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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Progress Made In Women's Health, Education But Gaps Remain In Reaching Equality, U.N. Report Shows

News outlets report on the World’s Women 2015 report, released on Tuesday by the U.N. Statistics Division.

Al Jazeera America: Global fertility rates declining, U.N. report finds
“Households across the globe look differently than they did 20 years ago, with women in most regions of the world marrying later, having fewer children, and increasingly raising children in committed partnerships without getting married at all, according to a United Nations report released on Tuesday…” (Taylor, 10/20).

The Guardian: Two-thirds of world’s illiterate adults are women, report finds
“…Of the 781 million adults over the age of 15 estimated to be illiterate, 496 million were women, the World’s Women 2015 report found. Women made up more than half the illiterate population in all regions of the world…” (Ford, 10/20).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.N. report shows women inching slowly, unevenly towards equality
“…Among the findings, women’s life expectancy has risen globally to 72 from 64, and women’s average age at marriage has risen by about a year to 25 since 1995. Maternal deaths dropped overall by 45 percent between 1990 and 2013, it said, but remain high in southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Child marriage — before age 18 — declined to 26 percent of young women in 2010 from 31 percent in 1995 but remains a significant problem in southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa as well, it said…” (Wulfhorst, 10/20).

U.N. News Centre: Women worldwide live longer, healthier lives with better education, says new U.N. report
“… ‘We cannot achieve our 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, without full and equal rights for half of the world’s population, in law and in practice,’ said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a recent event on gender equality organized on the margins of the Sustainable Development Summit…” (10/20).

VOA News: U.N. Report: Women Marrying Later, Living Longer
“…An average of one in three women has experienced physical or sexual violence, while around the world two out of three partner- or family-related homicide victims are women…” (Scott, 10/20).

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WHO Working On Post-Ebola Reform, Examining Ways To Sanction Governments Non-Compliant With Global Health Rules, Chan Says

Associated Press: WHO chief: Ebola a ‘wake-up call’ for member governments
“The director-general of the World Health Organization says the Ebola crisis in West Africa should serve as a ‘wake-up call’ for member states to do more to prevent deadly disease outbreaks before they occur…” (10/20).

Reuters: States could be sanctioned for public health failings: WHO boss
“A U.N. panel is considering ways to hold governments to account for failing to stick to global health rules, World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan said on Tuesday. … A global health crisis review set up by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is looking at how to make them accountable, according to Chan…” (Miles, 10/20).

VOA News: Ebola Crisis Spurs New WHO Reform Program
“…As part of the reform program, Dr. Chan said WHO is building a global emergency health work force. She said trained foreign medical teams will be on standby, ready to respond rapidly to a disease outbreak or natural disaster in any country. She said decisive leadership, awareness of the dangers posed by an epidemic, and being transparent about these problems are critical in controlling an outbreak…” (Schlein, 10/20).

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Disagreement Over TPP's Pharmaceutical Provision Could Derail Agreement, The Hill Reports

The Hill: Pharma flap imperils president’s trade deal
“…The exact details of the pharmaceutical provision [contained in the Trans-Pacific Partnership], which involves a class of drugs called biologics, won’t be made public until later this month. Still, it’s already threatening to drag out — and possibly derail — the approval process for a deal reached by a dozen nations that together make up 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product…” (Ferris, 10/20).

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Countdown To 2015 Initiative Co-Chair Speaks About MCH Progress In Al Jazeera Interview

Al Jazeera: Q&A: Mother-infant health progress requires no magic
“The ‘Countdown to 2015’ report, a mammoth study of 75 countries that account for about 95 percent of all maternal and newborn deaths, was released on Monday at the Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference in Mexico City. … Al Jazeera spoke to Zulfiqar Bhutta, co-chair of the Countdown to 2015 Initiative, about the findings, and the lessons learned in understanding this story over the past 10 years…” (Essa, 10/20).

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Pharmaceutical Companies Back U.K. Dementia Discovery Fund To Research Diagnoses, Treatments

Financial Times: Pharma groups join U.K. in $100m dementia fund
“A $100m dementia research fund has been launched with backing from the British government and several of the world’s biggest pharmaceuticals groups to hunt for new ways to diagnose and treat the disease. The Dementia Discovery Fund is one of the most concrete steps to come out of efforts by David Cameron, U.K. prime minister, to lead what he has described as a ‘global fightback’ against Alzheimer’s disease and similar conditions…” (Ward, 10/21).

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Michael Bloomberg Deplores Tobacco Industry Practices, Sales To Poor People Worldwide

Business Insider: Michael Bloomberg says big tobacco preys on the world’s poor
“Michael Bloomberg laid into the cigarette industry at [the City Lab London conference] on Monday, saying that tobacco companies ‘deliberately go out every day and try to kill, for their own profits, the poor around the world’…” (Williams-Grut, 10/19).

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Ukraine Begins Polio Vaccination Campaign Following 2 Cases Reported In August

Agence France-Presse: Ukraine launches delayed polio vaccination drive
“Ukraine reported Tuesday the start of a polio vaccination drive that began only after health groups accused Kiev of being critically late in responding to Europe’s first outbreak since 2010…” (10/20).

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Cholera Outbreak In Iraq Spreads To Kurdish Region, Infects More Than 1,800

Agence France-Presse: Iraq cholera cases grow, spread to Kurdish region
“The number of cholera cases in Iraq has risen to more than 1,800 as the epidemic spread to the northern autonomous Kurdish region, health officials said Tuesday. … Authorities have blamed the cholera outbreak mostly on the poor quality of water caused by the low level of the Euphrates…” (10/20).

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Drug-Resistant Malaria Can Infect African Mosquitoes, Raising Risk Of Parasite Spreading Out Of Southeast Asia, Study Shows

Agence France-Presse: Drug-resistant malaria could spread to Africa: study
“A drug-resistant malaria parasite from southeast Asia can infect African mosquitoes, said a study Tuesday, boosting fears that a hard-to-cure variant of the disease could reach the world’s most vulnerable continent. … The study was published in the journal Nature Communications…” (10/20).

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Editorials and Opinions

World Must Support, Protect, Be Accountable To Humanitarian Aid Workers

Huffington Post: The Doctors Without Borders Air Strike: Beyond Obama’s Investigation
Thomas Kenyon, president and CEO of Project HOPE

“Humanitarian aid workers who brave war zones have come to expect, but not accept, errant bullets, bombs, or missiles. But that doesn’t mean that they do not have the right to expect the highest standards of support and accountability when tragedies occur — especially when they are as flagrant as the lethal and prolonged attack by a U.S. military aircraft on the hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (known internationally as Médicins Sans Frontières or MSF) in northern Afghanistan. … To honor their sacrifice, we must hold those responsible to be accountable for their deaths. … The Geneva Conventions guide warring factions in their responsibility to protect civilians and the wounded, in theory, but that does little to assuage the fears of medical humanitarians risking their lives to save others. … [T]he world must protect them and value their sacrifice. It is now up to our leaders to prove they do, too” (10/20).

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Greater Emphasis On Nutritional Security, Contributing Public Health Factors Needed To Address Obesity, Malnutrition

The Diplomat: The Nutritional Security Imperative
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chair of the board of Nestlé, and Asit K. Biswas, distinguished visiting professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

“…There are two important aspects of nutritional security: obesity and malnutrition. … The problems in the developing world are not only because of malnutrition, gender discrimination, poor health education, and literacy, they also reflect other public health factors. For example, open defecation is still widely practiced in many countries [and can lead to diseases that inhibit nutrient absorption]. … A commonly held — and erroneous — view has been food security is the main, or even the sole cause, of malnutrition. … Countries need to give proper emphasis to nutrition security based on observed facts and analyses. In most developing countries, progress in achieving nutritional security has been slow because of misconceptions, gender discrimination, corruption, taboos, and national pride. No country can reach its full potential if the bodies and minds of its young people are stunted because of a lack of nutrients” (10/20).

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Cancer Becoming Pandemic, But Measures Can Be Taken To Lower Risk

CNN: Most cancers in our world pandemic are preventable — here’s how
Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society

“The World Health Organization is sounding the alarm: cancer is rapidly becoming a global pandemic. … What’s behind the increase? Aging and growth of the world population, as well as the spread of cancer risk factors into low- and middle-income nations. … [The WHO’s World Cancer report] emphasizes that governmental and nongovernmental international organizations need to be serious about cancer prevention activities in low- and middle-income countries. The report also illustrates that prevention efforts need to be re-emphasized in developed countries such as the United States. But cancer doesn’t have to be inevitable. There is plenty you can do to lower your risk. … Don’t use tobacco products … Stay trim without being underweight … Get regular physical activity … Get vaccinated … Avoid unnecessary sun exposure…” (10/20).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Post Examines 2 Differences Between House, Senate Versions Of Reach Act

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Bill to Help Save Lives of Women and Children Gains More Bipartisan Support
Lauren Post, program associate at CGD, discusses the Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2015 (Reach Act) and examines two differences between the House and Senate versions (HR 3706, S 1911) of the bill. Post notes, “First, the House bill gives the Maternal and Child Survival Coordinator greater authority. … Second, the House bill calls for the use of innovative public-private financing tools, but does not explicitly refer to development impact bonds…” (10/20).

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Innovation, Relevance Necessary To Improve MCH Data Measurements

Maternal Health Task Force Blog: Innovation in measurement — to save lives and ensure local relevance
Lara Vaz, senior adviser for monitoring and evaluation in the Department of Global Health at Save the Children USA, and John Grove, senior program officer on the MNCH team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, examine the challenges to and importance of collecting data on maternal and child health and interventions, noting relevance and innovation are vital to improving data measurement. “…If meaningful progress is to be made towards reducing maternal and neonatal deaths and stillbirths, the role of effective coverage measurement is critical to gauge global and national progress…” (10/20).

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Training, Supporting Midwives, Non-Physician Clinicians Critical To Improving Maternal, Child Health

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Better Training and Support for Midwives Is Saving Women’s Lives
Reporting from the 2015 Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference in Mexico City, Sandeep Bathala, senior program associate for the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program and Maternal Health Initiative, discusses efforts to improve training and support for midwives and non-physician clinicians in order to “accelerate momentum for maternal and newborn health in the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals and hopefully put us on a track to end all preventable maternal and newborn deaths” (10/20).

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'Science Speaks' Examines Reaction To Leaked TPP Pharmaceutical Chapter, Daraprim Price Increase

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: “A sweetheart deal” “deplorable” “immoral and unacceptable” “Massive victory for big pharma” … We’re reading about TPP’s pharma rules, and an update on a 5000-percent price hike
Antigone Barton, senior writer and editor of “Science Speaks,” discusses a leaked version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement’s pharmaceutical provision, as well as reaction to the leaked chapter. She also writes about some of the consequences of the recent 5,000 percent price increase on Turing Pharmaceuticals’ Daraprim, a treatment for toxoplasmosis (10/20).

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Wilton Park, UCSF Release Podcasts, Video On Efforts To End Malaria

Wilton Park: Malaria elimination in Asia Pacific and Southern Africa: political leadership and sustained financing (WP1390)
Wilton Park released two podcasts and a video produced during a recent meeting convened by the University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI), where ministers and global health leaders discussed financial and political commitments required to end malaria. One podcast examines cross border collaboration and how to get global leaders to agree on a collective policy for malaria. The other podcast discusses progress over the last 70 years to reduce malaria. The video features comments from global ministers and leaders on ending malaria in their countries (October 2015).

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Blog Post Highlights Challenges To, Progress In Vaccine R&D, Access

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: The R&D agenda and how it addresses access to vaccines
“In this guest post, Dr. Jayasree K. Iyer — chief scientific officer at the Access to Medicine Foundation — writes about the findings from their newest study, which examines the current state of the vaccine pipeline and how large pharmaceutical companies are considering access to these products” (Chmiola, 10/20).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 273 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter features articles on various topics, including a piece on an upcoming human rights grant to address barriers to health service access in Africa and an external review of Aidspan’s role as watchdog of the Global Fund (10/21).

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