KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines Key Takeaways From U.N. General Assembly, Global Goals Week

Devex: UNGA 74: Top takeaways
“The 74th United Nations General Assembly is in the books. … Now the international community can take stock of whether it matched the multiple urgent priorities that framed this week with real efforts to advance progress. … Here are some of our takeaways from Global Goals Week, and predictions on what’s next for some of these major development trends…” (Lieberman et al., 9/30).

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Mexico City Policy Impacting Access To Reproductive Health Services In Nepal, Report Says

The Guardian: Nepal’s family planning clinics feel the force of Trump’s global gag rule
“…[At least] 150 Family Planning Association Nepal (FPAN) staff [have lost] their jobs over the past year because of Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City policy — or the ‘global gag rule.’ Two and a half years after it was reintroduced, the rule is starting to have a profound effect across Nepal. … A report published by the Centre for Research on Environment Health and Population Activities and the International Women’s Health Coalition said the rule threatened Nepal’s progress in improving its reproductive health services, and would damage any future programs across the country…” (Adhikari, 9/28).

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NIH Official Discusses Concerns Over Alleged Exploitation Of Government-Funded Research

Science: NIH reveals its formula for tracking foreign influences
“…In an interview [Thursday] with Science, Michael Lauer, director of NIH’s extramural research program in Bethesda, Maryland, described a two-pronged strategy that NIH believes China’s Thousand Talents Program has pursued to improperly reap the benefits of NIH-funded research. One entails breaching NIH’s vaunted system of reviewing grant proposals to share information with colleagues in China. The second consists of setting up shadow labs in that country to replicate NIH-funded research…” (Mervis, 9/27).

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African Leaders Strive To Strike Balance In U.N. General Assembly Speeches, Highlighting Progress But Also Health, Development Challenges

Associated Press: At U.N., Africa balances highlighting its progress and poverty
“…The dance the African leaders must perform each year [at the U.N. General Assembly] is delicate. Paint too bleak a picture, and rich countries, global funds, and the U.N. system itself might wonder: What happened to the money we gave last year? But fail to lay out the very real challenges of people living through drought and rebel attacks and crop failure and malaria, and they will fail to ignite the urgency needed to solve those problems…” (DiLorenzo, 9/27).

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DRC Ebola Case Numbers Shrink But Violence Could Impact Reporting; U.S., U.K. Issue Travel Warnings For Tanzania Regarding Suspected Ebola Cases

CIDRAP News: WHO: 29 new Ebola cases in past week, down from 57 in week before
“According to the latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO), daily Ebola case counts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have dropped nearly by half in the past few weeks, but violent skirmishes may be obscuring more cases…” (Soucheray, 9/27).

DW: Ebola: What is the best vaccination strategy?
“An end to the Ebola epidemic is not in sight, Doctors Without Borders calls on the World Health Organization to adopt a new vaccination strategy. What is the dispute about?…” (Schmidt, 9/27).

Reuters: U.S. travel warning adds to pressure on Tanzania over suspected Ebola cases
“The United States has warned its citizens to take extra care when visiting Tanzania amid concerns over Ebola, adding to calls for the East African country to share information about suspected cases of the deadly disease there…” (Ng’wanakilala, 9/28).

STAT: U.S. and U.K. alert travelers to Tanzania about possible unreported Ebola cases
“The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom are alerting their citizens to the possibility that there may be unreported Ebola cases in Tanzania. … The moves will likely ratchet up pressure on the Tanzanian government, which has steadfastly denied having any Ebola cases. Though it has been asked by the World Health Organization to send out for external validation the tests it conducted on the dead doctor and several of her contacts who became sick as well, it has refused…” (Branswell, 9/27).

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India PM To Hail Clean India Scheme As Success Amid Allegations Initiative Incited Violence, Abuse

The Guardian: Narendra Modi to face down critics by hailing Clean India scheme a success
“Narendra Modi is to declare that his flagship sanitation program has ended open defecation in India, amid accusations that the scheme has sparked violence and abuse. India’s prime minister will make the announcement on Wednesday at an event in his home state of Gujarat, attended by 20,000 village chiefs and international dignitaries, according to the government. But Modi’s claims about the success of his Swachh Bharat (Clean India) program mask a bleaker reality, with reports of intimidation, harassment, and violence…” (Doshi, 9/30).

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New Report Examines Health-Related Costs, Impacts Of Governments' Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Health Policy Watch: Fueling An Unhealthy Future — Report Sheds New Light On Health Costs of Fossil Fuel Subsidies
“Globally, governments are spending nearly $US 300 billion in price supports and other pre-tax subsidies for fossil fuels — which are costing national governments a whopping $US 2.7 trillion in health costs from air pollution-related mortality, disease and lost productivity — not to mention fueling climate change. The data is part of a new paper released Thursday by the New York-based global health organization Vital Strategies and the Geneva-based NCD Alliance. The brief, Fueling an Unhealthy Future, lines up national expenditures on expenditures for the most health-harmful fossil fuels against the costs to economies and health systems incurred on the other end — in terms of air pollution’s health impacts…” (Fletcher, 9/26).

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Media Outlets Continue To Cover Inaugural Report From Global Preparedness Monitoring Board

Homeland Preparedness News: New report assesses world’s ability to protect itself from health emergencies
“A new report issued by leaders in international health says the world may face great risk from pathogens, including a rapidly moving, highly lethal pandemic projected to kill 50 to 80 million people and wiping out nearly 5 percent of the world’s economy…” (Adrien, 9/27).

VOA: Health Experts Warn Disease Could Kill Millions Worldwide in 36 Hours
“…The group, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, operates independently of the World Health Organization and the World Bank, the entities that created it last year with a mandate to issue an annual assessment. The first report was grim…” (Pearson, 9/27).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Colombia preparing for prolonged response to Venezuela crisis (Welsh, 9/30).

Foreign Policy: Endless Conflict in Afghanistan Is Driving a Mental Health Crisis (Azad, 9/27).

The Guardian: Nigeria warned it risks humanitarian disaster by expelling charities (Wintour, 9/29).

Health Policy Watch: Universal Health Coverage Requires More Policy-Relevant Research (Ren, 9/26).

New Humanitarian: ‘We’re staying’: The doctors refusing to flee Idlib’s deadly front line (Edwards, 9/30).

VOA: Impoverished Women in Malawi Forced to Trade Sex for Fish (Masina, 9/30).

VOA: Dengue Fever Spreading Rapidly Across Central America (9/27).

Wired U.K.: What happens when vaccine skepticism takes over? Look to the Philippines (Imbong, 9/30).

Xinhua: Uganda launches oral rapid HIV self-testing kits (9/28).

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Editorials and Opinions

Washington Post Editorial Addresses Trump Administration's Actions At U.N., On Other Policies Regarding Sexual, Reproductive Health

Washington Post: Trump’s anti-woman push puts America in the pantheon of human rights offenders
Editorial Board

“…President Trump’s administration spearheaded a declaration at the United Nations this week calling for the elimination of allegedly ‘ambiguous’ expressions in the body’s documents — primarily, ‘sexual and reproductive health.’ These terms are often used to promote pro-abortion policies, the officials claimed, and ‘there is no international right to an abortion.’ Joining the land of the free? Some of the least-free nations on the planet, from Russia to Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and 12 more. … 58 countries signed on to a counter-statement helmed by the Netherlands in favor of the status quo. But the episode has shown what’s in store for this nation and the world under Mr. Trump’s nationalist paradigm. Putting America first means putting it shoulder to shoulder with serial repressors. It also means putting women last” (9/27).

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Family Planning Can Play Vital Role In Addressing Climate Change, Opinion Piece Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: OPINION: Why family planning is key to climate adaptation
Bridget Kelly, research associate with the Population Institute

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calls for ‘ambitious and effective adaption for sustainable development’ in its new report on the inevitable changes to the oceans and terrestrial water systems and the risks of delayed action. In celebrating World Contraception Day on September 26, it’s important to understand how the two issues are profoundly related. For those living in places severely affected by climate change, family planning is an indispensable climate adaptation tool. Access to contraception can space or limit unintended pregnancies, helping food-insecure communities adapt to the challenges posed by climate change and making families healthier and more resilient in times of crisis. While policymakers talk of infrastructure and energy-related solutions, climate change experts point to family planning and women’s empowerment as smart investments that benefit both the environment and society. … Family planning contributes significantly to healthier families, healthier communities, and a healthier planet. Though it is no substitute for sustained reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, it can make a vital difference to human wellbeing and the future of the planet” (9/27).

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Opinion Piece Outlines Actions For Preventing Disease Outbreaks As Climate Changes

Global Health NOW: 3 Keys to Outbreak Preparedness in the Climate Change Era
Chikwe Ihekweazu, director general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

“…To wake up from our paralysis and prepare for the impact of climate change on infectious disease outbreak preparedness and response, there are 3 critical steps I believe we must all take. First, we have to acknowledge the problem and recognize that no nation will be spared. … Next, we have to ensure that [national public health institutes (NPHIs)] not only can do great surveillance, but great science. … Finally, we must develop capacities for outbreak response from the grassroots to the global level. … Clearly, it is time we invest in research to better understand climate change and infectious disease and develop responsible policies…” (9/27).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Health Ministers, Delegates From Americas To Meet To Discuss Regional Health Priorities

PAHO: Health ministers to gather in Washington to set policies, priorities for health action in the Americas
“Health ministers and other high-level delegates from the Americas will open a week-long meeting here on Sept. 30 to discuss health priorities and plans of action at the Pan American Health Organization’s 57th Directing Council. Top health authorities from North, South, and Central America as well as the Caribbean will seek agreement on regional strategies and plans that address their common and most pressing health challenges…” (9/26).

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Medical Students Discuss Climate Change's Impact On Patient Health, Health Care Industry's Role In Emissions

BMJ Opinion: Climate change is impacting population health and our future patients: remaining silent is not an option
Chloe Legard, medical student at the University of Cambridge, and colleagues discuss the implications of climate change for their future patients’ health, as well as the health care industry’s role in emissions. They write, “Healthcare professionals are in a unique position to inform, engage, and educate. … We are calling for the entire healthcare sector to unite and demand urgent action to safeguard the health of our future patients” (9/26).

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From the U.S. Government

CDC's MMWR Provides Update On Global Progress Toward Polio Containment Implementation

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Progress Toward Poliovirus Containment Implementation — Worldwide, 2018-2019
Daphne B. Moffett of the World Health Organization and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative Containment Management Group and colleagues discuss global progress toward polio containment implementation (9/27).

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From KFF

KFF Updates Explainer On Ebola Outbreak, U.S. Role
Kaiser Family Foundation: The Current Ebola Outbreak and the U.S. Role: An Explainer
KFF updated its explainer on the current Ebola outbreak in DRC, which discusses the U.S. role in responding to the outbreak and presents key questions about the broader global response (Moss/Michaud/Kates, 9/27).

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