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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Leaked Budget Document Shows Trump Administration's Intentions To Significantly Cut U.S. Foreign Aid, Merge State Department, USAID

Devex: Steep U.S. foreign aid cuts outlined in leaked budget document
“President Donald Trump’s budget proposes eliminating funding for development assistance, according to a State Department budget document obtained by Devex on Monday. All development assistance funding is cut in the proposed budget, with significant cuts to global health programs carried out by the U.S. Agency for International Development…” (Saldinger, 4/24).

Foreign Policy: The End of Foreign Aid As We Know It
“…[USAID] anticipates that the budget proposal will necessitate eliminating 30 to 35 of its field missions while cutting its regional bureaus by roughly 65 percent. USAID currently operates in about 100 countries. … In addition to closing missions, global health funding is also targeted … While the Trump budget has committed to maintaining funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the U.S. initiative that combats HIV/AIDS internationally, the State Department’s budget indicates that health programs abroad are set to take [a] … hit in funding. ‘I’ve seen firsthand how U.S. development money saves millions of lives’ said Tom Kenyon, the CEO of Project Hope, a global health nonprofit. ‘There’s just no question people would die from this.’ The administration’s cut to global health funding could also put Americans at risk in the event of a major epidemic…” (Harris et al., 4/24).

Huffington Post: Report: Trump plans to cut foreign aid, merge State and USAID
“…Acting USAID Administrator Wade Warren reportedly told employees during a recent staff meeting that the White House may merge USAID with the State Department in order to comply with Trump’s executive order aiming to streamline the executive branch. The order requires every agency to submit a plan for the approval of Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. The administration’s 2018 budget proposal pointedly suggests the consolidation, saying, ‘The need for State and USAID to pursue greater efficiencies through reorganization and consolidation in order to enable effective diplomacy and development’…” (Beavers, 4/24).

The Week: President Trump’s foreign aid budget could decimate global health initiatives
“…Andrew Natsios, the former USAID administrator under former President George W. Bush, warned folding USAID into the State Department ‘will end the technical expertise of USAID’ and ‘be an unmitigated disaster for the longer term.’ ‘What you’re basically doing is eviscerating the most important tool of American influence in the developing world, which is our development program,’ Natsios said…” (Stanek, 4/24).

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On World Malaria Day, WHO Emphasizes Continued, Varied Efforts To Prevent, Treat Disease

Deutsche Welle: World Malaria Day: WHO on the fight against malaria
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has set some ambitious goals to be reached by 2020 — including the reduction of malaria deaths by 40 percent and the elimination of the disease in at least 10 more countries. Dr. Pedro Alonso, director of the WHO’s Global Malaria Program, tells DW how far the world has come in the fight against malaria, and why we should not get complacent…” (4/25).

U.N. News Centre: Ahead of World Malaria Day, U.N. says ‘let’s close the gap’ in prevention coverage
“On the eve of World Malaria Day, the United Nations health agency called [Monday] for accelerating scaled-up efforts to prevent malaria, which remains a major public health threat, killing one child every two minutes worldwide in 2015. The U.N. World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest report, Malaria prevention works: Let’s close the gap, spotlights critical gaps in prevention coverage, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa…” (4/24).

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News Outlets Continue To Report On 2018 Malaria Vaccine Pilot Program Rollout

Al Jazeera: WHO: Malaria vaccine to be ‘real life’ tested in Africa
“The world’s first malaria vaccine will be available in selected areas of Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi from 2018, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)…” (4/24).

CNN: First malaria vaccine to be widely tested in Africa next year (Christensen, 4/24).

Devex: Behind the scenes on new malaria vaccine pilot rollout (Roby, 4/25).

Newsweek: First Malaria Vaccine to Pilot in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi in 2018 (Gaffey, 4/24).

Quartz: It took decades of research, but the world’s first malaria vaccine is finally ready for showtime (Foley, 4/24).

Reuters: Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi to pilot GSK malaria vaccine from 2018 (Kelland, 4/24).

VOA News: Kenya, Ghana, Malawi Chosen for Breakthrough Malaria Vaccine Trial (Ridgwell, 4/24).

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Financial Times Special Report Focuses On Malaria

Financial Times: FT Health: Malaria
“We look at the latest genetic breakthroughs, new medicines, and the prospects for an anti-malarial vaccine, a potential role for GM mosquitoes, and other leading features of the advances and continuing fight against the disease…” (Multiple authors, 4/24).

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U.S. National Academy Of Medicine Panel Raises Concerns Over Experimental Ebola Vaccine Trial Results

Wall Street Journal: Vaunted Ebola Vaccine Faces Questions
“…In December, doctors from the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, and other groups reported in the British medical journal The Lancet that a vaccine from Merck & Co. and NewLink Genetics Corp. tested during the outbreak proved to be 100 percent effective at preventing people from contracting the hemorrhagic fever once the vaccine’s protection kicked in. Now there are questions about that claim. A panel of scientists from the esteemed U.S. National Academy of Medicine has challenged the methodology of that 4,160-patient trial in the African nation of Guinea. They conclude the vaccine ‘most likely provides some protection to recipients’ but that protection ‘could in reality be quite low’…” (Burton/Hackman, 4/24).

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U.S. Army To Move Ahead With Exclusive Licensing Of Experimental Zika Vaccine To Sanofi Pasteur

STAT: Army rejects request to deny Sanofi an exclusive license for a Zika vaccine
“The U.S. Army is proceeding with plans to grant Sanofi Pasteur an exclusive license to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus, despite concerns among some lawmakers and advocacy groups that the product may be priced too high for many Americans, even though it was developed with taxpayer funds…” (Silverman, 4/24).

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WHO Highlights Success, Importance Of Vaccines During World Immunization Week

U.N. News Centre: World Immunization Week: Power of vaccines still not fully utilized, says U.N. health agency
“Vaccinations stave off 26 potentially deadly diseases, the United Nations health agency is emphasizing on the first day of World Immunization Week, which also marks the halfway point of the organization’s goal to stop millions of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines are one of modern medicine’s major success stories — tackling infectious diseases by making people immune or resistant, stimulating the body’s own immune system — having prevented at least 10 million deaths between 2010 and 2015, stresses Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), in a press release…” (4/24).

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Mexico Becomes First Country In Americas To Eliminate Trachoma, PAHO/WHO Announce

NBC News: Mexico Eliminates Infectious Disease Which Is Leading Cause of Blindness
“…The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Monday that Mexico is the first country in the Americas to eliminate trachoma as a public health issue. The disease, caused by a bacteria, affects the eye and repeated infections can lead to scarring and even loss of vision…” (Kwak, 4/24).

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Water.org Founders Matt Damon, Gary White Speak With Media Outlets About WASH Efforts

The Guardian: Matt Damon: ‘Children are drinking water so dirty it looks like chocolate milk’
“Jetlagged after a flight from Australia, Matt Damon is wearing a smart dark suit with a crisp white shirt as he sits at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington. He is barely distinguishable from countless technocrats converging on this cathedral of global capitalism. The Hollywood actor and co-founder of water.org is here to be interviewed by the Guardian…” (Smith, 4/24).

NPR: Matt Damon And Gary White On The World’s Water Crisis
“One topic at [last] week’s World Bank meetings is water scarcity. David Greene speaks with the co-founders of Water.org, actor Matt Damon and Gary White, about people who can’t access clean water. … The actor Matt Damon is a founder of water.org along with co-founder Gary White. And we sat down with both of them [Thursday] afternoon in Washington, D.C., at the spring meetings of the World Bank. Matt Damon told us it was a trip to Zambia that really got him interested in this issue. He met a young girl who was collecting water for her family…” (Greene, 4/21).

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China, 31 African Nations Hold Ministerial Conference On Health Cooperation

Xinhua News: China, Africa enhance cooperation in health
“China and African countries held a ministerial conference [in Pretoria, South Africa,] on Monday with the aim of stepping up China-Africa cooperation in health. Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, Minister of National Health and Family Planning Commission Li Bin, and health ministers from 31 African countries attended the conference with the theme of ‘China-Africa Health Cooperation, From Commitments to Actions.’ Addressing the China-Africa Ministerial Conference on Health Cooperation, the Chinese vice premier hailed China-Africa health cooperation as an epitome of the China-Africa community of shared future…” (4/24).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Recognize World Malaria Day

The Conversation: What Africa still needs to do to eliminate malaria
Willis Simon Akhwale, country director of I-TECH Kenya at the University of Washington

“…To achieve low transmission rates and eventual elimination [of malaria], African countries need to invest in understanding the geography, evolutionary history of flora and fauna, infrastructure, and land use in Africa. … [B]y understanding and addressing these factors, malaria control can be more successful. In addition, African countries need to diversify financing of malaria control. … And a national health financing strategy and road map to universal health coverage should be developed and implemented in sub-Saharan countries with a high burden of malaria. All partners from the public and private sector, the civil society, development partners, and the community should be involved. … Robust investment and new malaria control tools are urgently needed to propel countries towards eliminating the disease” (4/24).

Project Syndicate: Uniting Against Malaria
Julie Essiam, chief executive officer of the Ecobank Foundation, and Joy Phumaphi, executive secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance

“…There is … an urgent need to accelerate progress — and end malaria for good. This is both a moral and economic imperative. … No single African country can reliably eliminate malaria so long as the disease remains rampant among its neighbors. Malaria does not, after all, respect borders. That is why it is vital for African governments to work together, using every tool at their disposal, to achieve comprehensive malaria control, pre-elimination, and, ultimately, elimination. … The goal of eradicating malaria in our lifetime may sound ambitious, but it is achievable. Together, Africa’s governments and private sector can produce the investment and action needed to stop the disease for good — and ensure greater prosperity across the continent” (4/25).

Miami Herald: Let’s work across borders to fight mosquito-borne disease
Julio Frenk, president of the University of Miami and board member of the United Nations Foundation

“…Without continued leadership from the United States, diseases like Zika and malaria will weaken public health throughout the Americas, including in the United States. … On World Malaria Day, let’s renew our commitment to stamping out malaria in the Americas and controlling other mosquito-borne illnesses. That commitment must involve international cooperation, continued funding for U.N. efforts, and robust partnerships among researchers. It will require strong action by citizens, communities, and countries to meet the threat of climate change. When it comes to fighting diseases and protecting the public’s health, let’s reach across the borders of nations, just as the mosquitoes do” (4/24).

The Conversation: Genetic surveillance and why it’s critical in the fight against antimalarial drug resistance
Georgina Humphreys, senior scientist of the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory at the University of Oxford, and Magatte Ndiaye, research fellow at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop

“…To achieve malaria elimination and contain multidrug antimalarial resistance, strong surveillance systems are essential. … In the past, molecular markers of resistance to antimalarials were identified long after the resistant parasites had emerged and spread throughout the world. However, with the advancements of molecular tracking and surveillance technology, we have the unusual opportunity to monitor the prevalence of mutations … associated with artemisinin resistance, as they evolve in time and across different locations. … Genetic information is a valuable tool to monitor the occurrence or spread of drug resistance and agreeing standards of reporting and pooling of results is critical in the fight against this deadly disease” (4/24).

Global Health NOW: Roll Back Mosquitoes
Michael B. Macdonald, former co-chair of the Roll Back Malaria Vector Control Working Group

“With the fragile gains against malaria but rapid expansion of Aedes-borne diseases, broad-based and sustained vector control is now more critical than ever. The Roll Back Malaria Vector Control Working Group (RBM VCWG) recognizes that only through building diverse human and systems capacities, tools, and strategies across sectors can we can address these and future vector-borne disease threats that will surely come…” (4/25).

Scientific American: How to End Malaria in Africa
Carl Manlan, economist and COO of the Ecobank Foundation, and 2016 Aspen New Voices fellow

“…I see these as three necessary priorities in relation to the Africa CDC to make a significant impact on ending malaria: 1. Strengthen and build mechanisms to gather real-time data from communities across Africa for informed decision-making. … 2. Make new resources available to support the Africa CDC. … 3. Invest in other ways to end malaria. … Ending malaria was a vehicle to establish a strong and reliable CDC in the U.S., and now Africa has an opportunity to do both concurrently and should aim to do so by 2030 when the world gathers to assess progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We have the opportunity save more, and possibly all, lives through the Africa CDC; let’s make it happen” (4/25).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: World Malaria Day: Let’s end it for good
Nenette Motus, director of the regional office for Asia and the Pacific at the International Organization for Migration (IOM)

“…IOM believes that in order to move forward we now need to rapidly improve the tools, methodologies, and practices for assessing and understanding local mobility dynamics and how they affect transmission of malaria. We also need to link malaria prevention, treatment, and surveillance data and initiatives across migration routes and borders. … In addition, we need to strengthen multi-sectoral engagement to combat malaria beyond health to include relevant public sector bodies like immigration, labor ministries, and private sector players, notably forest product companies. Finally we must promote and encourage migrant inclusion in national/state/provincial health service planning and all malaria services in all six [Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)] countries. These initiatives reflect the four-pillar approach that IOM recommends for combating malaria worldwide…” (4/25).

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Lessons From Ebola Highlight 'Vital Centrality Of Vaccines' As Tool For Disease Prevention, Control

Thomson Reuters Foundation: New partnerships needed after Ebola’s hard lessons
J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director, and Chris Millard, program manager and research associate, both at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Global Health Policy Center

“…[W]hile today the epidemic has been largely contained, Ebola taught us three powerful lessons about the vital importance of vaccines. First, not having a vaccine at the ready when a pathogen strikes creates huge vulnerabilities and imposes tremendous costs. … Second, scrambling to accelerate vaccine development in the middle of a storm is expensive and no way to conduct business. … Third, Ebola created a new consensus among the global health community: we have to do better. … Recognizing these challenges, the formal launch of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) earlier this year is particularly promising. By forging partnerships among governments, the private sector, foundations, regulators, and international organizations in advance of an infectious disease outbreak, CEPI hopes to create a platform for rapid epidemic vaccine development. … CEPI also seeks to build institutional capabilities and technical platforms between key players that can be rapidly scaled up and deployed to respond to unknown pathogenic threats when they arise in the future. … [O]ut of [the Ebola] tragedy emerged a new consciousness of the vital centrality of vaccines as a tool for prevention and containment, and a determined consensus to change and expedite the way we go about developing vaccines for the most dangerous of pathogens. That is progress” (4/25).

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Global Community Should Work Together To Continue To Make Progress On NTDs

Forbes: Look What Happens When You Pay Attention To Neglected Tropical Diseases
Bruce Y. Lee, associate professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, executive director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and director of operations research at the International Vaccine Access Center

“…Five years after the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) convened to set ambitious goals for NTD control for the year 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced ‘unprecedented progress against’ 10 NTDs. … [This progress] is the result of important turning points that have occurred over the past two decades … One turning point was the London Declaration. A second has been the resources, efforts, and energy provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. … A third has been the coming together of some higher-income country governments, pharmaceutical companies, and organizations to tackle NTDs together. … Another turning point has been the growth of the scientific community studying NTDs, which has led to the formation of a new open access journal: PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases … But the war on NTDs is far, far from done and NTDs still remain very neglected. … [W]hen large parts of the world are being sapped by NTDs, potential markets and the world’s economy as [a] whole cannot grow and benefit everyone. Yes, we are all connected in a complex system. Now if everyone can realize the benefits of working together” (4/24).

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Investment In Women Can Help Grow Global Economy, Provide Social, Health Benefits To Families, Communities

Financial Times: Investment in women unleashes global gains
Ivanka Trump, first daughter of the U.S., and Jim Kim, president of the World Bank Group

“…Only 55 percent of women participate in the paid labor force globally and they continue to be an untapped source of growth. This is an invaluable asset with proven returns, but we have not invested the resources to unleash women’s full potential. The evidence is overwhelming that supporting women’s economic participation has enormous dividends for families, communities, and whole economies. … Beyond the economic impact, studies show that women tend to allocate more of their income to food, health care, and education — in short, goods that benefit their children and have multiplier effects for generations. … Policy leaders, executives, economists, and other academics all agree that one of the most powerful ways to grow the global economy is to expand the role of women in business. Our challenge now is to work together — in public and private sectors — to move decisively to invest in women worldwide” (4/24).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

WHO Releases 10-Year Review Report Chapter Focusing On Malaria

WHO: Malaria: retreat of a centuries-old scourge
This chapter of the WHO’s “Ten years in public health 2007-2017” report focuses on malaria. “Energized in 2007 by a call for malaria eradication, the world united around a new agenda to control and eliminate this ancient scourge. Better drugs and diagnostics emerged, and WHO-driven policies led to free insecticide-treated bednets, prequalification of new drugs, and treatment only after diagnosis to prevent drug resistance. Malaria deaths dropped 62 percent from 2000 to 2015, and WHO set an ambitious global technical strategy for malaria through 2030, built from the efforts of more than 400 experts from 70 countries” (April 2017).

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Bill Gates Discusses Progress On NTD Prevention, Treatment In Gates Notes Blog

Gates Notes: Neglected No More
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses progress made against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and writes, “What’s driving this progress? It’s been the result of drug donations by pharmaceutical companies and generous commitments by donors and governments. … Still, there’s a lot of work to be done. We need continued support from donor governments to finish the job. We need more research on improved drugs and tests to help make it easier to treat people quickly. And we must support the frontline health workers who have the tough job of delivering the drugs in the hardest to reach regions of the world” (4/18).

Gates Notes: Record-Breaking Generosity
Gates notes Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases set the Guinness World Record for most drugs donated in a 24-hour period, writing, “On January 30th, they organized drug manufacturers, warehouse workers, delivery drivers, government officials, and health workers to deliver this historic number of donated drugs on four continents for distribution to people living in the remotest parts of the world. … Thanks to the efforts of these drug companies and their partners millions of people are receiving the medicines they need to cure and protect them from these diseases. These diseases are in retreat and the world is moving closer to the day when they will be eliminated altogether” (4/18).

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WHO's Alliance For Health Policy And Systems Research Releases First-Ever World Report

WHO: First World Report on Health Policy and Systems Research
“The first-ever ‘World Report on Health Policy and Systems Research’ was launched today at a special meeting, organized to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the inception of the [Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research]. The meeting was co-hosted by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and was co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank. ‘This World Report on Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR) reflects the importance of monitoring and measuring developments in the field. It provides evidence that allows national policymakers and funders to see how their investments contribute to the generation and use of policy-relevant knowledge,’ says Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO assistant director general for health systems and innovation…” (4/25).

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CGD Releases 2016 Annual Report

Center for Global Development: Annual Report 2016
“This annual report marks two milestones in 2016: CGD’s 15th anniversary and, at the end of the year, its first leadership transition, with founding president Nancy Birdsall being succeeded by Masood Ahmed. In this first era, the Center has established itself as an influential voice in international development policy, with a unique model of nonpartisan policy innovation. Marrying research-based recommendations with the political acumen to find common ground between divergent interests has been CGD’s hallmark. It has resulted in tangible improvements in the processes and institutions that support development” (4/25).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash features an article on Global Fund-supported efforts to eliminate malaria in Cambodia (4/25).

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From the U.S. Government

Amid Progress Toward Eliminating Malaria, World Must Remain Committed To Prevention Strategies, Data Gathering, CDC Official Says

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: The Road Ahead to Malaria Eradication
Patrick Kachur, chief of the Malaria Branch in the CDC’s Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, discusses progress toward eliminating malaria and recognizes World Malaria Day, with the theme “End Malaria for Good.” Kachur highlights the three pillars of the WHO’s Global Technical Strategy (GTS) for Malaria, 2015-2030 and warns against complacency in the face of success, writing, “So on World Malaria Day, as we celebrate the unquestioned progress made over the past 15 years, there’s a need to maintain the recent commitment and momentum as well as further our progress and focus our finest thinking to gather and use data we are already generating — to guide decisions and measure progress…” (4/24).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Fact Sheet On Key U.S. Government Officials In Global Health

Kaiser Family Foundation: Key Global Health Positions and Officials in the U.S. Government
This updated fact sheet lists U.S. government positions and officials related to global health operations, including links to agencies and officials’ profiles, when available (4/24).).

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