KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. President Trump, U.N. SG Guterres Deliver Speeches At UNGA

Devex: Top 3 development takeaways from Trump’s U.N. address
“U.S. President Donald Trump delivered his debut speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday and came out swinging against everyone from Venezuela and North Korea to the U.N. itself. … [The speech] offered some insight into the Trump administration’s take on the U.N. and its development agenda. Here are three top takeaways for the development sector. 1. Global development, for the Trump administration, may often come down to global health. … 2. Trump isn’t happy with much of the U.N.’s operations and wants reform according to a U.S. vision. 3. The Trump administration wants other nations to contribute more to the U.N. and to regional stability…” (Lieberman, 9/19).

Reuters: U.N. chief seeks to avoid war with N.Korea, takes digs at Trump
“United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appealed on Tuesday for statesmanship to avoid war with North Korea and criticized world leaders stoking resentment over refugees for political gain, two apparent digs at President Donald Trump. In his first address to the annual gathering of world leaders at the 193-member U.N. General Assembly since taking office in January, Guterres said the North Korea crisis must be solved through a political process…” (Nichols, 9/19).

Washington Post: In Trump’s U.N. speech, emphasis on sovereignty echoes his domestic agenda
“…Trump’s U.N. speech struggled with these conflicting impulses to the point of incoherence. In paying homage to American generosity on the world stage, Trump cited several U.S.-funded global health programs that the budget his administration released May 7 calls for significantly cutting. He praised the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt Europe after World War II, even as he has repeatedly vowed that the United States’ days of nation-building are finished…” (Jaffe/DeYoung, 9/19).

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Drug-Resistant Infections, Lack Of Innovative Antibiotic Development Pose 'Global Health Emergency,' WHO Warns

CBSMiami: WHO: Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Are A “Global Health Emergency”
“There is a serious lack of new antibiotics being developed to fight infections that are becoming resistant to treatments — something WHO says is a ‘global health emergency’…” (Maselli, 9/19).

CIDRAP News: WHO report paints dire picture of antibiotic development
“A new report [released Tuesday by] the World Health Organization (WHO) argues that the antibiotics currently in clinical development are not sufficient to counter rising antimicrobial resistance (AMR), particularly in the pathogens that present the greatest threat to human health…” (Dall, 9/19).

The Guardian: Too few antibiotics in pipeline to tackle global drug-resistance crisis, WHO warns
“…The new WHO report, showing the paucity of new antibiotics being developed, lists 12 … pathogens that are serious dangers to health because we are running out of drugs to treat the infections they cause…” (Boseley, 9/19).

Healio: WHO: ‘Serious lack’ of antibiotics in development to address resistance
“… ‘Antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency that will seriously jeopardize progress in modern medicine,’ WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said in a statement. ‘There is an urgent need for more investment in research and development for antibiotic-resistant infections including TB, otherwise we will be forced back to a time when people feared common infections and risked their lives from minor surgery’…” (Gallagher, 9/19).

Intellectual Property Watch: Breaking — WHO Issues Alarming Report On Coming Shortage Of Antibiotics
“…The report makes several references to patents. The study did not cover vaccines. Separately, the WHO [Tuesday] also published a report entitled, ‘Prioritization of pathogens to guide discovery, research and development of new antibiotics for drug-resistant bacterial infections, including tuberculosis’…” (9/20).

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Policymakers In 5 Nations Cannot Confidently Answer Questions About Issues Surrounding Women, Girls, Survey Shows

Devex: Policymakers ‘flying blind’ on gender issues, survey finds
“Many policymakers are ill-informed about the most pressing issues affecting gender equality in their countries, including the number of women in the labor force and how many are dying in childbirth, according to a new report published by a coalition of NGOs and private sector companies working to fill the gender data gap. The report, published on Wednesday by Equal Measures 2030 — a civil society and private sector partnership that collects data, analysis, and evidence to drive gender equality in developing countries — assesses the extent to which policymakers are informed about, and have access to, data linked to the Sustainable Development Goals on gender…” (Edwards, 9/20).

Newsweek: World Leaders Don’t Understand Women — And That’s Hurting Gender Equality, Study Finds
“…A new study released late Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly questions whether policymakers in five countries are equipped with the basic information they need to advance gender equality. Equal Measures 2030, a global partnership of nine organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, conducted a survey of 109 policymakers in Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, and Senegal. … The results revealed that, when it came to key issues affecting girls and women, those in charge were ‘largely not confident in their knowledge of the facts’…” (Jones, 9/20).

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UNGA Side Event Explores Importance Of Providing Maternal Health Services During Refugee Crises

TIME: Why We Need to Protect Maternal Health During the Refugee Crisis
“…The ongoing refugee crisis has been a topic of discussion during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) happening this week in New York City. During a side event on maternal health, panelists — including Lynsey Addario, a photographer documenting the ‘Finding Home’ series for TIME Magazine — described the needs of women who are between homes…” (Sifferlin, 9/19).

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Many Companies Failing To Set Sustainability Targets, Monitor Progress On SDGs, Report Shows

Bloomberg: Companies Failing to Live Up to U.N. Sustainable Development Vows
“More than 9,000 companies around the world have pledged to support United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such as respecting human rights, fighting corruption, and ending poverty. Many have yet to follow through. More than one-third of the participating companies haven’t set any measurable sustainability targets and just 55 percent are monitoring progress, according to a report published Monday…” (Colby, 9/19).

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Women Worldwide Need Greater Access To Generic Reproductive Health Supplies, Some Manufacturers, Advocates Say

Intellectual Property Watch: Access To Generic Reproductive Health Supplies Decades Behind Medicines?
“Despite a massive worldwide push to improve access to contraceptives, generic manufacturers say they’re not yet getting a good share of the pie. … ‘Why is it that while the whole world has moved towards generics because of the cost benefits. But in reproductive health the same suppliers are supplying the market — purchased by UNFPA and other international agencies — as they were purchasing from 30 years ago?’ said [Lester Chinery of the Concept Foundation]…” (Anderson, 9/19).

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Access To Free Sanitary Pads Only Part Of Helping Girls Manage Periods, Researchers Say

NPR: The Problem With Free Menstrual Pads
“…Several African countries, including Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia, have taken steps toward giving free sanitary pads to girls. … While menstrual health researchers say it’s encouraging that more countries are talking about periods at the highest levels of power, some question the motivations…” (Columbus, 9/18).

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1M Child Deaths Averted In India Since 2005 Due To Decrease In Preventable Diseases, 'Verbal Autopsies' Show

Thomson Reuters Foundation: “Verbal autopsies” show India has averted a million child deaths since 2005
“India has avoided the deaths of about one million children under the age of five since 2005, largely due to a decrease in cases of preventable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, tetanus, and measles, a study published on Tuesday found. … The research published in The Lancet, a medical journal, is part of a wider Million Death Study taking place across India and is one of the largest studies of premature deaths in the world…” (Suliman, 9/19).

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Health Workers Aim To Contain Cholera Outbreak In Northeastern Nigeria Through Major Vaccination Campaign

Bloomberg: Cholera Kills 44 in Nigeria From 2,300 Suspected Cases, U.N. Says
“An outbreak of cholera in the troubled northeast of Nigeria has killed 44 people from 2,300 suspected cases since the waterborne disease appeared in mid-August, the United Nations said. Some 3.7 million people could be affected by the outbreak in Borno state, an area already hit by one of the world’s most severe relief crises, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in an emailed statement Monday…” (Alake, 9/18).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Health workers race to contain cholera outbreak in northeast Nigeria
“…A major vaccination campaign aims to reach more than 900,000 people this week in the area, and aid agencies such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said they are stepping up efforts to halt the spread of the diseases as new cases emerge across the state…” (Guilbert, 9/18).

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Cambodia, Laos Eliminate Trachoma, Leading Cause Of Blindness, As Public Health Threat, WHO Says

Devex: Cambodia, Laos eliminate leading cause of blindness
“Trachoma, an eye infection that has been the leading cause of blindness worldwide, is no longer a public health threat in Cambodia and Laos, the World Health Organization announced Tuesday. The two countries are the first in Western Pacific’s history to have achieved elimination of trachoma as a public health problem, with validation by WHO…” (Ravelo, 9/20).

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Editorials and Opinions

USAID Faces Challenge Of Balancing Short-Term Development Results, Longer-Term Institutional Strengthening

Washington Post: Why international aid so often falls short — and sometimes makes things worse
Brad Parks, executive director of AidData; Mark Buntaine, assistant professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the Department of Political Science at the University of California at Santa Barbara; and Benjamin Buch, PhD candidate in political science at Stanford University

“…If [USAID Administrator Mark Green] acquiesces to the demands of his political, technical, and financial overseers in the executive and legislative branches, USAID will find it difficult to prioritize institutional strengthening in weak states — and probably will have to focus instead on programs that produce specific and measurable results over short time horizons. However, if he focuses on the long game and patiently invests in programs that can create indigenous capacity and produce more sustainable results, USAID will probably face fierce criticism for being insufficiently results-oriented. Helping weak states begin the long process of getting unstuck is a worthy endeavor. But our research suggests that success will remain elusive until USAID, its partners, and its overseers end the ‘pick-an-easy-target-and-call-it-success’ charade” (9/19).

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Spreading Hygiene, Sanitary Awareness Vital To Global WASH Efforts

MSNBC: If I take action today, maybe someone’s life will be saved
Shomy Hasan Chowdhury, student at Universiti Putra Malaysia and co-founder of Awareness 360

“…Throughout much of the developing world, serious diseases are linked to improper hygiene, poor drinking water, and a general lack of sanitary awareness. Across the globe, however, many do not know this. … Though hand washing might seem insignificant, … it can be life-saving. … [H]ygiene awareness needs to spread. … If WASH is to be successful, it is essential that governments, businesses, and activists work together to raise awareness and funds for sanitary improvements. … I am optimistic that the combined efforts of governments, world leaders, businesses, and advocates will help ensure clean water, sanitation, and hygiene for everyone. As I know from personal experience — even the smallest changes in personal hygiene habits can save lives” (9/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Examines PEPFAR's Recently Released Strategy Document

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: State Department, PEPFAR release good news and a “strategy” short on details, definition
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses the release of PEPFAR’s new 2017-2020 strategy, writing, “Big on photos and short on details, … its 10 colorful inside pages give broad, brief, and differing descriptions of the means through which the goals it describes will be reached” (9/19).

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Sustained Political Commitment, Investments Critical To Cervical Cancer Prevention, Achieving UHC For Women

BMJ Opinion: Cervical cancer services are the next frontier for universal health care coverage in LMICs
Marleen Temmerman, chair of department obstetrics and gynecology and director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at Aga Khan University East-Africa, and Flavia Bustreo, assistant director general of family, women’s and children’s health at the WHO, write, “Sustained political commitment and strategic investments in cervical cancer prevention can not only save millions of lives over the next 10 years, but can also pave the way for the broader fight against all cancers. Now is the time for action at national, regional, and global levels. Now it’s time to turn the tide and reach the next frontier, making universal health coverage a reality for many women” (9/20).

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Blog Post Highlights Studies Examining Impact Of Climate On Reproductive, Maternal Health

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Climate Change and Women’s Health: New Studies Find Overlooked Links
Antony Martel, an intern with the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Wilson Center, discusses a study published in Nature on the impact of climate change on fertility and reproductive health. Martel writes, “Climate and reproductive health intersect to influence nutrition, food security, resource scarcity, and income, as well as patterns of time use and physical labor.” Martel also discusses a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health on how heat exposure affects maternal health, and writes, “the authors determined that exposure to unusually hot temperatures can lead to changes in length of gestation, birth weight, stillbirth rates, and neonatal stress” (9/19).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 320 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter includes articles on various topics, including country-level challenges related to the absorption of Global Fund money and the fund’s new results report (9/20).

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