Asia-Pacific, J.V.R. Prasada Rao, warned ‘primitive’ management by states would ‘ruin the program’…” (Kalra, 10/10).

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Editorials and Opinions

Malaria Eradication Possible With More Investments, Innovative Strategies

Huffington Post: The Beginning of the End of Malaria
Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More

“…The great selling point is that malaria is the only disease of this scale that we can conceivably eradicate in our lifetimes. We need that clear, time-bound goal to maintain political support. The next five years are going to be critical. Now is when we need to deliver the new technologies that make eradication possible. Now is when we must prove innovative strategies and demonstrate that elimination is possible in all three regions where malaria persists — the Americas, Asia, and Africa. And now is when we must mobilize new funding sources from international donors, the developed world, and even those countries that are being ravaged by this disease, to accelerate progress towards our goal. … If we redouble our investments, our innovative thinking, and our resolve, we can truly make this the beginning of the end of malaria” (10/9).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Post Highlights U.S., Global Efforts To End Hunger

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: Here’s How We End Global Hunger Effectively
Zach Silberman, public policy manager at USGLC, discusses U.S. and global efforts to end global hunger. He highlights recent hunger-related events on Capitol Hill and discusses the Global Food Security Act and the Food for Peace Reform Act (10/9).

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PLOS Article Examines Investments Required To Achieve 'Grand Convergence' In Global Health

PLOS ONE: Achieving a “Grand Convergence” in Global Health: Modeling the Technical Inputs, Costs, and Impacts from 2016 to 2030
Colin F. Boyle, Arian Hatefi, Solange Madriz, and Nicole Santos of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Carol Levin of the University of Washington examine the investments required by 2030 to achieve an integrated approach to reduce infectious diseases and child and maternal mortality. The authors conclude, “Key health outcomes in low- and low-middle income countries can significantly converge with those of wealthier countries by 2030, and the notion of a ‘grand convergence’ may serve as a unifying theme for health indicators in the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)]” (10/9).

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Blog Post Discusses 3 Strategies To Finance, Implement Cost-Effective Mental Health Interventions

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Three Ways to Make Room for Mental Health
Yuna Sakuma, program associate at CGD; Amanda Glassman, vice president for programs, director of Global Health Policy, and senior fellow at CGD; and Victoria de Menil, program manager for Global Mental Health at the Stanley Center and consultant at CGD, discuss “three immediate strategies that would help with the financing and implementation of cost-effective mental health care and prevention: 1. Look closely at how mental health interventions fit into health benefits plans … 2. Build on results-based funding initiatives … 3. Cash transfers” (10/9).

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Humanosphere Podcast Features Interview With Liberian President, Highlights Other Global Health News

Humanosphere: A chat with Liberia’s ‘Iron Lady’ about about Ebola, health, and women
This Humanosphere podcast features an interview with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on health care, Ebola, and women’s empowerment. Also during this podcast, Imana Gunawan, social media manager and producer of the podcast, speaks to Humanosphere founder and lead journalist Tom Paulson about recent global health news, including a story about three young women activists working to advance human rights and women’s empowerment and a story by Humanosphere’s new West Africa correspondent, Cooper Inveen, on the impact of the Ebola outbreak on education in Sierra Leone (10/9).

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Pakistan's Polio Vaccine Workers Deserve Nobel Peace Prize, Humanosphere Reporter Says

Humanosphere: OpEd: Give Pakistan’s polio vaccine workers a Nobel Peace Prize
Humanosphere reporter Tom Murphy argues that Pakistan’s polio vaccine workers deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for their continued work to eradicate polio, writing, “Pakistan’s polio vaccination workers are risking their lives to eradicate the virus from their country. That is the definition of heroic. Give them the Nobel Peace Prize” (10/9).

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