KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

World Leaders Must 'Pull Things Together' To Fully Fund Development, Climate Efforts, U.N. Deputy SG Says In TRF Interview

Thomson Reuters Foundation: As countries look inward, development cash falls short — U.N. deputy chief
“Funding for international efforts to build resilience to climate change and meet other development goals is faltering, warns United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed. … Instead of thinking about common action, more world leaders are taking the approach of ‘let’s sort things out within our own borders,’ she added. ‘This is a completely wrong direction to go. Now is the time to pull things together,’ Mohammed told the Thomson Reuters Foundation…” (Jena, 9/6).

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Spread Of Antimicrobial-Resistant Bacteria Contributes More To Global Health Crisis Than Antibiotic Consumption, Study Says

CIDRAP News: Study cites ‘contagion’ as main factor in antimicrobial resistance levels
“A new study by a team of international infectious disease researchers suggests that antibiotic consumption is not the biggest factor driving the global spread of antimicrobial resistance. A bigger factor, according to the study, is ‘contagion,’ the spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and resistance genes in people, animals, and the environment. Although antibiotic use starts the process, the authors argue, the spread of resistant strains of bacteria — fueled by poor sanitation, weak health care systems with poor infection prevention and control, and bad governance — is what’s made antimicrobial resistance a global health crisis…” (Dall, 9/5).

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Current Trends In Vaccine R&D Show Investments Lacking For TB, HIV, Malaria Products, Duke Analysis Says

Homeland Preparedness News: Financial study reveals global health investment neglects TB, HIV, malaria vaccines
“Despite the deadly reach of diseases like tuberculosis (TB), HIV, and malaria, the world is not likely to develop vaccines to fight them, according to a financial analysis of the current research and development pipeline. The analysis was conducted by Duke University’s Center for Policy Impact in Global Health, following a review of 538 candidate products for 35 neglected diseases. Using that information, they applied a financial modeling tool known as Portfolio-to-Impact (P2I) to estimate the costs and likelihood a product would come to pass…” (Galford, 9/6).

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Half Of Young Teens Globally Experience Violence From Peers In, Around School, UNICEF Report Shows

CNN: About half of world’s teens experience peer violence in and around school, UNICEF says
“…The [UNICEF] report, released Wednesday, finds that about half of 13- to 15-year-old students worldwide — or 150 million of them — have said they experience violence, such as physical fights or forms of bullying, from their peers in and around school. In addition, the report notes that students experience other forms of violence at school, such as attacks on classrooms or physical punishment by teachers…” (Howard, 9/5).

Additional coverage of the report is available from NPR and U.N. News.

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India's Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Banning Gay Sex, Calls Colonial-Era Statute 'Indefensible'

Associated Press: India’s Supreme Court strikes down law that punished gay sex
“India’s Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a landmark victory for gay rights that one judge said would ‘pave the way for a better future’…” (Sharma, 9/7).

CNN: India’s top court decriminalizes gay sex in landmark ruling
“…Section 377, an archaic law imposed during British rule that penalized intercourse ‘against the order of nature,’ had carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The decision to repeal the law is a major victory for India’s LGBT activists and supporters after years of determined struggle…” (Suri, 9/6).

New York Times: India Gay Sex Ban Is Struck Down. ‘Indefensible,’ Court Says.
“…After weeks of deliberation by the court and decades of struggle by gay Indians, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the law was ‘irrational, indefensible, and manifestly arbitrary’…” (Gettleman et al., 9/6).

Wall Street Journal: India’s Top Court Rules Gay Sex Isn’t a Crime, Striking Down Part of Colonial-Era Law
“…While few members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community were actually prosecuted for the crime, the law was used to blackmail, harass, silence, and shame…” (Pokharel et al., 9/6).

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More News In Global Health

Al Jazeera: Traditional Rohingya midwives helping pregnant refugees (Jamjoom, 9/6).

The BMJ: Death certificates should record antimicrobial resistance as cause of deaths, says CMO (O’Dowd, 9/6).

The Economist: How a shampoo bottle is saving young lives (9/6).

Forbes: HPV Vaccine May Reduce Risk Of Transmitting Devastating Throat Disease To Children (Shapiro, 9/5).

The Guardian: U.K. and U.S. border officials join forces in bid to tackle female genital mutilation (Ratcliffe, 9/7).

The Hill: Ebola outbreak in Congo spreads to new city (Wilson, 9/6).

Quartz: We’re just learning how exposure to air pollution degrades our brains (Foley, 9/5).

SciDev.Net: Tackle Africa’s chronic diseases with effective actions (Otieno, 9/4).

VOA News: When “Healing Medicine” Is Bad for Public Health (Khan/Sopheakpanha, 9/6).

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Editorials and Opinions

Worldwide Sanctions Regime Needed To Address Sexual, Gender-Based Violence In Conflict

The Guardian: The world is failing women and girls whose bodies have been weaponized
Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch MP, founder of SheDecides, and distinguished fellow at the Overseas Development Institute

“…Bringing justice to women and girls is too often crushed by powerplay, geopolitical maneuvering, multifaceted negotiation strategies, and economic interests. We can do better: we should aim for one worldwide sanctions regime to address sexual and gender-based violence in conflict. One that will sanction all those who weaponize women’s bodies and that can be applied regardless of borders. One regime that can be implemented without ongoing, fruitless debates — perpetrators of sexual violence should be sanctioned regardless of what the Security Council wants. … The U.K., as a permanent member of the Security Council, can play an important role, given the emphasis on the rights of women and girls in its development and security policies. We have an opportunity now to hold sexual terrorists accountable. We must acknowledge the fact that we have fallen short of our duty in the U.N. and work to reverse this now to bring justice to women and girls” (9/5).

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Global Health Community Should Prioritize Efforts To Address Cancer

The Lancet: Offline: Why has global health forgotten cancer?
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“…Cancer’s undeserved neglect makes it the Cinderella of the emerging [noncommunicable disease (NCD)] movement. As health diplomats celebrate their political success, millions of people living with cancer will be consigned to early and painful deaths. Nothing illustrates the embedded irrationality of global health more than our attitudes to cancer. … Cancer should be a major health priority in the poorest countries. That is true today. It is even more true if one looks only a short distance into the future. … By 2030, the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer is projected to rise to 3.2 million. It is entirely wrong to suggest that cancer should only be a concern for richer nations. As to [universal health coverage (UHC)] filling the gap in cancer care, one mistake made by UHC advocates is that repeating the mantra of universal coverage is empty rhetoric without specifying the services that UHC should include. Too often, cancer treatment is absent from the debate about UHC. … The global health community has long let down those living with cancer. It is inexplicable that it continues to do so” (9/8).

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New Measures Needed To Accelerate Implementation Of Tobacco Control Policies In Americas

The Lancet: Slow burn: tobacco control in the Americas
Editorial Board

“…[The] WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) … has been lauded as one of the most rapidly embraced treaties in U.N. history. However, it has also come under fire for poor implementation of its recommendations. … A report published Aug. 29 by the WHO Pan American Health Organization provides a case study of how the implementation of the FCTC measures needs to accelerate to control the tobacco epidemic. Progress has been uneven throughout the Americas, where there have been almost no changes in the application of effective tobacco control policies between 2014 and 2017. … Many hurdles must be overcome to meet the FCTC recommendations — adverse lobbying and regulation of new tobacco delivery products to name but two — but the battle against tobacco-related illnesses and premature mortality is well worth fighting. … What is certain is that the FCTC recommendations are demonstrably effective and improvement is urgently needed to meet the standards set over a decade ago” (9/8).

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More Data, Investment Needed To Strengthen Quality Assurance Practices For Medicines

Devex: Opinion: Medicines shouldn’t make people sicker — protecting people from poor-quality meds
Emily Kaine, senior vice president of global health for USP

“New research published in the JAMA Network Open journal has found that 13.6 percent of medicines in low- and middle-income countries are falsified or substandard … In practice, that means people who believe they are being treated for malaria and children who are taking antibiotics to fight pneumonia are actually taking poor-quality medicines that may put them at risk of prolonged illness, poisoning, adverse drug reactions, and even death. … The good news is that we know how to solve this problem. It starts with strong local country infrastructure in the form of medicines regulatory authorities, or MRAs. With the right regulations in place, MRAs can watch medicines circulating in the market and remove poor-quality ones. … We need more data and more donors to invest in quality assurance for medicines, including medicines surveillance. This will ensure quality medicines are reaching patients and saving lives” (9/6).

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Countries Should Study, Develop New Approaches To Address Medicine Supply Chain Challenges

Hindustan Times: Overhaul the medicine supply chain
Nachiket Mor, director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s India Country Office, and Prashant Yadav, strategy leader for Supply Chain at the Gates Foundation

“Health systems around the world are benefiting from recent advances in supply chain technologies to deliver essential medicines to patients more effectively. … Many countries have … developed alternative supply chain models based on modern day supply chain science and technologies. South Africa, for example, is now implementing a model in which the government negotiates prices and select suppliers, but the suppliers deliver the medicines directly to health clinics or district hospitals. … China has now implemented a ‘two-invoice system’ whereby only two invoices can exist between a manufacturer and a clinic. Each manufacturer sells to a distributor and that distributor sells directly to hospitals and clinics, eliminating multi-tiered distribution. … As countries around the world, including India, attempt to ensure the timely availability of a full range of medicines to each and every one of their citizens, they would benefit greatly from studying some of these newer approaches that have been implemented, and developing appropriate solutions to their own challenges” (8/30).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

FHI 360 Blog Post Discusses Research Examining Intersection Between Economics, HIV

FHI 360’s “R&E Search for Evidence”: New research underscores the connection between economics and HIV
Mandy Swann, technical adviser for FHI 360’s ASPIRES project, writes, “To dive more deeply into the interplay between household economics and HIV, the Accelerating Strategies for Practical Innovation and Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) project — funded by USAID/PEPFAR and implemented by FHI 360 — published a supplemental issue of AIDS Care focused on household economic strengthening interventions. The open access issue contains an evidence review summarized in a recent post by Emily Namey, as well as three original research articles. The three original research articles provide insight into the role of economic factors in HIV prevention, testing uptake and treatment adherence. I summarize these three articles in this post…” (9/6).

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Guttmacher Publishes Report Estimating Adolescent Contraceptive Costs, Impacts In Developing Regions

Guttmacher Institute: Adolescent Contraceptive Needs in Developing Regions: Cost and Impact of Future Growth
“A new report published [Wednesday] by the Guttmacher Institute … provides estimates of the cost of adolescent contraceptive use in developing regions through 2030, and of its impact on unintended pregnancy. [The report] offers the most comprehensive estimates on this topic to date, based on projections of future adolescent contraceptive use and accounting for variations in population growth and service costs across regions. The findings are intended to help inform investments and national budgets, and to promote advocacy efforts to establish policies and programs that meet adolescents’ needs…” (9/5).

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Researcher Discusses Potential For Digital Activity Trackers To Help Lower NCD Risks

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: The Promise of Digital Health in the Fight against Noncommunicable Diseases
Avni Varia, digital health researcher with IntraHealth International, discusses how wearable digital activity trackers might help some people increase their physical activity levels and lower their risk of hypertension and other noncommunicable diseases (9/6).

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From the U.S. Government

MMWR Report Summarizes 2017-2018 Progress Toward Global Polio Containment, Eradication

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Progress Toward Poliovirus Containment Implementation — Worldwide, 2017-2018
Jacqueline Fournier-Caruana of the WHO Polio Eradication Initiative and colleagues from WHO and CDC discuss recent progress toward global polio eradication. The authors write, “Only 22 cases from a single serotype (WPV1) were reported in 2017 from Afghanistan and Pakistan, two of the three countries with endemic poliovirus transmission. Nigeria did not detect WPV cases in 2017. … Substantial progress toward poliovirus containment has been made during 2017-2018…” (9/7).

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