KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

In Speech To African Leaders, U.S. President Trump Compliments Nigeria's Handling Of Ebola Outbreak, Announces U.N. Ambassador Haley, HHS Secretary Price To Travel To Continent

The Cable: Trump praises Nigeria’s tackling of Ebola, says Africa has tremendous potential
“U.S. President Donald Trump has lauded Nigeria for its handling of the 2014 outbreak of the Ebola virus disease. Trump on Wednesday also said there’s ‘tremendous business potential’ in Africa, revealing that his wealthy friends were investing in the continent. He said this while hosting President Muhammadu Buhari and other African leaders to a working lunch on the sidelines of the 72nd U.N. General Assembly in New York…” (9/21).

CNN: Trump praises health care of Nambia, a nonexistent African country
“President Donald Trump lavished praise on the health care system of Nambia during a speech at the United Nations. But there’s one little problem — there’s no such country. ‘In Guinea and Nigeria, you fought a horrifying Ebola outbreak,’ Trump told African leaders gathered Wednesday. ‘Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient.’ Trump mentioned Nambia twice during the session attended by leaders of several nations, including Ghana, Namibia, and Uganda…” (Karimi, 9/21).

The Hill: Trump mispronounces Namibia in meeting with African leaders
“…Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster described the meeting as a working luncheon to discuss how the U.S. ‘can help African nations develop their economies, address urgent challenges, and strengthen security relationships and economic relationships between our nations’…” (Bowden, 9/20).

POLITICO: Trump to dispatch Haley and Price to Africa
“President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he is dispatching United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to Africa. Trump told African leaders ahead of a lunch at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel that his administration is ‘closely monitoring and deeply disturbed by the ongoing violence in South Sudan and in the Congo’…” (McCaskill, 9/20).

Washington Post: Trump’s puzzling speech to African leaders, annotated
“President Trump delivered a brief speech to African leaders Wednesday at the United Nations, and in the span of about 800 words, he twice conjoined the names of two countries, Namibia and Zambia, creating the nonexistent nation of ‘Nambia,’ and told the leaders that many of his friends go to Africa to ‘get rich.’ Below are his full remarks, along with our annotations. (Note: This is a White House transcript, and the White House corrected Trump’s ‘Nambia’ reference to ‘Namibia.’ That is not what he said, so we have changed the transcript for accuracy.)…” (Blake et al., 9/20).

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International Cooperation, Optimism Necessary To Confront Global Development Challenges, Obama Says At Goalkeepers Meeting

Agence France-Presse/New Vision: Obama: ‘No One Nation’ Can Confront Global Development Challenges
“Former U.S. President Barack Obama said nations must cooperate to confront some of world’s most pressing challenges, including climate change, poverty, disease, and discrimination. ‘The biggest problems we confront — no one nation is going to be able to solve on its own — not even the United States of America,’ Obama said before an international summit organized on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly…” (9/21).

CNN: Obama swipes at, but doesn’t name, Trump
“In a rare public appearance eight months after leaving office, former President Barack Obama took shots at his successor’s plans on health care and foreign policy but didn’t criticize him by name. … He defended institutions like the United Nations as essential to collective diplomacy. … Obama’s speech at an event sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation came during Trump’s first trip to the U.N. General Assembly, the yearly gathering of diplomats in New York…” (Liptak, 9/21).

Devex: Barack Obama on how to convince a nation that development is a bargain
“…Obama called for public education that tells a good story and pointed out that aid is ‘actually a bargain’ — and that it is intrinsically linked with security … By laying out how to convince the public that foreign aid makes sense for America, he also seemed to suggest how to frame global development in a way that might resonate with the current administration, as he explained that philanthropy cannot fill the void that any retreat in U.S. funding might leave…” (Cheney, 9/21).

PBS NewsHour: WATCH: Obama speaks at global health event
“Former President Barack Obama spoke at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers event in New York on Wednesday to measure the progress of global health over the past 25 years. This event is timed to the U.N. General Assembly and the release of a report by Bill and Melinda Gates, which measures the world’s health according to 18 indicators…” (9/20).

Quartz: “Relentless and infectious optimism”: Barack Obama’s recipe for success in a scary world
“…In a chipper mood in his post-presidential life, Obama’s speech focused not on the perils ahead but what everyone can do to overcome them. That began, however, by rejecting Trump’s bleak worldview: If offered to pick any period of human existence to live in, ‘this would be the time you wanna be showing up on this planet,’ Obama said, pointing to developments in education, women’s rights, and minority rights…” (de Haldevang/Merelli, 9/21).

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U.S. Vice President Pence Urges U.N. Security Council To Take Action On Humanitarian Crisis Of Rohingya Refugees

POLITICO: Pence calls on U.N. to take action on humanitarian crisis in Myanmar
“Vice President Mike Pence challenged the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday to take action on the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, as Rohingya Muslims continue fleeing to Bangladesh to escape what the U.N. has called an ethnic cleansing. On behalf of the Trump administration, Pence urged the U.N. and the Security Council ‘to take strong and swift action to bring this crisis to an end — and give hope and help to the Rohingya people in their hour of need’…” (McCaskill, 9/20).

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International Community Must Do More To Address Global Health Impacts Of Climate Change, Leaders At UNGA Say

TIME: Climate Change Is Already Making People Sicker
“Climate change is a central issue at this year’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), with multiple high-level meetings on the issue happening amid several devastating natural disasters. … The impact of climate change on global health is also becoming increasingly clear. … Leaders at the U.N. say that while more countries are explicitly calling out these risks to health now than in the past, there’s still more work to do…” (Sifferlin, 9/20).

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Bloomberg Philanthropies' Global Business Forum To Aid Creation Of Development Partnerships

Devex: Bloomberg says Global Business Forum will push new aid partnerships, climate solutions
“The new Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Global Business Forum will act as a powerful platform for people to make major deals and launch influential dialogues on development, politics, and climate change, Michael Bloomberg, owner of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies, told Devex. … Bloomberg appeared to embrace the influential role that the now-closed Clinton Global Initiative once held during the packed week of events surrounding the United Nations General Assembly…” (Lieberman, 9/20).

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Melinda Gates Discusses Global Health, Development Successes In CNN Money Interview

CNN Money: Why Bill and Melinda Gates are spending a lot of time in Washington
“Bill and Melinda Gates want to keep foreign aid flowing from Washington. But with a president that believes in ‘America First,’ they’re fighting an uphill battle. That’s led the billionaire Microsoft founder and his wife, who together lead the world’s largest private charitable foundation, to Capitol Hill quite a bit these days. And they’re speaking with ‘everybody’ — both the White House and members of Congress — about the importance of foreign aid, Melinda Gates said in an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow on Tuesday…” (Horowitz, 9/20).

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Wiping Out Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes, Other Species Not Best Approach To Prevention, Bill Gates Says

Devex: Why Bill Gates thinks we shouldn’t kill all the mosquitoes to end malaria
“Bill Gates is not convinced that wiping out all the world’s mosquitoes is a good approach for alleviating the suffering caused by malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. … The billionaire philanthropist and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on malaria vaccine research, pointed out that in selecting certain species for extinction, humans might make a mistake, accidentally eliminating a species that plays a key ecosystem role…” (Igoe, 9/21).

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Gates Foundation, Plan International Partnership 'Equal Measures 2030' Aims To Improve Gender Data To Guide SDG Efforts

Devex: Gates, Plan-funded global gender data partnership takes shape
“…This week, Equal Measures 2030 — a new global cross-sector initiative born from hours of meetings in London conference rooms and offices in six focus countries from El Salvador to Indonesia — emerged after a year of research and tough decisions. … The partnership, funded by Plan International and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, considers itself a start-up with resources to hire a full-time seven-member team and initiate pilots in six countries. The goal? Ensure data is transformed into advocacy and action by making sure women’s groups, rights advocates, and decision makers have easy-to-use data and evidence to guide efforts in reaching the Global Goals by 2030…” (Rogers, 9/20).

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Melinda Gates Announces 'Pathways To Prosperity' Initiative To Cultivate Next Generation Of Development Leaders

Quartz: The world is losing a generation of development leaders, and Melinda Gates wants to fix that
“…[Melinda Gates this week announced] Pathways for Prosperity … at a dinner held by the foundation on the sidelines of this year’s UNGA. Due to kick off in January, Pathways will likely fund research around the future of work, access to services such as finance and health care, and safety nets to protect the poor and powerless. It will also convene discussions around those topics, potentially extending into hackathons and television programs…” (Delaney, 9/19).

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New Agreement Will Improve Access To State-Of-The-Art HIV Medications In 92 Nations

Reuters: Exclusive: Africa to get state-of-art HIV drugs for $75 a year
“Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. … The agreement, which will make the treatment available to 92 poor countries, starting in Africa, will be formally announced during the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday…” (Kelland/Hirschler, 9/21).

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E.U., U.N. Launch 'Spotlight Initiative' To Eliminate All Forms Of Gender Violence

U.N. News Centre: European Union and U.N. launch new initiative to eliminate gender violence
“The European Union and the United Nations [Wednesday] launched a joint initiative to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, one of the most widespread and devastating human rights violations across the globe. … The E.U.-U.N. Spotlight Initiative is supported by a multi-stakeholder trust fund, with the E.U. as its main contributor in the order of half a billion Euro, which is open to other donors…” (9/20).

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Counterfeit, Substandard Medicines Threaten Disease Control, Prevention Efforts In Africa

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Counterfeit and substandard malaria drugs in Africa
“Ineffective and fake drugs for malaria are hampering efforts to control the disease. Now, the international community is seeking ways to respond…” (Brower, October 2017).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. must lead global battle against counterfeit medicines, Congo tells General Assembly
“The Republic of Congo [Wednesday] called for a United Nations-wide global battle against the proliferation of counterfeit and substandard medicines, warning the General Assembly on the second day of its 72nd annual General Debate that Africa was particularly vulnerable…” (9/20).

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Corporate Accountability International Organizer Discusses U.N. Global Compact In DW Interview

Deutsche Welle: U.N. Global Compact: Is big business saving the world?
“More than 9,000 companies from all over the world have joined the U.N. Global Compact (UNGC), an initiative to drive forward the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. … The UNGC also has many outspoken critics, who are skeptical of the U.N. cozying up to private corporations. As top business leaders are meeting in New York for the UNGC Leaders Summit, DW spoke to Cloe Franko, a senior organizer at Corporate Accountability International, a non-profit organization fighting to stop corporate abuse…” (Rohwer-Kahlmann, 9/21).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Congress Should Partner With Development Community, Private Sector To Ensure Efficient Reorganization Of U.S. Foreign Aid

The Hill: Maintaining the effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid
Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, both co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Effective Foreign Assistance

“One of the most significant challenges facing the future of American foreign policy is the ongoing reorganization planning at the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). … We agree with and support current proposals put forward by a bipartisan group of our colleagues on the Appropriations Committee that require the administration to provide detailed information on any reorganization plan prior to it being implemented. … Congress can partner with the development community to truly make a difference in our work overseas. It is critical that these and other views be taken into account, as they emphasize the value of both public and private sector efforts. … The coming months represent a very real opportunity to not only continue to improve the efficacy of our aid and development programs inside the government, but also to drive a new level of partnership with the private sector to help improve the lives of those living in poverty. We stand ready to work with this administration, as well as the career professionals at both the State Department and USAID. This mission is far too significant to not get right” (9/20).

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Accepting SDGs Critical To 'Achieving Them In Reality'

Devex: Opinion: The SDGs are good enough and it’s time to stop analyzing and start acting
Mark Halle, senior fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development

“…[T]he value of the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] and the targets lies in their actual achievement — in bringing about the transformative change that achieving them would generate. The SDGs are not perfect, but they benefit from the legitimacy derived from the highly inclusive, bottom-up process through which they were articulated and set. If genuinely implemented, the world would be a significantly better place. … Let’s accept them and devote our efforts to achieving them in reality. … That means accepting that the stage settings are good enough, and getting on with the play. Whether or not it turns out to be a tragedy is up to us” (9/20).

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Despite Falling Case Numbers, Development Of Zika Vaccine Must Remain Priority

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Vaccine against Zika virus must remain a priority
Editorial Board

“…[The] announcement [of Sanofi Pasteur’s decision to withdraw from Zika vaccine R&D] raises concerns about the future of Zika virus vaccine development, at a time when the number of cases is falling and other questions about the virus remain unanswered. … The WHO Zika Strategic Response Plan, published in June 2016 and due to run until December this year, outlines research priorities. However, illustrating the lower priority that Zika virus is now receiving, the last ‘quarterly’ update of the plan was published a year ago. Now is the time to take a long-term view of Zika research … Zika epidemics will likely reoccur as new vulnerable populations are exposed to the virus. We would best be prepared for this situation by having available vaccines that can quickly be rolled out to the people who need protection” (October 2017).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

National Academies Presents 14 Recommendations For U.S. To Improve Global Health

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: Global Health and the Future Role of the United States
“Global Health and the Future Role of the United States, released in Spring 2017 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, assesses U.S. investments in global health. Using the same rigor that the National Academies applied in advising U.S. policy for more than 150 years, a committee of experts from across the global health field reached consensus on why and how to continue America’s commitment to global health. The report culminates in 14 recommendations to guide action in improving the health of the world’s population…” (September 2017).

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CGD Highlights 5 Areas Of Consensus, Divergence On U.S. Foreign Assistance Reform

Center for Global Development’s “U.S. Development Policy”: Attention Trump Administration: Five Important Questions for Redesigning U.S. Foreign Assistance
Gailyn Portelance, research assistant, and Erin Collinson, senior policy associate and assistant director of the U.S. Development Policy Initiative, both at CGD, discuss an event during which authors of four recent reform proposals for U.S. foreign assistance addressed their ideas. Portelance and Collinson summarize outcomes of the discussion, identifying five areas of consensus and divergence on U.S. foreign assistance reform, including fragmentation, inclusive economic growth, humanitarian assistance and fragile states, global health, and country graduation (9/20).

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Brookings Blog Post Examines Shifting Patterns Of Development Aid Allocation, Implications For Aid Effectiveness

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: Not your parents’ foreign aid: The shift from power to proximity and poverty
Sarah Bermeo, assistant professor at Duke University and faculty affiliate at the Duke Center for International Development, discusses the role of development aid and patterns of aid allocation, writing, “The shifting patterns of aid allocation have implications for studying aid effectiveness. Changing donor motivations mean that past outcomes may be a poor guide to predicting current and future effectiveness” (9/20).

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CGD Examines 2 'Missed Opportunities' In WHO's Draft Concept Note

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: WHO’s Draft Concept Note: Treating the Symptoms, Not the Causes?
Alec Morton, professor at the University of Strathclyde; Kalipso Chalkidou, director of global health policy and senior fellow at CGD; and Amanda Glassman, chief operating officer, senior fellow, and Board secretary at CGD, discuss the recently published WHO draft concept note on the 2019-2023 program of work, highlighting two opportunities in global health that the document did not discuss: the “centrality” of universal health coverage (UHC) to achieve WHO’s goals and value for money in health spending. The authors note, “[The] present concept note … presents a WHO trying to respond to a disparate collection of problems, but with no clear organizing concept of how to tackle the underlying systemic causes of these problems or prioritize competing demands on the organization’s scarce resources” (9/20).

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