KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

On U.N. Day, SG Ban Says SDGs, Paris Agreement, Dedication Of U.N. Staff Propelling World Toward More Sustainable Future

U.N. News Centre: Global Goals can ‘propel us towards a better future for all on a healthy planet,’ Ban says on U.N. Day
“In his last United Nations Day message as secretary general, Ban Ki-moon recognized the efforts of courageous U.N. staff members who are on the frontlines of disaster and violence and continue to respond to the plight of the vulnerable people across the world. … Mr. Ban said that major progress has been made toward a more sustainable future through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as in addressing the threat of climate change, through the Paris Agreement, which will enter into force on 4 November…” (10/24).

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Devex Examines Work Of Feed The Future Innovation Labs At UC Davis

Devex: How universities are sowing the seeds to Feed the Future
“…There are 24 Feed the Future Innovation Labs at universities in the U.S. that partner with developing country research institutions as part of the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. Five of those labs are at UC Davis — the most labs at a single university — and it is home to a number of examples of how this investment in research, and collaboration with higher education, is furthering efforts to end hunger, malnutrition, and poverty…” (Cheney, 10/24).

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WHO Experts Recommend Countries Administer Lower Dose Polio Vaccines Intradermally To Make Dwindling Stocks Last Longer

CIDRAP News: WHO panel recommends dose-sparing strategy for IPV polio vaccine
“To help alleviate worse-than-expected shortages in inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), outside experts who advise the World Health Organization (WHO) on vaccine issues [last] week recommended that countries prepare to administer IPV intradermally as a dose-sparing tactic…” (Schnirring, 10/21).

Reuters: Polio vaccine makers failing to make enough doses: WHO experts
“…WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), which meets twice a year, said a severe shortage of inactivated vaccine means many countries should use a fractional dose, via an intradermal rather than intramuscular injection, allowing each dose to go twice as far…” (Miles, 10/21).

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Deutsche Welle Interviews WHO Spokesperson For Polio Eradication On Global Progress Against Disease

Deutsche Welle: WHO: ‘Africa polio free apart from Nigeria’
“Polio, a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease, has no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. The disease can be prevented through immunization. At the moment, there are no more than three countries with cases of polio, and the World Health Organization (WHO) hopes this could be the last World Polio Day. DW spoke to Sona Bari, spokesperson for polio eradication at WHO, about the progress made so far eradicating the disease…” (Mugabi, 10/23).

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Haiti Struggles To Recover From Hurricane Matthew In Shadow Of 2010 Earthquake Recovery

New York Times: After Hurricane, Haiti Confronts Scars From 2010 Earthquake Recovery
“The ghosts of 2010 haunt Haiti. They hover over the recovery effort for Hurricane Matthew in its every aspect: the Haitian government’s insistence on coordinating aid, the modest numbers of deaths registered, the struggle to raise sufficient funds, even the blight of cholera now terrorizing remote stretches of the countryside. There is logic to much of it. After the 2010 earthquake, aid groups took over. They worked around a government as devastated as its capital, undermining billions of dollars in aid and the very people it was meant to help. For now, the government has put a stop to that…” (Ahmed, 10/21).

NPR: Dr. Paul Farmer Is ‘Surprised And Upset And Humbled’ After Visit To Haiti
“Paul Farmer has spent a lot of time in Haiti over the past three decades. Still, what he saw on his visit this past week left him ‘surprised and upset and humbled.’ Farmer is a physician and Harvard Medical School professor who co-founded the nonprofit Partners In Health. He has been a tireless advocate for Haitians, Haiti, and the universal right to health care in even the poorest of countries…” (Silver, 10/21).

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U.N. Agencies Working To Provide WASH Services, Shelter To Families Affected By Mosul Offensive In Iraq

U.N. News Centre: U.N. agencies provide shelter, clean water to families displaced amid Iraq’s Mosul offensive
“With the military offensive still unfolding in Mosul, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are rushing to provide shelter, drinking water, and sanitation services for displaced families and children…” (10/21).

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WHO Official Discusses Deterioration Of Syria's Health Care System, Plans For Response In SciDev.Net Interview

SciDev.Net: Q&A: WHO’s response to the Syrian health crisis
“Millions of lives in Syria have been lost, not only because of the war [that began] five years ago, but also because the health sector is no longer able to provide as many health services. In this interview with SciDev.Net, Tarik Jasarevich, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO) and a communications manager for the Syrian territory, notes the pace of deterioration in Syria, its health care needs, and details of how stakeholders are working on the ground to improve the situation…” (Lasheen, 10/24).

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Drones Tested For Delivering Essential Medical Services To Rural African Villages

PBS NewsHour: Humanitarian efforts benefit from drones as ethical debate continues
“…[A] new experiment conducted this year by [the] United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) shows the potential for drones to help [remote African villages receive essential medical services] amid debates over ethical issues and at a time when developing countries around the world are increasingly turning to the aerial devices to assist with humanitarian efforts…” (Regan, 10/23).

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Guardian Podcast Examines Sri Lanka's Successful Campaign To Eliminate Malaria

The Guardian: How Sri Lanka bit back at mosquitoes and wiped out malaria — podcast
“Dinitha Rathnayake, a radio journalist based in Colombo, looks back over Sri Lanka’s long struggle with malaria. She speaks to people who lived through the 1980s health crisis as well as the doctors, health workers, and officials who helped to eliminate the disease…” (Rathnayake/Stewart, 10/24).

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Editorials and Opinions

Long-Term Commitment To Inclusive Development Critical To Improving Niger's Agriculture Sector

Devex: A commitment to strengthening Niger’s agriculture sector
Dana J. Hyde, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corp (MCC), and Jamie Drummond, co-founder of ONE

“…The refugee crisis is … a reminder of the urgent need to invest in reducing poverty — a process that evidence shows is driven by inclusive economic growth. We need to support development in the home nations of those forced to flee today, and those who might be forced to flee tomorrow. … MCC’s compact [with Niger] represents a concerted commitment to help the country strengthen its economy and fight poverty in the face of these challenges. … By improving water availability, roads, and market access, while also promoting climate-resilient agricultural techniques and sustainable livestock farming, this investment is designed to increase the country’s food supply and rural incomes. … Only a significant, long-term commitment to inclusive economic development and poverty reduction in the world’s poorest countries can advance security, democracy, human rights, and shared prosperity for us all” (10/24).

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GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty Discusses Drug Prices, Disease Outbreak Preparedness

New York Times: The Pharma CEO Who Wants to Lower Drug Prices
Andrew Witty, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

“…In a recent interview, Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, who is retiring in March, talked about prices, epidemics, and other health issues. … [Witty:] We’ve been hearing from our customers in the U.S. and elsewhere that [drug] pricing is an issue. … If you look around the developing world it’s obvious that price plays a big role in access, which is why we’ve been so aggressive in terms of trying to make sure that price isn’t a problem for large numbers of people in the emerging markets. … We ought to be trying to develop a [drug-pricing] system that is more in step with that desire of the people who ultimately pay for the system. … [W]e could invest a relatively small amount to create a much higher standing readiness for biological defense. There’s a group originally formed between Wellcome Foundation, Gates Foundation, two or three governments, GSK was involved at the beginning, to try and encourage a more permanent standby readiness of vaccine technology development for the next possible pandemic viruses. Progress is being made on that but it’s still not implemented” (Bajaj, 10/21).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

American Journal Of Public Health Special Section Discusses Election Of New WHO Director General, Challenges For Agency

American Journal of Public Health: AJPH Special Section: World Health Organization: Whither WHO? Our Global Health Leadership
Elizabeth Fee, chief of the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine and an AJPH editor, writes in a commentary for the special section, “For this issue of the AJPH, several prominent people, with long experience in international health, were invited to submit editorial statements, each giving a personal view of the coming election and the issues a new director general will need to confront. This continues a practice, begun in 1998, of highlighting a series of positions on the WHO election…” (November 2016).

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Like Tobacco Industry, Soda Industry Attempts To Avoid Accountability For Products' Role In Poor Health Outcomes

Scientific American’s “Food Matters”: If Soda Companies Don’t Want to Be Treated Like Tobacco Companies They Need to Stop Acting Like Them
Patrick Mustain, communications manager at Oceana, compares the tobacco and beverage industries and discusses how each obfuscate science and attempt to avoid accountability for and “manipulate understanding of its product’s role in Americans’ poor health…” (10/19).

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