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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Excessive Air Pollution Affects 92% Of World Population, Contributes To Non-Communicable Diseases, WHO Report Shows

Agence France-Presse: Over 90% of world breathing bad air: WHO
“Nine out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, calling for dramatic action against pollution that is blamed for more than six million deaths a year…” (9/27).

Associated Press: WHO: Excessive air pollution affects 92 percent of people
“More than nine out of 10 people worldwide live in areas with excessive air pollution, contributing to strokes, heart disease, lung cancer, and other problems, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. The U.N. health agency said in a new report that 92 percent of people live in areas where air quality exceeds WHO limits, with Southeast Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Pacific regions hardest hit…” (9/27).

TIME: Unsafe Air Pollution Levels Affect 9 in 10 People Globally, Report Says
“… ‘Air pollution continues take a toll on the health of the most vulnerable populations — women, children, and the older adults,’ said Flavia Bustreo, WHO assistant director general, in a statement. ‘For people to be healthy, they must breathe clean air from their first breath to their last’…” (Worland, 9/27).

VOA News: WHO: 9 in 10 People Breathe Bad Air
“…The data came from around 3,000 sites across the world and measured the amount of small, dangerous particulate matter in the air…” (9/27).

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Philippines Reports First Case Of Zika In Pregnant Woman; Thailand Investigates 4 Cases Of Alleged Zika-Related Microcephaly

Agence France-Presse: Philippines reports first Zika pregnancy case
“The Philippines on Monday reported its first known case of a pregnant woman infected with the Zika virus that threatens unborn babies, as authorities warned people to avoid mosquitoes. Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said 12 cases of Zika had been detected across the Philippines this month, including a 22-year-old woman from the central island of Cebu who is 19 weeks pregnant with her first child…” (9/26).

Reuters: Thailand investigates four cases of suspected Zika-linked microcephaly
“Thailand is investigating four suspected cases of Zika-related microcephaly in three babies and a 36-week old unborn baby, the public health minister said on Tuesday, in what could be the first cases of Zika-linked microcephaly in Southeast Asia…” (Lefevre et al., 9/27).

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Only 30 Doctors Remain In Eastern Aleppo, Lack Medical, Surgical Supplies To Treat Wounded

Reuters: Just 30 doctors struggle to treat wounded in eastern Aleppo
“Only 30 doctors remain in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, where they are in dire need of medical and surgical supplies to treat hundreds of wounded people among a trapped population of 300,000, Syrian doctors said on Monday. At least 40 wounded people in the eight still-functioning hospitals — some of them makeshift centers hidden underground for fear of air strikes and shelling — require medical evacuation, they said…” (Nebehay, 9/26).

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Non-Profit Organization Working With Myanmar Government To Draft Law Preventing Violence Against Women, Criminalizing Marital Rape

The Guardian: ‘My father punched me and tore at my clothes’: confronting rape in Myanmar
“…In 2014, the Gender Equality Network, an umbrella organization for more than 100 Burmese NGOs and civil society groups including Legal Clinic Myanmar, found that almost half of women surveyed had experienced either non-partner rape, sexual assault, or sexual harassment. Many more had experienced marital rape, which is not against the law in Myanmar. … Gender Equality Network has been working with the social welfare ministry to draft a new law aimed at preventing violence against women and criminalizing marital rape. The bill, which will also seek to set a standard minimum sentence for rapists, is now being debated by MPs. Supporters expect the bill to pass, but fear it may be watered down during discussions…” (Carroll, 9/26).

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Kenya To Become First Of 18 Countries To Roll Out New Child-Friendly TB Medicines

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Child TB deaths set to fall as Kenya launches new drugs
“More children are likely to survive tuberculosis, the leading infectious disease killer, after Kenya introduces child-friendly medicines on Oct. 1 — the first country in the world to do so. Some 155,000 children with TB are set to benefit across 18 countries that have already ordered the new medicines and are preparing to roll them out, starting with Kenya, according to the TB Alliance campaign group that oversaw their development…” (Migiro, 9/26).

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Beyond Producing Food, Agriculture Can Address Climate Change, Antimicrobial Resistance, FAO Director Says

U.N. News Centre: U.N. highlights agriculture’s potential to help address climate change and antimicrobial resistance
“The role of agriculture should go beyond just generating food to help address global challenges such as climate change and antimicrobial resistance, the head of United Nations agriculture agency stressed [Monday]. ‘Agriculture is at the very heart’ of a recent series of groundbreaking international agreements, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change, … Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) José Graziano da Silva told ministers, and representatives of government, private sector, and civil society attending the biannual meeting of the agency’s Committee on Agriculture, according to a FAO news release…” (9/26).

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UNESCO Releases New Comprehensive Sexuality Education Video For Young People

U.N. News Centre: UNESCO unveils video on comprehensive sexuality education for young people
“The United Nations cultural agency [Monday] released a new video that outlines how comprehensive sexuality education helps young people develop the knowledge and skills to make conscious, healthy, and responsible choices about relationships and sexuality. The Being a Young Person video, released by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), outlines the vital role that comprehensive sexuality education plays in ensuring the sexual and reproductive health of all young people…” (9/26).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Leaders, International Community Should Prioritize Funding To Ensure Women, Girls Have Access To Contraceptives

Huffington Post: World Contraception Day: Saving and transforming women’s lives
Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

“…Family planning is one of the best investments countries can make for women’s empowerment, gender equality, and economic prosperity. … But far too many women and couples still lack access to modern contraception. Today, as we mark World Contraception Day, some 225 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe and effective family planning methods. Moreover, a global funding crisis is threatening family planning programs … Together, let us recommit ourselves to ensuring that every woman and adolescent girl has the means and information to delay pregnancy until she is ready. Today, I call on global leaders and the international community to prioritize funding for contraceptives and the systems that deliver them. Let us ensure that every pregnancy is by choice, not chance” (9/27).

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Opinion Piece Highlights 4 Ways To Improve Family Planning Programs

Devex: 4 ways to strengthen family planning programs
Erica Belanger, advocacy adviser at the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and Angela Mutunga, East Africa regional program adviser for Advance Family Planning

“…[T]he success of family planning programs can only be achieved if the necessary supplies are accessible, available, and affordable to meet the growing demand for contraceptives. Here are four ways to improve in family planning programs. 1. Increase funding for contraceptives … 2. Strengthen fragile health systems … 3. Take action to tackle blocks … 4. Manage funding for better innovation … While access to contraception is often taken for granted in the developed world, millions of women in the developing world still have an unmet need. We must ensure access to all women, men, and young people — regardless of their geography — and ensure that all have the right to access the same benefits” (9/26).

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Collective Effort Critical To Ending Malnutrition, Achieving SDGs

Huffington Post: People, Productivity, and Potential: Nutrition as a cornerstone of the SDGs
Gerda Verburg, assistant secretary general at the U.N. and coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement

“…The evidence is clear — when people are held back by malnutrition, nations as a whole are held back as well. To achieve the global goals, we cannot continue to be held back by malnutrition — in any form. This is why countries are stepping up. Since its start [countries] have committed to the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement by prioritizing policies, investment, and multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder action that improve nutrition and drive development. Thousands of organizations across civil society, private foundations, governments, business, and academia have aligned behind these countries to advance national plans. … The adoption of the SDGs reaffirms the importance of this collective approach at the heart of the SUN Movement’s new 2016-2020 strategy and roadmap. … The new strategy builds on the immense energy behind this collective effort to push for nutrition results and reiterates the fact that we are all in this together…” (9/27).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Most Americans Believe Extreme Poverty Remained Same, Worsened Over Past 20 Years, Survey Shows

Humanosphere: Poverty rates are plummeting, unless you ask an American — they think they’re way up
Humanosphere reporter Tom Murphy writes, “More than 90 percent of Americans think that the number of people living in extreme poverty remained the same or got worse in the past 20 years. Just about everywhere, the survey found very few people who knew that the number of people living in extreme poverty was halved in the past 20 years. Motivaction International, a Dutch company, surveyed more than 26,000 people from 24 countries and found a massive knowledge gap. … Most people are pessimistic that extreme poverty will end by 2030 (rightly so) and do not know about the Sustainable Development Goals. Ninety-two percent said they have little to no knowledge about the SDGs. … The findings echo the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual report that examines U.S. views on foreign aid and global health. About five percent of people in the U.S. correctly know that less than one percent of the federal budget is spent on foreign aid. The average person thinks about 25 percent of the budget goes overseas…” (9/26).

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Objective, Quantifiable Data Necessary To Improve Global Health Security Worldwide

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Getting Serious on Global Health Security
Amanda Glassman, vice president for programs, director of global health policy, and senior fellow at CGD, discusses the importance of collecting and reporting better data to improve global health security. Glassman writes, “If we are serious about preventing the spread of emerging infectious diseases and avoiding continued ‘surprises’ like Ebola and Zika, generating hard data on system performance — not just a rough qualitative approximation — is key to making this global effort successful.” She writes about the Joint External Evaluation process under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), “the need to create clearer financial and reputation incentives for measurable progress on the implementation of the GHSA,” and the GHSA’s future under the next U.S. administration (9/26).

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U.S., Private Sector Play Key Roles In Global Fund's 5th Replenishment

Friends of the Global Fight Blog: Private Sector Steps Up Leadership For Successful Global Fund Replenishment
True Claycombe, policy manager at Friends of the Global Fight, discusses the impact of the U.S.’s and private sector’s pledges to the Global Fund’s fifth replenishment cycle, noting the U.S. pledge “makes up nearly one-third of the total $12.9 billion pledged collectively by countries and the private sector over the next three years,” and the “private sector (including innovative financing mechanisms) doubled its pledge for the Global Fund’s fifth replenishment.” Claycombe also discusses the U.S. private sector’s contributions toward “innovation in technology, medicine, and health service delivery” (9/26).

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CGD Blog Post Examines 3 Steps For International Community To Make AMR Action 'Meaningful'

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: AMR Gets the UNGA Spotlight; Now Can It Get Meaningful Action?
Rachel Silverman, senior policy analyst at CGD, examines the recent U.N. General Assembly meeting on antimicrobial resistance and “what needs to happen to translate the [resulting] resolution to meaningful action.” Silverman says that “countries need to get specific about the requisite policy change required to mount a robust global and national response” to address AMR; increase funding “to implement a robust global action plan for AMR containment”; and establish or designate “an institution with the mandate, funding, capacity, and political buy-in to carry forward this agenda” (9/26).

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