KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID-Supported 4-Year Program Examining Zoonosis, Ebola Virus Hosts In Liberia Ends

Front Page Africa: USAID-funded Project to Predict Ebola Virus’ Host Ends in Liberia
“The Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL) in collaboration with partners has concluded its PREDICT-2 project after four years of successful and inspiring research operations in the country. PREDICT-2 research project has been focused on the sampling of animals for scientific purposes mainly with the aim to understand the spillover of viruses from animal to animal and from animal to human. … The project was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by EcoHealth Alliance and Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL)” (Sayon, 10/8).

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U.N. Running Deficit Of $230M, SG Guterres Say In Letter To Employees

AFP: U.N. may run out of money by end of the month: Guterres
“The United Nations is running a deficit of $230 million, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday, and may run out of money by the end of October. In a letter intended for the 37,000 employees at the U.N. secretariat and obtained by AFP, Guterres said unspecified ‘additional stop-gap measures’ would have to be taken to ensure salaries and entitlements are paid…” (10/8).

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Bill Gates Delivers Cambridge Union Speech Calling For World Leaders To Fund Scientific Innovation

TIME: Bill Gates Makes Hopeful Predictions for Global Health
“Bill Gates told an audience at the University of Cambridge on Monday that global malnutrition will be solved and malaria will be virtually eliminated by 2040 if world leaders choose to fund scientific innovation. Speaking at the Cambridge Union in England, the Microsoft co-founder said: ‘I’m lucky that my work gives me a view of all the amazing discoveries in the works right now. That’s why I’m able to predict the future.’ Gates was named the 2019 recipient of the Professor Hawking Fellowship, founded by the Cambridge Union Society in 2017 in honor of Stephen Hawking’s contribution to the university…” (Bunyan, 10/7).

Additional coverage of Gates’s speech is available from IBT and Quartz.

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Celebrities Write Open Letter To Raise Awareness Of Infectious Diseases, Importance Of Global Fund

Borgen Magazine: An Open Letter Against Infectious Diseases
“Dozens of international celebrities addressed an open letter ‘to 7-year-olds everywhere.’ Notable figures, such as Jennifer Garner, Trevor Noah, Penélope Cruz, Sir Elton John, and more, recently signed an open letter against infectious diseases, specifically AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. These celebrities hope that this open letter against infectious diseases will bring awareness to these global health issues and the Global Fund that fights them…” (Harden, 10/7).

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New Shorter TB Drug Course Raises Hope Among Experts For More Progress Against Disease

The Independent: How a new tuberculosis drug could stop one of the world’s deadliest diseases
“…A new drug course, lasting just one month, is just as effective as longer regimens at preventing TB, scientists reported earlier this year. The results have left experts hoping for new progress against a disease that has been an intractable enemy for centuries…” (Mandavilli, 10/7).

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The Telegraph Examines Testing Of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes In Burkina Faso To Prevent Malaria, Residents' Opposition To Technique

The Telegraph: ‘We don’t want to be guinea pigs’: how one African community is fighting genetically modified mosquitoes
“…Researchers from the Target Malaria consortium, a not-for-profit research group funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and various research institutions, have developed a mosquito in their laboratory that can kill off its own species by spreading a faulty gene. If it works in the wild, the technology — called gene drive — could help eliminate malaria where decades of efforts involving bed nets, repellents, and insecticides have failed. This isn’t the first experiment Burkinabes have witnessed in the fight against one of Africa’s leading killers but it is certainly one of the most radical. … But the move towards genetic modification has unleashed unprecedented opposition in the landlocked West African country. In the summer of 2018, more than 1,000 people marched in the capital Ouagadougou against the use of genetically-modified organisms in the country, including the GM mosquitoes…” (Pujol-Mazzini/Zombre, 10/8).

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Lack Of Progress On Drug Resistance Since AMR Review, New Report Says

The Telegraph: ‘Startling’ lack of progress in fight against superbugs, report warns
“Governments and pharmaceutical companies have made a ‘startling’ lack of progress in tackling superbugs, more than three years since a landmark report warned of their growing threat. … [A] report tracking progress since the 2016 review, has found that little has been done to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is predicted to kill 10 million people by 2050 if it continues at its current rate…” (Gulland, 10/8).

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Aging, Population Growth Challenging Progress On Vision Care, WHO Report Says

Devex: Aging and population growth, challenges for vision care: WHO report
“Population growth and aging are fast outpacing reductions made in the prevalence of visual impairment over the past three decades, according to the World Health Organization’s first-ever report on vision published Tuesday. … The anticipated rise in the numbers of people suffering from different forms of visual impairments and at-risk of blindness is expected to pose challenges to countries’ health systems, which are already constrained in reaching all affected populations and providing quality interventions…” (Ravelo, 10/8).

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More News In Global Health

AFP: India on the frontline of the fight against tuberculosis (10/8).

AFP: Zimbabwe doctors defy government ultimatum to resume work (DiBiaso/Kim, 10/7).

Associated Press: Mia Farrow visits Chad to promote new approach to hunger (Petesch, 10/3).

Devex: Kenya counts on celebrity influence to combat NCDs (Jerving, 10/8).

New Humanitarian: Food and medical aid under threat as Haiti protests worsen (Obert, 10/7).

Reuters: Digital platform brings health awareness to rural Mozambique (Chaudhry, 10/7).

Wall Street Journal: Corporate CFOs in High Demand at Charities as Budgets Come Under Scrutiny (Trentmann, 10/7).

Washington Post: Annalena Tonelli, a health activist who fought TB in Africa, defied hardships and terrorism (Brown, 10/5).

Xinhua: China has eliminated trachoma as public health problem: WHO (10/7).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Government Can Play Vital Role In Reducing Preventable Child Deaths Worldwide, Opinion Piece Says

The Hill: Urgent action needed to stop preventable deaths of children around the world
Cyril Engmann, global program leader for Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition at PATH

“Around the world, more children are surviving than ever before, according to a new report from an inter-agency group led by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). … Yet we still lost 5.3 million children under the age of five last year. More than 290,000 mothers also lost their lives during pregnancy or childbirth according to the latest estimates, which greatly increases the risk of their children dying. … [T]hese deaths are unacceptable because they are largely preventable. … We need a renewed commitment to end these needless deaths and the U.S. government has a vital role to play. With the right investments made today, it need not take 80 years to close the gap. But we must act now to save generations of children” (10/7).

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Innovation, Intellectual Property Protections Needed To Achieve UHC Goals, Opinion Piece Says

CapX: Undermining private sector innovation puts lives at risk
Jasson Urbach, director at the South Africa-based Free Market Foundation

“…The world needs new approaches and solutions [to health care] — and innovation and intellectual property (IP) must be central parts of those solutions. The private sector has long been the driver in creating products and services needed not just to fix today’s health emergencies but to engineer tomorrow’s cures. … Discussions at the high-level meeting [on universal health coverage] offered a stark reminder of how organizations such as the U.N., the World Health Organization, and other international organizations have sought to undermine innovation and exclude critical partners. … Better IP protection is associated with the faster development and deployment of new medicines. … A narrow focus on IP rights also fails to address the real barriers to access to medicines, including sustained investment in health systems, weak health care infrastructure, inadequate training for healthcare personnel, and ongoing trade barriers. … Achieving universal health coverage will require innovative new technologies and well-crafted, policies to solve tomorrow’s health challenges…” (10/7).

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Opinion Piece Outlines 3 Ways To End HIV Stigma, Discrimination

IPS: Three Ways to End HIV Stigma and Discrimination
Ifeanyi Nsofor, medical doctor, CEO of EpiAFRIC, and director of Policy and Advocacy for Nigeria Health Watch

“…All forms of HIV-related stigma must stop. … These are ways to deal with it. First, government across the globe should increase investments in health education to improve people’s knowledge of HIV and its modes of transmission. It should not be taken for granted that people are aware. … Second, enforce HIV antidiscrimination laws to deter offenders from discriminating against people living with HIV. … Third, end the discrimination against key populations like men who have sex with men, sex workers, and transgender people as this discourages them from accessing care, pushes them underground, and increases their risk of transmitting HIV…” (10/7).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Fund Webpage Describes Upcoming Replenishment Conference, Provides Link To Watch Livestreams

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Stepping Up the Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
This page describes the upcoming Global Fund Sixth Replenishment Conference in Lyon, France, which “aims to raise at least US$14 billion to help save 16 million lives, avert 234 million infections, and help the world get back on track to end the three diseases,” and has a link to watch the conference from October 9-10 (10/8).

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MSF Advisers Discuss New Report Highlighting Funding Gaps For HIV, TB

PLOS Blogs’ “Speaking of Medicine”: The fight is not over: making the case for burden sharing instead of burden shifting to keep the HIV and TB response on track
Mit Philips of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Brussels, Kerstin Åkerfeldt of MSF Operational Centre Brussels, and Maria Guevara of MSF in Geneva describe a new MSF report that “examines the HIV/TB financing situation in nine countries where the organization is present: the Central African Republic/CAR, the Democratic Republic of Congo/DRC, Eswatini, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe” (10/8).

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ONE Blog Highlights Relevance Of Global Health, Importance Of Funding

ONE Blog: Why should you care about global health?
Sadof Alexander, digital coordinator at the ONE Campaign, discusses global health’s relevancy to “everyone, everywhere,” and the importance of funding for global health initiatives, including the Global Fund (10/7).

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Project Syndicate Magazine Special Edition Focuses On Sustainability

Project Syndicate: PS Special Edition Magazine, Fall 2019: Sustainability
This special edition of the Project Syndicate magazine, titled Sustainability Comes of Age, “brings together many of the leading voices in all of the domains involved in combating climate change, each addressing specific facets of what amounts to an existential threat” (Multiple authors, October 2019).

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UNICEF Charter Delivers 1.6M Doses Of Cholera Vaccine To Sudan

UNICEF: As cholera continues to spread, UNICEF charters 1.6 million doses of vaccines to Sudan
“UNICEF chartered a plane carrying 1.6 million doses of Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCV) to Khartoum [Sunday]. The vaccines arrived to Sudan at a critical time as cholera cases continue to be reported. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, since the beginning of the outbreak on 8 September, eight deaths were reported in the Blue Nile and Sennar states. Funded by the Global Alliance of Vaccines (GAVI), the vaccines will be used in the vaccination campaign, the first in three years, kicking off on 12 October…” (10/7).

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