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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Vice President Biden Outlines Strategic Plan, Progress On Cancer Moonshot Initiative; Funding Remains In Question

The Hill: Biden outlines five-year plan for ‘cancer moonshot’
“…Speaking at the White House on Monday, [Vice President Joe] Biden delivered a powerful plea to dozens of the nation’s top cancer doctors, urging them to strive for cures despite ‘skeptics’ and uncertainty. … Biden lost his oldest son to cancer last year and has led the White House’s ‘cancer moonshot’ push since January. The task force, which includes top government scientists and private researchers, released a long-awaited report Monday laying out five years’ worth of goals…” (Ferris, 10/17).

The Hill: Biden: ‘Trust me’ on Congress funding cancer research
“Vice President Biden on Monday hinted that GOP leaders in Congress have already agreed to ‘significant increases’ in cancer research funding later this year. ‘Congress is stepping up. Trust me,’ Biden told some of the nation’s leading cancer researchers at an event at the White House…” (Ferris, 10/17).

Reuters: White House report outlines push to bolster cancer research
“U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden’s cancer moonshot initiative to speed the develop of cancer treatments has made some important strides such as increased information sharing among researchers but still faces challenges in many areas, according to a report on Monday…” (Clark/Rascoe, 10/17).

Roll Call: Biden Presents ‘Moonshot’ Task Force Report
“…The program has yet to receive any federally appropriated money. Neither of the pertinent spending bills for next year that the Senate and House Appropriations committees approved included funding directly for the moonshot initiative. Both, however, did increase funds for the National Cancer Institute and the NIH more broadly…” (Williams, 10/17).

ScienceInsider: Biden’s moonshot cancer plan calls for more data sharing
“…Biden and his wife, Jill, have met with thousands of experts and patient advocates, they explain in a 17-page strategic plan submitted to President Barack Obama … Obama has requested $755 million to carry out the moonshot, including $680 million for NCI. That funding could be folded into the annual appropriations bill to fund the National Institutes of Health or be part of several measures aimed at speeding medical innovation that Congress may take up after the election…” (Kaiser, 10/17).

Washington Post: Biden’s final ‘cancer moonshot’ report outlines progress and hurdles
“…As for the moonshot’s future with a new administration, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has said that she would like to continue it and would welcome Biden’s advice. Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, hasn’t commented on the matter. Biden said recently that he’d like to remain active, but not from inside the government…” (McGinley, 10/17).

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U.N. Launches Haiti Cholera Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund To Support Coordinated Actions

U.N. News Centre: U.N. launches new fund to support system-wide coordinated response to cholera in Haiti
“The United Nations has launched a new trust fund to support a coordinated system-wide response from the U.N. and its partners to help Haiti overcome the cholera epidemic and support the establishment of strong water, sanitation, and health systems in the country. According to a news release, last Friday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established the U.N. Haiti Cholera Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) to generate and manage resources to rapidly supply the U.N. system responses in the Caribbean country…” (10/17).

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MSF President Joanne Liu Speaks With Global Health NOW About Desired Qualities Of Next WHO Director General

Global Health NOW: Desperately Seeking Leadership: MSF’s Joanne Liu on WHO’s Next Director General
“When Ebola hit West Africa in 2014, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), under the leadership of Joanne Liu, MDCM, MSF’s International President, spoke out early and forcefully pressed for a stronger response from the WHO and the world. … As the world contemplates the [six WHO director-general] candidates and the future of the organization, Dr. Liu shared some qualities that MSF is searching for in the WHO’s new leadership in a Q&A with GHN’s Dayna Kerecman Myers…” (Myers, 10/17).

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U.N. News Centre Interviews President Of International Fund For Agricultural Development About Ending Poverty

U.N. News Centre: INTERVIEW: “If we don’t act now, the future will not be in our hands” — U.N. rural development agency chief
“As the world marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, one man who has spent many years working to end poverty among the world’s poorest populations is calling for action now, by investing more in the rural poor. Kanayo Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is no stranger to the development agenda. … The United Nations News Centre spoke with Mr. Nwanze on camera about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), elevating the rural poor, and other issues, including his taking home the inaugural Africa Food Prize earlier last month…” (10/17).

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Experts Try To Predict Zika's Spread In Southeast Asia; Some Communities Might Be Resistant To Virus, Data Suggest

Washington Post: In the face of Zika, Southeast Asia sees grounds for cautious hope
“Disease experts trying to measure the risk of a mass Zika outbreak in Southeast Asia agree on one thing: It’s next to impossible to predict with any accuracy. … On the face of it, Southeast Asia is vulnerable to Zika, which is spread by a type of mosquito common in the region. … At the same time, though, experts have found grounds for hope in the relatively small scale of the regional outbreaks, which suggests that local communities might be resistant to the virus in a way that Latin Americans are not…” (Emont, 10/17).

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Researchers Continue To Search For Cause Of, Treatments For Noma In Africa

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Facing noma
“…The flesh-eating disease leaves survivors with gaping holes in their cheeks, sometimes on both sides of what remains of their face. Jaws are immobilized and the ravaged mouth drips saliva. … The epicenter of the disease is the strip of countries south of the Sahara, stretching from Senegal to Ethiopia. WHO reckons there are around 140,000 new cases every year, although this is likely to be an underestimate. The disease affects the very poorest and most remote communities, and it is usually children younger than six years who are affected…” (Burki, November 2016).

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Editorials and Opinions

Next U.S. President Should Improve Aid Policies In 3 Ways To Address Global Food Insecurity

The Hill: New president should do more to address world hunger
David Hong, global senior policy analyst at One Acre Fund, and Homi Kharas, senior fellow and deputy director for global economics and development at the Brookings Institution

“…Food insecurity — defined by a lack of reliable access to healthy, affordable food — can contribute to political instability, child malnutrition, and the loss of precious natural resources. … Programs like Feed the Future, our government’s official strategy to improve food security, don’t go far enough to address these challenges. … [T]here are many solutions about how the U.S. can improve its aid policies … Specifically, the next administration should focus on three main points. First, the U.S. needs to increase support for smallholder farmers. … Second, funding should be more transparent. … Third, more funding should go toward innovative ideas that stretch donor dollars further and maximize social good. … [W]e need to ask our leaders to raise the standards and transparency for how we deliver foreign assistance. If the next president fails to act, the challenges of civil unrest, child malnutrition, and natural resource degradation will only continue to grow” (10/17).

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Countdown To 2030 Uses Accountability Mechanisms To Achieve Improved Maternal, Newborn, Child Health

The Lancet: Countdown to 2030 for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and nutrition
Cesar Victoria, professor at the Federal University of Pelotas, and colleagues

“…[Countdown to 2030 (CD2030)] aims to: (1) accelerate the momentum to achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for ending preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths; and (2) catalyze efforts to achieve the vision of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health. … It will promote accountability and action through better monitoring and measurement of coverage and its key determinants, by strengthening regional and country capacity for evidence generation and use, and by developing communication strategies to increase the uptake of Countdown findings. … Most importantly, through its global network and establishment of regional hubs, … CD2030 will help ensure regular reporting on progress and performance at the country level and help foster the ability and appetite of country-based teams to conduct robust assessments of progress and investments. … The need for a Countdown-like mechanism that provides independent analyses grounded in a collaborative partnership among academic institutions, U.N. agencies, governments, and other civil society members has never been greater…” (November 2016).

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Incentivizing HIV Testing Critical To Ensuring People Get Tested, Reaching U.N. 90-90-90 Target

The Lancet: Achieving the 90-90-90 target: incentives for HIV testing
Mark A. Wainberg, head of AIDS research at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (LDI), director of the McGill University AIDS Centre, and professor at McGill University, and colleagues

“…HIV testing remains underused, and late diagnoses of HIV infection continue to cause problems. Far too many HIV-infected people are unaware of their status. … To achieve HIV elimination, identifying all individuals potentially living with undiagnosed HIV infection is critical. Systematic uptake of existing evidence-based testing strategies is a necessary component of public health programs. Additionally, we recommend consideration of HIV testing that is incentivized through associated cash transfer, or a culturally and socially appropriate non-financial incentive. The relatively small cost associated with providing financial incentives to people to be tested would probably be vastly eclipsed by the averted costs associated with the prevention of ongoing transmission. Enhanced diagnosis is the first step to ensuring that the U.N. 90-90-90 target will be realized” (November 2016).

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Colombia's Peace Process Likely To Impact Country's Health, Development

The Lancet: Disease, conflict, and the challenge of elimination in the Americas
Editorial Board

“…Over the years, and within the confines of Colombia’s borders, the [country’s civil] conflict has touched on many issues that are now at the forefront of global health and development. … [T]he implications of the peace process [in Colombia’s civil war] and their potential impact on health must not be overlooked. Nobody denies the radical impact peace could have on these populations, and the now defunct [peace] agreement, negotiated with the active participation of women’s and minority groups in a process deemed by some as a model, had the consideration of health and inequalities threaded throughout its terms. … War and violence, or the absence thereof, are now integral building blocks of the development agenda since their inclusion in [Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16]. In Colombia and elsewhere, peace — just like health — is a delicate balancing act that requires constant work, but we must remain convinced that it is attainable” (November 2016).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

State Department Blog Post Recognizes World Food Day, Discusses U.S. Efforts To End Hunger, Malnutrition

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: For Us, Every Day Is World Food Day
Elizabeth Buckingham, Julia Duncan, and Caitlin Welsh, all of the Secretary’s Office of Global Food Security at the U.S. Department of State, recognize World Food Day and discuss the activities of their office, including initiatives such as Feed the Future, the 1,000 Days Partnership, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, and others (10/17).

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Panelists Examine 'Future Of Global Health Financing' At Friends Of Global Fight Event

Friends of the Global Fight Blog: ‘The Future of Global Health Financing’: How do we grow investments? (Video)
Sarah Marston, director of communications at Friends of the Global Fight, highlights an event titled “The Future of Global Health Financing,” which was held at the Kaiser Family Foundation and “co-sponsored by Friends, Malaria No More, and Nothing But Nets, and moderated by Dr. Jennifer Kates, KFF’s vice president and director of global health and HIV policy. Panelists included: Ambassador Deborah Birx, global AIDS coordinator for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); Chris Collins, president of Friends; Dr. Nomonde Nolutshungu, health attaché for the Embassy of South Africa; Kate Roberts, co-founder of the Maverick Collective; and Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, global malaria coordinator for the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)” (10/17).

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Global Burden Of Disease 2015 Report Finds Some Infectious Disease Deaths Have Fallen Since 2005 But Challenges Remain

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Global burden of disease report shows gains made from HIV response, work that remains to respond to infectious disease
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 report. She notes that while deaths from HIV, malaria, hepatitis, and tuberculosis have fallen since 2005, challenges remain for other infectious diseases, including dengue, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis, which have seen increases in deaths since 2005 (10/17).

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