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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Senate Majority Leader McConnell Unveils Continuing Resolution Including Zika Response Spending Package

CQ News: McConnell CR Applies Across-the-Board Spending Reduction
“A stopgap spending bill offered by Senate Republicans on Thursday would continue government funding until Dec. 9 at fiscal 2016 levels. In order for the bill to be scored as adhering to the $1.067 trillion, fiscal 2016 base discretionary spending limit, appropriators applied just under a 0.5 percent across-the-board reduction in spending for the continuing resolution…” (Krawzak, 9/22).

CQ News: Senate Republicans Roll Out Their Own CR, Hit Democratic Wall
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed the chamber’s first public text of a continuing resolution early Thursday afternoon that keeps the government running through Dec. 9, and it was met with immediate opposition by the Senate Appropriations Committee’s top Democrat. … The McConnell version of a CR, among other things: Provides $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus, without an environmental exemption for pesticide spraying sought by Republicans…” (McCrimmon, 9/22).

The Hill: McConnell unveils new Zika funding package
“Senate Republicans on Thursday released the latest draft of a $1.1 billion funding package to fight the Zika virus, and it contains some of the controversial funding offsets that Democrats have long opposed. The proposal, which is included in the 160-page stopgap spending bill, would put an end to partisan fights over Planned Parenthood and pesticide use that have helped hold up Zika funding since February. … But the long-awaited funding package also includes … offsets that will likely draw ire from Democrats: The package is partly paid for using the State Department’s unused money to fight the Ebola virus and leftover ObamaCare funding from when local officials decided not to set up exchanges. But the bill is not fully paid for, which could set up a sticking point for House Republicans…” (Ferris, 9/22).

USA TODAY: McConnell offers plan to fund government, fight Zika
“…[McConnell] said a vote to advance the bill will take place Tuesday, giving senators time to review the legislation and negotiate possible changes…” (Kelly, 9/22).

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U.N. Adopts Declaration To Address Antimicrobial Resistance; Challenges Persist

The Economist: The rise of drug resistance
“On September 21st in New York all 193 U.N. member states agreed to tackle the growing resistance of microbes to antibiotics. Drug-resistant infections now kill more than 700,000 people a year. On current trends, that number may reach 10m by 2050…” (9/23).

Global Health NOW: “Just the Beginning”: U.N. Adopts AMR Declaration
“…While the adoption of the declaration leavened the stark warnings about [antimicrobial resistance (AMR)], concerns about how to make inroads into the complex global problem persist. A paucity of new antibiotics, the fast-spreading resistance to antibiotics and other treatments, widespread usage of antibiotics for livestock, simultaneous over-prescription and lack of access to antibiotics, and a host of other issues await answers…” (Simpson, 9/21).

NPR: U.N. Pledges To Fight Antibiotic Resistance In Historic Agreement
“…Doctors have been warning about this problem for decades. But in the past year or so, another group of researchers has started taking interest in superbugs: economists. And they quickly realized the problem goes way beyond health…” (Doucleff, 9/21).

PRI: The U.N. just took on antibiotic resistance, but can diplomacy help us combat disease?
“…Laura Kahn, a physician and research scholar at Princeton University, says actually, international cooperation is our best shot at fighting antibiotic resistance. That’s because the causes of antibiotic resistance are rooted in issues like the global economy, food security, and the environment. … But if anything, Kahn says, the spread of antibiotic resistance in the environment underscores the need for a coordinated effort like the U.N.’s to address the issue — with solutions ranging from improving public sanitation to encouraging development of antibiotic alternatives…” (Franz, 9/22).

Quartz: The U.N. just categorized antibiotics in the food system as a crisis on par with AIDS and Ebola
“…Health advocates, including at the Pew Charitable Trusts, have said they expect many countries will look to the U.S. to take the lead in determining how best to best tackle resistance…” (Purdy, 9/22)

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U.S. State Department To Host Meeting On Eliminating FGM Nationwide

Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.S. says to bolster efforts to end female genital mutilation
“The United States unveiled plans on Thursday to ramp up efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) after figures showed more than half of million women and girls were living at risk. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said the U.S. Department of State would host a summit on Dec. 2 in Washington involving various government departments and women’s rights groups to come up with an action plan to rid the country of FGM…” (Abdel-Khalek, 9/22).

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6 Candidates Now Running For WHO Director General

POLITICO: Global health chief race set with new entrants
“Three new candidates entered the race to lead the World Health Organization on Friday … The Geneva-based public health agency with 194-member countries announced Italian WHO official Flavia Bustreo, former Hungarian Health Minister Miklós Szócska, and British U.N. adviser David Nabarro had entered the contest for the €214,000-a-year job. They join earlier candidates to succeed Margaret Chan, whose mandate as director-general ends next June, [including] Pakistan’s former health minister Sania Nishtar, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom, and France’s former health and foreign minister Philippe Douste-Blazy…” (Huet/Paun, 9/22).

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Gender Equality Necessary To Achieve SDGs, U.N. SG Ban Says

U.N. News Centre: Greater focus on women’s empowerment can help achieve Global Goals — U.N. chief
“Gender equality remains the greatest human rights challenge of our time, and one way to achieve the goal is by empowering women to have greater choices economically and control over their lives, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared [Thursday], urging the international community to spearhead efforts that provide opportunities for women and girls. ‘I look forward to a time when all societies everywhere can reap the benefits of gender equality,’ said the secretary general at the High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment event [Thursday] at U.N. Headquarters in New York, co-organized by the panel’s secretariat and U.N. Women…” (9/22).

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New Partnership Aims To Improve Data Collection On Women, Girls To Fill Development Statistics Gender Gap

Devex: New U.N. Women, Gates Foundation partnership takes on gender data
“…Women and girls are routinely not counted in global and national data collected on health, education, political participation, and human security, according to the U.N. Foundation-led organization Data2X. … U.N. Women, the U.N. entity for gender equality, is now teaming up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Data2X, and the government of Australia to launch a pilot project at national, regional, and global levels that will support 12 countries in regularly producing gender statistics. A steering committee of U.N. agencies and civil society partners will determine the 12 partnering countries…” (Lieberman, 9/22).

NPR: There’s A ‘Glaring’ Gap In The War Against Poverty And Disease
“…The data gap is especially noticeable when it comes to statistics on girls and women, and ending the inequality they face is a major focus of the global goals. … For instance, it’s hard to get solid, comparable numbers across all countries on everything from maternal mortality to how well girls are transitioning from school into jobs to what assets women own. In some cases — domestic violence against women is a classic example — many countries don’t consider gathering this data a top concern…” (Aizenman, 9/22).

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The Lancet Examines Global Fund Replenishment, History Of Funding, Progress

The Lancet: Global Fund replenishment meeting nears target amount
“Hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montréal, QC, Canada, last week, the fifth replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria reached a total of US$12.91 billion. … For the executive director of the fund, Mark Dybul, the positive result represents an important milestone, one he could not afford to miss, since the Global Fund has fallen far short of its targets during the past two replenishment rounds…” (Usher, 9/24).

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Royal Society Of Medicine Meeting Discusses Cancer Care, Control In Lower-Income Countries

SciDev.Net: Cancer in poor countries: Too big to tackle?
“A revealing metaphor kicked off a day of discussions about tackling cancer in poor countries at the Royal Society of Medicine this week. If you think of global health as Mount Everest, cancer control would be a small flag at its peak, said Richard Sullivan, professor at the King’s Health Partners science center in London, U.K. The statement was meant to symbolize how systems to tackle cancer are built on a vast set of capabilities, from complex infrastructure to technological capacity to end-of-life care…” (Makri, 9/22).

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Transforming Food, Agricultural Systems Must Remain Global Priority, U.N. SG Ban Says

U.N. News Centre: Agriculture and food system transformation needed on pathway to zero hunger — Ban
“While the world has seen some progress on combating the root causes of hunger and malnutrition, the challenge of providing the fundamental right to adequate food to all people must remain a priority, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said [Thursday], urging member states to continue to work together to tackle the problem…” (9/22).

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U.N.-Backed Sanitation Initiative Leads To Reduction In Waterborne Illnesses In Haiti, UNICEF Says

U.N. News Centre: Sanitation initiative in south-eastern Haiti shows promising results — UNICEF
“A sanitation initiative in southeastern Haiti has shown encouraging results, with a major reduction in the number of waterborne infections for local residents, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)…” (9/22).

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Editorials and Opinions

Private Sector Investment, Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships Critical To Achieving SDGs

Huffington Post: It’s Time to Get ‘Ambitious’ About Partnerships
Ann Mei Chang, executive director of the U.S. Global Development Lab at USAID

“…[I]f we are serious about ending extreme poverty … it’s time to evolve and expand our thinking. As donors, we need to ask: How can we be more catalytic? How can we help businesses spur economic growth and reduce poverty? … We see three promising frontiers: leveraging private capital, engaging with local private sector actors, and building multi-stakeholder alliances. … With the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)], we have the opportunity for the biggest win-win in history. We can enable companies to do what they do best — make sound investments, create jobs, and spur economic growth. And at the same time, we can leverage private capital to reduce poverty. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will be no small task, and it will require unprecedented collaboration. But there is so much we can do together…” (9/22).

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Despite Public Opinion, Extreme Poverty Makes 'Stunning Decline'

New York Times: The Best News You Don’t Know
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist

“…As world leaders gather for the United Nations General Assembly this week, all the evidence suggests that we are at an inflection point for the ages. The number of people living in extreme poverty ($1.90 per person per day) has tumbled by half in two decades, and the number of small children dying has dropped by a similar proportion — that’s six million lives a year saved by vaccines, breastfeeding promotion, pneumonia medicine, and diarrhea treatments! Historians may conclude that the most important thing going on in the world in the early 21st century was a stunning decline in human suffering. … Yet the public thinks the opposite, that poverty is getting worse. … [L]et’s pause for a nanosecond of silence to acknowledge the greatest gains in human well-being in the history of our species — not to inspire complacency, but rather to spur our efforts to accelerate what may be the most important trend in the world today” (9/22).

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Global Leaders Should Prioritize Removing Barriers To, Investing In Breastfeeding

Devex: Breastfeeding should be a global priority
France Bégin, senior nutrition adviser for infant and young child nutrition at UNICEF

“…At this year’s United Nations General Assembly, policymakers and elected officials should increase their political commitment for breastfeeding as they work to tackle issues of critical importance related to the health, wellbeing and economic success of their 193 states. … Not only does breastfeeding play an essential role in eradicating hunger, preventing malnutrition, and boosting health outcomes, it’s fiscally smart too. … Our leaders need to support policies and programs and provide resources for families that ensure moms are able to nurse their babies — not just at birth, but for as long as they want. It’s up to all of us to make sure women are not forced into the false choice of giving up breastfeeding or nursing less frequently because our society makes it difficult. The implications for global health and economic outcomes are vast; policymakers worldwide would be wise to invest in breastfeeding and reap the benefits” (9/22).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts Discuss U.N. Meeting, Political Declaration To Address Antimicrobial Resistance

U.N. Dispatch: A rare thing happened at the U.N. this week: Leaders agreed to fix a problem BEFORE it becomes a full-blown crisis
Mark Leon Goldberg, managing editor of the U.N. Dispatch, discusses outcomes on antimicrobial resistance during this week’s U.N. General Assembly, and writes, “At the U.N., it appears that officials are learning from past mistakes and taking on this issue before it becomes a full-blown crisis. It would seem that some officials are taking to heart that an ounce of prevention is worth more [than] a pound of cure” (9/22).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: U.N. General Assembly recognizes antimicrobial resistance as global public health threat
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses the U.N.’s political declaration on antimicrobial resistance, writing the document “affirms support for strategies outlined in the 2015 World Health Organization Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, and notes the need to ensure sustained funding for the efforts required…” (9/22).

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Event Highlights Challenges To Polio Eradication, Especially In Conflict Settings

Humanosphere: Conflict zones pose final threat to eradicating polio
Humanosphere journalist Lisa Nikolau discusses an event that took place Tuesday in New York highlighting challenges to polio eradication, especially in conflict settings. She includes comments made at the event from CDC Director Thomas Frieden and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan (9/22).

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New U.N. High-Level Working Group Aims To Expand Access To Health, Human Rights For Women, Children, Adolescents

WHO: New group to ‘expand access to health and human rights’ for women, children, and adolescents
“Helping to expand access to health and human rights for women, children, and adolescents everywhere is the goal of the new High-Level Working Group for the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children, and Adolescents. … The group will work for one year to generate high-level political support, at both national and international levels, for the implementation of the human rights-related measures called for under the [Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030)]. This includes guidance on how human rights can be integrated into health programming, and how we can better measure the impact of human rights on health outcomes…” (9/22).

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