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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Donors Pledge Nearly $13B To Global Fund For 2017-2019

Deutsche Welle: Donors pledge billions to battle AIDS, TB, and malaria
“…The Global Fund, which was created as a public-private initiative, has so far spent more than $30 billion on prevention and treatment programs and is credited with helping to save about 20 million lives over the past 14 years. Most of its spending has gone to African countries, with Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kenya foremost among them. The fund is pursuing U.N. targets for eradicating AIDS by 2030 and the other diseases even sooner…” (9/17).

Press Association/The Guardian: U.K. pledges £1.1bn to global aid fund against AIDS, TB, and malaria
“Britain will contribute £1.1bn to a global aid fund to help fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, but will attach a set of ‘demanding’ performance targets, Priti Patel has announced. The international development secretary, who last week said too much of the U.K.’s aid budget was stolen or wasted, announced the three-year pledge alongside the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau…” (9/18).

Reuters: Global fund raises $12.9 billion to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria
“A global fund has raised over $12.9 billion from international donors as part of a campaign aimed at effectively eradicating AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis by 2030, conference organizers said on Saturday. The Global Fund asked government, faith-based, and private-sector partners to raise a total of $13 billion at a donor conference in Montreal to support its activities over the next three years, starting in 2017…” (Lampert, 9/17).

United Press International: Canada ups pledge to fight AIDS, malaria, TB
“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged his country will spend $785 million over the next three years to fight the spread of malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS, a 20 percent increase…” (DuVall, 9/17).

U.N. News Centre: Ban hails U.N.-backed fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria as partnership model for Global Goals
“Praising the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as a model of partnership that brings together people and development partners, governments, civil society, the private sector, and people affected by diseases, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [Saturday] said such broad cooperation is also the key to achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals…” (9/17).

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U.N. General Assembly Expected To Adopt Political Declaration To Address Antimicrobial Resistance

NPR: U.N. To Take On Antibiotic Resistance At General Assembly
“…[This] week, the topic will take up a whole day at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City. It’s only the fourth time in history that the General Assembly has gathered to talk about a health crisis. Dr. Keiji Fukuda is the World Health Organization’s special representative for antimicrobial resistance and he is with us now from our bureau in New York City…” (Martin, 9/16).

USA TODAY: World leaders to tackle global menace of drug resistance, superbugs
“…World leaders will gather on Wednesday with doctors and other experts for a high-level meeting to discuss the root of the problem — antimicrobial resistance — at the U.N. General Assembly. They are expected to adopt a political declaration that would then go to the full assembly to be adopted as a resolution. The only other health issues to prompt similar action were HIV, Ebola, and noncommunicable diseases…” (Ungar, 9/18).

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African Researchers Using Data To Facilitate Development Of TB, Malaria, Cancer Treatments

Quartz: TB-tracking headbands, mapping cancer, and a malaria hackathon: How data is fighting disease in Africa
“…At a recent five-day hackathon, medical researchers from around the world joined forces to work through data mapping solutions to malaria. Other more long-term research projects are also using data to treat diseases like cancer and tuberculosis. … [Some believe] working in dry labs on data-based project will … facilitate the sort of speed, lower costs, and increased collaboration needed to solve some of Africa’s major health care challenges…” (Chutel, 9/19).

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Some Experts Fear Return Of High TB Levels In Cambodia Because Of Reductions In International Aid

Al Jazeera: Cambodia: Funding the fight against tuberculosis
“…[Y]ears of effort have resulted in the number of people dying from [tuberculosis] dropping by 67 percent in Cambodia, Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay, reporting from Phnom Penh, said. … Thanks to money from aid groups, including the Global Fund, and other donors, the government has worked with NGOs to rebuild and decentralize health care, and there are now 1,300 community health centers that provide free TB screening and treatment. … But because of Cambodia’s relative economic success and development, international aid funds are now leaving and going to other, poorer, countries. Some fear that a reduction in funding to fight the disease will see a return TB levels of the past…” (9/16).

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PATH Official Discusses Multisector Responses To Nutrition In Devex Interview

Devex: Ingenuity and innovation: Sustainable solutions to malnutrition
“…Devex sat down with David Fleming, vice president for public health impact at PATH, at Women Deliver in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May, and discussed the importance of a multisector response to malnutrition, overnutrition, and micronutrient deficiency. When you think about really sustainable solutions, you have to be thinking about the private sector, Fleming told Devex global development reporter Helen Morgan [in this video]…” (Espinosa, 9/16).

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India's Supreme Court Orders Government To Ban 'Sterilization Camps' Following Deaths Of 363 Women Between 2010-2013

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Indian activists welcome top court ban on ‘sterilization camps’ after women’s deaths
“Women’s health activists on Friday cheered a ruling by India’s top court ordering the government to shut down ‘sterilization camps’ within three years following the deaths of hundreds of largely poor rural women across the country. In a judgment on Wednesday, the Supreme Court said 363 women died between 2010 and 2013 during or after surgery in sterilization camps due to poor management by local authorities which included doctors using dirty equipment and expired drugs…” (Mohanty/Bhalla, 9/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Leadership, Partnership Help Mitigate Impacts Of Global Crises, Conflicts

Medium: Our commitment matters: Let’s invest together to reach the Global Goals
Gayle Smith, USAID administrator

“…In today’s world of complex crises and sharp-edged conflicts, [American] generosity is more important than ever. And governments, donors, and businesses all over the world need to follow the lead of the American people and step up. We are facing daunting global challenges, and we need bold leadership to solve them. … Together with our partners, we have helped spur transformative progress in global health, food security, energy, governance, education, and inclusive economic growth. And now, we must build on these successes and help communities around the world sustain their hard-won gains. … We can’t do any of this on our own. After all, development isn’t something we do to people. It’s an aspiration and a discipline. It’s the process by which governments govern responsibly and fairly, and economies deliver for everyone. … As we head into UNGA week, let’s commit to rise to today’s challenges as we build a better tomorrow, to tackle both the urgent and the important. Let’s work to build on the tremendous development progress we have achieved together, eliminate the drivers of crisis, and plant the seeds of peace, prosperity, and dignity…” (9/16).

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Well-Funded Global Fund Critical To Efficient Operation Of Programs Aimed At Ending AIDS, TB, Malaria By 2030

Huffington Post: A Strong Global Fund Is Pivotal to Ending AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria by 2030
Deborah Birx, coordinator of U.S. government activities to combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. special representative for global health diplomacy, and Gayle Smith, USAID administrator

“…As the first and largest donor to the Global Fund, the United States government has invested more than $13 billion since its establishment in 2002. … Our partnership with the Global Fund also helps maximize the impact and efficiency of our bilateral investments targeting AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria by enabling the United States to strategically deploy our resources. PMI, PEPFAR, and the Global Fund are more aligned, interdependent, and interconnected than ever before, and we have dramatically reduced duplication. That means the success of PEPFAR and PMI is dependent on a robust Global Fund replenishment. … [W]e encourage all governments to increase or maintain their commitments to the Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment, leveraging our matching pledge to reach the replenishment goal of $13 billion for the three-year period from 2017 to 2019. The United States is ready to act, and we need our partners around the world to stand with us. There is no time to waste and no time for complacency…” (9/16).

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Editorials Discuss Ways For Global Community To Address Antibiotic Resistance

Financial Times: Test new financial models for antibiotics
Editorial Board

“…A recent U.K.-led review has called for ‘delinkage’ of profit from the volumes of any new treatments prescribed. That will help access for the poor and reduce incentives for companies to promote overuse — triggering more rapid resistance. But such measures will do little without fresh incentives to boost the research needed to develop innovative drugs. The review calls for ‘push’ funding for early-stage research and ‘pull’ rewards of $1bn for any company launching a new antibiotic. … For now, richer governments provide most of the investment and incentives for new drug development, through academic research and the payment of higher drug prices to companies. Delinking research and pricing from patents may be a partial solution, but so far such alternative models remain largely untested. Antimicrobial resistance, a growing medical crisis which affects patients across the globe, is a good place to start exploring such innovative approaches before they are more widely applied. The next step is for politicians to move from the rhetoric of U.N. declarations to committing fresh funding for push and pull incentives” (9/18).

Washington Post: Losing antibiotics is a global threat
Editorial Board

“…Antimicrobial resistance is about more than human health. It also involves difficult questions that affect agriculture and the environment. The U.N. General Assembly, with heads of state present, seems like the right place to debate a more concerted and broad response. The session ought to impress world leaders on the need for better stewardship of antibiotics in human health and for farm animals; improved diagnostics to help determine when people really need them and when they don’t; better surveillance of infectious diseases; and methods to stimulate the discovery and development of new antibiotics for all. Later, it will be important to set targets for action and provide funding to track them. … [T]his is a real problem that affects everyone in the long run but is too easy to ignore today. If the United Nations meeting raises awareness about the risks of not taking action, it will be a worthwhile start” (9/18).

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3 Global Health Issues Germany Should Include On G20 Agenda

Huffington Post: The German G20 Presidency And Global Health
Marwin Meier, manager of health & advocacy at World Vision Deutschland e.V.

“…As G20 members have all committed to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, expectations for an aligned and ambitious G20 global health agenda are high — and should be, if G20 members are serious about attaining the SDGs. [A position paper by VENRO and Médecins Sans Frontières] proposes that the German government places three concrete global health issues on the G20 agenda: First, in alignment with the SDG’s commitment to ‘leave no one behind,’ the G20 should focus on vulnerable groups …, hard-to reach groups …, and people who are discriminated against … Second, the G20 should not forget the key lessons from the Ebola crisis: a need for a multisectoral approach to health (including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education, or data systems), a strong focus on prevention through health systems and underpinned by universal health coverage (UHC), and a strong, fully funded WHO. … Finally, the G20 should tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in a comprehensive manner, focusing not only on the rational use of antibiotics, but also on new models and financing mechanisms for biomedical research and development…” (9/16).

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U.N. High-Level Panel's Recommendations Would Reduce, Not Increase, Global Access To Medicines

Wall Street Journal: Economic Nonsense From the U.N. on Drugs
Tomas J. Philipson, economist at the University of Chicago and a founder of Precision Health Economics

“…The plan the panel unveiled last week [by a U.N. High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines] … boils down to an attack on intellectual property laws. Among other recommendations, panelists urged governments worldwide to restrict which medicines can be patented; codify procedures for breaking companies’ patents; and subject trade agreements between sovereign countries to bureaucratic ‘public health impact assessments.’ … [S]uch measures are likely to reduce, not increase, public access to important medicines. … Patents create an ecosystem for investors and researchers to develop new medicines. … This innovation ecosystem cuts the price of better health; it doesn’t raise it. … By asking biopharmaceutical firms to continue investing in research, donate their discoveries, and forgo profits, the U.N. is asking to free-ride off shareholders of these firms to pay for the world’s altruistic desire to provide medicine. It would be far more effective to expand incentives and rewards for innovators who improve health in the developing world. Convincing developed and developing nations to invest more in the health care of the poor would go a long way toward better addressing the real barriers to access…” (9/16).

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Transforming Food Systems Critical To Ending Malnutrition

Devex: Ending malnutrition in all its forms? A decade of opportunity
Francesco Branca, director of nutrition for health and development at the WHO, and Anna Lartey, director of the Nutrition and Food Systems Division at the Food and Agriculture Organization

“…We should transform our food systems … to ensure that all people have access to nutritious food and healthy diets. We should ensure that social protection systems reduce inequalities and give everyone around the world access to healthier diets. We should strengthen our health systems so that everybody has access to essential nutrition services. And we should ensure that women are educated and that schools offer nutritious food to all children. Clearly, many actors need to be involved. … But the effort will, first and foremost, be country-driven, building on existing national plans. Countries must put policies in place that will transform the food and health systems, so that, within a decade, we can all have sustainably produced, fairly traded, nutritious foods on our plates. The U.N. Decade of Action on Nutrition is an unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform lives through better nutrition on a grand scale: We must live up to our individual and collective responsibility to build a more just, healthy, and the sustainable future we want” (9/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CDC Blog Post Examines Lessons Learned From Scale-Up Of Antiretroviral Therapy In Mozambique

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Lessons Learned from Scaling up HIV Treatment in Mozambique
This blog post discusses findings from a CDC study published in the October 2016 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS) examining the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Mozambique. The analysis “revealed fewer people are dying from HIV in recent years, likely due to more patients starting treatment at earlier disease stages. The analysis also found that people who more recently began ART were less likely to remain engaged in HIV treatment and care over time. The analysis highlights participation in community ART support groups (CASGs) … as an effective strategy to significantly reduce loss to follow up” (9/16).

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