KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Air Pollution Seriously Impacts Child Health, Development, WHO Report Warns

U.N. News: More than nine in ten children exposed to deadly air pollution
“Air pollution is ‘stunting children’s brains’ and affecting their health in more ways than was previously suspected, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. In a call for concrete policy pledges from governments across the world to tackle the problem, the U.N. health agency reports that more than nine in 10 youngsters breathe air that is so polluted, ‘it puts their health and development at serious risk.’ The WHO findings — launched on the eve of the agency’s first Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health in Geneva — include the estimate that 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air in 2016…” (10/29).

Additional coverage of the WHO report on air pollution and child health is available from Fortune, The Hill, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and VOA News.

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U.K.'s DFID Falls Short On Maternal Health, Family Planning Work, Independent Review Says

Devex: Aid watchdog accuses DFID of exaggerating maternal health impacts
“The United Kingdom’s work on maternal health and family planning has fallen short of expectations and the Department for International Development may have exaggerated the number of lives saved through its work, according to an aid watchdog. The Independent Commission for Aid Impact, an independent body that scrutinizes the U.K.’s aid budget, released its review of DFID’s maternal health efforts on Tuesday. It found that the aid department has not done enough to reach the most vulnerable women and girls, and that some of its programs have prioritized short-term access gains over quality and sustainability…” (Edwards, 10/30).

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Health Officials Report Additional Cases In DRC Ebola Outbreak, Now Nation's 3rd Largest

CIDRAP News: DRC records 17 new Ebola cases in nation’s 3rd-largest outbreak
“Over the weekend and [Monday], officials recorded 17 more cases of Ebola and 10 more deaths in the ongoing outbreak in the far eastern reaches of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). … The current outbreak, the country’s 10th, is now the DRC’s third largest, following the 1976 outbreak in Yambuku (318 cases) and 1995’s outbreak in Kikwit (315 cases). The outbreak is now the world’s sixth largest since Ebola was first recorded in 1976…” (Soucheray, 10/29).

Homeland Preparedness News: Armed rebellion impedes Democratic Republic of the Congo’s response to Ebola outbreak
“Continued attacks by rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is keeping health officials from combating the spread of an Ebola outbreak in the affected areas. … Because the risk of spread remains high, WHO reports [it] has no plan to reduce its more than 250 person response team. They are calling for enhanced efforts to prepare in areas adjacent to those infected, allowing for rapid detection, investigation, and response…” (Galford, 10/29).

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Canadian Minister Discusses Country's Efforts To Take Leading Role In Women's Rights, Sustainable Development In IPS Interview

Inter Press Service: Canada Takes a Lead Role Funding Reproductive Health, Women’s Rights & Sustainable Development
“…Currently the fifth largest donor to the U.N.’s development agencies — and holding the Presidency of the G7 comprising the world’s leading industrialized nations — [Canada] is planning to run for a non-permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council for 2021-22. Host to the 7th International Parliamentarians’ Conference (ICPI) on population and development in Ottawa last week — and having hosted the first such meeting in 2002 — Canada has also launched a Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP). … Leading the fight for women’s rights, gender empowerment, and sexual and reproductive rights is Marie-Claude Bibeau, the Canadian minister of international development, who is also a strong advocate for increased development financing. In an interview with IPS, she said international events like IPCI can be a strong catalyst for mobilizing people, ideas, and resources…” (Deen, 10/29).

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Gavi Aims To Expand Partnerships, Enable More Innovation In Vaccine Coverage

Devex: Innovation at Gavi: ‘The status quo will not suffice’
“When Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance convened Silicon Valley leaders at a lunch in the San Francisco Bay Area almost a year ago, the discussion centered on how to scale up private sector innovations so that vaccine deliveries can meet global health priorities while also benefiting the companies delivering the care…” (Cheney, 10/29).

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More News In Global Health

CNN: Dogs can sniff out malaria parasites on your clothes (Adebayo, 10/29).
The Guardian: Dogs can detect malaria by sniffing people’s socks (Davis, 10/29).

Devex: Q&A: World Food Prize laureate Nabarro on nutrition and conflict (Welsh, 10/30).

Miami Herald: New vaccine launched in Haiti could save up to 270,000 children a year (Charles, 10/29).

Reuters: South Sudan violence blocking food aid, says U.N.’s WFP (Fick/Dumo, 10/29).

Quartz Africa: This African billionaire wants us to talk openly about family planning to beat poverty (Dahir, 10/30).

UPI: Births less than a year apart increase risk for baby, older moms (Cone, 10/29).

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Editorials and Opinions

White House Foreign Assistance Review Serves As Opportunity To Reform U.S. Development Approach

Devex: Opinion: White House foreign aid review is long overdue. Here’s how to get reform right.
Mark Dybul, co-chair, Rob Mosbacher, co-chair, and John Danilovich, member, all of the Consensus for Development Reform

“…[E]ffectively reformed foreign assistance is a powerful tool that can simultaneously advance our national interests and those of the people we seek to help. But the particulars of the foreign aid review [– led by the White House –] are critically important, and we are concerned that a process that in the end renders a development strategy and budget that simply divides countries into two categories — friends and everyone else — is unlikely to have a positive effect on our national interests and could actually harm them. … We believe that [the creation of the new International Development Finance Corporation under the BUILD Act and the reforms and restructuring of USAID that is being undertaken by Administrator Mark Green] will make our development dollars more effective for those we seek to help, provide better value for the American people, and more clearly advance our broad national interests. While these are positive developments, there is a risk that the White House’s broader foreign assistance review will miss the mark in achieving transformative and lasting reforms, by ignoring the lessons learned from past reform efforts. … The administration’s pending review … holds the potential to reshape our approach to development and the benefits and value it provides. Our sincere hope is that the administration uses this opening to build consensus and drive those reforms in the right direction and toward success” (10/29).

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Bold Action Needed To Accelerate Efforts To Address Air Pollution

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Air pollution is a global health crisis we know how to solve
Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International

“…This week the World Health Organization (WHO) is meeting in Geneva for its first conference on the global air pollution health crisis. Medical professionals, health ministers, and researchers will convene for three days to talk through the problems. What people across the world are demanding most, however, are bold solutions to this crisis. … Of all the crises humanity faces, there are a few things about air pollution that are unique. Firstly, there is very little about this crisis which is unknown or mysterious. … We also know the solutions. … The demand is there. The means are at governments’ disposal. … But the scale of the crisis and the rewards of fixing it demand that we be bold and that we radically accelerate action on air pollution. The WHO needs to send this message to governments across the world, loud and clear” (10/29).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

PLOS One Study Estimates Indirect Costs Of PEPFAR Implementing Partners To Identify Potential Efficiencies In HIV/AIDS Investments

PLOS One: Calculating indirect costs from international PEPFAR implementing partners
In this newly published study, Brian Honermann, deputy director of amfAR, and colleagues examine spending by organizations implementing PEPFAR. They write, “To our knowledge, total funding for indirect costs has never been quantified for any major HIV program, constituting a gap in the HIV global financing discussion. Our analysis develops a method to estimate the range of indirect costs that have accrued to PEPFAR between 2007 and 2016 by international partners in an effort to better quantify the levels of funding used for indirect costs.” The authors estimate that from 2007-2016, between $1.85 billion and $4.34 billion was spent on indirect costs. They note, “Despite increased efficiencies in HIV service delivery, evaluating programs for greater efficiencies remains necessary. … [I]ndirect costs … may constitute an additional avenue to identify program efficiencies. … [T]he findings motivate a re-examination of the current policies and the return on investment in indirect cost recovery across the PEPFAR program” (10/29).

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AEI's Roger Bate Says Changes In Donor Policies Could Result In Inferior TB Medicines, Poor Patient Outcomes

AEI’s “AEIdeas”: Tuberculosis rates may rise due to inferior treatment
Roger Bate, visiting scholar at AEI, discusses the potential impact of changes in donor policies, particularly shifting from global to national purchase of TB drugs, on drug quality and patient outcomes. Bate notes, “The temptation to favor local producers with tariffs or quotas on imports starts as local companies cannot hope to compete. And as donors now start to pull back from nations and programs, local companies are likely to win business since they employ people and pay taxes locally. But the outcome for TB patients, and possibly malaria and HIV patients, is not a good one. Expect quality to go down and price to go up” (10/29).

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GHTC Halloween-Themed Game Tests Knowledge Of Global Health Technologies

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs Blog”: Play: TRICK or TREATment?
Marissa Chmiola, communications officer, and Ansley Kahn, program assistant, both at GHTC, highlight a Halloween-themed game called “TRICK or TREATment, to test … readers’ knowledge of global health technologies.” The authors note, “For each question, we will present a description of a global health technology. Choose TREATment if you believe this innovation exists and has market approval. Choose TRICK if you think we are trying to pull one over on you and, instead, the product is still in development or just a figment of our imagination” (10/26).

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IntraHealth International Helps Roll Out Tanzania's National HIV 'Test And Treat' Campaign

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: On the Ground with Tanzania’s National Test and Treat Campaign
Mary Goodluck Mndeme, communications officer at IntraHealth International, discusses Tanzania’s HIV “Test and Treat” campaign, which aims “to help more men get tested for HIV and to immediately link those who need them to care and treatment services, where they can start using antiretroviral medication” (10/29).

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