KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

TB Tops HIV As Leading Cause Of Infectious Disease Deaths Worldwide, But Rate Down By Almost Half Since 1990, WHO Report Says

News outlets highlight findings from the WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2015, which was released Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

NPR: TB Is Now The Top Infectious Killer (Even Though Deaths Are Down)
“Tuberculosis is now killing more people each year than HIV, according to new data from the World Health Organization. WHO estimates there were almost 10 million new cases of TB last year; the disease caused 1.5 million deaths. By comparison, 1.2 million lives were claimed by HIV…” (Beaubien, 10/28).

Reuters: Tuberculosis now rivals AIDS as leading cause of death: WHO
“…Dr. Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO TB program, said the report reflects the dramatic gains in access to HIV/AIDS treatment in the past decade, which has helped many people survive their infections. But it also reflects disparities in funding for the two global killers…” (Steenhuysen, 10/28).

U.N. News Centre: Tuberculosis deaths nearly halved since 1990, but 4,400 dying daily from disease — U.N. health agency
“The World Health Organization (WHO) announced [Wednesday] that the fight against tuberculosis (TB) is paying off, with this year’s death rate nearly half of what it was in 1990, but 1.5 million still people died from the disease last year, with more than half occurring in China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. ‘Most of these deaths could have been prevented,’ according to WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2015…” (10/28).

Wall Street Journal: Deaths From TB Globally Outnumber HIV/AIDS
“…The WHO said that 9.6 million people were sickened with TB in 2014, 600,000 more than the previous year. That number includes one million children, nearly twice the previous pediatric estimate. TB isn’t on the rise — the number of cases a year is actually gradually declining, the WHO said. Rather, the larger number of cases is due to improvements in recent years in the way many countries are conducting surveys — improvements that have unearthed more cases…” (McKay, 10/28).

Xinhua News: Tuberculosis ranks alongside HIV as leading killer worldwide: WHO report
“…The report highlighted the need to close detection and treatment gaps, fill funding shortfalls, and develop new diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines. Global advances included the achievement of the MDG that called for halting and reversing TB incidence by 2015. The goal was reached globally and in 16 of the 22 high-burden countries that collectively account for 80 percent of cases…” (10/28).

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China To End One-Child Policy After 35 Years, According To Government Communique

Bloomberg News: China Drops One-Child Cap After Three Decades to Lift Growth
“China’s ruling Communist Party will abandon the one-child policy introduced in the late 1970s to defuse a demographic time bomb that threatens to choke growth in the world’s second-biggest economy…” (10/29).

Channel NewsAsia: China ends one-child policy: Xinhua
“China announced the end of its hugely controversial one-child policy on Thursday (Oct. 29), with the official Xinhua news agency saying that all couples would be allowed two children. It cited a communique issued by the ruling Communist Party after a four-day meeting in Beijing to chart the course of the world’s second largest economy over the next five years…” (10/29).

CNN: China says it will end one-child policy
“… ‘To promote a balanced growth of population, China will continue to uphold the basic national policy of population control and improve its strategy on population development,’ Xinhua reported, citing a communique issued by the ruling Communist Party. ‘China will fully implement the policy of “one couple, two children” in a proactive response to the issue of an aging population’…” (Jiang/Hanna, 10/29).

Financial Times: China to drop one-child policy — Xinhua
“…There had been speculation that the ruling Communist Party, under pressure to fend off a deeper slowdown and spur population growth, would drop the policy that was [implemented in 1980]…” (Waldmeir, 10/29).

The Guardian: China abandons one-child policy after 35 years
“…The government credits [the one-child policy] with preventing 400 million births, but the human cost has been immense, with forced sterilizations and abortions, infanticide, and a dramatic gender imbalance that means millions of men will never find female partners…” (Phillips, 10/29).

New York Times: China to End One-Child Policy, Allowing Families Two Children
“…Still, the cost and difficulty of child-rearing are likely to deter many eligible couples from having two children despite the relaxed rules, Mu Guangzong, a professor of demography at Peking University, said in a telephone interview…” (Buckley, 10/29).

Wall Street Journal: China Abandons One-Child Policy
“…China’s fertility rate, or the number of births per woman, was below the replacement level at 1.17 in 2013, according to the most recent data from the World Bank. Demographers have been urging Beijing to do more to thwart a predicted labor shortage, arguing that they should lift birth restrictions entirely…” (Tejada, 10/29).

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Estimated 3.7B People Under Age 50 Infected With HSV-1, WHO Report Shows

News outlets report on the WHO’s first global estimates of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection.

Reuters: You probably have herpes, the WHO says
“Two-thirds of the world’s population under 50 have the highly infectious herpes virus that causes cold sores around the mouth, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, in its first estimate of global prevalence of the disease…” (Miles, 10/28).

U.N. News Centre: Two-thirds of world’s population is infected with herpes, says new U.N. health agency report
“More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1, which in most cases causes ‘cold sores’ around the mouth, according to the first global estimates of the infection by the World Health Organization (WHO). The new estimates published [Wednesday] in the journal PLOS ONE also note that the herpes simplex virus type 1 is an important cause of genital herpes…” (10/28).

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Global Agreement On Climate Change Important For Public Health, WHO Official Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Climate deal more important for your health than you realize — WHO
“A new global agreement to combat climate change, due to be reached in December in Paris, is more important for everyone’s health than many people realize, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Tuesday. Apart from the direct impact, disasters like heatwaves and floods increase the risk of infectious diseases spreading, while air pollution in cities causes diseases such as lung cancer and strokes, said Maria Neira, the head of public health at WHO…” (Mis, 10/27).

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Guardian Live Chat Outlines 3 Key Lessons For Private Sector's Role In SDGs

The Guardian: Three things we learned about how business can help achieve SDGs
“…Focused on tackling poverty, education, health, hunger ,and environmental issues around the world, the private sector has been involved in devising the framework for the SDGs. In a recent live chat we learned three key lessons about its role in their delivery. 1. Business has a bigger role than just philanthropy … 2. To have impact, business must identify goals to focus on … 3. Business needs supportive policies from government…” (Gould, 10/29).

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Opportunity Exists To Push For UHC, Last Mile Health CEO Says In Devex Interview

Devex: Is the momentum right for universal health coverage?
“Universal health coverage has garnered increased attention since Ebola ravaged West Africa in 2014, but has it been enough to create real momentum? Raj Panjabi, CEO at Last Mile Health, told Devex [in a video interview] that in the course of his work he has noted communities that are ‘days away from the nearest health facility.’ … Panjabi told Devex the opportunity to push forward and capitalize on recent traction has never been better…” (Jimeno, 10/28).

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New A.U. Report Outlines Atrocities Of War In South Sudan

The Guardian: South Sudan: ‘a level of human suffering I have never seen anywhere else’
“…[People in South Sudan’s Malakal protection of civilians (PoC) camp] are hiding from a war that has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 2.2 million inside and outside the country, left 4.6 million severely food insecure, and decimated an already weak economy. The fighting has often slid into horror and depravity over the past 22 months. On Wednesday, a long-awaited report from the African Union (A.U.) laid out the atrocities that have accompanied the conflict, from rape and murder to the mutilation of dead bodies, forced cannibalism, and the existence of mass graves…” (Jones, 10/28).

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Guinea Records 3 More Ebola Cases Related To Woman Whose Body Not Properly Handled After Dying Of Virus

Reuters: Guinea records three new cases of Ebola, brings total to nine
“Three more people in Guinea have been infected with the Ebola virus, a senior health official said on Wednesday, further dampening hopes of an imminent end to the world’s worst recorded outbreak of the disease. The three were infected in Forecariah in western Guinea from the family of a woman who died of Ebola and whose body was handled without appropriate protection, said Fode Tass Sylla, spokesman for the national center for the fight against Ebola…” (Samb/Bigg, 10/28).

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Death Toll Of 7.5-Magnitude Earthquake Reaches 385 As Survivors In Afghanistan, Pakistan Await Assistance

Associated Press: Afghan quake death toll rises further as survivors await aid
“Afghanistan and Pakistan were scrambling Wednesday to rush aid to survivors of this week’s magnitude-7.5 earthquake as the region’s overall death toll from the temblor rose to 385. … The quake, which struck Monday, was centered in Afghanistan’s sparsely populated Badakhshan province bordering Pakistan, Tajikistan, and China…” (Yousaf/Faiez, 10/28).

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Editorials and Opinions

More Political Will, Investment Needed To Fill 'Serious' Gaps In TB Detection, Treatment

CNN: Time to wake up to shocking toll of TB
Eric Goosby, U.N. special envoy on tuberculosis and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco

“…[I]t’s clear that the political backing and momentum to make the bold strides needed to drive down the [tuberculosis] epidemic just do not yet exist, though we know that path is possible. … [A]s the latest World Health Organization report on the global TB epidemic released this week states, there are serious detection and treatment gaps that are keeping people from being cured. … The major reason for these gaps is a shortfall in funding. … The truth is that if we want to drive down TB deaths, a larger injection of funding is needed — at a level befitting such a global threat. … As the United Nations special envoy on tuberculosis, I am committed to mobilizing greater political commitment across the globe to fight TB and ensure that those most vulnerable have access to quality care. More than 4,000 deaths a day is a shocking figure. Let’s not be immune to that shock” (10/28).

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WHO's Recommendations For Pilot Projects Using World's First Malaria Vaccine Shows 'Due Diligence'

The Guardian: World Health Organization right to be wary about first malaria vaccine
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

“…Last week, two advisory bodies to the World Health Organization … recommended against [the new malaria vaccine Mosquirix’s] immediate widespread use, and many people may have been left wondering why. But it was a smart call. … Delivering the vaccine will require unprecedented efforts to inform and mobilize people to bring their children to health clinics at the prescribed time to complete all four doses. … [E]ven if high coverage can be achieved, there is still a danger that news of the vaccine will give people a false sense of security and lead to a reduction in the use of other malaria interventions, which would be tragic. … Mosquirix is no magic bullet and at best may prove to be a useful complementary tool in reducing malaria, but only one of many already being used. All this combined is why the WHO has been so cautious, recommending that we proceed with just a few demonstration projects in three to five settings, and involving around one million children. This is a sensible approach; it is due diligence…” (10/29).

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Clinical Medicine, Public Health Fields Must Work Together To Ensure Healthy Global Populations

New England Journal of Medicine: The Future of Public Health
Thomas Frieden, CDC director

“…Maximizing health requires contributions from many sectors of society, including broad social, economic, environmental, transportation, and other policies in which government plays key roles; involvement of civil society; innovation by the public and private sectors; and health care and public health action. Although there has sometimes been distrust and disrespect between the health care and public health fields, they are inevitably and increasingly interdependent; maximizing potential health gains is a defining challenge for both fields. … By working more closely together, clinical medicine and public health can help each other improve health maximally — and emphasize society’s responsibility to promote both healthy environments and consistent, high-quality care. … Working together, clinical medicine and public health can ensure that people live active and productive lives far longer than was ever thought possible” (10/29).

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Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves Provides Lessons To Help Public-Private Partnerships Achieve Development Goals

Huffington Post: Lessons for the Next Global Development Agenda
Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, and R. Venkataramanan, executive trustee of the Tata Trusts

“…Public-private partnerships will play a key role in driving progress on the new global development agenda. Take the issue of cooking, for example. … Transforming how three billion people cook so cooking no longer kills is no simple task: clean cooking is an energy issue, a health issue, an environmental issue, a women’s empowerment issue, and in many countries, it is also a social and cultural issue. … The United Nations Foundation and Tata Trusts, along with numerous partners and donors, are working with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves … As the international community looks ahead to implementing the new global goals, many of the lessons from the Alliance’s operating model could help strengthen public-private partnerships that will work on the next development agenda. Specifically, here are four recommendations … Engage early and often with the people and communities that you aim to reach. … Go local. … Make financing flexible and accessible. … Define priorities. Create metrics. Measure effectiveness…” (10/28).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.N., U.S. Officials Launch WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2015

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: WHO report shows TB, treatable and curable, surpassing HIV as No. 1 infectious disease killer
Antigone Barton, senior writer and editor of “Science Speaks,” discusses the WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2015, including comments made at the report’s launch in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday by Global TB Program Director Mario Raviglione, U.N. Special Envoy on Tuberculosis Eric Goosby, and USAID Assistant Administrator for Global Health Ariel Pablos-Mendez (10/28).

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CSIS Blog Post Examines Opportunities For U.S., Mexico To Eliminate NTDs In Region

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: Bordering on the Elimination of NTDs
Katherine E. Bliss, senior associate (non-resident) with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, discusses opportunities for the U.S. and Mexico to cooperate on addressing neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the region. She highlights existing cross-border health efforts that could be leveraged to enhance cooperation and writes, “…[T]he United States and Mexico can prioritize research, policy, and program activities to eliminate NTDs and ensure the access of the most vulnerable citizens on both sides of the border to quality health services” (10/28).

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Acting Director Of icddr,b's Centre For Communicable Diseases Discusses Handwashing, Sanitation As Ways To Prevent Diarrheal Diseases

Defeat DD: Handwashing works! And icddr,b has the research to prove it
“…Handwashing is an easy way to prevent diarrhea, but is not always practiced. How can we improve the practices of people in countries where diarrheal diseases remain prevalent? To get some answers, we spoke with Dr. Emily Gurley, an infectious disease epidemiologist who is currently acting as the director of icddr,b’s Centre for Communicable Diseases…” (10/28).

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