KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. President Trump Threatens To 'Substantially' Reduce Foreign Aid For 3 Latin American Countries

The Atlantic: The U.S. Used to Criticize Countries That Didn’t Allow Their Citizens to Leave
“President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Monday that the United States was cutting off aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador because they hadn’t stopped ‘people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S.’ The remarks are significant: For decades, the United States criticized totalitarian regimes that didn’t allow their citizens to leave in violation of international norms. Now, by demanding that these three countries stop their citizens from leaving, Trump is breaking from that precedent…” (Calamur, 10/22).

Devex: U.S. ambassador to El Salvador contradicts Trump on aid
“As United States President Donald Trump on Monday repeated threats to suspend aid to Central American countries, the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador reaffirmed American support for the region to help create more stable societies. ‘The government of the United States remains committed to addressing the root causes of migration,’ Ambassador Jean Manes said Monday at the Central America Donors Forum in San Salvador. ‘The fundamental issue of migration has not changed. People feel a substantial need to migrate due to a lack of security and economic opportunities in their home country.’ … It is against international law for countries to prevent their citizens from leaving…” (Welsh, 10/23).

Washington Post: Trump vows to reduce aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador as migrant caravan grows
“… ‘Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S.,’ Trump said in one of a string of morning tweets on the subject. ‘We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.’ It was not immediately clear what payments Trump was referring to or the extent to which he could act without congressional approval…” (Wagner et al., 10/22).

Additional coverage of the caravan and Trump’s comments is available from TIME, VOA News, and Wall Street Journal.

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Health Workers In DRC Face Violence, Difficulty Tracking Ebola Contacts For Vaccination

Associated Press: Health workers in Congo’s Ebola outbreak attacked weekly
“Health teams responding to Congo’s latest Ebola outbreak are attacked three or four times a week on average, a level of violence unseen in the country’s nine previous outbreaks of the deadly virus, the health ministry said Monday…” (Anna, 10/22).

STAT: With vaccine in hand, Ebola response teams are struggling to track those who need it
“The Ebola response teams in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are having increasing trouble keeping track of where the virus is spreading, a problem that threatens containment efforts and undermines the effectiveness of the vaccination program there…” (Branswell, 10/23).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response efforts is available from CIDRAP News, CNN, VOA News.

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CEPI Study Estimates Potential Cost Of Developing Vaccines For 11 Infectious Diseases

Vox: Scientists have estimated the cost of stopping 11 diseases that could kill millions in a pandemic
“…[R]esearchers from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) [last week] published a study in [The] Lancet estimating the cost of developing vaccines for diseases that have the potential to escalate into global humanitarian crises. … Thanks to CEPI’s research, we now know the minimum cost of developing at least one vaccine for each of the 11 diseases experts have highlighted as pandemic risks: $2.8 billion to $3.7 billion…” (Higgins, 10/22).

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World Investment Forum Opens In Geneva With Calls For Innovative, Strategic Solutions To Development Funding

U.N. News: Governments, businesses ‘walk the talk’ for investment in sustainable development: U.N. forum
“Business and government leaders from around the world have gathered at a major United Nations conference in Geneva, in search of innovative and strategic solutions to complex investment and development challenges. The 2018 World Investment Forum, organized by UNCTAD, the primary U.N. agency on trade and development, comes against the backdrop of declining investment flows around the world and concern over how that is affecting sustainable development, according to the agency…” (10/22).

Xinhua News: World Investment Forum opens in Geneva, stressing cooperation on SDGs
“…Saying the Oct. 22-26 forum has drawn 6,000 participants, 12 heads of state, and more than 50 CEOs of private companies, UNCTAD’s Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi stressed that the global economy faces more uncertainty than at the first WIF 10 years ago. ‘We are seeking to counter uncertainties and an inward-looking perspective, to refocus political attention and corporate leadership on the opportunities rather than the pitfalls that the global economy can offer,’ said Kituyi. Confronting these challenges is enormously important for global prosperity and the process to attain the U.N. SDGs by 2030, he said…” (10/22).

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Experts, Officials Urge Responsible, Better Data Collection, Use At U.N. World Forum

Devex: Solutions to the big data challenge at the U.N. World Data Forum
“Big data offers promises to better support and facilitate the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. And Robert Kirkpatrick, the director of United Nations Global Pulse, believes big data is what governments will need to achieve the SDGs. Yet the information collected on a daily basis from millions, through wearable fitness monitors, mobile phones, or social media giants, is often taken without public knowledge and comes with a raft of complications. Speaking at the session ‘Big Data for Sustainable Development: What does it take to get to the next level?’ at the U.N. World Data Forum, Kirkpatrick said that data misuse, and its possibility, is harming progress on big data…” (Cornish, 10/23).

U.N. News: Many deaths can be avoided with better data: U.N. deputy chief
“Speaking at the opening session of the U.N. World Data Forum on Monday, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed highlighted the life-saving impact that data can have, noting that better data and forecasting could have averted many deaths from natural disasters. … The United Nations, said Ms. Mohammed, is leading global efforts to integrate data and information systems…” (10/22).

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Media Outlets Examine Threat Of Drug-Resistant TB, Gaps In Diagnostics

Healio Infectious Disease News: MDR-TB: A ‘global public health crisis’
“Tuberculosis killed 1.6 million people in 2017 — more than 4,000 each day. … Infectious Disease News spoke with experts about the global effort to eliminate MDR-TB and end the TB epidemic…” (Stulpin, October 2018).

The Telegraph: ‘Severe gaps’ in identifying drug resistance puts TB patients at risk, report claims
“A strain of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) which evades commonly used diagnostic tools and leaves patients inadequately treated has been identified in South Africa. The country has one of the highest rates of TB infection in the world, with more than 320,000 people infected in 2017, according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) figures. The situation is being made worse by a resistant strain of the disease which is not picked up by the most commonly available diagnostic kits, according to a report published in Lancet on Thursday…” (Newey, 10/22).

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More News In Global Health

Bloomberg: Americans Lose in 2040 Global Life Expectancy Rankings (Tanzi, 10/20).

Business Day: Pharma companies urged to do far more to counter superbugs (Kahn, 10/22).

CNN: 3 million common procedures in England could become ‘life threatening’ without antibiotics (Picheta, 10/22).

Devex: On Message: A new kind of hunger ad (Umuhumuza, 10/23).

The Guardian: U.K. is endangering people’s health by denying their right to clean air, says U.N. (Taylor, 10/19).

Health Policy Watch: Immunization Programs In Africa Face Challenges (Wanzala, 10/19).

Women’s Advancement Deeply: Menstrual Discrimination Is Illegal in Nepal — but No One Is Listening (Bader, 10/18).

Quartz Africa: A Zimbabwe program that enlists grandmas to combat depression sets an example for the world (Zhou, 10/21).

STAT Plus: Is China ready for a revolution in cancer therapy? Progress may hinge on access and screening (Robbins, 10/22).

Xinhua News: Diarrhea major cause of infant mortality in Botswana (10/23).

Xinhua News: Malaria prevalence in Tanzania drops by half over 2 years: report (10/23).

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Editorials and Opinions

Principles Of Alma Ata Declaration Must Be Translated To Action On Primary Health Care, Universal Coverage

The BMJ: Alma Ata and primary health care: back to the future
Editorial Board

“…The principles [of the Alma Ata Declaration] are as fresh and relevant today as they were 40 years ago. A renewed commitment by WHO and the United Nations to universal health coverage means that decades after its introduction, the approach championed by the Alma Ata Declaration remains an enlightened and forward-thinking blueprint for countries striving to achieve health for all. In support of these principles and to further the debate, The BMJ is creating a special collection of content on the progress and future of primary health care. … At its 40th anniversary, revived by the impetus of the Sustainable Development Goals and universal health coverage, the principles of Alma Ata must be translated into firm actions to achieve equitable health, well-being, and sustainable development for generations to come” (10/22).

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IPCI 2018 Presents Opportunity For Parliamentarians To Promote Sexual, Reproductive Health, Rights

Inter Press Service: Time for Global Collaboration to Address Pressing Issues of Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights
Hedy Fry, member of Parliament in Canada

“300 Parliamentarians from over 150 nations will meet, in Ottawa, to tackle one of the most serious global challenges facing humanity. The International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Program of Action (IPCI), October 22-23, is a forum, for all global regions, to generate collective action on issues of population and development, specifically as they relate to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). … We are uniquely placed to influence change. … Parliamentarians can challenge governments that promote xenophobia and harmful policies. We can stand up for human rights and the full access to SRHR for women and youth locally. We can bond with other nations to make concrete change that would benefit all, globally. This is what I hope we can achieve at IPCI 2018” (10/22).

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Achieving UNAIDS's 90-90-90 Goal Requires Addressing Mental Health In Young People Living With HIV

SciDev.Net: The HIV epidemic will not end unless we prioritize youth mental health
Melanie Abas, associate professor (reader) in global mental health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London

“…The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day was Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World. Young people living with HIV face high levels of stigmatization, and fear of peer-rejection is at peak in this age group. … [P]sychiatric care for young people at risk of acquiring, or already living with, HIV must improve. … Mental health specialists could advocate for testing programs that address such fears and increase understanding. … Having a cadre of community workers in poor countries could be a game changer in widening access to mental health care. … Global mental health specialists could also urge governments, NGOs, and the pharmaceutical industry to roll out modern drug treatments for those with severe mental disorders. … UNAIDS has the 90-90-90 goal. … These goals can only be achieved if mental health specialists are contributing to sustainable, culturally appropriate health care programs” (10/22).

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Mobile Technology Could Help Advance Tuberculosis Care, Prevention Efforts

STAT: Smartphones should fuel the next generation of tuberculosis care
Peter M. Small, Rockefeller Foundation fellow and visiting scholar at Stony Brook University

“…While we await game-changing new diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines, we can make far better use of smartphones today to connect people with tuberculosis with the care they need. … [N]ow there are sparks of smartphone innovation for tuberculosis. … But the burning question is how to stitch together such efforts and make them widely available so that poor people are empowered to improve their own health and that of their communities. … It is past time for TB researchers and care providers to work with tech innovators, business entrepreneurs, digital companies, and mobile phone operators to adapt the smartphone technology to improve care. … Mobile technology is poised to transform tuberculosis care in the hardest hit countries. Let’s not miss this opportunity” (10/23).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise Releases 2018-2023 Strategic Plan

International AIDS Society: Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise: Strategic Plan
The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise (the Enterprise), hosted by IAS, released its 2018-2023 strategic plan, which aims to address several questions: “How can we maintain the momentum of scientific collaborative efforts while orienting the vaccine community around emerging priorities in late-stage product development? How can we support the vaccine space to respond optimally to results from current efficacy trials? How can we best leverage the IAS’ track record in convening and engaging a diverse range of stakeholders to advance the interests of the HIV vaccine community? How can we heighten political support and expand the Enterprise?” (October 2018).

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Lancet Global Health November 2018 Issue Focuses On Quality Health Care

The Lancet Global Health: November 2018
The November 2018 issue of The Lancet Global Health features articles on quality health care, including a commentary on quality in health systems policy and a research article on the effectiveness of strategies to improve health care provider practices in low- and middle-income countries (November 2018).

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Lancet Commission On Investing In Health Revisits Report On Global Health Grand Convergence

The Lancet: Alma Ata at 40 years: reflections from the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health
David A. Watkins, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington, and colleagues on the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health revisit the commission’s 2013 report, “Global health 2035: a world converging within a generation” (GH2035), which “concluded that a grand convergence in health — a reduction in infectious, child, and maternal mortality to rates seen in the best-performing middle-income countries — is technically and financially feasible for all but the poorest countries by 2035.” They write, “The 40th anniversary of the Alma Ata Declaration gave the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health an opportunity to assess progress towards grand convergence, and to reflect on the future of primary health care in the context of the modern universal health coverage movement. We also reflected on the future of official development assistance for health and its role in achieving grand convergence and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals” (10/20).

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From the U.S. Government

PMI To Participate In 2018 American Society Of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Meeting

President’s Malaria Initiative: U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative at ASTMH 2018
This webpage presents a list of PMI-supported symposia, scientific sessions, and poster presentations at the 67th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, which will take place from October 28 to November 1 (10/18).

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USAID Congratulates 2018 World Food Prize Winners

USAID: Statement by Spokesperson Clayton M. McCleskey on USAID Congratulates Drs. Lawrence Haddad and David Nabarro for Winning the World Food Prize
This USAID statement congratulates this year’s World Food Prize winners, noting, “By continuing to work with partners … we can help more women and children obtain nutrition they need for a healthy life, so more families can participate in their countries’ journeys to self-reliance” (10/22).

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