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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Administration Plan Would Overhaul U.S. Foreign Aid, Prioritize Political Allegiance, POLITICO Reports
POLITICO: Trump plan would steer foreign aid to ‘friends and allies’
“President Donald Trump is moving closer to unveiling a dramatic overhaul of how America should distribute foreign aid, one that would channel money to ‘friends and allies’ and prioritize countries that ‘support’ America’s goals. The move would upend at least a generation of largely bipartisan foreign aid policy, which has long operated under the principle — at least in theory if not always in practice — that financial assistance should prioritize humanitarian need, not political allegiance. The plan, laid out in a draft presidential policy directive obtained by POLITICO, could lead the U.S. to stop sending aid to countries that do not side with it in international disputes or somehow align themselves with U.S. rivals such as China. Countries in the third world, especially those in Africa, but also Asia and Latin America, may be seriously affected…” (Toosi, 9/6).

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U.S. Providing Funding, Military Support To Help Hurricane-Hit Bahamas; Caribbean Development Bank To Help Address Mental Health, Trauma
Miami Herald: U.S. military commits air support for Bahamas aid operation
“The Trump administration has requested ‘airlift and logistics support’ from the Defense Department in its urgent support effort for the Bahamas, McClatchy has learned. USAID formally made the request of the Pentagon on Friday afternoon after conducting aerial and on-the-ground assessments of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian earlier this week…” (Wilner et al., 9/6).
 
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Caribbean Development Bank plans to help tackle trauma of Bahamas storm
“The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) plans to throw its weight behind mental health support for those hit by devastating Hurricane Dorian, besides offering more traditional financial assistance. … The United Nations has estimated that 70,000 people are in immediate need of food, water, and shelter…” (Berton, 9/6).
 
Washington Post: U.S. official surveys hurricane damage in Bahamas as survivors flee to cities
“The U.S. humanitarian response on islands devastated by Hurricane Dorian has shifted into a new phase as desperate survivors flee the worst-hit areas of the Bahamas for towns and cities that were largely spared. … The United States has provided $2.8 million in aid for the Bahamas, about a third for food and the rest for shelter, hygiene kits, and other commodities, and for coordinating relief efforts. So far, 47 metric tons of supplies donated by the United States have arrived in the Bahamas, about the equivalent in size to two shipping containers. Officials said it is enough to help 44,000 people…” (Morello, 9/8).

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Oxfam Report Examines U.K. Government Arms Sales To Parties Involved In Yemen War, Humanitarian Aid Provided
The Guardian: Money from arms sales dwarfs aid for Yemen
“Britain has earned eight times more from arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other members of the coalition fighting in Yemen than it has spent on aid to help civilians caught up in the conflict, a report has found. Campaigners have criticized the approach as ‘completely incoherent.’ … Britain has given £770m in food, medicines, and other assistance to civilians in Yemen over the past half decade, the report by Oxfam found, making the country the sixth largest recipient of British aid. But over the same period it has made £6.2bn of arms sales to members of the coalition fighting there, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates…” (Graham-Harrison, 9/7).

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Malaria Can Be Eradicated By 2050 With More 'Ambition, Commitment, Partnership,' Lancet Commission Report Says
Devex: Q&A: Amid concerns, Lancet Commission eyes 2050 for malaria eradication
“In 2017, 26 experts comprising the Lancet Commission on malaria eradication, were confronted with a question: How close is a future with no malaria at all? In a new report published Sept. 8, the commission answers the question: Can the world can be malaria-free by 2050. There are a number of measures needed for this to happen, the experts said in the report: better use of data and partnerships with the private sector; country, regional, and global leadership and accountability; new and better drugs, insecticides, and diagnostics; and more financing. The world will need an additional $2 billion investment per year for malaria, on top of currently estimated annual spending levels of $4.3 billion. … But given the challenges and failure of past eradication attempts, some experts have called for caution in once again setting end dates for malaria eradication. Devex spoke to [Richard Feachem, head of the commission] about these concerns…” (Ravelo, 9/9).
 
Reuters: Malaria can be eradicated by 2050, say global experts
“In a major report on Sunday, 41 specialists said a future free of malaria — one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases — can be achieved as early as 2050. This contradicted the conclusions last month of a malaria review by the World Health Organization and the experts urged the WHO not to shy away from this ‘goal of epic proportions.’ This contradicted the conclusions last month of a malaria review by the World Health Organization and the experts urged the WHO not to shy away from this ‘goal of epic proportions.’ To meet that target, however, governments, scientists, and public health leaders need to inject more money and innovation into fighting the disease and the mosquitoes that carry it, the report said — something that will require ‘ambition, commitment, and partnership like never before’…” (Kelland, 9/8).
 
Additional coverage of The Lancet Commission’s report is available from BBC News, Globe and Mail, Science, and TIME.

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Ebola Continues To Spread In DRC; Funding For Strategic Response Plan Falling Short
CIDRAP News: Ebola cases rise by 13, with spread in insecure and border areas
“Ebola transmission in the affected Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) region is still substantial, with new hot spots emerging in areas with limited access and security problems, posing more challenges for response teams, the World Health Organization (WHO) said [Friday] in its weekly snapshot of the outbreak. Meanwhile, the country reported 13 new infections [Friday], boosting the overall outbreak total to 3,069 cases…” (Schnirring, 9/6).
 
Xinhua News: DRC Ebola outbreak remains substantial, adds risks of regional spread: WHO
“…According to the DRC’s Strategic Response Plan against the current Ebola outbreak, the estimated funding requirement for the period July to December 2019 is 287 million U.S. dollars, including 120 to 140 million dollars for the WHO. However, as of Friday, the WHO has just received 45.3 million dollars, with current available funds only capable of closing the financing gap until the end of September…” (9/7).

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Global Fund Head Peter Sands Calls For Increased Efforts To Achieve Gender Equality To Reduce Spread Of HIV
Bloomberg: Gender Inequality Is Hurdle in Fight Against AIDS, $14 Billion Fund Says
“The next hurdle that must be overcome to dramatically reduce the spread of HIV is gender inequality, said the head of a fund that expects to raise $14 billion to tackle the world’s deadliest infectious diseases. An increasing proportion of the money that’s available to fight HIV infections should be spent on prevention rather than treatment and testing, said Peter Sands, the executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria…” (Sguazzin, 9/6).

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More News In Global Health
AFP: Aid sent to displaced Syrians near Jordan border: U.N. (9/6).
 
Associated Press: AP Explains: Why Mexican Women March Against Gender Violence (Guthrie, 9/8).
 
Devex: The role WASH programming plays in tackling malnutrition (Jerving, 9/9).
 
Global Voices: Community-based approaches to bridging the mental health care gap in India (Verma, 9/7).
 
The Guardian: How snakebites became an invisible health crisis in Congo (Cunningham, 9/9).
 
Los Angeles Times: HIV prevention is making progress. And a breakthrough vaccine appears within reach (Baumgaertner, 9/6).
 
NPR: A Doctor Or Nurse Might Earn Just $6 A Month In Venezuela (Alex, 9/6).
 
VICE: We May Soon Be Able to Wipe Out Mosquitos — But at What Cost? (Haynes, 9/7).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Congress Should Increase Funding For Public Health Emergency Fund To Address Disease Outbreaks, Says Commentary
Chicago Tribune: Commentary: Ebola is raging again — and the U.S. is not ready
Former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge (R), the first U.S. secretary of Homeland Security, both co-chairs of the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense
 
“Five years ago, the Ebola virus broke through inadequate public health systems in West Africa and spread throughout the world. America was lucky. Only a few cases traveled here, but the U.S. government also did not respond as we had reason to expect. … Today, the threat from Ebola is more serious. The World Health Organization has declared it to be a global public health emergency … Outbreaks are costly. Public health responses to Ebola, Zika, MERS, SARS, and other diseases cost tens of billions of dollars, much of which can be avoided by taking preventive action. Congress can wait until Ebola or some equally deadly infectious disease arrives in our country, overwhelms state, local, tribal, and territorial health care and public health capacity, and threatens lives and then provide billions in emergency supplemental funding. Or Congress can now recognize that these significant disease events will continue to occur and proactively take steps to ensure we can respond by creating a standing response fund. In 2018, the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, which we co-chair, issued a report called Budget Reform for Biodefense. In it, we recommended $2 billion for the Public Health Emergency Fund … We hope that Congress will take up this recommendation soon, before Ebola — or another disease to which we are not paying as much attention — sickens and kills too many people here in the United States” (9/6).

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Partnership, Sustained Resources Vital To Improving Health Systems, Preventing Disease Outbreaks
The Telegraph: From fighting Ebola to ending TB: stretched health systems need new partners
Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Achim Steiner, administrator for the U.N. Development Programme
 
“…We have seen time and again that diseases thrive in conflict and chaos. … The interaction works both ways. Disease often makes social instability and poverty much worse. … The future of disease prevention — and global health security — depends on our ability to improve health for the most vulnerable populations, including those living in war zones or fleeing fighting. … The experience of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which work together in some of the world’s most challenging operating environments, has shown that fighting diseases in such environments requires sustained efforts and strong partnerships. … Perhaps the most fundamental lesson is that the best protection from infectious disease outbreaks is a resilient health system. … Conflict, poverty, and disease present a triple threat that exacerbate each other. To make the world a better, safer place — we must understand these complex interactions, commit sustained effort and resources, and work in partnership…” (9/6).

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U.S., Other Nations Must Do More To Increase HPV Vaccination To Eliminate Cervical Cancer
CNN: Cervical cancer can be eliminated. We must do more to prevent this deadly disease
Arthur L. Caplan, professor and founding director of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Peter Hotez, professor of pediatrics and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine
 
“Only a few cancers can be eradicated around the world. Cervical cancer is one. We have the tools and technical expertise to eliminate cervical cancer in the United States, but we lack the leadership, drive, and advocacy to make this happen. That must change. Globally, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women. … To eliminate cervical cancer, the WHO proposes vaccinating 90% of girls under the age of 15 by the year 2030. The strategy involves implementing broader programs for cancer screening and treatment with the aim of eliminating cervical cancer as a public health issue. … [Australia] became one of the first countries to launch a national and publicly funded HPV vaccination program in 2007 and later organized a detailed program for cervical cancer screening. A group of scientists and cancer experts now predict that Australia will eliminate cervical cancer by 2028. Rwanda, which has achieved high HPV vaccination rates for girls, is another success story. … Our public health and elected leaders need to articulate a clear goal of advancing towards eliminating cervical cancer in America by the year 2030. This is feasible, but it means improving teenage access to the HPV vaccine while standing up to an aggressive antivaccine lobby…” (9/7).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

WHO, Partners Work To Improve Health Facilities' Efforts To Address Ebola, Prevent Disease Among Staff
WHO Regional Office for Africa: WHO and partners to help the Government boost health facility defenses against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
“To strengthen health practitioners’ proficiency in preventing the spread of Ebola virus disease in health facilities, the Commission for Prevention and Biosecurity of the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) launched on 5 September a guideline and training package on infection prevention and control that targets at least 3,000 nurses, doctors, and other health care workers. … With the ongoing heightened attention to equipping health facilities with Ebola-specific response units, the Government of the DRC is intent on covering all potential weak points by training staff on infection prevention, using standard guidelines recently revised by a team of technical specialists from the Health Ministry, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention…” (9/6).

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WHO Urges Southeast Asia Region To Strengthen Efforts To Eliminate Cervical Cancer
WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia: Accelerate efforts to eliminate cervical cancer: WHO
“World Health Organization urged countries in its South-East Asia Region to accelerate efforts to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030. ‘Countries need to expand vaccination, screening, detection, and treatment services for everyone, everywhere to address the growing problem of cervical cancer,’ said Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director of WHO South-East Asia, at the Seventy Second Session of WHO Regional Committee here in Delhi…” (9/6).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Outlines Response To Hurricane Dorian In The Bahamas, Announces Additional Humanitarian Aid
USAID/OFDA/Medium: 4 Ways USAID is Responding to Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas
“…Here are 4 ways that USAID is helping communities in the Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian: 1. Deploying a USAID Disaster Team … 2. Sending Search and Rescue Teams … 3. Providing Relief Supplies by Air & by Sea … 4. Working with Humanitarian Partners…” (9/6).
 
USAID: USAID Administrator Mark Green Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for the Bahamas
“…U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green announced $1 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help people in The Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian, bringing USAID’s total funding for this response to more than $2.8 million to date. This funding will provide urgently needed food, shelter, water containers, and hygiene kits to people on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands. It will also provide critical logistics support to help move U.S. Government commodities by airlift and by boat to The Bahamas…” (9/7).
 

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NIAID Summarizes Agency's Efforts To Address Ebola Outbreak In DRC, Elsewhere
NIAID: NIAID’s Ongoing Ebola Efforts in Congo, Elsewhere
“It might be safe to say that you’re aware of the continuing Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but perhaps less so of NIAID’s efforts to help stem the tide of outbreaks. If that’s the case, here’s a brief overview of our activities…” (9/5).

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