KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

UNFPA State Of The World Population Report Focuses On Sexual, Reproductive Health, Rights; TRF Publishes Several Articles On Issue

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Give world’s poorest women control over sex, birth, to cut inequality — U.N.
“A failure to give the world’s poorest women control over their bodies could widen inequality in developing countries and thwart progress towards global goals aimed at ending poverty by 2030, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Tuesday. Countless women and girls worldwide are denied a say in decisions about sex and childbirth, and struggle to access health services such as family planning, leaving them at risk of unwanted pregnancies and abortions, a UNFPA report said…” (Guilbert, 10/17).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Asian nations struggle to meet global target to lower deaths in childbirth
“…An estimated 85,000 mothers died in 2015 from childbirth in the region, home to more than half of the world’s population and some of its fastest growing economies, U.N. figures show, with the maternal mortality rate seen as a key way to measure improvement in a nation’s health. These deaths accounted for 28 percent of the global total, translating into a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 127 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to the U.N. agency for population UNFPA, which released its latest State of the World Population Report on Tuesday…” (Win, 10/17).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Feature — Midwives treated ‘like civil servants’ battle Cambodia’s maternal deaths
“…Cambodia has made [advances] in reducing its maternal mortality rate, once among the highest in the world, that has won midwives new respect in communities. The Southeast Asian nation is one of only nine countries to have achieved the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal to cut maternal death by at least 75 percent by 2015, having lowered its ratio by 84 percent between 1990 and 2015…” (Chandran, 10/17).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Feature — End to “confusion and fear”? Madagascar set to update colonial-era family planning laws
“…Campaigners say if young people in Madagascar had better access to contraceptives many unsafe abortions could be prevented. About 10 women on the island die each day due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, including terminations, according to the U.N. population agency UNFPA. Madagascar’s Senate is set to debate legislation that would modernize a family planning law that dates back to 1920 and prohibits the promotion of contraception…” (Burns-Pieper, 10/16).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Senegal’s youth tackle sex taboos in bid to boost contraceptive use
“…West and Central Africa has one of the world’s lowest rates of contraceptive use among women and teenage girls, who often lack knowledge about their options, struggle to access health centers, and face objections from their husbands and families. However in Senegal, a drive to raise awareness, increase stocks of contraceptives, and provide youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services has led to a rapid rise in the number of women and girls on birth control, health experts say…” (Guilbert, 10/17).

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WFP Report, IFPRI Data Show Achieving Food Security For All Is Distant Goal; Pope Francis Urges Action To End Hunger On World Food Day

The Guardian: The true cost of a plate of food: $1 in New York, $320 in South Sudan
“The world’s poorest pay more than a day’s wages for a single plate of food, according to a report from the World Food Programme, which reveals that the same bean stew can cost the average consumer in New York just $1.20, while the price tag is more than $320 in South Sudan. The research, released to coincide with World Food Day on Monday, underlines the sheer discrepancy of consumers’ purchasing power around the world by measuring the relative cost of food in various countries against a single baseline…” (Hodal, 10/16).

NPR: Why World Hunger Isn’t Going Away As Fast As We’d Hoped
“…[W]hile at first glance the global trend lines still look promising, [Rob Vos, formerly a key official at the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization and now with the International Food Policy Research Institute, or IFPRI,] says a closer look at the statistics reveal stubborn problems that threaten that rosy picture. Increasingly this year, he says, cracks are starting to show. … For too long, says Vos the top-line good news has distracted policymakers from the underlying bad news. But he says the declaration of famine in so many countries early this year has helped pierce the bubble…” (Aizenman, 10/17).

U.N. News Centre: At U.N. event in Rome, Pope Francis urges action on climate change, conflicts to end global hunger
“Food security for all requires tackling climate change and ending conflicts, His Holiness, Pope Francis, stressed Monday at an official ceremony for World Food Day held at the Rome headquarters of the United Nations agriculture agency. ‘It is clear that wars and climatic change are a cause of hunger, so let’s not present it as if hunger is an incurable disease,’ the Pontiff said during his key note address marking the day at headquarters of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)…” (10/16).

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Devex Interviews U.N. Officials About Leaving Nobody Behind On Road To UHC

Devex: Q&A: Unpacking UNICEF’s approach to UHC
“When crafting out an approach to tackle improved access to health care, it’s important to ensure nobody is left behind. According to Stefan Peterson, UNICEF’s chief of health and associate director of programs, this means the most disadvantaged of any country must be put front and center of any approach to achieving universal health coverage. … Sitting down with Devex, Peterson explained that the process of UHC begins with pregnancy and continues throughout a child’s life, discussing how UHC can be achieved in practice, and why, ultimately, it’s cost effective to focus on the most disadvantaged…” (Root, 10/17).

Devex: Q&A: Why UHC makes for a good investment
“…[T]here’s evidence to show that even in those countries where even basic health care is viewed as a luxury, systems can be implemented to ensure nobody is left behind on the road to good health and well-being. ‘What our analysis shows is that UHC is both technically and financially possible,’ Dr. Agnès Soucat, director of health systems, governance, and financing at WHO, told Devex. ‘This means that we know what kind of services make a difference in the lives of people and we know that some countries manage to deliver them, even at low levels of income’…” (10/16).

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Gavi Seeks Silicon Valley Partnerships To Better Innovate, Use Technology To Increase Access To Immunization, Health Care

Devex: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is exploring new partnerships to increase access to immunization
“…In a letter to Silicon Valley technologists, investors, and academics, Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, explained that the public-private global health partnership is on a five-year mission to scale up its work to protect an additional 300 million children by 2020. … Devex spoke with Berkley, Gavi’s technology partners, and other global health organizations working to establish partnerships in Silicon Valley about ways innovation and technology can advance not only immunization, but also other health and development targets outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals…” (Cheney, 10/17).

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Devex Highlights Outcomes Of WHO Regional Committee Meeting Of Western Pacific

Devex: The Pacific response to WHO’s planned program of work
“Climate change, affordable health care, and raising the bar for clear and timely communication during emergencies were chief among the regional priorities presented at the 68th session of the World Health Organization Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, held in Brisbane from October 9 to 13…” (Cornish, 10/16).

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Debate Over Efficacy, Available Doses Of Cholera Vaccine, Concerns Over WASH Conditions Slow Immunization Campaign In Yemen

IRIN: What’s really stopping a cholera vaccination campaign in Yemen?
“…The [previous cholera vaccination] plan was soon walked back, amidst questions about the vaccine’s efficacy at such an advanced stage in the outbreak, as well as — IRIN can now report — concerns about the number of doses available. But aid agencies, technical experts, and health ministries from the country’s two warring governments are once again in talks about how vaccines might help prevent cholera, particularly into 2018, when heavy rains are expected by March and experts fear a new wave of the disease. … Vaccines apart, officials from both health ministries [in Aden and Sana’a] emphasized that other major factors are vital to tackling the ongoing outbreak: improving water, sanitation, and hygiene conditions that have been decimated by war…” (Slemrod/Almosama, 10/17).

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WHO, Nigerian Government Begin Yellow Fever Vaccination Campaign To Immunize 874K People

CIDRAP News: Nigeria launches yellow fever vaccination campaign
“Nigeria’s government has launched a campaign to vaccinate about 874,000 people against yellow fever in two of the country’s states, Kwara and Kogi, the World Health Organization (WHO) said [Monday]…” (Schnirring, 10/16).

Xinhua News: WHO supports vaccination campaign in Nigeria to battle yellow fever
“…The last yellow fever outbreak in Nigeria was reported in 2002, with 20 cases and 11 deaths. The campaign is mobilizing more than 200 health workers and volunteers to target residents aged from nine months to 45 years old. The WHO has been working with local health authorities on its implementation…” (10/17).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Challenges Of Global Food Waste, Malnutrition

Thomson Reuters Foundation: We have a collective responsibility to halve food loss and waste
Liz Goodwin, senior fellow and director for food loss and waste at the World Resources Institute

“…Can the world really cut global food loss and waste in half by 2030? The answer is yes — but only if many more governments and companies set ambitious targets, measure this inefficiency, and take action to reduce food loss and waste. To my mind, there are three immediate challenges that require a collective approach. The first is the importance of consumer engagement. … The second is that this needs to be a movement which results in people thinking differently about food. … The third is going to be driving real action, not just interest and awareness. … There have already been some notable achievements and good progress has been made. Now is the moment to recognize that we have a collective responsibility to act and we each are part of the solution” (10/16).

Inter Press Service: The Road Out of Poverty Depends on Feeding Our Children Nutritious Food First
Mercy Lung’aho, nutrition scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

“…At the Pan African Bean Research Alliance in collaboration with HarvestPlus, we have collected evidence which shows that eating specially-bred, high-iron beans twice-a-day for just four-and-a-half months can reduce iron deficiency and actually reverse anemia in young women in Rwanda. … Our research further shows that, fast-tracking nutrition in mothers before they even become pregnant is essential if we want to tackle malnutrition and put a stop to the vicious cycle of poverty and economic stagnation that poor diets perpetuate. Adolescent nutrition before pregnancy has a bigger impact on stunting in children than we thought. We need to target undernourished women … with nutritious food — well before they are pregnant. … [U]nless we focus on getting our young people a more nutritious diet, we will continue to fail millions … before they have even had a chance to make a start in life” (10/16).

HuffPost: Preventing waste, a recipe for food security
Joan, Josep, and Jordi Roca, chefs and UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors

“…By reducing food waste, we can advance critical conservation efforts and help fight for food security worldwide. … If we could save just a quarter of the food that is currently lost or wasted around the world, we could feed all people suffering from food insecurity. … Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals related to food security and nutrition is a shared responsibility. Governments and international organizations should help minimize losses during storage and transport and reduce food waste from distributors and consumers; increase consumer choice through appropriate labeling; raise awareness on sustainable food production and consumption among producers, retailers, and consumers in all countries; and establish financial and market incentives, to promote change in consumers’ behavior…” (10/16).

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WHO Must Ensure Taiwan Not Excluded From Global Health Discussions

Foreign Affairs: Letter: Room for Everyone
Brian Su, deputy director general at Taipei Economic and Cultural Office

“…For years, Taiwan has been excluded from the WHO. Continuing this practice will not serve Tedros’ purposes [to increase health care coverage and ‘leave no one behind’] well. Taiwan has one of the world’s best universal health care systems, which offers reasonably priced, high-quality care, with a coverage rate of 99 percent of the population and short waiting times. Taiwan could do a lot to help the WHO speed up the expansion of health coverage, and many countries could benefit from Taiwan’s know-how and medical expertise. … If the WHO is serious about preventing epidemics and closing the gaps in global health coverage, it should not let any member states dictate its actions. The WHO should adhere to its principles, convey its professional concerns honestly to its members, and refuse to succumb to political pressure to exclude anyone” (November/December 2017).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Oxfam America Blog Post Examines U.S. Foreign Aid, National Debt

Oxfam America’s “Politics of Poverty”: President Trump thinks cutting aid will fix U.S. debt. But his numbers don’t add up.
Heather Schommer, senior writer for aid effectiveness at Oxfam America, writes about statements made by President Trump on U.S. foreign aid and the national debt. Schommer writes, “Eliminating U.S. spending on foreign aid would have very little impact on U.S. debt, while creating devastating consequences for poor people all over the world, and severely hampering U.S. leadership and future prosperity…” (10/16).

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To Promote National Security, Global Stability, U.S. Should Continue To Invest In Development

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Fighting Fire with Foreign Assistance
Gillian Locke, program manager for the CSIS Global Food Security Project, discusses the role of U.S. foreign assistance in promoting food security, improving access to health care, and supporting economic growth. Locke writes, “Defense spending can’t address global instability in the sustainable, efficient, and proactive ways that foreign assistance can. … To pursue national security and global stability, the United States must maintain its commitment to development” (10/6).

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PATH Paper Offers Recommendations On How Multisector Partnerships Can Help Achieve U.S. Global Health, Development Goals

PATH: Innovating Foreign Assistance: Harnessing the Power of the Private Sector to Achieve U.S. Global Health and Development Goals
“This paper discusses how nonprofits like PATH can achieve U.S. global health and development goals through effectively harnessing the power of the private sector,” as well as public and social sectors (September 2017).

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CGD Blog Post Outlines Importance Of Research, Funding To Prepare For Next Ebola Outbreak

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Preparing for the Next Ebola Outbreak: Incentivizing the Right Type of Capacity
Kalipso Chalkidou, director of global health policy and senior fellow at CGD, discusses a recent report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) “making the case for ‘Integrating Clinical Research into Epidemic Response.’ … [F]or a disease like Ebola, where no vaccine or therapeutic product currently exists, and where the only way such a vaccine or treatment can be tested and licensed for use in humans is through research carried out in the context of the next outbreak, the message of the NASEM report is a critical one: research saves lives.” Chalkidou highlights several takeaways from the report, as well as her thoughts and suggestions (10/16).

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Blog Posts Address World Food Day, Efforts To Improve Nutrition, End Hunger Worldwide

WHO: Malnutrition: It’s about more than hunger
Francesco Branca, director of the WHO Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, discusses the “complicated” issue of global malnutrition, nutrition security versus food security, and the economic impacts of poor nutrition. Branca writes, “Current progress is insufficient to reach the World Health Assembly targets set for 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals set for 2030…” (10/16).

Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ “Global Food for Thought”: Guest Commentary — On World Food Day, Recognizing America’s Proud History of Feeding the Hungry
Paul Weisenfeld, executive vice president for international development at RTI International, discusses the history of U.S. support for addressing hunger and writes, “Thankfully, Congress has demonstrated its support for food security, and is on track to pass legislation providing strong funding for Food for Peace, McGovern-Dole, and Feed the Future. Still, as we recognize World Food Day, it’s important to remember what the past year has shown us: standing up for America’s proud history of feeding the hungry and preventing famines is a year-round job” (10/16).

ONE: Why are 20 million people still at risk of famine?
Tahrat Shahid, policy manager for global policy at the ONE Campaign, discusses the importance of humanitarian assistance in addressing global famine. Shahid writes, “World Food Day presents an opportunity to encourage our leaders to help fund organizations with the commitment and technical know-how to [resolve famine and severe forms of hunger], and to stop perpetuating conflict before famine becomes a reality once again” (10/16).

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Conference Highlights Importance Of Women Leaders In Global Health

Standford Medicine’s “Scope”: Women leadership in global health benefits everyone, conference goers are reminded
Ruthann Richter, director of media relations at the Stanford School of Medicine, discusses remarks from various global health leaders at the Women Leaders in Global Health conference recently held at Stanford. The conference was “designed to highlight the accomplishments of women in the field and empower the next generation of leaders to fill the gap of women at the top” (10/16).

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From the U.S. Government

5 Ways USAID Invests In Agriculture, Food Security To End Hunger

USAID/Medium: 5 Ways USAID Is Helping to End World Hunger
Beth Dunford, assistant to the administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Food Security and deputy coordinator for development for Feed the Future, and Matthew Nims, acting director of USAID’s Office of Food for Peace, discuss five ways USAID is investing in agriculture and food security: “1. Improving agriculture to boost incomes … 2. Teaching shared responsibility for health and nutrition … 3. Empowering women in agriculture … 4. Managing natural resources and preparing for disasters … 5. Meeting immediate needs” (10/16).

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USAID Launches $181M Suite Of Activities To Prevent Maternal, Child Deaths In Ethiopia

U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia: USAID Launches $181 Million in Activities to Help Prevent Maternal and Child Deaths
“The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officially launched a suite of four activities to address preventable maternal and child deaths in Ethiopia. These ‘Transform’ activities will support the Government of Ethiopia’s overall efforts to prevent child and maternal deaths. USAID is investing approximately $181 million (USD) in these activities through 2022. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is also providing support…” (10/16).

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PMI Releases October 2017 Newsletter

PMI: President’s Malaria Initiative Newsletter: October 2017
This newsletter contains announcements, news articles, and publications from or featured by PMI, including information on the initiative’s launch in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, and Sierra Leone, and the expansion of its program in Burkina Faso (October 2017).

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