KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

The Lancet Reports On U.S. Cuts To Palestinian Aid

The Lancet: Funds cut for aid in the occupied Palestinian territory
“The U.S. State Department said on Aug. 31 that it would cut US$300 million in funding this year intended for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). … The cut to UNRWA funds was one in a series of cuts to aid that supports Palestinian health services. … Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA commissioner general, said in an open letter on Sept. 1 that the U.S. cuts ‘represented an evident politicization of humanitarian aid’…” (Devi, 9/15).

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Liberia VP Praises USAID For Role In Strengthening Nation's Health Sector

Front Page Africa: Liberia: VP Taylor Applauds USAID for Helping Health Sector
“Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has praised the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for its essential role in helping the nation’s health sector to tackle some of the challenges confronting it. … The vice president also lauded the USAID-sponsored Maternal & Child Survival Program (MCSP) as essential for tackling some of the health challenges confronting the country by strengthening the capability and resilience of Liberia’s frontline health workforce to address second order impacts from the Ebola crisis and strengthening pre-service training of midwives and laboratory personnel…” (9/14).

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Study Examines Impact Of Cash, Traditional Aid On Health, Welfare Of Families

Quartz Africa: Researchers tested conventional foreign aid against cash in Rwanda. Cash won.
“…Rather than expand government-run programs, researchers are testing if giving cash directly to the poor might be better. Initial results are promising. A new study released on Sept. 13 by Craig McIntosh at the University of California San Diego and Andrew Zeitlin at Georgetown University may help push governments to reprioritize how cash is used for the roughly $130 billion in aid each year…” (Coren, 9/13).

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Climate Change, SDGs, Syria To Be Discussed At Upcoming U.N. General Assembly Meeting, UNGA President Says

Xinhua News: UNGA President: Climate change, SDGs to remain hot topics at upcoming U.N. General Debate
“…Speaking to reporters on Thursday at the end-of-presidency press briefing, President of the 72nd session of the UNGA Miroslav Lajcak said that he believed the world leaders and high-level national representatives will, like they did last September, speak about climate change and [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)], among other things. … The outgoing president also noted that Syria will be one of the hot topics during the General Debate…” (9/14).

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Critics Say Morocco's New Anti-Sexual Harassment Laws Do Not Provide Enough Protections For Women

Washington Post: Why activists aren’t happy with Morocco’s new anti-sexual-harassment laws
“…[T]he Moroccan government is hailing an anti-violence-against-women law that took effect this week after five years of efforts to get it passed. The law offers a variety of protections for women who report harassment or violence in Morocco, bans forced marriage, and mandates fines and even short prison sentences for people convicted of sexual harassment in a public space. It is the first time that women in Morocco will have legal pathways to seek justice from such behavior. … But critics say the long-sought-after law still falls short of giving women the protections they need…” (O’Grady, 9/13).

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Aid Agencies Ramp Up Cholera Outbreak Response In Zimbabwe; President Calls For Improved Water, Sanitation Systems

Agence France-Presse: Zimbabwe cholera deaths rise to 25 as WHO steps up response
“The death toll from a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe has risen to 25, the government said Thursday as the World Health Organization warned that the water-borne disease is spreading rapidly in the capital Harare. ‘There are now 3,766 cases. The number of deaths is now 25,’ Health Minister Obadiah Moyo told journalists…” (Mashavave, 9/13).

Reuters: Aid agencies ramp up response to Zimbabwe cholera outbreak
“The World Health Organization and the Red Cross said on Thursday they were ramping up their emergency responses to Zimbabwe’s deadliest cholera outbreak in a decade, with politicians trading blame over contaminated water and collapsing infrastructure…” (Dzirutwe, 9/13).

Xinhua News: Zimbabwean president calls for improved sanitation amid cholera outbreak
“Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday urged the Harare city council and other local authorities to work on improving sanitation to prevent water-borne diseases…” (9/13).

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New York Times Reports On Aung San Suu Kyi's Comments Related To Rohingya, Accusations Of Ethnic Cleansing

New York Times: Rohingya Crisis ‘Could Have Been Handled Better,’ Aung San Suu Kyi Says
“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader, on Thursday sidestepped widespread accusations that her country’s military had unleashed ethnic cleansing on Rohingya Muslims, a campaign so brutal that the United Nations has recommended that top commanders be tried for genocide. … Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi declined to criticize what she delicately referred to as ‘the military aspect’ in her talk at the World Economic Forum on Asean. Instead, she chastised the international community for not focusing on violence carried out by armed Rohingya militants against members of other ethnic and religious groups in Rakhine…” (Beech, 9/13).

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More News In Global Health

ABC News: Scientists will release genetically engineered mosquitoes in Africa to fight malaria (Biswas, 9/13).

Al Jazeera: Ukraine’s ‘baby factories’: The human cost of surrogacy (Roache, 9/13).

CIDRAP News: Ebola infects 5 more in DRC, lifting total to 137 (Schnirring, 9/13).

The Economist: European countries demand that publicly funded research be free (9/15).

The Lancet: Crisis in the Chad Basin (Devi, 9/15).

PBS NewsHour: Health workers selling simple cures door-to-door are saving lives (Epatko, 9/13).

Pulitzer Center/BBC: The World’s Most Common Contraception Has a Dark Past (Green, 9/11).

Reuters: Yemen war a ‘living hell’ for children: UNICEF (Miles et al., 9/13).

SciDev.Net: Birth defects cluster not just down to Zika (de Oliveira Andrade, 9/14).

Washington Post: A prototype of how to fight the next pandemic: A vaccine without the shot (Johnson, 9/12).

Xinhua News: Portugal approves sale of test kits for HIV, hepatitis in pharmacies (9/14).

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Editorials and Opinions

Protecting Environment, Biodiversity Critical To Human Health

ABC News: Human survival cannot be left to politicians. We’re losing our life support systems
David Shearman, honorary secretary of Doctors for the Environment Australia and emeritus professor of medicine at Adelaide University

“…[Jonas Salk] warned ‘if all insects on Earth disappeared, within 50 years all life on Earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the Earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.’ Eighty years later, scientists understand these words, but governments do not. … Scientists and environmentalists recognize that many species are disappearing from the Earth and 26,000 are threatened. … These extinctions are the tip of the iceberg which will affect food production and therefore the economy, and the pillars of human health and survival, water, air, biological resources, and soil. … In a world of increasingly complex issues, survival cannot be left to political opinion — it has to be guided by our best scientific and technological minds … Together hundreds of thousands of species provide humanity with free ecological service to filter, purify, and conserve our water, provide temperature, climate, and rainfall control, stabilization of soils, carbon storage, and air purification. Not only that, they continue to provide humanity with the biological secrets of many medical cures and treatments” (9/13).

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Governments, NGOs, Others Should Heed Call To Couple NCD, Maternal Health Services

Devex: Opinion: Why diabetes in pregnancy should be on the agenda at U.N. meetings
Katja Iversen, president and CEO of Women Deliver, and Leif Fenger Jensen, first managing director of the World Diabetes Foundation

“…[M]any governments and health authorities have not yet made the prevention, screening, and treatment of diabetes a public health priority. The United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs — taking place during the U.N. General Assembly — offers a chance to change that. As top decision-makers from across the world strategize on how to build healthier communities and prevent the spread of noncommunicable diseases, they must seize the moment and commit to action — to build bridges across communities, forge partnerships across sectors, and deliberately address women’s health, including diabetes in pregnancy. … Offering NCD and maternal health services together can help more women receive screenings and treatment, especially in low-resource, high-burden settings, and move us toward achieving the SDGs. … We encourage partner organizations to add their voices here and join us in urging governments to heed the call” (9/13).

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Partnerships, Innovative Finance Mechanisms Key To Eliminating Malaria

Devex: Opinion: We won’t beat malaria unless we rethink our financing mechanisms
Christoph Benn, senior adviser to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

“…There is a pressing need to create new and unconventional finance mechanisms to ensure our progress against malaria is not hampered by a funding gap, or that it falls off the priority list of countries. At the heart of success in our approach against malaria will be innovation. But this does not simply mean identifying the next headline-grabbing breakthrough. We must instead look to inject fresh energy into the effort to stop malaria by considering other funding mechanisms. … The Global Fund will enter its sixth replenishment in 2019, with discussions revolving around its significance in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria. This is important as a successful replenishment ensures the Global Fund will have adequate funds to continue supporting as many countries in Asia and the Pacific as possible in the next five years in their efforts to eliminate malaria. … Smart partnerships and innovative financing solutions are key to banishing malaria from this region — and the world — once and for all” (9/13).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Experts Examine USAID's Cash Benchmarking Efforts

Center for Global Development: More Results for the Money: Cash Benchmarking at USAID
Sarah Rose, policy fellow, and Amanda Glassman, chief operating officer, senior fellow, and board secretary, both at CGD, discuss USAID’s new “series of cash benchmarking evaluations that compare the per-dollar impact of USAID programs with that of a comparably sized cash transfer given directly to individuals or households.” The authors write, “The first results are out … and will hopefully prompt constructive conversation about how USAID can better use evidence to select and design impactful and cost-effective programs. In a new policy note, we describe USAID’s cash benchmarking effort and explain why it’s important. We also offer recommendations for how the agency should take the approach forward and suggest ways that Congress can help ensure it’s done well…” (9/13).

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WHO European Centre For Primary Health Care, Others Recognize 40th Anniversary Of Alma-Ata Declaration

WHO: Almaty celebrates the official 40th birthday of primary health care
“On 12 September 1978, exactly 40 years ago, the landmark Declaration of Alma-Ata on primary health care was signed at the International Conference on Primary Health Care. … On the occasion of this 40th anniversary, the WHO European Centre for Primary Health Care together with national and city officials and representatives of United Nations agencies, development partners, allied universities, and professional associations celebrated this important anniversary…” (9/13).

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'Science Speaks' Discusses Study Findings On Using Dolutegravir-Based Treatments For HIV In Low-Resource Setting

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Dolutegravir results in low-resource setting highlight benefits
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer at “Science Speaks,” discusses findings from a study examining the use of dolutegravir-based treatments for HIV in a low-resource setting. Barton notes, “[F]indings from the first study … show use of the drug to be cost effective, as well as safe and extremely effective in suppressing viral loads quickly and maintaining viral suppression below detectable levels” (9/12).

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From KFF

KFF Updates Fact Sheet On U.S. Role In Global NCD Efforts

Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. Government and Global Non-Communicable Disease Efforts
This updated fact sheet discusses U.S. government efforts on and funding for global non-communicable diseases (NCDs), global statistics related to NCDs, and international goals for NCDs (9/14).

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