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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID Secures Congressional Approval For 'Almost All' Reforms, Announces Key Leadership Positions
Devex: With approval for ‘almost all’ reforms, USAID announces key leadership
“Nearly 17 months after U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green first unveiled the new organizational structure he hopes will make U.S. foreign aid programs more effective, the agency has secured Congressional approval for ‘almost all’ of its reorganization proposals, according to emails sent to partners and obtained by Devex. … One of the most significant changes under the new organizational plan is the creation of a new position — associate administrator for relief, resilience, and response, who will oversee three different bureaus: a bureau for humanitarian assistance, a bureau for conflict prevention and stabilization, and a bureau for resilience and food security. … At least for now, the associate administrator position will be filled by Tim Ziemer, currently a senior deputy assistant administrator at USAID, a former member of President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, and the former U.S. global malaria coordinator. Ziemer will also serve as assistant to the administrator in the new Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, which will combine the USAID Office of Food for Peace and USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance…” (Igoe, 9/4).

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U.S. HHS Awards 10-Year, $2B Contract To Emergent BioSolutions For Smallpox Vaccine For National Stockpile
Homeland Preparedness News: HHS awards 10-year contract to Emergent BioSolutions for smallpox vaccine
“Emergent BioSolutions Inc. said Tuesday it was awarded a contract for its smallpox vaccine from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) valued at approximately $2 billion over 10 years. The contract specifically supports the continued supply of Emergent’s ACAM2000 (Smallpox (Vaccinia) Vaccine, Live) into the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)…” (Flax, 9/3).

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All Parties In Yemen War Committing Abuses, U.N. Human Rights Council Report Says
New York Times: War Crimes Committed by Both Sides in Yemen, U.N. Panel Says
“All parties to the war in Yemen are committing horrific abuses, from arbitrary killings to rape and torture, with an impunity that underscores a collective failure of the international community, a panel of international experts said on Tuesday. … The United States, Britain, France, and Iran could be complicit in abuses by providing intelligence and logistics support, and by making arms transfers that were of ‘questionable legitimacy,’ the panel said, and which perpetuated the conflict…” (Cumming-Bruce, 9/3).
 
Washington Post: U.N. report says U.S., Britain, France may be complicit in potential war crimes in Yemen
“…The wide-ranging report from a team of investigators commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council found that all parties to the conflict had perpetrated possible war crimes through airstrikes, shelling, snipers, and land mines, as well as arbitrary killings, torture, and other abuses. The Saudi-led coalition, which is aligned with Yemen’s internationally recognized government, is accused of intentionally starving Yemenis as a tactic of war and killing thousands of civilians in airstrikes. The coalition’s foes, northern rebels known as Houthis, are accused of planting land mines, shelling cities and deploying child soldiers…” (Raghavan, 9/3).
 
Additional coverage of the report is available from BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The Hill, and Reuters.

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Total DRC Ebola Cases Up To 3,043; Former Health Minister Banned From Leaving Country After Questioning
Bloomberg: Congo Probes Former Health Minister Over Use of Ebola Funds
“Immigration authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo banned the former health minister from leaving the country, days after he was interrogated over how funds were used to contain the Ebola outbreak, his lawyer said. … Ilunga was questioned last week as part of an inquiry into how Ebola response funds were spent while he was still in office, his lawyer Guy Kabeya said…” (Ssuuna/Clowes, 9/4).
 
CIDRAP News: Ebola case counts grow by 26, raising total to 3,043
“Over the past 4 days, 6 more Ebola cases have been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising the outbreak total to 3,043, including 2,035 deaths. Officials are still tracking 327 suspected cases of the viral illness. … In the latest update from the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) African regional office, the WHO says the new ‘hot spot’ status of Kalunguta is of highly worrisome…” (Soucheray, 9/3).
 

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Conflict-Affected Nations Lag In Efforts To Improve Access To Health Care Services
Devex: Fragile states lag behind when it comes to health
“…Half of the world’s population can’t access essential health services, according to the World Health Organization. The countries most greatly affected aren’t necessarily the poorest, but the ones with the weakest health systems — particularly fragile states in conflict zones, said Dr. Peter Salama, then-WHO deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response, during a panel on global health and security last year. … Some health experts think there needs to be a change of strategy in conflict-affected nations, such as South Sudan or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, if ailing health systems are going to improve…” (Mednick, 9/3).

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Africa's Efforts To Control Malaria At Risk From Spreading Drug Resistance, Researchers Warns
SciDev.Net: Drug resistance puts Africa’s malaria success in peril
“Resistance to the world’s most powerful malaria drug could emerge in Africa, a genetic study has shown. … The study, by the network of African scientists, the Plasmodium Diversity Network Africa, published in Science last month (23 August), looked at samples of Plasmodium falciparum collected from 15 African countries including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, and Senegal to analyse genetic variations. … They found the parasite sharing genes that can confer resistance to artemisinin, which is used as the basis for the most powerful malaria treatments…” (Yvonne, 9/4).

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Devex Interviews WHO Expert On Nutrition In Africa; New Regional Strategic Plan Aims To Address Issue
Devex: Q&A: Africa’s new nutrition strategy
“Africa is struggling with not only a rise in undernutrition but also in obesity, leading to escalating rates of diet-related noncommunicable diseases. … In August, at the WHO Regional Committee Meeting for Africa in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, health ministers from across the continent adopted a new strategic plan to tackle these issues. Devex spoke with Dr. Adelheid Onyango, regional adviser for nutrition at the WHO Regional Office for Africa about the new strategy’s focus on strengthening policies and regulatory frameworks around nutrition, as well as sensitizing the population on healthy diets…” (Jerving, 9/4).

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MSF Urging Gavi To Reserve Funding Under Financing Mechanism For Purchase Of Pneumonia Vaccines
STAT: Doctors Without Borders criticizes the Gavi coalition over access to pneumonia vaccines
“A flap has broken out between Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and Doctors Without Borders over funding commitments for pneumonia vaccines at accessible prices for developing countries. At issue is the cost of pneumococcal vaccines that Gavi helps countries purchase through a financing mechanism…” (Silverman, 9/3).

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More News In Global Health
Forbes: Breakthrough In Fight Against Multi-Resistant Tuberculosis (Cohen, 9/2).
 
The Lancet: Sexual violence, HIV, and conflict in South Sudan (Sperber, 8/31).
 
Reuters: Zimbabwe proposes designating health services as essential amid doctors’ strike (Mbizwo/Kumwenda-Mtambo, 9/4).
 
Thomson Reuters Foundation: ‘No safe place’: South African women suffering ‘epidemic’ of violence, activists warn (Harrisberg, 9/3).
 
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Fire hazard: Children struggle to breathe as smoke chokes Amazon city (Teixeira, 9/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

African Leaders Should Prioritize Development To Continue Gains In Health, Economies
Financial Times: Perceptions of Africa lag behind the brightening reality
Editorial Board
 
“In 2000, The Economist published a cover story referring to Africa as the hopeless continent. That description still rankles. Fortunately, it is not true. … Of course, there are deep problems. Poverty, corruption, and injustice are rife, with pockets of extreme instability and violence. Inequalities are shocking and some diseases, including malaria and tuberculosis, continue to be killers. … Still, there is much that is positive. Many countries are growing fast. … There have been big health gains. … What needs to be done to ensure that these glimmers of hope do not fizzle out? Most urgent is education. … Above all, leaders need to put development front and centre…” (9/4).
 

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Opinion Piece Argues Animal Research Necessary To Develop Treatments, Vaccines For HIV
STAT: Animal activists are on the wrong side of the fight against AIDS
Matthew R. Bailey, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research
 
“…Animal research has been crucial for every major breakthrough in HIV treatment, in part because HIV is very similar to the simian immunodeficiency virus, which infects chimpanzees and macaques. … More recently, animal research has helped guide the search for an HIV vaccine. Studies showing that macaques could be immunized against SIV helped demonstrate the feasibility of such a vaccine. … Despite delivering these important scientific victories, animal research is under attack. Many animal rights activists allege that all research on animals is cruel — and that powerful new computers can simulate much of the research traditionally conducted in animals. … But their case is weak. For starters, animal research is carefully and ethically performed. … Those powerful new computers and the use of artificial intelligence, meanwhile, are no match for the complexities of biology. … Animal rights activists claim the moral high ground while arguing against this research. But ending a scientific practice that could help defeat HIV/AIDS is reckless at best — and inhumane at worst” (8/30).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CSIS Podcast Episode Features Interview With Mark Dybul On Demographic Trends, Global Health
Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Take as Directed”: Why Do Demographic Trends Matter for Global Health?
In this podcast episode, Janet Fleischman, non-resident senior associate at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, sits down with Ambassador Mark Dybul, director of the Center for Global Health and Quality and professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, and former head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, to discuss the implications of demographic trends for global health and development (9/3).

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More Focus On, Investment In Nutrition Needed Within Health Services, WHO Report Urges
WHO: Stronger focus on nutrition within health services could save 3.7 million lives by 2025
“Health services must integrate a stronger focus on ensuring optimum nutrition at each stage of a person’s life, according to a new report released by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is estimated that the right investment in nutrition could save 3.7 million lives by 2025. … Essential health packages in all settings need to contain robust nutrition components but countries will need to decide which interventions best support their national health policies, strategies, and plans…” (Chaib, 9/4).
 

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Roche Vice-Chairman Discusses Company's Efforts To Expand Access To HIV Diagnostics, Strengthen Health Systems
World Economic Forum: Working together to end the AIDS-HIV pandemic
André Hoffmann, vice-chairman at Roche, discusses Roche’s efforts through its Global Access Program to expand access to HIV diagnostics and strengthen health systems in low- to middle-income countries. Hoffmann also mentions the program’s partners, including “national governments, local healthcare facilities, communities, and international agencies including UNAIDS, CHAI, Unitaid, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Global Fund, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)” (9/1).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Deploys Disaster Assistance Team To Hurricane-Hit Bahamas To Assist In Humanitarian Efforts
USAID: USAID Deploys Disaster Assistance Response Team to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
“The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to The Bahamas as Hurricane Dorian-the second strongest Atlantic hurricane on record and the strongest to ever hit The Bahamas-continues to bring life-threatening wind, rain, and flooding to the northwestern islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama…” (9/3).

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