KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Global Efforts To Treat, Prevent Malaria Help World Reach MDG, Africa Significantly Reduce Cases

News outlets discuss findings from a WHO/UNICEF report showing the Millennium Development Goal on malaria has been met and a study published in the journal Nature showing the positive effects of malaria control programs in Africa since 2000.

Agence France-Presse: Malaria deaths fall 60 percent since 2000: U.N.
“Malaria deaths worldwide have fallen by 60 percent since 2000, the U.N. said Thursday, with improved diagnostic tests and the massive distribution of mosquito nets aiding dramatic progress against the disease…” (9/17).

BBC News: Malaria: ‘700 million cases’ stopped in Africa
“Nearly 700 million cases of malaria have been prevented in Africa as a result of concerted efforts to tackle the disease since 2000, a study shows. The report published in the journal Nature showed that overall the number of infections fell by 50 percent across the continent…” (Gallagher, 9/17).

Deutsche Welle: Malaria deaths down 60 percent, says WHO
“…While the number of overall cases [globally] fell by just 20 percent, the number of people killed by the disease has plummeted to an estimated 438,000 in 2015. Fifteen years ago, an estimated 262,000,000 malaria cases resulted in nearly 840,000 deaths, most of them children under five, the [WHO/UNICEF report] said…” (9/17).

Newsweek: Malaria Deaths Fall by Millions Since 2000: U.N. Report
“…Children under five are especially vulnerable to the disease, accounting for two-thirds of all malaria related deaths. In the last 15 years the death rate for under-fives fell by 65 percent, with the report estimating this means 5.9 million children’s lives were saved…” (Draper, 9/17).

Reuters: Millions of children’s lives saved as malaria deaths plunge: U.N.
“…The report found an increasing number of countries on the verge of eliminating malaria. In 2014, 13 countries reported zero cases and six had fewer than 10 cases. Yet despite enormous progress, malaria remains an acute problem in some regions, the report said…” (Kelland, 9/16).

VOA News: Report: Drop in Malaria Deaths an Unprecedented Success
“…The U.N. agencies aim to reduce global malaria deaths and cases by 90 percent by 2030 but said nearly $9 billion would be needed to achieve this Sustainable Development Goal over the next 15 years” (Schlein, 9/16).

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Air Pollution Contributes To More Than 3M Premature Deaths Globally Each Year, Study Shows

News outlets report on a study published in Nature showing the contribution of air pollution to global premature mortality.

The Guardian: More people die from air pollution than malaria and HIV/AIDS, new study shows
“More than three million people a year are killed prematurely by outdoor air pollution, according to a landmark new study, more than malaria and HIV/AIDS combined. Wood and coal burning for heating homes and cooking is the biggest cause, especially in Asia, but the research reveals a remarkably heavy toll from farming emissions in Europe and the U.S., where it is the leading cause of deaths…” (Carrington, 9/16).

ScienceInsider: Unless nations act, air pollution deaths will double by 2050, study concludes
“The annual death toll from outdoor air pollution could double to 6.6 million globally by 2050 without new antipollution measures, a new study suggests. But policymakers seeking to reduce the death toll will need to clamp down on a wide array of potentially hard to control pollution sources — including household furnaces and agricultural activities — that are expected to play a growing role, researchers report [Wednesday] in Nature…” (Kollipara, 9/16).

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Nearly Half Of Child Deaths Related To Malnutrition, Global Nutrition Report Says

The Guardian: Malnutrition linked to nearly half of deaths among under-fives
“…The 2015 Global Nutrition Report sought to provide a detailed snapshot of the full range of nutrition problems worldwide. It found that 1.9 billion adults are either overweight or obese; 794 million people do not get enough calories; 161 million children under five years old are too short for their age; 51 million children do not weigh enough for their height; and 42 million children are overweight. Nearly half of all deaths of children under five are still related to malnutrition (either lacking sufficient calories or overweight)…” (Chonghaile, 9/16).

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CDC Official Urges Long-Term Commitments To Maintain Data Collection Systems Established In West Africa During Ebola Outbreak

SciDev.Net: Aid agencies urged to sustain Ebola data advances
“…Strides made in building systems to collect data on infectious diseases and track outbreaks will only endure with long-term commitment, said Athalia Christie, the deputy for global health at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She told a panel [at the Global Disaster Relief Summit 2015] that such systems had to be created from scratch in Ebola-affected countries…” (Kollipara, 9/17).

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Liberia Working To Register Children Born At Home During Ebola Outbreak

VOA News: Ebola Resulted in Thousands of Unregistered Births in Liberia
“…Health officials said that because many pregnant women chose to have their babies at home [during the Ebola outbreak], tens of thousands of children today have not been officially registered. … Liberian Health Minister Bernice Dahn said the government has been moving to update registrations, including a backlog from before the Ebola outbreak…” (Eagle, 9/15).

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Nepal's Poor Water System Worsened By Earthquakes

New York Times: Earthquakes Compound Nepal’s Water Worries
“…[Nepal] is one of the world’s poorest countries, and two-thirds of the population lives without toilets. Water pipes in major cities are old and crumbling — a situation made worse by the earthquake that devastated Kathmandu in April…” (McNeil, 9/16).

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Cholera Outbreak In NE Nigeria Refugee Camps Kills 16, MSF Reports

Agence France-Presse: Cholera kills 16 at Boko Haram displaced camps in NE Nigeria: MSF
“Sixteen people have died in a cholera outbreak at three camps for those made homeless by Boko Haram violence in northeast Nigeria, the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières said on Wednesday…” (9/16).

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Wired Examines Risk Of Disease Outbreaks At Large Gatherings Such As Hajj

Wired: Toppling Cranes Aren’t the Only Things Threatening Mecca
“…Friday’s crane collapse at the Grand Mosque [in Mecca, Saudi Arabia], which killed over 100 people and injured more than 200 others, is a stark demonstration that disease isn’t the only health risk when you’ve got millions of people gathered in cramped quarters. But mass gatherings like the hajj don’t necessarily play by the rules that govern public health in crowded but more settled places, like cities…” (Wade, 9/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

NEJM Perspective Pieces Examine Implications For Global Health In Post-2015 Development Agenda

New England Journal of Medicine: Politics and Universal Health Coverage — The Post-2015 Global Health Agenda
Vin Gupta of Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Vanessa B. Kerry of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Seed Global Health; Eric Goosby of the University of California, San Francisco, and U.N. special envoy on tuberculosis; and Robert Yates of Chatham House

“…Bolstered by increasing evidence that [Universal Health Coverage (UHC)] improves health outcomes, countries are seeking to build health-related goals around the concept of health care for all. Yet many lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have not created UHC systems. How can the global community translate vision into policy, especially in the face of complicated politics? To elucidate some of the political dynamics involved, we developed a conceptual model describing sociopolitical factors that have helped catalyze reform in selected countries. … As the global health and development community embarks on new goals, a better understanding of the links between health and politics could help foster durable changes that increase access to health care” (9/16).

New England Journal of Medicine: Shifting to Sustainable Development Goals — Implications for Global Health
Christopher J.L. Murray of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

“…The good news is that [the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs)] inclusive process has created a new consensus on development to replace the MDGs; the bad news is that the goals are broad, with many aspirational or vague targets. … In a more complex and diffuse approach to development, continued progress on health for poor people in developing countries will require concerted attention, funding, and effort. The reason for optimism, however, is the great track record for health established during the MDG era. Ultimately, I believe, donors, policymakers, and the public should want to invest in continuing this tradition of success” (9/16).

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Global Leaders Must Recommit To Universal Declaration Of Human Rights To Achieve SDGs

Huffington Post: To Achieve Sustainable Development Goals, Leaders Must Focus on Human Rights
Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights

“…The truth is this: we will only achieve the development goals we share as a global community if we ensure the dignity and security of every human life. In other words, we can’t achieve the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] unless we recommit to the Universal Declaration [of Human Rights]. …My father, the late Robert F. Kennedy, once said that the principles that underpin the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ’embody the collective hopes of men of good will all around the world.’ He was right. The SDGs and Universal Declaration should be a packaged deal. At UNGA, leaders will commit themselves to the former. But for that commitment to bear fruit, they must also rededicate themselves to the latter” (9/14).

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Iran Nuclear Deal Could Bolster U.S. National Security, Enhance Global Health

Boston Globe: Iran nuclear deal will bolster global health
Ali Lotfizadeh, visiting scholar, and Mohsen Malekinejad, assistant professor, both at UCSF School of Medicine’s Institute for Health Policy Studies

“…Iran’s vast potential to enhance global health is significantly underutilized right now. … Strengthening partnerships with countries like Iran … bolsters our national security through the control of infectious disease outbreaks like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, and Ebola, which started in West Africa but found its way to our shores. … These proposed health partnerships transcend political ideologies and improve lives from villages in Tajikistan to small towns in Mississippi. But their success depends on the durability of this nuclear agreement. Iran and America do not see eye-to-eye on many political issues, and the current accord will not change that. But support for this agreement can pave the way toward a shared global responsibility to make the world a healthier place” (9/15).

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Investment In 'Good Data' Will Ensure World Meets SDG Nutrition Targets

The Guardian: Data is the magic ingredient that can bring good nutrition to global fruition
Michael Anderson, CEO of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

“…Good data … is the magic ingredient to ensure we have evidence of what actually works. Only good data can tell us where the problems are and where the money is going. Only by investing in data and evidence can we measure the impact of what we do. Without measurement, we are guessing. … We can meet the global goal of ending malnutrition in all its forms by 2030 if we increase political commitment and resources for nutrition, which includes investment in data. We know that with the right nutrition at the right time, every child has a chance to survive and thrive. And they deserve that” (9/16).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID Releases Global Health Programs FY 2014 Report To Congress

USAID: Global Health Programs: Report to Congress FY 2014
This report provides a summary of USAID’s work and progress toward achieving its global health goals, including three strategic priorities: ending preventable child and maternal deaths, creating an AIDS-free generation, and protecting communities from infectious diseases (9/17).

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Bipartisan Resolution Introduced In U.S. House Aims To Draw Attention To Importance Of Frontline Health Workers

Frontline Health Workers Coalition: BREAKING: Bipartisan Frontline Health Workers Resolution Introduced by Reps. Lowey, Crenshaw
Scott Weathers, a Global Health Corps global policy fellow with IntraHealth International and FHWC, writes, “Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) introduced H. Res. 419, ‘Recognizing the Importance of Frontline Health Workers,’ [on Wednesday] in the U.S. House of Representatives. According to the WHO, as of 2015, at least 400 million people lack access to one of more essential health services provided by frontline health workers” (9/16).

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Ending HIV/AIDS Epidemic Possible, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci Says

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Fauci: No excuse for HIV treatment wait
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses remarks made by Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at the launch of the District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research, an “entity that has as its goal the support and expansion of research that contributes to ending the HIV epidemic in Washington, D.C., ‘and beyond’… [E]nding the epidemic ‘isn’t just a feasible goal, it’s an inevitable goal,'” Fauci said, the blog notes (9/16).

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Report Examines U.S. Investments In Global Food Security

Chicago Council on Global Affairs: Global Food Security by the Numbers
Charles E. Hanrahan, a nonresident senior fellow in global agriculture and food at the Chicago Council, describes a new paper that “lays out what is known about current U.S. investments in global food security and makes recommendations for how to clarify and track investments across a range of agencies, with the goal of strengthening America’s commitment to alleviating hunger and spurring agriculture and food system growth over the long term…” (9/16).

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