KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- Media Outlets Discuss Trump's Approach To, Review Of Foreign Aid, U.N. Speech On Topic
Devex: In Trump’s U.S. aid review, can development principles prevail?
“In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, United States President Donald Trump alluded to an effort his administration is pursuing that has raised concerns within the U.S. global development community. … ‘We are taking a hard look at U.S. foreign assistance,’ Trump said. ‘That will be headed up by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We will examine what is working, what is not working, and whether the countries who receive our dollars and our protection also have our interests at heart. Moving forward, we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and, frankly, are our friends,’ Trump said. Members of the U.S. development community have been struggling to track down details about the Trump administration’s foreign assistance review for weeks. Some of them had previously worried the president might highlight the review at the U.N. before development professionals had any chance to weigh in…” (Igoe, 9/26).
Washington Post: Trump keeps threatening to end foreign aid for disloyal countries. Here’s why it hasn’t happened.
“…For several weeks, a senior official at the National Security Council, Kevin Harrington, has led a review of U.S. foreign aid policy aimed at putting into practice Trump’s ‘America First’ mantra and adjusting foreign aid priorities in the budget for fiscal 2020. In the process, he has faced stiff resistance from officials at the Pentagon, the State Department, and the U.S. Agency for International Development who have said his proposals were counterproductive and contradictory, and could cede influence to China, according to senior U.S. administration officials familiar with the meetings. … The president is expected to bring up complaints about foreign aid with world leaders this week, a senior White House official said. Historically, U.S. aid has never been totally divorced from political considerations, but tying it directly to loyalty remains controversial even among conservative scholars. … For aid groups, the question of how to categorize which countries are loyal and which aren’t is mystifying…” (Hudson/Dawsey, 9/25).
- U.S. VP Pence Announces $48M In Additional Aid For Venezuelan Refugee Response
Devex: U.S. pledges additional $48M for Venezuela crisis
“United States Vice President Mike Pence announced an additional $48 million in U.S. funding for the regional response to Venezuelan refugees and migrants on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York…” (Welsh, 9/26).
- TB In Spotlight At U.N. High-Level Meeting; Some Experts Express Concern Over Accountability For Promises
Devex: TB gets rare moment of attention at U.N. meeting
“…TB will have a rare moment in the global political spotlight on Wednesday, during the first high-level meeting at the United Nations focused on preventing and treating the infectious disease. The public recognition — however brief — of TB’s harm and challenges has been a long time coming, public health experts say…” (Lieberman, 9/26).
Devex: Stop TB executive worries over ‘accountability’ as high-level meeting draws near
“…[O]ne key issue hangs over the TB community: How can leaders be held accountable to their promises? Much of the summit’s outcomes were already decided in advance. The draft political declaration — which contains some specific actions that governments have agreed on to reduce the global burden of TB and end its spread by 2030 — was finalized a week ago. … When the declaration is adopted on Wednesday — campaigners say it is unlikely it will be renegotiated — the critical next step is ensuring stakeholders have access to an open and solid platform through which they can check progress on the targets — what has been achieved or not, and why…” (Ravelo, 9/26).
- Clinical Trials Test Treatments For Drug-Resistant TB, Vaccine To Prevent Disease
Devex: Georgia trials could revolutionize treatment of drug-resistant TB
“As world leaders gear up for a landmark United Nations meeting on tuberculosis this week, two pivotal trials in the small Eurasian country of Georgia are promising to break new ground in the fight against multidrug-resistant TB…” (Edwards, 9/26).
Reuters: GSK vaccine success a milestone in TB, but room for improvement
“An experimental GlaxoSmithKline vaccine could prevent tuberculosis developing in half of those who receive it, making it potentially the first new shot against the global killer in a century, researchers said on Tuesday…” (Hirschler, 9/25).
Science News: A new vaccine raises hopes of someday curbing the tuberculosis epidemic
“…The results were reported online September 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine, a day before the United Nations General Assembly’s first high-level meeting on ending tuberculosis…” (Cunningham, 9/25).
- Global Community Must Make More Effort To Reach SDGs, ODI/IRC Report Says
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Red flags raised as global pact to improve the world hits third year
“Many countries will fail to end hunger, educate all children, or offer better lives to stem migration by 2030 without major world efforts to achieve a set of global goals that marked their third anniversary on Tuesday, experts said. A report by aid group the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and U.K. think tank Overseas Development Institute (ODI) said 82 percent of fragile and conflict-affected nations were off track for the goals agreed at a star-studded event in 2015…” (Goldsmith, 9/25).
Washington Post: Leaders pledged to greatly reduce poverty by 2030. In some places, deprivation may only get worse.
“…The report said that at this point, on average, only 35 percent of low- and middle-income countries are on track to achieve certain goals on time. Fragile states are falling even further behind, with only 18 percent on track. And those most at risk of further suffering are displaced people, who are already the most vulnerable. Many of them may have fled their homes only to end up in another state facing conflict. … By 2030, deprivation in some places could get much worse, the report predicted…” (O’Grady, 9/25).
- World Economic Forum Meeting During Global Goals Week Addresses Strategies To Reach SDGs
Devex: WEF summit highlights 3 ways to accelerate SDG progress
“The World Economic Forum’s annual event during Global Goals week tackled a host of big issues, but the key area of focus was how to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals, with three strategies emerging from the discussions: Coalition building, systems thinking, and leveraging emerging technologies…” (Cheney, 9/26).
Devex: This startup points to ways blockchain can help address the SDGs
“…Everledger was one of four organizations the World Economic Forum included in a session around blockchain solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals at the Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York…” (Cheney, 9/25).
- Gates Foundation's Melinda Gates, Sue Desmond-Hellmann Discuss Goalkeepers Report In Interview, Podcast
CNBC: Melinda Gates on global health and eliminating poverty
“Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair and co-founder Melinda Gates sits down with CNBC’s Becky Quick to discuss how her foundation is aiming to improve global health and eliminate poverty…” (9/25).
Scientific American: More People But Less Hardship?
“Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann talks about the just-issued Goalkeepers Report, tracking progress against poverty and disease even as the population keeps rising…” (Mirsky, 9/25).
- Ebola Containment Efforts In DRC Can Begin Again Following Violence; WHO Warns Response Faces Serious Challenges
Associated Press: Congo says Ebola efforts can resume after deadly attack
“Congo’s health ministry says efforts to contain the latest Ebola outbreak can resume Wednesday in a key community where a deadly rebel attack over the weekend caused work to be suspended…” (9/26).
CIDRAP News: Ebola response faces ‘grave obstacles’ as count hits 150
“…As of [September 24], the ministry of health in the DRC reported 150 confirmed and suspected cases of the hemorrhagic fever, with nine cases under investigation. The death toll stands at 100, and there is a new case in Tchomia, the small town near Lake Albert and the Ugandan border…” (Soucheray, 9/25).
Washington Post: Violence in Congo imperils efforts to combat Ebola outbreak
“An Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo has moved into its most worrying stage yet, with the World Health Organization’s head of emergency response warning of a ‘perfect storm’ of factors preventing its containment…” (Bearak, 9/25).
- More News In Global Health
Associated Press: Pakistan official: Gunmen kill policeman guarding polio team (9/25).
CNN: Amnesty International condemns Tanzania’s ‘attack’ on family planning (Adebayo/Odutayo, 9/25).
CNN: Gene editing could eliminate mosquitoes, but is it a good idea? (Nedelman, 9/25).
Daily Monitor: Nodding Syndrome: Experts make major breakthrough (Bagala, 9/25).
Devex: What Europeans think about development (Chadwick, 9/26).
New York Times: Greece’s Biggest Migrant Camp Is a Mental Health Crisis, Aid Groups Say (Kitsantonis et al., 9/25).
NPR: Suicide By Women Is A Major Public Health Concern In India (Thiagarajan, 9/25).
Reuters: Sudan reports outbreak of mosquito-borne Chikungunya disease in eastern state (Abdelaziz, 9/25).
U.N. News: South Sudan: amid security challenges, aid workers delivering ‘against the odds’ (9/25).
VOA News: International Organizations Join Tech Powerhouses to Fight Famine (9/23).
Editorials and Opinions
- Opinion Pieces Discuss First-Ever U.N. High-Level Meeting On TB, Need For Political, Financial Commitments
Thomson Reuters Foundation: It’s time to confront TB head on
Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
“…The U.N. High-Level Meeting on TB, which will bring together dozens of heads of state and government, has the potential to be a historic milestone in the fight against the disease. Most urgently, we need political leaders to commit to reaching the people we are missing, closing the gap between the numbers falling and the numbers being diagnosed and treated. And we need to hold them accountable for making this happen, tracking progress against targets across every country. Closing this gap and accelerating research and development will take money … In the Sustainable Development Agenda, world leaders committed themselves to ending TB by 2030. We are not on track to meeting this goal. But if we grab the opportunity of the U.N. High-Level Meeting for TB to galvanize political commitment and mobilize financial resources we can achieve a decisive change in trajectory…” (9/25).
The Hill: The time is now for global commitment to address leading infectious disease killer — tuberculosis
Rebecca Martin, director of the CDC Center for Global Health
“…CDC is committed to continuing the fight against TB in all its forms in the United States and around the world. As a global community, we find ourselves at an important moment in the global fight against this curable and preventable infectious disease. The time is now for us to come together, be accountable, spur innovation, and invest in cutting-edge science and programs to defeat TB here in the United States and around the world. Millions of lives are at stake” (9/25).
Foreign Policy: You Can’t Treat Tuberculosis With Platitudes
Laurie Garrett, former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations
“…The TB community is hoping that the U.N.’s attention will do for tuberculosis what the 2001 special session did for HIV/AIDS. Sadly, it will not. … [O]rganizing worldwide efforts to save millions of lives requires a chain of command that features genuine cooperation among the U.N., large multilaterals such as the Global Fund, and thousands of dedicated NGOs that are fighting diseases on the front lines. But developing such a system does not appear to be a priority of the U.N. The great success in fighting HIV, pushed by the U.N., appears to be an exception to the rule” (9/25).
- U.N. Should Protect Intellectual Property Rights To Spur Innovation
Washington Examiner: The U.N. can boost global health by simply protecting IP rights
Philip Thompson, policy analyst for intellectual property and international trade with the Property Rights Alliance
“…Member states writing [the U.N. Political Declaration to End Tuberculosis] refused to accept U.S. language affirming intellectual property rights as an important incentive to develop new health innovations. Instead, the latest draft refers to a nonbinding World Trade Organization declaration that says ‘intellectual property rights should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of the right of Member States to protect public health.’ … There is no debate. Intellectual property rights are an incentive to innovate, by definition. Patents are a temporary monopoly granted and protected by governments so that innovators, like U.S. pharmaceutical companies, … will invest time and money knowing they will be able to own the fruits of their labor. And it works. … The solution to the health crisis has never been to undermine incentives to innovate. Decreasing health costs and future medical breakthroughs will always rely on intellectual property rights to fuel the fire of invention. If WHO wants an enthusiastic global partner, it should affirm what is already obvious: IP rights are an incentive to innovate” (9/25).
- Governments Should Recognize Women's Right To Sexual, Reproductive Health, Ensure Access To Safe Abortion Services
Project Syndicate: Normalizing Abortion
Françoise Girard, president of the International Women’s Health Coalition
“…Abortion is a safe procedure that becomes hazardous wherever it is legally restricted. … [C]ontrary to popular opinion, criminalization does not reduce the number of abortions; it only makes having one more dangerous. … [R]ights activists around the world are demanding changes to national abortion laws, and since 2000, more than 30 countries have liberalized their approach. … It is time for governments to listen to the millions of women who are demanding reproductive justice and bodily autonomy. Laws must recognize and guarantee a woman’s right to sexual and reproductive care. Services must be made financially and medically accessible. And women everywhere — regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation — must have access to safe abortion services…” (9/25).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- Global Health Community Releases Reports, Resources, Blog Posts On TB Ahead Of U.N. HLM On TB
Center for Global Development: As U.N. General Assembly Highlights Tuberculosis Fight, Will BRICS Lead on the R&D Agenda?
Rachel Silverman, senior policy analyst and assistant director of Global Health Policy at CGD; Kalipso Chalkidou, senior fellow and director of Global Health Policy at CGD; and Adrian Towse, director of the Office of Health Economics in the U.K., discuss the burden of TB in BRICS countries and highlight the role that BRICS countries play in TB R&D efforts (9/25).
Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law: High-Level Meeting on Ending TB
“As heads of state meet at the U.N. for the first-ever High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis, the O’Neill Institute is releasing two reports, as part of its partnership with Stop TB, focused on identifying practical opportunities for global health, human rights, and TB experts and advocates to collectively address pressing issues of law and human rights in the context of TB…” (September 2018).
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Faces of the Fight
In this post, the Global Fund profiles several people around the world who have been affected by TB (9/25).
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: State of the Fight 2018: Tuberculosis
This report discusses the current state of global tuberculosis progress and efforts, highlighting the Global Fund’s response to the disease (September 2018).
IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: TB High-Level Meeting: Human rights violations drive TB epidemic, leaders say Rabita Aziz, senior global health policy specialist at IDSA, highlights discussion from an Open Society Foundations side event at the U.N., during which participants discussed the links between human rights and the global TB epidemic (9/25).
PLOS Blogs’ “Speaking of Medicine”: Mobilizing the Research Community for TB — The Time Is Now
“Els Torreele, the executive director of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s Access Campaign, suggests ways world leaders can use this week’s first-ever U.N. High-Level Meeting on tuberculosis on September 26 to discuss how improved research and development can be used to address the tuberculosis crisis…” (9/25).
- ONE Co-Founder Poses 3 Questions On SDGs During UNGA
ONE: Dear Development Bubble: A Decade of Delivery, or Disaster?
In light of this week’s U.N. General Assembly (UNGA), Jamie Drummond, co-founder of ONE, poses three questions for the development community: “1. Have the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] burst out of the development/UNGA bubble? … 2. Who (and where) are the SDG’s core clients? … 3. Where are the new and renewed partnerships coming from?” (9/25).
- UNDP Launches SDG Impact Initiative To Help Channel Private Investment To Meet SDGs
UNDP: UNDP launches ‘SDG Impact’ to help unlock investment in Global Goals
“A new initiative led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aims to help channel private investment and capital to meet the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Called SDG Impact, the initiative, launched [Tuesday] at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, will work with the private sector on how best to invest in enterprises and markets in ways that help achieve the SDGs, an ambitious blueprint for a world without poverty or inequality…” (9/25).
- Senior Medical Fellow At American Council On Science And Health Discusses Lancet Report On NCDs
American Council on Science and Health: The Lancet Holds The World Health Organization Accountable For Their Pie Crust Promise
Chuck Dinerstein, senior medical fellow at the American Council on Science and Health, discusses challenges to progress on global non-communicable diseases (NCDs), highlighting The Lancet’s recent NCD Countdown 2030 report on trends in NCD mortality and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) NCD target. Dinerstein writes, “I applaud The Lancet for trying to hold governments responsible for their promises. But what do they offer besides ‘naming and shaming’? … I am afraid that Lancet can do little other than shedding light on broken and unfulfilled promises. Moreover, I doubt that shame or blame has an impact at the governmental level” (9/25).
- IntraHealth Blog Post Highlights 5 Levels Of Advocacy Working To Expand Access To Family Planning Services
IntraHealth International’s “VITAL”: These 5 Levels of Advocacy Are Moving the Needle on Contraceptive Use
In this post, IntraHealth’s editorial team discusses the role advocacy plays in expanding global access to family planning, highlighting advocacy from five different levels: young people, the community, local government, regional consortia, and funders and global partnerships (9/25).
- KFF Updates Fact Sheet On U.S. Government, Global TB Efforts
Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. Government and Global Tuberculosis Efforts
Updated ahead of the U.N. High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis (TB), this fact sheet explains the U.S. government’s role in addressing global TB, including the history of U.S. involvement and funding trends (9/25).