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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert Being Considered As Haley Replacement At U.N.

POLITICO: State Department spokeswoman Nauert in the mix for U.N. ambassador
“…Among the candidates President Donald Trump is considering [to replace outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley], according to three people close to the president: former Fox News host Heather Nauert, who currently serves as the State Department’s spokeswoman and acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. … Neither Nauert nor the White House replied to a request for comment. But White House officials stressed that the process for selecting Haley’s replacement is still in the early stages and that the pool of candidates, which includes ambassadors Kelly Knight Craft, Jamie McCourt, and Ric Grenell — Trump’s envoys to Canada, France, and Germany, respectively — will likely change before the president makes a final selection…” (Johnson, 10/16).

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Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Cardinal Says Promised U.S. Aid Not Delivered; At Vatican, USAID's Green Announces Additional Assistance For Iraqi Religious Minorities

Associated Press: Chaldean cardinal says promised U.S. aid for Iraq hasn’t come
“The head of Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church complained on Tuesday that promised U.S. aid for religious minorities in Iraq hasn’t materialized, issuing an unusual public rebuke of the United States on the same day Washington announced a new infusion of assistance. Cardinal Louis Raphael I Sako spoke at a Vatican briefing as Mark Green, USAID administrator, was at the Vatican for talks and announced a near doubling of funding — to about $300 million since last year — and on-the-ground results…” (Winfield/George, 10/16).

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WHO Committee Meeting To Decide Whether DRC Ebola Outbreak Constitutes Public Health Emergency

NPR: A New Surge Of Ebola Cases Suspected In Congo
“There are reports of a new surge of Ebola infections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Today an Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization is meeting to advise on whether the outbreak should be declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern…” (Aizenman, 10/17).

SciDev.Net: The danger is clear in DRC Ebola outbreak
“Zambia is the latest country to step up Ebola preparedness in response to this year’s outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo…” (Deighton, 10/16).

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Indonesia's Messages On Foreign Assistance Following Quake-Tsunami Spur Rethink On Aid Delivery

IRIN: Why Indonesia’s rules on foreign tsunami relief are rattling the aid sector
“Indonesian government restrictions on foreign aid workers in disaster-hit Sulawesi are forcing some humanitarian groups to rethink their response plans — and spurring a larger debate about how the aid sector prepares for crises around the world. The government last week told international aid groups that foreign staff will not be allowed on the ground in Central Sulawesi Province, which was hit by 28 September earthquakes and a tsunami … Analysts see Indonesia’s regulations as evidence of a growing trend that is challenging long-held assumptions throughout the humanitarian sector…” (Loy, 10/16).

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Reuters Publishes Articles Examining Zika In Brazil, Angola, Lack Of Diagnostic Test

Reuters: Mothers of babies afflicted by Zika fight poverty, despair
“Nearly three years after a Zika outbreak in Brazil caused thousands of cases of microcephaly and other devastating birth defects in newborns, Reuters returned to check on the mothers and their children…” (Marcelino/Steenhuysen, 10/17).

Reuters: Zika in Africa: Rare birth defect on the rise in Angola
“…The cases have gone largely unreported, but an internal World Health Organization report reviewed by Reuters concluded in April that two cases of a potentially dangerous strain of Zika confirmed in early 2017, along with the [approximately 70] microcephaly cases identified since then, provided ‘strong evidences’ of a Zika-linked microcephaly cluster in Angola. … [N]ew findings from a research team in Portugal suggest it is the first [cluster] on the African mainland involving the Asian strain of the disease…” (Eisenhammer/Steenhuysen, 10/17).

Reuters: Why it’s so hard to diagnose Zika
“When a Zika epidemic was at its height in the Americas two years ago, diagnostics makers began working feverishly to create diagnostic tests for a virus that few in the U.S. had heard of. Those efforts have now largely stalled, as public concern has waned, health experts say, and the development of inexpensive tests that can quickly detect Zika infections and distinguish them from similar mosquito-borne diseases remains elusive…” (Steenhuysen, 10/17).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: Liberia investigates U.S.-backed charity after alleged rapes (Paye-Layleh, 10/16).
NPR: Report: Liberian Charity Worker Raped Girls He Was Supposed To Protect (Harper, 10/16).
TIME: More Than Me CEO Katie Meyler Temporarily Steps Down (Young, 10/15).

Al Jazeera: UNICEF: Two million children in DRC are acutely malnourished (Soi, 10/16).

BBC News: Yemen could be ‘worst famine in 100 years’ (10/15).

Deutsche Welle: World Food Program study: hunger rates worsening with digitalization (Zindel, 10/16).

Deutsche Welle: World Food Day: Senegal makes gains towards fighting malnutrition (Landais, 10/16).

Devex: Why did India really reject the human capital index? (Byatnal, 10/17).

The Guardian: Global register set up to keep criminals out of aid sector (Rawlinson, 10/16).

The Guardian: Scale of Yemen famine was ‘initially underestimated’ by aid agencies (Summers, 10/16).

Intellectual Property Watch: Antimicrobial Resistance At The World Investment Forum: UNCTAD, WHO Join Forces (Saez, 10/16).

Mosaic: How a wooden bench in Zimbabwe is starting a revolution in mental health (Riley, 10/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Congress, Global Community Must Work To Improve WASH Programming In Health Care Facilities

The Hill: Health is in our hands
Carolyn Moore, secretariat director of the Global Handwashing Partnership

“…Preventing infections requires the availability of soap, water, and sanitation, and consistent and correct hand hygiene. … Prevention is cost-effective and Congress agrees on many issues of water and global health. The U.S. government has an important role, with the Water for the World Act of 2014, and the 2017 U.S. Global Water Strategy, which organizes 17 U.S. federal agencies with various roles in water policy. Through its 2013-2018 Water and Development Strategy, USAID is taking action to improve sanitation and hygiene in health facilities in many countries. Importantly, the agency recognizes that ‘the expansion and improvement’ of water, sanitation, and hygiene programming overall is critical to improving its efforts on maternal and child survival. … Let’s work to meet the U.N. Secretary General’s recent call to action for the global community to achieve universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in all health care facilities by 2030. … Global Handwashing Day is … a reminder that disease prevention is quite literally within our reach” (10/15).

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Collaboration Key To Addressing Global Water Crisis

Inter Press Service: The Earthquake in Indonesia: How Collaboration Impacts the Global Water Crisis
George C. Greene IV, president and chief operating officer of Water Mission

“…[T]hrough continued collaboration, we believe humanitarians, nonprofits, governments, and communities can come together and forge an alliance to address one of the world’s most basic needs: water. Our hope is that, even after [the Indonesian quake-tsunami] disaster vanishes from the headlines, people will not forget but will unite and advocate to change the harrowing statistics. Every day, 2,300 people die from waterborne illnesses directly tied to a lack of access to safe water and compromised sanitation hygiene and each one of these deaths is preventable. In disasters, conditions are infinitely worse, compelling us to respond as quickly as possible. We know that people need safe water to live, and we are working diligently on multiple fronts to address this need in Indonesia. … When we work together and empower each other, we can make a bigger impact and tackle overwhelming problems like the global water crisis…” (10/16).

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Policymakers Must Be Invested In, Involved With Data Collection To Create Real Impact

Devex: Opinion: How partnering with policymakers turns data into action
Emily Courey Pryor, founding executive director of Data2x

“…[D]ata use leading to impact is possible when decision-makers are included in — and invested in — the data process from the beginning. This finding — that decision-makers must have a seat at the data collection table from day one — was a recurrent theme across the gender data impact stories we collected as part of a story collection project with Open Data Watch and Devex this year. This project was driven by our desire to showcase how quality gender data, when used, shapes policies and legislation, informs program decisions, and changes funding priorities. Time and again, we found that in situations where data was able to revolutionize institutions and behavior, and create real impact, policymakers were part of the conversation before the expensive, labor-intensive work of data collection began. … Let’s start a practical conversation about how to more effectively integrate data producers and data users. We must find better ways to connect those dots to move toward action on gender equality” (10/17).

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Experts Discuss Use Of Experimental Ebola Vaccine Among Pregnant Women In Healio Opinion Pieces

Healio: Point/Counter: Should pregnant women receive an Ebola vaccine despite WHO recommendations?Point: Inclusion of pregnant women in live vaccine trials is an ethical imperative
W. Christopher Golden, medical director of the newborn nursery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Jeanne S. Sheffield, director of the division of maternal-fetal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

“…Although there has been a pervasive presumption of exclusion of pregnant women in live vaccine trials and clinical initiatives, inclusion of these women is an ethical imperative in the setting of this devastating disease. … In Ebola-endemic regions, immunization should be offered (with informed consent) to pregnant women to reduce perinatal mortality, coordinated with prospective monitoring of maternal and neonatal outcomes. … Additionally, future clinical trials of immunotherapy against Ebola designed to delineate further potential benefits should include pregnant women and women of childbearing age. Respectful engagement and collaboration between international organizations (such as WHO), clinical researchers, and governmental leaders will facilitate improved outcomes in these vulnerable populations” (October 2018).

Counter: An unlicensed Ebola vaccine could be given to pregnant women now only if both DRC and WHO agree
Daniel R. Lucey, senior scholar with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and adjunct professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Georgetown University Medical Center

“…For the benefit of patients now and in the future — pregnant and nonpregnant — no unlicensed Ebola vaccine should be given ‘despite WHO recommendations.’ To do so would jeopardize the collaborative efforts between the [Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)] and WHO in gaining the trust of the patients, their contacts, and their communities. This trust is essential to stop Ebola epidemics. Instead, the DRC and WHO should agree to convene an international meeting as soon as possible this October to address all aspects of this issue, including ethical, medical, risk communication, regulatory, and more. … Truly informed consent must be obtained, and comprehensive monitoring for safety and efficacy must be carried out, if the decision is made to offer this unlicensed vaccine to pregnant women…” (October 2018).

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New Model Of NCD Care In Sub-Saharan Africa Needed To Reach UHC

Devex: Opinion: A new model of NCD care to achieve UHC in sub-Saharan Africa
Nick Manuelpillai, medical adviser at the Joep Lange Institute

“…In their current state, the health budgets of sub-Saharan African countries do not allow the region to adequately cover [noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)] care for the population. To achieve [universal health coverage (UHC)] in these countries we must reduce the cost of care of NCDs. … A new model of care adopting the following three principles is essential to reducing the cost of NCD care and achieving UHC: 1. Remote monitoring, chatbots, and telemedicine can improve efficiency and reduce costs … 2. Generic drugs must become the default prescription dispensed by pharmacies … 3. Prevention must form the cornerstone of all treatment … The ability to use technology to significantly reduce the cost of care for NCD care will be a critical step for sub-Saharan Africa achieving UHC and is an opportunity for the region to lead the rest of the world and demonstrate what is possible in terms of NCD prevention and care” (10/16).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

11 Global Health, Development Organizations Sign Action Plan To Improve Collaboration, Promote Transparency, Accountability In Efforts To Achieve SDG3

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Health Organizations Commit to New Ways of Working Together for Greater Impact
“Eleven heads of the world’s leading health and development organizations [on Tuesday] signed a landmark commitment to find new ways of working together to accelerate progress towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. … The group has agreed to develop new ways of working together to maximize resources and measure progress in a more transparent and engaging way. … The organizations that have already signed up to the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All are: Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Global Financing Facility, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, Unitaid, U.N. Women, the World Bank, and WHO. The World Food Programme has committed to join the plan in the coming months. The final plan will be delivered in September 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly…” (10/16).

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Speakers At World Food Day Ceremony Urge Global Community To Increase Efforts To End Hunger, Malnutrition

Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.: Urgent need to step up efforts to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms
“Speakers at the global World Food Day ceremony in Rome [on Tuesday] called for stronger political will and more financial support to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms, urging the international community to step up its efforts until everyone has enough and quality food…” (10/16).

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Brookings Experts Examine Global Efforts To End Hunger

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: World Food Day 2018: The elusive quest to end hunger
Marking World Food Day on October 16, Homi Kharas, interim vice president and director of global economy and development, and Lorenz Noe, research analyst in global economy and development, both with Brookings, discuss global efforts to end hunger, including policy and resource challenges (10/16).

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Expert Notes Increasing Focus On Young People, Patient Participation In Meetings On NCDs

BMJ Opinion: Bistra Zheleva: Children, patients, and the young at last have a voice at the U.N. meeting on NCDs
Bistra Zheleva, vice president of global strategy and advocacy at Children’s HeartLink and co-founding board member of the Global Alliance for Rheumatic and Congenital Hearts, discusses the recent U.N. High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), writing, “Sadly, there has been relatively little progress with NCDs despite the excitement at the U.N. holding the third high level meeting. Yet the greater presence of young people and patients, and the increased focus on children — albeit at side events rather than the main meeting — makes me optimistic that the agenda is shifting and the world will increase the energy it puts into countering NCD” (10/17).

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'Science Speaks' Highlights Results From Study On Economic, Social Costs Of 2014 West Africa Ebola Outbreak

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Citing overlooked social, economic, health impacts, study estimates West Africa Ebola outbreak costs at more than $53 billion
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer at “Science Speaks,” discusses a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases examining the economic and social burden of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Barton writes, “The highest costs, [the study authors] write, were paid and continue to be paid by the three most affected countries. The largest single factor of the costs — adding up to an estimated $18 billion — are non-Ebola deaths — those caused by the impacts of the outbreak, but not by the virus itself” (10/16).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Officials Offer Remarks On World Food Day

USAID: U.S. Administrator for International Development Administrator Mark Green on World Food Day
In a statement marking World Food Day, USAID Administrator Mark Green discusses the U.S. commitment to improving global food security and nutrition, highlighting U.S. government efforts through the Feed the Future initiative and the Global Food Security Act (10/16).

USAID: Africa Regional Media Hub Press Briefing on World Food Day with USAID Bureau for Food Security Assistant Administrator Beth Dunford and USAID Food for Peace Director Matt Nims via Teleconference
During a press briefing on World Food Day, USAID Bureau for Food Security Assistant Administrator Beth Dunford and USAID Food for Peace Director Matt Nims offer remarks on U.S. efforts to address global food insecurity and hunger (10/16).

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