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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Administration To Cut $25M In Aid To East Jerusalem Hospital Network Providing Care To Palestinians

The Hill: Trump to cut $25M in aid for East Jerusalem hospitals: State Dept.
“The Trump administration is cutting $25 million in aid earmarked for Palestinians in East Jerusalem hospitals. The State Department in a statement to The Hill said the money will be redirected to ‘high-priority projects elsewhere’…” (Birnbaum, 9/9).

NPR: New Cuts In Medical Aid To Palestinians By Trump Administration
“…A State Department official told NPR the administration is pulling $25 million it had planned to give to the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, a group of six hospitals, some church-run, providing care primarily to Palestinians…” (Estrin, 9/7).

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Recent Health Scares At U.S. Airports Related To Hajj Pilgrimage, Health Officials Say

Reuters: Two health scares at U.S. airports tied to Mecca pilgrims: U.S. officials
“Two major health scares at U.S. airports involving inbound flights are related to pilgrims returning from the Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which ended in late August, U.S. health officials said on Friday…” (Steenhuysen, 9/7).

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Canada PM Trudeau To Underscore Nation's Efforts To Secure Private Sector Funding For SDGs In Bid For U.N. Security Council Seat

Globe and Mail: Trudeau to pitch Canada’s work on development funding in bid for U.N. Security Council seat
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will pitch his government’s efforts to unlock private-sector money needed to help meet a set of ambitious United Nations sustainable-development goals as a key part of Canada’s bid for a U.N. Security Council seat in New York later this month…” (Zilio, 9/7).

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Spending Gaps In Global Health R&D Threaten Innovation Against Infectious Diseases, Study Shows

Health Policy Watch: New Analysis Reveals Significant Gaps In Funding For Health Innovation
“Many of the products critically needed to fight some of the world’s most prevalent infectious diseases are not likely to be developed. This is the outcome of a new analysis, which reveals significant gaps in funding for health innovation…” (Ueberschlag, 9/4).

New York Times: Vaccines Against HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis Unlikely, Study Says
“…To make real progress against this variety of infectious diseases by 2030, the study concluded, the world must increase research spending to nearly $9 billion a year; it now spends only about $3 billion. But the world is moving in the opposite direction…” (McNeil, 9/7).

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Nearly 800K People Commit Suicide Annually, WHO Says, Releases Prevention Toolkit On World Day

U.N. News: 800,000 people commit suicide every year: WHO
“Every year, close to 800,000 people commit suicide, the second leading cause of death amongst people aged 15-29 in 2016. Ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday 10 September, a toolkit to help communities to prevent suicides has been released by the World Health Organization, WHO, and the Mental Health Commission of Canada…” (9/9).

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Extreme Hunger In Conflict Zones Could Kill 590K Children This Year, Save The Children Report Says

Al Jazeera: Hunger as a weapon ‘on the rise’ in warzones
“One child could die every minute from extreme hunger in conflict zones this year, according to Save the Children, as it reported a rise in the use of starvation as a weapon of war around the world. The U.K.-based charity said in a report published on Monday that 4.5 million children under the age of five in the world’s 10 worst war-torn countries, including Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), will need treatment for malnutrition…” (9/10).

The Guardian: Starvation: a weapon of war that could kill 590,000 children by the end of 2018
“Starvation being used as a weapon of war has become the new normal, according to Save the Children. … The data emerged ahead of Tuesday’s launch of the U.N. annual report on food security, which last year warned that global hunger was rising for the first time since the turn of the century, fueled by conflict and climate change…” (McVeigh, 9/10).

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Advances In Ebola Treatment Helping To Contain Virus, But Challenges Remain In Conflict-Hit DRC

Associated Press: In Congo, a new and less isolating Ebola treatment center
“…[O]ne aid group for the first time is treating confirmed Ebola victims in what is called the CUBE, individual biosecure units used in emergencies involving highly infectious diseases. ALIMA (The Alliance For International Medical Action) runs the 18-bed center in Beni…” (Maliro, 9/10).

CIDRAP News: Another Ebola case detected outside DRC’s main hot spots
“Signaling another extension of Ebola outside the main hot spots, a case has been detected in a village in Masereka health zone not far from the urban center of Butembo. The case involves a health worker from Beni who refused follow-up and vaccination after potential exposure, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) health ministry said [Sept. 6]…” (Schnirring, 9/7).

Reuters: Ebola fight has new science but faces old hurdles in restive Congo
“…The stakes are high, not just for health reasons. Ebola could complicate Congo’s first democratic change of power, the holding of a Dec. 23 election to replace President Joseph Kabila that is already two years late…” (Mahamba et al., 9/10).

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Cholera Outbreak In Zimbabwe Spreads Outside Of Capital

New Zimbabwe: Cholera spreads to Chitungwiza, Gokwe; 16 dead with than 400 cases reported
“The cholera outbreak currently ravaging Harare has spread to Chitungwiza and Gokwe in the Midlands province with the death toll in the capital alone reaching 16, it has emerged…” (Chibamu, 9/10).

Reuters: Cholera outbreak kills 10 people in Zimbabwe
“…Harare city council has struggled to supply water to some suburbs for more than a decade, forcing residents to rely on water from open wells and community boreholes…” (Dzirutwe, 9/9).

VOA News: Zimbabwe’s Capital on Alert Over Cholera Outbreak
“…Zimbabwe’s outgoing Health Minister David Parirenyatwa told reporters late Thursday approximately 40 people were being treated for cholera and five had already died from diarrhea and vomiting, typical symptoms of the water-borne disease…” (Mavhunga, 9/7).

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Idlib Offensive Would Cause Further Humanitarian Disaster, Health, U.N. Officials Warn

Agence France-Presse: ‘Great fear’ in Idlib ahead of looming offensive: health chief
“There is ‘great fear’ among residents and medical workers in Idlib as the threat of a large-scale military operation looms over Syria’s last major rebel bastion, the province’s health chief said. … [A] major military operation is expected to pose a humanitarian nightmare because there is no nearby opposition territory left in Syria where people could be evacuated…” (Larson, 9/8).

U.N. News: ‘Sanctity of human civilian life’ in Idlib must win out, urges U.N. Syria Envoy
“With the ingredients for a ‘perfect storm’ brewing in the Syrian province of Idlib, the international community cannot allow civilians there to succumb to such a fate, the U.N. envoy for the country told the Security Council on Friday…” (9/7).

U.N. News: WFP and UNICEF prepare for the worst in Syria’s Idlib, as insecurity mars start of another school year
“Emergency food supplies for hundreds of thousands of people in Syria’s Idlib are ‘ready for distribution’ in the event of mass displacement caused by a full-scale military offensive on the last opposition-held region, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday…” (9/7).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: No savior: Can blended finance work for WASH? (Edwards, 9/10).

HealthDay News: Poor Health Care Linked to 5 Million Deaths Worldwide a Year (9/7).

Health Policy Watch: African Access Initiative: “We Will Count Our Success By Seeing Patients Diagnosed Correctly And Treated With The Right Medicine” (Ueberschlag, 9/5).

Ozy: 100K Africans Die From Fake Meds Each Year. Can She Save Them? (Adeshokan, 9/10).

Reuters: South Korean man infected by MERS virus, first case in 3 years (Choi, 9/8).

Xinhua News: U.N., South Sudan enhance Ebola preparedness following outbreak in DRC (9/7).

Xinhua News: S. African deputy president reaffirms determination to end TB by 2030 (9/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

High-Quality Health Care Critical To Achieving SDGs, WHO's General Programme Of Work

The Lancet Global Health: How could health care be anything other than high quality?
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO

“The very fact that in 2018 The Lancet Global Health has commissioned a report on the state of quality care globally is an indictment on all of us for ever tolerating anything less than care that is effective, safe, and people-centered. … [E]nsuring high-quality care in every health system around the world requires nothing less than a revolution. An unrelenting focus on quality at the point of care, in the design of services, and in health system reform are fundamental to achieving both the Sustainable Development Goals and the ‘triple billion’ targets of WHO’s General Programme of Work 2019-23. … Quality is not a given. It takes vision, planning, investment, compassion, meticulous execution, and rigorous monitoring, from the national level to the smallest, remotest clinic. … My hope is that the ultimate result of [the Lancet Global Health Commission’s] labor will be that, in years to come, the term ‘quality care’ will fall into disuse — because there is no other kind” (9/5).

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Lancet Commission Aims To Overcome Fragmentation In Global Health

The Lancet: Addressing the fragmentation of global health: the Lancet Commission on synergies between universal health coverage, health security, and health promotion
Gorik Ooms, professor in the Department of Global Health and Development at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and colleagues

“Global health is fragmented. Many stakeholders pursue their own agenda while neglecting other important goals for global health. … If these tensions are not addressed, fragmentation will continue to make local, national, and global efforts inefficient and opportunities will be lost in terms of lives saved and quality of life. … The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and WHO’s General Programme of Work 2019-2023 (GPW) come with unprecedented potential for coherence. The broad SDGs highlight how the goals and targets are intertwined. … Similarly, WHO’s GPW shows that the organization’s efforts can be subsumed under three strategic priorities: UHC … health emergencies … and healthier populations. … The Lancet Commission on synergies between UHC, health security, and health promotion aims to overcome fragmentation and realize the potential for coherence in global health. The Commission will systematically examine intersections between these leading agendas in global health. … The findings will help the many and diverse stakeholders in global health better align their efforts, cooperate more efficiently, and save and improve more lives…” (9/7).

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International Community Should Strengthen Global Mechanism For Virus Sample Sharing

CNN: The decline in virus sample sharing is not just about China
Thomas J. Bollyky and David P. Fidler, fellows at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…Urgent action is needed to rejuvenate the global mechanism designed to ensure the sharing of influenza samples and to support pandemic preparedness. … [The 2011 Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework] facilitates, but does not mandate, the sharing of influenza virus samples in exchange for countries sharing the benefits derived from research on those samples, such as vaccines. … The PIP Framework has not failed, but that system cannot succeed without transparency, accountability, and investment. The system must be resilient enough so that sharing does not spike during disease crises and taper off when other problems seem more pressing for governments. The United States, China, and other influential countries need to bolster WHO’s efforts to help poorer governments build capacities to participate in robust global sample sharing and reap the benefits of doing so. Even amid difficult relations on many issues, the U.S. and Chinese governments can turn their H7N9 quandary into a joint effort to steer global sample sharing away from decline and fragmentation and towards protecting communities all over the world from being, as a century ago, helpless when virulent influenza strikes again” (9/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Investing In High-Quality Health Systems Necessary To Achieve SDGs, Lancet Global Health Commission Asserts

The Lancet Global Health: High-quality health systems in the Sustainable Development Goals era: time for a revolution
“…In this Commission, we assert that providing health services without guaranteeing a minimum level of quality is ineffective, wasteful, and unethical. Moving to a high-quality health system — one that improves health and generates confidence and economic benefits — is primarily a political, not technical, decision. National governments need to invest in high-quality health systems for their own people and make such systems accountable to people through legislation, education about rights, regulation, transparency, and greater public participation. Countries will know that they are on the way towards a high-quality, accountable health system when health workers and policymakers choose to receive health care in their own public institutions…” (9/5).

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FT Health Discusses Lancet Global Health Commission On High-Quality Care, Features Interview With CMO/Co-Founder Of Company Working On Depression Treatment

FT Health: Quality not quantity
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter discusses findings from the Lancet Global Health Commission on High-Quality Care, highlighting an accompanying report and podcast. The issue also features an interview with Ekaterina Malievskaia, chief medical officer and co-founder of Compass Pathways, who discusses depression treatment development, and provides a round-up of global health-related news stories (Dodd/Jack, 9/7).

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FIGO Post Discusses 40th Anniversary Of Alma-Ata Declaration

International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics: The Alma-Ata Declaration at 40
This post discusses “the 40th anniversary of the Alma-Ata Declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO), which stated that access to primary health care should be available to all,” and includes quotes on the topic from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (9/7).

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Rotavirus Community Remains Committed To Ensuring Cost-Effectiveness, Accessibility Of Vaccines, PATH Associate Says

PATH’s “DefeatDD Blog”: Measuring the Next Mile for Rotavirus Vaccines
Laura Edison Kallen, senior scientific communications associate at PATH, discusses takeaways from the 13th International Rotavirus Symposium, writing, “[The symposium attendees] presented evidence and shared experiences to help ensure that rotavirus vaccines remain cost-effective, affordable, and accessible in this changing global environment. … The rotavirus community is still as committed as ever to improving coverage and providing the best possible protection to every child” (9/7).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Senators Young, Brown, Others Urge Trump Administration To Commit To 'Meaningful Engagement' During U.N. High-Level Meeting On TB

Office of U.S. Senator Todd Young: Young, Brown Lead Senators in Urging Administration to Invest in Efforts to Defeat Tuberculosis
“U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) this week led a group of Senators in urging President Trump to commit to meaningful U.S. engagement during the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis (TB). The Senators said committing to not only sustained but expanded investment in the fight against this infectious disease is what’s needed to defeat TB in the U.S. and around the world…” (9/7).

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USAID-Supported Study Helping Inform U.S. Support Of Fistula Care Projects

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: The Hidden Costs of Fistula Repair Surgery
Bianca Devoto, an intern in USAID’s Office of Population & Reproductive Health supporting USAID’s management team for the Fistula Care Plus Project, discusses the costs associated with fistula repair surgery in Uganda. She cites a “recently published USAID-supported research study [that] sought to better understand the barriers women face when seeking fistula care,” and concludes, “Since 2004, more than 50,000 fistula repair surgeries have been made possible all over the world through Fistula Care Plus Project and other USAID-supported fistula care projects” (9/7).

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