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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Reviewing Policy Toward South Sudan, USAID Chief Tells Country's President In Meeting

Reuters: U.S. Reviewing Policy Toward South Sudan: USAID Chief
“After four years of civil war marked by brutal attacks on civilians, the United States is reviewing its support for South Sudan, USAID Administrator Mark Green told the country’s President Salva Kiir in talks in the capital Juba. … The U.S. is the biggest donor to the massive U.N.-led humanitarian effort in South Sudan. It spent about $518 million in 2017, and has spent $2.7 billion since 2013. Green said he listed U.S. concerns over humanitarian access and treatment of aid organizations…” (Wroughton, 9/2).

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Gavi-Supported Vaccine Initiatives Will Save 20M Lives, Hundreds Of Billions In Costs By 2020, Study Shows

International Business Times: Global vaccine program will save 20 million lives and $820 billion by 2020, research finds
“Vaccination initiatives in the world’s poorest countries will have prevented 20 million deaths and saved around $350 billion in health care costs by 2020, a new study has found. Furthermore, the researchers estimate that the broader economic savings from prevented deaths and disabilities comes to about $820 billion…” (Georgiou, 9/4).

United Press International: Study: Vaccines expected to save 20 million lives, $350B by 2020
“…Researchers analyzed the impact of Gavi, the global vaccine alliance launched in 2000 to provide vaccines to children in the world’s poorest countries. With Gavi, 580 million children have been vaccinated in 73 countries. The savings, calculated in 2010 U.S. dollars, include averted treatment, transportation costs, productivity losses of caregivers and those due to disability and death…” (Wallace, 9/1).

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Saudi Arabia Should Cease Military Campaign In War-Torn Yemen, Fund All Humanitarian Aid To Nation, WFP Director Says

Reuters: Interview — Saudi Arabia should fund all humanitarian aid to Yemen: WFP
“A top United Nations official said Saudi Arabia alone should fund steps to tackle widespread disease and hunger besetting Yemen, where the kingdom has been leading a military campaign for two and a half years. Comments by David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, were unusually forthright for such a U.N. official in criticizing one party in a conflict. Calling for an end to the coalition’s campaign, he accused the Saudi-led coalition of hampering provision of aid…” (Maasho, 9/4).

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Number Of Cholera Cases In Yemen Passes 600K

Reuters: Yemen’s cholera epidemic hits 600,000, confounding expectations
“Yemen’s cholera outbreak has infected 612,703 people and killed 2,048 since it began in April, and some districts are still reporting sharp rises in new cases, data from the World Health Organization and Yemen’s health ministry showed on Tuesday…” (Miles, 9/5).

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U.N. Agencies Supporting Humanitarian Aid Efforts In Flood-Hit Bangladesh, India, Nepal

U.N. News Centre: Guterres says U.N. ready to support relief efforts in South Asia countries hit by floods, landslides
“Saddened by the loss of life and the devastation caused by widespread floods and landslides due to torrential monsoon rains in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, Secretary-General António Guterres said [Friday] that the United Nations is ready to support ongoing relief efforts…” (9/1).

U.N. News Centre: 16 million children affected by massive flooding in South Asia — UNICEF
“The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said [Saturday] that an estimated 16 million children are in urgent need of life-saving support in the wake of torrential monsoon rains and catastrophic flooding in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh…” (9/2).

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Gates Foundation, PATH Support Initiative To Improve Health Data Systems In Tanzania

Devex: Can data drive better health outcomes in Tanzania?
“…[Bill Gates] of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [recently visited Tanzania] — where he has traveled with his wife and co-chair Melinda many times — in part to see the BID Initiative. Led by the global health organization PATH and funded by the Gates Foundation, the program aims to bring data to decision-making for better health outcomes. Now, with $15 million from the Gates Foundation, Tanzania will pursue the first digital health investment strategy of its kind in the region…” (Cheney, 9/5).

GeekWire: Gates Foundation and PATH wire up health data in Africa using a novel approach
“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the global health nonprofit PATH are working on a groundbreaking initiative in Africa that takes an unexpected approach. … The [Data Use Partnership] is digitizing and connecting Tanzania’s health care system, linking a fragmented array of databases and information sources. A unified system could dramatically improve efficiency, accountability, and cost savings for a country of 45 million people that struggles with infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS…” (Stiffler, 9/3).

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Coherent Policies, Programs Needed To Implement UHC In African Nations, Zambian Health Minister Says

Xinhua News: Zambia urges efforts to ensure success of universal health coverage in Africa
“The Zambian government on Friday called for coherence in policies and programs to ensure the success of the universal health coverage for Africa. … Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya urged the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners to ensure coherence in policies and programs are put in place to ensure quality health service delivery…” (9/2).

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Ebola Data Digital Platform Aims To Inform Health Care Providers, Prevent Outbreaks

Nature: Massive Ebola data site planned to combat outbreaks
“More than 11,000 people died when Ebola tore through West Africa between 2014 and 2016, and yet clinicians still lack data that would enable them to reliably identify the disease when a person first walks into a clinic. To fill that gap and others before the next outbreak hits, researchers are developing a platform to organize and share Ebola data that have so far been scattered beyond reach…” (Maxmen, 9/4).

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Sanofi Pasteur Signals End Of Experimental Zika Vaccine Research

STAT: Sanofi quietly pulls the plug on its Zika vaccine project
“Vaccine giant Sanofi Pasteur has quietly pulled the plug on its Zika vaccine project, a move that underscores how difficult it may be at this stage to develop a vaccine against the virus. … While a number of experimental Zika vaccines are at various stages in clinical testing, Sanofi was the only major pharmaceutical company working on a vaccine for the virus with a near-term market goal…” (Branswell, 9/2).

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New Yorker Examines Unexpected, Rapid Decline In Zika Cases

New Yorker: Is Zika Gone for Good?
“…[Last year, t]he Zika virus had spread to Florida from South and Central America … There had already been several hundred cases of local transmission in the continental United States. The World Health Organization had declared Zika a global emergency. … Now, however, the spread of Zika in the continental United States has virtually ended. … Dramatic declines in the numbers of new Zika cases have also been noted in South and Central America. How did the epidemic explode in the Americas and then withdraw so quickly? And is Zika gone for good?..” (Groopman, 9/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Congress Must Uphold U.S. Funding To UNFPA To Support Women, Youth In Crises

The Hill: Trump’s global funding cut harms women, youth
Hiba Zayadin, research assistant at Human Rights Watch

“…Funding from the United States has been instrumental in enabling [the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)] to deliver lifesaving services in humanitarian settings. … Given the Trump administration’s determination to halt U.S. funding for the population fund, its services to people living in some of the world’s most difficult and dangerous situations face an uncertain future. … For the thousands of Syrian residents of Zaatari [refugee] camp … and for the people around the world who benefit from the population fund’s programs, Congress should take action to halt the cutoff of U.S. funding to UNFPA. By cutting the funding for these programs, the U.S. is harming vulnerable Syrian refugees and many other people around the world who have nowhere else to turn” (9/1).

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U.S. Congress, Trump Administration Should Bolster Nation's Biodefense Capability

The Hill: Trump must prevent the next biological attack before it strikes
Laura S.H. Holgate, senior nonresident fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Elizabeth E. Cameron, senior director for global biological policy and programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative

“…[B]iological threats must remain at the top of the national security agenda, and leaders must recognize that stopping outbreaks at the source requires strong global and domestic capacity to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to naturally occurring outbreaks and biological attacks. … As Congress and the Trump administration mull a new biodefense strategy, we urge them to use this time — the time in between biological crises — to get ahead of the curve before the next major biological event inevitably comes our way. Here’s how. Watch out for emerging threats in unstable regions … Fund and renew the Global Health Security Agenda … Replenish the budget to maintain global biosecurity … Keep laboratory assets for attributing biological attacks … Use biosurveillance to stop outbreaks before they start… ” (9/2).

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Cooperative International Action Vital To Address, Prevent Global Disasters, Crises

The Guardian’s Observer: The Observer view on global crises and the need for international action
Editorial Board

“For tens of millions of people around the world, 2017 has been a year of disasters. … What is to be done in the face of this overwhelming wave of woe? More funding is one answer. … Wider acceptance is needed that, as individuals, we all share a moral responsibility to inform ourselves about what is happening across our joined-up world. Governments such as the U.S. and Britain, the two leading donor states, should increase, not cut, their foreign aid budgets. The emerging economic powers must do more, too. Another imperative, in terms of natural disasters, is ever more forceful, integrated efforts to combat climate change, especially by the recalcitrant Trump administration. Yet more pressing than any of this, perhaps, is the necessity to increase the effectiveness and improve the coordination of global and regional governance organizations, principally the U.N., its peacekeeping arm and its agencies, but also the G7, IMF, World Bank, OECD, E.U., A.U. and ASEAN, in tackling global disasters of all descriptions. Multilateralism has fallen out of fashion of late. But without it, there may be no way to turn the tide of global disaster” (9/2).

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More Political Will Needed To Support Further Investments In Childhood Nutrition

Devex: Opinion: The world needs to invest in childhood nutrition to ensure a healthy future
Yvonne Chaka Chaka, global goodwill ambassador for Roll Back Malaria

“As a champion for women and girls, I’ve pushed to increase access to education, sanitation, and health services for women and girls across Africa. Through this, I noticed that one major factor underlies success in all these areas: proper nutrition. … Through a new initiative focused on ‘Investing in the Early Years,’ the World Bank aims to help low- and middle-income countries, particularly those burdened with high rates of stunting, prevent childhood stunting. It is too early to tell if this initiative is working, but here are some of the key lessons I’ve learned from watching this program and ones like it. 1. We know what it takes to scale up nutrition interventions to prevent childhood stunting. … 2. We know how much it costs. … 3. We have support of leaders, but it’s uncertain whether we have the political will…” (9/1).

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African Leaders Must Support, Fund African CDC To Further Continent's Socioeconomic Advance

Scientific American: A CDC for Africa
Carl Manlan, chief operating officer at the Ecobank Foundation and a 2016 New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute

“…The Africa CDC, which was officially launched in January of this year, is a growing partnership that aims to build countries’ capacity to help create a world that is safe and secure from infectious disease threats. … Malaria and other preventable diseases continue to challenge our ability to transform our economies at the pace required to support our population growth. Ultimately, for Africa to achieve malaria eradication, it is necessary to translate the Africa CDC’s mandate from the African Union into a funded mechanism to inform health investment. Ending malaria was the impetus that led to a strong and reliable CDC in the U.S., and now Africa has an opportunity to repeat that success — ideally by 2030, when the world gathers to assess progress toward achieving the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. We have the opportunity to save many, many lives through the Africa CDC. Let’s make it happen” (September 2017).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

FT Health Discusses Life Science Industrial Strategy, Features Interview With Michael Bloomberg

FT Health: Life science strategy needs funding
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter discusses the U.K.’s newly unveiled Life Science Industrial Strategy, which is “the first in a series of government-backed efforts to formulate a new industrial strategy for post-Brexit Britain,” highlighting the need for closer collaboration between industry and the National Health Service. The newsletter also features excerpts from an interview with Michael Bloomberg on non-communicable diseases, as well as a roundup of other global health-related news stories (Cookson, 9/1).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID's August 2017 Global Health Newsletter Focuses On Nutrition, Breastfeeding

USAID: GH Newsletter — Nutrition and Breastfeeding
USAID’s August 2017 Global Health Newsletter focuses on nutrition and breastfeeding and includes articles on the Lead Mother initiative in Uganda, the Community Health and Improved Nutrition (CHAIN) project in Rwanda, and a podcast on the importance of breastfeeding (August 2017).

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