Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Administration's Cuts To Foreign Aid For Northern Triangle Countries Hurting Development, Humanitarian Programs, Charities Say

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Central America’s ‘poorest of the poor’ hit hard by U.S. aid cuts: charities
“From drought-hit farmers and hungry children to battered women, tens of thousands of people in Central America have been hard hit by U.S. government aid cuts, according to major charities. … Charities that receive funding, mainly through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), say they have had to stop, scale back, or postpone humanitarian and development projects…” (Moloney, 10/3).

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Tanzania Health Minister Rejects Allegations Of Covered Up Ebola Cases; VOA Reports On U.S. Delegation's September Visit To DRC To Assess Outbreak

Associated Press: Tanzania rejects suspicions that it covered up Ebola cases
“Tanzania on Thursday rejected suspicions that it might have covered up cases of the deadly Ebola virus, calling it a plot to show the country ‘in a bad light.’ The health minister’s comments came after the World Health Organization issued an unusual statement saying Tanzania refused to share information and the United States and Britain issued travel warnings…” (Odula, 10/3).

VOA: U.S. Health Delegation Committed to Fighting Ebola Outbreak in DRC
“…VOA’s Plugged In traveled with U.S. health officials in mid-September to the epicenter of the outbreak, along the country’s remote northeast border. The U.S.-led delegation brought hope and medicine to the region, but serious challenges remain. Mil Arcega was on the trip and reports from the DRC…” (Arcega, 10/3).

Xinhua: A.U. calls for cross-border collaboration to support continental efforts against Ebola crisis
“…The 55-member pan African bloc, through the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), said in its periodic bulletin that the cross-border collaboration on preparedness and response to Ebola virus disease among the hardest-hit Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and its neighboring countries would help to contain the spread of the deadly virus from other parts of the continent…” (10/4).

Additional coverage of the Ebola outbreak is available from CIDRAP News, Reuters, and Xinhua.

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U.S., Zambia Sign Agreement For Partnership To End TB

The Mast: U.S., Zambia sign partnership to end TB
“The United States and Zambia have signed the Tuberculosis Accelerator Statement of Partnership to end TB in Zambia. The Statement of Partnership represents a joint approach to achieve Zambia’s 2022 United Nations High Level Meeting TB targets: 1) treat over 200,000 people with drug-susceptible TB; 2) treat 4,800 people with drug-resistant TB; and 3) put over 400,000 people on TB preventive therapy…” (Chakwe, 10/4).

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BARDA Awards $20.5M To Sabin Vaccine Institute To Research Marburg, Sudan Ebolavirus Vaccines

Homeland Preparedness News: BARDA awards more than $20M for Marburg, Sudan ebolavirus vaccines
“The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) awarded the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute Inc. of Washington, D.C., with about $20.5 million to develop vaccines against Marburg virus and Sudan ebolavirus infections. Both diseases are caused by the same family of viruses as the Ebola virus, which is currently affecting communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. … With the award, the Sabin Vaccine Institute will conduct studies and complete manufacturing activities to advance the development of both vaccines…” (Kovaleski, 10/3).

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Partnership Launches £50M Program To Provide Medical Devices To 4 African Nations With Aim Of Improving Newborn Survival

The Telegraph: Burying Africa’s ‘equipment graveyards’: £50m program launched to reduce newborn deaths with better tech
“…On Friday, a £50m initiative was launched to provide more effective neonatal equipment for every hospital in Malawi, along with a handful in Tanzania, Uganda, and Nigeria — 54 in total. The program — Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies (NEST) — will supply a bundle of affordable and robust medical devices to hospitals to help reduce the number of babies who die in the first month of life. … The NEST program, funded by organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will provide a bundle of eight medical devices to hospitals to support sick babies…” (Newey, 10/4).

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Dengue, Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases On Rise Worldwide; Some Experts Blame Climate Change

Newsweek: Dengue, EEE, West Nile Virus among mosquito-borne diseases on the rise, as weather prolongs breeding season
“…Diseases spread by mosquitoes are a problem worldwide. … One of the reasons for the sudden upswing in mosquito-borne illnesses could be climate change…” (Martin, 10/3).

Washington Post: Dengue cases are surging around the world. Some blame a changing climate.
“…From Brazil to Bangladesh, Honduras to the Philippines, the number of reported dengue cases has surged this year. There has been a ‘huge increase,’ said Raman Velayudhan, the task force lead for dengue at the World Health Organization. ‘Unfortunately, things are a little grim at the moment.’ Preliminary figures from the WHO show 2.7 million reported cases worldwide through August. This year’s final tally is likely to match the worst years on record for dengue, Velayudhan said…” (Slater, 10/4).

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Devex Examines World Food Prize, Critics' Concerns Over Private Industry's Influence

Devex: The World Food Prize is courting the private sector. What could go wrong?
“The global nutrition community will arrive in Des Moines, Iowa, next week for the annual awarding of the World Food Prize. Simon Groot, who created a vegetable seed company that has boosted the fortunes of smallholder farmers, is the latest recipient of an award that has been called the ‘Nobel Prize for food and agriculture.’ With the prize — and the three days of panel discussions and speeches that culminate in the laureate address — the World Food Prize has carved out a position of significant influence over the global nutrition agenda. … Critics, who warn that the private sector will always prioritize profit over health, worry that the World Food Prize is leveraging its influence to boost the food and agricultural industry’s role in addressing malnutrition. Their critique speaks to a larger tension within the global nutrition community about how, if at all, to engage the private sector…” (Green, 10/4).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Kenya learns from its neighbors with HPV vaccine rollout (Jerving, 10/4).

The Lancet: Polio returns to the Philippines (Thornton, 10/5).

NPR: After Hurricane Dorian, The ‘Wikipedia Of Maps’ Came To The Rescue (Lu, 10/3).

The Telegraph: Saliva tests to diagnose malaria one step closer as researchers get £1m for trials (Farmer, 10/1).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Ghana sex education program sparks anti-LGBT+ outrage (Peyton, 10/1).

VOA: WHO Ramps Up Efforts to Stem Cholera Outbreak in Sudan (Schlein, 10/3).

Xinhua: Death toll in dengue in Philippines climbs to over 1,200 (10/4).

Xinhua: Mongolia to vaccinate kindergarten children against flu for free (10/4).

Yonhap: Maternal death declining in N. Korea: U.N. report (10/4).

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Editorials and Opinions

France Should Show Donor Leadership During Global Fund Replenishment Conference, Santé Mondiale 2030 Members Write

The Lancet: The Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference: a challenge for France, a challenge for global health
Stéphanie Tchiombiano of Université Paris and colleagues on behalf of Santé mondiale 2030

“By hosting the Sixth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Lyon, France, on Oct 9-10, 2019, President Emmanuel Macron reaffirms France’s longstanding contribution to the fight against these three diseases. … The Sixth Replenishment Conference in Lyon is a time to reposition France on the global health agenda. The success of the event will depend on the level of global financial commitment. Given the unmet needs and the possibility of fulfilling them with additional resources, the minimum $14 billion expected for replenishment is not acceptable and a more ambitious target should be set. … We believe that President Macron will have the courage and the ability to lead this international movement and that France will contribute with substantial financial resources to the replenishment. France must keep its place as a key donor and help bring a new impetus to global health” (10/5).

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New Rapid Tests For Bacteria Can Help Prevent Drug Resistance, Foundation Official Says

The Telegraph: The superbug threat is a race against time — we need to pick up the pace to find a rapid test
Daniel Berman, global health lead at Nesta Challenges

“…We need a complete reset of our relationship with antibiotics. This includes a more disciplined approach to getting test results before starting a course of antibiotics, transforming the rate of unnecessary use. While there are exceptions, for the vast majority of cases, antibiotics should only be taken when a test confirms a bacterial infection. This will become easier when rapid, accurate diagnostic tests become readily available. … It is critical that we speed up the development of tools that enable us to use existing antibiotics in the best way, anywhere in the world. The casual use of antibiotics wasn’t so much of a problem when new ones were being developed. Since no new class of antibiotics have been discovered since the 1980s, a new approach is needed…” (10/3).

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Digital Technologies Can Help Global Community Achieve Health-Related Development Goals, Opinion Piece Says

Devex: Opinion: How digital technology can help fill the health services gap
Jan Kimpen, lead of the clinical leadership team at Philips

“…The key to realizing improved access to care, while taking social determinants of health into account, is not building more hospitals. With digital health technology, monitoring or treating a patient doesn’t have to begin or end in a hospital: remote patient monitoring and virtual care, beyond the walls of the hospital, are now real options. … But it’s not about technology only — partnership and collaboration are also central to the efficient and effective delivery of care. So let’s start utilizing all of this potential through a committed ecosystem of strong collaborators. I firmly believe that this is key to addressing the complex challenges in expanding access to care…” (10/3).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

WHO Publishes Update On Global Rubella, Vaccination Coverage

World Health Organization: Vast progress in reducing rubella, but 3 in 10 children still unprotected against the disease
“For the first time, more than half of all the world’s infants are protected against the debilitating rubella virus, according to a new study by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, more than 80 countries have eliminated the disease…” (10/4).

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Public Health Experts Examine Conflicts Of Interest In Infant Formula Industry, Policy Efforts To Address Issues

BMJ Opinion: Conflict of interest and the infant formula industry — a call to action
Tanya Doherty of the Health Systems Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council and the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa and colleagues discuss the conflicts of interest in the infant formula industry and efforts to address them globally and in South Africa. The authors write, “[P]olicies and interventions to support breastfeeding are undermined by powerful multi-national formula milk manufacturers who compete for a share of infant feeding. … In the field of child health and nutrition, the primary responsibility of health professionals is to safeguard optimal health and development, which includes protection and support of breastfeeding. The primary concern of companies who manufacture breastmilk substitutes is profit, and their marketing strategy often targets endorsement by health professionals. The intersection of these two groups therefore leads to conflicts of interest…” (10/3).

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Cambridge Research Associate Examines Global Agricultural Systems, Actions To Mitigate Risks, Impacts Of Climate Change

Council on Foreign Relations: Down the Hunger Spiral: Pathways to the Disintegration of the Global Food System
In this guest post in CFR’s Averting Global Catastrophe blog series, Asaf Tzachor, research associate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge, examines the state of global agricultural systems, implications of climate change for these systems, and actions that could help mitigate risks (10/3).

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From the U.S. Government

CDC MMWR Article Outlines Progress Toward Worldwide Rubella Elimination

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Progress Toward Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome Control and Elimination — Worldwide, 2000-2018
Gavin Grant of the CDC Center for Global Health’s Global Immunization Division and colleagues write, “…Increases in the number of countries introducing [rubella-containing vaccine (RCV)] into national immunization schedules, in global RCV coverage, and in the number of countries verified as having eliminated endemic rubella transmission demonstrate the progress toward control and ultimately the elimination of rubella. The countries verified as having eliminated rubella serve as important examples and provide valuable lessons for other countries. Countries in all income groups can eliminate rubella by introducing RCV, strengthening surveillance, and improving immunization service delivery” (10/4).

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USAID Administrator Announces Award Recipients Under New Partnership Initiative, Including For Global Health Work

USAID: USAID Administrator Mark Green Announces Funding for Global Health and Victims of ISIS Genocide at the Accord Network Annual Forum
“U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green announced the first tranche of recipients under USAID’s New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) [Thursday] during his remarks at the Accord Network’s Annual Forum. The organizations will carry out programs that improve global health outcomes in USAID’s partner countries, and assist populations in the Republic of Iraq that are recovering from the genocide perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). … Administrator Green also announced two new awards under the Agency’s NPI for global health. These awards, which total $68 million, will leverage the expertise and reach of local and locally established civil society and faith- and community-based organizations to increase the quality, access, and sustainability of health care…” (10/3).

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