KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Chemonics Expects To Operate Global Health Supply Chain Project Through 2023, Devex Reports

Devex: Chemonics expects health supply chain project extension through 2023
“Chemonics International is reassuring staff on the largest U.S. Agency for International Development contract ever awarded that it expects to be implementing the project for at least the next four years, even though some competitors have already begun recruiting for the next version of the award. The Global Health Supply Chain Procurement Supply Management project is a $9.5 billion effort to coordinate the procurement and delivery of lifesaving health commodities in more than two dozen countries. The first years of the project were plagued by management challenges, prompting corrective action by USAID and questions from the U.S. Congress about how global health supply chains should be run differently…” (Igoe, 10/29).

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Sen. Rand Paul Continues Objection To Global Fragility Act To Coordinate Whole-Of-Government Approach To Fragile States

Devex: Global Fragility Act faces one remaining roadblock
“One of the two Republican senators that had been preventing the Global Fragility Act from passing the Senate has lifted his hold on the bill as advocates remain cautiously optimistic it will be approved before the end of the year. Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Idaho, who had been preventing the bill from being approved through the legislative process called ‘hotlining,’ has removed his opposition. The legislation, which would coordinate the U.S. around a whole-of-government approach to dealing with fragile states, has already been passed by the House. On Monday during an event in his home state of Delaware, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, one of the Global Fragility Act’s cosponsors, identified the senator with a remaining objection as Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky…” (Welsh, 10/29).

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World Health Summit Discusses Approaches To Stopping Procurement, Distribution Of Substandard, Falsified Medicines

Devex: The many challenges of tackling substandard and falsified medicines
“…The scale of the distribution of [substandard and falsified medicines] — which range from drugs that fail to meet quality standards to medical products that deliberately misrepresent what they are — is only beginning to emerge, although WHO puts the rate at 1 out of every 10 medicines in lower-income countries. That didn’t stop experts at the World Health Summit, which launched in Berlin on Sunday, from using the meeting to discuss some of the legislative and technological approaches to stopping their procurement and distribution…” (Green, 10/29).

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Experimental Vaccine Shows Promise In Preventing Active TB Disease Among Those With Latent Infection, Researchers Say

Associated Press: Vaccine shows promise for preventing active TB disease
“An experimental vaccine proved 50% effective at preventing latent tuberculosis infection from turning into active disease in a three-year study of adults in Africa. … Results were reported Tuesday at a conference in India, the country hardest hit by TB, and published by the New England Journal of Medicine…” (Marchione, 10/29).

BBC News: ‘Game changing’ tuberculosis vaccine a step closer
“…The team of researchers, who come from all over the world, revealed the vaccine, which is made up of proteins from bacteria which trigger an immune response, during a global summit on lung health in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on Tuesday. It has already cleared a critical phase of clinical trials and been tested on more than 3,500 adults in TB endemic regions of South Africa, Kenya and Zambia, researchers said…” (Biswas, 10/29).

New York Times: New TB Vaccine Could Save Millions of Lives, Study Suggests
“…The new vaccine, made by GSK and now known as M72/AS01E, was tested in about 3,300 adults in Kenya, South Africa and Zambia. All of them already had latent tuberculosis — a silent infection that might or might not progress to active tuberculosis. Of those who got two doses of the GSK vaccine, only 13 developed active tuberculosis during three years of follow-up, according to the new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. By contrast, 26 of those who got a placebo progressed to active tuberculosis…” (McNeil, 10/29).

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Newly Approved 3-Drug TB Treatment To Be Available In 150 Nations For $1,040 Per Regimen

Reuters: New tuberculosis treatment for developing countries to cost $1,040
“A newly approved three-drug treatment for tuberculosis will be available in 150 countries including India and South Africa, priced at $1,040 for a complete regimen, more than twice the cost proposed in the past by advocacy groups for other treatments. The United Nations-backed Stop TB Partnership said on Monday that BPaL would be obtainable in eligible countries through the Global Drug Facility (GDF), a global provider of TB medicines created in 2001 to negotiate lower prices for treatments…” (Maddipatla/Mishra, 10/28).

Additional coverage is available from the Times of India.

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Health Officials Continue To Record Ebola Cases In DRC Outbreak

CIDRAP News: Ebola cases continue slow rise in DRC outbreak
“The slow rise in new Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continued over the weekend and through [Monday], with four new cases — and with outbreak responders tracking the movements of a patient who fled into the community, potentially exposing others to the virus. … The new cases push the outbreak’s overall total to 3,264, a number that includes 117 probable cases…” (Schnirring, 10/28).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: Haiti president requests US humanitarian aid amid protests (10/28).

Borgen Magazine: Antimalarial Drug Resistance in Southeast Asia (Myers, 10/28).

Borgen Magazine: Addressing Food Insecurity in Rwanda (Olk, 10/28).

Devex: How did the EU spend on nutrition in 2018? (De Vos, 10/28).

Devex: Q&A: SDG Impact director on driving capital to the Global Goals (Cheney, 10/28).

Homeland Preparedness News: First potential Lassa fever vaccine set for trial by year’s end (Galford, 10/28).

NPR: Women And Children Are The Emerging Face Of Drug Addiction In Afghanistan (Hadid/Ghani, 10/29).

Reuters: Kenyan team aim to stop fatal snake bites (Mersie, 10/29).

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Editorials and Opinions

Lessons Learned In Ebola Outbreaks But Western Nations Broke Promises To Affected African Countries, Lancet Editor In Chief Writes

The Lancet: Offline: The mistakes we made over Ebola
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“…I sat in international conferences, convened after the west Africa outbreaks, where country leaders pleaded for the equivalent of a Marshall Plan, a west African recovery program, to counter the de-development that Ebola had wreaked on their economies. Big promises were made. But the fact is that once Ebola withered away, the international community lost interest in Africa. The U.S. and Europe were concerned about Ebola only in so far as it represented a threat to their own borders. Once that threat had dissipated, Africa was once again left to clear up the debris of a humanitarian catastrophe. Watching this betrayal unfold was not surprising. It was simply one more deception western nations have perpetrated on African peoples. Yes, a vast amount of money was invested in controlling Ebola. Yes, important lessons were learned. Yes, the global health community did sharpen its understanding of public health emergencies. But Ebola showed how western countries bequeathed one more chapter of duplicity and treachery on the history of Africa” (10/26).

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Editorial Calls On Nations To Better Prepare For Potential Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Washington Post: The world is flunking in the fight against disease
Editorial Board

“The threat of a disease disaster has arisen in the past two decades in an unfortunate cycle of panic followed by neglect. These events should be taken as warnings, but they have not been. That is the conclusion of [the Global Health Security Index,] a globe-spanning survey of 195 nations, looking closely at their readiness to combat infectious disease outbreaks, either natural or man-made, including those of high consequence, meaning they could overwhelm the national and international capacity to manage them. … The index shows that ‘no country is fully prepared for epidemics or pandemics. Collectively, international preparedness is weak.’ … This was the first year of the index; hopefully it will spur progress that will show up in future editions. … Nations need to prepare for old problems, and new ones. They need to not lapse back into neglect after each panic” (10/28).

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High-Level Leadership, Ongoing Investment Needed To Fulfill Africa's Commitment To Achieving Immunization Goals, Opinion Piece Says

CNBC Africa: Op-Ed: Reinventing immunization in Africa
Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, former director of the WHO’s Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, and Richard Mihigo, immunization and vaccines development program coordinator at the WHO Regional Office for Africa

“…Ongoing investment in vaccine research and development — and in large-scale immunization programs — is essential for preserving individual health and population security. Only through high-level leadership, increased resources, and a continent-wide commitment can we expect to achieve the ambitious immunization goals we have set out for ourselves. … First, we should anchor immunization within primary health care. … Next, we should guarantee the funding required for immunization. … Key organizations involved should mount concerted national efforts to educate communities to appreciate and seek out immunization. … Bridging the gap in access to vaccines between locations and populations is essential as well. Data can help target those most in need. … Likewise, it is vital to strengthen the micro-planning processes for local officials and communities in order to maximize access to immunization services and ensure future success. … Throughout all these steps, we must keep innovating, collaborating and learning from each other. … Lastly, technology and digital communications will have to be harnessed to enhance services, accuracy and accountability…” (10/25).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

amfAR Releases New Analysis On Data Availability Across Major Funders Of Global HIV, TB, Malaria Efforts, Including U.S.

amfAR: Data Watch: Data Accessibility from Global Funders of HIV, TB, and Malaria Programming
According to a release, this new report from amfAR “analyzes data availability across four of the key funders of global HIV, TB, and malaria programming: The Global Fund, PEPFAR, PMI, and USAID TB programming. The report details which data are publicly available from each funder and which data are not. It focuses on the level of information available to grassroots advocates and communities to monitor and understand how donor-funded programs for HIV, TB, and malaria are working in their own communities. Specifically, it assesses the adequacy of data regarding who is being funded in a given community, what they have been funded to do, and whether they have delivered as contracted. The report makes specific recommendations for each of the funders to improve the level of data transparency” (10/28).

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RESULTS Report Examines TB Services Across 32 Countries, Relationship Between TB, UHC Efforts

RESULTS: Tuberculosis and Universal Health Coverage: A Policy Report from Kenya and 31 other countries
According to a summary of the report, “This report aims to define what provision of TB services in ‘the context of progress towards UHC’ looks like in practice, and to what extent the recognition of the co-dependency of ending TB and achieving UHC at international fora like the U.N. and WHO translates to action at ground level. It defines an essential set of services that would both help to make the TB response ‘universal’ and help to make the TB response contribute to the achievement of UHC more broadly. The report argues that, when done deliberately and well, investing in people-centered TB services builds every element of UHC” (10/25).

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Food Fortification Represents Low-Cost, High-Impact Tool For Disease Prevention, Experts Write

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “The Optimist”: Doubling down on food fortification to fortify the future
Greg S. Garrett of GAIN and colleagues discuss the “full potential of food fortification,” writing, “In light of the new evidence of impact of food fortification as well as its cost effectiveness, it is simply unacceptable that fortified foods are not more widely available to the estimated two billion around the globe suffering from basic micronutrient deficiencies. With this low-cost, high-impact tool we can prevent disease and disability, generate massive economic returns in developing countries, and save lives. Governments, donors, the private sector, program implementers, and civil society must urgently work together to double-down on food fortification as one of the most critical public health interventions of our time…” (10/28).

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Health Care Sector Should Take Actions To Reduce Its Climate Footprint, Report, Experts Say

The BMJ Opinion: For healthy people, we need a healthy planet
In this post, Josh Karliner, international director of program and strategy for Health Care Without Harm, and Mandeep Dhaliwal, director of HIV, health and development at the United Nations Development Programme, discuss a new report from Health Care Without Harm and the engineering firm Arup examining health care’s global climate footprint. The authors write, “The gains we have made in protecting and promoting human health, such as bringing hundreds of millions of people out of poverty around the world over the past half century, remain under threat as the planet’s basic life support systems begin to destabilize. … It’s time to think of a solution that takes this two-fold challenge of population and planetary health into account. To achieve a healthier world, the health sector must take action now to combat climate change…” (10/28).

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New Wellcome Report Discusses Most Effective Ways To Communicate About Drug-Resistant Infections

Wellcome: Talking about the ‘antibiotic apocalypse’ is alarming, not persuasive. This is why
Dan Metcalfe, head of campaigns at Wellcome, writes, “Tackling drug-resistant infections is a huge challenge. While some action is being taken, we are a long way from breakthrough progress. One way to increase the pace of action is to make sure that advocates are using the best available evidence to communicate effectively. That’s why we’re launching Reframing Resistance. … Based on the research, we developed five evidence-based principles. When applied together, they are more likely to create communication which truly informs, motivates, and persuades…” (10/28).

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Global Dispatches Podcast Interviews U.N.'s Independent Expert On LGBTI Rights

U.N. Dispatch’s “Global Dispatches Podcast”: How The Top LGBTI Rights Watchdog at the United Nations Defends Human Rights Around the World
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of U.N. Dispatch and host of the Global Dispatches Podcast, speaks with Victor Madrigal-Borloz, “a Costa Rican jurist who serves as the United Nations Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In other words, he is the U.N.’s top watchdog for LGBTI rights worldwide…” (10/28).

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UNAIDS Update Examines Access To Basic HIV Services Among People Within Prisons

UNAIDS: Many prisoners are lacking basic HIV services
This update states, “Despite the relative ease of reaching people within prisons, HIV services are not provided in prisons in many countries. Across the last three years of country reports to UNAIDS, very few countries reported program data on the provision of condoms (32 countries), opioid substitution therapy (24 countries) and sterile injecting equipment (three countries) in prisons, but 74 countries reported program data on antiretroviral therapy coverage and 83 countries reported HIV testing in prisons” (10/28).

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