Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. DFC CEO Adam Boehler Discusses New Organization's Role, Vision In Devex Interview

Devex: Exclusive: New U.S. DFC will be ‘proactive, forward-leaning and strategic’ says new CEO
“The new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation may not be officially up and running yet, but the agency’s new CEO Adam Boehler has been sworn in and is ready to manage an organization he describes as ‘more proactive, forward-leaning, and strategic’ … Boehler wants to align the agency more closely with other parts of the U.S. government, particularly USAID, to better leverage resources, he said, adding that he’d also like to work more closely with U.S. allies and co-invest alongside their development finance institutions…” (Saldinger, 10/3)

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Some Health Advocates Express Concern Over Kenya's Blood Bank Service After Transition Of U.S. Funding

Devex: Kenya’s blood bank unprepared for PEPFAR cuts, health insiders say
“This week, the U.S. government severed funds for the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service. While Kenya’s Ministry of Health reassured the public that services will continue uninterrupted, health actors told Devex that the government is not adequately prepared to fill the gaps. The Kenyan government reportedly asked for a six-month extension of funds from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief after learning of the cuts, but the extension was denied. According to a PEPFAR spokesperson, this is a ‘long-planned’ transition with the U.S. government working closely to prepare the Kenyan government for the hand-off…” (Jerving, 10/3).

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More Ebola Cases Confirmed In DRC Outbreak; A.U. Plans Fundraising Forum To Aid Response; Devex Examines IHR In Light Of Suspected Tanzania Cases

CIDRAP News: New Ebola cases confirmed in outbreak that hits women hard
“As has been the trend over the last several weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed a handful of new Ebola cases today in the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) North and South Kivu and Ituri provinces. Three new cases were recorded [Wednesday] on the WHO’s Ebola dashboard, lifting the outbreak total to 3,197, including 2,136 deaths…” (Soucheray, 10/2).

Devex: Ebola in Tanzania? A question on global governance for infectious diseases
“Last week, the U.S. government warned travelers of ‘probable Ebola’ in Tanzania, even as the Tanzanian government and the World Health Organization engage in discussion after the latter’s public accusation of the government’s refusal to share information on suspected Ebola cases in the country. Questions now arise on the state of the International Health Regulations as a global governance structure for infectious disease outbreaks…” (Ravelo/Jerving, 10/3).

New Humanitarian: In Congo, a ‘militarized’ Ebola response has fueled community resistance
“…[S]everal … residents interviewed by The New Humanitarian in July near the epicenter of the outbreak in North Kivu province said their trust in the relief effort had been compromised by the heavy-handed government security forces who regularly escort health workers…” (Freudenthal, 10/2).

Xinhua: A.U. calls for concerted efforts against Ebola outbreak as death toll reaches 2,133
“The African Union (A.U.) on Wednesday urged concerted efforts against the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the death toll climbed to 2,133. … The A.U. also disclosed its plan to convene a fundraising forum of African private sector and donors, dubbed ‘Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust Fund,’ on October 15 to support the ongoing response against the Ebola virus outbreak in the DRC…” (10/3).

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India PM Modi Claims All Villages Open-Defecation Free Under Nationwide Campaign; Some Residents, Experts Dispute Claim

Associated Press: India’s PM says villages are open-defecation free now
“India’s prime minister said Wednesday the country’s villages now all have access to toilets as his government announced another ambitious campaign aimed at eliminating single-use plastics within three years…” (Varagur, 10/2).

Al Jazeera: Modi declares India open defecation free, claim questioned
“… ‘In 60 months, 600 million people have been given access to toilets, more than 110 million toilets have been built. The whole world is amazed to hear this,’ Modi told a crowd in Ahmedabad city. … Dimple Peter, a local social worker, claimed that for a population of more than 800 people [in one colony], there is just one community toilet with 10 latrines. … Residents said they are forced to defecate in the open as there are not enough community toilets to cater for a large number of people. They also said the toilets remain closed at night…” (Kuchay, 10/2).

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Polio Outbreak In Philippines Serves As Warning For Ukraine, Where Vaccination Coverage Low, UNICEF Official Says

Reuters: Philippines polio cases a warning for vulnerable Ukraine
“The first cases of the child-crippling polio virus in the Philippines for 19 years are a warning for countries such as Ukraine, where low immunity offers fertile ground for viral epidemics, disease experts say. Ukraine already has a big outbreak of measles. … ‘It’s like a time bomb. It’s ticking, and it could explode at any time,’ said Lotta Sylwander, head of UNICEF Ukraine…” (Kelland, 10/3).

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Philippines Experiences Surge In HIV Cases; Some Health Advocates Believe Dating Apps A Driver

Wall Street Journal: HIV Cases Soar in the Philippines, as Dating Apps Spread
“…The estimated number of new infections in this Southeast Asian nation has more than doubled from 2013 through 2018, reaching epidemic proportions among young men, according to the United Nations’ AIDS agency. … [H]ealth advocates think a major driver has been dating apps, which have encouraged promiscuity in a country where traditional social norms have kept people from using contraception and learning about responsible sexual practice…” (Rana, 10/3).

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WHO DG Calls On International Community To Address Climate Change During Visit To Hurricane-Hit Bahamas

U.N. News: WHO chief underscores need to address climate change following visit to Bahamas
“The top U.N. health official has called for the world to rally around The Bahamas as the country continues to emerge from the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian one month ago. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), made the appeal on Tuesday upon completion of a visit to the island nation. … ‘Hurricane Dorian is another urgent reminder that we must address the drivers of climate change and invest more in resilient communities. The longer we wait, the more people will suffer. We need to keep the world and people safe’…” (10/2).

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Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes May Be Able To Travel Hundreds Of Kilometers Riding Wind, Research Shows

Science: Windborne mosquitoes may carry malaria hundreds of kilometers
“Conventional scientific wisdom has long held that mosquitoes have a limited range: They fly low to the ground and typically travel less than 5 kilometers during their brief lifetimes. Now, researchers have turned that wisdom on its head. In the Sahel, the semidesert region just south of the Sahara Desert, malaria-bearing mosquitoes are borne on winds that allow them to travel hundreds of kilometers — and as high as 290 meters above the ground — in a single night. The findings, published [Wednesday] in Nature, help explain why mosquito populations can surge so suddenly — and mysteriously — in the Sahel…” (Wadman, 10/2).

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More News In Global Health

Al Jazeera: In Pictures: Malnutrition, cholera add to Yemen woes (Mannocchi/Romenzi, 10/3).

CNBC: Robots can help doctors perform heart surgery remotely (Soon, 10/2).

CNN: The world will have more than 250 million obese kids by 2030, a new report warns (Hunt, 10/3).

HealthDay News: Kidney Transplants Between People With HIV Are Successful (Reinberg, 10/2).

Newsweek: These are the best places on Earth to survive a global pandemic threatening to wipe humans out — according to scientists (Osborne, 10/2).

Xinhua: Dengue death toll surpasses 100 in Myanmar in 9 months (10/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Congress Must Act To Formally Approve Budget For New DFC, Former OPIC President Writes

Devex: Opinion: We need to get the new U.S. DFC over the finish line. Here’s why.
Rob Mosbacher, co-chair of the Consensus for Development Reform and former president and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation

“…Having passed this landmark legislation [– called the BUILD Act, or the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development Act, to create a new and improved U.S. International Development Finance Corporation –] almost a year ago and established the date of Oct. 1 of this year for many of DFC’s authorities to take effect, Congress now must finish the job. … At the moment, neither the administrative funding for fulfilling the obligations of the corporation nor the authority to use 5% of a $1 billion, or $50 million of direct appropriations to serve as a loan loss reserve for $1 billion of equity investments, has been budgeted by Congress. If that commitment is not made soon, DFC will embark upon its new responsibilities seriously inhibited by these legal and fiscal constraints. The BUILD Act was a great accomplishment that represents the best in bipartisan collaboration. As we approach the effective date of much of the BUILD Act’s provisions, it would be tragic if Congress does not provide the corporation with the ability to meet the high expectations it set…” (10/2).

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Blended Finance Solutions Can Help Bridge Funding Gap For Sustainable Development Goals, Opinion Piece Says

Devex: Opinion: Bridging the financing gap to save lives
Phyllis Costanza, the Head UBS Philanthropy and CEO of the UBS Optimus Foundation

“…Foreign aid and philanthropy are not enough to solve the problems we’re trying to address through the SDGs. We need more sustainable sources of investment in development. And we need to tap into private capital to get there. While $2.5 trillion is a big funding gap, it represents less than 2% of total private wealth. … Developing and implementing innovative blended finance mechanisms is one way to make philanthropic capital go farther. … More financial institutions can collaborate with bilateral and philanthropic funders to test solutions so that we move toward the point where innovative financing mechanisms become mainstream, made available to all investors who want to get involved. This will help bridge the gap between what traditional philanthropy is providing and what we need to achieve the SDGs — including a much-needed reduction in maternal mortality” (10/2).

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Opinion Piece Outlines 5 Steps To Help Identify, Treat Patients With MDR-TB

Scientific American: Five Interventions for Treating Multidrug-Resistant TB
Ifeanyi Nsofor, medical doctor, CEO of EpiAFRIC, and director of policy and advocacy at Nigeria Health Watch

“…The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an oral combination for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). … This novel drug combination could be a game changer in managing tuberculosis and lead to increased survival of individuals infected with TB. … It could take a while for the new FDA-approved drug combination to be widely available, especially in resource-poor settings. In the meantime, governments working with communities, health workers, the private sector, and civil society organizations should intensify efforts to prevent tuberculosis, increase adherence to currently available treatments, and deploy appropriate technologies in tuberculosis programming…” (10/2).

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Support For Breastfeeding Can Improve Health Outcomes, Lessen Environmental Impact, Opinion Piece Says

The BMJ: Support for breastfeeding is an environmental imperative
Naomi Joffe, technician and environmental lead, Flic Webster, milk donor, and Natalie Shenker, researcher, all with the Hearts Milk Bank at the Rothamsted Institute

“Conversations around the complex subject of infant feeding have invariably focused on health outcomes, but recent studies have highlighted the environmental cost of decades of disinvestment in services to support breastfeeding. Breastfeeding uses few resources and produces minimal or zero waste. The associated infant and maternal health outcomes produce healthier populations that use fewer healthcare resources. The production of unnecessary infant and toddler formulas exacerbates environmental damage and should be a matter of increasing global concern. … We need to acknowledge that ‘our house is on fire’ and that the next generation requires us to act quickly to reduce carbon footprints in every sphere of life. Breastfeeding is a part of this jigsaw, and urgent investment is needed across the sector” (10/2).

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Fish Could Help Fight Micronutrient Deficiencies In Developing Countries' Coastal Areas, Researchers Write

The Conversation: The solution to hidden hunger in many developing countries lies just offshore
Christina Hicks, professor of Environmental Social Science at Lancaster University, and colleagues

“…[O]ur latest research found that many coastal countries where hidden hunger is rife, have plenty of nutritious fish just off their coast. Yet these fish are not reaching those who need them the most. … We found that often fish catches hold nutritional potential that exceeds the dietary requirements of certain nutrients for entire coastal populations of children under five years old — a particularly vulnerable age group. This was a strong trend for countries on the west coast of Africa. If just a fraction of the fish caught in these waters were kept for consumption locally, it could address some of the most pressing malnutrition problems in these countries…” (10/3).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CFR Senior Fellow Discusses DRC Ebola Outbreak, Suspected Cases In Tanzania

Council on Foreign Relations: International Health Officials and Tanzania Clash Over Potential Ebola Case
John Campbell, Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa Policy Studies, discusses the suspected Ebola case in Tanzania, the WHO’s response, and the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (10/2).

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Post Examines Implications Of AMR For Middle-Income Countries, Urges 'Multidisciplinary, Integrated' Action

The BMJ: Antimicrobial resistance: More quick action is needed in BRICS and MINT economic transition countries
Jessika Hu, clinical epidemiologist with infectious diseases research and programmatical experience in Asia, and Lord O’Neill, chair of Chatham House, discuss the urgency to address antimicrobial resistance and the implications for and role of middle-income countries. The authors write, “Many countries in economic transition may view addressing AMR as an unwanted economic burden. However, middle income countries like Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) as well as the emerging next economic power countries like Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey (MINT) have high rates of AMR. … It is important to emphasize that AMR is a threat to economic development in these nine countries, home to more than half of the world’s population. … If these very large economies fail to reach their economic potential the global economic impact could be substantial. … More actions are needed from pharmaceutical companies, governments, international organizations and the general public, with a multidisciplinary and integrated approach…” (10/2).

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CFR Writer Discusses Country Policies, Actions Related To E-Cigarettes

Council on Foreign Relations: The E-Cigarette Backlash
Claire Felter, copy editor and writer at the Council on Foreign Relations, addresses the vaping-related illnesses in the U.S. and other countries’ approaches to e-cigarettes. Felter writes, “More than twenty countries already have some sort of ban on e-cigarettes. … Now, countries with the largest markets for e-cigarettes are moving toward bans amid concerns about their harmful health effects” (10/2).

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Philippine Red Cross, IFRC Scale Up Polio Efforts In Philippines To Counter Outbreak

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: Philippines: Red Cross scales up as polio threatens 11 million children
Following the emergence of polio cases in the Philippines, this press release describes how the Philippine Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have launched new efforts to prevent more cases, including house-to-house vaccination and information campaigns to educate people on the importance of vaccination (10/2).

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From the U.S. Government

USG Providing Nearly $257M In Additional Humanitarian Assistance To Somalia

USAID: USAID Announces Nearly $257 Million in New Humanitarian Assistance for the People of Somalia
“On October 2, 2019, Diana Putman, a Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), announced that the U.S. Government is providing nearly $257 million in additional humanitarian assistance in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 to help the people of the Federal Republic of Somalia in Mogadishu. The United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance in Somalia, and this latest announcement brings the total contributed by the American people in FY 2019 for Somalia to nearly $498 million. The assistance will address life-threatening hunger and acute malnutrition and provide safe water, emergency health care, education, and protection to people affected by ongoing conflict and recurrent drought inside Somalia, and to Somali refugees in neighboring countries…” (10/2)

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

KFF Updates U.S. Global Health Legislation Tracker With Latest Actions On Bills

Kaiser Family Foundation: U.S. Global Health Legislation Tracker
KFF updated its U.S. Global Health Legislation Tracker with the latest actions on global health-related bills. The tracker provides a listing of global health-related legislation introduced in the 116th Congress. Currently, there are more than 40 pieces of legislation related to global health (10/1).

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