KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Congressional Leaders Delay Planned Procedural Vote On Stopgap Spending Measure Containing Zika Funding

Associated Press: Congress struggles to finish Zika aid, prevent shutdown
“Congressional negotiators on Monday pressed to wrap up a must-do spending bill to prevent an election-season government shutdown and finally provide money to battle the Zika virus, but numerous sticking points remain and top Senate leaders again postponed a planned procedural vote…” (Taylor/Jalonick, 9/19).

POLITICO: McConnell punts budget vote to buy time for deal
“…The key vote is now scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, McConnell said — giving negotiators more time to hammer out the fine print of the continuing resolution that will keep the federal government funded until Dec. 9. For now, however, sources said negotiators have settled on language that would provide money to battle the Zika virus while allowing Planned Parenthood’s partner clinic in Puerto Rico to access the federal grants — a provision that had been a major point of contention…” (Kim/Everett, 9/19).

Washington Post: Negotiations over stop-gap spending plan drag into Tuesday, Zika issues resolved
“…Several Democratic aides said Monday that an agreement has been struck to carefully re-route the funds so that family planning clinics could access money to help prevent the spread of Zika through sexual activity. ‘The whole Zika issue has been resolved and they are dropping all of their riders,’ said Senate Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). There remains disagreement, however, over what government funding should be cut to offset the cost of providing $1.1 billion in Zika funding…” (Snell, 9/19).

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U.N. To Meet This Week On Antimicrobial Resistance; High-Level Event Outcomes Unknown

CIDRAP News: Experts hope U.N. meeting on antimicrobial resistance yields action
“…When global leaders meet on Wednesday to discuss [antimicrobial resistance (AMR)], the primary objective will be to ‘summon and maintain strong national, regional, and international political commitment in addressing antimicrobial resistance comprehensively and multi-sectorally,’ according to a U.N. press release. What that translates into remains to be seen…” (Dall, 9/19).

STAT: Global leaders are set to put superbugs on the world stage
“…[A] high-level meeting scheduled for Wednesday at this year’s U.N. gathering is a testament to fast-rising concern over the rate at which bacteria are learning to evade science’s last remaining tools against them. … Any resolution endorsed by member states is unlikely to include targets limiting the use of antibiotics on a per capita basis, the kind of recommendation experts have urged be taken…” (Branswell, 9/19).

Vox: The U.N. is finally treating antibiotic-resistant superbugs like a catastrophic threat
“…A few key concepts are raised again and again and again when it comes to the problem of antibiotic resistance. ‘We may quibble over the details, but there is solid agreement on the science and basic policy directions,’ said [Boston University’s Kevin Outterson]. You can organize these ideas under three broad categories: conservation, innovation, and access…” (Belluz, 9/20).

Washington Post: The world’s leaders are finally holding a summit on superbugs
“…The meeting underscores the growing awareness by governments as well as disease experts that drug resistance is not just a health problem but an enormous economic and security threat. It’s also an international threat, because drug resistance spreads easily across species and throughout the world, observing no political boundaries…” (Sun, 9/20).

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Drug Resistance Could Cause Global GDP Decrease, 28M People To Fall Into Poverty By 2050, World Bank Report Warns

Bloomberg News: World Bank Warns of Financial Crisis Level Cost From Superbugs
“The spread of drug-resistant infections could mean a hit to the global economy even greater than that of the 2008 financial crisis as the emergence of so-called superbugs threatens growth in low-income countries, according to a new World Bank report…” (Altstedter, 9/19).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Drug resistance in people and animals may push millions into poverty: World Bank
“If drug-resistant infections in people and animals are allowed to spread unchecked, some 28 million people will fall into poverty by 2050, and a century of progress in health will be reversed, the World Bank said on Monday. By 2050, annual global GDP would fall by at least 1.1 percent, although the loss could be as much as 3.8 percent — the equivalent of the 2008 financial crisis — the bank said in a report released ahead of a high-level meeting on the issue at the United Nations in New York this week…” (Whiting, 9/19).

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U.K. Will Disburse Full Global Fund Pledge Only If Certain Benchmarks Met, Devex Reports

Devex: U.K. attaches strings to $1.4B Global Fund pledge
“The United Kingdom’s contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria comes with strings attached: The country will withhold 10 percent of its pledge if the Global Fund fails to meet 10 benchmarks for improvement. The unprecedented move takes the U.K. Department for International Development’s payment by results agenda — through which organizations receive funding only after achieving impact — to the multilateral stage…” (Anders, 9/19).

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U.N. Suspends All Aid In Syria After Convoy Attacked, Aid Workers, Civilians Killed

BBC News: Syria conflict: U.N. suspends all aid after convoy hit
“The U.N. has suspended all aid convoys in Syria after its lorries were attacked by warplanes near Aleppo on Monday. The convoy had received proper permits, and all warring parties — including Russia and the U.S. — had been notified, a U.N. spokesman said…” (9/20).

New York Times: U.N. Suspends Convoys to Syria After Attack on Aid Trucks
“…The airstrike came after the Syrian military had declared an end to a seven-day partial cease-fire. Officials are seeking to confirm the number of people killed and wounded in the attack on Monday night, and an assessment of the security situation in Syria is underway, Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the United Nations, told reporters in Geneva…” (Cumming-Bruce, 9/20).

Reuters: U.N. suspends aid convoys in Syria after hit, ICRC warns on impact
“The United Nations suspended aid convoys across Syria on Tuesday a day after an air strike hit relief trucks near the city of Aleppo, killing at least one aid worker and around 20 civilians, and destroying a warehouse and hospital. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which said it was postponing an aid convoy that had been set to deliver supplies to four besieged Syrian towns, warned of the consequences for millions of civilians in need…” (Nebehay/Miles, 9/20).

Wall Street Journal: Syria Aid Convoy Hit by Airstrike as Truce Falters
“…It wasn’t clear who launched the attack, though Secretary of State John Kerry said Syrian forces were ‘evidently’ responsible. U.S. officials said Syria and its ally, Russia, both knew where the convoy started and where it was going, and said the Obama administration considers Russia responsible for the Assad regime’s actions…” (Raydan, 9/19).

Washington Post: At least 12 aid workers killed in Syria airstrike
“…The attack, on a day when the Syrian government declared the end of a nationwide cease-fire and launched dozens of airstrikes in and around Aleppo, may spell the final end of the U.S.-Russia agreement. Begun just a week ago, it was intended to pause the fighting, allow aid to reach that city and other besieged areas of the country, and restart political negotiations to resolve the civil war…” (DeYoung/Cunningham, 9/19).

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U.N. SG Ban Urges Stronger Response To Provide Food, Nutrition To Refugees

U.N. News Centre: Sustainable livelihoods bring not only food security but dignity, for refugees — U.N. chief
“Underscoring that millions of refugees around the world face food insecurity and the risk of malnutrition, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called [Monday] for stronger response to ensure that refugees are able to meet their food and nutrition needs. ‘Food is a matter of life and death — especially for people on the run,’ Mr. Ban said at a high-level event on enhancing self-reliance in food security and nutrition in protracted refugee situations…” (9/19).

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Devex Examines Results-Based Financing For Health Systems In Low-, Middle-Income Countries

Devex: Results-based financing shows a new way of doing health care
“Health clinics in low- and middle-income countries are increasingly finding that good work can pay off. Known by a number of names, including results-based financing and performance-based incentives, this health financing mechanism has a simple premise: To reward health service providers — often with money — for positive results. This should lead to even better outcomes for providers and patients alike…” (Lieberman, 9/19).

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Philippines President Duterte's Crackdown On Illegal Drug Use Hampering HIV Prevention Efforts

Deutsche Welle: Philippines’ war on drugs affecting fight against HIV
“President Duterte has said that his government may need to extend its bloody anti-drug campaign for six more months. But the crackdown could be harming HIV interventions for injecting drug users…” (Santos, 9/19).

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Experts Share Ideas To Raise Funds To Achieve Water, Sanitation Development Goals

The Guardian: Eight ideas to fund access to water and toilets for all by 2030
“Some $114bn is needed each year to reach the SDG on water and sanitation. Our panel of experts share their ideas on how to raise the money…” (Purvis, 9/19).

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Editorials and Opinions

Ahead Of U.N. General Assembly Meeting, Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Need For Global Action On Antimicrobial Resistance

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Time for global political action on antimicrobial resistance
Editorial Board

“…What coordinated actions can governments take to ensure that future generations enjoy the benefits of antimicrobials? … The heart of the problem … is findings ways to expand appropriate access to antimicrobials while at the same time restricting inappropriate use. Possible ways out of this conundrum are as complex as its causes. The O’Neill Review suggests nine interventions, which include global public awareness, improvements in sanitation and hygiene, reducing use of antimicrobials in agriculture, improved surveillance of resistance and antimicrobial consumption, new diagnostics, promotion of vaccines and other alternatives to antimicrobials, making infectious diseases a more attractive career for scientists and doctors, and funding and incentives for research and investment in new drugs. … Because … there is no politically motivated denial of antimicrobial resistance, we have some hope that governments can work together to achieve a sustainable future for antimicrobials” (October 2016).

Scientific American: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the World’s Peril
Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…[A]s the United Nations General Assembly convenes on September 21 to debate measures aimed at preserving the utility of antibiotics to protect human health, I wish they would consider the well-being of the entire planet. We are tempting fate every time a person takes antibiotics mistakenly to treat a viral infection, a cow is fattened with pounds of ‘growth promoters,’ a pool of salmon are dosed with antibiotics in aquaculture settings, and the daily kilotons of human waste pour into the world’s rivers and seas. I wish the U.N. and the political leaders of the world would contemplate what killing off species of oxygen-producing microbes, of methane-eating bacteria, or of human gut beneficial microbes will mean for the future of Earth” (9/19).

Project Syndicate: On Antimicrobial Resistance, It’s Now or Never
Jim O’Neill, commercial secretary to the U.K. Treasury, honorary professor at Manchester University, visiting research fellow at Bruegel, and chair of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance; and Eric Goosby, U.N. special envoy on tuberculosis

“…As the largest, most inclusive global governance forum we have, the U.N. is the only institution that can marshal the resources and leadership commitments the problem [of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)] demands. But the U.N. will be effective only if it takes some crucial steps. First, U.N. member states should begin to integrate their responses to AMR across all regulatory bodies and relevant sectors, including health care, agriculture, and finance. … Second, to keep things on track, the U.N. should establish clear benchmarks, based on measurable outcomes, and it should commit to putting AMR back on the General Assembly’s agenda every two years. … Finally, the U.N. should appoint a special envoy for AMR to ensure continued progress in the coming years. … If we fail to hold our leaders’ feet to the fire, the consequences for everyone could be deadly” (9/20).

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Zika Virus Should Be Characterized As National, Global Health Security Threat To Encourage Resource Allocation

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Zika virus and global health security
Lawrence O. Gostin, professor and director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, and James G. Hodge Jr., professor and director of the public health law and policy program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University

“…[P]revention of Zika virus infection is a matter of global health security. … Continued global transmission foretells the rise of a so-called Zika generation. … The social, political, and economic implications represent a major global public health failure. … Characterizing the rise in Zika virus infections as a national and global security threat could galvanize governments to devote greater resources. Fast-moving epidemics have consequences similar to humanitarian crises, climate change, and war. Yet, the international community downplays epidemic threats and underinvests. This kind of apathy and short-sightedness must change” (October 2016).

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Addressing Infectious Disease Outbreaks 'Increasingly Involves Navigating Treacherous Political Waters'

The Conversation: How Congress is failing on Zika
Ana Santos Rutschman, Jaharis Faculty Fellow in health law and intellectual property at DePaul University

“…Earlier this year, Congress hastily passed a bill adding Zika to the [Food and Drug Administration (FDA)] priority review voucher program. … The task of increasing [research and development (R&D)] and funding for neglected diseases was already a complicated one. Governmental agencies like the FDA don’t necessarily want to play a role in promoting these goals, as programs like the priority review vouchers take resources away from their general mandate. One thing the Zika crisis has made clear is that solving emerging disease outbreaks increasingly involves navigating treacherous political waters. Congress’ lack of understanding of the real scope of [the] voucher program compromises efforts to find new ways of encouraging R&D in neglected diseases like Zika. Its inaction when it comes to extending funding for a major outbreak may endanger the health of thousands of Americans” (9/18).

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International Community Must Continue Global Progress Toward Polio Eradication

TIME: Erna Solberg: U.N. Must Work to Eradicate Polio for Good
Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway and co-chair of the U.N. Secretary General’s Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group

“…The eradication of polio has the potential to yield substantial financial benefits. Moreover, the infrastructure put in place to ensure the end of polio will also help to reduce or eliminate incidences of other preventable diseases. I was pleased to see that in May this year, the G7 leaders stressed the major contribution made by polio-related assets, resources, and infrastructure to improving health systems and universal health coverage. Failure to eradicate polio could, however, result in a widespread global resurgence of the disease. I call on world leaders to commit to closing the … funding gap so that we can ensure that our world is polio-free once and for all. … With global certification expected in the next few years, polio eradication could be one of the early successes of the 2030 Agenda. I am pleased to cooperate with the Global Citizen movement in advocating action to achieve the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)]. I encourage other leaders to join me so that, together, we can take a giant step forward for global health” (9/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Fact Sheet On Key U.S. Government Officials In Global Health Policy, Related Areas

Kaiser Family Foundation: Key U.S. Government Agency Positions and Officials in Global Health Policy & Related Areas
This updated fact sheet lists U.S. government positions and officials related to global health operations, including links to agencies and officials’ profiles, when available (9/19).

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Donors Pledge Nearly $13B To Global Fund's 5th Replenishment

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria raises $12.9 billion for next three years
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses outcomes of the launch of the Global Fund’s fifth replenishment cycle, writing, “The $12.9 billion in donations to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the launch of its fifth replenishment Saturday puts the international charity effectively within reach of its $13 billion goal and reflects increases in national and private donations, as well as first-time donations from some implementing countries. It is nearly a billion dollars over the amount raised in the fund’s last replenishment cycle” (9/19).

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