KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

MSF Calls For Fact-Finding Mission Under Geneva Convention Protocols To Investigate Kunduz Hospital Bombing

News outlets report on a speech given Wednesday in Geneva by Médecins Sans Frontières International President Joanne Liu, in which she called for an International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to investigate the bombing of the group’s hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Associated Press: Aid group seeks fact-finding mission over Kunduz strike
“Doctors Without Borders called for an independent and unprecedented fact-finding mission on Wednesday to investigate a U.S. airstrike on a hospital run by the medical aid group in Afghanistan that killed at least 22 people. The group, which believes Saturday’s airstrike in Kunduz may have been a war crime, appealed to the U.S., Afghanistan, and other countries to mobilize a little-known commission to look into the tragedy…” (Keaten, 10/7).

The Guardian: Afghan hospital bombing: MSF demands investigation under Geneva Conventions
“…The investigation would be a first step, aimed to establish facts about the incident and the chain of command that led to the strike, MSF said. Only then would it decide whether to bring criminal charges for loss of life and damage. The Geneva Conventions are a set of treaties regarding humanitarian issues of civilians and combatants in wartime…” (Tran, 10/7).

Washington Post: Aid group seeks independent probe into U.S. attack on Afghan hospital
“…On Tuesday, [Gen. John F. Campbell, who commands U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan,] told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the United States bore ultimate responsibility for authorizing strikes on a civilian compound. ‘A hospital was mistakenly struck,’ he said. ‘We would never intentionally target a protected medical facility’…” (Ryan/Deane, 10/7).

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Some Experts Concerned TPP Could Harm Global Public Health

ScienceInsider: Trade agreement praised and panned
“…[Some e]xperts say that some aspects of the [Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)] — signed by the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries representing two-fifths of the global economy — could harm public health. A major concern is intellectual property (IP) rights for drugs. … The TPP’s ultimate fate is not decided. In many countries, including the United States, governments must win approval from their legislatures” (Normile/Servick, 10/6).

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Maternal, Newborn Deaths Up In Sierra Leone, As Women Forego Prenatal Care, Birth In Health Centers Over Ebola Fears, Study Shows

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Baby, maternal deaths soar in Sierra Leone on Ebola fear — researchers
“…Deaths of women during or just after childbirth rose by almost a third and those of newborns by a quarter between May 2014 and April 2015 compared with the previous year, a study by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) found. The number of women giving birth at health centers fell by 11 percent, and those receiving care before or after birth fell by around a fifth, despite most facilities across Sierra Leone being functional and adequately staffed, the study said…” (Guilbert, 10/6).

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South Korea Pledges $12M Over 3 Years To Gavi

IANS/Business Standard: Seoul to offer $12 mn towards global vaccine program
“The South Korean government on Tuesday said it will provide $12 million over the next three years towards a global vaccine program. The foreign ministry said it has signed a related memorandum of understanding with [Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance] at its headquarters in Geneva, Yonhap News Agency reported…” (10/6).

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UNICEF Calls For Joint Vaccination Operation To Reach Sudanese Children Cut Off From Aid

U.N. News Centre: UNICEF calls for a joint vaccination plan in Sudan
“Calling for a joint vaccination operational plan in Sudan, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) [Tuesday] outlined the dire situation for thousands of children living in the Nuba Mountains, which remain inaccessible after four years while conflict in the country continues…” (10/6).

VOA News: Thousands of Sudanese Children Unvaccinated Against Killer Diseases
“…UNICEF welcomes a recent cease-fire agreement between Sudan’s government and rebels in three parts of the country. The agency says it hopes the cessation of hostilities will finally allow it and other aid organizations access to tens of thousands of children in the Nuba Mountains, parts of the Blue Nile States, and Jabel Mara in northern Darfur…” (Schlein, 10/6).

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Dengue Kills Nearly 700 People In Brazil, Health Officials Say

Agence France-Presse: Nearly 700 killed by dengue in Brazil: health officials
“Health officials in Brazil said a record 693 people have died so far this year after contracting dengue fever, the deadly mosquito-borne disease running rampant across Central and South America…” (10/6).

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Botswana Looking To China To Help Improve HIV Prevention, Monitoring Programs, Health Official Says

Xinhua News: Interview: Botswana eyes closer cooperation with China in fight against HIV
“Botswana is eyeing closer cooperation with China in the fight against HIV/AIDS, especially on education and monitoring programs, said a senior health official. In a recent interview with Xinhua, National Coordinator of Botswana National AIDS Cooperating Agency (NACA) Grace Muzila said China has expertise and technology…” (Tianran/Tshipa, 10/6).

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Ugandan Program For Lake Victoria Fishermen Employs 'Test And Treat' HIV Strategy

The Guardian: Uganda’s test and treat HIV program hauls in fishermen of Lake Victoria
“…Anyone living [in Uganda’s Ssese Islands] who is diagnosed with HIV immediately receives [antiretroviral therapy (ART)] — a process known as ‘test and treat.’ The policy puts Uganda on track toward World Health Organization recommendations released last week, calling for all HIV patients to be enrolled on ART as soon as possible. Last year, the Ugandan government began rolling out test and treat within communities at high risk…” (Green, 10/7).

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Mentor Mothers With mothers2mothers Help Other Women Through HIV Testing, Treatment In 6 African Nations

PBS NewsHour: Mentor Mothers know what it’s like to be pregnant and HIV-positive
“…The [Mentor Mothers with mothers2mothers, a nonprofit organization that pays local women in African communities to be educators and counselors,] who have HIV themselves, help pregnant women who have undergone HIV testing learn how they can get treatment for themselves and prevent HIV being transmitted to their babies. … The Mentor Mothers work in communities in Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, and Uganda…” (Epatko, 10/6).

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Patient Isolation More Cost Effective Than Vaccines To Control Disease Outbreaks In Low-Income Countries, Study Shows

SciDev.Net: Isolation beats vaccines for epidemics in poor nations
“Funding vaccine research is not the most effective way to fight epidemics in developing countries with limited resources, an economics study suggests. Instead, governments should take cheap and simple steps to isolate infected people, as was the case during the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, according to an analysis published last month (15 September) in PLOS One…” (Piotrowski, 10/6).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Goals Framework Should Make Childhood Immunization Separate Indicator To Measure UHC

Nature: Make vaccine coverage a key U.N. health indicator
Seth Berkley, chief executive of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…A true indicator of [Universal Health Coverage (UHC)] should be an intervention that every country can readily measure, that speaks to equitable access and quality, and that will reliably ensure the health of a population. Immunization is such an indicator. … That is why some voices, including that of my organization, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, are calling for the Global Goals framework to make full childhood immunization a separate ambitious indicator of UHC in its own right. … If immunization is not made a separate indicator, then the U.N. should make clear that some of the tracers on its long list — including immunization — carry more weight than others. After all, as the old adage goes, when it comes to health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” (10/6).

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Awarding Nobel Prize To Chinese Scientist Draws Question Of Celebrating Individual Inventors Over Collective Group Efforts

The Conversation: The secret Maoist Chinese operation that conquered malaria — and won a Nobel
Jia-Chen Fu, assistant professor of Chinese language at Emory University

“…[Chinese medical researcher Tu Youyou’s] research has drawn accolades from the international scientific community, while also igniting a debate in the Chinese language media about the celebration of individual inventors over collective group efforts. This … may be part of the legacy of Maoist mass science, which demanded research that served practical needs and engaged the masses. Scientific achievement, while important, was not the be-all, end-all of scientific work. During the Cultural Revolution, it mattered that science proceed along revolutionary lines. It mattered that scientific advances resulted from collective endeavor and drew from popular sources. Does it still?” (10/6).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID Commends Nobel Laureates For Medicine, Recognizes Continued Efforts Against NTDs, Malaria

USAID’s “Impact”: USAID salutes Nobel laureates whose discoveries help fight malaria, river blindness, elephantiasis
Chris Thomas, communications adviser in the Bureau for Global Health, recognizes this year’s Nobel laureates for medicine who discovered drugs used to treat and prevent river blindness, elephantiasis, and malaria, and discusses USAID’s efforts to address neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and malaria (10/6).

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New World Bank Publication Examines UHC Efforts In 24 Developing Countries

World Bank’s “Investing in Health”: Going universal: 24 countries and the “how” of universal health coverage
Daniel Cotlear, task manager of the Universal Health Coverage Support Program (UNICO) and editor of the Universal Health Coverage Studies Series, discusses a new World Bank publication on universal health coverage (UHC) efforts and describes how 24 developing countries are implementing UHC. The publication “seeks to understand how these programs inform policymakers, who may be from different countries but often face similar challenges” (10/5).

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Blog Post Discusses Steps To Ensure Reach Act Would Have 'Real Impact'

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: U.S. Senators Mobilize on Improving Maternal and Child Health
Amanda Glassman, vice president for programs, director of global health policy, and senior fellow at CGD, and Lauren Post, a CGD program associate, discuss “the Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2015 (S. 1911), or Reach Act, which aims to accelerate progress toward ending preventable maternal and child deaths by 2035.” They discuss several ways the legislation, if passed, could provide “real impact,” including employing better targets and measurement, innovative financing that also allows for new investments, and accountability standards across agencies (10/6).

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'High Quality Relevant Data' Helping World Eradicate Polio

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: The march to polio eradication is on
Raj Ghosh, deputy director of India vaccine delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation India, discusses multiple factors helping the world progress toward global polio eradication. “These include strong political and bureaucratic commitment, seamless coordination between multiple partners, robust monitoring, and effective community mobilization. But if there is one driver that was game changing for accelerating polio eradication in all endemic counties over the past two decades it is generation of and action on high quality relevant data” (10/6).

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Blog Post Examines 3 Recently Published Pieces On Tuberculosis

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Tuberculosis: The world waits for a plan, patients with drug-resistant disease wait for options
Antigone Barton, senior writer and editor of “Science Speaks,” discusses three recently published pieces on the impact and threat of tuberculosis: an opinion piece in the Huffington Post by Dr. Lee Reichman of Rutgers Global Tuberculosis Institute; a letter in The Lancet by Caitlin Reed of UCLA Medical Center’s inpatient TB unit and others; and an opinion piece by Douglas Foster, an author and associate professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, in The Nation (10/6).

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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 272 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter features articles on various topics, including a commentary on changes being considered for the fund’s allocations methodology and an analysis on financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (10/7).

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