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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Nearly 385M Children Worldwide Live In Extreme Poverty, UNICEF-World Bank Report Says

The Guardian: Nearly half all children in sub-Saharan Africa in extreme poverty, report warns
“Nearly half of all children in sub-Saharan Africa are living in extreme poverty, according to a joint UNICEF-World Bank report released on Tuesday, with figures showing that almost 385 million children worldwide survive on less than $1.90 (£1.50) a day, the World Bank international poverty line. Extreme poverty leads to stunted development, limited future productivity as adults, and intergenerational transmission of poverty, the report says. The figures — based on data from 89 countries, and representing 84 percent of the developing world’s population — indicate that much work will be needed to meet the sustainable development goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030…” (Hodal, 10/4).

U.N. News Centre: Some 385 million children live in extreme poverty, World Bank-UNICEF study reveals
“…The report, titled Ending Extreme Poverty: A Focus on Children … finds that in 2013, 19.5 percent of children in developing countries were living in households that survived on an average of $1.90 a day or less per person, compared to just 9.2 percent of adults. … The youngest children are the most at risk — with more than one-fifth of children under the age of five in the developing world living in extremely poor households…” (10/4).

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Extreme Poverty, Childhood Stunting Prevents 250M Children From Reaching Full Potential, Lancet Series Shows

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Childhood stunting can cut future earnings by up to a quarter: Lancet
“Some 250 million children worldwide risk not reaching their full potential due to extreme poverty and stunting, cutting their future earnings by up to 26 percent and seriously impacting national growth, scientists said on Tuesday. The failure to invest in early child development is costing some low- and middle-income countries two to three times their current expenditure on health, researchers calculated. … Writing in The Lancet medical journal, the scientists highlight strong evidence linking stunting and extreme poverty to reduced cognitive and educational development, poorer adult health, and lower earnings…” (Batha, 10/4).

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370K Children Severely Malnourished In Yemen; U.N. Relief Coordinator Calls For End To Conflict

Agence France-Presse/Al Jazeera: Yemen: ‘Devastating’ to see malnourished children
“The United Nation’s humanitarian aid chief has described as ‘absolutely devastating’ the sight of Yemeni children suffering malnutrition as a result of the country’s 18-month conflict. The U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, says nearly three million people in Yemen are in need of immediate food supplies, while 1.5 million children suffer from malnutrition…” (10/4).

The Guardian: Yemen famine feared as starving children fight for lives in hospital
“…More than half of Yemen’s 28 million people are already short of food, the U.N. has said, and children are particularly badly hit, with hundreds of thousands at risk of starvation. There are 370,000 children enduring severe malnutrition that weakens their immune system, according to UNICEF, and 1.5 million are going hungry…” (Graham-Harrison, 10/4).

U.N. News Centre: ‘The best humanitarian relief is to end the conflict,’ U.N. aid chief says in war-torn Yemen
“… ‘The best humanitarian relief that can be provided is an end to the conflict. I urged the authorities, as I urge other parties to the conflict, to return to political negotiations without delay to reach a negotiated solution,’ [United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator] Stephen O’Brien, who is also the U.N. under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, said in Sana’a, the Yemeni capital…” (10/4).

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Bombings Of Hospitals Continue In War-Torn Syria, Sources Say

CNN: Syria: 2nd hospital destroyed by bombs as regime gains ground in Aleppo
“…At least seven people died and more remain trapped under rubble after ‘bunker-buster’ bombs destroyed the M10 hospital in Aleppo on Monday, opposition activists from the Aleppo Media Center said. Monday’s attack marked the third time in a week the M10 hospital was bombed. Airstrikes also pummeled the hospital, in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, last Wednesday and Saturday…” (Karadsheh et al., 10/4).

Reuters: Even in a bunker under a mountain, Syrian hospital knocked out by strikes
“…Western countries including the United States say Syria’s government and its Russian allies are guilty of war crimes for deliberately targeting civilians, aid deliveries, and hospitals during a three week escalation of the civil war. Moscow and Damascus say they target only militants and deny that they have hit hospitals, although several have been hit during the latest bombing campaign, which began after a ceasefire collapsed in September…” (Francis, 10/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Must Help Yemen Out Of Conflict-Driven, Worsening Humanitarian Situation

Washington Post: The United States must help pull Yemen back from total collapse
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, president and chief executive of the International Crisis Group

“…The war in Yemen has created one of the worst humanitarian emergencies in the Middle East, and that is saying a lot. More than 21 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance — around 80 percent of the country’s population. Fourteen million people are food insecure. … As President Obama enters the twilight of his term and looks back at a Middle East on fire, Yemen, the forgotten war, offers the chance of a diplomatic success. After a year of military stalemate, both sides have agreed on a range of steps that could end the war. Closing a deal is far from guaranteed. But, if it is to happen at all, it requires immediate and consistent diplomatic follow-up and pressure on U.S. allies, something that has been sorely absent thus far…” (10/5).

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Integrated, Coordinated Efforts Across Sectors Critical To Controlling, Eliminating NTDs

Huffington Post: Neglected Tropical Diseases: A Best Buy in Global Health
Ariel Pablos-Mendez, assistant administrator for global health and child and maternal survival coordinator at USAID

“…This year marks 10 years of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) addressing [neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)] and contributing to the WHO Roadmap [to accelerate progress toward NTD control and elimination by 2020]. … While much progress has been made, more work still remains. Integrated efforts that tackle the complex, interrelated challenges across sectors will be increasingly critical. Given the interconnected root causes of NTDs, greater coordination is needed to innovate and build upon our remarkable progress. Furthermore, interventions must continue to build local capacity, be data-driven, and further leverage limited resources. Promoting meaningful partnerships, local solutions, and private financing for health will be pivotal in closing this gap by 2020. Together, we can take global health to new frontiers and put an end to all diseases of extreme poverty” (10/4).

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7 Universities Channel Resources To Address Real-World Development Challenges

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Can the ‘Ivory Tower’ end poverty?
Ticora V. Jones, chief of the Higher Education Solutions Network at USAID’s U.S. Global Development Lab

“Some of the most innovative thinking in the world happens within universities… and never leaves. Meanwhile, outside the Ivory Tower walls, the world’s greatest challenges — poverty, access to health care, climate change — still need solving. We need to break the Tower walls to get these brilliant ideas out and into the real world. Seven universities are working together to change that. These seven schools in the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) — a partnership led by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s U.S. Global Development Lab — channel the ingenuity of university students, researchers, and faculty toward solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. Instead of just learning in the abstract, students are working with community leaders, industry experts, and private sector partners to deploy their ideas in more than 50 countries that need it most. These students aren’t just learning within the walls of a classroom, they are part of a far larger structure that allows them to partner, leverage, and cooperate across time zones, borders, and cultures so that innovative ideas can flow freely between them…” (10/4).

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Increased Efforts From Developed Countries Critical To Creating Positive Trajectory On Some SDGs

The Guardian: How can we reach an SDG target when we’re moving in the wrong direction?
Susan Nicolai, head of development progress at the Overseas Development Institute

“…[I]n order to reach the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] by 2030, we need to act now. … Our research shows that without increased effort, none of the goals will be met for all people everywhere, although progress on some issues and for some people will inevitably move faster than others. … A large number of … goals are heading in the right direction, yet they would need to speed up by several multiples of current rates in order to reach SDG targets. This includes the ‘unfinished business’ of the MDGs in areas such as hunger, health, education, sanitation, and gender. … Most worryingly, however, are a group of SDG targets that require outright reversals in their trajectories. Based on analysis we conducted, there are five targets needing complete turnaround: reducing inequality, limiting slum populations, reducing waste, combating climate change, and protecting marine environments. … [D]eveloped countries are set to play a significant role in any success or failure to achieve gains in these areas. More attention is needed to these about-turns if there is any hope of attainment of the SDG agenda” (10/5).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

WHO Could Serve Coordinating Role In Health Crisis Responses

World Policy Blog: The WHO Needs a Health Check
Craig Moran, an independent geopolitical consultant, writes the WHO is politically influenced by individual countries and “perennially underfunded.” He concludes, “There is a strong argument to be made that the organization has become overstretched and ossified in its operations. One solution to this problem could lie in allowing more nimble organizations like Doctors Without Borders, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, or the International Rescue Committee to take the lead, with the WHO playing a coordinating role. Given the speed with which a health crisis can erupt and spread in a deeply interconnected world, it is in no one’s interest to rely on a cumbersome first responder” (10/4).

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Mitigating Risks Critical To Ending Polio Globally

PLOS Medicine: Sailing in Uncharted Waters: Carefully Navigating the Polio Endgame
Elizabeth Miller, consultant epidemiologist in the Immunisation, Hepatitis and Blood Safety Department at Public Health England, and T. Jacob John, consultant pediatrician at the Child Health Foundation, discuss the risks and benefits of the use of oral poliovirus vaccines (OPV) and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). They conclude, “Until all risks of OPV cessation are understood and mitigated, continued IPV coverage will be necessary” (10/4).

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Report Examines Data Collected During West African Ebola Epidemic, Lessons Learned From Treatment Efforts

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Ebola responders analyze data from the last outbreak to prepare for the next
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses a report published in Global Health and Science Practice, titled “Successful Implementation of a Multicountry Clinical Surveillance and Data Collection System for Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa: Findings and Lessons Learned.” Barton notes the report, which “comes from efforts to collect patient information at five Ebola treatment facilities operated by International Medical Corps in Sierra Leone and Liberia from September 2014 to September 2015, … reflects the experiences of 2,768 patients, 2,351 of whom were admitted for treatment, 57 percent of whom, confirmed to have Ebola, died, and eight percent of whom did not have the virus, who also died” (10/4).

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