KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

More Than 120 U.N. Member States Sign U.S.-Drafted Pledge To Fight Global Drug Problem

Reuters: Some 129 countries sign up to Trump’s pledge at U.N. to fight drugs
“Some 129 countries at the United Nations signed on to a U.S.-drafted pledge to fight the global drug problem on Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump warned presented a public health and national security threat…” (Nichols/Mason, 9/24).

U.N. News: Global spotlight on world drug problem ‘is personal’ for many families, says U.N. chief
“The United Nations focused a global spotlight on the worldwide drug problem during a high-level counter-narcotics event on Monday … Drug addiction is ‘more than just a policy issue. It is personal,’ [Secretary-General António Guterres] said at the event, noting that ‘the reality is that drugs and addiction are not abstract issues’…” (9/24).

USA TODAY: Trump implores world leaders at United Nations to confront ‘scourge’ of drug addiction
“… ‘If we take these steps together we can save the lives of countless people in all corners of the world,’ Trump said during brief remarks to representatives from 130 countries. ‘All of us must work together to dismantle drug production and defeat drug addiction.’ Trump did not discuss specific actions he wanted other countries to take…” (Fritze/Shesgreen, 9/24).

VOA News: Trump in Call to Action Against Drugs
“…Trump also thanked the member countries of the United Nations Monday morning, saying U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres ‘has become a great friend and is doing a wonderful job on a complex situation, but a beautiful situation.’ … Guterres thanked Trump for his words and his initiative to combat the global drug problem, following his remarks Monday morning…” (9/24).

Washington Post: Why some U.S. allies didn’t sign up for Trump’s pledge to fight drugs
“…[T]here are 193 states in the United Nations. So why did 63 countries, including U.S. allies and major European nations like Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands, decline to sign? The clearest answer from a head of government came from New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, who said this weekend that her country would not be signing the agreement. … ‘We have a number of challenges that are quite specific to New Zealand and the particular drugs that are present, but also on taking a health approach,’ Ardern said…” (Taylor, 9/24).

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U.N. SG, IMF Director, Bill Gates Call For New Strategies To Achieve Financing For SDGs

Devex: Guterres launches new plan for SDG financing, as private finance takes the spotlight
“U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres launched a new strategy to help finance the 2030 agenda Monday, but beyond the strategy, the speakers sharing the podium were a sign that times are changing. … The new strategy’s goal is to align global economic policies and financial systems with the SDGs, enhance sustainable financing solutions and investments, and ensure that financial innovation’s potential is used to make access to finance more equitable…” (Saldinger, 9/25).

Public Finance International: Low-income countries ‘need to spend extra $520bn’ a year to meet SDGs
“Poor countries need to collectively spend an additional $520bn a year on key public services and infrastructure if they are going to meet the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, according to International Monetary Fund analysis. Estimates issued by the lender … suggested that ‘significant new spending’ was required on health, education, water and sanitation, roads and electricity, all of which are ‘critical’ for sustainable and inclusive growth…” (Russell, 9/24).

U.N. News: ‘Surge in financing’ needed to transform the world: U.N. chief
“…[Guterres] was joined by Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), several heads of state and government, as well as senior representatives of leading companies — including the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates — and philanthropic foundations…” (9/24).

Xinhua News: U.N. chief: investments of 5-7 trillion USD needed each year to implement SDGs
“United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday that globally, investments of 5-7 trillion U.S. dollars are needed each year to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)…” (9/25).

Xinhua News: Bill Gates urges efforts to evolve financing for development
“…Gates said philanthropic organizations can advance the system by using innovative tools that allow them to invest in new technologies, lower or eliminate the risk in innovation, and ‘address market failures.’ … Gates said philanthropies can use challenge grants to tackle some of the toughest health and development problems…” (9/25).

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U.S. To Provide $185M More In Humanitarian Aid To Assist Displaced Rohingya In Myanmar, Bangladesh, Releases Report On Violence

Reuters: U.S. almost doubles aid for Rohingya in Bangladesh, Myanmar
“The United States almost doubled its aid for displaced Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh and Myanmar, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced on Monday as she pushed for U.N. investigators to brief the U.N. Security Council on the crisis…” (Brunnstrom/Nichols, 9/24).

TIME: U.S. Report on Rohingya Stops Short of Calling Myanmar’s ‘Coordinated’ Violence Genocide
“A U.S. government investigation concluded that Myanmar’s military orchestrated a ‘well-planned and coordinated’ campaign of violence against the country’s Rohingya minority, but stopped short of labeling the atrocities ‘genocide’ or ‘crimes against humanity’…” (Meixler, 9/25).

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Pledges Millions in Aid to Myanmar’s Rohingya as Calls for Action Get Louder
“The U.S. said it would contribute an additional $185 million in humanitarian aid to Myanmar and Bangladesh to help minority Rohingya Muslims displaced by a government campaign that a U.N. report said amounted to genocide. The Monday pledge came as diplomats met privately on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly to discuss ways to address the crisis and direct funds to critical emergency services like shelter, food, and health care…” (Fassihi, 9/25).

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Aid Agencies At U.N. Call For Sustained Efforts In Yemen To Prevent Famine; Saudi-Led Coalition Agrees To Open Humanitarian Corridors

Agence France-Presse: Coalition says to open humanitarian corridors from Yemen’s Hodeida
“A Saudi-led military alliance fighting in Yemen said Monday it would open humanitarian corridors between two key rebel strongholds — the Red Sea city of Hodeida and the capital Sanaa — in coordination with the U.N…” (9/24).

U.N. News: Yemen: amid major roadblocks, an ‘unprecedented’ response to an unprecedented tragedy
“Despite continuing challenges in Yemen, the United Nations and partners have provided a robust humanitarian response to the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, thanks to major donor support. However, as the situation continues to worsen for civilians across the country, aid agencies warned on Monday that international aid efforts must be sustained to avoid a major catastrophe and called for a political end to the conflict…” (9/24).

Additional coverage of Yemen’s humanitarian crisis and efforts to distribute aid is available from the Associated Press, Devex, and U.N. News.

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Charity Urges U.K. To Reverse Aid Suspension In Zambia Implemented Over Corruption Allegations

The Guardian: Calls for U.K. to overturn aid freeze to Zambia despite corruption claims
“A leading charity has called for Zambia to be given the benefit of the doubt as allegations of corruption and uncontrolled spending threaten to plunge the country into crisis. Fraud allegations that led to the suspension of the U.K.’s aid funding to Zambia and the sacking of a key minister could deepen Zambia’s precarious financial position as further details of President Edgar Lungu’s government overspending is revealed. … Three government departments — education, health, and community development — are now the subject of inquiries…” (Austin, 9/25).

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Ebola Outbreak Response Halted In Congo After Deadly Clashes; WHO Official Warns Efforts At 'Critical Juncture'

Associated Press: WHO warns of ‘perfect storm’ for Ebola in eastern Congo
“The emergencies chief for the World Health Organization says insecurity, public defiance about vaccinations, and political jockeying could create a ‘perfect storm’ leading Congo’s latest Ebola outbreak to spread. Dr. Peter Salama says the response is at a ‘critical juncture’ in eastern North Kivu province…” (9/25).

CIDRAP News: Violence suspends response in DRC Ebola hot spot as cases rise
“Deadly clashes over the weekend in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) main Ebola hot spot between rebels and armed forces suspended outbreak response activities, as six new cases were reported and more details emerged about a recent case detected near the Uganda border…” (Schnirring, 9/24).

Additional coverage of the Ebola outbreak in Congo is available from Al Jazeera, BBC News, CNN, and Reuters.

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Scientists Successfully Use Genetically Modified Mosquitoes To Suppress Unmodified, Lab-Contained Population

NPR: Mosquitoes Genetically Modified To Crash Species That Spreads Malaria
“For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that a controversial new kind of genetic engineering can rapidly spread a self-destructive genetic modification through a complex species. … After mosquitoes carrying the mutation were released into cages filled with unmodified mosquitoes in a high-security basement laboratory in London, virtually all of the insects were wiped out, according to a report in Nature Biotechnology. The mosquitoes were created in the hopes of using them as a potent new weapon in the long, frustrating fight against malaria…” (Stein, 9/24).

Additional coverage of this study is available from AFP/France 24, The Atlantic, New York Times, Reuters, United Press International, and WIRED.

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More News In Global Health

Agence France-Presse: World Food Programme tackles hunger with innovative ad (9/24).

Devex: Anne Ruston on Australia’s changing aid program (Cornish, 9/25).

Devex: Q&A: Why a healthy planet means healthy people (9/24).

NPR: The Unending Tragedy Of A 5-Year-Old Who Drowned In A Pit Latrine (Mahr, 9/24).

Reuters: Palestinian schools, health centers at risk if funding gap not plugged: UNRWA (Bayoumy, 9/24).

SciDev.Net: Rich Asia Pacific nations rank poorly on development policies (Bhandari, 9/24).

Xinhua News: Afghanistan launches polio vaccination in high-risk provinces (9/24).

Xinhua News: Fresh anti-polio drive targeting over 10 mln children begins in Pakistan (9/24).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Commission On Drug Policy Members Discuss Illicit Drug Policy Reforms In Opinion Pieces

BMJ Opinion: Why doctors should support regulated markets in illicit drugs
Michel Kazatchkine, doctor and former executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis; Pavel Bém, doctor and former mayor of Prague and drug czar of the Czech Republic; Helen Clark, former minister of health and prime minister of New Zealand and former administrator of the UNDP; and Ruth Dreifuss, former minister of health and president of Switzerland; all members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy

“…[Drug policy] reform must start by redefining drugs as primarily a health and social, rather than a criminal, matter. For several years, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has been calling for an informed and evidence-based global drug policy debate, and the commission recommends prioritizing individual and public health and safety. … [T]he control of drugs should shift from unregulated criminal markets to government, with regulation similar to that for other risky products, including alcohol, tobacco, and some legal drugs. … There is still a long road ahead before drugs, starting with the less harmful ones, are legally regulated. Implementation will have to be incremental, careful, and continuously and independently evaluated. Yet it is time to begin the journey towards new policies that will bring together in a coherent manner, responsible management of drug-related risks by governments and better individual and public health. Drug policy has huge health implications, and doctors have an essential part to play in its reform” (9/24).

Project Syndicate: West Africa’s Failed War on Drugs
Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, chair of the West Africa Commission on Drugs, and member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy

“…[M]any governments treat drug addiction as a moral failure rather than an illness. This has created an environment of fear in which governments are unwilling to import and doctors do not prescribe legitimate medications, owing to the widespread concern that some could be diverted and they could be perceived and prosecuted as drug dealers. … [I]t is clear that West Africa’s drug laws are doing more harm than good. We need a new approach, one that decriminalizes drug use and prioritizes treatment. … Earlier this month, the West Africa Commission on Drugs (WACD) … published the Model Drug Law for West Africa, an online tool designed to help regional policymakers rewrite their drug-enforcement playbooks and deliver policies to protect the health and welfare of every citizen. … Still, much work remains; the WACD’s model drug law is only a starting point. To protect our communities, leaders must muster the political will to defend the security, health, human rights, and well-being of all West Africans — including those addicted to drugs…” (9/24).

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Global Community Should Reframe NCDs As Development Issue, Invest Accordingly

Devex: Opinion: Investing in NCD prevention to finance sustainable development
Eduardo P. Banzon, principal health specialist in the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department of the Asian Development Bank

“…The lack of investments [in NCDs] in many countries … makes it crucial to reframe NCDs as a development issue rather than simply a health issue. The costs due to the increasing numbers of NCDs should be emphasized repeatedly and the adverse impact of these numbers and costs to economic growth and poverty reduction consistently highlighted. … [This effort] demands the strategic use of existing financing mechanisms from government budgetary allocations, national health insurance systems, bilateral and multilateral developmental assistance, private sector philanthropies and partnerships, and other mechanisms to finance [a] wide range of actions and innovations against NCDs — demands fully endorsed by those who were in the Innovations and Actions Against NCDs meeting convened last July and actions and innovations that we look forward to helping take seed and grow” (9/24).

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Global Accountability Framework Could Ensure Coordinated Political, Financial Investment To End TB

The BMJ: Eradicating TB
Michael J. A. Reid, assistant professor of medicine, and Eric Goosby, U.N. special envoy for tuberculosis and professor of medicine, both at the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco

“…Global accountability is … necessary to secure the political and financial investment to end TB. [Accountability for Reasonableness (AFR)] — an ethics-based approach to legitimate and fair priority setting that can be applied to health policy — provides a framework that can facilitate the political consensus and investment to end TB. … We must move beyond the narrow view that TB is the problem of the world’s poorest societies, and recognize that it is a universal health problem for an interdependent global population. A transparent, global accountability framework to ensure concerted, coordinated investment for TB is imperative if we are to end this epidemic once and for all” (9/25).

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Ending TB Requires Investments In Community Health Workers

Inter Press Service: End Tuberculosis by Empowering Community Health Workers
David Bryden, TB advocacy officer at RESULTS

“…[I]n addition to appropriate medication [to treat TB], it is ‘human support’ that makes the difference between life and death. … By fully tapping the potential of community health workers, we can identify and locate [people who have TB but have gone unreported and untreated], connect them to care, and, ultimately, reduce and prevent further TB infections and other health conditions. … For the U.N. High-Level Meeting, all member states have agreed on a Political Declaration on the Fight Against Tuberculosis, and it contains a key promise: that they ‘Commit to find the missing people with tuberculosis.’ To keep this promise, governments must lay out specific and costed plans for training, protecting, and compensating the frontline health care workers who do the hard work of going out into the community, even going door-to-door, to find people in need and give them hope…” (9/24).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Health Community Publishes Posts, Resources Ahead Of U.N. High-Level Meeting On TB

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: TB High-Level Meeting: Leaders call for commitments, cash and innovation to end global impacts of tuberculosis (Aziz, 9/24).

Médecins Sans Frontières: Global Leaders Must Make Tangible Commitments at U.N. High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis (9/24).

Avert: Fighting tuberculosis — the disease that doesn’t go away (9/21).

UNICEF: New roadmap to prevent and treat tuberculosis in children and adolescents (9/24).

Treatment Action Group: Funding for TB Research: Recent Momentum Must Inspire Bold Commitments (9/24).

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Take as Directed”: Heads of State Meet for Historic UNGA High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis (9/21).

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Post Discusses Guttmacher-Lancet Commission On Sexual, Reproductive Health, Rights, Implications For U.S. Policy

Guttmacher Policy Review: A Time to Lead: A Roadmap for Progress on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Worldwide
Jesseca Boyer, senior policy manager at Guttmacher, discusses the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights report released in May 2018, highlighting how the report could be used as a roadmap for U.S. policy on sexual and reproductive health and rights (9/24).

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IntraHealth Supporting Initiative Helping West African Cities Implement FP/RH Activities

IntraHealth International: In Six Francophone West African Cities, Mayors Are Serious about Investing in Family Planning
This post highlights IntraHealth’s work implementing The Challenge Initiative (TCI), which “offers technical expertise through innovation hubs as well as financial support to help cities achieve their health and economic goals through better family planning and reproductive health. IntraHealth has served as the accelerator hub in West Africa and worked with cities in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal to help them launch family planning and reproductive health activities that include commitments of cities’ own resources” (9/24).

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Friends Of The Global Fight Interviews Global Fund's Scott Filler On Malaria Efforts, Opportunities

Friends of the Global Fight: A Malaria Q&A with the Global Fund’s Dr. Scott Filler
“This is the first in a series of interviews with the senior disease coordinators at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In this Q&A, Friends spoke with Dr. Scott Filler, the senior disease coordinator specializing in malaria, about the opportunities to fight malaria covered in our report, ‘At the Tipping Point: U.S. Leadership to End AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’…” (9/24).

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Convergence Releases State Of Blended Finance 2018 Report

Convergence: The State of Blended Finance 2018
“…Blended finance — the strategic use of catalytic capital from public and philanthropic sources to mobilize additional private sector investment — is one important approach to financing the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)]. … This report uses Convergence data and insights to provide an updated analysis of the blended finance market, including impact, blending approaches, sectors, and regions. The [report] also highlights the top investors in the space, provides an overview of key events in blended finance, and reflects on progress that has been made on previous action items and issue areas outlined in the inaugural State of Blended Finance published in 2017…” (9/26).

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Brookings, Publish What You Fund Experts Discuss Use Of Private Finance In Meeting SDGs

Brookings Institution’s “Up Front”: Tracking private finance to meet the Sustainable Development Goals
George Ingram, senior fellow for Global Economy and Development at Brookings, and Sally Paxton, U.S. representative at Publish What You Fund, discuss various methods of tracking private resources mobilized by public funding to help meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and highlight the importance of timely, transparent, and project-level data (9/24).

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From the U.S. Government

State Department Blog Highlights U.N. Meeting On Global Call To Action On World Drug Problem

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: A Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem
This blog post highlights Twitter posts related to a meeting on the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem held Monday during the 73rd session of the United Nations’ General Assembly and chaired by U.S. President Donald Trump (9/24).

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