KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

World Must Work Toward Closing Gender Gap, Achieving Reproductive Health Rights To Reach Development Goals, UNFPA Report Says

Devex: Poorest women feel inequality gap most as they try to access health care, reports UNFPA
“Increasingly, women and girls across different strata of society are experiencing a greater divide as they seek to obtain access to sexual and reproductive health care. As inequality continues to rise within countries, it is creating far more than a financial gap among the rich and the poor, the annual flagship report of the U.N. Population Fund, shows. The report was launched Tuesday at the United Nations…” (Lieberman/Abrahams, 10/18).

The Guardian: Inequality threatens social stability, warns new U.N. population chief
“The new head of the U.N. Population Fund has vowed to be more aggressive in promoting the agency’s message to business that protecting women’s reproductive health not only saves lives, but can boost earnings. … The UNFPA estimates that limited access to family planning translates into 89m unintended pregnancies and 48m abortions in poorer countries each year, which can limit women’s future ambitions…” (Ford, 10/18).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. report outlines path towards closing gender gap, realizing reproductive health rights
“…Pressed into motherhood early, or repeatedly, these girls and women are more prone to maternal injuries, disabilities, or even death. They are less able to finish their educations or enter the paid workforce, leaving their families poorer and their children with bleaker futures. The report also warns that these inequalities could undermine the global goals on ending poverty, eliminating preventable deaths, and achieving sustainability…” (10/17).

VOA News: U.N. Report: Inequality, Denial of Reproductive Rights Threaten Development
“…UNFPA Geneva Office Director Monica Ferro said family planning is not only a human right, but necessary for women’s empowerment. … Ferro also expressed regret over the decision by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump not to fund the U.N. Population Fund…” (Schlein, 10/17).

Xinhua News: U.N. report stresses need to ensure women’s reproductive rights
“…The UNFPA report was released to coincide with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which falls on Oct. 17. This year’s theme is ‘Answering the Call of October 17 to End Poverty: A Path Toward Peaceful and Inclusive Societies’…” (10/18).

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U.N. SG Calls For More Global Efforts To Eradicate Poverty On International Day

HuffPost: These 7 Numbers Show How Global Poverty Remains A Huge Problem
“More than one billion people escaped the grind of extreme poverty — defined as living on less than $1.90 a day — between 1990 and 2013. But despite the gains, the world remains a long way from eradicating poverty altogether, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where large numbers of people continue to languish in extreme poverty with no safety net. To mark Tuesday’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which calls on people to connect with the poorest and build alliances for action, here are nine statistics that give a snapshot of the global poverty problem…” (Paddison, 10/16).

U.N. News Centre: On International Day, U.N. chief urges action to address root causes of poverty
“Highlighting the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure a life of dignity for all, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for redoubling of efforts to eradicate poverty it in its entirety. ‘This globally agreed agenda, pledges to secure a healthy planet and build peaceful and inclusive societies to ensure lives of dignity for all,’ said the secretary general in a video message marking the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty…” (10/17).

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U.S. EPA To Review Oxitec's Genetically Modified Mosquito As Pesticide

WIRED: When is a mosquito not an insect? When it’s a pesticide
“It took a decade for British biotech firm Oxitec to program a self-destruct switch into mosquitoes. Perfecting that genetic technology, timed to kill the insects before they could spread diseases like Zika and dengue fever, was supposed to be the hard part. But getting the modified mosquitoes cleared to battle public health scares in the U.S. has been just as tough. … The switch from FDA to EPA oversight means an end to Oxitec’s endless waiting. That’s because the EPA is required by federal law to review new pesticides ‘as expeditiously as possible,’ which the statute defines as within 12 months after the submission of an application…” (Molteni, 10/17).

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WFP Director Says Report On Rohingya Hunger Removed From Website To Be Republished

The Guardian: U.N. report on Rohingya hunger is shelved at Myanmar’s request
“The United Nations food aid agency withdrew a critical report revealing desperate hunger among the persecuted Rohingya population after the Myanmar government demanded it be taken down, the Guardian has learned. … However, WFP’s Executive Director David Beasley said in an emailed statement to the Guardian later on Tuesday that the agency would republish the report. ‘The assessment should not have been removed and I have directed that it be republished immediately in its original form,’ Beasley said. ‘Put simply, the World Food Programme stands firmly behind the findings of the report’…” (Holmes, 10/16).

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Attacks On Vaccine Stores, Health Facilities In Syria Threaten Children, Gavi Says

Xinhua News: Attacks on health facilities threaten all Syrian children: global Vaccine Alliance
“Attacks on health workers, medical facilities, and vaccine stocks are putting the lives of all Syrian children at risk, [Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance,] said on Tuesday following last week’s strike on medical facilities in eastern Syria…” (10/17).

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Countdown To Zero Exhibition Opens In Abu Dhabi To Highlight Efforts To Eradicate Diseases

Devex: Exhibition aims to champion disease eradication as it happens
“…The … exhibition, Countdown to Zero: Defeating Disease, opened this week in Abu Dhabi, after premiering in New York in 2015, with previous stops in Atlanta and London. The pavilion is aimed at a potentially catalytic audience here. Abu Dhabi was one of the first and largest donors to eradicating guinea worm 30 years ago. The crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has been intimately involved in polio eradication, and is today gearing up to launch another round of philanthropy to eradicate ‘last mile’ diseases for which eradication is in sight but still far from guaranteed without a firm push…” (Dickinson, 10/17).

The National: Sheikh Hamed opens Countdown to Zero: Defeating Disease global exhibition in Abu Dhabi
“…The exhibition was organized by the Crown Prince Court ahead of Global Health Forum Reaching the Last Mile — Mobilizing Together to Eliminate Infectious Disease, which will be held in November under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and will be attended by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. … Countdown to Zero was created by the American Museum of National History in collaboration with the Carter Center…” (10/16).

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Social Impact Funds Gain Attention For Potential To Help Achieve SDGs

Devex: Beyond aid: Insights from Social Capital Markets on achieving the SDGs
“It only launched last year, but the The Rise Fund was all over the agenda at last week’s Social Capital Markets conference, which draws investors and entrepreneurs to San Francisco each year to discuss issues at the intersection of money and meaning. … The Rise Fund invests in seven areas the firm has identified as offering potential for achievable and measurable impact — agriculture and food, education, energy, financial services, health care, technology, and infrastructure — and represents the growing influence of private wealth for public good in global development finance…” (Cheney, 10/17).

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Serum Institute Of India's New Rotavirus Vaccine Shows Nation's Drug Development Potential

Devex: New Rotavirus vaccine shows India’s growing drug development promise
“A new vaccine against rotavirus made by the Serum Institute of India — the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer — and tested in Niger by Médecins Sans Frontières, is being hailed as a major public health breakthrough for children. … The [Serum Institute’s] development of Rotasil is also evidence of a growing drug development sector in India, a country previously known for remaking existing drugs in generic form. With its expertise in economical production, India’s drug industry could provide a significant boon to research on diseases that primarily affect the developing world…” (Cousins, 10/17).

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Boko Haram Militants Hinder Efforts To Eliminate Polio From Northern Nigeria

Undark: Amid Fear and Guns, Polio Finds a Refuge
“…Poliovirus is so cunning, so contagious, so devastating, that a single case of poliomyelitis, the paralysis-inducing disease it causes, sends up the flares as a public health emergency, which quickly ignites international concern. … Most tellingly, it is in the badlands of Boko Haram, the Islamist extremists of northern Nigeria, along with stretches of the Pakistan and Afghanistan border controlled by the Taliban, where the planet’s last nurseries of wild poliovirus are found: no-go zones where terrorists actively stop vaccine from reaching babies and children…” (Chandler, 10/16).

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Vanessa Kerry Speaks About Seed Global Health, Working Toward Health Equity In Forbes Interview

Forbes: How Seed Global Health Is Using Education To Reduce Global Health Inequities
“Some people can pinpoint the exact moment that inspired their career path. For Dr. Vanessa Kerry, the founder and CEO of Seed Global Health, it was a childhood trip to an impoverished Vietnam. Dr. Kerry was troubled by the inequities in resources and access to health care…” (Gross, 10/17).

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Editorials and Opinions

As U.S., Europe Retreat From Foreign Aid Commitments, China Has Opportunity To Assume Leadership Role In Global Health, Development

Project Syndicate: A Chinese Model for Foreign Aid
Asit K. Biswas, distinguished visiting professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and co-founder of the Third World Center for Water Management; and Kris Hartley, doctoral candidate at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore

“…The world needs a new champion for international development, and China should assume the role. With weakening [official development assistance (ODA)] commitments from traditional donors, China has a chance to lead in human development, poverty alleviation, and public health spending. … Skepticism about China’s development intentions will no doubt emerge, given China’s political and ideological differences with the West. But the skepticism could yield positive results, especially if it prompts Western powers to reevaluate their foreign aid retreat. Even if it does not, China has the tools to become a leader in international development. And, having lifted some 470 million of its own citizens out of extreme poverty between 1990 and 2005, it also has the experience. But, more than anything, China now has the political opportunity. As the U.S. and Europe turn inward, ensuring the [Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG)] success will increasingly depend on encouraging — and becoming accustomed to — Chinese leadership” (10/17).

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Historical Contexts Of Pandemic Diseases Can Inform Modern Day Efforts To Address Outbreaks

Los Angeles Times: Was the fall of Rome a biological phenomenon?
Kyle Harper, senior vice president and provost and professor at the University of Oklahoma

“…What we are learning, principally from pathogen genomics, is that the fall of the Roman Empire may have been a biological phenomenon. The most devastating enemy the Romans ever faced was Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes bubonic plague and that has been the agent of three historic pandemics, including the medieval Black Death. … We are not as helpless in the face of infectious disease as past societies. We have germ theory and public health and antibiotic pharmaceuticals at our disposal. But the patterns of history can deepen our sense of the laws that govern civilization. Often, those laws are nature’s laws, not humanity’s. … The threat of pandemic disease deserves to rank among our most rational fears. Perhaps the experience of bygone civilizations can make that warning a little less abstract” (10/15).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Rotary Recognizes Global Progress Against Polio, Grants $49.5M To Support Disease Eradication

Rotary: Rotary gives $49.5 million to help eradicate polio and challenges the world to continue the fight to end the disease
“With just 11 confirmed polio cases so far in 2017, the world is on the brink of eradicating polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year. To recognize this historic progress, Rotary clubs worldwide will host events in conjunction with Rotary International’s fifth annual World Polio Day celebration on Oct. 24. … Rotary is giving $49.5 million in grants to support immunization and surveillance activities led by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative…” (10/17).

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Global Burden Of Disease Study Improves Quality Of, Access To Global Health Data, Celebrates 20th Anniversary

FHI 360’s “Research for Evidence”: 20 years of advances in global health data: Now there’s an app for that
Timothy Mastro, chief science officer at FHI360, highlights the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 20th anniversary symposium, discussing the history of the GBD study and its impact on global health data and decision-making (10/17).

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'Science Speaks' Blog Posts Present Highlights From 48th Union World Conference On Lung Health

This series of blog posts covers topics presented at the 48th Union World Conference on Lung Health that took place in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: 48th Union World Conference: “Children have the same rights as adults to benefit from tuberculosis care and research” (Lubinski, 10/12).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: 48th Union World Conference: Global TB goals gain momentum while challenges among marginalized people, nations continue (Barton, 10/12).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: 48th Union World Conference: Ukrainian policymaker takes on tuberculosis (Lubinski, 10/13).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: 48th Union World Conference: Sex workers and drug users with HIV in rural Kenya have high death rates from tuberculosis (Lubinski, 10/16).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: 48th Union World Conference: Good participatory practice guidelines come to TB vaccine development (Aziz, 10/17).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: 48th Union World Conference: New vaccine needed to eliminate TB, researchers say (Aziz, 10/18).

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From the U.S. Government

NIH, International Researchers Discuss Path To Develop Universal Influenza Vaccine

NIH: Experts Outline Pathway to a Universal Influenza Vaccine
“Scientists and clinicians from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the California Institute of Technology discuss key considerations for developing a universal influenza vaccine in a meeting report appearing in the October 17 issue of Immunity. … NIAID will use the report to develop a strategic plan and research agenda aimed at the development of a universal influenza vaccine…” (10/17).

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