KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO DG Tedros Announces Senior Leadership Team; Represents All Regions, More Than 60% Women

Devex: Tedros announces WHO senior leadership team
“The World Health Organization on Tuesday released the list of senior officials who serve as the leadership team under Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The team represents all WHO regions, and more than 60 percent of them are women, said Tedros. This is ‘reflecting my deep-held belief that we need top talent, gender equity, and a geographically diverse set of perspectives to fulfill our mission to keep the world safe,’ he said…” (Ravelo, 10/3).

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U.S. Project BioShield To Add 2 Vaccines, 2 Treatments For Ebola To National Stockpile

CIDRAP News: Project BioShield adds Ebola vaccines, drugs to U.S. stockpile
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the first Project BioShield funding for Ebola countermeasures, which would add two vaccines and two treatments to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS): a single-dose vaccine licensed by Merck, a prime-boost vaccine regimen from Johnson & Johnson, and monoclonal antibody treatments from Mapp Biopharmaceutical and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals…” (Schnirring, 10/2).

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Devex Examines Plans To Establish Global Antimicrobial R&D Hub In Germany

Devex: Inside Germany’s push for a global antimicrobial resistance hub
“Germany is positioning itself as a key player in antimicrobial resistance research with the expected launch of a Research and Development Collaboration Hub, likely to be housed in Berlin. G20 leaders agreed to form the research hub at their July summit in Hamburg and an initial planning meeting will take place in Germany later this month…” (Green, 10/2).

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WFP Cuts Food Rations To Refugees In Kenya, Appeals For $28.5M To Continue Assistance

Reuters: World Food Programme cuts rations for refugees in Kenya
“The U.N. World Food Programme is cutting food rations by 30 percent for more than 400,000 refugees living in camps in Kenya due to insufficient funding, it said on Monday. … The World Food Programme said it needed $28.5 million to cover the food assistance needs of the 420,000 refugees living in the camps for the next six months…” (10/2).

U.N. News Centre: Amid ‘critical’ resource shortage, U.N. agency cuts food rations for refugees in Kenya
“… ‘We are facing a critical shortage of resources, which has compelled us to reduce the amount of food given to the refugees only six months after we resumed full rations,’ said World Food Programme (WFP) Representative and Country Director Annalisa Conte in a statement. Overall, refugees living in Dadaab and Kakuma camps will receive a food ration equivalent to 70 percent of their requirements…” (10/2).

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U.N. Leaders Discuss Improving Access To Medicines, Health Care At U.N. Human Rights Council Social Forum

Xinhua News: U.N. agencies hail universal health care at forum
“The World Trade Organization (WTO) provides a legal framework for members to cut tariffs on medicines in a non-discriminatory way, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said on Monday. … The WTO head made the remarks while addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council Social Forum that takes place from Oct. 2 to 4 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. This year, the forum brings together U.N. agencies, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations, with the theme of ‘Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Context of the HIV Epidemic and Other Communicable Diseases and Epidemics’…” (10/3).

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WHO, Authorities Respond To Plague Outbreak In Madagascar; 2 Dozen Dead, At Least 114 Infected

Associated Press: Plague in Madagascar hits urban areas, kills 2 dozen people
“Authorities in Madagascar are struggling to contain an outbreak of plague that has killed two dozen people in recent weeks and has prompted a ban on large public gatherings in the capital to curb the disease’s spread…” (Torchia, 10/3).

The Guardian: Plague claims 20 lives in Madagascar amid warnings over rapid rise in cases
“…Public gatherings have now been banned in Madagascar’s capital, while critical medical supplies, including antibiotics and personal protective equipment, have been supplied by the WHO. At least 114 people have been infected since the outbreak was identified in late August…” (Ratcliffe, 10/2).

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Incidence Of Obesity, Diabetes Increasing In African Nations, Report Shows

The Guardian: Supermarkets are creating an obesity crisis in African countries, experts warn
“Changing dietary habits are creating an obesity crisis in African countries as middle-class people buy their food from supermarkets rather than eating food they grow, a group of international food security experts has warned. A report by the Malabo Montpellier Panel, a group of agriculture and food experts, claims obesity is becoming a significant challenge for governments, agencies, and the private sector in African countries, many of which are already dealing with malnutrition and stunting. Diabetes is also on the rise, said the panel…” (Lyons, 10/3).

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POLITICO Examines Health Care Worker Migration Among E.U. Nations

POLITICO: The E.U. exodus: When doctors and nurses follow the money
“…More doctors and nurses move from one country to another than any other highly regulated profession in the E.U., and the flows often go from East to West, from poorer E.U. countries to richer ones. A POLITICO analysis of European Commission data found the exodus of health care professionals is especially pronounced from Eastern and Southern Europe. In effect, these countries are training doctors for their richer neighbors…” (Hervey, 9/30).

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U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock Discusses Current Humanitarian Aid Challenges In U.N. News Interview

U.N. News Centre: Interview: Global humanitarian needs have never been higher, says U.N. official
“The number of those needing humanitarian assistance is at its highest since the end of the Second World War — some 145 million people. … It is against this backdrop that Mark Lowcock began his tenure as the U.N. under secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator. … Mr. Lowcock spoke to U.N. News about why he accepted the post of the U.N. humanitarian chief, his first weeks on the job, and what he hopes to accomplish during his tenure…” (10/2).

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J&J Executive Discusses Private Sector Engagement, Youth Involvement To Achieve SDGs In Devex Interview

Devex: Q&A: For SDG success, we need a bigger table
“…Michael Bzdak, global director of employee engagement at Global Community Impact at Johnson & Johnson, believes nongovernmental organizations are well-positioned to turn up their advocacy efforts, and get the right players to the table in making and following through on new commitments and partnerships [to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals]. … Speaking to Devex during Global Goals Week in New York, Bzdak explained why more private sector players should be dedicating resources to achieving the SDGs, and why the power of young people worldwide must be harnessed…” (10/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

Political Will Necessary To Address Acute Food Insecurity, Chronic Under-Nutrition

The Conversation: Why hunger is on the rise in the world, and what can be done about it
Peter Atkins, professor at Durham University

“…The causes of famine and food insecurity are multiple. … A crucial anti-famine strategy is investing in science to provide early warnings. … Another major development that’s needed is investment in infrastructure and agriculture. … If policymakers don’t come forward with these or other solutions, acute food insecurity and chronic under-nutrition will last as long as ultra-poverty persists, especially among marginalized groups in marginal environments. … [F]amine and food insecurity are complex and their solution definitely comes into the difficult category. But we now realize that hunger is not inevitable and that we have a moral duty to solve it as soon as possible. The only thing missing is the political will” (10/2).

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Politics, Inequities Present Barriers To Achieving SDGs

Project Syndicate: Politics in the Way of Progress
J. Bradford DeLong, professor at the University of California at Berkeley and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research

“There are 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to tackle problems including poverty, hunger, disease, inequality, climate change, ecological degradation, and many others in between. … [It can be said that] those who emphasize everything emphasize nothing. This points to the problem of forging goals through consensus: they can end up being a wish list for everything short of heaven on Earth. … To me, a common underlying concern … is not so much economics as politics and people — and a politics of people. … [W]hile many people work toward the SDGs, [some men and women] are throwing up new barriers, by stoking the resentments of those who have benefited the most from inequitable growth, as well as those who have missed out. … [P]erhaps we should stop thinking in terms of what is ‘deserved’ at all. … [A]chieving the SDGs may require a radically different approach…” (10/3).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Empowered Communities, Patient-Centered Approach Could Improve HIV Treatment Access

Gates Notes: Leaving No One Behind
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, highlights remarks made by Tom Ellman of Doctors Without Borders at the foundation’s Goalkeepers event last month. Ellman discussed his organization’s experience delivering HIV care in Mozambique using Community antiretroviral therapy (ART) Groups (CAGs), a patient-centered model that encourages equal partnership between health professionals and communities. Gates writes, “The Community ART Groups are just one example of what’s known as ‘differentiated models of care,’ which are now being applied in many different ways and settings across [several African nations]. … This approach also became a real catalyst for our foundation [that] inspired us to take a bigger role in spreading differentiated models to other countries…” (9/28).

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Blog Post Highlights Panel Discussion On Successes, Challenges In Malaria Control

Friends of the Global Fight: Expanding programs and investments to achieve a malaria-free world
Katie Broendel, senior communications manager at Friends of the Global Fight, highlights an event that took place last week at the Center for Global Development, titled “Malaria Control: A Critical Investment for Saving Lives in Africa,” during which panelists discussed a new “special supplement to the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (AJTMH) on documenting and evaluating the impact of malaria control initiatives,” as well as the recent expansion of the President’s Malaria Initiative (10/2).

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Investing In Health Workforce Critical To Achieving SDGs

Frontline Health Workers Coalition: To Achieve SDGs, Grow Economies, We Must Invest in the Frontline Health Workforce
Vince Blaser, director of the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, discusses a recent event sponsored by the Frontline Health Workers Coalition and other member and partner organizations on investing in the global health workforce. Blaser writes, “[S]everal funding streams need to work in tandem and build off each other, backed by a continually refreshed data set on health workforce availability and accessibility. … [W]e need to continue to push hard across all sectors and in all countries to procure the upfront investment, and to get it where it’s needed most” (9/29).

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Wilson Center Event Addresses Innovation's Role In Increasing Quality Of Maternal, Child Health Care

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Reaching the Farthest Behind: Maternal Health Innovations at the Facility Level
Yuval Cohen, an intern with the Maternal Health Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson Center, discusses an event at the Wilson Center on how maternal health clinics “can be drivers of innovation.” Cohen writes, “Technological advancements are crucial, but innovative ideas for scaling up existing solutions and for improving training of care providers are key to increasing the quality of maternal and child health care. The field is filled with opportunities, from new devices to refurbished business models. While all of these efforts require money, impact investing and other financial innovations may fill the gaps in public sector funding” (10/2).

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October 2017 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The October 2017 WHO Bulletin includes editorials, news, and research and policy articles on various issues, including a call for papers on the theme of vision and the future of eye care in health; a news article on communicating science-based messages on vaccines; and a research paper on Kenya’s experience using health-facility data to assess sub-national coverage of maternal and child health indicators (October 2017).

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