KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- USAID Announces Additional $21M For DRC Ebola Outbreak Response; German Foreign Minister Urges Congo Government To Continue Prevention Efforts
CIDRAP News: USAID announces $21 million in Ebola assistance to DRC“Amid continued transmission of Ebola in new hot spots throughout North Kivu and Ituri provinces, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), announced an additional $21 million humanitarian aid package directed at the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The new aid package brings USAID’s total funding for the DRC’s Ebola outbreak to almost $158 million…” (Soucheray, 9/5).DW: German foreign minister demands Congo step up Ebola fight“After arriving in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by plane, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas immediately had his temperature taken — a precautionary measure amid the country’s Ebola outbreak. … Maas met experts who briefed him on the current Ebola situation before meeting the country’s president, Felix Tshisekedi, in the capital Kinshasa on Thursday, the final day of his four-day trip to Africa. Ahead of his meeting, Maas made clear that he has high expectations of the country’s decision-makers: ‘It is up to the government and president to make sure that people’s expectations are met, security is improved, and that there continues to be a determined fight against Ebola’…” (von der Mark, 9/5).New Humanitarian: Briefing: Why women and children are at greatest risk as Ebola continues to spread in Congo“…Out of more than 2,050 people known to have died from Ebola so far, more than a third have been children. … Here’s a look at how Ebola affects women and children and why they need specific attention in this response…” (Elliot, 9/5).
- Foreign Policy Examines Shrinking Influence Of U.S. At U.N.
Foreign Policy: Senior Officials Concede Loss of U.S. Clout as Trump Prepares For U.N. Summit“On the eve of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, two top State Department officials voiced alarm about America’s loss of diplomatic influence as China mounts an ambitious effort to fill the vacuum, according to an account of a confidential internal staff meeting. … Chinese nationals have seen increasing success competing for top jobs in the U.N. and other international organizations. In June, China outmaneuvered the United States in the campaign for the top job at the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization, delivering Washington a humbling defeat that U.N. watchers say is emblematic of Beijing’s growing clout in the international institutions the United States has pulled back from under Trump…” (Lynch/Gramer, 9/5).
- Former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power Discusses New Book, U.S. Diplomacy, Human Rights Efforts, Ebola Response In TIME Interview
TIME: Former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power Has a Lot of Stories to Tell — and No Problem Talking“…While [former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power] loves being with her kids and teaching, Power admits when pushed that her favorite job was at the U.N. Her successes there were not, on the surface, enormous. She did not broker peace in Syria, and she acknowledges that the Obama administration backed the wrong horse in Yemen, which became even more of a human-rights travesty after President Trump took office and doubled down on that bet. … But the response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic proved that the same scramble-the-jets approach America used for warfare could be — and should be — deployed for humanitarian purposes. ‘So few threats stay confined within any one country,’ she says, that it’s simply pragmatic to work with other countries to nip crises in the bud, even if it doesn’t initially seem to be in America’s national interest…” (Luscombe, 9/5).
- U.K. Government Pledges To Increase DFID Budget By 1.5% For 2020-21; Some Analysts Question Increase
Devex: Experts question DFID’s promised spending boost“The U.K. Department for International Development appeared to survive the spending review unscathed this week, with the government pledging to increase its budget by 1.5% in real terms for the year 2020-21. However, some analysts questioned how much of the promised boost will actually be spent by DFID, warning that a large chunk of the increase appears to be going to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office…” (Edwards, 9/6).
- More Than 75K People Could Need Humanitarian Aid In Bahamas After Hurricane Dorian, U.N. Food Agency Says
Al Jazeera: Hurricane Dorian: 75,000 may need urgent aid on Bahamas“More than 75,000 people could need food and other aid in the Bahamas after the Caribbean nation was ravaged by Hurricane Dorian, the U.N.’s World Food Programme said on Thursday, with eight tonnes of supplies ready to arrive…” (9/5).Washington Post: In the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian, waiting for relief amid the bodies“…Bahamian authorities continued Thursday to assess the destruction wrought by the most powerful storm to strike in decades. Officials raised the number of confirmed deaths to 30 but expect the toll will keep climbing. The U.S. Coast Guard, the British Royal Navy, relief organizations, and volunteers continued to deliver emergency supplies and evacuate victims. But in a storm-ravaged nation of 400,000 spread across more than 700 islands, conditions and communications are challenging…” (Faiola et al., 9/5).Additional coverage of the hurricane’s impacts and relief efforts in the Bahamas is available from BBC News, Forbes, Reuters, and The Telegraph.
- WHO Welcomes Facebook's Pledge To Direct Users To Accurate Vaccine Information
U.N. News: U.N. health agency welcomes Facebook pledge to stop vaccine misinformation from going viral“The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday welcomed Facebook’s pledge to ensure users can separate fact from fiction when it comes to vaccines, across its platforms from Facebook Search, to Groups, Pages and forums. Following months of discussions between WHO and Facebook on the spread of inaccuracies when it comes to immunization, the social media giant has vowed to direct millions of users to ‘WHO’s accurate and reliable vaccine information in several languages, to ensure that vital health messages reach people who need them most,’ WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebryesus said in a statement…” (9/5).Additional coverage on the effort is available from CNBC and Reuters.
- Vaccine Misinformation Contributing To Refusal To Receive Polio Vaccination In Pakistan, Rise In Case Numbers For 2019
Los Angeles Times: Polio was nearly extinct. Then the anti-vaxx movement reached Pakistan“…Polio is making a troubling comeback in Pakistan, and it is being driven by some of the same forces spreading measles in the United States. Two years after health officials declared they were on the verge of eradicating the crippling childhood disease from Pakistan, one of the last countries where it remains endemic, at least 58 children here have tested positive for the virus since January. That is nearly five times the total of all of last year, and the most in a calendar year since 2014 — a major setback for a $1-billion-a-year global eradication campaign…” (Bengali/Ali, 9/5).
- UNFPA Warns Half Of Reproductive Health Clinics In Yemen To Close This Month Unless More Funding Received; U.N. Health Agencies Begin Diphtheria Vaccination Campaign In War-Torn Nation
Associated Press: U.N. launches diphtheria vaccination campaign for Yemeni kids“The United Nations agencies for health and children have launched a diphtheria vaccination campaign in war-torn Yemen targeting over 2.8 million children between the ages of six weeks and 15 years…” (9/5).Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.N. says women and babies at risk in Yemen as funds crunch forces clinics to shut“The United Nations warned on Thursday that more than half its reproductive health facilities in war-hit Yemen would close by the end of this month, putting the lives of women and babies at risk, unless it got more funding. The U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) said it had closed 100 facilities at the end of August and would have to shut 75 more this month, leaving 650,000 women and girls without access to vital services…” (Masri, 9/5).
- Outgoing Oxfam Director Winnie Byanyima Speaks To IPS About New Oxfam Report, Taking On Executive Director Position At UNAIDS
IPS: Exclusive: Winnie Byanyima Speaks about Inequality in Africa and Next Steps at UNAIDS“While the 28th World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa is being held in Cape Town, South Africa this week, the international aid and development charity Oxfam released its latest report: A tale of two continents: fighting inequality in Africa. The report says that while the richest Africans get ever richer, extreme poverty on the continent is rising. Africa is the second-most unequal continent in the world, and home to seven of the most unequal countries. Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam’s outgoing executive director, who is taking up the post executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, speaks exclusively to IPS Correspondent Crystal Oderson on the main issues the report highlights, some of the key recommendations…” (Orderson, 9/5).
- Pope Francis Visits HIV Treatment Center During Visit To Mozambique
Associated Press: Pope denounces danger of corruption in Mozambique Mass“Pope Francis wrapped up his visit to Mozambique on Friday by consoling HIV-infected mothers and children and denouncing the rampant corruption that has helped make the southern African nation one of the world’s poorest countries. … Before the Mass, Francis met with HIV-infected mothers and children at the Zimpeto medical center on the northern outskirts of the capital, Maputo. … The Catholic Church has poured tremendous resources into HIV-AIDS treatment programs across Africa. But AIDS activists still fault the church for its refusal to emphasize condom use as a way of preventing transmission…” (Winfield, 9/6).
- U.N. In Discussions With North Korea Government To Keep Current Staffing Level In Country
Associated Press: North Korea wants UN staff cut, but U.N. says they’re vital“North Korea wants the number of U.N. international staff in the country reduced by the end of the year over what it claims is the politicization of aid by parties hostile to its government, but the United Nations says the mission’s current ‘light footprint’ is vital…” (Lederer, 9/5).Reuters: U.N. trying to convince North Korea not to cut aid staff“…U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the United Nations was ‘in dialogue with the government at this point on the issue of cutting international aid staff in DPRK.’ … ‘Current U.N. operations already have a light footprint on the ground and continued capacity at current levels is vital for ensuring continued U.N. support for critical food security, water, nutrition programming as well as mobilizing resources,’ Dujarric told reporters…” (Nichols, 9/5).
- More News In Global Health
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia Tech engineers head Gates-fueled mission to tackle sewage (Quinn, 9/5).The Lancet: Gavi sets US$7·4 billion replenishment target (9/7).MedPage Today: ‘Worrying’ Rates of Latent MDR Tuberculosis (Jenkins, 9/4).Thomson Reuters Foundation: Just say no? Sierra Leone tests new ways to cut teen pregnancy (Peyton, 9/5).SciDev.Net: Q&A: ‘Women are needed,’ says Palestine’s first female neurosurgeon (Bolevich, 9/6).The Telegraph: Missing measles vaccination puts children at risk of other deadly diseases, scientists find (Knapton, 9/5).
Editorials and Opinions
- Opinion Piece Calls For Funded, Prioritized, Well-Planned Action Plans For Outbreak Preparedness
BMJ Global Health: Protecting the world from infectious disease threats: now or neverCyrus Shahpar, director of the Prevent Epidemics team, and colleagues from Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies“Whether by microbial mutation, movement across borders, or man-made biological release, a new health threat is inevitable, unpredictable, and potentially devastating. For the first time, the world now has a clear picture of how prepared countries are for this potentially catastrophic event. When the international evaluation team left Haiti in July 2019, one hundred countries had completed a Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of health emergency readiness. The JEE is a voluntary, externally validated assessment of 19 technical areas required to prevent, detect, and respond to health emergencies. This milestone, in addition to the ongoing uncontrolled Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, makes this an opportune time to take stock of both the status of the world’s preparedness and of what needs to be done to make the world safer. … To save lives, funded, prioritized, well-planned actions must be implemented at scale as soon as possible, supported by a network of partners working together to support countries to step up their capacities to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats and make the world safer” (September 2019).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- Global Fund Announces New Replenishment Pledges From Private Sector Partners
Global Fund: Private Sector Partners Step Up the Fight Against AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa“Five private sector partners today announced new pledges for the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment during the World Economic Forum on Africa. … Today’s announcements represent diverse support for health solutions, with the private sector and other essential partners such as the South African Ministry of Health, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. … France will host the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment pledging conference on 10 October 2019 in Lyon, France. The Global Fund seeks to raise at least US$14 billion — US$1 billion from the private sector — for the next three years…” (9/5).
- CSIS Releases September 2019 Issue Of Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter
Center for Strategic & International Studies: Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter: September 2019In the September 2019 CSIS Global Health Policy Center Newsletter, J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president of CSIS and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center (GHPC), highlights recent publications and podcasts from CSIS, as well as upcoming events. These include a statement from the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security, a brief on funding for biosafety research, and podcasts addressing epidemic preparedness, the implications of demographic shifts for global health, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s new strategy, and the upcoming AIDS 2020 conference (September 2019).
- LSE Expert Examines Linking Of Health, Security, Debates Surrounding Nexus Of Fields
International Affairs: The oversecuritization of global health: changing the terms of debateIn this article, Clare Wenham, assistant professor of global health policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, examines the linking of health and security. According to the abstract, “this article argues that the consideration of health as a security issue, and the ensuing path dependencies, have shifted in three ways. First, the concept has been broadened to the extent that a multitude of health issues (and others) are constructed as threats to health security. Second, securitizing health has moved beyond a rhetorical device to include the direct involvement of the security sector. Third, the performance of health security has become a security threat in itself. These considerations, the article argues, alter the remit of the global health security narrative; the global health community needs to recognize this shift and adapt its use of security-focused policies accordingly” (9/1).
- KFF Updates Fact Sheets On MCC's Role In Global Health, U.S. & Gavi
Kaiser Family Foundation: The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Global HealthThis fact sheet describes the functions, governance, funding, and approach of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), with a particular focus on MCC’s engagement in global health (9/4).Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. & Gavi, the Vaccine AllianceThis fact sheet examines Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (also known as Gavi), an independent, public-private partnership and multilateral funding mechanism that aims to increase access to immunization in poor countries, and explores the role the U.S. government plays in supporting the partnership (9/5).