KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Free From Ebola For Six Months, Northern Sierra Leone District Reports New Death Allegedly Related To Sexual Transmission

Associated Press: New Ebola death reported in northern Sierra Leone
“Sierra Leone on Monday announced a new Ebola death in a northern district that had gone nearly six months without reporting any infections…” (Roy-Macaulay, 9/14).

Reuters: Hundreds quarantined as Ebola returns to north Sierra Leone district
“Health authorities quarantined hundreds of people in northern Sierra Leone on Monday after a 16-year-old girl died of Ebola in an apparent case of sexual transmission, the first confirmed death from the virus in the district for nearly six months…” (Fofana/Flynn, 9/14).

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News Outlets Examine How Sierra Leoneans Coping With Emotions, Loss Of Crops In Aftermath Of Ebola Outbreak

Al Jazeera America: As Sierra Leone quarantines lift, locals take stock of losses
“…More than a year after West Africa’s Ebola outbreak began, leaving more than 11,000 people dead, the vast swaths of Sierra Leone that were quarantined are still struggling to return to the normal. Some areas were quarantined for months at time…” (Devries, 9/13).

Christian Science Monitor: In aftermath of Ebola, Sierra Leone finds forgiveness is a powerful resource
“…Sierra Leone, one of the world’s poorest countries, was startlingly unprepared for the Ebola outbreak that tore through the country last year. … But the country is rich in a resource that may best promote recovery from an epidemic that killed nearly 4,000 people and turned whole communities against one another: forgiveness…” (Brown, 9/13).

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Financial Times Publishes Special Report On SDGs

The Financial Times features several articles in a special report on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Financial Times: Experts divided over value of U.N. Sustainable Development Goals
“…[E]xperts remain divided on the value of the MDGs in the past, and whether the SDGs will have any greater impact in the future…” (Jack, 9/15).

Financial Times: Paris pledges on greenhouse gases still fall short
“…[A]s the Paris meeting nears, it is clear that this progressive ramping up of emissions reduction efforts is going to be vital…” (Clark, 9/15).

Financial Times: Sustainable Development Goals aim to improve women’s lives
“…The indicators on which this progress towards equality will be measured are multiple and complex, and there can be little doubt that attempting to meet them will require tackling deeply entrenched social attitudes about girls and women, including their worth and their place in society…” (Kazmin, 9/15).

Financial Times: Sustainable Development: sanitation needs more private investment
“…The challenge is coming up with ways to fund the infrastructure needed to provide sanitation services. Creating markets and educating consumers of the health benefits of sanitation is part of the process, says Sean Moore, portfolio manager at Acumen, a New York-based social impact investment fund…” (Murray, 9/15).

Financial Times: Global primary education vow still to be met
“…Conflict and mass emigration in countries such as Syria have been among many obstacles standing in the way of the Millennium Summit’s ambitious goal…” (Mundy, 9/15).

Financial Times: Benefits of U.N.’s millennium health goals remain unevenly spread
“…The new SDGs introduce some valuable aspects required for improved health, from a fresh emphasis on non-communicable diseases and the need for broader health systems, processes and coverage levels, to the wider aspects of clean water and air, and poverty alleviation. But many fear they will also dilute the concentration of effort that has helped to bring about recent advances…” (Jack, 9/15).

Financial Times: Critics question success of U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals
“…The argument is often that the quantitative goals helped to focus minds and channel aid money in an efficient way. However, some independent development experts beg to differ…” (Sandbu, 9/15).

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To Meet SDGs, Kenya, Other Developing Nations Must Shift Funding From Health Crises To Health System Strengthening, Experts Say

Thomson Reuters Foundation: SPECIAL SERIES — Kenya focuses on strong health system, less crisis funding
“…If Kenya and other developing countries are to meet the SDGs, they need to shift investment away from diseases like HIV and towards strengthening health systems, experts say…” (Migiro, 9/14).

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U.N. Calls For Action To Improve Health, Welfare Of Women, Adolescents, Children

VOA News: U.N.: Urgent Health Action Needed for Millions of Women, Youngsters
“The United Nations is calling for urgent action to save the lives of millions of women, adolescents, and children from largely preventable causes by improving the quality of health care. The U.N. plans to unveil a new global strategy as part of its Sustainable Development Goals 2030 next week in New York…” (Schlein, 9/14).

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WHO Calls For International Action On Refugees' Health In Europe, Pledges Continued Support

Agence France-Presse: WHO urges European action on migrant health
“The World Health Organization on Monday called for international action to respond to the public health challenges resulting from Europe’s worst migrant crisis in decades, and urged assistance for refugees exhausted from long and perilous journeys…” (9/14).

Xinhua News: WHO session discusses public health response to Europe’s migrant crisis
“…Senior officials attending the meeting called for continued involvement and support from WHO to respond adequately to the growing numbers of refugees arriving in Europe. The organization claims it will continue its support to countries by offering medical supplies, training personnel, and providing information materials…” (9/14).

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East Asia-Pacific Region Must Increase HIV Testing, Treatment For Mothers, Newborns, U.N. Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: New HIV infections in children fall in Asia, more testing for babies needed
“HIV testing and treatment for pregnant women has reduced new infections among children in Asia by more than a quarter since 2000, but many babies born to mothers with HIV are still not being tested or given life-saving medicines. Only one in four children born to HIV-positive mothers in the East Asia-Pacific region were tested soon after birth, and only about half of infants identified as HIV-positive receive the treatment they need, the United Nations said on Monday…” (Tang, 9/14).

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Nations Should Double Spending On Nutrition To Combat Malnutrition, Obesity, Report Says

Bloomberg Business: Malnourished or Obese: Nations Must Double Nutrition Budget
“In a world in which one in every three people is malnourished and 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese, nations should at least double the share of their budgets allocated to nutrition, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute…” (Almeida, 9/15).

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More Than 1.8K Dengue Cases Reported In Indian Capital Delhi

BBC News: Delhi battles dengue fever surge
“The Indian capital, Delhi, is in the grip of the worst outbreak of dengue fever in five years, officials say. More than 1,800 cases have been recorded in recent weeks, compared to 1,695 cases for all of 2010. Five deaths have been reported so far…” (9/15).

Quartz: Delhi is fighting its worst dengue outbreak in five years — and it might get worse
“…Last week alone, some 600 new cases were reported from the capital city, forcing the six-month-old government led by the Aam Aadmi Party to cancel leaves granted to doctors. Since January 2015, Delhi has seen a total of 1,872 dengue cases…” (Balachandran/Karnik, 9/15).

Times of India: Delhi running out of hospital beds as dengue cases cross 1,800
“…Experts said the government’s unpreparadness had exacerbated the crisis, resulting in shortage of hospital beds. Patients, even those who can pay, were finding it difficult to get a bed in hospitals…” (Jha, 9/15).

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Taiwan Establishes Central Command To Address Increasing Number Of Dengue Cases

New York Times: Cases of Dengue Fever Multiply in Southern Taiwan
“The incidence of dengue fever in Taiwan has risen sharply in recent days, pushing the number of cases since May close to 10,000, the country’s Centers for Disease Control reported on Tuesday. The government announced on Monday that it was creating a central command office to combat the rapid increase in the disease, which has been concentrated in the southern cities of Tainan and Kaohsiung…” (Ramzy, 9/15).

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More Than 23K People Infected With Measles In DRC Outbreak

New York Times: Measles Outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo Kills 400
“More than 23,000 people, mostly children, have been infected with measles in the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. More than 400 have died, according to United Nations agencies and Doctors Without Borders…” (McNeil, 9/14).

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Pakistan Launches Nationwide Polio Vaccination Campaign Aimed At Immunizing 35M Children

Pakistan Observer: Polio drive kicks off to vaccinate 35 million children
“[A n]ationwide polio campaign has started to vaccinate more than 35 million children in 163 districts of the country by approximately 200,000 polio workers. [The] Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq [on] Monday monitored the conduct of the campaign in various areas of Islamabad…” (9/15).

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Rise Of Breast Milk Banks Helping Shift South Africans' Attitudes Toward Breastfeeding

The Guardian: The breast milk banks reshaping South African attitudes
“…Breast milk banks are growing rapidly in South Africa, combating a climate where breastfeeding rates are low, formula is fashionable, and a premature baby dies every 20 minutes. The government is introducing the banks at public hospitals, and hopes that a shift in attitudes and mindsets will follow: at present only eight percent of South African women exclusively feed their babies breast milk during the first six months of their lives…” (Smith, 9/14).

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Editorials and Opinions

Aid Programs Must Follow 5 Key Lessons To Eliminate Inequality, Achieve SDGs

The Guardian: Aid can help to eliminate inequality by 2030 — if five key lessons are heeded
Diana Good, chair of the Mary Ward Settlement

“…[In order to eliminate inequality and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we] need to learn lessons from past successes and failures, concentrate on the most vulnerable people, and be realistic about what can actually be done with interim stepping stones. … I have seen aid do immense good. But we need to look behind the figures and the aspirations and ask how aid is planned and delivered. … There are five key lessons I learned. … Identify people’s real needs and engage them in the process throughout. … Programs need to be long term to have an enduring impact. … Set realistic targets that are tailored to tackle the specific problem. … There tends to be too much compartmentalization, when what is needed is real engagement across different sectors and donors. … [E]vidence needs to be scrutinized and action taken before it’s too late…” (9/14).

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Addressing Conflict, Security Essential To Improving Economic, Health Outcomes In Fragile States

Devex: A less fragile future
Neal Keny-Guyer, chief executive officer at Mercy Corps

“…In fragile countries like Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, and Yemen, addressing conflict and security is critical to stopping the cycle of violence, weak governance, and extreme poverty. … Any effort to improve economic or health outcomes that doesn’t address conflict will not be reaching its greatest impact. … As humanitarian actors think about how to make our greatest contribution in the future, we need to focus primarily on the most fragile places, as that’s where suffering is concentrated. While there are no simple solutions and fast fixes, ending the cycle of violence — coupled with improved governance and economic opportunity — is a critical component of lasting, positive change for the people who need it most” (9/14).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

BMJ Publishes Special Supplement On Improving Health Of Women, Children, Adolescents

BMJ Blogs: The BMJ Today: Women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health
Jett Aislabie, an assistant editor on bmj.com, writes, “Global health experts warn that societies are failing women, children, and adolescents, particularly in the poorest communities around the world, and urgent action is needed to save lives and improve health. Our special cluster of 16 articles looks at the success or otherwise of Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 and finds vast inequalities between and within countries…” (9/15).

WHO: Call to action to improve the health of women, children and adolescents worldwide
“In a special supplement published by The BMJ, public health experts from around the globe highlight the critical actions and investments that will have the greatest impact on the health of women, children, and adolescents. … The … papers, co-authored by WHO, outline the current evidence, identify successes as well as critical gaps in progress, and highlight key priorities to end preventable deaths and build resilient and prosperous societies…” (9/14).

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CDC, WHO Reports Discuss West African Ebola Outbreak

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Once again, “Ebola-free,” Liberia begins three months of surveillance, while Guinea and Sierra Leone see dwindling crisis, continued challenges, and CDC looks ahead
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” highlights a recent issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examining the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone, as well as a recent WHO Ebola Situation Report on West Africa’s outbreak, health system readiness, and workforce capacity (9/14).

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International Community Needs New Tools Promoting Comprehensive Approaches To HIV Prevention, Treatment

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Advocacy and partnerships for HIV/AIDS prevention for women: A post from Durban, South Africa
GHTC Director Erin Will Morton discusses the need for “new tools to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa, in Washington, D.C., and everywhere in between. … We cannot end the HIV/AIDS epidemic with the current tools we have, and no one tool used alone — not PrEP, not the dapivirine ring, not condoms, not male circumcision — will get us to this goal. We need to have a comprehensive approach to the fight that involves both prevention and treatment…” (9/14).

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Global Deworming Data Collection, Analysis Aim To Strengthen NTD Efforts

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End the Neglect”: The Global NGO Deworming Inventory: Taking Stock of Progress against NTDs
Hannah Schwing, communications associate for the Global Network and Sabin Vaccine Institute, discusses the importance of data collection and analysis in efforts to prevent soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections and other neglected tropical diseases. She notes the Global Network’s Global NGO Deworming Inventory, which “collects data from NGOs administering deworming treatments for STH and schistosomiasis. The data are compiled into a single database with disease-specific information by Children Without Worms (CWW)” and then merged with national program data provided to the WHO by ministries of health (9/14).

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