KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.N. Security Council Selects António Guterres To Succeed Ban Ki-Moon As Next U.N. Secretary General

New York Times: Security Council Backs António Guterres to Be Next U.N. Secretary General
“The United Nations Security Council reached a surprisingly swift consensus Wednesday on its choice for the next secretary general of the United Nations: António Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal…” (Sengupta, 10/5).

Wall Street Journal: U.N. Security Council Chooses António Guterres as Secretary General
“…Wednesday’s announcement came after months of deliberations in which Mr. Guterres, the 67-year-old former head of U.N.’s refugee organization, emerged as a leading candidate in all of the Security Council’s straw polls…” (Fassihi, 10/5).

Washington Post: Former prime minister of Portugal poised to become U.N. secretary general
“…The full 193-member General Assembly is scheduled to vote Thursday on the Security Council’s recommendation that Guterres succeed South Korean Ban Ki-moon when he steps down at the end of the year after two five-year terms. … The victory of Guterres … came after five straw polls taken this year among General Assembly members. Guterres — who is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese and often described as a consummate diplomat — came out on top every time…” (Morello, 10/5).

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Average Worldwide Life Expectancy Increases 10 Years Since 1980, Global Burden Of Disease Study Shows

The Guardian: Life expectancy rises 10 years across globe, but more suffer in old age
“Life expectancy has increased by 10 years across the globe in the past 35 years, thanks in part to efforts to treat infectious diseases such as AIDS and malaria, but diet, obesity, and drug use are now major causes of death and disability while too many women still die in childbirth, data reveal…” (Boseley, 10/6).

Reuters: Study shows health improving globally, but progress is patchy
“…The Global Burden of Disease study, which shows the key drivers of ill health, disability, and death in individual countries, found that by 2015, the world population had gained more than a decade of life expectancy since 1980 — rising to 69.0 years in men and 74.8 years in women. … The study analyzed 249 causes of death, 315 diseases and injuries, and 79 risk factors in 195 countries and territories between 1990 and 2015…” (Kelland, 10/6).

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American Public Closely Following Zika-Related News, Few Directly Affected By Disease, Kaiser Family Foundation Poll Shows

CQ HealthBeat: Poll Shows High Awareness of Zika and More Preparation in South
“News about the Zika virus is being closely watched by the American public, a newly released poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds. That interest, however, contrasts with the number of people who have actually been impacted by the virus. While 61 percent said they are closely following news about Zika, and 92 percent said they have at least heard about it, only two percent of the 1,204 surveyed in September knew anybody whose health was affected by Zika…” (Siddons, 10/4).

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Thailand Makes Abortion Legal For Women Carrying Fetuses With Serious Zika-Linked Defects

International Business Times: Thailand makes Zika-linked abortions legal as fears over microcephaly rise
“Thai authorities have decided that pregnant women infected with Zika virus can undergo abortion without legal consequences. After much deliberation doctors decided to ease the stringent laws, Thailand’s child health unit said on 5 October…” (Ray, 10/6).

Reuters: Abortion legal in Thai birth defect cases linked to Zika, officials say
“…Health experts who met this week to draft guidelines for expectant mothers with Zika concluded that abortions can be carried out at up to 24 weeks in case of serious birth defects. … Abortion is illegal in Thailand, except in cases of rape or to save a woman’s life or preserve her health, and if carried out in up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Beyond that time, hospitals must decide on a case-by-case basis…” (Lefevre, 10/6).

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Aid Teams Work To Reach Isolated Areas Of Haiti Hit By Hurricane Matthew; U.N. Says 350K Need Assistance

The Guardian: Hurricane Matthew: U.N. says 350,000 Haitians in need of assistance
“The destruction wrought by Hurricane Matthew has affected 350,000 Haitians and left the country facing its worst humanitarian crisis since the devastating earthquake six years ago, the U.N. has said…” (Jones/Holpuch, 10/5).

Humanosphere: Haiti braces for post-hurricane cholera outbreak, a ‘potential humanitarian disaster’
“After Hurricane Matthew slashed through the impoverished nation of Haiti on Tuesday, leaving death and destruction in its wake, the country may be facing another deadly crisis: a surge in cholera…” (Nikolau, 10/5).

NPR: ‘We Were Already In A Cholera Crisis’; Hurricane Pummels Haiti, Heads North
“…The United Nations disaster risk agency says the scale of the destruction in the most remote parts of Haiti’s southwestern peninsula is still unknown. Roads have been washed out, communication to much of the region is cut off and aid organizations say they are deeply concerned about a spike in cholera cases…” (Hersher, 10/5).

Wall Street Journal: Aid Teams Try to Reach Areas in Haiti Pounded by Hurricane Matthew
“Rescue workers in Haiti began distributing supplies Wednesday to victims of Hurricane Matthew as they worked to reach cut off areas and assess the full extent of damage and casualties from the storm that left hundreds of thousands of people in need of help…” (Harrup, 10/5).

Washington Post: Haiti takes stock of Hurricane Matthew devastation as storm churns toward U.S.
“…So far 16 deaths have been reported — 10 in Haiti itself — but that figure could rise as authorities have still not heard from key regions, including the hard-hit Grande Anse region in western Haiti…” (Schemm et al., 10/6).

Washington Post: Aid teams in Haiti struggle to reach regions slammed by Hurricane Matthew
“…Local teams in the isolated regions were in ‘search-and-rescue mode,’ [Samuel Darguin, a worker with the aid group Haitian American Caucus-Haiti,] said, with reports of people missing. That suggested the death toll could rise…” (Schemm/Murphy, 10/5).

Xinhua/New China: Over 4 mln children at risk as Hurricane Matthew pummels Haiti: UNICEF
“More than four million children may be exposed to the damage of Hurricane Matthew, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday as the Category 4 storm made landfall on the impoverished Caribbean island…” (10/4).

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Parliamentary Commission In Poland Rejects Proposal For Complete Abortion Ban

Associated Press: After mass protests, Poland won’t back total abortion ban
“Lawmakers with Poland’s ruling right-wing party voted in a tumultuous parliamentary commission session to reject a proposal for a total ban on abortion. … However, the proposal must still go to a vote to the full assembly of the lower house of Parliament on Thursday. Lawmakers will then vote on whether to reject it outright or whether to return it to the commission level for further consideration…” (10/5).

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Bill Gates Urges Political, Private Sector Leadership To Support More Innovation In Health, Technology

Seattle Times: Bill Gates urges political leaders: Don’t forget to strive for ‘life-changing’ goals
“…In a post Thursday on his Gates Notes blog, [Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill] Gates said he’s been thinking recently about a topic he says Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have not addressed in detail: ‘what political leadership can do to accelerate innovation.’ What follows is a 1,500-word plea for renewed political commitment to bold goals like developing a vaccine for HIV and the kind of public sector investments that, with private sector help, can bring them to fruition…” (Day, 10/6).

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Myanmar City Working To Neuter, Vaccinate Stray Dogs For Rabies To Prevent Human Transmission

Associated Press: Myanmar nabs, neuters, and vaccinates strays to fight rabies
“Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, is capturing some of its tens of thousands of stray dogs, using blowpipes to sedate them for neutering and vaccinations to combat a rabies epidemic. … Since few of the animals get vaccinated, the region suffers a high incidence of rabies, which is almost always fatal in humans. About 1,000 people contract the disease in Myanmar every year and thousands more are treated after getting bitten…” (10/6).

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Venezuela's Economic Crisis Negatively Impacts Health Care System; Hospitals Experience Drug, Supply Shortages

Associated Press: A child’s scraped knee a life or death matter in Venezuela
“…If Venezuela has become dangerous for the healthy, it is now deadly for those who fall ill. One in three people admitted to public hospitals last year died, the government reports. The number of operational hospital beds has fallen by 40 percent since just 2014. And as the economy fails, the country is running short on 85 percent of medicines, according to the national drugstore trade group…” (Dreier, 10/4).

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Editorials and Opinions

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Other Private Philanthropic Health Efforts Can Complement Seperate Global Health Efforts

Washington Post: Here’s what is promising, and troubling, about Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s plan to ‘cure all diseases.’
Jeremy Youde, fellow and senior lecturer in international relations at the Australian National University and chair of the global health section of the International Studies Association

“…Philanthropic organizations are playing an increasingly prominent role in global health, but their rise raises questions of accountability and whether deep-pocketed private organizations could distort the larger global health agenda. … Some observers have asked whether private organizations should launch independent public health efforts without oversight or any obligation to account for their work. Rather than putting its resources into an existing organization like the World Health Organization, [the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)] — like [the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation] — is creating its own institution and building its own network of collaborating institutions. … Do we want private individuals and institutions to have so much say in how the world tackles something as critical as health? … Critics charge that the opacity of CZI and other private philanthropic funders allows them to set the global health agenda on their own terms — and potentially in opposition to what developing countries actually want in the health space. … [Still,] CZI and other global health philanthropies can complement other global health efforts. … CZI’s efforts can add to what the world already has, bringing more research and more attention to global health” (10/4).

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Hospitals, Health Care Workers In Conflict-Ridden Afghanistan Must Be Protected

The Guardian: Health care in Afghanistan: ‘doctors are threatened at gunpoint, even by civilians’
Neill Kling, surgeon with the International Committee of the Red Cross’ mobile surgical team in Afghanistan

“It’s dangerous to be a doctor in Afghanistan. … Doctors and nurses, ambulance drivers and paramedics, hospitals and health centers have all come under attack in Afghanistan. This disrupts the delivery of medical care when people need it most. Patients — both civilians and combatants — die because they are prevented from receiving needed care. The disruption can be so severe that the entire system collapses. … My message to community leaders, fighters, and even average citizens is clear. It is the same message that my colleagues are using in conflict zones across the world: if you don’t respect and protect the health care workers, you will soon find no one left to care for you. Wars must have limits, so respect the laws of war. Respect hospitals and the staff working in them. Let them do their jobs” (10/5).

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8 Community-Level Insights To Help End Child Marriage

Devex: 8 insights to end child marriage
Kate Whittington, program officer at Girls Not Brides

“…While the efforts of international agencies and national governments are paramount to ending child marriage, so too is the work happening day in day out at the community level. On the first anniversary of the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] being adopted, now is a good time to reflect on the successes and challenges organizations face when working to end child marriage. Based on their experiences working at the community level, here are eight insights they have shared with us. 1. Holistic approaches can transform the lives of girls. … 2. Knowledge is power. … 3. Culture is key. … 4. Secure support from local community leaders from the start. … 5. Laws are a good starting point, but change cannot end there. … 6. Men and boys are part of the solution. … 7. Women are agents of change. … 8. Document and share learnings…” (10/5).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 297 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter features articles on various topics, including an analysis of the implications of fluctuating currencies on HIV/AIDS funding and a full list of pledges made at the Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment Conference (10/5).

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