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GHC News Flash: Global Health Roundup – 04/23/2018

The Global Health Community Gets #ReadyToBeatMalaria

Ahead of World Malaria Day (April 25), the global health community has renewed its commitment to ending malaria, a preventable, treatable, and curable disease, which manages to endure despite significant global progress. During the 2018 World Malaria Summit last week, world leaders, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K. government, contributed $4.1 billion to the fight against malaria. The road towards eradicating malaria has reached a pivotal moment, and U.S. leadership is needed, now more than ever, to ensure that resurgence and drug resistance do not overpower progress. Recognizing this, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria launched their new Tipping Point report on April 12 and hosted a Twitter Chat to discuss ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria once and for all. View the chat takeaways.

USAID Releases New Materials for Health Advocates

USAID’s Advocacy for Better Health (ABH) program in Uganda runs on the sole proviso that “when citizens know their rights and responsibilities and hold those in power accountable, change at all levels is possible.” This social accountability and citizen engagement model has resulted in a successful program since 2014. In particular, the program focuses on improving health policies; increasing budgets; strengthening health service delivery; and holding leaders accountable for health policies through sustainable, citizen-centered advocacy. PATH, one of the program leads, recently shared impact stories and the program’s new website and portfolio which dives deeper into the ABH program and the model behind it. Consider spreading the word on social media using the hashtag #Advocacy4Impact or follow @PATHtweets on Twitter to learn more.

Commitments to End Polio and Yellow Fever Builds the Momentum Towards World Immunization Week

On April 16, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative announced that the United Arab Emirates fulfilled its $120 million commitment made at the 2013 Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi, paving the way towards sustained on-the-ground eradication efforts within vulnerable communities in Pakistan. This support contributed to a 97 percent decline in cases from 2014 – 2017 and a report of just 22 wild polio cases worldwide in 2017. The good news continued with an announcement from WHO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF, and partners of a joint commitment to protect nearly one billion people in Africa against yellow fever by 2026. Spread the word on vaccine effectiveness via WHO’s World Immunization Week (April 24 – 30) campaign materials and read a new WHO blog exploring reasons why immunization rates in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are steadily declining.

NEWSBITES:

April 5: Devex, in collaboration with Philips, explored the acceleration of progress towards health and health-related SDGs and the potential role that private sector plays in a new report.

April 9: Massachusetts Institutes of Technology (MIT) released four new Solve challenges, one of which is dedicated to frontline health worker investments and services to improve their access to effective and affordable care. Deadline to post a solution is July 1, 2018.

April 12: The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) announced a call for applications for the 2018 CSIS Accelerator Series, a training program designed to help young professionals refine their leadership, strategic management, professional, and communications skills. Deadline for applications is May 15.

April 17: Organizers of the Second International Conference on Primary Healthcare announced an opportunity for the public to shape a new Declaration on Primary Health Care. Share input on the draft Declaration by April 23, 12:00 AM CEST.

Let’s Chat: How to Make UHC a Reality for Everyone, Everywhere

This blog post was written by the Center for Global Development (CGD) Global Health Policy Team as part of GHC’s Member Spotlight Series. The post is adapted from a World Health Day preview first posted on CGD’s Global Health Policy blog on April 5. You can check out the original post here and highlights from the Twitter chat hereThe Center for Global Development works to reduce global poverty and inequality through rigorous research and active engagement with the policy community to make the world a more prosperous, just, and safe place for all. They are a 2018 Global Health Council member.

On the eve of World Health Day, GHC and CGD co-hosted a Twitter Chat on how we can work together to improve access to comprehensive, quality health care services in the developing world. Over the course of the hour, participants were asked questions like, “What are key levers to improve efficiency in health systems on the journey towards UHC?” and “How do we change the narrative and view women as drivers of change in global health, not only as beneficiaries?” in a discussion moderated by CGD COO and Senior Fellow Amanda Glassman and GHC President and Executive Director Loyce Pace. You can find key moments and takeaways from the #HealthForAll chat here.

Each year, millions of people fall into poverty because they have to pay out of pocket for medical care. At least half of the world’s population does not have access to essential health services. Universal health coverage (UHC) is the goal of ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access quality health services without the risk of financial hardship.

We can make UHC happen in our lifetime by targeting investments and incentives on the highest impact interventions among the most affected populations in developing countries. Countries at all income levels are proving that UHC can be both achievable and affordable. However, current global funding has leveled off while the need for life-saving services and products has not. Governments and global health funders need to do more with existing resources.

We at CGD have been advocating for UHC for years, using evidence-based research to inform our policy recommendations. We’ve hosted events, convened working groups, contributed to the creation of international networks, produced podcasts, and written extensively on UHC’s potential—when done in an evidence-based, ethical way—to improve both the equity and reach of global healthcare. From our Twitter Chat, we are excited to be reminded that many of you feel the same way.

What’s In, What’s Out. A recent CGD publication that serves as a guidebook for the creation of health benefits plans to promote universal health care.

Last week, we hosted a breakout session at the World Bank’s Third Annual UHC Financing Forum, which examined the role of health commodity procurement as a core element of equitable and universal health coverage. In the coming months, we will continue our work in UHC by highlighting three areas that will impact efficiency and achieve more health for the same amount of money, particularly in low- and middle-income countries:

1) Adoption of an explicit, evidence-based Health Benefits Package—a defined list of services that are and are not subsidized—is essential in creating a sustainable UHC system. It is key to evaluate how much health an intervention will buy for each dollar.
2) Better data and performance verification—combined with results-based funding—is a powerful instrument for UHC mechanisms. There is the potential to improve the efficiency of the health system and increase the productivity of health workers, while ensuring quality, equitable services at an affordable cost.
3) More systematic use of health technology assessment of the comparative effectiveness and costs of health technologies will provide the economic and clinical evidence needed for decisions about what products to purchase to achieve greater impact for money spent.

World Health Day kicked off a drumbeat of activities that will focus on increasing political will to advance health for all. The series of events include: the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA) in May, the United Nations General Assembly in September, and the marking of the 40th anniversary of the Alma-Ata Declaration in October in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It is anticipated that a new Alma-Ata Declaration will be set in motion and adopted at the WHA in 2019. These moments provide an opportunity to help shape and accelerate the UHC agenda.

We hope you will join us in our continued work on UHC. All of your thoughts and comments are welcome.

GHC News Flash: Global Health Roundup – 04/09/2018

NCD Child Encourages Young Minds to Participate in Global Art Contest

On April 3, ahead of World Health Day (April 7), NCD Child launched a global art and video contest for adolescents to visually highlight the importance of non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention and control for young people and their communities. Based on the theme, Health For Youth = #HealthForAll, the contest invites artists between the ages of 12 and 21 to electronically submit original drawings, paintings, or videos. Finalists will be formally recognized at a ceremony during the 2018 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York City. The contest is supported by a grant to NCD Child and the American Academy of Pediatrics from Novo Nordisk. Deadline for submissions is May 31.

World Health Worker Week Elevates the Voices of Real Changemakers

The Fifth Annual World Health Worker Week (WHWW) took place last week (April 2 -8), with several events occurring in the Washington, DC area. OnApril 2, IntraHealth International and Frontline Health Workers Coalition (FHWC) co-hosted a Twitter chat to highlight health workers who are influencing policy change and to generate ideas to help health workers become more effective advocates. On April 5, FHWC, the United Nations Foundation, and Johnson & Johnson hosted a Health Heroes + SocialGood summit, which re-invigorated a vital call to action to support and empower health workers worldwide. Follow up on all of the WHWW social media conversations using the hashtags #HealthHeroes and #HealthWorkersCount. Also, view FHWC and IntraHealth International blogs, which amplify the voices of health workers who are creating powerful changes in their health systems. Next up on the World Day circuit is the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights on April 11. Consider joining a blog carnival to champion maternal and reproductive health advocates.

New Global Health Fellow Program (GHFP) II Crossover Study Seeks Participants

Last month, Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II launched a qualitative study to identify the motivations, challenges, and successes of a unique group of professionals who have experienced a “crossover” between their global and public health careers. Previous research shows that most health professionals stay in their area of specialty throughout their careers. Moreover, there is significant evidence of domestic health professionals finding it difficult to transition into global health work. This study will explore the experiences of select professionals, especially those who were able to successfully move from domestic public health to global health work. If you are interested in participating and want to see if you qualify for the study, please complete this survey by April 27.

NEWSBITES:

1) March 26
: Organizers of the 2018 Global Health Mini-University, an annual, one-day learning forum bringing together global health professionals and students, announced calls for sessions proposals to shape the event. Deadline for submission is April 20.
2) March 29: CORE Group opened registration for its first post-conference workshop following the Global Health Practitioner Conference (to be held in June 2018), focusing on the integration of NCDs into global health programs.
3) April 2: PATH’s Defeat Diarrheal Disease Initiative and partners announced, Take the Plunge, an interactive experience that will enable advocates to explore the solutions that ensure children survive childhood and reach their full potential.
4) April 2: A new PBS film, Global Health: Preventing Pandemic, will be screened in New York later this month at an event hosted by Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Rabin Martin as well as in Washington, DC, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ headquarters. The screenings will be followed by panel discussions by global health experts.
5) April 3: WHO updated its position paper on typhoid vaccines to formally recommend the use of the first typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) in routine immunization programs of typhoid-endemic countries.

 

Advocacy Update ~ April 9, 2018

This post was written by Danielle Heiberg, Senior Policy & Advocacy Manager, and Melissa Chacko, Policy Associate.

The past two weeks were relatively quiet on Capitol Hill as Congress was in recess. Below are items that we are tracking:

Possible Rescission package

President Trump and Republicans are in discussions to force a vote on a package that would cut billions from the recently passed FY 2018 $1.3 trillion Omnibus. Although, the Omnibus was passed with bipartisan support, Republicans are facing pressure over the large spending package. There is no word on which accounts would be targeted or when a vote would take place.

Pompeo Nomination for Secretary of State

Please see below the nomination hearing date for The Honorable Mike Pompeo of Kansas as Secretary of State. For more information, visit: https://bit.ly/2qgKvaZ

1) Committee: Senate Foreign Relations Committee
2) Date: Thursday, April 12, 2018
3) Time: 10:00 am
4) Location: SD-419

 Moving Forward – FY 2019

As the FY 2019 process moves along, we hope that Congress again rejects the cuts proposed in the President’s budget which contains a 30 percent decrease in the foreign affairs budget, including global health programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Department of State and cuts that were recommended for programs at the Department of Health and Human Services that support global health, global health research and development, and global health security.

Since the time that the President released his budget, advocates have been on the Hill, lobbying for strong investments in global health and submitting appropriation requests to members of Congress.

See Global Health Council’s funding chart: Funding Chart (FY 2017 comparison to FY 2018, and includes FY 2019)

Global Health Innovation Act Reviewed in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

The Global Health Innovation Act (H.R. 1660) introduced by Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ) was reviewed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and reported favorably without amendment. The bill supports global health research and development by encouraging the development of health products that are affordable, accessible, and culturally appropriate in low-resource health systems. This bill will require USAID to submit a report on the development and use of global health innovations at the agency.

Making the Most of the Health Workforce

DOWNLOAD THE POLICY BRIEF

Achieving country commitments to universal health coverage requires maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of the health workforce. The Health Finance and Governance (HFG) project supported country governments to optimize the quality and efficiency of the health labor market through policy development and implementation in health workforce production, regulation of the private sector, and initiatives to address maldistribution and inefficiencies. Over the course of the project, HFG engaged with countries on common challenges regarding human resources for health (HRH) – vacancies, ghost workers, incomplete HRH data, and health workers ill-prepared to meet population health needs, among others. Careful stakeholder engagement, incorporation of governance capacity building into HRH technical assistance, and thoughtful selection of interventions that could serve as levers for broader reforms contributed to the successful outcomes achieved with HFG’s support.

About HFG’s Advances in Health Finance & Governance Series

HFG’s Advances in Health Finance & Governance series is designed to highlight learning and lessons from the HFG project in nine core areas: domestic resource mobilization, strategic health purchasing, health financing strategies, expanding coverage through health insurance, financial data for decision making, governance, institutional capacity building, workforce and efficiency, and building understanding for universal health coverage.

The HFG project (2012-2018) is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and is led by Abt Associates in collaboration with Avenir Health, Broad Branch Associates, Development Alternatives Inc., the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Results for Development Institute, RTI International, and Training Resources Group, Inc.