KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Washington Post Article Provides Visualizations Of U.S. Foreign Aid Budget

Washington Post: The U.S. foreign aid budget, visualized
“…If we take [U.S. foreign aid] out of the budget pie and dissect it, we get two broad categories: economic assistance, which we commonly refer to as humanitarian aid, and military assistance … U.S. foreign aid serves many stated purposes, but, generally speaking, the money is intended to ensure American strategic interests abroad and bolster international institutions that respond to humanitarian crises, climate change, infectious diseases, and a plethora of other development concerns…” (Bearak/Gamio, 9/26).

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WHO Announces 6 Candidates For Director General; Experts Discuss Wishes For Leadership With Reuters

The Guardian: Who’s WHO? Six candidates named for next World Health Organization chief
“Six candidates from Africa, Asia, and Europe — including one Briton — have been nominated for the position of director general of the World Health Organization, at a time when experts have emphasized the need for the agency to prove it can be ‘transparent and accountable’ to the public…” (Hodal, 9/23).

Reuters: Six in the running to be next World Health Organization leader
“…Nominations for the position, announced on Friday, include Britain’s David Nabarro — who was the United Nations’ special envoy for Ebola during the crisis in 2014/15 — and Ethiopia’s foreign minister and former health minister, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Also nominated are Sania Nishtar, a former minister in Pakistan’s government; the French former health minister Philippe Douste-Blazy; Italy’s Flavia Bustreo — currently an assistant director general at the WHO; and a former health minister of Hungary, Miklós Szócska…” (Kelland, 9/23).

Reuters: Special Report — Wanted: a fighter for global health to lead the WHO
“…Reuters has spoken to eight … specialists … Much will depend on the WHO’s next leader. Richard Horton, editor of the influential medical journal The Lancet, said: ‘The WHO needs a director general who can speak truth to power.’ He said he is ‘very optimistic’ about what could be done at the WHO by the right sort of personality at the top. ‘If you have the right person, it’s a fantastic opportunity,’ he said. ‘If you have the wrong person, then it’s paralysis and failure’…” (Kelland, 9/23).

STAT: World Health Organization names six candidates running for director general
“…An African has never led the WHO, and there has long been talk that it is Africa’s turn. In the run-up to the nomination period, a number of potential candidates from that continent had been discussed. But in the end, only Tedros came forward and in late January, the African Union announced that it, as a bloc, is supporting Tedros. But whether that makes him a front-runner is impossible to say. As the rules of the race are currently written, countries will vote in a secret ballot next May — a process critics are hoping can be changed…” (Branswell, 9/23).

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Obstetricians In Puerto Rico, U.S. Unsure What To Expect Among Newborns Exposed To Zika

New York Times: Doctors Brace for Zika Babies
“This month, the first group of babies in Puerto Rico known to have been exposed to the Zika virus in their first trimester are being born. Pediatricians do not know what to expect. ‘This is not like any other outbreak or epidemic,’ said Dr. Fernando Ysern, a pediatrician in Caguas, Puerto Rico, who is the president of the Puerto Rico chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics…” (Klass, 9/26).

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G77, China Important Drivers Of Helping World Reach SDGs, U.N. SG Ban Says

Xinhua News: U.N. chief sees G77 as crucial force to carry out global development goals
“U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday said that the Group of 77 (G77) and China are an important force in carrying out the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a blueprint for global development efforts for year leading up to 2030. The statement came as the secretary general was speaking at the 40th annual meeting of the foreign ministers of the Group of 77, which was held at the U.N. Headquarters in New York on the sidelines of the annual high-level debate of the U.N. General Assembly…” (9/24).

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UNGA Side Event Examines Methods For Delivering Health Services To Refugees, Migrants, Calls For Updated Strategies

Global Health NOW: The Long View: Refugee and Migrant Health
“Traditional strategies for delivering health services to refugees and migrants will not meet the needs of today’s 65 million displaced people, according to refugee, development, and global health experts who met Thursday at a U.N. General Assembly side event…” (Simpson, 9/22).

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Without Support From International Community, Least Developed Countries Will Miss 2021 Development Targets, U.N. Deputy SG Says

U.N. News Centre: Least developed countries will miss 2021 targets without world support — deputy U.N. chief
“Unless progress speeds up considerably with full support from the international community, the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) will miss the growth and productivity targets they have set themselves by the target date of 2021, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson warned [Saturday]. ‘Structural constraints, natural disasters, pandemics, conflict and post-conflict situations, and climate change are continuing to undermine progress,’ he told leaders from the 48 LDCs…” (9/24).

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Haiti President Urges U.N. General Assembly To Back Secretary General's Appeal For Additional Efforts To Stem Cholera Outbreak

U.N. News Centre: Haiti awaits full implementation of U.N. pledges on cholera outbreak, president tells assembly
“Warning of a ‘significant humanitarian deterioration’ following fresh outbreaks of cholera in his country, Haitian President Jocelerme Privert took to the podium of the United Nations General Assembly [Friday] to call for swift implementation of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s urgent appeal for redoubled efforts to fight the scourge and aid its victims…” (9/23)

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Nigeria President Appeals For International Humanitarian Aid In Crisis Spurred By Boko Haram

Agence France-Presse: Nigeria’s Buhari appeals to world for aid
“Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari appealed Friday for the international community to help relieve the growing humanitarian disaster triggered by the Boko Haram insurgency in a plea for aid at the U.N. General Assembly. Warnings about food shortages caused by the conflict in the country’s northeast and the broader Lake Chad region have intensified in recent months, with humanitarian organizations cautioning of a looming famine…” (9/23).

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Kenya To Make World's First Pediatric TB Drug Available At National Level

Devex: Kenya will roll out the first child-friendly TB drug
“Kenya will become the first country to adopt and roll out at the national level the world’s first tuberculosis treatment for children next week. … The drug’s adoption in Kenya aims to correct a gap in TB treatment that frequently led to incorrect dosages and fueled drug-resistant strains of the disease. … The program comes through a partnership between WHO, Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, and UNITAID to develop and bring the drug through clinical trials, and will be implemented by the Kenyan government, local and international partners, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria…” (Anders, 9/26).

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Uganda's 'Young Positive' Pageants Aim To Reduce Stigma, Discrimination Of People Living With HIV

Associated Press: AIDS pageant in Uganda seeks to stem stigma, discrimination
“…[Tryphena] Natukunda was crowned Miss Young Positive during a boisterous affair at a Kampala hotel early Sunday, besting nine other contestants in an annual competition organized to enlighten people about the dangers of discriminating against people with AIDS. A similar competition is held for young men…” (Muhumuza, 9/25).

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Editorials and Opinions

Investing In Women, Girls Key To Ending AIDS, TB, Malaria

Huffington Post: Women and Girls are Key to Ending the AIDS, TB, and Malaria Epidemics
Kate Dodson, vice president for global health at the United Nations Foundation

“…Not only does the Global Fund dedicate more than half its resources to programs that benefit women and girls, it also focuses on tackling the underlying causes of discrimination and inequality that make them especially vulnerable to these diseases. … The new resources committed to the Global Fund will be essential to building on these efforts and further improving the health and livelihoods of women and girls. … We need to continue to support countries’ efforts to integrate Global Fund programming with global efforts to improve the lives of women and girls — including the new global strategy of the U.N.’s Every Woman Every Child initiative. We also need to work across sectors to ensure we have the greatest possible impact. Collaboration among civil society, governments, affected communities, development partners, and industry will be key for translating commitments into health programs that save lives. And if we’re successful, we will make a significant difference in the health and lives of women and children everywhere, and ultimately end AIDS, TB, and malaria for good” (9/23).

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WHO's Protocol To Eliminate Illicit Trade In Tobacco Products Faces Implementation Challenges

Forbes: The Rise Of Illicit Tobacco
Roger Bate, scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

“…As a result [of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC),] overall smoking has probably declined, but illicit cigarettes have flourished. … It was inevitable and perhaps necessary that WHO would react to the rise of illicit tobacco. It has established the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (ITP) under the FCTC in 2012. While in principle sound, the ITP faces numerous challenges in implementation. The primary objective of the ITP is to control the supply chain of tobacco products. … Yet WHO has no expertise in trade policy or overcoming economic objections to health priorities. WHO also has zero experience in combating organized crime. And you can bet that crime organizations and the governments that protect them … will undermine coordination. … [T]he illicit tobacco market is flourishing. Without assistance from international security experts and tobacco producers, and no funds to offer signatories in technical assistance, the WHO’s Illicit Trade Protocol has only a slim chance of being implemented in emerging markets, even if nations ratify it” (9/23).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

6 Pathogens Likely Responsible For 78% Of Childhood Diarrhea Cases, Study Shows

Humanosphere: Only 6 pathogens guilty for most childhood diarrhea, new study reveals
Humanosphere writer and editor Joanne Lu discusses findings from “a new study that suggests vaccines and antibiotics just need to target six pathogens to tackle 78 percent of cases of childhood diarrhea, the second leading cause of death in children under five. … ‘These results imply that prioritizing vaccine development for these six pathogens could lead to a substantial decrease in diarrhea burden among children younger than five years over the next few decades, as has been seen for rotavirus,’ wrote Karen Keddy, Anthony Smith, and Nicola Page of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa in an accompanying comment…” (9/23).

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