Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Global Fund Replenishment Conference Begins In Lyon, France

Euronews: World leaders gather in France for Global Fund initiative
“…A conference in France, which kicked off on Wednesday, aims to raise funds to combat these deadly diseases and condemn them to the history books. The Global Fund Forum aims to save 16 million lives within the next four years as well as averting 234 million infections worldwide. … Peter Sands, the Executive Director of The Global Fund, told Euronews: ‘We have, roughly speaking, halved the death toll since the Global Fund was created’…” (Marques/Huet, 10/9).

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USAID Signs Development Agreement With Venezuela Shadow Government To Provide Additional Aid To Venezuelans Inside Country

Associated Press: USAID signs development agreement with Venezuela’s Guaidó
“The U.S. Agency for International Development on Tuesday signed an agreement boosting support for the shadow government of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is trying to oust socialist President Nicolás Maduro. The deal signed in Washington calls for $98 million in additional aid to Venezuelans inside the South American country, raising the total assistance to $116 million. … USAID also has allocated $568 million for humanitarian assistance for the at least 4 million Venezuelans who have left the country” (Lugo, 10/8).

Additional coverage of the agreement is available from the Miami Herald.

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Incoming Planned Parenthood Global Executive Director Says Organization Should Be Outspoken About Mexico City Policy In Devex Interview

Devex: Planned Parenthood Global must be ‘critical voice of dissent’ to Trump, new director says
“Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, announced on Wednesday that Monica Kerrigan, an expert in family planning and sexual reproductive health, will become the organization’s new executive director at the end of October. … In an interview with Devex, Kerrigan said this is a key time for the organization to be an outspoken voice in opposition of the Trump administration’s expansion of the ‘global gag rule,’ known also as the Mexico City policy…” (Jerving, 10/9).

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Incoming Chemonics CEO Speaks With Devex Regarding Challenges Managing $9.5B Global Health Supply Chain Project

Devex: Q&A: How Chemonics went from corrective action to commercial solutions
“Devex speaks with Jamey Butcher, incoming CEO of Chemonics International, about how the USAID contractor responded to early challenges with the $9.5 billion global health supply chain project…” (Igoe, 10/9).

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U.N. Facing Largest Deficit In Nearly 10 Years, U.N. SG Guterres Says

Associated Press: U.N. chief says U.N. facing worst cash crisis in nearly 10 years
“Secretary-General António Guterres warned Tuesday that the United Nations is facing its ‘worst cash crisis’ in nearly a decade because 64 of its 193 members have not paid their annual dues — including the United States, its largest contributor. … In addition to the United States, other countries that haven’t paid their dues are Brazil, Iran, Israel, Mexico, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Uruguay. Because of the U.S. government’s budget calendar, Washington usually pays its dues in October…” (Lederer, 10/8).

Additional coverage of the U.N. funding shortfall is available from Devex, VOA and Xinhua.

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WHO-Led Study Shows Significant Mistreatment Of Women During Childbirth In 4 Countries In Africa, Asia

Associated Press: Report reveals widespread abuse of women during childbirth
“A new report says more than one-third of women in four low-income countries in Africa and Asia were slapped, mocked, forcibly treated, or otherwise abused during childbirth in health centers and suggests that such mistreatment occurs worldwide. The study published Wednesday in The Lancet medical journal says women in Nigeria, Myanmar, Ghana, and Guinea also experienced high rates of cesarean sections and surgical cuts to the vagina, or episiotomies, without their consent — and often without a painkiller…” (10/9).

U.N. News: Alarming number of women mistreated during childbirth, new U.N. health agency figures show
“…According to WHO, quality support, particularly from midwives for women in labor, can make the difference between life and death. Midwifery has been shown to reduce maternal and newborn mortality and stillbirth rates, by over 80 percent, and reduces pre-term labor and birth by 24 percent. Yet, more than 800 women still die every day during the process. … The health agency recommends a framework of strategies to ensure women are treated with compassion and dignity — from holding health systems accountable, to ensuring enough resources are available for quality health care, and clear policies on women’s rights…” (10/8).

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Severe Anti-LGBT Laws Associated With Lower Levels Of HIV Testing, Status Awareness Among Men Who Have Sex With Men In Africa, Study Says

The Telegraph: Anti-gay laws linked to low levels of HIV testing in Africa
“Poor uptake of HIV diagnosis and treatment among gay men in Africa may be linked to government crackdowns on homosexuality, a paper has found. The research, published in the Lancet HIV journal, analyzed data from 75 studies involving gay and bisexual men across 28 African countries. … The team found that levels of HIV testing and awareness were lower in countries with the most severe anti-LGBT legislation…” (Gulland, 10/7).

Additional coverage of the study is available from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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Nearly 1B People Have Preventable Eye Conditions, WHO Report Says; African Experts, Policymakers Meet At Forum On Visual Impairment

The Guardian: Simple eye care could improve sight of more than 1 billion people — report
“More than 1 billion people are needlessly losing their sight because of a lack of simple eye care, according to a landmark report on vision by the World Health Organization. The research has revealed a wide inequality gap for sight and eye conditions. Rates of blindness in low- and middle-income countries are up to eight times higher than in wealthy countries, with people living in rural areas, ethnic minorities, women, and older people suffering disproportionately…” (Lamble, 10/8).

The Telegraph: Almost one billion people struggle to see for want of a pair of glasses, WHO warns
“…The report, published to coincide with World Sight Day, found that roughly half of the 2.2 billion people living with some form of vision impairment have conditions which could be substantially improved, or even prevented, if addressed. This includes an enormous number of people who cannot see because they do not have access to simple eye care, including glasses and contact lenses…” (Newey/Barber, 10/8).

U.N. News: One billion people have preventable eye conditions, increasingly linked to lifestyle choices: U.N. health agency
“…One of the study’s main findings is that prevention is key, since at least one billion people are living with sight problems that could have been avoided with timely treatment. Addressing this backlog of vision impairment or blindness owing to short and far-sightedness, and cataracts, will require $14.3 billion, the agency notes…” (10/8).

Xinhua: African experts, policymakers call for efforts to address needs of visually impaired people
“Experts and policymakers on Tuesday urged African countries and pan African institutions to exert concerted efforts to address the needs of visually impaired people in Africa. They made the call during the seventh Africa Forum on Visual Impairment, which is underway at the African Union (A.U.) headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa from October 7 to 11…” (10/8).

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More News In Global Health

AFP: Iran HIV protests: 300 infections from one needle called ‘statistically inconceivable’ (10/8).

Al Jazeera: Yemen fuel shortage: health concerns rise as rubbish piles up (al-Attab, 10/9).

Associated Press: Save the Children warns of cholera spike in Yemen’s north (10/9).

Becker’s Hospital Review: Bill Gates: Funding scientific innovation would end malnutrition, malaria by 2040 (Park, 10/8).

Devex: Q&A: Primary care — a prerequisite to achieving UHC? (Beste, 10/8).

DW: Can sex education defuse Pakistan’s population crisis? (Jillani, 10/8).

Reuters: Sudan has received half of $3bln aid promised by Saudi and UAE (Eltahir, 10/8).

SciDev.Net: Zika known for abnormal small heads ‘found in Africa’ (Owings, 10/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

Donors Should Support Global Fund To Balance Fighting Infectious Diseases, Strengthening Health Systems, Opinion Piece Says

BusinessDay: Donors must balance urgent health threats with sustainability of health systems
Adèle Sulcas, editor of the Global Fund Observer

“The world’s most powerful countries and most important providers of overseas development assistance, meeting this week, are likely to pledge, collectively, about $14bn for the next three-year funding period of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. … While most major donors have already announced their pledges, the U.S. and France — consistently the two biggest donors to the fund because its inception — are expected to make big-bang pledge announcements on the final day. … [W]hile remaining focused on AIDS, TB, and malaria, the fund is trying to ensure that its financing has an enduring effect on health system strengthening, which will further support a country’s overall efforts to provide better comprehensive care for its people. (The fund’s holistic approach more or less guarantees an element of this in any case — grants that are approved usually involve a comprehensive set of interventions, including training, hardware, and infrastructure if needed.) It is also placing increasing emphasis on ‘co-financing’ — where countries commit, at the time of grant signing, to contribute a certain percentage of the proposed budget themselves. So far, the five G7 countries that have already announced their pledges for this replenishment have increased their amounts by 15% or more relative to three years ago — clearly the fund has traction, and credibility. Hopefully the final numbers will reinforce donors’ commitment to millions more lives saved” (10/9).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

France Hosts 6th Replenishment Conference Of Global Fund, Calls On Donors To Contribute To End Pandemics By 2030

France Diplomatie: France is hosting the Sixth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (9-10 October 2019, Lyon)
“…The Sixth Replenishment Conference, which will take place on 9 and 10 October in Lyon, aims to raise as much as possible to fund this fight for the next three years. The aim is to gather more money than during the last funding conference in 2016 ($12.2 billion). This money will allow the Global Fund to support affected countries and populations with a view to saving 16 million lives, preventing 234 million new infections, and continuing to finance innovations and improvements for health systems. … By ensuring that donors increase or make new contributions, and by ensuring that more national resources are leveraged for health, France and the international community can take decisive action against the AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria pandemics, in order to eliminate them completely by 2030” (10/8).

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UNAIDS Feature Story Examines Luxembourg's Efforts To Address Disease In Western, Central Africa

UNAIDS: UNAIDS and Luxembourg — working together in western and central Africa
“…Luxembourg is one country that remains committed to investing in western and central Africa. Marc Angel, Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Development Committee in the Luxembourg Parliament and UNAIDS Champion for the 90-90-90 Targets, joined UNAIDS on a recent visit to Senegal to see how Luxembourg’s contribution to UNAIDS for the acceleration of the AIDS response in western and central Africa was helping to make a difference…” (10/9).

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MSF Access Campaign Calls On Mylan To Lower Price Of New TB Drug Delamanid In South Africa, Other Countries

Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign: MSF calls for new price of anti TB drug delamanid to be lowered and offered outside of South Africa
“Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) acknowledges the lower price offered to the government of South Africa for newer anti tuberculosis (TB) drug, delamanid, but calls for it to be significantly lower and expanded to all countries in need. Mylan, which licenses the drug from the patent-holder Otsuka, will charge US$940 for a six-month treatment course ($157 per month) as of 1 June 2020 in South Africa. Delamanid is used in combination with other drugs to treat people with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB), including the hard to treat extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB)…” (10/9).

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