KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Global Under-5 Child Mortality Halved Since 1990, But U.N. MDG Target Missed, Reports Show

News outlets highlight findings from two reports on child mortality, one from UNICEF, titled “A Promise Renewed: 2015 Progress Report,” and one from the WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the UN-DESA Population Division, titled “Levels and trends in child mortality 2015.”

Agence France-Presse: Child deaths halved since 1990, but U.N. goal missed
“The number of deaths among children under five has halved globally since 1990 — well short of the U.N. goal of slashing infant mortality by two-thirds in 25 years, said data released Wednesday…” (9/9).

BBC News: Child mortality falls by 50% since 1990 — report
“Child mortality has fallen by more than 50 percent since 1990, a report by the World Health Organization and U.N. children’s agency UNICEF says. It says that 25 years ago 12.7 million children under five died, but this year the figure is projected to drop below six million for the first time…” (9/9).

Deutsche Welle: 16,000 children under five die every day
“The mortality rate among children under five fell globally from 91 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990, to 43 per 1,000 in 2015, according to a new international report. Nearly half of infant deaths are tied to malnutrition, and 45 percent occur during the first 28 days of life…” (9/9).

The Guardian: Child mortality halved since 1990, but MDG goal missed, says UN report
“…Around a third of all countries (62) have reduced child mortality in line with the MDG goal of two-thirds, and another 74 have cut it by a half. In spite of low incomes, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania have all met the MDG target…” (Boseley, 9/8).

Newsweek: Global Child Mortality Halved Since 1990, but Thousands Still Die Every Day
“…With one child in 12 dying, sub-Saharan African countries have the highest under-five mortality rate, much higher than the rate of one in 147 children in high-income countries. In terms of numbers, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan contribute 40 percent of under-five deaths every year, while Angola, Chad, and Somalia have the highest child mortality rates in the world…” (Westcott, 9/8).

NPR: How Many Children Under 5 Die A Year In The U.S. Vs. Angola?
“… ‘A child born in a low-income country is, on average, 11 times as likely to die before the age of five as a child in a high-income country,’ according to the report…” (Beaubien, 9/8).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Child death rates cut by half, but U.N. target missed
“… ‘We have to acknowledge tremendous global progress,’ said Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director of the United Nations’ children’s fund (UNICEF). ‘But the far too large number of children still dying from preventable causes before their fifth birthday … should impel us to redouble our efforts to do what we know needs to be done’…” (D’Urso, 9/8).

VOA News: U.N.: Global Child Mortality Rates Show Steep Drop
“…The report … noted that the leading causes of child mortality include premature birth, pneumonia, complications during labor and delivery, diarrhea, sepsis, and malaria” (Schlein, 9/8).

Xinhua News: Under-five mortality falls by 53 pct: UNICEF report
“… ‘Saving the lives of millions of children in urban and rural settings, in wealthy and poor countries, is one of the first great achievements of the new millennium — and one of the biggest challenges of the next 15 years is to further accelerate this progress,’ said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt…” (9/9).

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SDGs Aim To Focus On Global Population, With Mantra 'Leave No One Behind'

Thomson Reuters Foundation: ‘Leave no one behind’: U.N. ups ambition for new development goals
“…If fully implemented, a new set of U.N. development goals could end the social exclusion and poverty of marginalized groups like the Roma worldwide. The 17 goals, ranging from ending extreme poverty and hunger to achieving gender equality and combating climate change, are due to be adopted by U.N. member states later this month. At the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the mantra, ‘leave no one behind’…” (Rowling, 9/8).

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Sierra Leone Records 4 New Ebola Cases With More Expected, Official Says

Reuters: New Sierra Leone Ebola cases frustrate efforts to end outbreak
“Sierra Leone has recorded four new cases of Ebola in a village on its northern border and will likely see more infections in a further setback to efforts to end an 18-month West African epidemic, a senior health official said on Tuesday. The new cases recorded since the start of the weekend in Sella Kaffta, a village in Kambia District, were all individuals who came into direct contact with a woman who died of the disease late last month…” (9/8).

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Policymakers Face Decisions About How Much Ebola Vaccine To Stockpile Once Approved, Who Should Receive Vaccine To Prevent Next Outbreak

Washington Times: Officials weigh who should be given Ebola vaccine, how much to stockpile
“With scientists hopeful they are closing in on a vaccine to stop Ebola, policymakers are beginning to grapple with the other big questions — how much will be needed and who should get vaccinated in order to stem the next outbreak…” (Howell, 9/8).

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Mali Begins First Of Several Polio Vaccination Campaigns After Case Confirmed, WHO Says

Bloomberg Business: Mali Polio Campaign to Start Wednesday After Case Confirmed
“Mali will start its first polio vaccination campaign on Wednesday through Sept. 12 after the first confirmed case in four years was detected, the World Health Organization said. The campaign will cover the capital, Bamako, and its outskirts, Lucien Manga, Mali’s WHO representative, said in an e-mailed response to questions…” (Rihouay, 9/8).

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Village-, District-Level Data On Climate, Travel Habits To Inform Tanzania's Malaria Prevention Plan

SciDev.Net: Local data underpins Tanzania’s next malaria plan
“…[Tanzania’s health] ministry is preparing to sign a strategic plan that will focus more on data collection at village and district level to intensify the national fight against malaria. This revision is needed because changing temperatures and growing travel habits among Tanzania’s people are spreading malaria-bearing mosquitoes, say policymakers…” (Ngereza, 9/8).

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Cash Grant Program In Lesotho Helps Increase Child School Enrollment, Decrease Under-5 Morbidity, Study Shows

The Guardian: Lesotho child cash grants show surprise side effect of increased school enrollment
“…A 2013 study by Oxford Policy Management found that nearly all the families [in Lesotho] who received grants spent the money on their children, with positive results across several indicators: a rise in the percentage of boys enrolling in school instead of taking up the traditional role of cattle herders; a 15 percent reduction in morbidity among children under the age of five; and a 37 percent increase in birth registrations…” (Mutizwa, 9/8).

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3 Groups To Share $1.1M Prize To Cure Blindness, Improve Quality Of Life In Africa

Associated Press: Effort to fight African blindness wins $1.1M eyesight prize
“…The award announced Monday night is being given to the Tanzania-based Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthamology, the U.S.-based Seva Foundation and Seva Canada. The three groups run a project to cure destitute Africans of blindness while promoting sustainable development projects and microcredit programs aimed at improving quality of life…” (9/8).

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Stanford Scientist Aims To Develop Widely Accessible Global Health Solutions

Global Health NOW: The Frugal Scientist and the Foldable Paper Microscope
“…Building solutions to meet major public health shortcomings is one thing, but building solutions that can be made available to just about anyone in the world is another — and it’s more complicated. Still, this is the lofty goal of [Stanford University researcher Manu Prakash’s] brand of frugal science: designing solutions to global public health ills that can be deployed on the largest possible scale…” (Gilbert, 9/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

Countries Must Increase Aid, Fulfill Funding Pledges As U.N. Continues To Respond To Humanitarian Crises

New York Times: Caring for the Other Refugees
Editorial Board

“…Despite repeated appeals to member states, the United Nations has received only $1.67 billion of the $4.5 billion it needs this year for Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. This is unconscionable. … With nearly 60 million people displaced by conflicts worldwide that show no sign of ending soon, permanently underfinanced United Nations agencies simply cannot meet the desperate need. Member nations should be assessed for contributions to the organization’s major humanitarian agencies in the same way they are now called upon to contribute to its regular budget. Until then, Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon need more development assistance to help them cope with the millions of Syrian refugees they have taken in. Rich countries — including Saudi Arabia and the gulf states — need to increase their donations to the United Nations immediately. And nations that have made pledges but haven’t fulfilled them need to pay up” (9/8).

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Public-Private Partnerships Can Improve Maternal, Child Health In Kenya

Huffington Post: Ending Maternal and Child Deaths in Kenya — The Private Sector Can Help
Siddharth Chatterjee, UNFPA representative to Kenya, and Nicholas Muraguri, director of medical services at Kenya’s Ministry of Health

“…The private sector has the resources, rigor, expertise, and innovative spirit needed to create new and more-effective products, services, and technologies to deliver public goods. These are qualities that have not received full attention in improving health care delivery and saving lives. … Fostering public-private sector partnerships will help fill the gaps in capacity, resources, knowledge, and innovation to reduce the greatest mortality risks faced by women today. It will also set a new standard for how companies, governments, United Nations, and NGOs can work together towards a shared goal. … The upward trend of health spending in Kenya provides an opportune environment for the private sector to innovate and invest to deliver self-sustaining solutions to the core problems impeding MNCH outcomes…” (9/8).

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Simple Technological Solutions, Maternal Health Initiatives Critical To Achieve MDG5

Huffington Post: Access to Maternal Health Saved My Life and My Son’s
Elizabeth Gore, entrepreneur in residence at Dell

“…With simple technological solutions like RapidSMS and We Care Solar kits and programs like Girl Up, if the U.N. keeps this momentum going, I’m confident that they will meet their goal of reducing maternal deaths by 75 percent by the end of this year. That will be an incredible feat, but I’m sure the organization won’t stop there when it comes to improving maternal mortality. … [I]t doesn’t matter whether you’re a woman in a refugee camp or a woman in Silicon Valley — improved maternal health should be everyone’s concern. We need initiatives like [Millennium Development] Goal 5 to empower women to make important choices for their health, families, and children. In the end, giving women the power to take hold of their own futures unlocks their true potential to change the world” (9/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

New Report Calls On U.N. To Include Global Health R&D Indicators In SDG Monitoring Framework

Blog posts discuss a new report commissioned by a coalition of health nonprofits, titled “Measuring Global Health R&D for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.”

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Development goals should include measures of global health research, report argues
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, writes, “…While the SDGs include ambitious targets for reducing child and maternal deaths and eradicating the HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria epidemics, the report notes, no indicators are established to measure progress on the development and delivery of new and improved drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and other health tools to achieve those goals…” (9/8).

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: To meet the global goals, U.N. must include health R&D indicators in SDG framework
GHTC Communications Officer Marissa Chmiola writes, “…Despite the importance of global health R&D to achieving the SDGs, it’s largely missing from the current agenda. Only one of the 169 targets — target 3.b — is specifically aimed at advancing R&D to meet the health needs of LMICs, and, unfortunately, it excludes several important categories of health interventions including diagnostics, microbicides, devices, and other health tools, and it conflates two distinct problems — the need to support R&D to develop new tools and the need for those new tools to be affordable and accessible…” (9/8).

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World Bank Must Bridge Fiscal, Health Gap To Support Global Tobacco Control

Center for Global Development’s “Views from the Center/Global Health Policy Blog”: The World Bank Keeps Missing Opportunities to Save Lives and Mobilize Domestic Revenues
William Savedoff, senior fellow at CGD, discusses the potential for the World Bank to promote tobacco taxes as a public health policy. “One of the key reasons is World Bank management has let this best-buy for development fall between the cracks — tobacco is a health issue and taxes are a fiscal policy issue,” he writes, arguing the bank should “find a way to bridge the fiscal/health gap and demonstrate to clients that tobacco taxes are a big win for improving health and raising revenues” (9/8).

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De-Worming Study Reanalysis Raises Questions About Impact Evaluations

Humanosphere: Evaluating benefits of de-worming kids opens a can of worms
Humanosphere reporter Tom Murphy discusses a recent study re-analyzing a de-worming program that “has raised questions about the benefits of a long-established health strategy pushed to improve child welfare in poor countries — and in so doing also raised questions about how best to do such impact evaluations…” (9/8).

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SDG 3 Must Promote Equity To Achieve Target Of Reducing Premature Mortality From NCDs

PLOS Medicine: Equity and Noncommunicable Disease Reduction under the Sustainable Development Goals
In this essay, Harald Schmidt and Anne Barnhill of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine discuss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a target to reduce premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) “…To give meaningful substance to the SDGs’ call to reduce inequalities, there needs to be an unambiguous acknowledgment that pursuing cost-effective interventions and achieving overall NCD mortality reductions is insufficient. The urgent moral demand in terms of promoting equity is to improve the situation of the worst off. Three concrete measures can help make progress towards this end…” They suggest clarity in SDG wording, prioritizing targets, and equity guidance (9/8).

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Health Affairs' September Issue Focuses On Global Burden Of NCDs, Chronic Ailments

Health Affairs Blog: Health Affairs’ September Issue: Growing Burden Of Noncommunicable Diseases
“The September issue of Health Affairs focuses on the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases. Increased wealth worldwide has reduced the frequency of some infectious diseases, while chronic diseases — heart disease, respiratory ailments, cancer, diabetes, mental illness, and others — are more widespread,” Tracy Gnadinger, assistant editor at Health Affairs, writes (9/8).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 270 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter features news articles on various topics, including two articles on findings from the Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector General and a news and analysis piece on the Vancouver Consensus on HIV treatment and prevention (9/9).

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