KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

World Bank, U.N. Reports Examine Relationship Between Poverty, Disasters

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Tens of millions face poverty unless cities plan for disasters: World Bank
“Climate change could plunge tens of millions of city dwellers into poverty in the next 15 years, threatening to undo decades of development efforts, the World Bank said on Wednesday. Fast-growing cities particularly in the developing world are ill-prepared to deal with increasing climate-related disasters, according to a joint report by the bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), which the bank manages…” (Malo, 10/12).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: To curb deaths from disasters, end poverty: U.N. chief
“Ending extreme poverty is essential to save lives and limit damage from disasters, U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon said, as figures revealed poorer nations bear the brunt of deaths from earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, storms, and heat waves. An analysis of more than 7,000 disasters over the past two decades, in which 1.35 million people died, showed 90 percent of those deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. Ban called it ‘a damning indictment of inequality’…” (Rowling, 10/12).

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Cholera Outbreak Threatens Haiti As Nation Begins Recovery From Hurricane Matthew

Los Angeles Times: In Hurricane Matthew’s wake, Haiti is left to face an old foe: cholera
“…The waterborne disease was a scourge even before Hurricane Matthew roared across the Tiburon Peninsula eight days ago. Cholera was inadvertently brought to the country in the wake of the disastrous 2010 earthquake by Nepalese United Nations peacekeepers, an act for which the world body only recently acknowledged responsibility. The Caribbean country, the hemisphere’s poorest, now has one of the world’s highest cholera rates…” (King, 10/12).

NPR: Doctors Raise Concerns About Possible Cholera Outbreak In Haiti
“NPR’s Audie Cornish talks with Dr. Unni Krishnan, director of Save the Children’s emergency health unit in Haiti, about concern that Hurricane Matthew’s destruction could lead to a spike in cholera cases…” (10/12).

Reuters: Haiti tries to get hurricane aid right, but cholera blamed on U.N. weighs
“Foreign medics with orange stretchers and gallons of chlorine are stemming a cholera outbreak on Haiti’s hurricane-struck coast but the focus on a disease U.N. peacekeepers brought here six years ago is slowing the delivery of food and shelter for storm victims…” (Stargardter/Brice, 10/13).

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WFP, Cuban Government Working To Deliver Food Aid To Areas Hit By Hurricane Matthew

U.N. News Centre: In wake of Hurricane Matthew, U.N. to deliver food for 180,000 people in hard-hit eastern Cuba
“The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is working with the Cuban government to provide food for 180,000 people in hard-hit eastern areas of the island as they cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew…” (10/12).

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Next WHO Director General Should Focus On Human Right To Health, Global Health Experts Say

Front Page Africa: Global Health Leaders Identify Top Priority For Next WHO Director
“…Writing in The Lancet Global Health published Oct. 13, the global health leaders from all corners of the world say the next WHO director general should make the human right to health their ‘highest priority,’ with the Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) as ‘the centerpiece of this endeavor’…” (10/12).

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WHO Denies NGO Report's Claims Of Member States Not Paying Contributions To Tobacco Control Convention

EurActiv.com: WHO denies members failing to pay U.N. tobacco agency
“The World Health Organization (WHO) is fuming over an NGO report which claims that members do not pay their contributions to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the U.N.’s tobacco agency. … Samuel Compton, media coordinator of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, said that the report produced by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance was ‘inaccurate’ and failed to account for the payment schedules adopted by many member states…” (Michalopoulos, 10/12).

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Bill Gates Calls Malaria Death Rate Reduction 'A Miracle,' Discusses Disease Elimination Efforts In Blog Post

Business Insider: Bill Gates: we’re witnessing ‘one of the greatest success stories in the history of global health’
“…In the past 15 years, the rate of malaria deaths has dropped 57 percent, according to a Bill & Melinda Gates-backed study published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine. In 2000, malaria was responsible for more than a million deaths. By 2015, that number dropped to 631,000. ‘With almost 500,000 children still dying of malaria every year, we obviously have a long way to go,’ Bill Gates said in a blog post. ‘But cutting the death rate by more than half is a miracle. It’s one of the greatest success stories in the history of global health’…” (Ramsey, 10/12).

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TRF Publishes Articles Examining FGM In Asia, Use Of Soap Operas To Stop Practice In Sudan

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Singapore comes under pressure over female genital cutting of babies
“Medical clinics in Singapore are carrying out female genital cutting on babies, according to people with first-hand experience of the procedure, despite growing global condemnation of the practice which world leaders have pledged to eradicate. … [I]ts existence in Singapore, a wealthy island state which prides itself on being a modern, cosmopolitan city with high levels of education, shows the challenge of tackling a practice rooted in culture, tradition, and a desire to belong…” (Batha, 10/12).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Factbox: The hidden cut: female genital mutilation in Asia
“…A U.N. report on female genital mutilation (FGM) this year listed 30 countries where cutting is practiced, almost all in Africa. However, campaigners believe FGM happens in at least 45 countries and is more widespread in Asia than commonly thought. … Here are some Asian countries affected by FGM…” (Batha, 10/12).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Soap operas could help end female genital cutting: scientists
“Soap operas could be a powerful new tool in changing attitudes around female genital cutting, researchers said on Wednesday, following a study in Sudan where the ritual remains deeply entrenched. The social scientists said their findings suggest that using popular entertainment could be an effective alternative to harsher approaches like criminalization in persuading communities to abandon the harmful practice…” (Malo, 10/12).

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Childhood Hunger Costs Chad Nearly $1B Annually, About 9.5% Of GDP, Report Shows

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Child hunger costs Chad almost $1 billion a year: African Union, U.N.
“Childhood hunger is costing Chad more than 575 billion CFA francs ($982 million) a year in health and education costs and lower productivity in adult life, the African Union and U.N. agencies said in a joint study launched on Wednesday. This is equivalent to 9.5 percent of Chad’s gross domestic product (GDP), the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study said…” (Whiting, 10/12).

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Millions Face Hunger, Starvation In Northeastern Nigeria Due To Boko Haram Insurgency

Washington Post: ‘A famine unlike any we have ever seen’
“They survived Boko Haram. Now many of them are on the brink of starvation. Across the northeastern corner of [Nigeria], more than three million people displaced and isolated by the militants are facing one of the world’s biggest humanitarian disasters. … The staggering hunger crisis created by the insurgents has been largely hidden from view, partly because it has been extremely dangerous for aid groups and journalists to visit the area. But institutional failures have exacerbated the situation: For over a year, the United Nations and humanitarian groups dramatically underestimated the size of the disaster, and the Nigerian government refused to acknowledge the huge number of people going hungry in Africa’s second-richest nation. Thousands of people have already died because of the inaction, aid experts say…” (Sieff, 10/13).

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In Cape Town Slum, Attempting To Use Toilets Can Be Life Threatening, TRF Reports

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Dying for a pee: Cape Town’s slum residents battle for sanitation
“…Part of Khayelitsha, one of the world’s five biggest slums, Endlovini is home to an estimated 20,000 people who share just 380 or so communal toilets. However, [some families] live in an area where there are no easily accessible toilets at all — and according to the community, residents have literally been dying for a pee…” (Totaro, 10/12).

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India Ranks 97th In 2016 Global Hunger Index, With 15% Of Population Undernourished

Quartz: With 15% of its population undernourished, India still has a serious hunger problem
“Despite an improvement in nutrition levels over the last 15 years, India still has a serious hunger problem: 15 percent of the country’s population remains undernourished. Asia’s third-largest economy has taken a lowly 97th spot in a ranking of 118 countries in the 2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI) released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)…” (Punit, 10/12).

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Editorials and Opinions

Congress Should Fully Fund Maternal, Child Health, International Family Planning Accounts

The Tennessean: Saving Haiti’s mothers, kids in Hurricane Matthew’s wake
Becca Stevens, founder of Thistle Farms and an Episcopal priest, author, and speaker, and Kimberly Williams-Paisley, actor, director, and author

“The current situation in Haiti is being described as catastrophic. … We believe it is our privilege as a nation and our calling as global citizens to continue to help lead global health initiatives. … By fully funding the maternal and child health and international family planning accounts in the annual State & Foreign Operations appropriations bill, the U.S. can continue to provide millions of women around the world with the support they need to time and space out their pregnancies in a healthy way, feed their children, keep their kids in school, combat poverty, and promote gender equality in Haiti and around the world. We know that Congress faces difficult funding choices in a constrained budget environment, but we also want our elected officials to know that they have a strong constituency of support here in Tennessee and across the nation … This bill is a tangible way to advocate for women … coming out of the storm” (10/12).

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When Placed At Heart Of Development Efforts, Women, Girls Have Ability To 'Transform All Of Our Futures'

Medium: 5 Reasons I’m Optimistic About the Future of Our Girls
Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“On International Day of the Girl, we recognize the unique challenges millions of girls face. And we celebrate the ways in which girls change the world when they overcome these challenges. I’m feeling especially celebratory this year because I believe the future for girls is brighter than ever. Here are five reasons why. 1. World Leaders Are Listening … 2. We’re Closing the Gender Data Gap … 3. We’re Investing in Adolescents … 4. Girls Are Helping Girls … 5. Girls Are Becoming Heroes and Role Models … The more energy and idealism I see from young people around the world, and the more world leaders I see putting women and girls at the heart of everything they do, the more convinced I am that women and girls will transform all of our futures” (10/11).

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U.N. High-Level Panel On Access To Medicines' Recommendations Jeopardize Incentives For Pharmaceutical Companies To Create New Drugs

Forbes: U.N. Health Panel Attacks IP Rights Not Viruses
Lorenzo Montanari, executive director of the Property Rights Alliance, and Philip Thompson, fellow at the Property Rights Alliance

“The U.N. High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines (UNHLP) … report attacks the ‘market-driven’ system and encourages countries to compulsory license any medicine they want …, de-link R&D costs from prices by replacing private funding with public subsidies, and re-write TRIPS Plus trade agreements. These Robin Hood policies are fanciful, erroneous, and doomed to fail. … The evidence supports protection of [intellectual property rights (IPRs)] as a key ingredient to increasing income and innovation. … [IPRs] ensure creators will have exclusive right to own and profit from their work — incentivizing continued efforts to discover and create. … The short-sighted policies recommended by the UNHLP would sacrifice … emerging pharmaceutical industries and future innovations for a stagnant present. As the U.N. revisits this issue it is hoped they also acknowledge that low- and middle-income countries have knowledge to protect as well as the follow on benefits of strong property rights” (10/12).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.S. Working With International Partners To Achieve Global Health Security

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: A Path to Global Health Security
Amy Pope, deputy homeland security adviser and deputy assistant to the president at the National Security Council; Heather Anne Higginbottom, deputy secretary of state for management and resources; Gayle Smith, administrator of USAID; and Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discuss the U.S. commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and describe the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) process, “to assess and improve global protection against health threats.” The authors write, “The necessity of working together on global health has never been clearer. … No one nation can ensure global health security. But our commitment to work with international partners to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats must remain unwavering” (10/12).

White House: FACT SHEET: United States Leadership to Advance the Global Health Security Agenda: 55 countries show concrete commitment to prevent, detect, and respond
This White House fact sheet describes the U.S. commitment to and next steps for the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) (10/12).

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World Bank Blog Post Discusses Key Findings From, Implications Of IHME's Global Burden Of Diseases Study

World Bank’s “Investing in Health”: What we learned about the Global Burden of Disease?
Patricio V. Marquex, lead health specialist in the Health, Nutrition, and Population Global Practice at the World Bank, and Melanie Walker, senior adviser to the president and director of the World Bank Group’s Delivery Unit, discuss findings from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) 2015 Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) study, writing, “In moving the global health agenda forward, an important message from the GBD that we should keep in mind is that development drives, but does not determine, the health status of the population. … This inescapable reality reinforces the need for integrated approaches at the country level that address functions (prevention, treatment, and care) rather than disease categories. And given the multisectoral nature of health conditions, actions that reach beyond the health system … have to be essential components of an effective arsenal of interventions to improve health conditions globally” (10/12).

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Blog Post Highlights Research Efforts To Address River Blindness

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Innovation: Taking the Neglect out of Neglected Disease
Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses innovative research for treatments of onchocerciasis, commonly referred to as river blindness, including funding from Grand Challenges Explorations and challenges associated with the research (10/10).

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