KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

G7 Health Ministers Agree To Declaration Supporting Drug Resistance Plans, Issue Commitment To Ebola Lessons Learned, IHR Guidelines

Intellectual Property Watch: G7 Health Ministers Propose Incentives For New Antibiotics, Commit Help On Ebola
“…The G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States) met from 8-9 October in Berlin and agreed to the Berlin Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance — Global Union for Antibiotics Research and Development (GUARD), aimed at supporting developing countries to develop national antimicrobial resistance action plans. The G7 health ministers also issued a commitment on lessons learned from Ebola, and supported the 2005 World Health Organization International Health Regulations (IHR), insisting on the need to comply with them…” (Saez, 10/12).

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Debate Over TPP's Intellectual Property Protection Provisions Expected Among U.S. Politicians

Washington Post: How the controversy over drug prices could take down Obama’s massive trade deal
“A political firestorm is building over the protections for drug companies in [the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)] international trade deal, threatening support for a key piece of the president’s legacy. The chapter addressing the issue, which was posted online Friday by WikiLeaks, grants at least five years of exclusivity to the makers of next-generation biologic medicines for diseases ranging from cancer to rheumatoid arthritis…” (Johnson, 10/9).

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Response To Sierra Leone's Ebola Outbreak Prevented 40K Deaths; Earlier Action Might Have Saved Thousands More, Study Says

News outlets report on a study examining the impact of Ebola control measures in Sierra Leone, which was released Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

BBC News: Ebola beds prevented 40,000 deaths
“The global response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone helped avert 40,000 deaths but if aid had been offered sooner, thousands more lives there might have been saved, say researchers…” (Roberts, 10/13).

HealthDay: Response in Sierra Leone to Ebola Outbreak Saved 40,000 Lives: Study
“…The opening of new Ebola centers helped isolate sick people and prevented an estimated 57,000 new Ebola cases and 40,000 deaths in Sierra Leone, the new research says. But, the researchers also estimated that if the centers had been introduced just one month earlier, an additional 12,500 reported and unreported cases could have been prevented…” (Thompson, 10/12).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Earlier bed delivery could have halved Sierra Leone Ebola outbreak: experts
“… ‘Our findings show the unprecedented local and international response led to a substantial decline in Ebola transmission,’ said report lead author Adam Kucharski, lecturer in infectious disease epidemiology at the [London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)]. ‘However, if more support and resources had been available earlier, it could have made a big difference in reducing the terrible toll this outbreak has taken on communities and health workers,’ Kucharski told the Thomson Reuters Foundation…” (Guilbert, 10/13).

Washington Post: Thousands died because Ebola treatment beds reached Sierra Leone too late, study finds
“…The authors acknowledged that calculating exactly how many lives the additional beds saved in Sierra Leone amounts to a bit of a guessing game. That’s partly because large-scale contributions from governments and global health organizations happened alongside an array of other efforts on the ground…” (Dennis, 10/13).

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Committee On World Food Security Meeting Begins, Focused On Ending Global Hunger By 2030

U.N. News Centre: Top U.N. forum on food security focuses on eradicating hunger by 2030
“Marking the first international gathering on food security and nutrition since world leaders approved the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) commenced [Monday], focusing on ending hunger by 2030. Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) José Graziano da Silva told the assembled delegates that last month’s approval of the 2030 Agenda ‘brings new momentum to our efforts’…” (10/12).

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Widespread Famines Extinguished But Conflicts, Humanitarian Disasters Continue To Threaten Food Security, Report Says

Associated Press: Global Hunger: Calamitous famine eradicated in last 50 years
“…Calamitous famines appear to have vanished from the planet, but more must be done to eradicate all such scourges, including redrafting U.S. terror legislation that inhibits life-saving humanitarian work, says a new report published Monday. The study, part of the 2015 Global Hunger Index, says it’s one of the ‘unheralded achievements’ of the past 50 years: the elimination of calamitous famines that cause more than one million deaths, and reduction ‘almost to a vanishing point’ of great famines, which cause more than 100,000 deaths…” (Faul, 10/12).

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Laos Reports Death Of 8-Year-Old Boy From Vaccine-Derived Polio, WHO Says

Reuters: As world seeks to eradicate polio, Laos suffers vaccine-linked case
“Laos has suffered a case of vaccine-derived polio, the World Health Organization said on Monday, in a new setback to a global plan to eradicate the crippling disease after the virus resurfaced in Ukraine and Mali…” (Miles/Kelland, 10/12).

Washington Post: 8-year-old boy dies of rare, vaccine-derived poliovirus in Laos
“…WHO officials said that genetic sequence showed that the virus was derived from an oral vaccine and that it may have been circulating in Laos’ Bolikhamxay Province for more than two years. … Before this most recent infection, Laos had been polio-free since 1993, when its last case of indigenous wild poliovirus was reported…” (Cha, 10/12).

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Group Of 24 Aid Organizations Backs MSF Call For Investigation Into Bombing Of Kunduz Hospital

The Guardian: Aid agencies back call for investigation into ‘horrific’ U.S. attack on MSF hospital
“A group of the world’s leading aid agencies has backed Médecins Sans Frontières’ call for an unprecedented international investigation into the ‘horrific’ U.S. attack on an MSF hospital in Afghanistan that killed at least 22 people. … On Monday, a group of 24 charities, including Oxfam, Save the Children, and Christian Aid, threw its weight behind MSF’s call and urged the U.N. and member states to commit to an investigation without delay…” (Anderson, 10/12).

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New York Times Examines Efforts To Treat Mental Illness In West Africa

New York Times: In West Africa, a Mission to Save Minds
“…A growing number of innovative groups have begun experimenting with a similar approach in Africa and Asia: providing therapy without clinics or doctors, relying instead on mobile nurses, cheap generic drugs, and community support systems. In impoverished parts of the world where psychiatry is virtually nonexistent, they say, it is the only way to begin reaching the millions of people in need…” (Carey, 10/11).

New York Times: Praying for a Cure
“In West Africa, hundreds of people with mental illness live in awful conditions. One organization is fighting for a new approach to treatment. This video was supported by the Global Reporting Centre” (Forrest et al., 10/11).

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Delhi Faces Worst Dengue Outbreak Since 1996 With More Than 10.5K Recorded Cases

Mail Today/India Today: Delhi battles worst dengue outbreak in 20 years, 10,252 cases reported
“…After the first dengue outbreak was reported in Kolkata in 1963, Delhi had reported the highest number of dengue cases (10,252) in 1996. However, that mark has already been breached in October this year. The total number of cases in the city has gone up to 10,683. Experts believe the figure may go much higher till the end of November…” (Agrawal/Saxena, 10/13).

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South Korean MERS Patient Believed To Be Cured Of Virus Rediagnosed, Health Officials Say

Agence France-Presse: Last South Korea MERS patient rediagnosed with virus
“A South Korean man believed cured of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has been rediagnosed with the deadly virus, health officials said on Tuesday. The diagnosis deals a blow to Seoul’s hopes of being declared free of a disease that has infected 186 people in South Korea, killing 36 of them, since its outbreak in May…” (10/13).

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Following Zimbabwe Government Appeal, U.N. Asks For $86M To Address Food Insecurity In Nation

U.N. News Centre: U.N. urgently appeals for $86 million to tackle food insecurity in Zimbabwe
“The United Nations in Zimbabwe has appealed to humanitarian and development partners for $86 million that is critically needed to fill a shortfall to support 1.5 million people affected by food insecurity in the country. … The request followed a recent call by Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa, chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Food and Nutrition Security, to partners for support…” (10/12).

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Editorials and Opinions

International Community Must Support Women, Girls To Achieve SDGs

Devex: We cannot fail to empower girls before they become women
Flavia Bustreo, assistant director general for family, women’s, and children’s health at WHO, and vice chair of the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…On International Day of the Girl Child, our vision should be to empower every girl — all 600 million of them aged 10-19 around the world — to make healthy choices about their bodies well before they become women. Here is what needs to happen: First, we need to acknowledge that keeping adolescent girls healthy requires a broad response across society — not just the health sector. … Second, to keep girls healthy as they grow into women, we need global standards for adolescent health care that all countries can follow. … There has been a lot of talk in recent years about ‘girl power.’ But we still need powerful changes across society to give adolescent girls the support they need to grow into healthy women with satisfying lives” (10/12).

Devex: E.U. must help change the world for girls
Tanya Cox, acting head at Plan International E.U. Office, and colleagues

“…The European Union must live up to its commitments under Agenda 2030, and do everything in its power to ensure girls and women benefit equally from the Sustainable Development Goals and participate equally in their implementation and monitoring. … The E.U. must lead the way with political commitment, progressive transformative policies, funding, and other means of implementation that ensure that gender equality is at the heart of the global endeavor to achieve all of the SDGs. … The E.U. is one of the world’s most influential global actors. Its policies and actions have a lasting impact on the lives of millions of girls. It therefore has both an obligation and a responsibility to make sure that its policies empower girls and young women to fulfill their true potential…” (10/12).

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Improving WASH Must Take Priority In Order To Reach Other SDGs

Inter Press Service: Opinion: “Sanitation, Water & Hygiene For All” Cannot Wait for 2030
Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director of programs at UNICEF

“…[I]f we do not reach Goal 6, the other [Sustainable Development Goals] and targets will not be reached. Progress in the areas of education, health, inequality, and extreme poverty all depends on how well we do on water and sanitation. … [A]ccess to water and sanitation is not only a matter of dignity and human rights, but fundamental to our ability to attain any of the goals the governments of the world have just adopted. We must start right away on working on Goal 6, and it can’t be business as usual: we need to start with the most disadvantaged, or we risk losing the gains we have so painstakingly made in the last 15 years, and we endanger the future. There is no time to waste” (10/9).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Public Health Infrastructures Essential To Preventing, Controlling Future Disease Outbreaks

The Cipher Brief: Public Health Infrastructure
In an interview with The Cipher Brief, Josh Michaud, associate director for global health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation and professorial lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), discusses the lessons learned from the management of last year’s Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Michaud notes, “If there is one lesson to be learned, it is that there is no substitute for building and maintaining basic public health infrastructure in every country around the world. That is the only truly effective prevention tool for early detection and effective response to future outbreaks.” The Cipher Brief also includes a piece on lessons learned from Ebola by Kenneth Olivola, director of the JSI International Division, and colleagues, as well as an interview with Pia Wanek, director of humanitarian assistance at Global Communities, about community engagement in West Africa (10/6).

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Scientific Research Informs Programs, Policies To Eliminate Parasitic Diseases

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Why we need research to detect, prevent, and ultimately, eliminate parasitic diseases
In a guest post, Monic Parise, deputy director for program and science, and Larry Slutsker, director of the Division of Parasitic Disease and Malaria, both at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Center for Global Health, write, “We must continue to scale-up existing technologies to sustain progress while at the same time advancing scientific research that will inform the way forward. With a strong base in science to support effective programs and policies, we are in a far stronger position to meet the challenges we face on the path towards elimination” (10/12).

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Commitment To Equity Critical To Achieving Food, Nutrition Security In Context Of Climate Change

Food Tank: At the Nexus of Climate Change and Global Hunger, Equity Is Key
Danielle Nierenberg, co-founder and president of Food Tank, and Emily Nink, master’s degree candidate in the agriculture, food, and environment program at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, discuss Food Tank’s new report, titled “Cultivating Equality: Delivering Just and Sustainable Food Systems in a Changing Climate” and produced in collaboration with CARE International and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS). They write, “To really achieve food and nutrition security for all in the context of a changing climate, equity must be addressed across food production, distribution, and consumption…” (10/12).

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