KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- Trump Administration Signs Onto Several Consensus Documents At G7, Including On Gender, Africa
VOA News: At G7, Trump Dumps Climate But Agrees on Gender, Africa“At a contentious summit where the United States stood apart from allies on many issues, including the Amazon fires, Russian membership, and the tariff war with China, U.S. President Donald Trump did agree to support several Group of Seven initiatives, despite reports that his administration considered them ‘niche issues.’ A senior administration official confirmed to VOA that the Trump administration signed several consensus documents, particularly in the area of gender equality, partnership with Africa, and digital transformation. The United States did not sign on to a $20 million aid offer from the G7 to help the government of Brazil fight the Amazon rainforest fires. … While analysts applaud that Ivanka Trump is continuing a long-standing U.S. policy to support gender equality worldwide, they point out to the fact that women’s economic empowerment is closely tied to reproductive rights, an area where the Trump administration has restrictive policies…” (Widakuswara, 8/30).
- Trump Administration Drops Rescission Package But Keeps Spending Caps On State Department
ABC News: Despite battle with Congress, Trump administration slow-walking $4 billion in aid, including key funds for Ukraine“…Last Thursday, President Donald Trump stood down on what’s called a rescission package that would have canceled about $4 billion of funds from the budget for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development. … The programs come from 10 areas, including global health, assistance to Europe to counter Russia and China, United Nations peacekeeping operations and countering drug trafficking. … While the White House agreed [to drop the rescission package], OMB quietly mandated that the State Department keep in place caps on spending for these programs … One source told ABC News there’s concern that given the 2% cap, the department won’t be able to spend all the money in the next month and could therefore lose it, arguing it would be a way of making the original rescission package happen but without formally notifying Congress…” (Finnegan/McLaughlin, 8/31).
- U.N. SG Pledges Solidarity With DRC, WHO Calls For More Support In Efforts To Stop Ebola Epidemic As Case Total Reaches 3K
Associated Press: U.N. chief visits Congo Ebola region, pledging support“The United Nations secretary general visited Congo’s eastern city of Beni on Sunday, pledging solidarity as the region faces an Ebola outbreak that has killed nearly 2,000 people in a year and ongoing insecurity that has residents skeptical of outside help…” (Maliro, 9/1).U.N. News: U.N. chief pays tribute to the courage of DR Congo citizens facing Ebola and insecurity, and the sacrifice of blue helmets“…The United Nations system is determined to support the Congolese authorities, local communities, and civil society actors, added Mr. Guterres, in the fight against insecurity, and that he will raise the subject with the national authorities in the capital, Kinshasa, on Monday. The secretary general also visited the Mangina Ebola Treatment Centre on Sunday, where he expressed his admiration for the resilience of the community, and pointed out the central importance of security to tackling the disease…” (9/1).Xinhua News: WHO urges for ‘full force’ against Ebola in DRC as cases reach 3,000“The World Health Organization (WHO) called on Friday for ‘full force’ of all partners to stop Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as the number of cases reaches 3,000 posing one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world…” (8/30).Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from Agence France-Presse, Al Jazeera, Associated Press, CIDRAP News, CNN, NPR, Reuters, The Telegraph, U.N. News, VOA News, Xinhua News.
- Former DRC Health Minister Questioned Over Ebola Spending; Lawyers Say Any Allegations ‘Unfounded’
Reuters: Former Congo health minister questioned over Ebola spending“Democratic Republic of Congo’s former health minister has been questioned by police over his management of funds in the country’s response to the Ebola epidemic, his lawyers said on Monday. They denied any wrongdoing by Oly Ilunga and said no formal accusations had been made against him relating to the Ebola response. Any allegations, they said, would be ‘unfounded (and) without basis in evidence’…” (Mahamba/Ross, 9/2).
- Gavi Hopes To Raise $7.4B For 5-Year Period Beginning In 2021
STAT: Global vaccine coalition unveils ambitious plan to immunize 300 million children“Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has unveiled an ambitious plan to expand the number of doses it helps developing countries purchase, aiming to vaccinate an additional 300 million children from 2021 to 2025. The Geneva-based organization revealed to donors it needs $7.4 billion for its five-year period at an event in Japan on Friday (local time) to launch its replenishment drive…” (Branswell, 8/29).VOA News: Alliance Seeks $7.4B to Immunize 300M Children“…Gavi’s latest fundraising drive is its most ambitious to date. Officials said they expected huge returns from what would be the agency’s most comprehensive and cost-effective preventive health package ever. Gavi said the vaccines would protect against 18 diseases, saving up to 8 million lives…” (Schlein, 8/30).
- More News In Global Health
Al Jazeera: Feeding India’s future: Why malnutrition is bad for the economy (Sanghera, 9/3).DW: Putting the brakes on population growth (8/30).Fortune: ‘Contagious and Dangerous’: As Measles Cases Soar in Europe, Officials Wage a War Against Online Disinformation (Warner, 9/1).The Guardian: Sewage, Zika virus – and the team in Brazil mapping disease hotspots (Phillips, 9/2).The Guardian: Tackling the cycle of inequality of girls in the developing world by numbers (9/3).NPR: Whatever Happened To … The 494 Children Who Got HIV In 1 Pakistani City? (Samad, 8/30).SciDevNet: Africa polio eradication on brink (Abutu, 9/2).U.N. News: Hospitals among seven health centres attacked in Syria’s north-east (9/2).Xinhua: Dengue cases in Bangladesh hit 70,000-mark, show sign of fall (9/1).Xinhua: Interview: Dengue cases to rise in Philippines due to rain: WHO expert (9/2).Xinhua: Fresh polio cases reported in Afghanistan: gov’t (9/2).Xinhua: Liberia declares health emergency as Lassa fever deaths rise to 21 (9/2).
Editorials and Opinions
- DRC Faces Threat Of Ebola Becoming Endemic; Redoubling Of Outbreak Control Efforts In Communities Needed
The Hill: Ebola in the DRC: One Year, 2000 deaths and countingAmesh Adalja, physician and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security“In recent days the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), though only occasionally meriting headlines in American newspapers, achieved a new milestone: The death toll has now surpassed 2,000 and the case count stands over 3,000. If this outbreak, which has been designated by many experts as the most difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in history, continues to simmer along uninterrupted as it has for over a year, the DRC is facing the real threat of endemicity, a chronic continual transmission of Ebola. Were this to occur, even though Ebola would not find high-income countries hospitable, the biosecurity of the world would be severely diminished. … There are no easy answers to stopping this outbreak as its complexity doesn’t lend itself to a silver bullet solution. No vaccine or antiviral can carry the burden alone. What is needed is the ability to perform basic public health functions free from violence. This includes a redoubling of efforts to engage the community and educate them about the threat of Ebola, its symptoms, how it spreads, how it is treated, the power of the vaccine, and myriad other questions that might arise. This formula has stopped every Ebola outbreak in history — and it can stop the current outbreak — but only if adequate resources, expertise, and attention are directed at to this precarious situation” (8/30).
- Opinion Piece Urges Governments To Increase Resources, Financing For Tobacco Control Efforts, Especially In LMICs
IPS: Why Governments Must Prioritise Sustained Tobacco Control Investment in Low- & Middle-Income NationsRyan Forrest, policy and research adviser; Sara Rose Taylor, research officer; and Mafoya Dossoumon communications manager, all with the Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control“Trends in global consumption of cigarettes haven’t improved since the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) came into force, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) earlier this summer. Perhaps this is because the FCTC on its own is not a magic bullet. Governments have paid the issue of tobacco-use a lot of lip service but they have invested very little to match the global burden of the epidemic. Simply agreeing on what needs to be done (i.e. negotiating and ratifying the FCTC) will not on its own lead to reductions in tobacco use. What’s important is whether countries are adopting, implementing, and enforcing tobacco control laws and policies in line with their obligations under the treaty. … For sustainable development, there is much to be done. There will be little progress if there is no urgent action to reduce tobacco use in LMICs. It’s time for the international community to match the scale of the tobacco use problem with the resources and financing needed to enable progress” (9/3).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- U.K. International Development Secretary Releases Statement Concerning DRC Ebola Outbreak, Case At Ugandan Border
U.K. Government: International Development Secretary calls on global leaders to step up Ebola response after more than 2000 people die of the diseaseU.K. International Development Secretary Alok Sharma released a statement on the DRC Ebola outbreak and the case of a Congolese girl who died of Ebola after crossing the Ugandan border (8/30).
- WHO DG Urges World Leaders To Support UHC, Upcoming High-Level Meeting On Issue
World Health Organization: WHO Director-General calls on world leaders to support Universal Health Coverage high-level meetingWHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus released a statement urging world leaders to commit to supporting universal health coverage and the upcoming high-level meeting focused on the issue (9/3).
- WHO EMRO Discusses Recent HIV Outbreak In Pakistan, Urges Treatment Scale Up
WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean: WHO and partners mobilize antiretroviral drugs for HIV-positive children in PakistanThe WHO regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) released a statement about the recent HIV outbreak in Pakistan. According to the statement, “WHO deployed an international team to investigate and control the HIV outbreak in Larkana … Of those infected, 82% (741) are children under 15 years of age. Although preliminary findings indicate that unsafe injection practices and poor infection control are the cause of the large number of HIV infections among children, the local health authority, with the support of WHO, is currently undertaking a case-control study to identify the cause and the source of the outbreak and the outcome of the study is expected soon. To control the outbreak, WHO and health partners, including Pakistan’s Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, is planning to urgently scale up the treatment of patients who have tested positive, prevent further transmission and tackle the root causes of the outbreak, as laid out in a US$ 1 million response plan” (8/27).
- WHO Committee Approves First Phase Of Global Registry Tracking Human Genome Editing
World Health Organization: WHO launches global registry on human genome editing“A WHO expert advisory committee has approved the first phase of a new global registry to track research on human genome editing. The 18-member committee also announced an online consultation on the governance of genome editing…” (8/29).
- September 2019 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online
WHO: Bulletin of the World Health OrganizationThe September 2019 WHO Bulletin features articles on various topics, including an editorial on Ethiopia’s emergency care systems, a news article on health workforce burnout, and a research article on noncommunicable disease mortality in various age groups (September 2019).
- For-Profit Public-Private Partnership Addresses Malnutrition In Rwanda
World Economic Forum: A for-profit project has improved nutrition in Rwanda — is it a model that can eliminate hunger across Africa?Mauricio Adade, president of Latin America and Global Malnutrition Partnerships at Royal DSM, discusses a public-private partnership addressing hunger and malnutrition in Rwanda. The partnership Africa Improved Foods (AIF) is a “for-profit joint-venture with shareholders from the public and private sector.” According to Adade, “AIF purchases locally grown staple crops from more than 24,000 smallholder farmers, mostly women, at prices that guarantee a predictable income. The crops are processed at AIF’s factory in Kigali and distributed to the entire country” (9/3).