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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Global Health Community Becoming More Active In Climate Debate

Devex: Global health community steps up climate action
“The impacts of climate change, from air pollution to extreme weather events, to disruptions to food and water systems, will pose the greatest threats to global health in this century, and health leaders say it’s time for the sector to be a more active participant in the global climate debate…” (Cheney, 9/20).

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WHO Launches First Investment Case To Help Save 30M Lives With $14.1B From 2019-2023

Xinhua News: WHO rolls out investment case to save up to 30 mln lives in 5 years
“The World Health Organization (WHO) rolled out its first investment case on Wednesday, which requires an investment of 14.1 billion U.S. dollars from 2019 to 2023 to save up to 30 million lives worldwide. The WHO said the estimate, including a 10 billion dollars’ base budget, 2.5 billion dollars for humanitarian response, and 1.6 billion dollars for polio eradication, represents a 14 percent increase of the base budget only, instead of the overall budget, over the previous five-year period…” (9/20).

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NPR Examines World Food Programme's Innovation Accelerator

NPR: Have A Cool Idea To Help End World Hunger? Pitch It To The U.N.
“Let’s figure out how to end hunger forever. And do it fast. That’s the lofty goal of the World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator, a two-year-old venture inspired by the startup scene. It’s gathering an arsenal of ideas to fight hunger — both by brainstorming internally and supporting outside entrepreneurs — to test out in the real world as quickly as possible. There are more than two dozen projects already underway…” (Hallett, 9/19).

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WFP, Save The Children Warn Of Famine, Threats To Children's Lives In Yemen

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Lives of hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children hang in balance — charity
“Hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children could die if renewed attacks damage or temporarily close the key port of Hodeidah, Save the Children said on Wednesday, after heavy fighting in the area resumed…” (Kanso, 9/18).

U.N. News: Yemen: ‘Time is running out’ to head off devastating famine, warns U.N. food agency chief
“As conflict continues to rage in Yemen, leading to widespread economic hardship and a rampant inflation, the World Food Programme (WFP) is sounding the alarm over soaring food prices that are affecting millions of Yemenis. ‘My primary concern is the innocent children, women, and men of Yemen, and I urge all parties to end the fighting and support efforts to build peace,’ said David Beasley, WFP executive director, in a statement on Wednesday…” (9/19).

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Zimbabwe Appeals For $35M From Citizens, Businesses To Help Address Cholera Outbreak

Reuters: Zimbabwe seeks $35 million to fight cholera outbreak
“Zimbabwe is appealing to individual citizens and local companies for $35 million to help fight a cholera outbreak that has killed 31 and infected more than 5,000, the finance minister said…” (9/19).

VOA News: Zimbabwe Government Pledges Funds to Fight Cholera Outbreak in Harare
“Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, says his government will assist municipalities struggling to fight a cholera outbreak that has killed 32 people and affected more than 3,000 during the past three weeks…” (Mavhunga, 9/19).

Xinhua News: Zimbabwe government says revamping sewer system key to end cholera
“The Zimbabwe government said Tuesday redesigning of water and sewer pipes is the only long-term solution to stop the recurrence of cholera outbreaks in the country…” (9/18).

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Bloomberg Health Efficiency Index Ranks Nations' Health Care Costs, Values

Bloomberg: These Are the Economies With the Most (and Least) Efficient Health Care
“Want medical care without quickly draining your fortune? Try Singapore or Hong Kong as your healthy havens. The U.S. will cost you the most for treatment, both in absolute terms and relative to average incomes, while life expectancy of Americans — about 79 years — was exceeded by more than 25 countries and territories, according to an annual Bloomberg analysis in almost 200 economies. A health-efficiency index was then created to rank those with average lifespans of at least 70 years, GDP per capita exceeding $5,000 and a minimum population of five million…” (Miller/Lu, 9/19).

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More News In Global Health

Agence France-Presse: Giving birth in Afghanistan: inside MSF’s ‘baby factory’ (9/20).

Agence France-Presse: Toll from cholera outbreak in Lake Chad region now more than 500 (9/19).

Associated Press: Rumors, conflict challenge Ebola response in eastern Congo (Keaten, 9/19).

Devex: An Australian perspective on U.N. disability development (Cornish, 9/20).

Devex: Q&A: The changing face of last mile health (9/20).

Emirates 24/7: Bill Gates thanks UAE for role in the fight to end world poverty (9/19).

Global Health NOW: A New Wrinkle in TB’s Drug Resistance (Wipperman, 9/19).

U.N. News: Kenya makes progress in supporting people with albinism, but ‘much remains to be done’ says U.N. expert (9/18).

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Editorials and Opinions

Strong Pandemic Preparedness Requires Sustained Political Commitment, Effective Leadership

Washington Post: Our lack of pandemic preparedness could prove deadly
Tom Inglesby, director, and Eric Toner, senior scholar, both at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

“…Nature continues to create serious biological threats, with the possibility of a deadly new pandemic influenza perhaps the most worrying. Far less recognized, but potentially even more alarming: The biotechnology revolution now underway is substantially lowering the bar for the creation of biological weapons that themselves could cause pandemics. … The United States should place extraordinary national focus on establishing new approaches to quickly produce drugs, vaccines, and rapid diagnostics for novel pathogens. Sustained political commitment to pandemic preparedness is in some ways just as vital as the work to create medical countermeasures. … Investing in the [Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA)] directly benefits the health security of the United States because viruses don’t respect borders. … But America must also fortify its national medical response capacity. … If the worst-case scenario unfolds, strong pandemic preparedness planning would save millions of lives. But progress is possible only with effective leadership” (9/19).

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Innovation In Maternal, Child Health Requires Refining, Adapting Solutions For Different Contexts

STAT: Rethinking innovation in maternal and child health in Africa: five case studies
Koki Agarwal, director of USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program

“…In the developing world, where surgeons don’t have gloves and clinics don’t have reliable electricity or running water, the word ‘innovation’ takes on a different meaning than it does in more developed parts of the world. Here, seeming small changes can lead to policy breakthroughs, new operating systems, revitalized business practices, and revamped models of care that significantly improve health. … Innovation is also about taking proven, everyday health care strategies … and applying [them] in new and different contexts. … One of the hard parts of innovation is the sustained effort that’s needed to refine and adapt solutions for new communities. The Maternal and Child Survival Program [at USAID] aims for large-scale impact, which means learning from missteps and failures. … [R]ethinking beliefs, reinventing visions, and reimagining new and better ways to save lives require no bells or whistles — just a hefty measure of grit and fortitude…” (9/20).

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Indian Government Must Not Ignore Country's Mental Health Challenges

Livemint: India’s ignored mental health challenge
Editorial Board

“…The five research papers released by the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative last week and published in The Lancet family of journals deserve attention … Each report focuses on a specific non-communicable disease (NCD) … and aims to inform Modicare’s state-specific planning. One of them is particularly welcome, focusing on an issue that has received short shrift so far: suicide and the associated mental health issues. … There have been some positive developments over the past few years. The decriminalization of suicide last year was long overdue and welcome. The same holds true for the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s mandating last month that insurance companies are to make provisions to cover mental illnesses in their policies along with physical illnesses. But it remains to be seen how well this will be implemented, given that a standard health insurance policy covers in-patient hospitalization, while mental illnesses more often require out-patient care like counseling and psychotherapy. … Modicare has focused government and public attention on India’s decrepit health care system. This is to the good. But in the heat and noise, the challenges and needs of India’s mental health landscape should not be forgotten” (9/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.N. Dispatch Discusses Latest Results From WHO's Global TB Report

U.N. Dispatch: The Good, Bad and REALLY Bad News from the World Health Organization’s Latest Report on Tuberculosis
Alanna Shaikh, international development consultant, discusses results from the WHO’s recently released global tuberculosis report, highlighting progress and challenges ahead, as well as the need for increased investment. Shaikh writes, “In global health, we talk about ‘commitment,’ a lot. Most of the time, though, commitment just means money. And money is what’s needed here. … Better technology and treatments would help, but we’ve got enough tools already if we just had the funds to fully deploy them” (9/19).

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New WHO Webpage Focuses On Adolescent Health, Provides Various Resources

WHO: Coming of age: adolescent health
This new webpage discusses health in adolescence and provides various resources on the topic, including videos from experts and youth from around the world and links to WHO documents. The page states, “Adolescent health is starting to attract the attention it deserves, and is increasingly prominent in global health initiatives…” (9/17).

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From the U.S. Government

NIH Awards $7.5M For Research On Preventing, Treating HIV Among Adolescents, Young Adults In Africa, Brazil

NIH: NIH funds study to prevent, treat HIV among adolescents in poor countries
“The National Institutes of Health has awarded $7.5 million for an international research program to prevent and treat HIV infection among adolescents and young adults in seven African countries and Brazil. The study, called Prevention and Treatment through a Comprehensive Care Continuum for HIV-affected Adolescents in Resource Constrained Settings (PATC3H), will support research to develop strategies to identify youth at risk of HIV infection and those living with HIV and to enroll them into medical care programs…” (9/19).

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