KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Sen. Ben Cardin Talks About U.S. Foreign Aid Budget In Devex Interview

Devex: Senator Cardin blames Congress for U.S. aid’s ‘budget disaster’
“The federal budget process has been a ‘disaster,’ but don’t blame it all on President Donald Trump, Senator Ben Cardin told global development leaders in Washington, D.C., Tuesday. The Maryland democrat — an ardent supporter of U.S. foreign affairs programs — said he would accept a modest cut to diplomacy and development accounts if it meant the U.S. Congress would stop failing to pass annual budgets and falling back on continuing resolutions. Cardin, the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke to Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar as part of a Devex conversation series with policymakers in global development…” (Igoe, 9/27).

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At Meetings, Bill Gates Calls For Improved Global Health Data, More Foreign Aid, International Cooperation

GeekWire: Bill Gates calls for more data, foreign aid for global health work amid talks of huge U.S. spending cuts
“As federal leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., to propose a slate of tax and spending cuts Wednesday, hundreds of experts gathered in Seattle for a very different reason: Shaping the future of global health work. Speaking at the event, Microsoft founder and global health philanthropist Bill Gates put the spotlight on how better data has saved millions of lives in the past two decades and also called for international cooperation and foreign aid to continue that lifesaving work, despite the rise of isolationism and a skepticism of science in the U.S…” (McGrane, 9/27).

GeekWire: How Bill Gates used his ‘favorite chart of all time’ to battle Trump’s proposed foreign aid cuts
“…[T]here’s one chart that stands out above the rest, and Gates and other global health leaders recently put that chart to work in battling foreign aid cuts proposed by the Trump administration. … The chart shows that in 1990, 85 in 1,000 children around the world died before the age of five. By 2016, that number had more than halved to just 38 children. … To illustrate what would happen if funding was cut to global health work, Gates and other global health leaders projected the chart to 2030…” (McGrane, 9/27).

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World Will Continue To Make Development Progress Without U.S. As Leader, Economist Jeffrey Sachs Says

The Guardian: Jeffrey Sachs: ‘The U.S. doesn’t lead the world any more’
“The U.S. is becoming a ‘rogue state,’ economist Jeffrey Sachs has told a Guardian audience. ‘But let’s not assume that everything is catastrophic right now.’ Sachs spoke at the Guardian’s annual UNGA seminar after seeing President Trump speak at the U.N., and said he was ‘shaken’ by what he had heard. … The Guardian’s annual event focused this year on scrutinizing the progress of the U.N.’s SDGs, two years after they were agreed [on] by 193 countries at the U.N.’s General Assembly in 2015…” (Leach, 9/28).

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Nearly Half Of All Abortions Performed In Unsafe Conditions Worldwide; U.S. Global Health Funding Cuts Could Further Increase Health Risks For Women, Experts Say

CNN: Nearly half of all abortions each year worldwide are unsafe, study says
“…A new study finds nearly half of all 55.7 million estimated abortions around the world each year between 2010 and 2014 were performed in an unsafe manner, putting women at risk for serious complications. The study, published Wednesday in the journal The Lancet, suggests that unsafe abortions are still a major health problem globally, especially in developing countries…” (Howard, 9/27).

Deutsche Welle: Half of all abortions carried out in unsafe conditions
“…Of the pregnancy terminations considered unsafe, 17.1 million abortions involved women taking pills alone to end their pregnancies or women who were supported by a trained helper but used methods that aren’t considered best practices by today’s medical standards. For another eight million abortions, women took so-called ‘backstreet measures;’ swallowing toxic substances or inserting wires to bring about a miscarriage…” (Bleiker, 9/28).

Reuters: WHO reports 25 million unsafe abortions a year; expert sees higher risk from U.S. cutbacks
“Nearly half of the estimated 56 million abortions performed worldwide every year are unsafe and women in poor countries face even higher risks due to U.S. funding cuts to family planning programs abroad, health experts said on Thursday…” (Nebehay, 9/27).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Nearly half of abortions annually are unsafe: study
“…The study’s lead author Bela Ganatra from WHO said the laws and wealth of a country influenced the safety of abortions with the highest proportion of safe abortions in wealthier countries with less restrictive laws and well-developed health services…” (Kaddichi, 9/27).

TIME: Nearly Half of Abortions Around the World Are Unsafe
“…The report authors say that in order to address the high numbers of unsafe abortions around the world, more efforts are needed to ensure that unsafe methods are replaced with up-to-date methods, and more monitoring is needed to address gaps in care” (Sifferlin, 9/27).

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Advocates Encouraged By Greater Attention To Reducing TB Incidence, Improving Treatment Access

HuffPost: A ‘Glimmer Of Hope’ In The Fight Against The World’s Top Infectious Killer
“In a sign of increasing political will in the battle against the world’s top infectious killer, the heads of the World Health Organization and USAID voiced their support for the global fight against tuberculosis last week in a reception during the United Nations General Assembly. Advocates had been seeing a snowballing of political support to thwart tuberculosis, first with the announcement of a U.N. high-level meeting focused solely on TB next year, followed by the recent inclusion of the fight against TB in the G20 declaration, and excitement over a WHO ministerial conference on tuberculosis to be headlined by Russian President Vladimir Putin in November…” (Weber, 9/27).

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IMF Urges Wealthy Nations To Assist Poor Countries In Addressing Climate Change

The Guardian: Do more to help poor nations cope with climate change, IMF tells rich countries
“The International Monetary Fund has told rich countries they must do more to help poor nations cope with climate change or suffer from the weaker global growth and higher migration flows that will inevitably result. In a chapter released ahead of the publication of next month’s World Economic Outlook, the Washington-based IMF said low-income countries had contributed little to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and could not afford to tackle the problem from their own meagre resources…” (Elliot, 9/28).

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UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé Discusses 90-90-90 Targets, Global AIDS Funding In GHN Interview

Global Health NOW: HIV/AIDS: From Despair to Hope, A Q&A with Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director, Part I
“UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé can happily list the recent successes that the global community has scored against HIV/AIDS. And he can update you on progress of the 90-90-90 targets … In the first part of this Q&A, Sidibé, who grew up in Mali, shared his thoughts 90-90-90, prospects for global HIV funding, and his secret for working with national leaders…” (Simpson, 9/26).

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UNITAID Executive Director Discusses Organization's Multi-Partnership Approach, 5-Year Strategy In Devex Interview

Devex: Q&A: UNITAID chief goes behind the scenes on new five-year strategy
“…Devex caught up with Executive Director Lelio Marmora on the sidelines of UNITAID’s Partners Forum in Mozambique to learn about its strategies to mobilize resources, shape health markets, and manage risk through a finely honed multi-partnership approach…” (Pallares, 9/27).

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Editorials and Opinions

Politicians, Governments Should Protect Women's Health, Legalize Abortion

The Guardian: Why do politicians still force women through unwanted pregnancies?
Dame Billie Miller, lawyer and politician in Barbados

“…When governments deny women access to safe and legal abortion, it does nothing to decrease the rate at which abortions occur. Instead, it leads to more injuries and deaths. In the absence of care, women resort to all kinds of methods to interrupt unintended pregnancies — unqualified health care providers, self-made drug concoctions, coat hangers — each more dangerous than the next. … [I]n 1983 … [the Barbados] parliament passed the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, allowing women throughout the country to access abortion services legally and safely. This victory made Barbados a regional pioneer, the first English-speaking Caribbean country to make abortion broadly legal … But the progress we’ve seen here has not been echoed elsewhere. Politicians around the world are promoting policies that force women through pregnancies they do not want to continue. … On International Day for Safe Abortion, we are reminded that saving women’s lives requires resistance and persistence…” (9/28).

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Improving Country Surveillance, Diagnostic Capacity Critical To Preventing Epidemics

The Hill: We have to start preparing for the next deadly epidemic
Alain Mérieux, president of the Mérieux Foundation

“…If we can enable Africa and Asia to detect and respond to [disease] threats where and when they emerge, we can prevent millions of deaths there, and better protect ourselves in North America and Europe. … [T]he investments we need to make now to improve developing country surveillance and diagnostic capacity will make or break the world’s response to the next big outbreak. … [W]e need a national system for spotting anomalous patterns or unknown pathogens. And we need the head of that system sitting alongside the health minister so that the country can respond rapidly. … Stronger health systems and better international cooperation on infectious threats are possible but more countries and partners need to engage, and to do so with greater efficiency. It is the only way we can see the threats around us well enough to act, and to act fast” (9/27).

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Policies Should Help Equip Local Farmers To Adapt To Climate Change

HuffPost: A Recipe to End Hunger: Food Policies that Adapt to Climate Change
Joan, Josep, and Jordi Roca, chefs and goodwill ambassadors at UNDP working with the SDG Fund

“…On small farms across the globe, food and agriculture are the primary drivers of development and poverty reduction. Without more climate-resilient food systems, we risk even greater calamities and the unraveling of progress we’ve made in reducing hunger, protecting our planet, and supporting developing economies to reach their full potential. … Local policymakers and farmers alike need new skills, tools, and technologies to better respond to climate change. … [W]e have the opportunity to connect the drivers that impact food production with the policies, plans, and procedures we will need to adapt the way we grow food. Ending world hunger remains an ambitious goal, but we can help reach it, farm by farm. Let’s start by giving our farmers the seeds, policies, and support they need to adapt to climate change. Our children and our planet deserve it” (9/27).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts Highlight Recommendations For USAID's Redesign

MFAN: AID Redesign: Can USAID Learn from MCC’s Experience?
Patrick Fine, CEO of FHI360, discusses what USAID can learn from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) as the agency seeks to reform its structure, writing, “Learning from and applying best practices across agencies is a critical step in making development more effective, efficient, and accountable. MCC learned that the time and money invested in project start-up improves performance, both in business operations and program results. As the Trump administration looks for ways to make development assistance more efficient and cost-effective, it should encourage USAID to take a leaf from MCC’s playbook and adjust its business practices to require that all large awards incorporate a start-up period into their first year workplan” (9/27).

Center for Global Development’s “U.S. Development Policy”: A Focus on Evidence at USAID
As USAID considers an organizational redesign and reform, Sarah Rose, senior policy analyst at CGD, highlights “a new CGD Note, Advancing the Evidence Agenda at USAID,” in which Amanda Glassman and Rose offer suggestions, including eight recommendations for improving the “generation and use of evidence” at USAID (9/27).

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Organizations Launch Global Initiative To End Human Deaths From Dog-Transmitted Rabies By 2030

Rabies Alliance: Press release: Towards a rabies-free world as unparalleled global initiative gets underway
“World Rabies Day marks the announcement of the biggest global anti-rabies initiative, as the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO) and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) reveal an ambitious plan to end human deaths from dog-transmitted rabies by 2030. The plan — ‘Zero by 30: The Strategic Plan’ — centers on a One Health approach and addresses the disease in a holistic and cross-sectoral manner while highlighting the important role veterinary, health, and educational services play in rabies prevention and control…” (9/28).

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Blog Post Highlights Paper Discussing Human Rights, Ethics Concerns Surrounding TB, Migrant Health

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: The link between TB, migration, human rights and ethics
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses a paper published in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease on the “human rights and ethics concerns surrounding the health needs of migrants, particularly as related to TB. The authors argue that migrant health is not a niche issue but one of critical global public health importance, and that the global community should adopt a human rights-based approach to addressing migrant health at all stages of migration to ensure good health for the migrant and protect public health in their destination country” (9/27).

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Rohingya Refugee Crisis Impacting Women, Girls' Health, Rights

Council on Foreign Relations’ “Women and Foreign Policy Program/Women Around the World”: Women and Girls at Risk in the Rohingya Refugee Crisis
Mayesha Alam, a Soros New American fellow, Yale Law School Global Health Justice Partnership fellow, and Ph.D. candidate in political science at Yale University, discusses the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar and its impact on women’s and girls’ health and rights (9/27).

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Global Health Leaders Meet To Determine MERS-CoV Research Priorities, Future Steps

WHO: Countries agree next steps to combat global health threat by MERS-CoV
“Critical next steps to accelerate the response to the global public health threat posed by Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been agreed by representatives from the Ministries of Health and Ministries of Agriculture of affected and at-risk countries, and experts. … At a meeting hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in Geneva this week, more than 130 experts from 33 countries, organizations, and research institutions met to share what is known about the virus, identify priority research needs, improve cross-collaboration between animal and human health sectors, and agree on a plan to address crucial gaps…” (9/27).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Presents 5 Highlights Of U.S. Participation At U.N. General Assembly

USAID/Medium: Five Highlights From USAID at the U.N. General Assembly
This article summarizes five highlights from U.S. participation in last week’s United Nations General Assembly, including “1. The President’s First Speech at the U.N. … 2. Funding Announcement: U.S. Provides More Aid for Famine Relief … 3. Funding Announcement: U.S. Expands Our Fight Against Malaria … 4. A New Strategy for Controlling the HIV/AIDS Epidemic … 5. Funding Announcement: Reaffirming Our Commitment to the Iraqi People…” (9/26).

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