KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

World Leaders At U.N. HLM On TB Pledge To Mobilize $13B Annually By 2022 For Prevention, Care With Target Of Ending Disease By 2030

Associated Press: Countries pledge billions to fight tuberculosis worldwide
“The World Health Organization says governments have agreed to contribute $13 billion a year by 2022 to prevent and treat tuberculosis, a communicable disease that claimed at least 1.3 million lives last year…” (9/26).

Intellectual Property Watch: World Leaders Commit To End Tuberculosis At Historic United Nations Meeting
“…At the meeting, heads of state adopted a political declaration with commitments to accelerate action and funding to end the tuberculosis epidemic by 2030. … The declaration sets targets to treat 40 million people with TB from 2018 to 2022 and includes commitments to advance research on drugs and diagnostics, to promote access and equitable delivery of these tools, and to mobilize sufficient and sustainable financing for action to end the TB epidemic…” (Branigan, 9/27).

Additional coverage of the HLM on TB and related sideline events is available from DawnForbes, Health-e News, NPR, Science Speaks, U.N. News, and Xinhua News (2).

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Devex Previews Issues To Be Discussed At U.N. High-Level Meeting On NCDs

Devex: At NCD summit, a push to address ignored disease burden
“More than two-thirds of global deaths each year can be traced to noncommunicable diseases, a new study by The Lancet has found. But while much of the talk on NCDs has revolved around reducing premature deaths from just four major illnesses, millions of lives are claimed each year by diseases that aren’t even mentioned in the Sustainable Development Goals. Ahead of this week’s high-level meeting on NCDs, at the United Nations General Assembly, health experts are urging immediate action and warn that focusing only on the ‘big four’ could skew data and provide false optimism…” (Ravelo, 9/26).

Devex: Q&A: Bloomberg’s Kelly Henning talks NCDs ahead of high-level U.N. meeting
“…Kelly Henning, the leader of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ public health program, spoke with Devex recently about what to expect from the high-level meeting on Thursday and what it takes to implement impactful work on NCDs at the national and city level…” (Lieberman, 9/27).

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USAID Administrator Mark Green Discusses U.S. Foreign Aid Framework, Rationale At UNGA Side Event

Quartz: The U.S. is ranking which countries are most and least deserving of aid
“…[USAID officials] have been working for months on a proprietary internal algorithm that will evaluate needy countries’ ability to wean themselves off foreign aid, based on the strength of their government, civil society, economy, and political commitment. The U.S. will make funding decisions based in part on how a country fares on this ranking, part of a push to help foreign-aid recipients on their ‘journey to self-reliance.’ Mark Green, the Trump-appointed USAID administrator and a former Republican congressman from Wisconsin, laid out the framework and its rationale at a conference running parallel to the UNGA in New York [on September 25]…” (Timmons, 9/26).

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Support For U.S. Foreign Aid Programs Must Be Bipartisan; Congress Must Take Responsible Steps To Regulate, Reform Policy, Lawmakers Say

Devex: U.S. foreign aid policy must be bipartisan, lawmakers say
“The co-chairs of the United States Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance made a strong case for bipartisan support of foreign assistance programs the day after President Donald Trump questioned the return of aid investments in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly. Foreign assistance programs play a key role in national security and in helping the U.S. counter China abroad, said Representative Ted Yoho, a Republican from Florida, and Rep. Adam Smith, a Democrat from Washington, speaking together at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. They said Congress must be responsible for regulating and reforming the way the U.S. spends its money…” (Welsh, 9/27).

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IRIN Examines Implementation, Impacts Of Stricter U.S. Rules On Aid Going To Conflict-Hit Areas

IRIN: Shutdowns, suspensions, and legal threats put relief in world’s troublespots at risk
“Tougher donor restrictions on relief operations in areas controlled by extremist groups are ‘out of control,’ impeding life-saving work, and could lead aid groups to pull out of the most challenging responses, senior humanitarian officials and rights experts warn. Project suspensions and closures in Syria, two recent prosecutions in U.S. courts, and a new USAID ruling have combined to make NGOs alarmed at the shrinking space for humanitarian action and unforgiving climate for aid in ‘terrorist’ zones…” (Parker, 9/26).

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U.S. Government Launches Year-Long Challenge To Public, Private Sectors To Address AMR

CIDRAP News: HHS, CDC issue AMR ‘challenge’ to public, private sectors
“The U.S. government is challenging world leaders, corporations, and non-governmental groups to step up their efforts against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In a kick-off event [Tuesday] at the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly in New York, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar called on public- and private-sector organizations around the world to make formal commitments to the AMR Challenge, a yearlong initiative led by HHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)…” (Dall, 9/26).

Becker’s Hospital Review: U.S. launches yearlong global antimicrobial resistance challenge
“…The challenge … invites pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, food animal producers and purchasers, medical professionals, government health officials, and other global leaders to collaborate on addressing antibiotic resistance by: Reducing antibiotics and resistance in the environment (e.g. in water and soil); Improving antibiotic use and ensuring people can access these medicines when needed; Developing vaccines, drugs, and diagnostic tests; Improving infection prevention and control; [and] Enhancing data sharing and data collection…” (Knowles, 9/26).

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First Lady Melania Trump To Visit 4 African Nations Next Week In First Solo International Trip

The Hill: Melania Trump announces stops on her African tour next week
“Melania Trump will head to four countries — Malawi, Kenya, Egypt, and Ghana — as part of her … first major solo international trip. … Trump touted the ‘work this administration is doing through the work of USAID and others’ and said she was looking forward to ‘take the message of my Be Best campaign to many of the countries and children throughout Africa.’ … ‘Whether it is education, drug addiction, hunger, online safety, or bullying, poverty, or disease, it is too often children who are hit first, and hardest, across the globe,’ Trump said at a United Nations event…” (Kurtz, 9/26).

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France President Macron Calls For Greater Access To Education, Contraception Among African Women At Goalkeepers Event

The Guardian: Emmanuel Macron: ‘More choice would mean fewer children in Africa’
“Emmanuel Macron has said many African women would choose to have smaller families if they had greater access to education and family planning. The French president, who has come under fire over his views on Africa in the past, added that the future for the continent’s young people must be to stay in a revitalized Africa, and insisted it was ‘pure bullshit’ to suggest he was telling African people from New York what to do with their lives. ‘One of the critical issues of African demography is that this is not chosen fertility,’ said Macron, speaking at the Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers event on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly in New York…” (Wintour, 9/26).

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More News In Global Health

CNN: Women are dying from backstreet abortions. But reforms to Malawi’s 157-year-old laws are stuck (Masina, 9/26).

CNN: Third case of monkeypox reported in the U.K., in health care worker (Senthilingam, 9/26).

Devex: Climate change contributes to food insecurity in Latin American women (Welsh, 9/27).

Devex: Q&A: Africa CDC official on bringing African expertise to African emergencies (Roby, 9/27).

Devex: Q&A: U.N. Mexico resident coordinator talks U.N. reform, partnership to tackle femicide (Lieberman, 9/27).

Devex: The two big problems with SDG data (Cheney, 9/27).

The Guardian: DRC resumes battle against Ebola after militia attack (Burke/Ssuuna, 9/26).

Inter Press Service: India Uses Tech to Power its New Battle Against Malnutrition (Paul, 9/26).

The Lancet: Polio returns to Papua New Guinea (Cousins, 10/1).

Nature: Why Chinese medicine is heading for clinics around the world (Cyranoski, 9/26).

Science: Powerful antibodies suppress HIV for months, could simplify treatment (Cohen, 9/26).

Washington Post: A new report estimates that more than 380,000 people have died in South Sudan’s civil war (O’Grady, 9/26).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Global Efforts, Actions Needed To End TB

New York Times: We Know How to Conquer Tuberculosis
Editorial Board

“…[P]olicymakers, industry leaders, and doctors on the front lines might … consider a change in strategy: Treat tuberculosis outbreaks in poor countries the same way they are treated in rich ones. That is, don’t just treat those who are sick; find and test their household members, neighbors, classmates, and colleagues — and then treat the ones who test positive. … The [WHO’s] newest treatment guidelines now include a strong recommendation that all people living in households where one person has active tuberculosis receive preventive treatment. If countries implement that guideline, and if doctors abide by it, some 30 million more people should have access to preventive care in the next five years. If that happens, an untold amount of human suffering may be prevented, and a disease that has plagued the world’s most vulnerable people for far too long could finally be wiped out” (9/26).

STAT: Tuberculosis is a disease the world could control. But will it?
Paul Farmer, co-founder and chief strategist of Partners in Health, professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School, and chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and Lelio Marmora, executive director of Unitaid

“…To speed the progress to end tuberculosis as soon as possible, we all must play a part. Drug companies must lower prices from thousands of dollars per course of treatment to hundreds or less. … Industry, academic institutions, international funders, and nonprofit organizations must all step up their game and fund the clinical trials that will produce the best use of new tools and products to prevent and treat TB. Governments must follow through on public proclamations. Nonprofits and development agencies must help countries reach their goals. … We will not stop this global epidemic without an immediate and urgent change in strategy…” (9/26).

The Guardian: Are we finally waking up to the threat from the world’s deadliest infectious disease?
Nick Herbert, co-chair of the Global TB Caucus

“…There are three reasons why it is imperative to act now. First, the humanitarian case. … The second reason to act is economic. … The third reason to act is to ensure global health security. … The U.N. declaration says all the right things. Resources should be increased, public health systems strengthened, and research and development boosted. … But will it be met? Such ambitious proposals will be achieved only if every country delivers its share of the target. The key question will be how the declaration is translated into action. … We must demand that governments translate today’s promises into action” (9/27).

CNBC: J&J exec: Tuberculosis is a global emergency. It’s time to start treating it that way.
Paul Stoffels, vice chair of the executive committee and chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson

“…TB represents one of the greatest public health emergencies today, and we need to start treating it like one. … The Ebola response set an important precedent. In just a few years, the world has made incredible strides to create new tools, and communities at risk for the disease are seeing the benefits. We must work together to ensure the same is true for TB. I am confident that, with investment, energy, and creativity, the world can develop and deliver the innovations we urgently need to get us on the most effective path to make TB history” (9/26).

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Disease Preparedness Requires Investments To Build 'Responsive, Resilient' Health Systems In U.S., Abroad

Scientific American: Viruses on a Plane: What Emirates Flight EK203 Teaches Us
Marian W. Wentworth, president and CEO of Management Sciences for Health

“…Preparedness doesn’t happen by chance. A responsive, resilient health system requires commitment and investments of money and time. It is important to stop outbreaks both inside our country and before they reach our borders. … Failing to make necessary investments now will virtually guarantee that a future epidemic will cause great human suffering and be economically disastrous. We must continue to invest in building strong health systems equipped with sufficient resources to catch the next deadly pathogen before it has a chance to get on an airplane and spread across continents. We need to adequately fund CDC operations overseas to help countries get and stay prepared for worst-case scenarios. And we must continue to fund USAID projects that complement this work with projects that strengthen governance and health services around the globe…” (9/27).

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U.S. Should Consider Cash Transfers As Potential Approach To Foreign Aid

Washington Post: Foreign aid as a cash-only transaction? It’s worth a try.
Christine Emba, opinion columnist and editor at the Washington Post

“…This month, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released the results of a landmark study on the best strategies for poverty reduction. … [T]he new study compared the traditional approach to foreign aid against just giving the beneficiaries cash — and the results should make us think. … [R]esearchers found, neither the standard intervention nor the equivalent cash transfer had moved the needle much on USAID’s primary goals of improving children’s health and family nutrition. … But things were different with the larger cash transfer: Those villages saw substantial improvements across the board. … Maybe it is time to rethink the idea that we know better what other people need. Maybe the best way to help is to let the people decide how to help themselves. … [In Donald Trump’s] U.N. speech on Tuesday, the president said he would be taking a ‘hard look’ at U.S. foreign assistance. ‘We will examine what is working, what is not working…’ If he really means it, cold hard cash may be the place to start” (9/26).

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Strengthening Developing Countries' Health Care Systems Vital To Improving Public Health, Economic Welfare

Foreign Affairs: Health Without Wealth
Thomas J. Bollyky, director of the global health program and senior fellow for global health, economics, and development at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…There is no worthier goal than reducing unnecessary pain and preventing deaths, especially among children. … [T]he world needs to pair global health aid with investments that can help countries improve their health care systems, make their cities more livable, and enable their companies to employ more people more productively. … [D]eveloping countries need to devote more resources to their cities and health care systems. … Strong health care systems can help doctors spot disease outbreaks quickly and diagnose chronic diseases early enough that patients can still be treated. That makes investments in basic health care infrastructure a cost-effective way to improve public health. … Progress against infectious diseases cannot be measured just in terms of the lives that were once lost to plagues and parasites. The real miracles in global health will happen when the people whose lives are saved by better health care can seize the opportunities and gain the prosperity that have come with health improvements in the past” (9/26).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Guest Post On CFR Blog Discusses China's Potential Role In Global Health, TB Control

Council on Foreign Relations: China’s Latent Opportunity for Global Health Engagement
Sean Joyce, former intern for the Global Health Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses the WHO’s efforts to court China to continue increasing its role in global health, particularly in TB control. Joyce writes, “China’s health aid does have its shortcomings … Nevertheless, China does have certain critical pieces already in place to tackle global TB control. As [WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] hopefully remarked, China’s Health Silk Road ‘has the potential to alter the course of development for 60 nations.’ Nowhere is this as true as in fighting TB” (9/26).

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Experts Discuss How Global Community Can Work Together To Address NCDs

World Economic Forum: How we can work together in the fight against NCDs
Jan Kimpen, chief medical officer at Philips, and Pete Troilo, director of global advisory and analysis at Devex, discuss the role of the global community in preventing and controlling noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), writing, “[A]ll stakeholders must work together in forward-looking partnerships to increase access, raise the quality of care, and seamlessly integrate new technologies and ways of working. In the end, this will enable us to achieve better health at lower cost for everyone, globally” (9/26).

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PEPFAR Supported More Than 15M Voluntary Medical Male Circumcisions In 14 African Countries From 2007-17

aidsmap: PEPFAR funded 15 million medical male circumcisions between 2007 and 2017
“PEPFAR (the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) has supported the voluntary medical male circumcisions (VMMC) of 15,269,720 men and boys in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in the eleven years to 2017, according to a paper recently published in BMJ Open. The World Health Organization estimates that PEPFAR supported 84 percent of all VMMCs in the 14 countries…” (Cairns, 9/26).

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FIGO Post Offers Recommendations On Improving Unmet Need For Modern Contraception

FIGO: The global unmet need for modern contraceptives
This post discusses progress and challenges towards meeting the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) targets for contraceptive use and offers recommendations on how to improve the unmet need for contraception, including “1. Raising new money … 2. Developing new access programs … 3. Removing barriers that prevent uptake” (9/26).

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WHO Appoints Ray Chambers As Ambassador For Global Strategy

WHO: Ray Chambers appointed WHO Ambassador for Global Strategy
“WHO has … appointed philanthropist, humanitarian, and health advocate Ray Chambers as its Ambassador for Global Strategy. This new role is designed to support WHO’s work to mobilize the international community to advance the global health agenda, including achieving global health targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goals…” (9/26).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. HHS Secretary Delivers Remarks At UNGA-Related Events

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: “U.S. Government Statement at the U.N. High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis” (9/26).

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: “Preventing TB to End TB” (9/26).

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: “Faster, Smarter, Safer: Progress and Pitfalls in Outbreak Preparedness” (9/26).

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USAID Administrator Makes Announcements, Delivers Remarks At UNGA-Related Events

USAID: USAID Administrator Mark Green Announces New Approach to End Tuberculosis (9/26).

USAID: U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green’s Remarks at the Accelerating Action on Tuberculosis Towards Achieving 40×22 Event (9/26).

USAID: U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green’s Remarks at a Breaking the Cycle Between Conflict and Hunger Event (9/26).

USAID: Administrator Green Announces Finalists for the Humanitarian Grand Challenge, Along with Additional Investment to Assist Conflict-Affected Communities (9/25).

USAID: U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green’s Remarks at a Humanitarian Grand Challenge Event (9/25).

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NIAID Releases New Strategic Plan For TB Research

NIH: NIH releases strategic plan to address tuberculosis research
“…Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, details the institute’s new strategic plan for building on … current [TB research] efforts by furthering the understanding of TB and developing and applying cutting-edge tools to fight the disease…” (9/26).

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