KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Nigerian President Buhari Vows Continued Efforts To Completely Eradicate Polio After WHO Removes Country From Endemic List

News outlets report on reactions to WHO’s formal removal of Nigeria from its polio-endemic list.

Agence France-Presse: Nigeria on ‘relentless’ drive to eradicate polio
“Nigeria will not relent in its campaign to stamp out polio until the crippling disease is completely eradicated, President Muhammadu Buhari said Monday…” (10/26).

Associated Press: WHO removes Nigeria from list of polio-endemic countries
“The U.N. World Health Organization is formally removing Nigeria from the list of polio-endemic countries, meaning the entire African continent is free of the crippling disease…” (10/26).

Vanguard: Buhari excited as WHO delists Nigeria from polio endemic list
“President Mohammadu Buhari has expressed happiness on the delisting of Nigeria as a polio endemic country by the World Health Organization, WHO, vowing to maintain the status. The president also stated that his government was committed to completely eradicating the disease in 2017…” (Nwabughiogu, 10/26).

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Wild Poliovirus Could Be Halted Next Year, Experts Say

NPR: Next Year Could Mark The End Of Polio
“Polio is on its last legs. The disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of kids a year around the globe is now down to just a few dozen cases this year. ‘We are aiming to halt all transmission of wild polio virus next year,’ says Peter Crowley, the head of UNICEF’s global efforts against polio…” (Beaubien, 10/26).

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U.S. Ready To Offer Aid To Earthquake-Hit Regions Of Pakistan, Afghanistan

The Hill: U.S. offers aid after quake kills hundreds in Pakistan, Afghanistan
“The Obama administration is offering to provide assistance to victims of a devastating earthquake that struck Afghanistan and Pakistan. The U.S. has yet to receive a formal request for aid, State Department spokesman Jeffrey Kirby said Monday, but is ‘certainly willing to consider any such request should there be one’…” (Hattem, 10/26).

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New York Times Examines Drug Policies' Relationship To HIV Prevention, U.N. Agencies' Positions

New York Times: Drug Enforcement vs. AIDS Treatment Issue Hits U.N.
“…The spread of [HIV] through needles may be the least-talked-about but most intractable aspect of the AIDS epidemic. … Questions over drug policy have split U.N. agencies. The World Health Organization and UNAIDS openly favor ending criminal penalties to fight HIV. But UNODC, the drug and crime agency, rooted in law enforcement and the 1946 U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs, is more conservative. … However, a shift by the United Nations as a whole may be in the wind…” (McNeil, 10/26).

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WHO Report Links Processed, Red Meat Consumption With Higher Cancer Risk; Experts Say Increased Risk Is Low For Most People

News outlets continue to discuss a WHO agency’s report showing consumption of processed and red meats is associated with higher risk of some cancers.

New York Times: Meat Is Linked to Higher Cancer Risk, WHO Report Finds
“An international panel of experts convened by the World Health Organization concluded Monday that eating processed meat like hot dogs, ham and bacon raises the risk of colon cancer and that consuming other red meats ‘probably’ raises the risk as well. But the increase in risk is so slight that experts said most people should not be overly worried about it…” (O’Connor, 10/26).

U.N. News Centre: New U.N. report links processed meats to cancer in humans; red meat also likely to cause the disease
“… ‘In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance,’ said Dr. Kurt Straif, head of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) … The association between red meat and cancer was observed mainly for colorectal cancer, but associations were also seen for pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer, [the report] said…” (10/26).

Wall Street Journal: Red Meats Linked to Cancer, Global Health Group Says
“…The IARC, considered an authority in evaluating evidence on cancer causation cited studies that conclude there is strong evidence to support a link between eating too much meat and the onset of colorectal cancer, the third-most common type worldwide…” (Gee/Wang, 10/26).

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Public, Private Funding Necessary To Address Issues Such As Malnutrition, Lomborg Says In Devex Interview

Devex: Solving malnutrition: Public money for public problems
“The global community must all get involved with tackling malnutrition, but those who pin their hopes on the private sector will have their expectations ‘tremendously dashed in the future,’ Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, told Devex at the #FutureFortified Global Summit in Arusha, Tanzania. … While it’s important to secure the involvement of the private sector, Lomborg asserted that public money must be spent to solve a public problem like malnutrition…” (Jimeno, 10/27).

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Russia Should Expand HIV Treatment Programs To Prevent Further Epidemic Growth, Nation's Health Minister Says

Moscow Times: Health Minister Warns Russia’s HIV Epidemic Could Spiral Out of Control
“Russia’s HIV epidemic could spiral out of control by the end of the decade if treatment for the life-threatening virus is not expanded, the nation’s health minister warned Friday, the TASS news agency reported. Proclaimed government support in Russia for controlling HIV’s spread and treating those infected is notoriously ineffective…” (Bodner, 10/25).

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Public Information Campaigns On Ebola Continue In West Africa; Some Specifically Target Vulnerable Women, Quartz Reports

Quartz: The last days of this Ebola outbreak are as much about access to information as access to health care
“…[I]nformation campaigns to educate the public [about Ebola] in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are far from over. Women are particularly vulnerable because they care for the family and are often marginalized in terms of education and access to resources. In addition, women who lost their husbands to Ebola often lose the family’s primary breadwinner…” (Mpoke-Bigg, 10/27).

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Malaysia Using Harm Reduction Programs To Lower Number Of New HIV Infections Among Drug Users

Al Jazeera: Malaysia: Halting HIV and drug use with compassion
“Outreach workers armed with sterile needles, condoms, and screw caps patrol the narrow river that marks Malaysia’s northern border with Thailand, looking for men from both countries who gather there to take drugs. … The workers are the front line in Malaysia’s 10-year-old harm reduction program that has helped curb a disturbing rise in HIV infections among injecting drug users. Cooperation between health officials, civil society groups, and the police has also eased widespread skepticism about needle exchanges and the provision of methadone treatment for people addicted to drugs…” (Mayberry, 10/27).

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Dominican Republic Works To Prevent Dengue Through Insecticide Spraying, Public Education

Associated Press: Dominican workers battle dengue fever amid uptick in illness
“Dominican health officials say that public workers will fan out across the Caribbean country to spray insecticides and instruct citizens how best to avoid contracting dengue fever … amid an uptick of the mosquito-borne illness…” (10/26).

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Zimbabwe Reaching More Men With Switch From Surgical To Ring Circumcision Method

VOA News: More Zimbabwean Men Get Circumcised to Reduce HIV Risk
“…In 2009, the government set the target to have 1.3 million men circumcised by 2017 to slow the spread of HIV. Zimbabwe was falling short of this target with the surgical method, according to Malvern Nyamana — the chief medical officer in Shurugwi rural district. He says the ring method, introduced this year, has made a big difference. … Zimbabwe rolled out the ring method with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) and U.S.-based Population Services International (PSI)…” (Mhofu, 10/26).

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Editorials and Opinions

International Community Must Intensify Efforts To Eradicate Polio

Devex: Polio on the brink of eradication
Peter Crowley, head of the UNICEF polio team

“…We still face setbacks [in progress against polio]. … We must work harder to prevent … lapses, by intensifying our efforts, and by strengthening and maintaining optimal levels of immunity around the world. It has been a mammoth undertaking and while success is now tantalizingly close, many challenges still remain. I believe that polio can and will be eradicated. I believe we are on the verge of something historic, and we must continue to be audacious in our ambitions. Because when we achieve eradication, we will be leaving behind not only a world that is free of this paralyzing disease, but also a legacy of systems, learning, and innovations that can support our continuing quest for a healthy future for all children, everywhere” (10/27).

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Aid Transparency Bill Would Create Accountability, Ensure Effectiveness Of U.S. Foreign Assistance

The Hill: Getting the most out of foreign aid
Diana Ohlbaum, co-chair of the Accountability Working Group of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network and principal of Turner4D

“…A bipartisan bill, introduced last week in the House … would require the president to publish comprehensive, timely, and comparable information about U.S. foreign assistance, and to ensure that aid programs are properly monitored and evaluated. … Only a handful of the more than 20 agencies that carry out overseas programs report their spending to the foreign assistance website [www.foreignassistance.gov] … The most recent Aid Transparency Index, compiled by Publish What You Fund, ranked only one U.S. government agency (MCC) as ‘very good,’ two (USAID and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR) as ‘fair’ and three (the State, Treasury, and Defense Departments) as ‘poor.’ … In the end, aid transparency is more than a matter of citizens’ right to know. It’s about harnessing data for good decision-making. It’s about strengthening democratic processes in countries receiving aid. And it’s about ensuring that U.S. foreign assistance has maximum positive impact…” (10/26).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

White House Plan On Drug-Resistant TB Still Pending

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Is plan for drug-resistant TB delayed amid cost concerns, while cost of delay goes unnoticed?
Antigone Barton, senior writer and editor of “Science Speaks,” discusses the pending White House plan on drug-resistant tuberculosis, writing, “Now, more than a month after the plan was set to be completed, and with the World Health Organization’s annual report on the global TB epidemic set to be released this week, the status of the plan remains a question…” (10/26).

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New Analysis Examines Relationship Between SDGs, Sexual, Reproductive Health, Rights

Guttmacher Institute: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights are Key Part of New Global Development Goals
Joerg Dreweke, senior policy communications associate at the Guttmacher Institute, discusses a new analysis published in the Guttmacher Policy Review, which “lays out the historical context and significance of the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)] process for [sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)]. The analysis also calls on governments and other stakeholders to embrace the SDGs and lays out various indicators that can be used at the global and national levels to measure progress toward achieving goals related to SRHR — and even to advance SRHR beyond what is outlined in the new development goals” (10/26).

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Blog Post Examines Positive Associations Among Family Planning, Peacebuilding, Resilience Initiatives

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: A Little Bit of Sugar Helps the Pill Go Down: Resilience, Peace, and Family Planning
In a blog post adapted from a commentary on a perspective piece, titled “The Pill is Mightier Than the Sword,” both published in the International Journal of Health Policy and Management, Roger-Mark De Souza, director of population, environmental security, and resilience at the Wilson Center, discusses finding the common ground among and articulating the co-benefits of peacebuilding, resilience, and family planning initiatives (10/26).

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U.K. Should Maintain Support For Tropical Disease R&D, Prevention, Treatment

Politics Home: Jeremy Lefroy MP: Crucial to keep funding research into malaria and tropical diseases
Noting “the U.K. has been among the leaders in tackling [tropical] diseases alongside the people and governments of the endemic countries as well as the USA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” British Member of Parliament Jeremy Lefroy writes that the U.K. should “maintain the support which it has provided” and urges other nations to increase funding for research, prevention, and treatment of tropical diseases (10/27).

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CDC's MMWR Examines Progress Toward Global Eradication Of Guinea Worm, Polio

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Progress Toward Global Eradication of Dracunculiasis, January 2014 — June 2015
Researchers from the Carter Center and CDC discuss progress toward eradicating dracunculiasis, or Guinea worm disease, which is caused by a parasitic worm. The report highlights the situations in Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan (10/23).

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication — Afghanistan, January 2014 — August 2015
Chukwuma Mbaeyi of the Global Immunization Division at the CDC’s Center for Global Health and colleagues discuss Afghanistan’s progress toward and challenges in eradicating polio (10/23).

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