KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

World Bank Coronavirus Vaccine Financing Plan Expected To Be Considered By Board, Says Bank President

Reuters: Exclusive: World Bank seeks board approval for $12 billion coronavirus vaccine financing plan
“World Bank President David Malpass said on Tuesday he is seeking board approval for a $12 billion coronavirus vaccine financing plan to help poor and developing countries secure a sufficient share of vaccine doses when they become available in the coming months. Malpass told Reuters in an exclusive interview that the initiative, part of $160 billion in coronavirus aid financing pledged by the multilateral lender, is aimed at helping countries procure and distribute vaccines early to health care and other essential workers and expand global production. He said the board was expected to consider the plan in early October…” (Lawder, 9/29).

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U.N.'s New COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker Monitors Country Policies Aimed At Protecting Women Amid Pandemic

Devex: New tool tracks how policies are protecting women during COVID-19
“New data reveals that most countries are not taking a comprehensive approach to protecting women from the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 25 countries have responded across the three areas measured — tackling violence against women and girls, supporting unpaid care, and strengthening women’s economic security — according to the COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker, which U.N. Women and the U.N. Development Programme launched Monday. The dashboard aims to monitor progress and share best practices in order to support countries in developing social protection and employment responses that prioritize gender equality…” (Cheney, 9/30).

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Research Examines Characteristics Of COVID-19 Pandemic In Africa; Africa CDC Conducting Survey To Gauge Vaccine Perceptions

Devex: Data suggests the pandemic is playing out differently in Africa
“Experts are calling for more study of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa as ongoing data analysis points to differences in how it is playing out on the continent. Speaking at a World Health Organization press briefing last week, professor Mark Woolhouse, director of Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa, a research partnership that has been analyzing data on the pandemic, said the group’s findings so far point to unique characteristics within Africa…” (Chakamba, 9/30).

Devex: Africa CDC launches vaccine perception survey
“Data collectors are spreading out through five African nations to conduct a survey for four weeks to see how people feel about a COVID-19 vaccine, according to John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. After months of preparation, teams in South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, and Nigeria took to the field to gauge the perceptions of communities as part of the Africa COVID-19 Vaccine Perceptions Survey. At his weekly press briefing last week, Nkengasong stressed that understanding perceptions and community engagement is essential, as they will help determine the continent’s vaccine uptake strategy…” (Chakamba, 9/30).

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Media Outlets Report On Latest Developments In Coronavirus Vaccine Race

Bloomberg: FDA Official Says Vaccine Makers Know What Data the Agency Expects (Edney/Baumann, 9/29).

DW: Coronavirus vaccine: Why does India’s Serum Institute have a head start? (Krishnan, 9/29).

New York Times: All Eyes Are on Pfizer as Trump Pushes for Vaccine by October (Thomas, 9/30).

STAT: Trump’s debate highlights his hunger for a rushed, election-eve vaccine approval (Facher, 9/29).

Washington Post: Pfizer CEO on the pressures of creating a covid-19 vaccine: ‘What is at stake is beyond imagination’ (Ottesen, 9/29).

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Year-Long Investigation Examines Sexual Abuse Allegations During Recent DRC Ebola Outbreak

The New Humanitarian: Power, poverty, and aid: The mix that fueled sex abuse claims in Congo
“Sex-for-jobs schemes were an open secret during the Democratic Republic of Congo’s recent Ebola outbreak, half a dozen senior U.N. officials and NGO workers told reporters from The New Humanitarian and the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Strategies put in place to stop such abuses largely failed during the outbreak that swept through the country from 2018 to 2020, aid officials and workers, gender analysts, and researchers who examined the response told reporters in nearly a year of interviews. Reports commissioned by organizations and donors also cited abuse concerns…” (Flummerfelt/Peyton, 9/29).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: EXCLUSIVE — More than 50 women accuse aid workers of sexual abuse in Congo Ebola crisis
“…In interviews, 51 women — many of whose accounts were backed up by aid agency drivers and local NGO workers — recounted multiple incidents of abuse, mainly by men who said they were international workers, during the 2018 to 2020 Ebola crisis. The majority of the women said numerous men had either propositioned them, forced them to have sex in exchange for a job, or terminated contracts when they refused. The number and similarity of many of the accounts from women in the eastern city of Beni suggests the practice was widespread, with three organizations vowing to investigate the accusations uncovered. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called for the allegations to be ‘investigated fully’…” (Flummerfelt et al., 9/29).

WHO: WHO to investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (9/29).

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Experts Warn Malaria Mosquito That Thrives In Urban Areas Could Cause New Outbreaks In African Cities

SciDev.Net: New malaria mosquito threatens mass outbreaks in Africa
“Africa has just months to react to an invasive malaria mosquito that thrives in cities, before the situation escalates beyond control, experts warn. Scientists predict that more than 125 million city dwellers across Africa will face a higher malaria risk from a type of Asian mosquito that is quickly moving across the continent. The mosquito, Anopheles stephensi, is one of the few malaria mosquitoes that thrives in urban areas because of its ability to find clean water to lay its eggs. Malaria is traditionally considered to be a rural disease. In Africa, city centers can be completely free of malaria transmission, according to experts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). But, the invading mosquito could drastically alter the location and movement of malaria in Africa, which records 94 percent of global malaria deaths, mostly in children under five…” (Buguzi/Broom, 9/28).

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More COVID-19 & Global Health News

Devex: Short of mental health professionals, Nigeria tries a new approach (Adepoju, 9/29).

Devex: Partnering in a pandemic: Advancing global access to health during COVID-19 (Shue, 9/29).

The Guardian: How Covid sowed the seeds of food security in Johannesburg (Rajaonary, 9/30).

The Hill: Trump downplays CDC guidance on masks (Weixel, 9/29).

PBS News Hour: As global pandemic deaths pass 1 million, how can we get the virus under control? (Brangham, 9/29).

Science: How stigmatizing disease — from COVID-19 to HIV — creates a vicious cycle of sickness (Goldberg/Pasztor, 9/29).

Science: One number could help reveal how infectious a COVID-19 patient is. Should test results include it? (Service, 9/29).

U.N. News: Food loss and waste ‘an ethical outrage’, U.N. chief says on International Day (9/29).

Vox: What Biden can do to fix Trump’s Covid-19 mess (Lopex, 9/29).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Topics Related To COVID-19, Including Gender-Based Violence, ACT-Accelerator, Planetary Health

Devex: Opinion: Toward an infrastructure for gender-based violence response — lessons in the age of COVID-19
Chinonye “Chi Chi” Egbulem, gender specialist, social-impact thought leader, and racial equity consultant (9/29).

The Telegraph: A global pandemic requires a world effort to end it – none of us will be safe until everyone is safe
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO (9/30).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Opinion: Time for a global reset, to address the planetary emergency
Andrea Meza, minister of environment and energy for Costa Rica (9/29).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts, Releases Address Various Aspects Of COVID-19, Including Vaccines, Pooled Testing, Food Security, Other Topics

BMJ Opinion: We must take a One Health approach to improve human pandemic infection control
Camilla T.O. Benfield, course director for MSc One Health: ecosystems, humans, and animals at the Royal Veterinary College, and colleagues (9/30).

BMJ Opinion: Vaccines for covid-19: reasons for hope, but first for concern
Jose M. Martin-Moreno, professor of preventive medicine and public health at the Medical School and INCLIVA-Clinical Hospital at the University of Valencia, and colleagues (9/30).

BMJ Opinion: Pooled testing for SARS-CoV-2 could provide the solution to U.K.’s testing strategy
Alan McNally, professor in microbial genomics at the University of Birmingham, and colleagues (9/30).

Chicago Council’s “Global Food for Thought”: Guest Commentary — Africa’s Food Processors are Vital for the Continent’s Food Security. COVID-19 Is Putting Them at Risk.
Brent Wibberley, director of food processing at Technoserve (9/29).

International Rescue Committee: New Report Reveals How the Failures of the International Community to Combat COVID-19 Has Led to Dire Consequences for Millions of the Most Vulnerable (9/29).

UNAIDS: As pandemic deaths pass 1 million, COVID survivors from 37 countries write to pharmaceutical bosses to demand a People’s Vaccine (9/29).

WHO: Never too late to fight back against pandemic
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO (9/29).

World Economic Forum: As the COVID-19 death toll passes 1 million, how does it compare to other major killers?
Kate Whiting, senior writer for Formative Content (9/29).

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New Tool Tracks HIV-Related Laws, Policies In Effort To Improve Transparency, Global Response

Georgetown University O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law: New HIV Policy Lab uses law and policy data in the HIV response
“Despite decades of scientific advance in the HIV response, progress remains uneven, with some countries rapidly reducing AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections and others seeing increasing epidemics. Laws and policies are driving a significant part of that divergence. Launched [Tuesday], the HIV Policy Lab is a unique initiative to gather and monitor HIV-related laws and policies around the world. … The HIV Policy Lab is a data visualization and comparison tool that tracks national policy across 33 different indicators in 194 countries around the world, giving a measure of the policy environment. The goal is to improve transparency, the ability to understand and use the information easily and the ability to compare countries, supporting governments to learn from their neighbors, civil society to increase accountability, and researchers to study the impact of laws and policies on the HIV pandemic. … The HIV Policy Lab is a collaboration between Georgetown University and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, UNAIDS, the Global Network of People Living with HIV and Talus Analytics” (9/29).

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Blog Post Highlights An American's Engagement With UNFPA

Pass Blue: The UNFPA Is Thriving as It Praises an American Who Kept U.S. Interest Alive
Barbara Crossette, senior consulting editor and writer for PassBlue and U.N. correspondent for The Nation, highlights an American’s engagement with the UNFPA in Africa (9/29).

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Health Affairs Blog Discusses Impact Of Undernutrition On TB

Health Affairs Blog: Meals As Medicine: Feed The Hungry To Treat The Tuberculosis Pandemic
Pranay Sinha, infectious diseases physician and post-doctoral researcher at the Boston University School of Medicine, and Natasha S. Hochberg, infectious diseases physician and associate professor of medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine and associate professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health, discuss the impact of undernutrition on tuberculosis, writing, “To meet the goals of the End-TB Strategy, we must take immediate and radical action. Continued investment in diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines is critical, but we must also invest in meals as we do in medicines. The only way to make rapid progress toward TB elimination is extend our work upstream and focus on prevention by addressing socioeconomic factors such as undernutrition” (9/29).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Releases 2019 Annual Report On Progress, Impact Of U.S. Investments In Global Health Security Agenda

USAID: U.S. Government Releases Its Annual Report on the Progress and Impact of Its Investments in the Global Health Security Agenda
“[Tuesday], the United States Government released, ‘Strengthening Health Security Across the Globe: Progress and Impact of U.S. Government Investments in the Global Health Security Agenda.’ This whole-of-Government report demonstrates the determination of the United States to continue to advance health security at home and abroad. The pandemic of COVID-19 is a poignant reminder that the work to achieve global health security is urgent and ongoing. … This annual report highlights the U.S. Government’s contributions to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and to partnerships under the GHSA that have improved capabilities in partner countries to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious-disease threats and outbreaks…” (9/29).

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USAID Acting Administrator Marks Anniversary Of Agency's Global Accelerator To End TB

USAID: Statement by USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa on the Anniversary of USAID’s Global Accelerator to End Tuberculosis
In a statement on the anniversary of USAID’s Global Accelerator to End TB, USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa notes, “Over the past two years, the Accelerator has made impressive progress in building national commitment and capacity to respond to TB. … As the world comes together in fighting COVID-19, it is important to prevent a reversal in our efforts to end TB. … As the U.S. Government’s lead agency on efforts to eliminate TB around the globe, USAID will continue to build national capacity to recover from COVID-19’s setbacks and end TB” (9/29).

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From KFF

KFF Provides Resources On Global, Domestic Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic

KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of September 30, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (9/30).

Additional KFF COVID-19 resources on the global situation, as well as those focused on the response and impact within the U.S., are available here. KFF’s blog series “Coronavirus Policy Watch” is available here.

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