KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Following Vote On U.N. Security Council Resolution On Women, Peace, Security, U.S. Ambassador To U.N. Craft Says U.S. 'Cannot Accept References' To Sexual, Reproductive Health Or Abortion

Reuters: U.S. pitted against Britain, France, South Africa, others at U.N. over abortion
“The United States told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that it opposed references to sexual and reproductive health and the safe termination of pregnancies, pitting Washington against Britain, France, South Africa, and others. While the United States joined its 14 council counterparts to unanimously adopt a resolution on women, peace, and security, U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft said Washington was unhappy that the text mentioned previous resolutions that promote sexual and reproductive health. ‘We cannot accept references to “sexual and reproductive health,” nor any references to “safe termination of pregnancy” or language that would promote abortion or suggest a right to abortion,’ she said after the vote. The statement by Craft was the latest in a string of moves by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration against the promotion of sexual and reproductive health services by the United Nations…” (Nichols, 10/29).

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Vox Reports On Shuttering Of USAID Predict Program To Research, Track Infectious Diseases

Vox: A crucial federal program tracking dangerous diseases is shutting down
“…Ever since the 2005 H5N1 bird flu scare, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has run a project to track and research these diseases, called Predict. At a cost of $207 million during its existence, the program has collected more than 100,000 samples and found nearly 1,000 novel viruses, including a new Ebola virus. But on Friday, the New York Times reported that the U.S. government is shutting down the program. According to its former director Dennis Carroll, the program enjoyed enthusiastic support under Bush and Obama, but ‘things got complicated’ in the last few years until the program ‘essentially collapsed.’ Some aspects of the program — it’s unclear which — will be continued under different auspices in other departments of the government. But the core program — working with local researchers around the world to collect samples and better understand viruses in animals — is over…” (Piper, 10/29).

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Donor Meeting On Venezuela Humanitarian Crisis Sees Few New Pledges, Shifts Attention To Need For Official Pledging Conference

Devex: Donors offer ‘solidarity’ for Venezuela crisis but few dollars
“A donor conference on Venezuela held in Brussels on Tuesday saw the proposal of an initiative to better link global funders with governments in the region. However, the worsening humanitarian crisis remains steeply underfunded, with few new commitments made and attention shifting to the need for an official pledging conference…” (Chadwick, 10/30).

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Financial Times Continues Special Report On Universal Health Care

Financial Times: Special Report: Universal Healthcare
“World leaders have committed to introduce universal health coverage by 2030 as part of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. FT writers discuss the policies and innovations in technology that could help bring this about.” The special report includes a video on how technology is improving health care access and an article on the importance of quality health care (Multiple authors, 10/30).

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Devex Interviews, STAT Profiles WHO Health Emergencies Programme Executive Director Mike Ryan

Devex: Q&A: The ups and downs of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme
“The World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme was less than three years old when Dr. Michael Ryan took over earlier this year — putting him in charge of responses ranging from the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to meeting the health needs of Rohingya who had been forced from Myanmar. … He spoke with Devex at the World Health Summit in Berlin this week about the program’s evolution and what he has learned from the challenges encountered in some of its responses…” (Green, 10/30).

STAT: The fireman of global health: The WHO’s emergencies chief is put to the test
“…[Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme,] and his staff are firemen, the paramedics of global health. Their work is all front-burner stuff. Half an hour spent on this is 30 minutes not spent on that. There is the Ebola crisis — and a massive measles outbreak — in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Rohingya refugee situation in Bangladesh, too many crises to count in Yemen and Syria. … He has taken on the job at a time when disease outbreaks and natural disasters appear to be happening at a more rapid pace. Many countries around the globe are becoming more affluent and better able to look after the health of their people — but some are spiraling in the opposite direction, creating enormous challenges…” (Branswell, 10/30).

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Wellcome Report Outlines Strategies To Better Communicate Issues Surrounding Drug Resistance

Becker’s Hospital Review: 5 ways to improve global understanding of antimicrobial resistance
“The world has not taken enough action to address antimicrobial resistance in part due to limited understanding and support from the general public, according to a new report from the nonprofit research charity Wellcome … For the report, researchers examined existing data and resources to understand how the world is addressing antimicrobial resistance, reviewed media outlets to understand how the issue is being covered, and interviewed health experts on antimicrobial resistance…” (Bean, 10/29).

CIDRAP News: Experts urge better antimicrobial resistance messaging
“…The report … concludes that while antibiotic resistance has gained political traction in recent years, few concrete steps have been taken, in part because the public is not championing the issue and forcing governments to act. And one of the reasons for the lack of public engagement is that stakeholders haven’t effectively communicated the dangers of antimicrobial resistance in a way that makes sense or conveys the urgency of the problem…” (Dall, 10/29).

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Media Outlets Continue Coverage Of GSK Experimental TB Vaccine Clinical Trial Results

CIDRAP News: TB vaccine candidate shows sustained protection
“In a promising development that seems to put the world a step closer to a better vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), researchers [Tuesday] published final results from a phase 2b trial, which showed nearly 50% protection against progression to active TB. The findings confirm earlier results first reported in 2018 for the adjuvanted subunit vaccine (M72/AS01E) developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). Researchers published their findings [Tuesday] in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented them at the 50th Union World Congress on Lung Health in Hyderabad, India…” (Schnirring, 10/29).

Additional coverage of the trial results is available from The BMJ, MedPage Today, and Science Speaks.

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Pakistan Outbreak Of HIV Spread Through Unsterilized Medical Equipment Puts Focus On Need For Better Regulation, Training Of Health Workers

New York Times: An HIV Outbreak Puts Spotlight on Pakistan’s Health Care System
“A pediatrician accused of reusing syringes and infecting [nearly 900] Pakistani children with HIV [in the small Pakistani city of Ratodero] is now practicing in a government-run hospital after his private clinic was shuttered, in a case that is raising widespread questions about the integrity of Pakistan’s health care system. … But government officials believe he is not the only cause there, and that the bad practices he is accused of, including reusing syringes and IV needles, are so widespread across Pakistan that the entire health care system needs better regulation…” (Abi-Habib/Masood, 10/30).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: Malawi fights tsetse flies, disease after wildlife relocated (Jali, 10/30).

Associated Press: U.N.: More than 7 million malaria cases in Burundi outbreak (10/30).

Borgen Magazine: Keheala: Tackling TB in Kenya Through Tech (Ross, 10/29).

Devex: A ‘super framework’ for climate migration isn’t on the way (Lieberman, 10/29).

Los Angeles Times: Tied down and sterilized: Peru’s dark history of family planning (Miller, 10/29).

New Humanitarian: In Syria’s latest exodus, local citizens become frontline aid workers (Barbarani, 10/29).

New Humanitarian: Q&A: How to stem the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Latin American history (Dupraz-Dobias, 10/29).

Reuters: U.N. migration body suspends some Ebola screening after 3 aid workers killed (Obulutsa, 10/30).

SciDev.Net: New blood test to detect Zika approved in Brazil (Ortiz, 10/30).

Xinhua: Global warming to increase undernourishment illnesses, malnutrition: study (10/30).

Xinhua: Zambia targets to eliminate malaria-related deaths by 2030 (10/30).

Xinhua: Southern African health ministers to review progress on fight against major diseases (10/29).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Piece Says Smaller Family Size Would Help Combat Climate Change

Newsweek: This Controversial Way To Combat Climate Change Might Be The Most Effective | Opinion
Michael Shank, sustainable development instructor at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs and communications director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance

“Given the climate inaction among national governments — from America and Australia to Brazil and Britain — there’s been a big focus on actions that individuals can take. … What’s less frequently discussed, however, when it comes to personal contributions people can make, is also one of the most effective actions on the climate front: a smaller family size. … Adding another estimated 2 billion people over the next three decades to our existing 7.7 billion global population will put unimaginable stress on the planet’s resources, especially drinking water, which is already drying up in cities throughout the world. … This is about educating girls and empowering women, since research continues to show that this leads to smaller families and, thus, more resources for each child. … And this is about increasing access to, and affordability of, reproductive services … By having thoughtful, equity-based conversations about the benefits of smaller families, we can make meaningful progress on and investments in healthy families and a healthy climate, allowing parents and the planet to invest more resources in each child…” (10/29).

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IFPMA Director General Advocates For Pharmaceutical Tiered Pricing To Reach UHC In Opinion Piece

Financial Times: Rich countries must pay more to achieve health for all in poorer countries
Thomas B. Cueni, director general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA)

“…The question is no longer whether the private sector has a role to play in UHC but rather how to best work with the private sector in delivering it. … The way to improve access to medicines, quality generics as well as innovative drugs, is to ensure that they reach the patients and create conditions which allow for differential pricing to make innovative medicines more affordable and accessible in LMICs. We advocate value-based pricing and that means advocating for some form of tiered pricing, whereby the wealthy accept to pay more for their medicines than the poorer and more vulnerable in society. … Health for all is a journey unique to each country’s needs and priorities. If the political will is there for the long haul, as the UHC declaration would suggest it is, then countries should be able to find the necessary resources and partners across the private sector to achieve their health goals…” (10/29).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Sierra Club Magazine Article Discusses MCP, Implications For FP/RH Services, Global HER Act

Sierra Club’s Sierra Magazine: The Global Gag Rule Puts a Choke Hold on Contraception
Journalist Karen J. Coates discusses the Mexico City policy and its implications for family planning and reproductive health services globally. Coates concludes, “Earlier this year, U.S. lawmakers introduced the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights Act (a.k.a. the Global HER Act), which, if passed, would permanently repeal the global gag rule and prevent future administrations from easily reimposing it via executive order. Of course, the bill’s fate will depend on which party is in power after the 2020 election” (10/30).

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U.S. Sanctions On Iran Harming Humanitarian, Health Imports, HRW Report Says

Human Rights Watch: Iran: Sanctions Threatening Health
“The Trump administration’s broad sanctions on Iran have drastically constrained the ability of the country to finance humanitarian imports, including medicines, causing serious hardships for ordinary Iranians and threatening their right to health, Human Rights Watch said in a report released [Tuesday]. The administration in Washington should take immediate steps to ensure a viable channel exists for trade of humanitarian goods with Iran…” (10/29).

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WHO, Local Health Experts Work To Strengthen RMNCAH&N Services In 6 African Countries

WHO Regional Office for Africa: WHO builds Capacity of Six African Countries to Strengthen Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition
“The Ministry of Health [of Uganda], with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), is conducting a five-day workshop to build the capacity of program managers and WHO country office staff to better manage and improve service delivery in the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH&N) program. … It will build the capacity of the managers to integrate health programs to serve women, children, and adolescents irrespective of where they live and ensure that they access required health care services. … Indeed, the capacity building workshop will contribute to the bigger goal of contributing to the reduction of maternal, newborn, and child deaths; through ensuring increased access to quality RMNCAH&N services. The training is attended by RMNCAH program managers from six countries including Botswana, Eritrea, Eswatini, The Republic of South Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia” (10/29).

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From KFF

KFF Updates Comprehensive Summary Of Donor Funding For DRC Ebola Response

KFF: Data Note: Donor Funding for the Current Ebola Response in the DRC
The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has required increasing amounts of external support from donors (for more information on the outbreak, see KFF’s explainer). Yet there has been limited information about donor funding to date and a lack of a centralized reporting mechanism for tracking funding. This data note provides the first comprehensive summary of donor funding for the DRC Ebola response (Moss/Michaud/Kates, 10/29).

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