KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Deputy Secretary Of State Discusses State Department, USAID Reorganization Plans During U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing

Devex: Sullivan sees a leaner, more diverse State Dept, no USAID merger
“Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan fielded questions Tuesday about how the State Department plans to lead more effectively and recruit a more diverse body of employees — all while operating with one-third of its present budget. … The [House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing] offered some clearer indication of how the reform process will likely materialize on a few specific points at State and USAID. Here are our top three takeaways of things to look out for moving forward. 1. Employment with diversity in mind … 2. There’s a need for more humanitarian engagement — but not merging with USAID … 3. The reform process won’t happen overnight or easily…” (Lieberman, 9/27).

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On World Contraception Day, Advocates Encourage Working Directly With Women, Girls In Need

Devex: Work with women not for them, say advocates on World Contraception Day
“World Contraception Day presents a chance for organizations to highlight ways to reach the more than 214 million women worldwide without access to reliable family planning options. This year, the emphasis among many advocates who spoke to Devex is on the importance of starting with the girls and women they aim to serve…” (Cheney, 9/26).

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Nearly Three Quarters Of Children Worldwide Affected By Some Type Of Abuse Annually, Study Shows

The Guardian: Almost 75% of all children are subjected to violence each year, research finds
“Nearly three out of four children experience violence each year, according to a global study that warns practices such as corporal punishment are widespread in both rich and poor countries. Around 1.7 billion children experience some form of abuse over the course of a year, according to the report by the global initiative Know Violence in Childhood, which measured the prevalence of inter-personal violence such as fighting at school, bullying, or sexual abuse…” (Ratcliffe, 9/26).

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Number Of HIV Diagnoses Among Over-50s Increasing In 16 European Countries, Study Says

BBC News: Rise in new HIV cases in over-50s — study
“An increasing number of older people are being diagnosed with HIV across Europe, according to a new study. Researchers from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control looked at diagnosis rates in 31 countries between 2004 and 2015…” (Mazumdar, 9/27).

CNN: Rise in HIV diagnoses among people over 50 in Europe
“…Between 2004 and 2015, the number of new HIV diagnoses increased by 2.1 percent each year among this age group, with people over 50 accounting for 17.3 percent of new HIV cases diagnosed in Europe in 2015…” (Senthilingam, 9/27).

The Guardian: HIV rates climbing among over-50s in U.K. and Europe, researchers warn
“…The study’s authors suggest that the over-50s may be either complacent or ignorant of the risks of HIV, which has dropped out of the headlines since it became a treatable disease. Their doctors also tend to assume that older people are not running risks through unsafe sex…” (Boseley, 9/26).

Reuters: HIV rates on rise among over 50s in Europe
“…The rate of diagnosis in older people increased in 16 European countries, including Britain, Belgium, Germany, and Ireland. By 2015, it found, rates of HIV among over 50s were highest in Estonia, Latvia, Malta, and Portugal…” (Kelland, 9/26).

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844K People Vaccinated For Cholera In Northeast Nigeria; UNFPA Warns Pregnant Women Most Vulnerable

U.N. News Centre: Amid cholera outbreak in northeast Nigeria, U.N. steps up aid, warns pregnant women most vulnerable
“Large-scale displacement and a health system in tatters as a result of persistent violence by the Boko Haram terrorist group have left many — most worryingly, pregnant women and their unborn babies — vulnerable to cholera in the wake of an outbreak in August, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has warned…” (9/26).

VOA News: Hundreds of Thousands Vaccinated Against Cholera in Northeast Nigeria
“The World Health Organization reports 844,000 people in northeast Nigeria have been reached with one dose of oral cholera vaccine in an effort to prevent the fatal disease from spreading. The latest figures show nearly 4,000 suspected cases, including 54 deaths in the region…” (Schlein, 9/26).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Commitment, Action Needed To Effectively Address AMR

Pharmaceutical Journal: AMR: time is running out, we need action now
Editorial Board

“…[Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)] is one of the biggest threats to modern medicine and the global economy, yet millions of people are unaware of its potentially catastrophic implications. … Too many patients, unaware of the looming crisis, still feel their illness is somehow validated if they are prescribed an antibiotic, whether they need it or not. Urgent action is required to fundamentally change this mindset, and time is running out. … Community pharmacy can play a vital role. … The overriding message is that we are ‘all in this together’ and without the efforts and commitment from individuals on the ground, the global battle cannot be won. With this in mind, each and every one of the … pharmacists in Britain should carefully examine what they are currently doing to counter the global threat of AMR. Then they should look to redouble that effort” (9/27).

Project Syndicate: Tackling AMR With the IMF
Jim O’Neill, honorary professor of economics at Manchester University

“…[O]ne of the biggest challenges [of addressing AMR] will be holding to account individual countries and multilateral organizations, such as the U.N. itself. How will we confirm that governments and institutions have followed through on their lofty declarations? For starters, we can look at the intersection of economics and public health. … [The International Monetary Fund (IMF)] should take the lead. … The IMF is ideally suited to get to the bottom of this question as a part of its routine economic assessments. And its analyses would be even more valuable to less wealthy countries, where preventing outbreaks of infectious diseases could directly boost long-term economic growth. … [P]olicymakers still need to agree on a source of funding for the market-entry rewards intended to encourage the development of new drugs and diagnostics. Such innovations will be crucial for preventing and detecting AMR, and an incentive mechanism to stimulate them is increasingly regarded as the right way to go. That, too, is a topic on which the IMF could provide invaluable advice” (9/26).

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Global Community Should Facilitate Cross-Sector Efforts To Achieve SDGs

Inter Press Service: Thousands Rally to Mark Second Anniversary of U.N.’s SDGs
Tanja Gohlert, member of the European Secretariat of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty

“Two years ago on 25 September 2015, 193 governments agreed to an action plan to end poverty, protect the planet, and foster international peace by adopting the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To mark the anniversary, thousands of people participated in over 850 events across 110 countries to raise awareness for the goals and to hold governments accountable for their slow roll-out of national implementation programs. … Central to these actions was the recognition that the most marginalized groups of people require priority access to the resources and programs being mobilized by the goals…” (9/27).

HuffPost: Sustainable Development Goals Are Country-Led And Country-Owned
Magdy Martínez-Solimán, assistant secretary general of the U.N. and assistant administrator and director of the Bureau for Policy and Program Support at the UNDP, and Oscar Fernández-Taranco, U.N. assistant secretary general for Peacebuilding Support

“…[The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development is] the most ground-breaking development agenda the world has seen, for it contains a radical promise: to leave no one behind. … [P]eople have engaged to make the SDGs come alive across the globe. … To spur this development, the U.N. is strengthening its support to Member States for the implementation of the SDGs around the world. We know that the 2030 Agenda is a bold plan for humanity that requires equally bold changes to the U.N. development system to ensure that we support countries as effectively as possible. This also means better connecting our efforts across the peace and security, human rights, and development pillars of the organization to achieve sustainable development on the ground” (9/21).

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To Achieve SDGs, International Community Must Close Data Gaps On Aging Population

Devex: Opinion: Without disaggregated age data, the SDGs are set up to fail
Kim Bradford Smith, senior statistics and evidence lead at the U.K. Department for International Development, and Patricia Conboy, head of global advocacy and aging at HelpAge International

“…[W]ith current data collection tools, we know little about the access of older people to universal health coverage, a major [Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)] commitment that could transform health and care for older people everywhere, especially in low- and middle-income countries where health systems need to be strengthened to address aging populations. … [I]f the data leaves them all but invisible, how can their needs be met? … We want to develop tools that tell statisticians how they can collect data on older people effectively … And we want a platform to share all this important information. … By closing data gaps, we hope to break down the negative stereotypes associated with older people … We can shine a light on the many ways they participate in families, communities, and societies, and recognize the contributions they make that are currently uncounted and unknown” (9/27).

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'Female Empowerment,' 'Greater Equality' Critical To Reducing Humans' Environmental Impacts

Vox: I’m an environmental journalist, but I never write about overpopulation. Here’s why.
David Roberts, journalist at Vox

“…The first way to look at population is as a pure numbers game. More people means more consumers and more emitters, so the thing to do is slow the rise of population. Specifically, since most of the new people are going to come from poor or developing countries, the question is specifically how to slow population growth there. Luckily, we know the answer. It is family planning that enables women to have only children they want and choose, and education of girls, giving them access to income opportunities outside the home. … Those are the two most powerful levers to bend the population curve. … If your concern is the creation of new consumers and emitters, your gaze should be drawn to those who will consume and emit the most, i.e., the wealthy. … Shifting wealth within populations — reducing the number of very wealthy and the number in poverty — can have as much carbon impact as reducing overall population. … [F]emale empowerment and greater equality are a) goals shared by powerful preexisting coalitions, b) replete with ancillary benefits beyond the environmental, and c) unquestionably righteous…” (9/26).

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Local Governments, NGOs Should Ensure Awareness Of, Access To Safe Abortions In Nepal, Where Abortion Is Legal

Witness: Is abortion legal in Nepal? Many Nepali women don’t know the answer.
Tara Todras-Whitehill, photographer, multimedia journalist, and  founder of Vignette Interactive

“…Abortion has been legal in Nepal for over 15 years, but a study released by Nepal’s Center for Research on Environment Health and Population Activities (CREHPA) earlier this year concluded that over half of women are still getting illegal or unsafe abortions. … Even without the added restrictions of the Mexico City policy, globally, abortion is a complicated topic. In Nepal, for example, where the procedure has been legal for over a decade, women still face many issues, such as stigma related to abortion, trouble getting medicine at authorized clinics, distrust of governmental hospitals, or even just difficulty understanding what options are available to them. … [A]lthough Nepali women might have access to legal abortion, they still don’t have full, safe reproductive rights. In order for legislative action to be effective, local governments and NGOs must make a prolonged and concerted effort to combat the problems around this issue. Without the devotion of time and energy, laws and free services go unheard, unread, and unused” (9/26).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

MFAN Relaunches Guiding Principles For Effective Foreign Assistance With More Than 170 Endorsements

Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network: Now More Than 170 Endorsers Agree: Effectiveness Principles Should Guide Foreign Aid Reform
“[Tuesday] we relaunch MFAN’s Guiding Principles for Effective Foreign Assistance with over 170 endorsements from a wide-ranging and bipartisan group of organizations and prominent individuals. These principles, which were originally released in June, call for the ongoing State Department and USAID redesign to adhere to best practices in aid effectiveness and be conducted in close partnership with Congress and the development community…” (9/26).

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GBD Data Help Shed Light On Global Health Issues At Macro Level, But More 'Hyperlocal' Data Needed To Effect Change

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Measuring Progress towards Health SDGs: Great Effort, More Needed
Kalipso Chalkidou, director of global health policy and senior fellow at CGD, and Amanda Glassman, chief operating officer, senior fellow, and board secretary at CGD, discuss the role of Global Burden of Disease (GBD) data in measuring progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), writing, “GBD helps us understand the problem we are trying to solve in macro terms … But to use GBD to effect change to business-as-usual what we need is the kind of hyperlocal data, analysis, and relationships that public and private payers routinely use in developed economies to inform their own spending and make their investment cases to their countries’ treasuries or insurers. This critical missing link can help make the causal connection between investment in health and better performance in attaining the SDGs, including Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC)…” (9/26).

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Blog Post, Report Examine Lessons Learned From Canada's Approach To Food, Nutrition Security Policies

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: Ending rural hunger: Learning from a decade of Canada’s aid efforts to support global food security
Matias E. Margulis, senior lecturer of political economy at the University of Stirling, discusses lessons derived from “Canada’s approach to global [food and nutrition security (FNS)] policies that are relevant to all donors seeking to align their aid policy with SDG 2,” as well as a recent report he authored “on Canada’s food and nutrition strategies as part of Brookings’s Ending Rural Hunger project” (9/26).

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Report Examines Effectiveness Of Australian Aid To Help Prevent Pandemics, EIDs In Asia, Pacific

DevPolicy Blog: Evaluating a decade of Australia’s efforts to combat pandemics in Asia and the Pacific: are health systems stronger?
Gill Schierhout, evaluation team leader and a senior research fellow at the Kirby Institute, UNSW; Laurence Gleeson, an animal health specialist; Adam Craig, a public health specialist and epidemiologist; and Irene Wettenhall, evaluation manager and team member from the Office of Development Effectiveness, discuss findings from a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) “evaluation of Australia’s assistance to combat pandemics and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in Asia and the Pacific from 2006 to 2015. … We found that in human health, Australia’s investments have contributed to substantial improvements in surveillance and in the availability, timeliness, and sharing of EID data across the region…” (9/27).

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Blog Post Highlights Innovations Allowing Delivery Of Vaccines To Remote Regions

Friends of the Global Fight: Innovative New Technologies Provide a Boost to Reaching the Last Mile
This blog post highlights Global Good’s efforts to promote innovations in supply and cold chain technologies that are helping health care workers transport vaccines and other refrigerated medical supplies to remote communities (Ehrmantraut, 9/26).

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'Science Speaks' Highlights Recent News On HIV/AIDS Funding, Treatment, Mexico City Policy

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: What we’re reading: Leahy on HIV funding, Global Gag Rule costs, and equalizing access to preferred medicines
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses several recent pieces on global health issues, including a statement from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on U.S. funding for international HIV/AIDS programs, a CBC News article on impacts of the expanded Mexico City policy, and a Devex article on the recent agreement facilitating the availability of a low-cost HIV combination medication in low- and middle-income countries (9/26).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash includes an article and video on efforts to eliminate malaria in the Greater Mekong region, as well as a country impact report on Morocco (9/27).

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