KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

World Must Take Action On Climate To Prevent Food Shortages, Other Disasters, IPCC Report Warns

Associated Press: U.N. report on global warming carries life-or-death warning
“Preventing an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems on this fast-warming planet, an international panel of scientists reported Sunday. But they provide little hope the world will rise to the challenge. The Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its gloomy report at a meeting in Incheon, South Korea…” (Borenstein, 10/8).

New York Times: Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040
“…The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population…” (Davenport, 10/7).

Washington Post: The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say
“…At the same time, however, the report is being received with hope in some quarters because it affirms that 1.5 degrees Celsius is still possible — if emissions stopped today, for instance, the planet would not reach that temperature. It is also likely to galvanize even stronger climate action by focusing on 1.5 degrees Celsius, rather than 2 degrees, as a target that the world cannot afford to miss…” (Mooney et al., 10/7).

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U.N. Agencies, Member States, Other Parties Meet To Discuss Global Antimicrobial Resistance Responses

Health Policy Watch: Broad Inter-Agency Group Embarks Upon Recommendations For Global Antimicrobial Resistance Policy
“A global group of experts representing animal health, human health, food safety and environmental health is currently deliberating ways to control antimicrobial resistance, a nightmare scenario in which drugs able to fight the deadliest infections stop working. Originating from ministries of health around the world, U.N. bodies, academia and other public organizations these are the members of the U.N. Interagency Coordination Group (IACG)…” (Anderson, 10/3).

Health Policy Watch: Draft Global Framework On Antimicrobial Resistance In Discussion This Week At WHO
“…The 2nd Consultation of Member States and Partners on the Global Development and Stewardship Framework to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance [took] place from 1-2 October. The agenda of the meeting is here. Member states and stakeholders [discussed] the draft Global Framework for Development & Stewardship to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance. … The framework, the document says, builds on the Global Action Plan on AMR, which was developed by the WHO in collaboration with FAO and OIE, and national action plans…” (Saez, 10/1).

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WHO Tobacco Control Convention Calls For Regulation Of Heated Tobacco Products, Debates E-Cigarettes

New York Times: Flashy Science Hub and Vaping Parties Fail to Win Friends at WHO Tobacco Talks
“…The delegates were there for the regular biannual session to update the health organization’s world tobacco treaty, formally known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Since it took effect in 2005, the treaty has had an enormous impact on public health. … But this year the delegates, along with public health regulators around the world, are facing a new, pressing question: what to do about the explosive growth of alternatives to combustible cigarettes…” (Kaplan, 10/7).

VOA News: Health Organization Seeks Regulation of Heated Tobacco Products
“Delegates from 148 parties to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are calling for new heated tobacco products on the market to be regulated in the same way cigarettes and other tobacco products are. Heated tobacco products (HTPs) are not e-cigarettes. They are products that contain nicotine and other chemicals, which are inhaled by users, through the mouth. The tobacco industry markets these devices as being less harmful than regular cigarettes…” (Schlein, 10/6).

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Public Finance International Reports On Progress Toward SDGs

Public Finance International: Just 17: the world’s progress on ending poverty and pollution
“…[T]hree years on, has there been any progress towards making the world a better place? Is the world on track to achieve the 2030 target and are countries still in it together as much as they were in 2015? And does this new political climate threaten success? This summer, the U.N. released its annual report on progress towards the goals. … It found that although people are living better lives than a decade ago, ‘progress to ensure that no one is left behind has not been rapid enough to meet the 2030 agenda’…” (Rensch, 10/8).

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Congo Confirms New Ebola Cases, Blames Resistance To Control Efforts

Reuters: Five new Ebola cases confirmed in eastern Congo: health ministry
“The Congolese health ministry on Saturday reported a further five confirmed cases of Ebola in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, blaming the higher-than-normal daily increase on community resistance to disease response efforts. The current epidemic in Congo’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces has seen 140 confirmed cases since July, 108 of whom have died, according to the ministry’s daily bulletin, which has been reporting an average of one to two new confirmed cases per day in recent weeks…” (Paravicini et al., 10/6).

Additional coverage of the DRC’s Ebola outbreak and response is available from the Associated Press, The Guardian, NPR, and VOA News.

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WHO, UNICEF Vaccinate More Than 300K People In Yemen Against Cholera

VOA News: U.N. Wraps Up Second Round of Cholera Vaccinations in Yemen
“An estimated 300,000 people, more than half of them children, have been immunized against cholera in war-torn Yemen. The weeklong vaccination campaign was led jointly by the World Health Organization and U.N. Children’s Fund…” (Schlein, 10/5).

Xinhua News: Feature: Yemen’s rebel-held capital struggles to tackle looming surge of cholera epidemic
“…According to the World Health Organization, Yemen’s cholera epidemic, which first erupted in April 2017, has infected 1.2 million people, 30 percent of whom are children, and killed 2,515…” (10/7).

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More News In Global Health

Agence France-Presse: Three cases of polio detected in Niger: ministry (10/5).

Agence France-Presse: Foodie destination Peru combats malnutrition in children (Jara, 10/6).

Financial Times: Ghana’s grand vision of a life beyond foreign aid (Pilling, 10/7).

Reuters: Anger, dismay as Indonesia says search for quake victims to end (Kapoor et al., 10/7).

Reuters: Haiti quake kills at least 14, aftershock jolts nervous residents (Delva et al., 10/6).

U.N. News: In Chad, top U.N. officials say humanitarian response must go ‘hand in hand’ with longer-term recovery (10/7).

U.N. News: Nigeria: Top U.N. officials say more support needed to ease humanitarian crisis and rebuild lives in conflict-ravaged north-east (10/6).

Vox: Flu shots are important — especially for pregnant women in poor countries (Higgins, 10/5).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Commitment To WHO, Global Health Security Must Remain Robust

The Hill: Global health security threats — despite worldwide responses, there’s much more to do
Ambassador John E. Lange, senior fellow for global health diplomacy at the United Nations Foundation

“…The good news is that the world will be much better prepared when (not if) another infectious disease outbreak of similar severity takes place. The bad news is that much, much more needs to be done to fund and build global capacity to prevent, detect and respond to such threats. … In recent decades, nations around the world have come to realize how they need to build capacity to prevent and prepare for global health security threats, and under the International Health Regulations they took on the obligation to do so. But resources are not available to build capacity commensurate with the threat. The U.S. commitment to WHO, as both a partner and a contributor, needs to remain robust. Let’s mark the 100th anniversary of the Spanish flu with a story of success, by better protecting Americans and all citizens of the world from the next pandemic” (10/5).

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U.S. Government Must Do More To Assist Indonesians Following Quake-Tsunami

Washington Post: Indonesia urgently needs relief after an earthquake and tsunami. The U.S. should do more to help.
Editorial Board

“The pitiless devastation visited upon the Indonesian island of Sulawesi by an earthquake and tsunami is the stuff of nightmares … [M]ore than a week after the earth buckled and the water surged, there are reports that aid is arriving at a trickle, compounding the island’s misery. Food, water, fuel, and shelter — in a tropical setting where brutal daytime temperatures have tormented survivors and relief workers — are critically needed. … Set against the vast scale of need and suffering, international aid has arrived too slowly. The United States on Friday announced that it is sending $3.7 million in humanitarian assistance, including emergency shelter material that will help more than 100,000 people. That effort will be supplemented by donations from ordinary Americans. But it is critical that the Trump administration does all it can — both in the interests of alleviating human suffering and as a goodwill gesture to the world’s fourth-most-populous country and most populous majority-Muslim nation…” (10/5).

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Reappointment Of Bloomberg As NCD Global Ambassador Important To Boost Political Will, Coordination

Forbes: How Mike Bloomberg’s WHO Reappointment Helps Fight Against World’s Biggest Killers
Bruce Y. Lee, associate professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, executive director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center, and associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

“…Mike Bloomberg’s reappointment as the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Ambassador for [Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)] and Injuries is important. The former New York City Mayor has held the position for the past two years and has been trying to bring more attention to NCDs. … Besides moving slowly but in the wrong direction, NCDs are systems problems, the result of broken social, food, environmental, economic, and other systems. In other words, what you eat, what you drink, how much physical activity you get, whether you smoke, and what you get exposed to depends heavily on what is available and around you. … Fixing systems requires coordinated efforts and political will. Thus it helps to have a high-profile person like Bloomberg to help bring more attention and fight the fight. … Addressing NCDs has been a priority for Bloomberg Philanthropies, the foundation that he launched in 2006. … Bloomberg’s position as WHO Global Ambassador for NCDs and Injuries has gone way beyond being ‘purely honorary.’ He has been an important champion, bringing more awareness and action in the world’s fight against its biggest killers” (10/5).

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Greater Political Will Needed To End TB Worldwide

New York Times: Letter to the Editor: Fighting TB Requires Political Will
Ruvandhi Nathavitharana, attending physician in the Infectious Diseases Division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Philip Lederer, attending physician in the Infectious Diseases Section at the Boston University School of Medicine

“…The most important intervention to decrease [tuberculosis (TB)] transmission is early diagnosis and prompt initiation of effective treatment. … But this relies on the strengthening of health systems …, which requires meaningful increases in national health budgets. The striking absence of heads of state from any of the G8 or BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), except for President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, at the recent United Nations meeting on tuberculosis highlights that greater political will is needed if we are to combat TB as the No. 1 infectious cause of deaths worldwide” (10/7).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Brookings Experts Discuss U.S. Aid Data Platforms, Passing Of Data Consolidation Deadline

Brookings Institution: How to consolidate the 2 U.S. foreign assistance dashboards
George Ingram, senior fellow in global economy and development at the Brookings Institution, and Sally Paxton, U.S. representative for Publish What You Fund, discuss the consolidation of U.S. foreign assistance data and the passing of the October 1 deadline set by the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016 for the State Department and USAID to consolidate their data collection processes and the two websites containing data. The authors also outline the findings of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network’s (MFAN) and Publish What You Fund’s analysis assessing the two aid data platforms (10/5).

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Brookings Expert Discusses Recent Congressional Action On Africa-Related Policies

Brookings Institution: Congress takes the lead on U.S.-Africa policy
Witney Schneidman, nonresident fellow with global economy and development and the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution, discusses legislative action in Congress on Africa-related policies, including the recent passage by the Senate of the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act and the reauthorization of the Global Food Security Act. Additionally, Schneidman notes, “In the next several weeks, Congress is expected to pass a third piece of legislation, the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act. This bill would expand the authority of United States Agency for International Development’s microenterprise development program to include small and medium businesses owned, managed, and controlled by women. It would also work to reduce gender disparities related to economic opportunity, support women’s property rights, and eliminate gender-based violence” (10/5).

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G20 Health Ministers Release Final Declaration

G20: Declaration G20 Meeting of Health Ministers
The final declaration of the G20 Ministerial Health Meeting recently held in Argentina emphasizes the importance of gender equality in development and addresses numerous global health issues, including antimicrobial resistance, childhood overweight and obesity, health systems strengthening, and responsiveness to disasters and pandemics (10/4).

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FT Health Discusses Global Cancer Policy, Features Interview With Outgoing Aeras Executive

FT Health: Cancer policy struggles to keep up with science
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter discusses recent efforts to address cancer worldwide, features an interview with Jacqui Shea, outgoing chief executive of “Aeras, the TB vaccine non-profit which is being taken over by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI),” and provides a round-up of global health-related news stories (Dodd/Jack, 10/5).

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