KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Development Leaders Discuss U.S. Foreign Isolationism, Impact On Conflicts, Humanitarian Responses At Carnegie Corporation Event

Devex: Amid Syria crisis, David Miliband stresses impact of global leadership ‘vacuum’
“Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, International Rescue Committee President David Miliband, and other global development leaders [at an event hosted by the Carnegie Corporation of New York] sounded an alarm on Tuesday on how American foreign isolationism could worsen conflicts and humanitarian responses in fragile contexts worldwide. Right now, all eyes are on Syria, following the recent U.S. withdrawal from the country’s northern region, and the subsequent offensive by Turkish military into the Kurdish territory…” (Lieberman, 10/16).

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1 In 3 Children Under 5 Worldwide Undernourished Or Overweight, UNICEF Warns In Report Highlighting 'Triple Burden' Of Malnutrition

Associated Press: U.N.: 200 million children under 5 eat too little or too much
“One-third of children worldwide under age 5 — about 200 million youngsters — are either undernourished or overweight, undermining their full potential to grow and develop, the U.N. children’s agency said in a report Tuesday. UNICEF also said almost two-thirds of children aged 6 months to 2 years are not fed food that supports their rapidly growing bodies and brains…” (10/15).

The Guardian: ‘Failing’ food system leaves millions of children malnourished or overweight
“…Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s executive director, said the world was losing ground in the fight for healthy diets. ‘Despite all the technological, cultural, and social advances of the last few decades, we have lost sight of this most basic fact: if children eat poorly, they live poorly,’ she said…” (Dehghan, 10/15).

U.N. News: ‘Alarmingly high’ number of children malnourished worldwide: UNICEF report
“…The flagship report describes the ‘triple burden’ of malnutrition: Undernutrition, overweight, and deficiencies in essential nutrients. While 149 million youngsters under-five have stunted growth, 50 million are too thin for their height — common signs of undernutrition. Another 40 million in the same age bracket are overweight or obese, and at the same time, half of all children under five worldwide are not getting essential vitamins and nutrients, an issue UNICEF has dubbed ‘hidden hunger’…” (10/15).

Additional coverage of the UNICEF report is available from DW, PRI, The Telegraph, and Xinhua.

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Various Reports, Experts, Leaders Address Issues Surrounding Nutrition, Climate Change On World Food Day

Associated Press: Pope on World Food Day laments paradox of hunger, obesity
“…In a message Wednesday for the U.N.’s World Food Day, [Pope] Francis lamented the ‘distorted relationship between food and nutrition’ that he blamed on the world economy’s profit-at-all-cost mentality…” (10/16).

Devex: U.N. agencies’ consensus on healthy diet principles
“With some form of malnutrition affecting 1 in 3 people and costing an estimated $3.5 trillion each year, the United Nations’ agriculture and health agencies have released guidance to countries on what constitutes a sustainable, healthy diet. Their guiding principles, out this week following an expert consultation in July, offer a roadmap for policymakers, Nancy Aburto, deputy director in the nutrition and food systems division of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, told Devex on Tuesday in Brussels…” (Chadwick, 10/16).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Global index finds climate change driving ‘alarming’ hunger levels
“Central African Republic topped an annual world hunger index on Tuesday as aid agencies warned that climate change was making it increasingly hard to feed the world. Aid agency Concern Worldwide, which co-compiles the Global Hunger Index, said progress towards a 2030 zero hunger target agreed by world leaders was ‘under threat or is being reversed’…” (Batha, 10/15).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: EXPERT VIEWS — Changing incentives and policies crucial to end hunger and malnutrition
“We asked experts: ‘What is the one thing we need to change in the food system to make healthy diets available for everybody?’ This is what they said…” (Win, 10/16).

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Butembo Treatment Center Cleared Of Ebola Patients After Being Hot Spot In DRC Outbreak

CIDRAP News: Butembo treatment center cleared of Ebola patients in DRC
“For the first time since September 2018, the Butembo Ebola treatment center is clear of the deadly virus, as the last two patients still being treated were just released, according to the Twitter feed of Ibrahima Soce Fall, MD, the World Health Organization (WHO) assistant director general for emergency response. Butembo had been a hot spot of Ebola virus activity throughout the 14-month-long outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)…” (Soucheray, 10/15).

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Warming Climate Could Increase Risk Of Ebola Outbreaks In Previously Unaffected Areas, Study Shows

CNN: Climate crisis raises risk of more Ebola outbreaks
“The climate crisis is going to raise the risk that Ebola will spread farther and reach areas previously unaffected by the virus, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. The study found that the climate crisis will bring a 1.75- to 3.2-fold increase in the rate at which the deadly virus spills over from animals to humans by 2070…” (Christensen, 10/15).

The Verge: New computer model predicts where Ebola might strike next
“Predicting where Ebola might strike next could become easier, thanks to a new computer model. The model tracks how changes in the environment and in human societies could affect the deadly virus’s spread. … The model could eventually be used to figure out where to vaccinate people before an outbreak has a chance to take hold, or it could allow a government to take measures at borders where sick travelers might spread the disease, David Redding, a lead author of the study published [Tuesday] in Nature Communications, tells The Verge…” (Calma, 10/15).

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Increased Access To Contraceptives Could Help Ease Climate Threats Related To Population Growth, Population Council Scientists Write In BMJ Paper

Mother Jones: The Climate Change Solution Scientists Have Been Overlooking
“Overpopulation is a major contributor to climate change, but according to new research, a solution is lying in plain sight: increased access to effective contraceptives. ‘Global climate change represents a grave threat to the future of human welfare and our natural environment,’ write doctors John Bongaarts and Régine Sitruk-Ware of the Population Council in New York in an article published Tuesday in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health…” (Weinberg, 10/15).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Scientists back wider family-planning access to ease climate threats
“…But efforts to expand access to contraception run into obstacles, from objections by some faith leaders to worries about medical side-effects, said John Bongaarts, a vice president at the Population Council. … Bongaarts said objections to expanding access to contraception cross political lines, with some women’s rights activists, for instance, fearful that encouraging smaller families could turn into stronger pressure to restrict births…” (Goering, 10/15).

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Decline In Public Data Threatens Progress On SDGs In Africa, Ibrahim Foundation Report Says

Devex: Data gaps threaten achievement of development goals in Africa
“Data gaps across the African continent threaten to hinder the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, according to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s first governance report released on Tuesday. The report, ‘Agendas 2063 & 2030: Is Africa On Track?’ based on an analysis of the foundation’s Ibrahim index of African governance, found that since the adoption of both of these agendas, the availability of public data in Africa has declined. With data focused on social outcomes, there has been a notable decline in education, population, and vital statistics, such as birth and death records, which allow citizens to access public services…” (Jerving, 10/15).

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Financial Times Continues Special Report On Universal Health Care

Financial Times: Special Report: Universal Healthcare
“World leaders have committed to introduce universal health coverage by 2030 as part of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. India’s ‘Modicare’ and Kenya’s ‘Afya Care’ are just two examples of countries striving towards this goal.” The special report includes an opinion piece on universal health care by Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta and a profile of The Elders member and former Norway Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland’s work on the Sustainable Development Goals (Multiple authors, 10/15).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: U.N. rights chief: Challenges increase to global cooperation (Lederer, 10/15).

Associated Press: Post-war Liberians are demanding better mental health care (Paye-Layleh, 10/12).

CNN: Drones, apps and smart lockers: The technology transforming healthcare in Africa (Lewis, 10/15).

Devex: Q&A: What South Africa has learned tackling TB (Root, 10/16).

Reuters: Scientists find how deadly malaria parasite jumped from gorillas to humans (Kelland/McDill, 10/15).

Reuters: MSF suspends work in northeast Syria, withdraws foreign aid workers (Nebehay, 10/15).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: India’s HIV-positive trans people find ‘new strength’ in technology (Banerji, 10/15).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: FEATURE — Secret abortions spike in Nigeria with Boko Haram chaos (Nagarajan, 10/14).

Xinhua: U.N. General Assembly endorses world leaders’ declaration on sustainable development (10/16).

Xinhua: Uganda to immunize 18 mln children in measles, polio campaign drive (10/15).

Xinhua: Rwanda launches maternal, child health awareness campaign (10/15).

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Editorials and Opinions

Next U.S. President Needs Proactive Plan To Address Pandemic Disease Threats, Georgetown Law Professor Writes

Foreign Policy: The Presidential Candidates Are Ignoring the World’s Biggest Looming Threat
Matthew M. Kavanagh, visiting professor of law at Georgetown University and director of the Global Health Policy and Governance Initiative at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

“Whoever sits in the Oval Office come January 2021, he or she will almost inevitably have to address pandemic disease as a foreign-policy issue. From AIDS and malaria to Ebola and pandemic flu, every president in recent decades has been faced with an international infectious disease outbreak that demanded both the attention of U.S. diplomats and officials and financing from U.S. budgets. Yet, to varying degrees, each administration has been caught unprepared. So far, the current set of presidential candidates does not seem more promising on this front. The well-being of Americans in today’s globalized world is inextricably linked to that of people around the globe, while the effects of pandemics are born disproportionately by the least powerful. The next U.S. president needs a proactive strategic initiative, based in global solidarity, to address today’s pandemics, tomorrow’s outbreaks, and the health impacts of climate change…” (10/15).

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Global Agriculture And Food Security Program, German Leadership Can Help Address Hunger, Climate Change, Bob Geldof Writes

The Guardian: How do we feed the world without destroying the planet?
Bob Geldof, Irish singer, songwriter, author, and political activist

“…The increase in global hunger is in part triggered by the climate emergency. … At the same time food production is a major cause of climate change, whether it be the methane gas production of cows or the tearing down of forests to grow crops. So, humanity faces a profound challenge. How do we feed the world without destroying it? … The German government aims to catalyze the global response. Next June it will host an international event to push for action to boost agriculture and tackle hunger in low-income countries, while staying within the environmental boundaries that our planet can cope with. … The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, which we successfully fought for alongside President Obama, will be critical. It has resulted in a decade of experience in encouraging increased impact from the international system in exactly the way we need. In the face of the dual challenges of climate change and hunger, it is perhaps more relevant today than at its inception…” (10/16).

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U.N. Accountability For Cholera Outbreak, Abuse By Peacekeepers Necessary For New U.N. Mission To Succeed In Haiti, Law Expert Says

Al Jazeera: As the U.N. leaves Haiti, its victims still wait for justice
Sandra Wisner, lawyer and Bertha Justice Fellow with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)

“[Tuesday], the U.N. [ended] its 15-year long peacekeeping presence in Haiti. Ostensibly sent to reinforce security, build rule of law, and promote human rights, U.N. peacekeepers leave a more problematic legacy, marred by human rights violations. Notably, this week’s drawdown comes nine years after peacekeepers sparked one of the deadliest cholera epidemics of modern times in the country. The organization’s ongoing failure to remedy these harms — not only from cholera, but also peacekeeper sexual abuse and other violence towards civilians — has deeply undermined its legitimacy in Haiti. … The new U.N. mission will open this week amid a political stalemate that is paralyzing Haiti and presents a crossroads for the country’s future. … To meet its goals, the only future for the U.N. in Haiti must start with being accountable for its past” (10/15).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CSIS Brief Provides Policy Recommendations For U.S. Government On Climate Change, Food Security

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Climate Change and Food Security: A Test of U.S. Leadership in a Fragile World
The summary of this brief, written by Chase Sova, senior associate (non-resident) with the CSIS Global Food Security Project; Kimberly Flowers, director of the Humanitarian Agenda and Global Food Security Project at CSIS; and Christian Man, research fellow with the CSIS Global Food Security Project, states, “Climate change poses a considerable threat to global food security, with potentially existential economic, political, and social outcomes for humanity. As climate impacts worsen and further stress an already hungry world, the United States should claim the mantle of global leadership in responding to the impacts of climate change, double down on domestic efforts to promote climate-smart agriculture, elevate the issue of climate change and food insecurity in national security circles, and leverage the reorganization of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to further mainstream climate resilience into U.S. global food security programs” (10/15).

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MSF Post Discusses Impacts Of Ebola Outbreak, Response On DRC's Health System

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders: Ebola outbreak threatens fragile local health system in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
This post by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders addresses the impacts of Ebola and the outbreak response on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) health care system. The post states, “[T]he health system, already under-resourced before the Ebola outbreak began, has been weakened even further as the disease spreads. … For health centers and hospitals in the region, the scale-up of the internationally funded Ebola response is both a blessing and a curse. Ebola response teams and international organizations setting up isolation and treatment facilities often improve infrastructure, pay for additional staff, and support primary health care services. But the local health workers needed in the Ebola response are almost exclusively hired from facilities in the area, which are now facing critical gaps in personnel…” (10/15).

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Journalist Examines Dengue Vaccine Scare In Philippines, Emergence Of New Polio Cases In Country

U.N. Dispatch: How a vaccine scare caused polio to re-emerge in the Philippines after 19 years
In this piece for U.N. Dispatch, journalist Joanne Lu examines the dengue vaccine scare in the Philippines, the impact on public confidence in vaccines, and the emergence of new polio cases in the country (10/15).

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Russian Federation High-Level Working Group Marks 20 Years Of Efforts On TB, HIV

WHO Regional Office for Europe: Russian Federation’s High-level Working Group celebrates 20 years of tackling TB and inspiring HIV working groups
“The Russian Federation’s High-level Working Group (HLWG) on tuberculosis (TB) marked 20 years of collaboration between national and international experts at a meeting in August 2019. With a sharp focus on the goals of the Tuberculosis Action Plan for the WHO European Region 2016-2020 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the meeting provided an opportunity to reaffirm commitment to improving: TB prevention; TB treatment outcomes, including for drug-resistant forms; infection prevention and control; the quality of laboratory diagnostics; and awareness among the population, including by reducing stigma. Collaboration to conduct research, prepare publications and exchange experience with international partners were among the topics of discussion…” (10/16).

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