KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO, Governments Working To Curb Antimicrobial Resistance, Substandard Medicines

Intellectual Property Watch: WHO Official On AMR: Poor Quality Medicines Entering At “Last Mile” To Patient
“…Hajime Inoue, senior adviser to the director general and special representative for antimicrobial resistance at the WHO, said more than 130 member states have completed a national action plan on AMR or [are] in the process, covering more than 90 percent of the global population. The panel, ‘Quality Medicines: Critical underpinnings of all AMR strategies,’ was hosted by several organizations including USP, and held on 19 September at the Harvard Club in New York…” (New, 10/5).

Inter Press Service: The World Is Running Out of Much Needed New Antibiotics
“…The latest World Health Organization (WHO) report on this issue ‘Antibacterial agents in clinical development — an analysis of the antibacterial clinical development pipeline, including tuberculosis’ found very few potential treatment options for those antibiotic-resistant infections identified by the organization as posing the ‘greatest threat to health,’ including drug-resistant tuberculosis which kills around 250,000 people each year…” (Kamal, 10/4).

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U.N., Humanitarian Groups Appeal For Assistance For Rohingya Refugees In Bangladesh; Camps Raise Risk Of Disease Outbreaks

IRIN: Disease fears grow as Bangladesh plans giant Rohingya refugee camp
“…The challenge for the Bangladeshi government is … constructing the equivalent of a small city from scratch in the middle of a humanitarian emergency. … Missing is the vital infrastructure to support a vulnerable and swelling refugee population: water, toilets, or even the access roads that would help build them. This has raised concerns that overcrowding could trigger outbreaks of disease, from measles and diphtheria to dysentery and cholera, which is endemic in Bangladesh…” (Wadud, 10/4).

Reuters: Aid groups seek $434 million to help up to 1.2 million Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar
“Humanitarian organizations helping Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh said on Wednesday they need $434 million over the next six months to help up to 1.2 million people, most of them children, in dire need of life-saving assistance…” (Bhatia, 10/4).

U.N. News Centre: Rohingya refugees living in ‘dire’ conditions, senior U.N. officials warn, appealing for assistance
“The human tragedy unfolding in southern Bangladesh is staggering in its scale, warned two senior United Nations officials [Wednesday] as they wrapped up a mission to Cox’s Bazar with calls for a ‘significant increase in assistance’ for the thousands of Rohingyas [who] have settled in the area after fleeing violence in neighboring Myanmar. … In the last few weeks, well over half a million Rohingya people have crossed the Myanmar border into Bangladesh, making this the world’s fastest developing refugee emergency…” (10/4).

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Kenya's Plastic Bag Ban Complicates Food Storage Technology Supported By USAID

Devex: Kenya’s plastic bag ban complicates USAID-promoted technology
“…Tens of thousands of farmers in Kenya rely on Hermetic Storage Technology (HST) agricultural bags to store their crops after harvest … USAID contributed about $150,000 to the promotion of these bags beginning in 2013, as part of its Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises (KAVES) project. … The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) of Kenya told Devex that the HST bags are considered exempt under the ban, but that companies that manufacture HST agricultural bags will still need to individually apply to NEMA for an annual clearance from the ban, in order to produce them…” (Jerving, 10/5).

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With More Women In Leadership Positions, WHO Could Change Perspectives On Global Health

HuffPost: The World Health Organization’s Leadership Team Could Change The Planet’s Approach To Health
“…As has been demonstrated time and again, when women are in leadership positions, they’re bringing a perspective to the table that has previously been missing, and this is particularly important when it comes to public jobs. … In a study conducted by WHO itself in 2009, everything from HIV prevention to domestic abuse has some roots in sexism, reports Time. So it seems that they decided to work from the top down to help fix that…” (Zamon, 10/4).

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Counseling, Dieting Recommended For Obese, Overweight Children In New WHO Guidelines

U.N. News Centre: Counseling and dieting among new U.N. health agency guidelines on child obesity
“An estimated 41 million children under five years old are obese or overweight, United Nations health experts warned [Wednesday], launching new guidelines to tackle what they call a global epidemic. … The just-published obesity guidelines include counseling and dieting, an assessment of eating habits along with the more usual weight and height measurements. WHO says the prevalence of obesity in children reflects changing patterns towards unhealthy diets and physical inactivity…” (10/4).

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Health Officials Express Concern Over Madagascar's Plague Season, As Disease's Spread Differs From Past Years

NPR: Why ‘Plague Season’ Is A Big Worry In Madagascar This Year
“…Madagascar can see between 280 and 600 infections annually. But only a few weeks into this year’s plague season, health officials in the African island are worried that the 2017 outbreak could be different. As Madagascar’s Ministry of Health reported Sunday, 169 people have fallen ill from the plague since August, and 30 of them have died. … Madagascar is grappling with [pneumonic plague] right now…” (Bichell, 10/4).

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Less Than Half Of Pregnant Refugees In Greece Have Access To Prenatal Health Care, Doctors Of The World Study Shows

Reuters: Refugees’ health problems in Greece mostly unmet: medical charity
“Refugees and migrants in Greece receive little or no medical care for most health problems they face and fewer than half of those pregnant had access to maternal care, aid group Doctors of the World said on Tuesday. … The charity, together with health care company MSD, known in the United States as Merck, is implementing a two-year initiative aimed at providing maternal health care services to pregnant women and babies from vulnerable populations in Greece…” (Tagaris, 10/3).

Xinhua News: Access to medical care for pregnant refugees remains challenge in Greece: NGO
“…A total of 14,000 refugee women participated in the research as part of the two-year Mother & Child project carried out by Doctors of the World Greece. The findings were presented during an international conference in Athens for Safe Motherhood Week 2017 from Oct. 2 to 9. According to the research, less than 47 percent of refugee women had access to reproductive health care prior to the intervention by the Doctors of the World…” (Vlachou, 10/3).

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IRC Video Footage Shows Impact Of Cholera Outbreak, Humanitarian Crisis On Yemen's Health Care System

CNN: Yemen’s cholera crisis laid bare in new hospital footage
“New footage from inside several hospitals in Yemen reveals the crisis facing the war-torn country as it battles to contain one of the world’s worst ever outbreaks of cholera. The videos, provided to CNN by the International Rescue Committee, show children being treated for possible symptoms of the infectious disease in hospitals and mobile health units in the city of Aden and other areas in southern Yemen in late August. … The United Nations has counted 777,229 suspected cases as of October 2, many of them in children…” (Masters/Kiernan, 10/4).

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L.A. Times Profiles South Sudanese Man Trying To Improve Health Care With Ultrasound Machine

Los Angeles Times: A man and his machine in Africa — and his quest to bring health care to his people
“…The story of [Seme] Khemis and his [ultrasound] machine is that of one man’s struggle to make a small difference in a country ravaged by war and neglect. Khemis, who is 31 and has a thin face, gentle eyes, and a manner that veers between breathless enthusiasm and stoic compassion, is not a doctor. But he is intimately acquainted with South Sudan’s impoverished health system. Bringing health care to one tiny community was the thing that he felt he could do that would help most…” (Dixon, 10/5).

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Editorials and Opinions

Systems Integration, Including Training Community Health Workers, Building Infrastructure, Vital To Achieving SDGs

Thomson Reuters Foundation: There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals: The solution to meeting any of them lies in how they inter-relate
Ellen Agler, chief executive officer of the END Fund

“…It’s going to take all the systems-thinking we can muster if we are to achieve the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] by 2030 but I truly believe it’s possible, if we can align efforts to scale impact. … [Community health workers (CHW)] are a great example of systems-thinking in action. If we can build this frontline infrastructure, we can use it in many different ways: to combat diseases like malaria and [neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)], to tackle widespread malnutrition, improve maternal health outcomes, and save and improve lives. … At the END Fund, we’ve been working to make sure every time we support a national NTD program, it is squarely rooted in strengthening local health systems and integrated with efforts to scale CHW programs in the poorest and most remote villages. … Meeting any of the SDGs is about seeing the interconnections between these individual goals — understanding them from a systems lens. We need to leverage … international events to work together to find the convergence opportunities and develop holistic solutions” (9/29).

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Good Governance Most Important Factor In Responding, Building Resilience To Climate-, Conflict-Related Food Insecurity

The Conversation: Somalia conflict and famine: the causes are bad governance, not climate change
Hakim Abdi, geographer and sustainability scientist at Lund University

“The link between climate change and violent conflict is a complex one. In specific circumstances changing weather patterns may lead to conflict. … But the links are often exaggerated and oversimplified. Somalia is a case of subtle connections between drought, food insecurity, and conflict. Understanding these connections better — and identifying other relevant factors — could help prevent suffering in the future. … It is wrong to blame climate change for famine and conflict. These can either be prevented, or the impact minimized, if institutions and mechanisms of good governance are in place. … Somalia needs a Somali-led integrated disaster information system that identifies food insecurity and directs response. Other useful steps include harnessing local knowledge and technology to meet the people’s needs. … Somalis should be prepared for more hard times in future” (10/4).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CSIS Launches Commission On Strengthening America's Health Security

Center for Strategic & International Studies: CSIS Announces Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security
“The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) [Monday announced] the establishment of a Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security. The Commission, led by the CSIS Global Health Policy Center and the CSIS International Security Program, will bring together a distinguished and diverse group of leaders who bridge the health and security fields — drawing from Congress, past administrations, industry, foundations, universities, and nongovernmental organizations — to chart a bold vision for the future of U.S. leadership in global health security…” (10/2).

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Global Fund Continues To Support Programs To Address Drug-Resistant TB

Friends of the Global Fight: Countering Drug Resistance in Tuberculosis, the World’s Most Lethal Epidemic
In the first in a series of blog posts exploring the threat that drug resistance poses in addressing the HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria epidemics, Mark P. Lagon, chief policy officer at Friends, and Anna Carroll discuss the challenges of drug-resistant TB and the Global Fund’s work to support TB programs (10/4).

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IAEA, WHO, UNICEF Joint Workshop Explores Double Burden Of Malnutrition

International Atomic Energy Agency: IAEA Joins Forces with WHO and UNICEF to Tackle the Double Burden of Malnutrition
“The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are holding a joint workshop this week to explore, among other topics, the role of nuclear techniques in addressing the double burden of malnutrition — where undernutrition coexists with obesity or diet-related non-communicable diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular conditions…” (10/5).

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'Science Speaks' Highlights Recent Pieces On HIV Treatment As Prevention, TB As R&D Priority, PEPFAR's New Strategy

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: What we’re reading: Treatment is prevention, TB is a priority, welcome words and more
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses several recent pieces on global health, including a CDC statement addressing the role of viral suppression through effective treatment in preventing sexual transmission of HIV; a statement from the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease on two recently released WHO reports that recognize tuberculosis as a research and development priority; an article from NIAID on the development of microbicides for HIV prevention; and an analysis of PEPFAR’s recently released strategy by the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (10/4).

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