KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Melania Trump Begins 4-Country Tour Of Africa, Will Promote 'Be Best' Initiative, Work With USAID On Trip

Associated Press: Melania Trump forges ahead as first lady with Africa trip
“With a wave and tweet, first lady Melania Trump headed for Africa on Monday on her first big solo international trip, aiming to make child well-being the focus of a five-day, four-country tour that will take her to every corner of the vast and impoverished continent…” (Superville, 10/1).

New York Times: Melania Trump Visiting Africa, a Continent Freighted With History for Her Husband
“…The White House has not yet publicly detailed Mrs. Trump’s itinerary, citing security reasons. But Mrs. Trump is scheduled to visit schools, hospitals, and tourist sites over the course of six days. She is expected to weave in elements of her child-focused platform, ‘Be Best,’ as she visits with children. … Mrs. Trump will work with the United State Agency for International Development during her stops throughout Africa…” (Rogers, 10/1).

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Framework Convention On Tobacco Control Conference Opens With Calls For More Efforts In Less-Developed Countries

Intellectual Property Watch: WHO Head Highlights Tobacco Plain Packaging Victory At WTO; Vaping Lobbyists Hit Geneva
“World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Dr. Tedros) [Monday] hailed a dispute settlement decision at the neighboring World Trade Organization upholding laws requiring tobacco products to be packaged without logos or designs as a way to reduce interest in smoking. Meanwhile, lobbyists for popular alternative ‘electronic’ tobacco products such as vaping are out in force in Geneva this week…” (New, 10/1).

U.N. News: Tobacco control measures are working, but too slowly in less-developed countries: WHO
“…At an international meeting on tobacco control in Geneva, the WHO reported that that nearly two-thirds of the 181 states parties to the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) have developed strategies ‘to prevent tobacco industry interference with tobacco control policies.’ As a result of the treaty, countries have increased taxes on tobacco, established smoke-free spaces, and made it obligatory for manufacturers to show graphic health warnings on their products, as well as using plain packaging…” (10/1).

VOA News: Tobacco Industry Uses Social Media to Circumvent Bans
“…Organizers say progress has been made since the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control came into force in 2005, but more needs to be done. … Head of Convention Secretariat Vera da Costa e Silva says cross-border advertising remains less regulated and difficult to enforce. She tells VOA the tobacco industry has circumvented the bans by using Instagram, Facebook, and other social media…” (Schlein, 10/1).

Xinhua News: WHO plans roadmap for strengthening global fight against tobacco use
“…The six-day COP8 will focus, among other things, on a draft of a Medium-term Strategic Framework to outline priorities for scaling up the global tobacco control agenda and strengthening implementation of the treaty over the next five years. That will include a push to extend tobacco control efforts to include a new focus on the negative impacts of tobacco production on the environment and on development…” (10/2).

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Governments Worldwide Should Decriminalize Abortion, U.N. Human Rights Experts Say On International Day

U.N. News: Access to legal abortion services needed, to prevent 47,000 women dying each year — U.N. rights experts
“States across the world should act now to decriminalize abortion and make every effort to ensure women and girls have the right to make their own decisions about pregnancy, said a group of United Nations human rights experts on Friday, in a statement marking International Safe Abortion Day…” (9/28).

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Health Officials Express Concern Ebola Outbreak In DRC Could Spill Across Borders

CIDRAP News: DRC reports 4 more Ebola cases over the weekend
“The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) health ministry reported four more Ebola cases Sep. 29 and [Sep. 30], three of them confirmed, and noted that two involved circumstances known to spread the disease: delayed treatment and unsafe burial. All of the cases are from the most recent disease hot spots, Beni, which has experienced civil unrest and community resistance, and Butembo, a large city near the Uganda border…” (Schnirring, 10/1).

STAT: Officials fear Ebola epidemic may be spinning beyond their control, threatening regional spread
“Public health officials are expressing deepening concern that the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may be spinning beyond their control and could soon spill over into neighboring countries including Uganda and Rwanda. With Ebola response teams facing restrictions on their movements in a conflict zone, officials fear containment efforts are falling further behind the virus…” (Branswell, 10/2).

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Death Toll From Indonesian Quake-Tsunami Tops 1,200; President Allows Foreign Aid But Access Challenging

VOA News: Indonesia to Accept Foreign Aid for Tsunami Rescue Efforts
“Indonesia’s President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has authorized the acceptance of ‘urgent’ foreign aid for humanitarian efforts in the province of Central Sulawesi, which was hit Friday by the double disaster of an earthquake and tsunami. Foreign governments have pledged assistance and aid agencies are welcoming the decision, as people in affected areas lack adequate access to food, water, medical supplies, shelter, and fuel…” (Walden, 10/2).

Washington Post: Toll from Indonesia quake-tsunami tops 1,234 as desperation mounts among survivors
“…Over 1,230 people have now been confirmed dead in twin disasters, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, in Palu in the Donggala region and the surrounding settlements on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Over 61,000 have fled their destroyed homes in 100 neighborhoods and are growing more desperate — setting up makeshift tents, eating fruit from the few trees that still stand and scouring for water — as aid remains scarce…” (McLaughlin et al., 10/2).

Additional coverage of the Indonesian quake-tsunami is available from New York Times, U.N. News, and Wall Street Journal.

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WHO Official Confirms First Death In PNG Polio Outbreak, Calls For Widespread Vaccination

The Guardian: Boy dies of polio in first fatal case in Papua New Guinea outbreak
“A boy has died from polio in Papua New Guinea in the first fatal case since an outbreak of the disease in June. The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that the boy died in Enga province, one of 14 confirmed cases across the country…” (10/1).

Xinhua News: First death confirmed in PNG polio outbreak
“…Speaking at the launch of a nationwide vaccination campaign on Monday, World Health Organization (WHO) country representative Luo Dapeng told local media that with no cure, it’s imperative that every child under 15 should be vaccinated…” (10/2).

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Melinda Gates Discusses Foundation's Work In New Rules Summit Interview With NYT's Kristof

New York Times: Removing the Barriers for Women Around the Globe
“Melinda Gates, co-chairwoman, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in conversation with Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times opinion columnist, at the New Rules Summit. The questions and answers have been edited and condensed…” (9/30).

New York Times: Taking Action for Women and Girls
“New Rules Summit organizers invited Melinda Gates to contribute action points as a follow-up to her conversation with Nicholas Kristof…” (Gates, 9/30).

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More News In Global Health

Al Jazeera: Hodeidah ‘cholera cases triple after Saudi-UAE offensive’: Report (10/1).

Associated Press: India’s sanitation summit overshadows problems that persist (Schmall, 10/1).

CBS News: “Nature is potentially the worst bioterrorist,” says Anthony Fauci (Hymes, 9/26).

Daily Nation: Marie Stopes defies ban on advert linked to abortion (Mutua, 9/30).

Devex: How genetic modification in mosquitoes could accelerate malaria elimination efforts (Roby, 10/2).

Devex: Interactive: What is DFID planning through 2020? (Anders/Wolf, 10/1).

Forbes: How to Tackle Malnutrition In Africa By Encouraging Private Sector Investment (Nsehe, 10/1).

Global Health NOW: The Big Takeway from #UNGA73: Enough Inaction (Myers, 10/1).

New York Times: How Capitalism Ruined China’s Health Care System (Kessel, 10/1).

NPR: India’s Biometric ID System Has Led To Starvation For Some Poor, Advocates Say (Frayer/Khan, 10/1).

Reuters: WHO plays down risk to Indian children from tainted polio vaccine (Siddiqui et al., 10/1).

Reuters: Japan’s Kansai to help Zambia paint out malaria (Mfula, 10/2).

SciDev.Net: Poverty reduction may stall — report (Makri, 10/1).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Lesbian ‘witches’ chained and raped by families in Cameroon (Migiro, 10/2).

U.N. News: South Sudan’s ‘relentless conflict’ leaves almost 60 percent suffering desperate food crisis (9/28).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Leaders, Governments Must Take Action Against NCDs

Devex: Opinion: Enough of sleepwalking into a sick future
Zoleka Mandela, founder of the Zoleka Mandela Foundation

“…[Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)] do not discriminate. More than 85 percent of … premature deaths [from NCDs] will occur in low- and middle-income countries for two reasons: Failure to address the causes, and failure to provide access to universal health care in order to give everyone a fighting chance at life. … The inaction that prevents millions of people from suffering and dying from preventable NCDs and road traffic injury is the unfortunate result of neglect across the globe. There has been a failure not only from our leaders and governments of the international community but as well as in global commitment and funding. … Our leaders must respond to this global health crisis with serious action. They can, and they must strive to be better — they must strive to do everything possible to deliver health to all people, no matter their race, location, or status. The silence must end now” (10/1).

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Progress Against Global Poverty Possible With Investments In Health, Education

New York Times: We Were Making Headway on Global Poverty. What’s About to Change?
Bill and Melinda Gates, founders and co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…[P]eople, when given tools and opportunity, can defy the odds. This is especially true of young people, because they are determined to lead a better life than their parents have and eager to follow new ideas and new technologies where they lead. What will it take to help all these young people change the future of their countries? We can learn from what has worked in the past: investments in people, especially their health and education, and in innovation. … Investing in health and education is especially urgent at this precise time in the history of sub-Saharan Africa because of the region’s youth boom. … It will be up to [these young people] to lead the innovation their societies need: to transform subsistence farms into profitable small businesses, to provide a bank account for every adult on their mobile phones, to eradicate malaria and other neglected diseases. Our foundation’s mission is to help all people lead a healthy, productive life. … Fortunately, recent history shows that progress is possible, even under what experts used to consider impossible circumstances. It also provides a very specific blueprint for how we can work together to create it” (9/22).

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Investing In Sexual, Reproductive Health, Rights, Ensuring Access To Quality Services Vital To Achieving SDGs

Devex: Opinion: The power of sexual and reproductive health and rights in achieving health for all
Lois Quam, CEO at Pathfinder

“Investing in the power and potential of women and girls and their sexual and reproductive health and rights is the only way to achieve the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)]. … At Pathfinder, we believe that SRH and rights of women and girls depend on the quality of the services they are offered. … The next 12 months leading up to the high-level meeting on universal health coverage represent an opportunity to ensure universal SRH is part of a renewed commitment to primary health care and the movement toward health for all. … Ensuring full access to quality SRH services underpins the success of the SDGs, including universal health coverage and other goals that relate to overall health and well-being. Globally, we can make our case through storytelling, testimonials, and data for continued investment in a comprehensive approach to SRH and rights as central to achieving health for all and gender equality. I encourage the global community to coalesce around a common advocacy agenda that builds on the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission report and advances the comprehensive implementation of SRH and rights…” (10/2).

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Postpartum Family Planning Is Key To Preventing Maternal, Infant, Child Deaths

Devex: Opinion: An untapped approach to ensure healthier mothers and babies
Mindy Neiman, director of supply chain management at Merck for Mothers, and Maryjane Lacoste, senior program officer for family planning service delivery and quality at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“What if we knew there was a proven intervention that can prevent millions of maternal, infant, and child deaths? One that could make a dramatic contribution toward ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights by 2030, as laid out in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals? In fact, such an intervention exists. It entails ensuring that mothers who have just given birth are offered and have access to a full range of contraceptive methods before even leaving the facilities where they delivered. … We know that [postpartum family planning (PPFP)] works, and we know that the private sector is a vital partner in making it much more widely available. Addressing the barriers inhibiting its implementation and investing in the vast potential of this approach is a key piece of the puzzle to improve the health and well-being of millions of women and girls. … If we could then expand this to all the other countries in the world, how many more lives can be saved?” (10/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Friends Of The Global Fight Highlights Discussions From Event Celebrating 15 Years Of PEPFAR

Friends of the Global Fight: 15 Years of PEPFAR: Past Success and Future Progress
John McMannis, program research and impact manager at Friends of the Global Fight, highlights discussions from a recent event, hosted by Friends and several other organizations, recognizing the 15th anniversary of PEPFAR. McMannis notes, “[T]here were serious doubts in the beginning about the impact that U.S. funding could have in the fight against HIV/AIDS internationally and questions about how PEPFAR and the Global Fund would work together. Were it not for strong bipartisan support for PEPFAR and the Global Fund over the past eight Congresses and three presidential administrations, then these doubts might have come true” (9/28).

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USAID Announces Launch Of Global Accelerator To End TB At U.N. High-Level Meeting

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: TB High-Level Meeting: U.S. announces $35 million for initiative to catalyze funding to eliminate TB
Rabita Aziz, writer at “Science Speaks” and senior global health policy specialist at IDSA, highlights discussion from an event at the U.N. High-Level Meeting on TB during which USAID Administrator Mark Green announced the launch of the Global Accelerator to End TB. Aziz notes, “[USAID] will reprogram $35 million of existing USAID funding to develop a new business model for catalyzing increased investments for the global tuberculosis response … The Global Accelerator to End TB initiative will help countries develop and implement a performance-based measurement system to optimize public and private resources and better align with USAID’s TB funding and partner countries’ commitments” (9/28).

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FT Health Discusses U.N. High-Level Meetings On TB, NCDs, Features Interview With World Intellectual Property Organization Director-General

FT Health: Time for action on NCDs
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter discusses takeaways from the U.N. High-Level Meetings on TB and NCDs and features an interview with Francis Gurry, director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, “which this week launched Pat-Informed, the Patent Information Initiative for Medicines to show details of medicine patents around the world.” The newsletter also provides a round-up of global health-related news stories (Jack/Dodd, 9/28).

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WHO Official Urges Strengthening Of Primary Health Care Systems To End Communicable Diseases, Reach Universal Health Coverage

WHO: Ending the epidemics of high-impact communicable diseases
In this commentary, Ren Minghui, WHO assistant director general for communicable diseases, discusses the importance of strengthening primary health care systems worldwide “to end the suffering from communicable diseases and to ensure acceleration towards global targets on health.” Minghui looks ahead to the upcoming Global Conference on Primary Health Care, scheduled to be held October 25-26 in Astana, Kazakhstan. He concludes, “In Astana, country representatives will have an opportunity to advance social justice and global solidarity … They should seize this historic opportunity.” The WHO also published an accompanying fact sheet on primary health care (10/1).

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Bloomberg Philanthropies Continues To Play Key Role In Addressing Global NCDs

Bloomberg Philanthropies: It’s Time to Act: Addressing the Noncommunicable Disease Epidemic
Kelly Henning, public health program lead at Bloomberg Philanthropies, discusses WHO’s reappointment of Michael Bloomberg as the WHO global ambassador for NCDs; highlights Bloomberg’s address to the U.N. High-Level Meeting on NCDs; and provides examples of how Bloomberg Philanthropies “has spearheaded national and local action to highlight the burden of NCDs and injuries” (9/27).

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Gates Foundation Experts Discuss How Maternal Immunizations, Other Innovations Can Strengthen Maternal, Child Health

FIGO: What is Ahead in Maternal Health Care Worldwide?
Jerker Liljestrand, deputy director in the Maternal, Newborn & Child Health program, with responsibilities for innovation, implementation research, and demonstration for scale, and Ajoke Sobanjo-ter Meulen, global head of Maternal Immunization, both at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discuss innovations for maternal and child health and highlight the emerging innovation of maternal immunizations. The authors write, “The Gates Foundation is honored to present a distinctive session at the upcoming FIGO World Congress on the future of maternal health care worldwide, highlighting maternal immunization alongside other forward-looking topics that will inform the design and practice of maternal health care in the future…” (10/1).

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WHO Launches 1st Global Guidelines On Sanitation, Health, Calls For Increased Investment To Reach Universal Sanitation Coverage Goal

WHO: WHO calls for increased investment to reach the goal of a toilet for all
“The world will not reach the goal of universal sanitation coverage — where every person in the world has access to toilets that safely contain excreta — by 2030 unless countries make comprehensive policy shifts and invest more funds, WHO warned [Monday] as it launched the first global guidelines on sanitation and health…” (10/1).

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