KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Rapid Population Growth, Especially In Africa, Threatens Progress On Reducing Poverty, Gates Foundation Report Says; Bill Gates Comments On U.S. Foreign Aid, Mexico City Policy

Devex: Bill and Melinda Gates on the ‘single biggest determinant’ of progress on the SDGs
“Rapid population growth, particularly in Africa, represents the greatest threat to progress in reducing global poverty, according to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose founders are calling for greater investments in human capital to transform the ‘youth bulge’ into a development opportunity…” (Cheney, 9/18).

The Guardian: The African youth boom: what’s worrying Bill Gates
“What worries Bill Gates most? The booming population of Africa looms over his foundation’s latest global survey. By the end of this century there will be four billion more people on Earth — and three billion of these extra souls will be born in Africa. The challenge, he says, is that ‘Africa must almost quadruple its agricultural productivity to feed itself. That’s very daunting’…” (Toynbee, 9/18).

The Guardian: Bill Gates: ‘Trump could be persuaded’ on U.S. foreign aid spending
“Donald Trump is ‘open-minded’ about policies and might be persuaded on foreign aid, Bill Gates has said in an exclusive interview with The Guardian. The billionaire philanthropist said President Trump does not have a fixed ideology in most areas and is open to new ideas, ‘particularly if it’s doing things in a different way than was done before.’ … Gates was speaking ahead of Tuesday’s launch of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual Goalkeepers report, which warns that decades of progress in the fight against poverty and disease is at risk of stalling…” (Ratcliffe/Toynbee, 9/18).

“…The philanthropist told reporters that the Trump administration’s broad application of the Mexico City policy — the so-called gag rule that blocks U.S. [global health] funding for foreign organizations that discuss or provide abortion services — has complicated unrelated aid efforts. For instance, Gates noted that condoms have played a vital role in curbing HIV but that the breadth of the gag rule has created new challenges for reproductive health groups to get funding, POLITICO’s Sarah Owermohle reports…” (Diamond et al., 9/18).

Reuters: Africa’s rapid population growth puts poverty progress at risk, says Gates
“…Asked about the best ways of tackling the growing population and poverty challenge, Gates said improving access to birth control was key, and this should be combined with investment in young people’s health and education. … The report … tracks 18 data points on United Nations development goals, including child and maternal deaths, stunting, access to contraceptives, HIV, malaria, extreme poverty, financial inclusion, and sanitation…” (Kelland, 9/18).

Wall Street Journal: Extreme Poverty Concentrates in Sub-Saharan Africa
“…Just two countries — Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo — will be home to 44 percent of people living in extreme poverty by 2050 if trends continue, according to a new report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, compared with 20 percent today. The World Bank, which will release its own report on extreme poverty this week, defines the status as subsisting on less than $1.90 a day. Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole will be home to 86 percent of the world’s extreme poor unless action is taken, such as educating more women and giving them access to contraception, the report says. That compares with 57 percent in 2017…” (McKay et al., 9/18).

Link to individual story

U.N. TB Declaration Finalized After Disagreements Over Key Language

STAT: U.N. finalizes a declaration to combat the global tuberculosis epidemic
“After a protracted showdown, the United Nations has finalized a declaration to address a global tuberculosis epidemic, an effort that was repeatedly delayed this summer as the U.S. and numerous other countries battled over key passages. The move clears the way for approval by a high-level meeting on Sept. 26 and possible adoption by the General Assembly. The run up to the declaration was marked by haggling over language that the U.S. wanted removed before agreeing to the text, although this prompted opposition from South Africa and dozens of other countries. A compromise was reached 10 days ago and no further objections were subsequently raised during a so-called silent period that ended last Friday…” (Silverman, 9/17).

Link to individual story

Commitment To Development Index Shows Scandinavian Countries On Top, U.S. Stagnant At 23 Of 27

Devex: Which countries are the most committed to development?
“Scandinavian countries are the most committed national development actors, according to this year’s Commitment to Development Index, which measures not just aid levels, but also how well other policies foster sustainable development. Germany ranked third, making it the first time a G7 country is placed in the top three in CDI’s 15-year history. The United States, at 23rd, remains stagnant…” (Cornish/Chadwick, 9/18).

Link to individual story

USAID Signals Shift In Agency's Position On China's Development Strategies

Devex: USAID adopts a hard line on China’s development approach
“Trump administration development leaders are not mincing words when it comes to positioning the United States Agency for International Development as a key player in the battle with China for influence in developing countries and emerging markets. … Three years ago, global development seemed to offer an opportunity for cooperation between the U.S. and Chinese governments. In fact, they put it in writing. … Now, the geopolitical winds have shifted and opportunities for enhanced development collaboration between the two countries look like a thing of the past…” (Igoe, 9/18).

Link to individual story

Estimated 6.3M Children Under Age 15 Died In 2017, 1 Every 5 Seconds, U.N. Report Says

Reuters: A child dies every five seconds, and most are preventable deaths — U.N.
“An estimated 6.3 million children died before their 15th birthdays in 2017, or one every five seconds, mostly due to a lack of water, sanitation, nutrition, and basic health care, according to report by United Nations agencies on Tuesday…” (Kelland, 9/17).

U.N. News: Somewhere, every five seconds, a child under-15 dies: new U.N. report
“…The new mortality estimates study, was released on Monday by the U.N. Children’s Fund [UNICEF], together with … the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.N. Population Division, and the World Bank. According to Laurence Chandy, UNICEF research director, major progress in reducing child mortality has been made in the last quarter century, with the toll dropping by more than half since 1990, but ‘millions are still dying because of who they are, and where they are born’…” (9/17).

Link to individual story

Men's Health Might Improve With More Gender Equality, WHO Study Says

Quartz: Countries where men hold the power are really bad for men’s health
“On average, men die younger than women. Men are also more likely than women to die prematurely, from causes ranging from alcoholism to heart disease to suicide. But a new report from the World Health Organization finds that, in Europe, those problems are particularly acute in countries with the lowest levels of gender equality. Parity between the sexes, it suggests, could actually save men’s lives…” (Werber, 9/17).

Link to individual story

Media Outlets Discuss Future Of Food Production, Sustainable Agriculture, Climate Change

Devex: Feeding a growing world as it faces climate change
“The global food system is getting its moment in the spotlight at the Global Climate Action Summit, with several funding announcements signaling a new focus on an industry that accounts for about a third of global greenhouse gas emissions…” (Cheney, 9/17).

U.N. News: Sustainable farming, ‘key’ to world free of hunger, malnutrition, says U.N. agriculture chief
“There will be ‘no sustainable future without eradicating poverty and hunger,’ the United Nations agriculture agency chief spelled out on Monday, launching the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) latest flagship publication, on the world’s Agricultural Commodity Markets…” (9/17).

Link to individual story

More News In Global Health

CIDRAP News: New Ebola cases, 3 more deaths recorded in DRC (Soucheray, 9/17).

Devex: The backbone of India’s health care system: Is there a new role for ASHAs? (Bader, 9/17).

GeekWire: How Bill Gates, a valley full of snakes and one entrepreneur took on a deadly disease (McGrane, 9/14).

Global Health NOW: Politicians, Philosophy and Other Leadership Challenges: A Q&A with Bill Foege (Simpson, 9/17).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Charity denies promoting teen abortions after Kenya bans radio ad (Bhalla, 9/17).

Washington Post: ‘I can’t breathe’: In sewage worker deaths, a new India confronts an old scourge (Slater/Fatima, 9/15).

Xinhua News: Over 240 mosquito-borne dengue cases reported in Indian capital (9/18).

Link to individual story

Editorials and Opinions

Global Community Should Commit To Resilient, Sustainable Health Systems At U.N. High-Level Meetings On TB, NCDs

Devex: Opinion: TB, NCDs, and resilient health systems for all
Mandy Slutsker, policy and advocacy manager for ACTION at RESULTS and co-chair of the TB High-Level Meeting Civil Society and Affected Communities Advisory Panel, and Aaron Emmel, manager of global health advocacy initiatives for the American Academy of Pediatrics and co-chair of the Global Health Council’s NCD Roundtable

“The United Nations will host two high-level meetings this fall on tuberculosis and noncommunicable diseases, which are meant to spur new action around both global threats. Hopefully, the meetings will also be used to highlight the numerous connections between TB and NCDs. … At a basic level, countries of people living with or at risk of TB or NCDs need the same thing: Resilient, sustainable health systems that meet the needs of their populations, including the most vulnerable. … In advance of the high-level meetings in September, we call on heads of governments and other high-ranking officials to make commitments and support global plans to reduce the unacceptably high tolls that NCDs and TB exact on health, well-being, and economic growth around the world. We urge participants to take the opportunity to highlight the many connections between NCDs and TB. This is a seminal moment: How policies for children and other vulnerable populations fare at both events will reveal our collective commitment to health equity” (9/17).

Link to individual story

Canada Should Take Leading Role In Global TB Efforts

Toronto Star: Canada must take the lead in fighting spread of TB, here and abroad
Joe Belliveau, executive director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada, and Jason Nickerson, humanitarian affairs adviser at MSF Canada

“…[W]orld leaders will gather in New York [at the first-ever High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis (TB)] on Sept. 26 to discuss how they can close the global gap in access to TB prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. We are urging Canada to step up and take the lead. … With approximately 1,600 cases of TB reported by health officials in Canada each year, ending this global epidemic is in our own interests. The U.N. High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis is also a tremendous opportunity for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to back up its claims that Canada is a global health and innovation leader. By committing to find new ways of supporting publicly funded research and development that delivers lifesaving technologies to people who need them — affordably, efficiently, and equitably — Canada can match words with action. But first we need to be at the table. Prime Minister Trudeau himself needs to be present in New York on Sept. 26, and show the world that Canada is serious about stepping up in the fight against TB” (9/17).

Link to individual story

Private Sector Investment In SMEs, Food Value Chains Can Help Address Malnutrition In Africa

Devex: Opinion: Unlocking the potential of African food businesses to tackle malnutrition
Lawrence Haddad, executive director of GAIN, and Fokko Wientjes, vice president of nutrition in emerging markets and public-private partnerships at Royal DSM NV

“…[T]here is a central role for business — namely [micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)] in tackling malnutrition in Africa. … Emerging markets are the fastest urbanizing countries in the world — moving away from subsistence and smallholder farming and with that separating the producer from the consumer. We have a great opportunity to close that gap, creating a sustainable food value chain and work through local agrifood industry SMEs, to ensure that nutritious foods are more accessible, affordable, and aspirational. SMEs, along with smallholder farmers, make up the bulk of the actors in the food system in developing and emerging markets. … DSM, GAIN, and our partners aim to catalyze additional investment in food and nutrition for Africa. Encouraging private sector investment in SMEs and into food value chains more generally can help tackle a stubborn and damaging public health challenge that disproportionately affects the poor on the continent” (9/17).

Link to individual story

From the Global Health Policy Community

Friends Of The Global Fight's Chief Policy Officer Discusses Global Fund As Model For Development Assistance

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: The Global Fund as a Model of Development Assistance
Mark P. Lagon, chief policy officer at Friends of the Global Fight, discusses how the Global Fund can serve as a model for other development programs and institutions, writing, “The Global Fund prioritizes: results-based work, accountability, preparing countries for graduation from aid, investing in people as assets for development, and inclusive governance. These five priorities make the Global Fund not only an exemplar for global health but also for development assistance in general” (9/17).

Link to individual story

UC Davis Projects Aim To Prevent Disease Outbreaks

University of California, Davis: Preventing the Next Pandemic
Andy Fell, news and media relations specialist at UC Davis, highlights various projects conducted by the University of California, Davis on preventing disease outbreaks, including the PREDICT project, which aims to “enable global surveillance for viruses with the potential to spillover from animals to people and cause pandemics,” and other medical innovations (9/17).

Link to individual story

New Tool Can Help Assess Progress Toward HIV Viral Suppression Target

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Guide gives direction to the last 90
In a guest post, Sharon Weir of MEASURE Evaluation discusses “a tool — just published by MEASURE Evaluation, funded by the United States Agency for International Development and the U.S. President’s Plan for AIDS Relief — to help public health programs assess biases in [HIV viral load] testing data [to] better estimate how many people treated have achieved viral suppression” (9/17).

Link to individual story

IntraHealth, ideas42 Launch New Research Using Behavioral Interventions To Improve Quality Of, Access To Family Planning Services In Uganda

IntraHealth International: New Project Will Use Behavioral Science to Improve Family Planning Services in Uganda
“[A] new research project, called Scale-Up and Capacity Building in Behavioral Science to Improve the Uptake of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services (SupCap, for short) will improve the health and well-being of women of reproductive age in Eastern Uganda by helping increase the modern contraceptive prevalence rate and decrease unwanted pregnancies in 25 districts. … [T]his research project will identify, test, and scale up a proven behavioral intervention to improve the quality of family planning services and make them available to more people in the region…” (9/17).

Link to individual story

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KFF | twitter.com/kff

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.