KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Administration Rethinking Foreign Aid Strategy In Light Of Chinese Investments, VOA News Reports

VOA News: Trump Administration Rethinks Foreign Aid With Eye Toward China
“…China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative [features] billions of dollars in infrastructure investment across Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. The global impact is forcing the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to rethink elements of its plan to cut back on foreign assistance under an ‘America First’ strategy. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, interviewed Friday in Mexico City by VOA contributor Greta van Susteren, said Chinese foreign investment will not overwhelm the U.S. … In what is being seen as a major policy reversal, Trump this month signed the so-called BUILD Act, described by the nonpartisan CSIS as ‘the most important piece of U.S. soft power legislation in more than a decade’…” (Guensburg/Widakuswara, 10/19).

Link to individual story

Former USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios Discusses President Trump's Threat To Cut Aid Over Migrant Caravan

NPR: The Consequences Of Threatening Foreign Aid Cuts Over Immigration Enforcement
“NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Andrew Natsios, former USAID administrator, about President Trump’s threat to cut aid because of a migrant caravan that reached Mexico…” (10/21).

Link to individual story

African Exponent Examines Successes Of PEPFAR On Continent

African Exponent: George W. Bush’s Initiative To Fight The HIV/AIDS Epidemic Has Saved Millions of Lives in Africa
“…The fight against global HIV/AIDS before 2003 almost seemed a futile and fruitless exercise. But a governmental initiative originated by George W. Bush when he was the 43rd president of the United States, together with his wife Laura, has saved millions of lives in Africa. … There is still a long way to go in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but PEPFAR has done a lot and has given hope. However, unlike Barack Obama, President Trump does not seem keen on expanding the efforts of PEPFAR…” (Chiwanza, 10/19).

Link to individual story

Reproductive Choice Important For Reaching Global Development Goals, UNFPA Report Says

Inter Press Service: The Right to Choose
“Reproductive choice can transform the world and our goals towards a sustainable society, a new report says. Every year, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) examines the state of the world population. In this year’s report, the agency focuses on the power of reproductive choice and the role it can play to promote social and economic development…” (Yakupitiyage, 10/21).

Link to individual story

U.K. Government Must Make Antimicrobial Resistance Top-5 Policy Priority, Parliamentary Committee Report Says

Press Association/The Guardian: Antimicrobial resistance must be policy priority, say MPs
“Tackling antimicrobial resistance needs to become a top-five policy priority for the government in order to help prevent the virtual loss of modern medicine, MPs have said. A report by the health and social care committee said it wants to see ‘tangible progress’ over the next six months to ‘reverse the worrying exodus’ from research into antimicrobial resistance (AMR)…” (10/21).

Link to individual story

E.U. Drug Agency Recommends Dengue Vaccine For Approval As Research Shows Public Trust In Vaccines Low In Philippines After Dengvaxia Scandal

Associated Press: E.U. drug agency urges approval for dengue vaccine
“Europe’s drug regulator has recommended approving the first vaccine for dengue despite concerns about the vaccine’s wide use and a lawsuit in the Philippines alleging that it was linked to three deaths. The European Medicines Agency said Friday it had adopted a ‘positive opinion’ of French pharmaceutical company Sanofi’s Dengvaxia. The vaccine is the world’s first against dengue, which sickens about 96 million people annually…” (10/19).

VOA News: Public Trust in Vaccines Plummets After Philippines Dengue Crisis
“The ability to fight future pandemics could be at risk following a plunge in public confidence in vaccines in the Philippines, according to a report from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. … The researchers measured the loss in public trust through their ongoing Global Vaccine Confidence Index. In 2015, 93 percent of Philippine respondents strongly agreed that vaccines were important. This year, that figure has fallen to just 32 percent, while only one in five people now believes vaccines are safe…” (Ridgwell, 10/21).

Link to individual story

Health Officials In DRC Again Suspend Ebola Response Efforts Following Deadly Rebel Attack

Associated Press: Deadly attack amid Ebola outbreak stalls containment efforts
“Congolese rebels killed 15 civilians and abducted a dozen children in an attack at the epicenter of the latest deadly Ebola outbreak, Congo’s military said Sunday, as the violence again forced crucial virus-containment efforts to be suspended. ‘It will be very hard to stop the outbreak if this violence continues,’ said the World Health Organization’s emergencies chief, Peter Salama. A regional WHO official told the Associated Press that it was difficult to say how long work would be affected…” (Maliro/Anna, 10/21).

Reuters: U.S. official optimistic Congo Ebola outbreak can be controlled
“The leading Ebola expert at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday he believed an outbreak in Congo can be brought under control quickly and that the high rate of new cases is due largely to improved detection. … Pierre Rollins, who has studied Ebola for three decades, said he thought it could potentially be brought under control within a month or two, as authorities expand their tracing of new patients’ contacts…” (Paravicini, 10/19).

Additional coverage of the Ebola outbreak and response activities is available from Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, NPR, and PBS NewsHour (2).

Link to individual story

Killing Of Aid Workers In Nigeria Highlights Dangers Humanitarian Aid Groups Face

BBC News: Why attacks on aid workers may hurt the world’s poorest
“The brutal killing of a 24-year-old midwife in northeast Nigeria has shocked the international humanitarian community, raising concerns that aid to millions of people could be withdrawn. … The killings will have far-reaching consequences. Two million people have been displaced by conflict in northeast Nigeria. In Borno state, of 700 health centers, 400 are closed. Doctors and nurses are leaving the region because of the danger…” (Foulkes, 10/21).

IRIN: Aid under attack
“Few aid agencies operate in Nigeria’s volatile Borno State, where a faction of extremist group Boko Haram executed Hauwa Liman, 24, [last] week. A midwife with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), her killing underscores the dangers faced by humanitarian groups serving civilians in the region…” (Cohen, 10/19).

Link to individual story

Report Says U.N. Strategy To Eliminate Illegal Drug Market Failed

CNN: Report says the U.N.’s global ‘war on drugs’ has been a failure
“The United Nations’ drug strategy of the past 10 years has been a failure, according to a major report by the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), which has called for a major rethinking of global policy on illegal narcotics. The report claims that U.N. efforts to eliminate the illegal drug market by 2019 through a ‘war on drugs’ approach has had scant effect on global supply while having negative effects on health, human rights, security, and development…” (Guy/Clarke, 10/21).

Link to individual story

Data Experts Meet To Discuss Innovative Solutions To SDGs

Devex: At U.N. World Data Forum, a focus on data capacity
“The draft version of the Dubai Declaration, released on day one of the United Nations World Data Forum, has set the stage for three days of discussion on the role of data in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. Reinforcing the implementation of the Cape Town Global Action Plan, the Dubai Declaration highlights a message that has already been heard frequently during the conference — the importance of building capacity to create and utilize quality data…” (Cornish, 10/22).

U.N. News: Data experts gather to find solutions to world’s biggest challenges at U.N. Forum
“International data sectors from national statistical offices, the private sector, NGOs, academia, and international and regional organizations are gathering in Dubai from Monday to Wednesday, in a bid to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The experts will launch innovative solutions to improve data on migration, health, gender, and many other key areas of sustainable development at the second annual forum…” (10/22).

Link to individual story

More News In Global Health

Associated Press: UNICEF warns against Yemen’s economic crisis, violence (10/19).

Associated Press: Zika outbreak in northern India state exceeds 100 cases (10/22).

Devex: Despite famine risk, humanitarian access worsens in Yemen (Lieberman, 10/22).

Devex: Nutrition gets a moment at the World Food Prize as global hunger rises (Welsh, 10/22).

The Guardian: The girl who didn’t hide: overcoming the odds in Burkina Faso (Lamble, 10/22).

Health Policy Watch: An Expert View: After The U.N. High-Level Meetings On TB, NCDs, What Happens Next? (Branigan, 10/16).

Health Policy Watch: “The People’s Prescription”: New Report Calls For Value Creation Instead Of Value Extraction In Pharmaceutical R&D (Branigan, 10/15).

Homeland Preparedness News: Only a quarter of drug-resistant tuberculosis cases detected, international study finds (Galford, 10/19).

New York Times: These Women Are Saving Lives, One Pregnancy at a Time (Tumin/Scrilatti, 10/19).

NPR: Report: Women Everywhere Don’t Know Enough About Ovarian Cancer (Silberner, 10/21).

NPR: U.N. Calls For End To Virginity Tests (Gharib, 10/19).

U.N. News: Sulawesi devastation ‘beyond imagination’ as massive aid operation continues: U.N. relief agencies (10/19).

Link to individual story

Editorials and Opinions

World Leaders Must Use 'Power Of Data' To Drive Development Efforts

Devex: Opinion: Global leaders should invest in data that improves lives
Gayle E. Smith, president and CEO of the ONE Campaign, and Hicham Oudghiri, co-founder and CEO of New York-based data and technology company Enigma

“…As the United Nations World Data Forum opened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this week, we believe that world leaders should commit to tapping into the power of data to transform the fight against extreme global poverty. … Without reliable data, we are unable to address economic, environmental, and health challenges around the world. … In a 21st century, data-driven world, countries should have the basic information necessary to take informed decisions about where to build schools and know how many children will use them, and where to direct medical resources most effectively. … We must start treating data as we would any other public utility or major infrastructure: as an investment in our collective future. Let us begin by investing in data that helps end extreme poverty” (10/22).

Link to individual story

Lessons From Global Health Successes Should Be Applied To Climate Change Efforts

Devex: Opinion: What the climate community can learn from global health
Richard Feachem, director of the Global Health Group at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Institute for Global Health Sciences

“…The lessons from our past successes in global health can, and should, be applied in the fight against climate change. … By framing the urgent need for climate mitigation through the lens of global health, … the climate community can build the momentum and public will needed to turn the tide. To start, governments of all countries need to make fighting climate change a priority … Also, governments, philanthropies, and the private sector must dramatically scale up their financial commitments to meet the size of the challenge. … And finally, the health sector must join the fight … Climate change is the greatest health threat and opportunity of the 21st century. … Our experience in global health … has shown that profound global change is possible when bold and visionary leadership is combined with significant resources and strong political commitment…” (10/19).

Link to individual story

Environmental Surveillance Key To Eradicating Polio, Preventing Outbreaks Of Other Infectious Diseases

The Conversation: Sewage surveillance is the next frontier in the fight against polio
Marisa Eisenberg, associate professor of complex systems, epidemiology, and mathematics; Andrew Brouwer, research investigator in epidemiology; and Joseph Eisenberg, professor and chair of epidemiology, all at the University of Michigan

“…Epidemiologists typically detect polio transmission based on reported cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). … But AFP is a severe outcome that occurs in a very small fraction of polio infections. It’s just the tip of the iceberg — one case of AFP indicates substantial underlying polio transmission in a population. This is why now, as the world approaches the final stages of polio eradication, environmental surveillance becomes key. Looking for poliovirus in sewage is more sensitive than counting up cases of AFP. It can detect virus shed in the feces of non-paralyzed people infected with polio — what epidemiologists call the silent circulation of polio. … As we approach the final stages of polio eradication, environmental measures will become the only feasible way to detect polio transmission. … Beyond polio, environmental surveillance can and should be extended to other infectious diseases shed into sewage — enteroviruses, typhoid, and cholera are prime candidates…” (10/19).

Link to individual story

Misinformation About Vaccines Could Threaten Global Public Health

Nature: The biggest pandemic risk? Viral misinformation
Heidi J. Larson, professor of anthropology, risk and decision science at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

“…I predict that the next major outbreak — whether of a highly fatal strain of influenza or something else — will not be due to a lack of preventive technologies. Instead, emotional contagion, digitally enabled, could erode trust in vaccines so much as to render them moot. The deluge of conflicting information, misinformation, and manipulated information on social media should be recognized as a global public health threat. So, what is to be done? The Vaccine Confidence Project … works to detect early signals of rumors and scares about vaccines, and so to address them before they snowball. … No single strategy works for all types of misinformation, particularly among those who are already skeptical. … Dialogue matters. Strategies must include listening and engagement. We have to get better at this: if a strain as deadly as the 1918 influenza emerges and people’s hesitancy to get vaccinated remains at the level it is today, a debilitating and fatal disease will spread” (10/16).

Link to individual story

From the Global Health Policy Community

FHI 360 Podcast Discusses Infectious Disease Outbreak Preparedness

FHI 360’s “A Deeper Look Podcast”: Preventing and responding to infectious disease outbreaks
In this podcast episode, Patrick Fine, chief executive officer of FHI 360, speaks with Jonathan Quick, senior fellow emeritus at Management Sciences for Health, about “the diseases we should worry about the most and why, the success stories and lessons learned in responding to epidemic and pandemic outbreaks, and what we need to do to be prepared for the next outbreak” (10/18).

Link to individual story

Gavi Highlights Role Of Digital Record-Keeping In Tanzania's Immunization Efforts

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance: Good data saves lives
This feature story discusses the role of digital record-keeping in immunization efforts in Tanzania (October 2018).

Link to individual story

FT Health Highlights Reports Marking World Food Day, Features Interview With Founding Director Of Africa CDC

FT Health: Food for thought
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter highlights recent reports marking World Food Day, including a Food and Agriculture Organization report on the challenges of migration, a World Food Programme (WFP) report documenting the “spiraling food prices in countries affected by conflict or instability,” and another WFP report on “how a lack of funding is holding back progress on the multinational nutrition for growth initiative.” The newsletter also features an interview with John Nkengasong, founding director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and provides a round-up of global health-related news stories (Dodd/Jack, 10/19).

Link to individual story

From the U.S. Government

CDC Expert Discusses Role Of GPEI In Polio Eradication Efforts

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Thirty years of a Unique Partnership to End Polio — GPEI
John F. Vertefeuille, incident manager for the CDC Polio Response and branch chief of the Polio Eradication Branch in the Global Immunization Division at CDC’s Center for Global Health, discusses the current state of polio eradication efforts and highlights the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI) role in ending the disease. Vertefeuille writes, “As we celebrate World Polio Day and the 30th Anniversary of GPEI, remember that just because we’ve seen a 99 percent decline in annual polio cases doesn’t signal success. It represents a successful milestone that encourages us to finish strong and race through that last mile. Now is not the time to relax, but to accelerate our pursuit of a polio-free world” (10/19).

Link to individual story

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KFF | twitter.com/kff

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.