KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO DG Tedros Urges Countries To Invest More In Public Health Systems, Prepare For Future Pandemics

U.N. News: Investments in public health, an investment in safer future, urges Tedros
“The world must be ready when the next pandemic comes, the head of the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) has said, urging countries to invest more in public health as part of their efforts to recover from COVID-19…” (9/8).

VOA News: WHO: World Must Learn from COVID, Prepare for Next Pandemic
“…In his daily briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to learn from the current pandemic to prepare for the next one. He praised Thailand, Mongolia, Senegal, and other countries for their response to the virus…” (9/7).

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Trump, Biden Trade Barbs Over Potential Availability Of COVID-19 Vaccine

Associated Press: COVID-19 vaccine latest flashpoint in White House campaign
“The prospect of a vaccine to shield Americans from coronavirus infection emerged as a point of contention in the White House race as President Donald Trump accused Democrats of ‘disparaging’ for political gain a vaccine he repeatedly has said could be available before the election…” (Superville, 9/8).

Financial Times: Trump and Biden accuse each other of politicizing Covid-19 vaccine
“President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, have accused each other of politicizing a Covid-19 vaccine, threatening to undermine the public confidence that is required to ensure enough people take the inoculation when it is available…” (Kuchler, 9/7).

Additional coverage of U.S. efforts to develop a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is available from New York Times and STAT.

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UNICEF To Lead Global Efforts To Procure, Distribute Coronavirus Vaccines

U.N. News: UNICEF to lead global procurement, supply of COVID vaccines
“U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will be leading procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccinations to ensure that all countries have safe, fast, and equitable access to initial doses when they are available, the agency has announced. The vaccine procurement and distribution effort, involving over 170 economies, has the potential to become the world’s largest and fastest ever operation of its kind…” (9/4).

Additional coverage of international efforts to develop and distribute a potential SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is available from Economic Times, Reuters, and STAT.

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India Now 2nd To U.S. In COVID-19 Cases; Climate, COVID-19 To Blame For Southern Africa's Hunger; Coronavirus Detected In Syrian Refugee Camp In Jordan

AFRICA

AP: Southern Africa’s hunger upsurge blamed on climate, COVID-19 (Magome, 9/7).

ASIA

AP: Defying U.S., Xi praises China, WHO for battling coronavirus (9/8).

Financial Times: Coronavirus surges in India as infections spread from cities (Kazmin/Singh, 9/8).

The Hill: India now second to U.S. in coronavirus cases (Budryk, 9/7).

EUROPE

AP: U.K. virus concerns mount following big increase in new cases (Pylas, 9/8).

AP: Flurry of tests as COVID hits Greece’s biggest migrant camp (Paphitis, 9/8).

MIDDLE EAST

AP: U.N. detects virus cases in Syrian refugee camp in Jordan (Akour, 9/8).

Reuters: Over 200 U.N. staff in Syria infected with COVID-19 — medics, U.N. official (Al-Khalidi, 9/6).

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COVID-19 Lockdowns Increasing Girls' Risk Of Early Marriage, Education Cessation

The Guardian: Why Covid school closures are making girls marry early
“…In a rapid reaction study by VSO in four rural districts where Sisters for Sisters are active [in Nepal], girls were asked about changes in their life since the coronavirus lockdown. A huge majority — 89% — reported increased pressure to do housework or agricultural labor at the cost of school work, and 11 marriages had taken place out of 152 girls. Local groups felt this was a clear increase on a normal three-month period. … The U.N.’s population agency, UNFPA, said in April that as many as 13 million more child marriages could take place over the next 10 years because of a six-month Covid-19 shutdown of schools and family planning services combined with increasing economic hardship…” (Grant, 9/7).

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Devex Examines USAID's New Policy Promoting Rights Of Indigenous Peoples, Perspectives Of Australian Indigenous Development Experts

Devex: As USAID unveils its Indigenous strategy, it has a lot to learn from DFAT
“Australian Indigenous development experts have welcomed the U.S. Agency for International Development’s new policy promoting the rights of Indigenous peoples. But they have said that an inclusive aid program putting Indigenous communities in control of programs targeting their needs will require an investment in capacity building…” (Cornish, 9/7).

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China, Gulf States Should Contribute More To World's Humanitarian Crises, German Official Says

Devex: Germany to push China, Gulf states on humanitarian assistance
“Germany wants China and the Gulf states to shoulder more of the burden in tackling the world’s humanitarian crises, according to a top government official. ‘In order to meet the ever-increasing humanitarian needs it is necessary to widen the donor base and to bring more non-traditional and also new donors into the (United Nations) coordinated humanitarian system,’ Niels Annen, minister of state at the German Federal Foreign Office, told members of the European Parliament’s development committee on Thursday…” (Chadwick, 9/7).

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More News In Global Health

Borgen Magazine: Healthcare in South Sudan: A Fractured System (Embry, 9/7).

Devex: A new research experiment in Kenya raises questions about ethics (Green, 9/8).

Nature: The coronavirus is mutating — does it matter? (Callaway, 9/8).

U.N. News: Burkina Faso: Over 535,000 children under five ‘acutely’ malnourished (9/8).

U.N. News: Build a better future with blue skies for all, U.N. urges, marking first International Day of Clean Air (9/7).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Mass Testing, Vaccine Development, Financing Africa's Response

Financial Times: Mass testing offers hope of taming the pandemic
Editorial Board (9/8).

Financial Times: Vaccine speed must not trump safety
Thomas Cueni, director general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (9/8).

Forbes: 60% Of Americans Say Government Making Pandemic Worse. Here’s How We Restore Trust In Government & Science
Bill Frist, heart and lung transplant surgeon, former Republican Senate majority leader from Tennessee, and host of the podcast “A Second Opinion, Rethinking American Health” (9/4).

New Humanitarian: Three lessons from the Global South on combating the pandemic
Muhammad Musa, physician, public health expert, and executive director of BRAC International (9/7).

Project Syndicate: The Unfinished Agenda of Financing Africa’s COVID-19 Response
Brahima Coulibaly, vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Board chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, African Union special envoy on COVID-19, distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution, and global public leader at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; Vera Songwe, U.N. under-secretary general and executive secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa; and colleagues (9/7).

STAT: Pharma drew a line in the sand over Covid-19 vaccine readiness — because someone had to
Ed Silverman, Pharmalot columnist and senior writer at STAT (9/7).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Law Professor Discusses Importance Of Focusing On Safety, Effectiveness In COVID-19 Vaccine Research

Asia & The Pacific Policy Society’s “Policy Forum”: Big pharma and the rush to find vaccines
Peter Drahos, professor of law and governance in the Law Department at the European University Institute, chair in intellectual property at Queen Mary, University of London, member of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, and emeritus professor at the Australian National University, discusses the importance of focusing on safety and effectiveness in efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine quickly, writing, “At the moment, regulators and companies are caught up in a corner-cutting race to release a vaccine. … Wishful or incomplete interpretations of data among regulators is very much a danger in the race to a COVID-19 vaccine. Setting up an independent process of review for a COVID-19 vaccine that runs in parallel with the work of pharmaceutical regulators is critical…” (9/8).

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Youth Leadership Experts Discuss Role Of Young People In Addressing Social Inequalities In Health

World Economic Forum: We must harness the power of youth to reset health inequalities
Nupur Ruchika Kohli, curator at the Amsterdam Hub, and David Alexander Walcott, community champion at the Kingston Hub, discuss the role of youth in addressing social determinants of and inequalities in health (9/8).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Department Of State Spokesperson Provides Update On U.S. Withdrawal From WHO

U.S. Department of State: Update on U.S. Withdrawal from the World Health Organization
In a press statement, U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus discusses the administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the WHO, noting, “[The] withdrawal becomes effective on July 6, 2021, and since the President’s announcement, the U.S. government has been working to identify partners to assume the activities previously undertaken by WHO. … [T]he United States is announcing the next steps with respect to our withdrawal from the WHO and the redirection of American resources. This redirection includes reprogramming the remaining balance of its planned Fiscal Year 2020 assessed WHO contributions to partially pay other U.N. assessments. In addition, through July 2021, the United States will scale down its engagement with the WHO…” (9/3).

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USAID Announces Additional $15M In Humanitarian Assistance To Address Ebola In DRC

USAID: USAID Announces Additional $15 Million In New Humanitarian Assistance To Fight Ebola In The Democratic Republic Of Congo
“…[T]he United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), announced more than $15 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help end the outbreak of Ebola in Équateur Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). … With this new funding, USAID is providing lifesaving assistance for the people affected by the DRC’s 11th outbreak of Ebola, including disease surveillance, the transportation of patients, training on the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, the promotion of safe and dignified burials, and community-engagement programs to ensure everyone has access to accurate information about how to prevent and treat the disease…” (9/7).

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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 8, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (9/8).

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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