KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID Official Discusses Role Of Ethnic, Religious Identity In Vulnerability, Humanitarian Aid Distribution In Devex Interview

Devex: Q&A: Religious identity, genocide, and humanitarian impartiality
“… ‘For the first time we’re really talking about and acknowledging that a person’s ethnic or religious identity contributes to their vulnerability … That is something of an evolution in the conversation around humanitarian principles and the way we at USAID and others in the U.S. government try to do our work around development assistance,’ [Hallam Ferguson, USAID senior deputy assistant administrator in the Middle East bureau,] said at a ministerial side event at the Family Research Council, a Christian activist group known for opposing homosexuality. The humanitarian principle of impartiality requires that assistance be distributed solely on the basis of need, with no discrimination based on nationality, race, gender, religious belief, class, or political opinions. Devex spoke to Ferguson about how this conversation is evolving inside USAID…” (Igoe, 9/16).

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U.S., Rwanda Health Officials Discuss Ebola Response, Other Public Health Issues

New Times: U.S., Rwanda officials discuss public health
“The United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, has praised Rwanda’s achievements in the fight against HIV, malaria, and infant mortality. Secretary Azar made the remarks [Sunday] in Kigali. He is leading a U.S. delegation on a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda to learn about the situation on the ground, meet with national and international counterparts, as well as reiterate the U.S.’ commitment to bringing the Ebola outbreak in the region to an end…” (Kuteesa, 9/16).

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Ivanka Trump's Efforts To Promote Women's Prosperity Undermined By Trump Administration Policies, Some Experts Say

CNN: Ivanka Trump’s push to empower women is undermined by her father’s policies, experts say
“…In promoting her ‘Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative,’ [Ivanka] Trump emphasizes the link between stable, productive societies and women’s ability to work — connections borne out by research. But experts say a key factor enabling women to thrive economically is their ability to control when and how many children they have. They say that ability is being undermined across the globe by the Trump administration, which ‘is hurting women and hurting women’s access to basic care,’ and puts lives in danger…” (Gaouette, 9/12).

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Health Officials Investigating Woman's Death Of Unknown Illness In Tanzania, Reject Ebola Rumors

Reuters: WHO investigating death in Tanzania due to unknown illness
“A woman whose death in Tanzania is being investigated by the World Health Organization probably did not have Ebola, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. … The woman who died in Dar es Salaam on Sept. 8 presented symptoms common to several diseases, including dengue or malaria, both endemic in East Africa, said Justin Williams, the director for communication and policy at the Nairobi office of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…” (Mohammed et al., 9/13).

Xinhua: Tanzanian health authorities refute rumors of Ebola outbreak
“Tanzanian health authorities on Saturday refuted rumors of an Ebola outbreak in the east African country saying people should not be scared by the rumors. ‘We don’t have Ebola patients in Tanzania,’ Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister for Health, told a news conference in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam…” (9/14).

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WHO Ebola Response Running Out Of Money, Organization Warns, Urges Caution Over Decline In Outbreak Indicators

CIDRAP News: WHO urges caution amid Ebola decline in DRC
“Ebola outbreak indicators show promising signs of decline, but it’s too soon to tell if the pattern will persist, the World Health Organization (WHO) said [Thursday] in its weekly overview of developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Meanwhile, 14 new confirmed cases were reported today, lifting the outbreak’s overall total to 3,113, according to numbers reflected on the WHO’s online Ebola dashboard…” (Schnirring, 9/13).

The Hill: WHO warns it’s running out of money to fight Ebola
“The largest force against the yearlong outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Congo says it only has enough money for the fight to last through the end of the month. The World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that it has received about $55 million from governments around the world since Aug. 1, just one-fifth of the amount it needs to implement a strategic response plan meant to contain the virus through the end of the year…” (Wilson, 9/13).

UPI: WHO: Ebola funds not enough to fight virus through end of 2019
“…The organization said it needs $287 million to help affiliate groups curtail the virus and at least $120 million to keep its own operations going. The money it has received so far is projected to run out by the start of October. ‘Further resources are needed to fund the response through to December 2019, and WHO is appealing to donors to provide generous support,’ it said in a statement…” (Hughes, 9/13).

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Congo Police Detain Former Health Minister In Ebola Funds Investigation

Associated Press: Congo police detain ex-health minister in Ebola funds probe
“Police in Congo have detained the former minister of health amid an investigation into the use of Ebola funds as confirmed Ebola deaths rose to near 2,000 and confirmed cases of the virus exceeded 3,000 in the sprawling African nation. Former Minister of Health Oly Ilunga was taken into custody, police said in a statement Saturday…” (Mwanamilongo, 9/14).

Reuters: Congo police detain former health minister in Ebola probe
“…Oly Ilunga oversaw Democratic Republic of Congo’s handling of the outbreak, the second deadliest in history, for nearly a year. He was stripped by the presidency of that responsibility in July and resigned from the government days later. Earlier in September, his lawyers said he had been questioned by police about his role managing the Ebola response. They denied any wrongdoing by Ilunga…” (Bujakera et al., 9/14).

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U.N. News Previews 5 Summits Taking Place During U.N. General Assembly

U.N. News: U.N. General Assembly: Here are the 5 big summits to watch for
“It’s that time again, when the eyes of the world turn to New York, as world leaders fly into the city to take part in the General Debate that marks the opening of the latest session of the U.N. General Assembly, or UNGA. Alongside the customary speeches from heads of state, five important high-level summits and meetings will be taking place, covering many of the key issues facing today’s world. 1. Climate Action … 2. Making Universal Health Coverage a reality … 3. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals … 4. Financing for development … 5. Supporting small island developing states…” (9/15).

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Asian, Arab Parliamentarians To Review, Assess ICPD Programme Of Action At September Meeting

IPS: Asian & Arab Parliamentarians to Move Forward on Reproductive Health & Gender Empowerment
“Over the years, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) has worked in tandem with legislators and parliamentarians to help implement the historic Programme of Action (PoA) adopted unanimously by over 20,000 U.N. delegates at a landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo back in 1994. … As UNFPA plans to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ICPD at an international conference (ICPD25) in Nairobi in November, the Asian Parliamentarians for Population and Development (APDA) will hold a meeting in Rabat, Morocco 18-20 September to review and assess ICPD25…” (Raheem, 9/16).

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Chair Of Elton John AIDS Foundation Says Homophobia, Stigma Hindering HIV Prevention Efforts In Eastern Europe, Central Asia; New Grant Program To Address Issues In Region

The Telegraph: Stigma is holding back fight against AIDS in Eastern Europe, warns David Furnish
“David Furnish, AIDS campaigner and husband of Sir Elton John, has condemned the homophobia and stigma that is hampering the control of HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Mr. Furnish, chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, was speaking to the Telegraph as the foundation, in partnership with drug company Gilead, launched a $25 million, five-year initiative to fight the disease in Eastern Europe and Central Asia — the only region in the world where the number of new HIV infections is going up. … The foundation and Gilead’s new initiative is to be launched in Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan, before being rolled out to other cities in the the region. Around 25 countries … will be able to apply for grants aimed at improving health services and reducing stigma and discrimination…” (Gulland, 9/13).

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More News In Global Health

Al Jazeera: What’s the cure for misinformation on vaccines? (Ahelbarra, 9/13).

BBC: Which countries have banned pesticides used in suicide? (9/15).

DW: Big Pharma nixes new drugs despite impending ‘antibiotic apocalypse’ (Schumacher, 9/14).

The Telegraph: The greatest threat was in the lab, says the scientist who co-discovered Ebola (Newey, 9/16).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: FEATURE — Armed with tech tools, Colombian cities combat mosquito-borne diseases (Moloney, 9/16).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: FEATURE — Kathmandu battles new threat as temperatures rise: dengue fever (Subedi, 9/14).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Indonesia inches closer to outlawing child marriage (Yi, 9/13).

Xinhua: Cholera vaccination campaign launched in Yemen’s Sanaa (9/15).

Xinhua: Feature: Hunger kills Yemen’s children in silence, no one hears (Mohammed, 9/14).

Xinhua: Lawmaker urges firms to lower cost of medicines to help end TB epidemic in Africa (9/13).

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Editorials and Opinions

Political Commitment, Financing, Results-Driven Data Vital To Achieving UHC

Devex: Opinion: Unlocking UHC via country leadership, financing, and primary health care
Muhammad Ali Pate, director of the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents and global director of the health, nutrition, and population global practice of the World Bank

“…The first condition to achieving [universal health coverage (UHC)] is ensuring countries lead their own development and define their own priorities to address the health of their people. … The second condition to achieving UHC is that available funding — both from domestic and external sources — needs to be prioritized to first address the needs of those left furthest behind, to fund high-impact services, and to address systemic bottlenecks. … Political commitment and financing are not silver bullets. To translate into the desired impact, a rigorous focus on tracking results — and using those results to make evidence-based decisions and to course-correct — is key. … As a global community, our work must be rooted in the needs and realities of the countries we support and address the real-world constraints and challenges governments face in ensuring health for all” (9/16).

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Opinion Piece Outlines 5 Challenges For NGOs To Overcome For Localization To Succeed

Forbes: Five Hurdles To Localizing Global Development, And How NGOs Can Help Overcome Them
Pape Gaye, resident and CEO of IntraHealth International and member of Forbes Nonprofit Council

“…The entire field of global health and development is shifting. Major funders, such as the U.S. government, are pushing ahead with an approach called localization, wherein countries manage their own foreign aid, mobilize their own public and private revenues, and eventually become self-reliant. … NGOs can help localization succeed. But we will have to overcome five big challenges to do it. 1. An Outdated Model … 2. Trust Issues … 3. A One-Size-Fits-All Approach … 4. The Rise Of Nationalism … 5. Time And Vision … To advance this next-generation model of local global development, NGOs must be ready to broker new partnerships and develop new business models. Over the long-term, localization will pay dividends in economic growth, global health security, and human development” (9/13).

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Winnie Byanyima Of UNAIDS, Matshidiso Moeti Of WHO Should Prioritize Women's Health, Opinion Piece Says

IPS: UNAIDS and WHO Africa Leaders Should Prioritize Women’s Health
Ifeanyi Nsofor, medical doctor, CEO of EpiAFRIC, director of policy and advocacy for Nigeria Health Watch

“Two African women were recently appointed to top global health positions: Winnie Byanyima as the Executive Director of UNAIDS and Dr. Matshidiso Moeti reappointed as the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. … In these powerful roles, they should also prioritize addressing issues uniquely affecting women — from HIV to childbirth to infectious diseases — because when women are healthy, the society progresses. Further, the health of women is a measure of a society’s level of development. As a father to two daughters, I am rooting for Ms. Byanyima and Dr. Moeti to succeed and leave the world healthier than they met it…” (9/13).

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Development Of New TB Drug Shows Role Of Public-Private Partnerships In Addressing Global Health Challenges

The Hill: It’s time to celebrate this great advance made in tuberculosis treatment
Herman O. Sintim, drug discovery professor of chemistry, and Richard J. Kuhn, Trent and Judith Anderson distinguished professor of science, both at Purdue University

“On Aug. 14, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new drug, pretomanid, to fight tuberculosis (TB). Pretomanid was developed by the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance), a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and delivering new tuberculosis drugs. … Despite [some concerns over the development of drug resistance and treatment side effects], it is time to celebrate this great advance made in TB treatment. Another reason to celebrate is that TB Alliance supported the entire arduous process of pretomanid development through FDA approval and established a new paradigm for a successful public-private partnership for delivering new therapeutics against dangerous human pathogens. It highlights the power of cooperation and collaboration to tackle long-standing global problems” (9/13).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Post Examines Potential Impacts Of Climate Change On Population Growth, Reproductive Goals

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Climate Change Will Likely Influence Fertility Rates
Brian Thiede, assistant professor of rural sociology, sociology, and demography at Pennsylvania State University, writes, “So far, relatively little is known about whether and how the reproductive goals and behaviors of women and their partners may be influenced by a changing climate. However, a number of recent empirical studies offer evidence of such effects, underscoring the multidimensional ways that households modify their structure and activities in response to changing environmental conditions. The effects also highlight the complex and interactive linkages between population growth rates and climate change…” (9/16).

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U.N. Special Adviser Calls On Eastern Europe, Central Asia Nations To Implement Harm Reduction Policies To Reduce HIV, HCV Incidence

BMJ Opinion: Michel Kazatchkine: The time has come to implement harm reduction policies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
In this post, Michel Kazatchkine, special adviser to the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, argues Eastern European and Central Asian countries should adopt opioid maintenance therapy and needle exchanges to curb HIV and hepatitis C outbreaks. Kazatchkine writes, “[W]e have evidence that opioid maintenance therapy and needle syringe programs are effective at prevention. It is the right time for governments in the region to review the evidence, review their policies, and reign in their HIV and hepatitis epidemics” (9/13).

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FIGO Calls For Commitments To Women's SRHR At Upcoming Meetings, Better Access To Safe Abortion

International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics: Safe abortion is healthcare
“…Later this month at the U.N. High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and in November at the 25th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, FIGO hopes to see global leaders make commitments towards women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. In order for these to lead to lasting change, they need to be matched by progress at the regional, national, and local level. … Unsafe abortion remains a catastrophic public health problem accounting for 13 percent of maternal mortality worldwide, with hundreds of thousands of survivors living with long-term complications, including infertility and chronic pain…” (9/13).

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From the U.S. Government

HHS Press Releases Discuss U.S. Delegation's Visit To DRC, Other African Nations To Discuss Ebola Outbreak, Preparedness

HHS: Secretary Azar Meets with Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Ebola Preparedness
“…Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, joined by other senior U.S. health officials, met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and other senior Rwandan officials to address joint efforts to prevent the Ebola outbreak from spreading into Rwanda, which borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)…” (9/15).

HHS: Secretary Azar Meets with Local Leaders and Visits Ebola Treatment Center
“…Azar, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID); Garrett Grigsby, director of the HHS Office of Global Affairs; Tim Ziemer, senior deputy assistant administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Mike Hammer, U.S. ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); and staff of President Trump’s National Security Council joined World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Gebreyeus and United Nations (U.N.) Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator (EERC) David Gressly in Butembo, DRC, where they toured an Ebola treatment center near the center of the outbreak…” (9/14).

HHS: Secretary Azar Meets with Democratic Republic of the Congo President Felix Tshisekedi about Ebola Outbreak
“…Azar, joined by other senior U.S. health officials, met with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi and other senior DRC officials as joint efforts continue to contain and end one of the most serious current global health challenges, the Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC…” (9/13).

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