KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

UNGA Adopts Political Declaration On NCDs; WHO DG Calls For Political Commitment, Domestic Investments, UHC To Reverse Disease Trends

Devex: U.N. meeting on NCDs falls short on hard commitments, civil society say
“The third United Nations high-level meeting on noncommunicable diseases may result in a broader dialogue, but will not likely lead to any immediate new financing or strong global commitments. That’s the main takeaway of civil society experts and advocates who followed the all-day event Thursday, following a busy week for global health issues during the opening of the U.N. General Assembly…” (Lieberman, 9/28).

Intellectual Property Watch: U.N. General Assembly Adopts High-Level Political Declaration On Noncommunicable Diseases
“…At the start of the meeting, the General Assembly adopted the NCD political declaration by acclamation, with no member state objecting. The political declaration includes commitments to reduce NCD mortality by one-third by 2030, and to scale-up funding and multi-stakeholder responses to treat and prevent NCDs…” (Branigan, 9/27).

U.N. News: Chronic illnesses: U.N. stands up to stop 41 million avoidable deaths per year
“…Closing his remarks, [WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] said that three key things are needed in every country to ‘win the fight against NCDs’ and achieve SDG Target 3.4: political commitment, domestic investment, and universal health coverage so everyone can benefit from health care ‘without worrying about whether they can afford them’…” (9/27).

Additional coverage of the HLM on NCDs is available from Health-e News and Xinhua News (2).

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Some Experts Disappointed By Lack Of Political Will At U.N. HLM On TB

HuffPost: U.N. General Assembly’s High-Level Meeting To End Tuberculosis Could Have Gone Better
“In the lead-up to the first U.N. high-level meeting on tuberculosis on Wednesday, global health experts said the momentum was different, that a turning point was near in the fight against the disease, the world’s top infectious killer. Despite this new sense of engagement, many experts and advocates were disappointed by a lack of political will at the meeting — a state of affairs that has continued for centuries…” (Weber, 9/27).

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U.K. Pledges £7.5M For Development Of Shorter TB Treatments

The Telegraph: U.K. pledges funding to speed up TB treatment
“The U.K. government has pledged £7.5million for the development of three new treatments for tuberculosis, the world’s biggest infectious disease killer. International development secretary Penny Mordaunt made the announcement after the high-level meeting on TB, held during the United Nations General Assembly and aimed at ramping up efforts to eradicate the disease. … The £7.5m will go to the non-profit TB Alliance to develop three shorter TB treatments…” (Gulland, 9/27).

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High-Level UNGA Side Event Highlights Conflict-Based Food Insecurity, Hunger

Inter Press Service: Without Food Security, There Is No Peace
“Reversing years of progress, global hunger is on the rise once again and one of the culprits is clear: conflict. A high-level side event during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly brought together U.N. officials, governments, and civil society to assess and recommend solutions to the pressing issue of conflict-based food insecurity. ‘Conflict-related hunger is one of the most visible manifestations to human suffering emerging from war … this suffering is preventable and thus all the more tragic,’ said United States’ Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Administrator Mark Green…” (Yakupitiyage, 9/27).

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UNFPA Opening New Office To Support Agency's Global Humanitarian Division, Emergency Portfolio

Devex: A new global office will support UNFPA’s growing humanitarian work
“Women don’t stop giving birth during a disaster, and the United Nations Population Fund’s expertise in crisis contexts has only grown over the years, according to the sexual and reproductive health agency. Now, the United Nations group is strengthening its global humanitarian division, with a 15-member office opening in Geneva to support its emergency portfolio…” (Rogers, 9/28).

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India's Supreme Court In Spotlight With Recent Rulings, Including Allowing Women Of Reproductive Age Into Hindu Temple

New York Times: Hundreds of Cases a Day and a Flair for Drama: India’s Crusading Supreme Court
“Following the headlines, you might get the feeling that India’s Supreme Court is everywhere at once, all the time. You wouldn’t be far off. On Thursday, the court struck down a colonial-era law making adultery a crime. … Earlier this month, it overturned a ban on gay sex that had stood for 150 years. … [U]nlike the United States Supreme Court, which agrees to hear only about 70 cases a year, the various panels of the Indian Supreme Court hear up to 700 legal matters a day…” (Gettleman et al., 9/27).

Washington Post: Gay sex, adultery, women’s rights: India’s Supreme Court is taking on the patriarchy
“India’s Supreme Court on Friday overturned a renowned Hindu temple’s effective ban on the admission of menstruating women, the latest in a trio of pathbreaking verdicts this month that have taken aim at colonial-era laws and the country’s deeply entrenched patriarchy. The ruling gave women the right to enter a 12th century Hindu temple that was closed off to female devotees aged 10 to 50, roughly covering their menstruating years. The decision followed the court’s decriminalization of gay sex and adultery earlier in September, both trailblazing verdicts that came after long legal battles…” (Doshi/Slater, 9/28).

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Zimbabwe To Begin Cholera Vaccinations To Help Stem Outbreak

Xinhua News: Zimbabwean government to start cholera vaccinations as 49 succumb to disease
“The Zimbabwean government has acquired 500,000 doses of cholera vaccines that it will start administering on vulnerable groups in the coming week, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister John Mangwiro has said…” (9/28).

Additional coverage of the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe is available from Al Jazeera, Devex, and The Lancet.

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More News In Global Health

Agence France-Presse: U.N. asks Venezuela to accept humanitarian aid (9/27).

BBC News: Infanticide in Kenya: ‘I was told to kill my disabled baby’ (Soy, 9/27).

CIDRAP News: Report on bodily fluids shows Zika persistence in semen (Soucheray, 9/27).

Devex: PATH partners with WHO in developing its first dedicated digital health strategy (Cheney, 9/28).

Global Health NOW: Michael R. Bloomberg: Millions Don’t Have to Die from NCDs (Simpson, 9/26).

New York Times: Human Rights Council Ratchets Up Pressure on Myanmar (Cumming-Bruce, 9/27).

STAT: Experimental TB vaccine shows promise in clinical trials (Branswell, 9/28).

U.N. News: Donors come to U.N. agency’s aid with extra $118 million to help Palestine refugees (9/27).

U.N. News: Deputy U.N. chief hails ‘political courage’ of Latin American countries ‘to confront and end femicide’ (9/27).

Washington Post: Women serving decades-long prison terms for abortion in El Salvador hope change is coming (Brigida, 9/27).

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Editorials and Opinions

Providing Foreign Assistance Plays Critical Role In U.S. Foreign Policy

The Hill: America first is America last in shaping our foreign assistance
Dan Glickman, vice president of the Aspen Institute

“…If President Trump succeeds in applying his ‘America first’ ideology to our foreign assistance program, no single thing would more quickly dethrone the United States as a world superpower and global guarantor of peace. … Foreign assistance provides critical aid to millions of people across the globe. … There is a bipartisan commitment to [these efforts] that has extended back generations. … Foreign aid is part of who we are and how we try to make the world a better place. Foreign aid, when spent wisely, is objectively useful, morally good, and one of the most important tools in our foreign policy toolbox. It’s part of what makes us the greatest nation on earth” (9/27).

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U.S. Government Should Label Atrocities In Myanmar's Rakhine State 'Crime Against Humanity,' Call For Legal Process

Washington Post: Has America lost its voice on human rights around the world?
Editorial Board

“…The State Department report [on atrocities in Northern Rakhine State] was an opportunity to say and do more. At the very least, the United States should have labeled the atrocities a crime against humanity. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Fortify Rights, and the U.N. investigators have all used the term and suggested there was preparation for such crimes. Some have gone further; House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Edward R. Royce (R-Calif.) said at a hearing Wednesday ‘it is clear that these crimes amount to genocide,’ while Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) said it is ‘clearly a crime against humanity and likely also genocide.’ It’s unfortunate the administration could not speak with comparable clarity. It should propose a legal process for accountability. And it should not fear to speak the truth about this atrocity” (9/27).

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WHO Should Sharpen Its Investment Case, Clearly Articulate How Investments Will Deliver Impact

The Lancet: The case for investing in WHO
Editorial Board

“…At first sight, [the WHO’s] investment case seems compelling. … Perplexing is the disconnect between the claims of impact in the investment case and of those in the accompanying technical report, which estimates the health impacts and economic returns for universal health coverage (UHC), health emergencies, and intersectoral action based on a collective global investment — and not for specific investments in WHO. … A valuable contribution of the investment case would have been to clearly articulate what WHO will actually do in its three priority areas and where its comparative advantage lies: global public goods and normative work, emergency preparedness, and support to countries in developing the health policies needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At a time when WHO is competing for limited donor resources against other institutions, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, a clear explanation of how additional investments will deliver the goals set out in the investment case seems crucial. … [I]t is right that WHO is calling on donors to strengthen the agency’s global, regional, and country capacities to take advantage of the opportunities that exist for improving human health. Sharpening the investment case still further will go a long way to fulfill that opportunity” (9/29).

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Empowering Local Stakeholders Key To Health Promotion In Africa

Washington Post: Ebola is back. Is Africa ready?
Emmanuel Balogun, assistant professor of international relations at Webster University, and Amy S. Patterson, professor of politics at University of the South

“…Our research shows that … Africans with a direct stake in promoting health (‘stakeholders’) have significant power to shape health outcomes. … Africans are not passive participants in the presence of global health organizations such as the WHO — but have the power to affect health outcomes through what may seem to be small activities. Our research shows that religious leaders, traditional healers, and community activists take on specific tasks, such as educating people about outbreaks, mobilizing their followers to help the sick, and providing medicine and initial treatments. … African stakeholders also demonstrate far broader power on health issues. … They have pushed back against health policies they think are not appropriate in their cultural or religious contexts. … [O]ur findings on stakeholder power and trust have wide applicability. We acknowledge the challenges of coordination and adequate resources in health crises such as the current Ebola outbreak in Congo, but our findings suggest that improving the health of local populations requires knowledge about how African players affect outcomes” (9/27).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

MFAN Delivers Statement On U.S. House Passage Of BUILD Act

Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network: U.S. House of Representatives Advances Development Finance by Passing BUILD Act
In a statement delivered on behalf of MFAN, Co-chairs George Ingram, Lester Munson, and Tessie San Martin discuss the U.S. House passage of the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, stating, “Full congressional passage of the BUILD Act will be an important step toward supporting private sector activity in developing countries and investing effectively in our partners’ journey to self-reliance” (9/27).

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Women In Global Health Post Highlights 10 Asks On Gender Equality For U.N. General Assembly

Women in Global Health: Ten Asks: doing things differently in Gender Equality and Global Health
Roopa Dhatt, executive director and co-founder of Women in Global Health, and colleagues offer reflections for the 73rd U.N. General Assembly and high-level meetings, highlighting 10 asks on gender for U.N. Member States and international organizations attending the meetings. These include “1.Change the narrative … 2. Shift the mind-set … 3. Include voices from the South … 4. Record and value unpaid health and social care work … 5. Adopt gender transformative strategies … 6. Root out inequity … 7. Close all gender gaps … 8. Customize policy solutions … 9. Support collective action … 10. Understand that gender equality in global health is everyone’s business” (9/19).

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Independent Accountability Panel Releases 2018 Report Focused On Private Sector Engagement In MCAH

Independent Accountability Panel for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent: The IAP 2018 Report Launch
The Independent Accountability Panel for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent (IAP) launched its U.N. Secretary-General’s IAP 2018 report on Thursday. The IAP is “mandated by the U.N. Secretary-General to conduct an annual independent review of progress of the Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030. The report’s key findings and recommendations, focused on this year’s theme — The Private Sector: Who is Accountable?” (9/27).

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Devex, Philips Release Report On Role Of Early Detection, Diagnosis In Global NCD Efforts

Devex: Early Detection & Diagnosis: A Critical Link for Effective NCD Management
In this joint report, Devex and Philips examine the role that early detection and diagnosis play in NCD control and management efforts. The report states, “We surveyed over 1,200 health professionals and interviewed over a dozen NCD experts to understand where and how early detection and diagnosis fits into effective NCD management. Across both the survey and interviews, we found a global health community that was energized about tackling NCDs and in agreement that we must transform today’s conversation into meaningful action” (September 2018).

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E.U. Provides Funding To Support Ebola Preparedness, Prevention Measures In Rwanda, Uganda

European Commission: E.U. steps up Ebola response with preparedness measures in Rwanda and Uganda
“In response to the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the E.U. is assisting the Red Cross to reinforce preparedness in Uganda and Rwanda. … The E.U. will provide humanitarian funding amounting to €100,000 … to prevent the transmission of the virus from DRC, and to support the detection of Ebola cases. The funds will support preparedness and prevention measures by the Rwandan Red Cross and the Ugandan Red Cross in at-risk districts…” (9/27).

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Copenhagen Consensus Center, Tata Trusts Partner To Form India Consensus Aimed At Improving Nation's Development

Copenhagen Consensus: India Consensus
“The India Consensus is a partnership between Tata Trusts and the Copenhagen Consensus Center. The aim is to identify the smartest solutions to some of India’s most pressing development challenges. Studies will be conducted across a wide range of policy areas — from education, health, and governance to trade, infrastructure development, and energy — through state-wide prioritization projects.” A brochure on the India Consensus’s work in Andhra Pradesh is available online (September 2018).

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HRW Consultant Discusses Lack Of Support Services For Families Impacted By Zika In Brazil

Human Rights Watch: Brazil Should Not Forget the Zika Families
João Guilherme Bieber, consultant at HRW’s Environment and Human Rights Division, discusses the impact of the Zika outbreak in Brazil. Bieber writes, “[F]amilies raising children with congenital Zika syndrome don’t have the support they need, much less services that protect their basic human rights to life and health. … The lack of community-based services and support could have devastating consequences for children with congenital Zika syndrome. … Federal and local authorities should not leave them to struggle alone. These children need the best medical and developmental care available, and they need care within reach…” This post also appeared in Huffington Post Brazil (9/27).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes PEPFAR Reauthorization Bill

U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations: Corker, Menendez: PEPFAR Reauthorization Bill Passes Committee, Extends Successful U.S. Program to Combat HIV/AIDS
“U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, [Wednesday] praised committee passage of their legislation to extend the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for another five years. … The PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018, coauthored by Corker and Menendez, continues authorization and oversight of PEPFAR through 2024 to ensure prevention and treatment services remain available to those in need…” (9/26).

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U.S. Secretary Of State Pompeo Releases 2018 PEPFAR Progress Report

U.S. Department of State: Secretary Pompeo Launches 2018 PEPFAR Strategy Progress Report
“[Thursday], on the margins of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo released the 2018 Progress Report on the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Strategy for Accelerating HIV/AIDS Epidemic Control (2017-2020). … The Progress Report demonstrates that, through the support of the United States government and our collaboration with partners around the globe, up to 13 high-HIV-burden countries are on pace to control their HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2020. The Progress Report also details that many more of the 53 countries supported by PEPFAR could achieve epidemic control by 2020 if they accelerate their efforts and focus resources and policies to ensure access to HIV prevention and treatment services for those most in need…” (9/27).

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New Issue Of NIH Fogarty International Center's 'Global Health Matters' Newsletter Available Online

NIH Fogarty International Center: Global Health Matters
The most recent issue of the Fogarty International Center’s newsletter contains various articles addressing global health topics, including an article about U.S. funding helping to support sub-Saharan Africa’s health care and research workforce capacity; an opinion piece from Fogarty Director Roger Glass on encouraging research innovations that improve health; and a focus on tackling the global burden of dementia (September/October 2018).

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From KFF

KFF Releases Updated Fact Sheet On U.S. Government Engagement In Global Health Efforts

Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. Government and Global Health
This updated fact sheet provides an overview of U.S. government involvement in global health efforts, including the role the U.S. plays in global health, U.S. agencies and departments involved in these efforts, major program areas the U.S. supports, and funding (9/26).

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