KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- NIH Officials To Discuss Funding Of WHO Cancer Agency With U.S. Lawmakers, Reuters Reports
Reuters: Exclusive: U.S. lawmakers to investigate funding of WHO cancer agency
“Officials from the U.S. government’s health research agency are to be questioned by a congressional committee about why taxpayers are funding a World Health Organization cancer agency facing criticism over how it classifies carcinogens. An aide to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform told Reuters that National Institutes of Health officials have agreed to give an in-person briefing to the committee after questions were raised by lawmakers over its grants to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a semi-autonomous part of the WHO based in Lyon, France…” (Kelland, 10/6).
- Haiti's Death Toll From Hurricane Matthew In Hundreds But Remains Unclear As Aid Agencies Gain Access To Remote Areas
Al Jazeera: Hurricane Matthew: Death toll soars in Haiti
“The number of people killed in Haiti by Hurricane Matthew has risen sharply into the hundreds, as coastal villages and towns began making contact with the outside world two days after being hit by the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade…” (10/7).
Associated Press: Haiti death toll jumps as receding waters reveal more bodies
“…The overall death toll in Haiti is not clear. … Authorities expect the number of deaths to rise, with mayors and other local officials in marooned areas reporting higher numbers. Most deaths are thought to have occurred in the southwest region…” (10/6).
New York Times: Hurricane Matthew Makes Old Problems Worse for Haitians
“…The storm left a broad tableau of devastation: houses pummeled into timber, crops destroyed, and stretches of towns and villages under several feet of water. In the southern city of Jérémie, 80 percent of the buildings were destroyed…” (Ahmed/Dupin, 10/6).
Reuters: Fears of cholera upsurge in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew, U.N. says
“Health officials in Haiti on Thursday said they were preparing for a likely surge in cholera cases in the wake of Hurricane Matthew which severely damaged water supplies and sanitation systems in the Caribbean nation…” (Brice/Moloney, 10/6).
Washington Post: Crisis deepens in Haiti in aftermath of hurricane
“As the scope of the devastation became clearer in Haiti on Friday, the death toll from Hurricane Matthew surpassed 300 across the region, officials said. The United Nations reported 1.5 million people live in the area affected by the storm, with more than 350,000 of them in need of assistance…” (Partlow et al., 10/7).
- Venezuela's Doctors Call For Additional Resources For Diphtheria Vaccines, Antibiotics Amid Outbreak
Reuters: Venezuela doctors sound alarm on reported return of diphtheria
“Venezuelan doctors on Thursday warned of a diphtheria outbreak in the crisis-stricken country, calling on the government to boost availability of scarce vaccines and antibiotics to stem the disease which local media and the opposition report has killed some two dozen people…” (Ulmer, 10/6).
- UNICEF, Save The Children Call For Additional Humanitarian Funding For Flood-Hit North Korea
The Guardian: Aid agencies in call for North Korea funding after devastating floods
“International aid agencies have called for millions of dollars of funding for an urgent relief effort in North Korea after floods in the country’s remote northeast in August left 70,000 people homeless and 600,000 others in need of humanitarian assistance, including tens of thousands of children. UNICEF and Save the Children said on Friday that without further help, many more children will be at risk as the country prepares for a long and bitterly cold winter…” (McCurry, 10/7).
- NGOs In Ukraine Aim To Improve Life For People Who Use Injection Drugs
PRI: Drug users are presumed criminals in Ukraine. New police training is aimed at changing that.
“In Ukraine, substance abuse has been an epidemic for the past two decades — about one percent of all adults are intravenous drug users — the leading cause of HIV transmission in the country. The problem continues to grow year after year. While the war-torn country is struggling economically, there is little hope in improving the situation. … Just like in the rest of the country, police [in the town of Boryspil] see and treat drug users as potential or actual criminals. However, some nongovernmental organizations in Ukraine like Svitanok Club believe a different approach can help policing Boryspil…” (Friedman, 10/6).
- Indian Medical Students Use Poetry To Eliminate Taboos Surrounding Menstruation
The Guardian: Indian medical students use pads and poems to tackle period taboos
“…Menstrual health is a serious issue for the 355 million women of reproductive age in India. Only 12 percent use sanitary pads, and tampons are rare. For the rest of India’s menstruating women, a reusable rag is the only option. … For the students of Calicut Medical College, reading poems about menstruation is one small step towards erasing the taboo…” (Doshi, 10/7).
Editorials and Opinions
- Income Inequality Major Contributor To Vector-Borne Diseases Like Zika
Huffington Post: Zika’s Dirty Secret? Income Inequality
Bruce Farber, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at North Shore University Hospital and LIJ Medical Center
“…When a disease is borne by mosquitoes, you can expect to see it occur more frequently in areas where mosquitoes are common, which, frequently, means neighborhood[s] where used tires are piled up in the street, or where stagnant water stands by untreated, or where sanitary conditions are subpar. Most Americans are fortunate enough to enjoy healthier, safer environments, but many in other parts of the world routinely fall victim to treatable diseases … [V]iruses like Zika are largely the result of income inequality. The issue is a central one to the contemporary American political debate, but when it comes to global public health, partisans of all ideological stripes should easily agree to come together and solve problems quickly, effectively, and affordably. … Because we live in a truly globalized world, … we should support efforts — both by governmental bodies and non-profit organizations — to address income inequality’s deadliest aspect by doing whatever we can to keep as many people as possible free from the filth and misery that breed disease. It’s a major effort, but one wholly within our reach” (10/6).
- Private Sector Companies Must Lead, Adapt To Help International Community Achieve SDGs
Devex: One year in, how the SDGs are taking shape
Paloma Duran, director of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund
“…Measuring and financing the 230 indicators and 169 targets behind the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] may be daunting, but at the same time the goals seem to offer something for everyone. By breaking down the 17 goals to meet the needs of each [private sector] company, the SDGs can be firmly adapted to showcase clear and meaningful targets and plans. What’s needed now is to allow for companies to build on their own internal systems of management, key performance indicators, and methodologies. Smart companies also see the benefit in building stronger community relations, fostering employee engagement, and continuous learning. … In the next 14 years, with this growing energy from the private sector, it is not only what companies do, but what companies don’t do linked to the SDGs that will be critical. … Companies know they must adapt and take the lead in embedding the SDGs in their firm’s missions, but local and national partners can help design solutions together” (10/7).
- Children In Conflict-Torn Yemen Suffer From Severe Malnutrition
The Guardian: We saw how Yemen’s children are slowly starving to death
Krishnan Guru-Murthy, journalist
“…Those who are malnourished are set to be, by far, the biggest casualties of Yemen’s war. … Hundreds of thousands of children in Yemen … are suffering from severe malnutrition, and possibly millions are in the early stages. Statistics in countries like this are unreliable, but the doctors say there is a procession of children coming through the emergency unit every day. Patients with other conditions are made worse by malnutrition. … The infrastructure Yemen needs to distribute food has been effectively crippled. … A mobile team of doctors and nurses provide what help they can, but they have few supplies. Parents told to take their children to hospital often can’t afford to do so…” (10/6).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- U.S. Agencies Release Progress Report On National Action Plan For Combating MDR-TB
USAID/CDC/NIH: National Action Plan for Combating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis: Six-Month Progress Report and Future Direction
“…The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes for Health (NIH) have worked together over the past six months to coordinate plans for achieving the objectives of the [National Action Plan for Combating MDR-TB (NAP)], including agreement on roles and responsibilities and pathways for implementation of the NAP, and sharing lessons learned on NAP activities…” This report examines progress on NAP activities over that period and looks ahead at the future of the plan (September 2016).
- Strengthening Health Care, Surveillance Systems Critical To National, Global Security
Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Treat global health crises the same way as national security crises, panel says
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses remarks made by panelists at the launch of a Brenthurst Foundation report on the West African Ebola outbreak. Panelists discussed the importance of investments in health systems strengthening and global health security (10/6).
- CSIS Report Examines Effects Of El Niño In Malawi, Mozambique, Efforts To Mitigate Impacts
Center for Strategic & International Studies: Improving Relief and Development Responses to Climate Variability: Emerging Lessons from the 2015-2016 El Niño in Southern Africa
Richard Downie, deputy director and fellow in the CSIS Africa Program, writes, “The 2015-2016 El Niño weather system was one of the strongest on record, causing drought and flooding in locations across the world. … In June 2016, a team from the CSIS Global Food Security Project and CSIS Africa Program visited two of the hardest-hit countries — Malawi and Mozambique — to assess the scale of the disaster, observe the relief effort, and consider efforts by the United States to boost agricultural growth and build the resilience of affected countries” (10/6).
- ODI Report Aims To Inform World Bank's Allocation Of Resources To Achieve SDGs
Overseas Development Institute: The allocation of World Bank Group resources to leave no one behind
Paddy Carter, research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), discusses a new report examining the allocation of the World Bank Group’s resources and its role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), writing, “This report is intended to inform the response of World Bank Group (WBG) shareholders and stakeholders to the resource allocation elements of IDA18 and the Forward Look. We ask whether the allocation of WBG resources is well aligned with its twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, and the fundamental ambition of the SDGs: to leave no one behind” (October 2016).
- New Index Uses Economic Development, Health Status Of Countries To Measure Global Health Progress
Humanosphere: A new way to measure progress in global health
Sean McKee, policy translation specialist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), discusses the Socio-Demographic Index (SDI), a new measure that compares health indicators with a country’s economic development status, that was launched with the results of IHME’s 2015 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study. McKee writes, “By pairing this new analysis of development — the Socio-Demographic Index — with analyses of overall health and disease burden, the study’s authors hope that the metric will help identify the most successful efforts to improve health around the world. … This new [measure] adds to a growing arsenal of indexes that researchers are using to describe and gauge how we’re doing at making the world a healthier, safer, and more equitable place” (10/6).
- Health Affairs Series Examines Quality Of Health Care In India, Challenges
Health Affairs: Quality Of Health Care In India
The October 2016 issue of Health Affairs features several articles examining various aspects of health care in India, including trends in child and maternal mortality, models for cataract care, and data usage in a large hospital insurance program (October 2016).
- Guatemala Eliminates Onchocerciasis Through Public-Private Partnerships; Disease Remains Endemic In Areas Of South America, Africa
Humanosphere: Eradicating river blindness in Guatemala scratches the surface of a global problem
Humanosphere journalist Lisa Nikolau discusses Guatemala’s successful efforts to eliminate onchocerciasis, or river blindness, writing that the country’s progress “only scratches the surface of the effort to eradicate the neglected tropical disease worldwide.” Nikolau notes, “In the Americas, the current progress is largely due to elimination efforts by the Carter Center’s Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas, the Mectizan Donation Program from the pharmaceutical company Merck, and ongoing efforts by the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization…” (10/6).