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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

More Than 850K People Need Emergency Food Aid In Somalia, As Flooding Threatens Region, U.N. Warns

News outlets discuss findings from a U.N. report highlighting food insecurity in Somalia.

Agence France-Presse: Somalia food aid crisis ‘critical’: U.N.
“War-torn Somalia remains in a ‘critical’ state four years after a devastating famine, the U.N. warned on Monday, noting a sharp rise in those needing food aid…” (8/30).

International Business Times: In Somalia, Over 850K People In Need Of Emergency Food Aid: U.N. Study
“More than 850,000 people in Somalia are living in a state of acute malnutrition and food insecurity, according to an estimate by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The ‘alarming’ number represents a 17 percent rise in the number of people facing a food crisis in the impoverished African nation over the last six months, the U.N. agency said, in a statement released Monday…” (Pandey, 9/1).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Hunger rises in Somalia as El Niño floods loom: U.N.
“…Scientists fear Somalia will face severe flooding because of the El Niño phenomenon, a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific. This phenomenon is strengthening and is likely to peak in three to seven months’ time, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said…” (Migiro, 8/31).

U.N. News Centre: More than 850,000 people face acute food insecurity in Somalia, U.N. food assessment shows
“…In 2011, Somalia experienced a devastating famine, according to the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Things have since improved, but humanitarian needs remain vast and the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance continues to fluctuate around three million. The ability to absorb shocks — whether conflict or natural disasters — is very limited…” (8/31).

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Experts Investigate Ebola Death In Sierra Leone, Prepare For Vaccination Trial Among Case Contacts

Associated Press: Experts to investigate new Ebola case in north Sierra Leone
“Ebola experts are in Sierra Leone’s Kambia district investigating a case that emerged less than a week after the country’s last known patient was discharged from a hospital, a World Health Organization spokeswoman said Monday. Once the source of transmission is found and contacts are traced, a vaccination trial will also begin in the northern Sierra Leone area, WHO spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris said…” (Petesch/Roy-Macaulay, 8/31).

The Hill: Sierra Leone ends streak without Ebola death
“…Health officials announced on Sunday that a 67-year-old woman had died of Ebola — nearly seven days since its last reported Ebola death. Before Sunday’s announcement, Sierra Leone officials had been hopeful that the country was moving closer to halting the epidemic that has plagued the country for more than a year…” (Ferris, 8/31).

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Unions, Civil Society Groups Question How Liberian Government Spent Money Allocated For Ebola Outbreak

VOA News: Money Questions Swirl as Liberia’s Ebola Outbreak Nears End
“As Liberia prepares to be declared once again free of the Ebola virus later this week, unions and civil society groups are beginning to question how the government spent money allocated to fight the outbreak. … International donors pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to help the impoverished country fight the virus…” (Stein, 8/31).

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Safe Humanitarian Corridor Needed In Yemen To Respond To Dengue Outbreak, WHO Says

U.N. News Centre: Yemen: ‘worrying outbreak’ of dengue fever prompts U.N. health agency appeal for safe humanitarian corridor
“The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is appealing for a safe corridor to reach more than three million people in war-torn Yemen’s most populated governorate, Taiz, where ‘an extreme spike’ in cases of dengue fever has been recorded over the past two weeks…” (8/31).

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U.N. Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union President Call On Legislators To Support SDGs

Public Finance International: U.N. chief tells parliaments across the world to back SDGs
“United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged legislators around the world to help drive forward the new sustainable development agenda. Addressing a conference of parliamentary speakers at U.N. headquarters in New York, Ban said member states had taken a ‘bold step’ in agreeing an ‘ambitious and transformative’ development agenda for the next 15 years…” (Russell, 9/1).

Xinhua News: Parliaments to be critical to success in efforts to carry out SDGs: IPU chief
“Saber Chowdhury, president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), on Monday underlined the importance of the parliaments of all countries in the global efforts to carry out the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are expected to be adopted by world leaders next month…” (8/31).

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Resource Management, Partnerships, Innovative Financing Important Under New Development Agenda, UNFPA Head Says

Devex: UNFPA chief: New development architecture will mean adaptation, more cooperation
“The architecture of the development agenda and how it will be financed has changed, but the U.N. Population Fund is adapting and looking to new partnerships and innovative financing to continue to promote reproductive health and family planning. ‘I think that management of resources and connectivity between countries — south-south cooperation, technology transfer, all of those things — will be key as we go forward,’ Babatunde Osotimehin, the executive director of UNFPA, told Devex in a recent interview…” (Jones, 8/31).

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Aid Groups, Mexican Government Training Midwives In Chiapas To Lower Maternal Death Rate

New York Times: Training Midwives to Save Expectant Mothers in Chiapas
“…The story in Chiapas is much like that in other impoverished regions around the world. Wherever maternal deaths are high, the main reason is the same: not enough doctors, nurses, and medically trained and equipped midwives to help deliver babies. … Aid groups and the Mexican government are trying to help Chiapas…” (Grady/Jarman, 8/31).

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VICE News Examines How Climate Change Disproportionately Impacts Women

VICE News: How Climate Change Impacts Women the Most
“…Particularly in developing countries, social structures that disadvantage women often put them at higher risks of harm and even death from climate change. For example, because women are frequently responsible for caring for children and the elderly, they’re often the last to leave when a disaster strikes…” (Dattaro, 8/31).

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Mass Drug Administration Effective Strategy For Preventing Drug-Resistant Malaria In Myanmar, Study Shows

SciDev.Net: Myanmar winning against drug-resistant malaria
“The threat of a drug-resistant malaria pandemic in Myanmar has been contained for now, thanks to joint efforts of malaria research organizations and Myanmar’s health ministry. Mass anti-malarial drug administration provided an effective strategy, according to a study recently published in Malaria Journal (16 August)…” (Lee, 8/31).

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Editorials and Opinions

TB Eradication Possible With Proper Health Care Systems, Diagnostic Tests, Vaccines, Funding

Project Syndicate: Taking the Offensive Against Tuberculosis
Gunilla Källenius, professor of clinical microbiology at Karolinska Institutet

“…[T]he world now has a narrow window of opportunity to eradicate TB. Taking advantage of it will require the rapid development and dissemination of effective diagnostic tools, novel drug treatments, and innovative vaccines, in conjunction with efforts to ensure that health care systems are equipped to deliver the right care. … But scaling up investment in diagnostic tools and treatments for TB costs more money than has been allocated. Of the estimated €1.73 billion ($2 billion) that is needed annually for research and development, only €589 million was invested in 2013. … Closing the funding gap and ending the scourge of TB will require the involvement of more — and more diverse — donors. If the private sector is unwilling to do its part, it is up to governments to step in with a sustained commitment — manifested in direct contributions, as well as efforts to create the right incentives — to achieving the SDG target to which they have agreed…” (8/31).

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Developing, Scaling Up Health Innovations Requires Process That Goes Beyond Research

SciDev.Net: Health innovations need much more than research
Nick Ishmael Perkins, director of SciDev.Net

“The challenges of developing and scaling up health innovations go beyond research. They need careful consideration. Previously known as the Global Forum for Health Research, the Global Forum for Research and Innovation for Health, held last week in the Philippines, has been freshly rebranded to reflect the distinction between research and the development of innovation as a product or service. This new title also acknowledges that health research is not the only research that affects health. Health outcomes are determined by a complex web of social, environmental, and governance issues. … The next forum is in three years and, given the current strategic framing, we can be sure it will be in another middle-income country. Meanwhile, may the innovation continue!” (8/31).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Trial Using 'Ring Vaccination' Strategy Of Experimental Ebola Vaccine Underway In Sierra Leone After New Case Detected

WHO: Guinea ring vaccination trial extended to Sierra Leone to vaccinate contacts of new Ebola case
“Detection of a new case of Ebola virus disease in Kambia, Sierra Leone, after the country had marked almost three weeks of zero cases has set in motion the first ‘ring vaccination’ use of the experimental Ebola vaccine in Sierra Leone…” (8/31).

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